JCs: Citrus, Mt. SAC begin quests for CCCAA titles


Above: Citrus won the CCCAA title in 2008. Will the Owls celebrate again?

Don’t forget about our local colleges, who tonight and Saturday begin their quest for playoff glory.
It begins tonight when the Mt. San Antonio College men’s and women’s basketball teams open the CCCAA playoffs with a doubleheader. The women’s team, which has won four state titles since 2004, faces Mt. San Jacinto at 5:30 p.m., then the men’s team, under first-year coach Allen Caveness, face Cerritos at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday it’s Citrus’ turn as the Owls’ men’s team, who won a CCCAA title in 2008, host Santa Ana.
Until then, here’s my story on Citrus coach Rick Croy and how he’s changed the culture at the Glendora school and has the Owls annual competitors for a CCCAA title

Here’s where you can find the brackets for the men’s and women’s Southern California regionals

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The Valle Vista League, home of Mid-Valley champ San Dimas, now has two-time champion Anthony Rice to deal with at Pomona

By Clay Fowler, Staff Writer
Anthony Rice will try to bring his winning touch to his hometown.
With a pair of CIF championships in tow, the Pomona native was hired on Thursday to coach the Pomona High School football team, pending school board approval.
In four seasons at Colony High, Rice won CIF titles in 2006 and 2007, compiled a 39-12 overall record and an 18-2 mark in the Mt. Baldy League.
The fifth Pomona coach in the last seven years will take over a program that hasn’t made the playoffs since winning the Valle Vista League in 2003.
“When people think of Pomona, they shed a negative light on it,” Rice said. “But that’s not how I think of Pomona because that’s where I’m from. These kids are in the same boat I was in when I was growing up and I want to turn this program back into what it used to be.”

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Boys Soccer: Baldwin Park and Salesian win and will meet again; Mountain View continues defense of its title with gutty effort

It’s on folks, Salesian and Baldwin Park both won and will meet at Salesian in Tuesday’s semifinals, a rematch of last year’s Division 5 championship won by Salesian. I can’t think of a better way for the Braves to put their undefeated season on the line than against the team that beat them last…Meanwhile, the champions of the Valley, Mountain View, won 2-0 again despite not having reigning player of the year Diego Rodriguez, sidelined with a knee injury. Like former Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said, don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.

Below: This was the scene following Salesian’s 2-1 sudden death overtime win in last years championship over Baldwin Park….

By Fred J. Robledo
BALDWIN PARK
— In the moments that followed Baldwin Park High School’s 3-0 victory over Arroyo Grande in Thursday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 5 quarterfinal, what the Braves players really wanted to know was the final outcome between La Canada and Salesian. It was Salesian than handed Baldwin Park its last defeat, a crushing 2-1 sudden-death overtime loss in last year’s Division 5 championship, sending the Braves on a mission ever since. After hearing that Salesian had just knocked off La Canada 1-0 in sudden death overtime, the Braves got their wish, a semifinal rematch at Salesian in Tuesday’s semifinals. (To continue click thread)

CIF-SS Boys Soccer
Thursday’s quarterfinals
Division 5

Baldwin Park 3, Arroyo Grande 0
Salesian 1, La Canda 0, sudden death OT
Division 6
Mountain View 2, Arrowhead Christian 0

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Does Bishop Amat stand a chance? Really? Seriously? I’m not kidding .. The line is set at 34

Price, with Cal-bound standouts Allen Crabbe and 6-foot-9 Richard Solomon are ranked eighth in the state by MaxPreps, and winners of nine CIF-Southern Section titles and six state titles since 1999. They won the 4A title last season and have defeated four reigning Southern Section champs this season. They pounded our small school giant La Verne Lutheran 79-45 earlier in the season, which could answer the always intriguing question comparing Lutheran with other teams in the Valley that never schedule them. And why don’t they schedule them? I don’t know, it’s like they’re Lex Lutheran to some of our Valley teams. But hey, since Price beat Lutheran by 34 points, that’s where I’m setting the line, at 34 points. Will Amat cover? I know, I know, you’re wondering if they can win, right? C’mon now, I’m a Valley homer like all of you and would like nothing more that to witness our Hickory moment, but not even Steve Hagerty sitting on the end of that bench will make much of a difference … Damien, on the other hand, is going to knock off Eisenhower. Why, just one of those feelings, karma maybe.

Friday’s semifinals
Division 2A
No. 4 Damien (22-7) vs. No. 1 Eisenhower (26-5) at Redlands East Valley HS, 7 p.m.
Division 4A
No. 1 Price (27-3) vs. No. 4 Bishop Amat (21-8) at West Covina HS, 7 p.m.
Division 5AA
No. 2 La Verne Lutheran (21-8) vs. No. 5 Pasadena Poly (23-4) at South Pasadena HS, 7 p.m.

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Keppel ends Baldwin Park dream run, 77-63; Bishop Amat advances to face Price; Damien pounds Irvine, and La Verne Lutheran moves on

By Fred J. Robledo
BALDWIN PARK
— The Keppel High School boys basketball team got exactly what it wanted against host Baldwin Park during Wednesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2A quarterfinal – another strong effort from junior twins Jordan and Justin Young, and a near flawless performance from point guard Timmy Wong.
But as Aztecs coach Hung Duong explained it, when senior guard Sam Thim is on his game too, the Aztecs are nearly unbeatable, which was the case as Thim poured in 28 points to lead the third-seed Aztecs to a 77-63 victory, sending them to Friday’s semifinals against second-seed Pasadena at Muir High School. (To continue click thread)

Bishop Amat Gamer: It’s been awhile since the Bishop Amat High School boys basketball team hosted a truly meaningful playoff game in its own backyard. The wait is over, though, after the Lancers used a strong third quarter to post a 63-49 win over host Lawndale in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs on Tuesday night. The win lands Amat (21-8) a semifinal showdown against top-seeded Price (27-3) on Friday night at West Covina High School. Amat hasn’t been this far in the playoffs since winning a CIF title in 2002.

Damien Gamer: Damien High School boys basketball coach Matt Dunn wanted his team to control the tempo of the game and defend the 3-point line. His players held up their end of the bargain by knocking off University of Irvine 60-46 in a CIF-Southern Section Division 2A quarterfinal Tuesday night. The fourth-seeded Spartans (22-7) will face top seed and defending CIF-SS champion Eisenhower in a rematch of last year’s divisional semifinal on Friday at a site to be determined. Eisenhower beat Mayfair, 79-59.

Boys Basketball
Tuesday’s Quarterfinal Results
All games at 7 p.m.

Division 2A
Damien 60, University Irvine 46
Keppel 77, Baldwin Park 63
Division 4A
Bishop Amat 63, Lawndale 49
Division 5AA
La Verne Lutheran 68, Brentwood 51

Friday’s semifinals
Division 2A
No. 4 Damien at No. 1 Eisenhower at site to be determined near Eisenhower
Division 4A
No. 1 Price vs. No. 4 Bishop Amat at West Covina HS
Division 5AA
No. 2 La Verne Lutheran at No. 5 Pasadena Poly at site to be determined near Poly

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Los Altos’ Diaper Dandy, Stephanie Contreas, a goal away from setting the CIF-Southern Section single-season scoring record

Wednesday’s Girls Water Polo semifinals
Division 6
Los Altos vs. Chadwick at Mira Costa HS, 3:15 p.m.
Walnut vs. Malibu at Pepperdine, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
St. Lucy’s vs. Riverside Poly at William Woollett Center, Irvine, 2 p.m.

Are you following the best story of the playoff season, freshman Stephanie Contreas not only led the Los Altos girls water polo team into Wednesday’s semifinals with a Division 6 victory over Elsinore, 12-1, but her five goals give her 183 for the season, tying the single-season record set by La Salle’s Kara-Leigh Huse in 2008. Contreras can break the record on Wednesday against top-ranked Chadwick, though they’re on the road at Mira Costa HS at 3:15 p.m. BTW, did we say she’s just a freshman? Walnut is in the bottom half of the semifinals at Malibu. How cool would a collision course in the finals between Los Altos and Walnut be?

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South Hills, Bishop Amat ranked in ESPN CalHiSports’ Top 20 Preseason State Baseball Poll

A big shout out to South Hills and Bishop Amat, who both landed on ESPN CalHiSports’ Preseason State Baseball poll. The Huskies checked it at No. 17 with the Lancers at 19. Read all about it

What ESPN said:

17. South Hills (Covina, Calif.) 23-8
For the fifth time in eight tries, the Huskies captured a section championship last season as they defeated Beckman of Irvine in the CIFSS Division III finals for the first title under head coach Kevin Smith. The Huskies do lose Division III player of the year, pitcher Derek Klena, but it was a team dominated otherwise by underclassmen. All-CIFSS picks Cody Doyle and Christian Ibarra along with State Freshman of the Year Ty France headline the list of returnees.

19. Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) 26-6
An 11-game winning streak came to an abrupt end for the Lancers last year when they lost in the CIFSS Division IV semifinals in walk-off fashion after earlier in the season finishing undefeated in Del Rey League play. Most teams would be worrying what the pitching would look like after losing a 10-game winner, but the Lancers have to feel pretty good as they will still have senior left-hander Paul Paez, who also won 10 games. He will team up with senior catcher Jerry McClanahan, who led the team with 38 runs batted in and seven home runs.

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