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.
No. 4 Damien (22-7) vs. No. 1 Eisenhower (26-5) at Redlands East Valley HS, 7 p.m.
No. 1 Price (27-3) vs. No. 4 Bishop Amat (21-8) at West Covina HS, 7 p.m.
No. 2 La Verne Lutheran (21-8) vs. No. 5 Pasadena Poly (23-4) at South Pasadena HS, 7 p.m.
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.
Tuesday’s Quarterfinal Results
All games at 7 p.m.
Damien 60, University Irvine 46
Keppel 77, Baldwin Park 63
Bishop Amat 63, Lawndale 49
La Verne Lutheran 68, Brentwood 51
No. 4 Damien at No. 1 Eisenhower at site to be determined near Eisenhower
No. 1 Price vs. No. 4 Bishop Amat at West Covina HS
No. 2 La Verne Lutheran at No. 5 Pasadena Poly at site to be determined near Poly
Wednesday’s Girls Water Polo semifinals
Los Altos vs. Chadwick at Mira Costa HS, 3:15 p.m.
Walnut vs. Malibu at Pepperdine, 3:15 p.m.
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?
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.
Above: Citrus College celebrated a CCCAA men’s basketball state title in 2008. Can the Owls do it again in a few weeks?
There were no surprises Monday when the California Community College Athletic Association released pairings for the state basketball playoffs.
The Citrus College men’s team, ranked as high as No. 1 in the state, received the No. 2 seed in the Southern California Regional as expected, while the women’s and men’s teams at Mt. San Antonio College, also as expected, received the Nos. 3 and 5 seeds, in their respective SoCal Regional tournaments. The Pasadena City women’s team, after beating Mt. SAC, 64-62 last week, moved up from its No. 5 ranking to take the No. 4 seed in Southern California. The Lancers won the CCCAA title last year.
The tournament begins Wednesday with quarterfinal play-in games, with regional semifinals scheduled for Friday and Saturday. This weekend’s winners advance to the regional finals on March 6, with the CCCAA Elite Eight tournament slated for March 11-14 at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.
Citrus (26-2), which won a CCCAA title in 2008 and advanced to the regional finals last season, will face either Santa Ana (12-14) or Los Angeles Trade Tech (14-8) Saturday at 7 p.m.
Mt. SAC will host a doubleheader on Friday. The women’s team (22-6), which has won four CCCAA titles since 2004, faces Mt. San Jacinto (23-5) at 5:30 p.m. The men’s team (24-4) faces Cerritos (18-10) at 7:30.
PCC (23-4) will host No. 12 Irvine Valley (20-7) at 7 p.m. on Friday.