State Basketball Playoffs: Bishop Amat back in familiar territory, playing for another championship

By Fred J. Robledo
The Bishop Amat high school girls basketball team is no longer the one being hunted, the Lancers are doing the hunting, a role they’re relishing for a change.
After knocking off fourth-seed Agoura two days earlier, the upset-march continued for the fifth-seed Lancers, knocking off top-seed Santa Margarita 58-48 on the road Saturday to advance to next Saturday’s CIF-State Division III Southern California Regional final at USC’s Galen Center against the winner between Inglewood and Mt. Miguel. (to continue, click thread).

Southern California Regional Semifinals
Saturday’s games
Boys Basketball
Division V

No. 4 Windward (25-8) at No. 1 El Cajon Foothills Christian (32-4), 7 p.m.
San Diego Maranatha Christian (24-9) vs. No. 2 La Verne Lutheran (25-8) at University of La Verne, 7 p.m.
Girls Basketball
Division III

Bishop Amat 58, Santa Margarita 48
No. 3 Inglewood (28-5) at No. 2 Spring Valley Mount Miguel (32-2), 7 p.m.

I will twitter updates from tonight’s Bishop Amat girls basketball game

After losing to Inglewood in the CIF-SS Division 3AA semifinals, the
Lancers (26-7) are back in familiar territory, especially for coach Richard
Wiard, who has the Lancers playing for another title after taking last year off for a sabbatical.
The Lancers are a game away from advancing to the state championship,
just a few years after they advanced to four straight state championships from 2004-07, winning state titles in 2005 and ’06
“I don’t want to say one (team) is more special than the other, we’re
not done yet,” Wiard said. “But we have been the underdog the last two games,
that does make it a little sweeter. Those other (championship years) we were
the number one seed and they were all gunning for us. It’s kind a nice to be
on the other end of that.”
Santa Margarita’s UC Santa Barbara-bound guard Melissa Zornig led all scorers with 28 points, but the Lancers limited the rest of the Division 3A champion Eagles (27-7) to little else, holding 6-foot-4 center
Elise Lorenz to just 12 points and three rebounds. No other Eagles player
scored more than four points.
Amat’s Leticia Galarza didn’t have Lorenz’s size, but she battled her
on the boards and offensively, put the ball on the floor and attacked the
basket, finishing with 15 points.
“The plan was to execute the weaknesses on the other team,” Galarza
said. “We knew their big was not going to be able to stay in front of me, so
coach said attack and go for it, so I did what I do best.”
Arielle Widemann finished with 15 points and eight rebounds and sophomore Gina Henderson came off the bench to lead the Lancers with 16 points, with both hitting clutch shots after a sluggish first half.
Amat trailed 8-7 after the first quarter and fell behind 16-11 in the
second quarter when they finally stopped launching long jumpers and started
attacking the paint to take a 24-22 lead at half.
They also out-rebounded the bigger Eagles, 26-19.
“The plan was to (attack), but they’re high school kids,” Wiard said.
“They’re going to be nervous, and when you get nervous you don’t always do
what you’re asked to do.
“But we did a much better job in the second half of following instructions. But you have to still execute, and we executed and made some great plays.”
Galarza’s 3-pointer and Henderson’s driving lay-up gave the Lancers a
29-24 lead, then Galarza finished a 3-point play with a free throw to make it
32-26 with 4:45 left in the third quarter.
With the clock winding down in the third, Henderson drained a huge
three with four seconds left to give the Lancers a 39-33 lead.
After Henderson cut through the lane and scored to make it 47-35 with
4:30 left, the Eagles called a timeout and put the game in Zornig’s hands.
She quickly nailed a 3-pointer, then scored and was fouled, hitting
her free throw to make it 47-41 with 3:41 left.
“She’s so good,” Wiard said of Zornig. “I blinked and our 12-point was down to six.”
Wideman answered, though, hitting a huge 12-foot jumper straigtaway
with the shot clock winding down, and another driving lay-up with 2:29 left to push the Lancers’ lead back to 51-41, quieting the Eagles’ fans.
“Someone always stepped up when they had to step up,” Wiard said.
“Gina, Arielle, they hit big shots and (Galarza) was huge on both ends of the
floor. I was pleased tonight, we beat a good team.”
626-962-8811, ext. 2161

Box Score
Southern California Regional Semifinals
Division III

Bishop Amat 58, Santa Margartita 48
Bishop Amat 7 17 15 19 — 58
Santa Marga 8 14 11 15 — 48
Bishop Amat scoring: Gina Henderson 16, Arielle Wideman 15, Leticia Galarza
15, Andrea Villanueva 7, Vianai Austin 5
Santa Margarita Scoring: Melissa Zornig 28, Elise Lorenz 12, Denise Fernandez
4, Alexis Stamos 2.
Records: Bishop Amat 26-7; Santa Margarita 27-7.

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  • AJ

    Good luck to Lutheran and Amat tonight!!

    I don’t know if you guys have seen this and I didn’t there was a controversy but “Inside the Ike vs. Damien rooting section controversy”

  • AJ

    Good luck to Lutheran and Amat tonight!!

    I don’t know if you guys have seen this and I didn’t there was a controversy but “Inside the Ike vs. Damien rooting section controversy”


    Years ago Claremont played Damien in the rain at Claremont High in the quarters or semis. The season was 02 if I recall. Joey Rios was a stud LB that year if my memory serves me. One thing I recall was sitting in pouring rain. Damien lost in the last minutes after this short Italian Claremont WR kid just was unstoppable down the stretch.

    During that game Claremont fans crossed the line and during the back and forth, Damien came out with their “closer”..”We’re going to college”. That’s Damien’s “out” card when schools yell ‘We have girls!”. The old Glendora basketball games were out of this world back when Tiger was a freshmen and Damien basketball was being schooled by Chino Hills, Glendora, Diamond Bar and Ayala. As you can see things have changed and The Pit has morphed as well as the team. Maybe being winners instead of doormats in the SL hasn’t gone down as well as it should have.

    This year I was at the Eisenhower game and yes Damien’s Pit crossed the line when Eisenhower pulled away and appeared to be on their way to a second CIF Championship Game at the Spartans expense. I was surprised and by the look of the Eisenhower Fans, who looked mortified, Damien went to their “WE’RE GOING TO COLLEGE !!” chant…and it was pure poor sportsmanship seeing as both schools have recent history of great games that should have fostered some good will. In my mind it was classless and I told parents near me I felt that way seeing as Eisenhower was the epitome of class, BOTH YEARS!!! It was sad seeing the EHS cheerleaders and parents asking each other..”What did they say???” There was stunned silence in their stands as fans shook their heads in disappointment.

    This year at San Diego against Hoover The Pit went to a new chant…’OVER RATED!!” …which seemed odd seeing as Damien ended losing that game so maybe The Pit got that one wrong.

    Salesian and Baldwin Park had outrageously competitive games. The Mustangs beat Baldwin Park in the CIF Championship Game last year and beat them in the Semis this year. Yes the BP HC had his opinion of privates vs publics, and his perception of it’s inherent unfairness, but neither school’s players, parents or fans or bloggers came on here and said something so off base as “We’re going to college” inspite of Salesian’s 90 plus success rate in that arena. It’s in poor taste when the demographics don’t fit or the other school has shown class and sportsmanship. It cost $26,000 to attend Damien for four years…thats a privlege that shouldn’t be flaunted in someone face.

    Hey it’s my opinion but I would hope my son would never cross that line, and he’s a student there. Maybe when it was yelled at Claremont it was because Claremont was scream “vagina” and worst and with Glendora it was friends and neighbors giving each other the business, all in fun…huge difference!

    Eisenhower and Hoover desired better and as a Damien parent I hope they accept our sincere apology. It’s one thing to horse play but when you disrespect a Champion, as Eisenhower & Hoover, have been maybe you’ll find that’s why you haven’t won…when you were the better team in all three games, and no one will argue that point.

    Play like a Champion ‘IMPLIES” …. ACT LIKE A CHAMPION.

    BTW SALESIAN WON ANOTHER CIF TITLE AND ANOTHER STATE TITLE IN SOCCER FRIDAY WITH A 2-0 WIN AGAINST ANIMO. And every Salesian player will tell you “Baldwin Park” made us better and next year Baldwin Park will be a monster in that division. No need to talk trash especially, when you take care of business where it counts.

  • go back to East LA

    So, your son didn’t make the Damien Basketball team.

  • I “hate” your kids because I’m not man enough to do otherwise

    Hey drive by moron,

    Get your facts straight. Is “go back to ELA” suppose to offend anyone when I live right next door to you who haven’t moved up in life one inch in two generations?

    BTW those ELA kids you talk about made the LA TIMES for winning a CIF “Volleyball” Championship against a team coached by the greatest Volleyball player in history last year, Karch is his name. It was a great story read by millions around the world. They were applauded not only for beating incredible odds but for their on court heart and sportsmanship. The same was said about our Soccer team that has built a powerhouse and placed players on teams across the country. One earning Player of the Month for his heroics at the University of Connecticut.

    When you “try” and insult someone it’s probably a good thing not to look like a fool in the process.

    Son # 1 Spartan of the Year for his JV “basketball” team. Next year he’ll graduate from USC….is that a “good” enough school? He’s a loser for sure, lol

    Son # 2 Spartan of the Year for his JV ” wrestling” team. He’s away in college up north enjoying his life, are you?

    Son # 3 Varsity Debater as a Soph. State Qualifier as a Soph and according to his JV “basketball” coach…”the most fundamentally sound basketball player he’s ever coached”. That’s high praise don’t you think. BTW, he’s got a 4.4 GPA..again as a Soph. … maybe I should hide my face in shame. lol

    One “loser” kid after another don’t you think? lmao at you!

    Damien is a great school, no one is saying any thing different, it’s just Eisenhower made a claim and it reflects poorly on “our” school. That was my point but as usual it’s time to “bag o my kids” because you’re a coward. Your Dad must be soooooooooooo proud.

    PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION MEANS “ACT LIKE A CHAMPION” ..but “you” wouldn’t know anything about that would you?

    Want a CIF Championship T-Shirt…”we’re” taking orders….lol

  • Ben

    Wow get this man off the board i know exactly who this is, its Mr. Corona that psycho who was here all football season a few years ago because his son couldn’t hack it as a football player at Damien.

    By the way,what CIF Championships shirts are you ordering?? Because Damien hasn’t won any CIF Championships in years hahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • DHS Fan

    It sounds like it is Mr. Corona first of all don’t come on here bragging about your sons and trying to make that seem like you have a clue. 2nd of all i didn’t know they gave spartan of the year for jv sports, that is funny that they do. 3rd of all: Son 1 didnt even play varsity basketball he was a 2 year JV player, Son 2: quit football and you bashed the football team, he might of done wrestling but wasnt good at that, Son 3: didn’t at all on JV i went to a few games and he is one of the last guys of the bench. I don’t mean to pick on your sons but you are using them to make you sound credible and like you know what you are talking about, you have no clue.

  • Sorry Fred they found me, lol

    Did you get any gratification for writing those comments?

    Hopefully Fred will take them down instead of allowing filth and slander to be written as entertainment.

    My comment was in reference to Eisenhower’s compliant…. hence the apology to them. Kids aren’t perfect and neither is any school. Mistakes are made and when they happen it’s best to say sorry even when you think I might not be intended to insult or offend. We are, after all, the “ONLY Catholic school in the whole division!

    My other comment was in reference to a lie about my sons (of course tell tale coward technique) and to the racial put down…again Fred allows those for entertainment purposes

    So Fred maybe you could take them down..your call.

  • Who do you think you are?

    You are so arrogant to take it upon yourself to apologize for Damien on a public blog. Write Eisenhower HS a personal letter of apology if you like; if it makes you feel better. I wouldn’t be surprised if your kids weren’t up in “The PIT” yelling “WE’RE GOING TO COLLEGE !!” Aren’t they going to college as you have posted? They are just stating the facts. Oh, that’s right, they are perfect!!

  • JV Huh?

    Do they make JV letterman jackets, or are they little sweater vests? Just curious.

  • wake me up when this is over….

    yyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnn ….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Your such a big joke Frank

    You always give yourself away……when you do this thing, it’s always you….when you talk about sleez-leee-zian…’s always you…..when you put down Damien…it’s always you…..when you never use your name, we all know it’s you…..and finally, when you go on and on and on about absolutly nothing….it’s always you.


    Only a couple of comments on this Damien lovefest going on here. One is the CIF t-shirt is in reference to Salesian’s win in soccer. Any moron (Ben) could figure that out if he the took the FC hater glasses off.Secondly I think even though FC does write about his kids it doesn’t give bloggers the right to bash them . Besides #2 had issues that would not allow him to play sports . If this is the style of Damien parents and fans it is a sad reflection on your school. This type of bashing and replies has been going on for 3-4 years now if not longer . It’s no wonder your school is second rate when it comes down it. As far as that statement made by FC as we are the only Catholic school in the division well that is nothing to brag on. Maybe you should move to where you really belong , with all the other Catholic schools and then you would not have the advantages (we go to college) you percieve you have when you play public schools . Maybe that is why Damien threatened a law suit if they were to be moved out of the public school league . In their mind maybe they like the advantage. As far as the act like a champion Damien is so far from acting like decent people they have no right even thinking about championships let alone acting like ones.

  • lvbballfan

    I dont think Damien wants to play other catholic schools because they dont want to drive to the oc in traffic for league games in every sport. Imagine a freshman game at 3:00 at Santa Margarita. Anyways Lutheran has a rematch with Windward at Colony on saturday. It should be another great game and the winner goes to state

  • just sayin’

    lvbballfan – how about a freshman game traveling from Bishop Amat to St Bernards or Bishop Montgomery? Alemany or Crespi? Or them traveling to Amat. Amat made the trip to Santa Margarita for years and they returned the favor. Mater Dei & Amat were league-mates for 30+yrs. You either have the &@!!$ to want to play with the big boys – or you don’t.

  • understand

    LVL and Damien deserve credit for their seasons! LVL good luck with finals represent your school and win it. Too bad for Damien and the fuss they caused with fan behavior but we should understand kids will be kids and there is not a thing wrong with that. Ever wonder why LVL is not getting the “love”from the city? Cuz they don’t represent the city of LV. Kids are from everywhere but LV, that why no one in LV really cares.Forget the public vs private thing does not matter, when the glendora kid is the closest to LV is it any wonder? But that does not take away from the talented basketball team and is not intended to if anyone takes it that way. Admire the program and the players as they are good. But stop the crying over why no one in LV cares.

  • Lut fan to understand said:

    La Verne city cares! The city counsel of La Verne honored the LVL team and how they have represented the city with all of ther succes,in todays city council,so i guess the people of La Verne do care. The best of luck this sat. against Windward! Go Trojans!