State Champions La Verne Lutheran invited to Covina Christmas tournament … Unfortunately, it probably won’t happen

The invitation has been extended to the state champs. Covina High School boys basketball coach Will Bissman told me over the weekend that La Verne Lutheran has been invited to the 57th annual Covina Christmas boys basketball tournament in December. Lutheran coach Eric Cooper said a month ago the Trojans’ 2010-11 schedule was filled with numerous outside tournaments and showcase games, making it almost impossible to accept Covina’s invite, but at least the invitation has been extended and an area coach has reached out. It’s a step. If Lutheran could squeeze the Covina tournament in its schedule, it would create quite a buzz for a week in Covina, and it would give Lutheran the chance of playing in front of huge San Gabriel Valley crowds and warm them to area followers. Chino Hills, Bonita, Bishop Amat, Los Altos and Northview are all expected in the tournament next year, which would be the area’s only shot of potentially watching a Bonita-Lutheran, or Bonita-Amat game.

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Breaking News: Los Altos softball coach Lydell McCullough resigns; ex-football coach Felipe Aguilar to take over

Los Altos softball coach Lydell McCullough said he had to resign today after getting a promotion at work that will not allow him to continue as softball coach. McCullough was an off campus coach who took over for Greg Gano last year and led the Conquerors to their fourth straight Miramonte League title. They were 5-3 this year when he resigned on Monday. He will be replaced by assistant Felipe Aguilar. The Conquerors former head football coach will take over on an interim basis the rest of the season. With McCullough’s wife a teacher and in danger of losing her job because of ongoing budget cuts, McCullough said he had no choice to resign with his new position.
“It’s very disappointing, I feel bad for the girls because you always want to finish the season,” McCullough said. “But I have another team at home that is depending on me too, so there was really no choice.”

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Just Tribbin: What’s up with CIF-State officials censoring your questions?

Anything and anyone you want to talk about…

I’m not going to explain this one, the L.A. Times did it for me: Tough questions apparently aren’t allowed here at the state basketball championships. Or even obvious ones. Fred Robledo, a reporter from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, was attempting to ask Bishop Amat Coach Richard Wiard about suffering the worst defeat in a girls’ basketball state championship game when he was cut off mid-sentence by a California Interscholastic Federation official. The official explained himself seconds later, whispering in my ear to ask the question off to the side, not in front of the kids.

Also from the Times: Stockton St. Mary’s made its case. And Rams Coach Tom Gonsalves wants the whole world to know it.

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La Verne Lutheran wins Div. 5 state title, beats Branson 35-32; St. Marys’ crushes Amat 89-41 in Div. III girls final; the most lopsided loss and most points scored in state history

At Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield Today
Boys’ Division V: La Verne Lutheran 35, Ross Branson 32
Girls’ Division III: Stockton St. Mary’s 89, Bishop Amat 41

Lutheran game story: In an agonizingly slow-paced game that forced the high-powered La Verne Lutheran boys basketball team out of its comfort zone – the Trojans found a way to win anyway. Bruce English finished with 10 points, and C.J. Cooper hit the go-ahead basket with 54 seconds left to lead the Trojans to the CIF-State Division V boys basketball title with a 35-32 victory over Ross Branson at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield on Saturday, capping a memorable season that included a CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA title and Southern California Regional Division 5 championship.

Bishop Amat game story: St. Mary’s of Stockton was not only playing for the CIF-State Division III girls basketball title on Saturday against Bishop Amat at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, the Rams wanted to put the finishing touches on a mythical national title after entering the contest on top of several national polls. They won’t get an argument from Bishop Amat. St. Mary’s 89-41 victory over Bishop Amat set a state finals record for most points in a state championship game, breaking the previous mark of 82 points shared by Willows (1988) and Piedmont (2005).

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CIF-State organizers not allowing photographers on court for post game celebrations; MaxPreps apparently has exclusive rights

Our photographer Keith Birmingham and an associated press photographer here in Bakersfield have been given better access at NBA Finals, Super Bowls, and just about every mega event you can think of. But here at the CIF state baketball championships in Bakersfield, a public funded event, state organizers are blowing off journalistic integrity by not allowing print photographers on the floor for post-game celebrations. Apparently MaxPreps, a sponsor of the CIF-State, is given exclusive floor rights. Ethics and integrity? No, the mighty dollar wins again. Sorry kids, you’re the ones who lose out.

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Ayala reinstates boys basketball coach Kenny Donavon, who said principal apologized to him

According to the L.A. Times, Ayala boys basketball coach Kenny Donavon was given his job back on Friday after being fired earlier in the week by principal Diana Yorboi, who told Donavon he was not coming back because the school was moving in a different direction. Sources indicated to us that it was Yorboi’s intention to hire former Charter Oak head coach Ray Walker. But it appears Donovan’s firing didn’t sit well with a lot of people, and Donovan took the job back when it was offered to him.
“The principal apologized,” Donovan told the Times. “She said she made a mistake.”

“She told me she made a mistake,” Ayala athletic director Steve Martin told the Bulletin’s Clay Fowler. “She’s a principal in her first year and I think she was trying to placate as many parents as she could. I think she’s discovering, in athletics you can’t placate everybody.”

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