Friday Baseball: Glendora, Diamond Bar and Damien still in a tight race in the Sierra, all looking to complete sweep this afternoon

Lost in all the fun of Bishop Amat and South Hills the other day was the Sierra League race, where our three locals remain in a tight race for the league title. Glendora clobbered Chino Hills 13-5 on Wednesday while Diamond Bar took care of Chino 8-3 and Damien defeated Ayala 19-6. The same teams meet again this afternoon with Glendora (17-2-1, 8-2) holding a one-game edge over Diamond Bar (13-7, 7-3) and Damien (14-5, 7-3).

Friday’s games
Glendora at Chino Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Diamond Bar at Chino, 3:15 p.m.
Ayala at Damien, 3:15 p.m.

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Softball: West Covina beats Rowland 2-1 on a disputed call; Bonita hard to figure out, loses swagger in 5-4 loss to Charter Oak

West Covina 2, Rowland 1: Even West Covina High School softball coach Dan Woodward had to tip his hat at the strategy, Rowland opting to throw seldom-used freshman pitcher Esperanza Sanchez instead of reliable junior Laura Banuelos in Thursday’s San Antonio League game that would give the winner control of its own destiny toward a San Antonio League title.

Charter Oak 5, Bonita 4: The Charter Oak softball team has shown this season that it can beat, and lose to, anyone on its schedule. The Chargers proved it Thursday. Taylor Hawkins’ RBI single scored Jayme Chesler from second base in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Charter Oak a 5-4 victory over Bonita in a Miramonte League game.

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We need more of that … 1,200 fans would agree

Mt. SAC baseball coach Stacy Parker estimated it at 1,200, but said there might have been more. It was about five-deep down the left-field lines, and barely any walking room behind the stands, which brings me to this: Way back in December Northview coach Darren Murphy asked what I thought of a SGV Friday night game of the week. He asked if I thought teams would be willing to give up a home game for a neutral site game like the one we saw at Mt. SAC between Bishop Amat and South Hills last night that drew more fans than the stadium could hold. Tournaments are great, but big-game matchups are the way to go. After last night, tell me you don’t want to see Glendora go against Bishop Amat. How about Northview and Pedroza against Mathews and Diamond Bar. How about Damien vs. Bonita, or South Hills against Glendora? How about giving a team like Sierra Vista and pitcher Christian Huerta a shot at one of the big dogs on a big stage. We need more of this, and for all those wondering, both coaches agreed last night that South Hills and Bishop Amat will meet again like this next year. By the way, was there anything better than watching legendary Art Mazmanian chase down the umpire after the delayed third strike to end the game. Hey, the stadium is named after him, he can do whatever he wants.

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Boxing Reporter Robert Morales, an Edgewood graduate and friend, has quite a story to tell as he prepares for another big mega fight

By Doug Krikorian, Sports Columnist
As he gets set to cover the Floyd Mayweather-Sugar Shane Mosley welterweight title match Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Robert Morales admits it’s become a rite for him to pause momentarily before the proceedings unfold and reflect on his glad destiny. He will be in a ringside seat amid tumult, and not in an iron-barred cell amid silence. He will be jotting down notes on his steno pad, and not be quaffing down vodkas in a saloon. He will be doing what he savors without fear of violence, and not on the streets ducking gun shots from adversaries bent on putting him in a graveyard.

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Living up to all the hype, Bishop Amat holds off South Hills, 4-3 on a dramatic strikeout in the 7th

Game Story: If Bishop Amat is among the best high school baseball teams in the state, which many publications lead you to believe, then South Hills isn’t that far behind.

Pitchers duel: It’s rare when marquee matchups actually live up to the hype. And for the first few moments of Wednesday’s showdown between the Valley’s nos. 1- and 2-ranked teams, it looked like the standing-room only crowd at Mount San Antonio College was in for a real dud.

Keith Birmingham’s photo gallery

Just call this one another San Gabriel Valley Classico. It certainly looked that way as Bishop Amat held off South Hills, 4-3, in a battle of the top two baseball teams in the area. Amat’s Paul Paez needed 125 pitches to dispose of the Huskies, who loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh before catcher Cody Doyle took a delayed strike three to end it. Paez finished with a six-hitter and 13 strikeouts. Rio Ruiz was the offensive hero, giving the Lancers a 3-0 lead in the first on a homer to right. South Hills, getting RBIs from Tyler France, Dakota Behr and Richard Rollice, chipped away, and made it 4-3 by the seventh inning on an RBI single by France. But after Christian Ibarra walked to load the bases with two outs, Doyle took strike three to end the game.


On the delayed strike:
“I wanted to go after the umpire in the end, but what does that accomplish,” South Hills coach Kevin Smith said. “He wasn’t purposely trying to screw us, but for whatever reason he thought it was a third strike and we didn’t. But you live with it and move on. I don’t care what the final score was, that was a character-building game for us.”
On Rio Ruiz’s three-run homer
“I’ve been battling the first inning the whole year,” South Hills pitcher Andrew Morales said. “After that I settled down. But one swing of the bat can change the game.” Ruiz was just looking to drive the ball, but found a pitch he could pull. “I knew they weren’t going to give me anything to hit, but he gave me a first-pitch curve ball and I caught it,” Ruiz said. “It was a great game. South Hills did a heck of a job fighting back, but we ended up being the big dogs in the end.”
On the game:
“I really believe the way the game started they felt they were going to blow our doors off, and then we came back and played the game,” Smith said. “Their guy (Paez) can pitch, there’s no doubt about that, but we got (six) hits and nailed his ERA. Like I told our kids, I would rather be over here than over there anytime because of the way we came back under adverse conditions.”
Bishop Amat coach Nieto was not surprised at all that the Huskies didn’t fold. “C’mon, champions don’t roll over,” Nieto said. “Champions don’t quit. I’m sure if you go to their gym you see banners hanging, that’s a trait. Smith’s not going to allow that to happen, he’s a bulldog and his team is a reflection of what he is, which is a tough guy. This game is for tough guys and it was a battle between two tough teams.”

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Bishop Amat Friday signing ceremony is huge …

Check out the list of names that will be in Friday’s spring signing ceremony at Bishop Amat High School ..
Jerry McClanahan – UC Irvine – Baseball; Paul Paez – Univ. of San Diego – Baseball; Naomi Hernandez – Lewis & Clark – Volleyball; Kelsey Salter – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo – Track & Field; Davis Cazares – New Mexico State – Football; Matt Johnson – Univ. of New Mexico – Football; Josh Tierney – Univ. of Redlands – Football; Daniel Kane – Univ. of Redlands – Football; Alexander Ragsdale – Colorado State – Football; Damien Haynes – Howard University – Track; Nancy Rodriguez – University of La Verne – Girls’ Soccer

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Mission Valley Leauge softball: Arroyo leaves no doubt against rival South El Monte

By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
There seems to be some doubt who actually won the last time Arroyo High School played Mission Valley League rival South El Monte in softball. There was no such doubt Wednesday. Audrey Serna went 3 for 3 with three RBIs and Jackie Wagner was solid in the circle and the host Knights rolled to a 9-3 victory over the Eagles.

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Workman’s Bobby Miles-Serrano headed to the University of Hawaii

Workman High School’s Bobby Miles-Serrano took a recruiting trip to the University of Hawaii over the weekend and has accepted their offer. He will make it official during a signing ceremony a week from Thursday in front of family and friends at Workman, where his No. 3 jersey will be retired. Miles was a San Gabriel Valley Tribune first-team selection after averaging 28 points and 14 rebounds in leading the Lobos to the Montview League title. He also was named the Montview League MVP and was selected to the Division 4AA second team.

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Softball: Bishop Amat beats rival St. Paul; West Covina and Northview take control of league


Above: Sabrina Anguiano struck out nine and went the distance in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over St. Paul. Bishop Amat improved to 10-12 overall while St. Paul dropped to 14-9.

By Aram Tolegian
Kim Hernandez hit a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie and send Bishop AmatHigh School to a 2-1 victory over rival St. Paul on Tuesday afternoon. The win improved Amat to 10-12 overall and kept its stranglehold on second place in the Del Rey League where the Lancers are 6-2. St. Paul fell to 14-9 overall and 3-4 in league.
“Being a senior, this was my second-to-last home game and I just wanted to pull through for my team,” Hernandez said. “I knew it was gone when I hit it. I felt the power. I was just thankful. My team is always there for me and they always pick me up, so it feels good to pick them up.
Freshman Sabrina Anguiano went the distance and recorded nine strikeouts to get the win. But it wasn’t without a little drama in the seventh before the Lancers celebrate.

West Covina 8, Rowland 1: West Covina High School looked to be in trouble, but the Bulldogs instead had visiting Rowland right where they wanted. Alyse Gutierrez had a fourth-inning grand slam and West Covina overcame a one-run deficit en route to an 8-1 victory over Rowland in a key San Antonio League softball game on Tuesday. The Bulldogs, who also received a home run from Yvette Cano and a solid effort in the circle from Dekota Monarrez, improved to 14-6 overall and 6-2 in league play.

Northview wins 7-2: Northview High School took over sole possession of first place in the Valle Vista League softball standings on Tuesday. The Vikings, with a team batting average of .447, struggled early but sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth inning. They scored four runs to break open a close game and knock off Covina 7-2. The win gave the Vikings (15-5, 9-1) a one-game lead over San Dimas and a 1 1/2-game lead over the Colts.
“I think it has something to do with this field,” Vikings coach Jeff Butler said. “I’ve been at Northview for six years and they always give us fits here. We have a great hitting team so I don’t know if it was butterflies or whatever because we knew the importance of the game.”

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West Covina boys basketball coach Kurt Messick resigns, girls coach Manny Lopez takes over

West Covina High School boys basketball coach Kurt Messick resigned to spend more time with his family, Bulldogs athletic director Brian Murphy said. After replacing Gary Prestasaster, Messick went 29-51 in his three years at the helm, struggling to a 2-23 record this past season. West Covina girls coach Manny Lopez will take over the boys program after a 16-11 season with the Lady Bulldogs.

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La Verne Lutheran state champions honored on Saturday at Lutheran High School

The city of La Verne and La Verne Lutheran High School are honoring the CIF-State Division 5 champion and CIF-Southern Section Division 5A champion Trojans basketball team in a ceremony at La Verne Lutheran High on Saturday from 4-7 p.m. The ceremony will include food, music, ring and watch ceremony, carnival games, auctions, autographs, guest speakers and some big announcements about high profile tournaments the Trojans will be participating. The cost is $12, for more information email rsvp@dbiintl.org

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Baseball: Amat is No. 1…but for how long?

Here’s this week’s baseball rankings:
1. Bishop Amat (20-2) - Bring on the Huskies!
2. South Hills (15-3) – Can they take down Amat?
3. Glendora (16-2-1) – Plutko keeps them in first
4. Damien (13-5) - Split drops Sparta to second
5. Bonita (14-3-1) - Has free path to title
6. Northview (13-4-1) - Yet to lose in league
7. Diamond Bar (12-7) – Staying in contention
8. Los Altos (14-6) - Ended Bonita’s streak
9. Charter Oak (11-8) - Swept two from D-Ranch
10. Sierra Vista (13-4) – Team to beat in Montview

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Softball: Glendora is back on top


Here’s this week’s softball rankings:
1. Glendora (16-3) - Sierra League Showtown with Ayala looms
2. Bonita (19-2-1) – Short visit to the top
3. St. Lucy’s (13-9) – 1-2 week vs. the top two
4. Arroyo (15-1) - Battle royale vs. South El Monte awaits
5. West Covina (13-6) – Best hitting team in the area?
6. Northview (14-5) – Began the week in first
7. Covina (13-3) – Still in league title chase
8. San Dimas (11-7) - Still formidable
9. South Hills (15-7) - Loss to Saints hurts
10. Azusa (12-4) - Ruling the Montview

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Football: QB Chad Jeffries and OL Sioasi Aiono shine at Sunday’s NIKE Camp at USC

Glendora quarterback Chad Jeffries and South Hills offensive lineman Sioasi Aiono earned MVP distinctions at Sunday’s Nike Camp at USC, with Jeffries named the top quarterback prospect and Aiono named the top offensive lineman. Here is what Rivals.Com said about Jeffires.
Boise State is the main school showing interest in Jeffries and after Sunday’s performance it’s easy to see why. Jeffries looked good in his drops, scanned the field well, showed off a strong, consistent arm and usually seemed to hit the receivers right in the numbers. Jeffries won the MVP award and Los Angeles Loyola’s Jerry Neuheisel was right there with him. “He’s just the most solid overall,” quarterbacks coach Matt James said of Jeffries. “He and Jerry Neuheisel were the best two kids mechanically-speaking and depths in their drops, understanding of the game, their reads and throwing the ball, timing of throwing the ball. Jeffries and Jerry both had really good days.”

ESPN video interview with Sioasi Aiono CHAD JEFFRIES VIDEOS

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Record day at San Gabriel Valley Track and Field Championships at West Covina High School


Above: Bishop Amat’s Kylie Price was one of those athletes to set meet records. The junior broke records she set last year; she won the 100 in 12.18 and the long jump with a mark of 19-0 1/2.

Meet Story: In the world of sprinters, it seems to be habit that the best avoid each other until the season’s best meets. That’s not the case in the San Gabriel Valley. When Covina High School’s Remontay McClain won the 100 meters in the fifth annual San Gabriel Valley Track and Field Championships at West Covina High, the junior was bummed that his stiffest competition, West Covina’s Beejay Lee, was not in the race. “I kind of missed him,” McClain said, “But I got first place. He’s a fun guy to hang out with. He’s a fun guy to talk to.” McClain got his wish later in the day in the 200. Lined up next to McClain, in featured Lane 5, was Lee. It was the fifth time the pair have faced off against each other this season. Lee missed the 100 because he previously committed to the Nike football combine in Long Beach.

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Softball: St. Lucy’s might be 0-4 in the Sierra, but they beat top-ranked Bonita 2-1 to win the Charter Oak Tournament on Saturday

The truth is, St. Lucy’s is one of the top five teams in the Valley, no doubt. I saw them against Glendora, sophomore lefty Danielle O’Toole is already one of the area’s best pitchers, just a lot of bad luck, losing 2-0 and 3-2 to Glendora last week before beating Bonita in the Charter Oak tournament final, 2-1. This tells you how difficult the Sierra League is, and it won’t get easier for St. Lucy’s, who could be 0-6 with two games against Ayala this week. I’ll bet St. Lucy’s can’t wait to welcome Charter Oak and South Hills to the Sierra next year. When rankings come out Wednesday, who should be No. 1?

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It’s almost here: Bishop Amat-South Hills at Mt. SAC on Wednesday for King of the Valley

With Glendora going down this week to Damien, South Hills will jump back to No. 2 in our rankings next week, setting up a Classic 1 vs. 2 matchup at Mt. SAC. If anyone tells you it’s not important because it’s not a league game, a playoff game, etc, etc, don’t buy it. Bragging rights mean something to kids, coaches, parents, and these two teams know the Valley is looking forward to it, and ready to dissect the result right after. Remember when Northview beat Amat two years in the Glendora tournament and they both went on to win CIF championships. That Northview win helped settle our debate on who was the Valley’s top team that year, and this will do the same. Prediction: Bishop Amat 3, South Hills 1.

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All-Star Classic: Tribune boys end streak, win 118-111 in OT; Star-News girls edge Trib 72-70


Chris Adams drained five 3-pointers, won the 3-point contest and finished with 22 points to lead the Tribune to a thrilling 118-111 victory over the Star-News, ending their four-game winning streak and cutting the Star-News’ series lead to 5-2. Bishop Amat’s Tyler Goldston won the slam-dunk contest with some bounce passes from the rafters. South Hills’ Melinda Gomez earned Tribune MVP honors for the girls with 15 points and six rebounds as the Star-News extended its lead in the series over the Trib to 5-2. Walnut’s Diana Wang won the 3-point contest, totaling 17 points.

Boys Game Story: The Tribune All-Stars had had enough of Pasadena’s dominance of the Tribune/ Star-News All-Star Classic. Saturday night they did something about it. Damien’s Chris Adams scored a game-high 22 points, including four in overtime, and South Hills’ Ify Umodu had 21 and the Tribune team got a little revenge on its West San Gabriel Valley counterparts with a 118-111 victory in overtime in the boys game of the seventh annual contest at Damien High School.

Girls Game Story: The defending champion Pasadena Star-News girls All- Star basketball team survived a frantic finish and hung on for a 72-70 win over the San Gabriel Valley Tribune All-Stars on Saturday. The win gave the Star-News team a 5-2 lead in the series. The annual game raises money for the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research. The Tribune team trailed 72-67 when Erica Greer (Diamond Ranch) hit a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left. She then stole the ball, but the Tribune team couldn’t get a shot to fall and came up just short.

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Baseball: Glendora takes the series from Damien 5-2, back in first in the Sierra

By John Honell, Correspondent
Glendora High School followed the same pattern it has used all year to take a firm hold on first place in the Sierra League. The Tartans (16-2-1, 7-2) got solid pitching from their ace, Adam Plutko, and solid defense to beat Damien 5-2 on Friday. The win gave the Tartans a 2-1 edge in the season series between the teams and a one-game lead over the Spartans (13-5, 6-3) and Diamond Bar.

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Scouting Guru on how coaches and players should deal with college recruiters, plus much more

The Scouting Guru has been all over the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, and like always, he’s offered to share his thoughts, free of charge. Don’t hate, enjoy it for what it’s worth, which is one man’s opinion on the talent in the San Gabriel Valley.


“Great leaders don’t use people so that they can win. They lead people so that they all can win together. If that is truly your motivation, you can become the kind of person others want to follow – whether they are beside, above or below you in the organizational hierarchy.” — John Maxwell in his book “The 360 Degree Leader

Guru says: I think the great high school coaches follow the paragraph above. I was watching the NFL Network one night and they were profiling the 1969 Minnesota Vikings. And they were led by one of the greatest NFL coaches of all-time Bud Grant. Anyone that can get a team to FOUR Super Bowl’s can be called “one of the greatest.” They had a team motto for the year that was simple – 40 for 60. 40 players were committed to each other for the 60 minutes of a football game. There were signs all over the place at the old Metropolitan Stadium that had those words. And those words led them to Super Bowl III that year. Too bad they ran into a coach in Hank Stram that was way ahead of his time. So who will be the 40 for 60 team this year? Time will tell….

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