Thursday Final: Mui Bueno, Cats don’t blow it this time, holds on to beat South Hills, 28-25

You want reality, Monrovia’s 28-25 victory over South Hills means the Huskies could finish 1-9, maybe 2-8 or 3-7 at best. They would have trouble with the best in the Hacienda, so imagine what awaits in the Sierra, not to mention another non-leaguer against Los Osos. Truth is, they’re not the bad, they’re still better than most teams in the Valley, but clearly not among the area’s elite. They can score, but they give up a lot of points too, a trend that could continue with a youthful defense and unforgiving schedule. Also, Monrovia is pretty darn good, it won’t surprise me at all if they go unbeaten the rest of the way and win the Mid-Valley title. They took a 28-17 lead into the fourth quarter after blowing a 21-point fourth-quarter lead last week to San Dimas. That means gut-check time, and they showed their guts. After South Hills scored and made the conversion to cut it to 28-25 with four minutes left, the Cat’s faced a fourth-and-inches at their own 29 with just over two minutes left. They didn’t punt, they let their offense win it, getting a game-clinching first down. That was a way of saying, what happened last week won’t happen again. M-Town, this is what you needed, watch how it paves the way for better things to come.

The Inland Insider providing postgame highlights and video interviews.

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League predictions? Mark it down, going with West Covina, San Dimas and Azusa

With the Valle Vista, Hacienda and Montview league’s beginning this week, here are my new predictions on how it will unfold.

Hacienda League: Have grown to love the new league because the parity is great across the board with the exception of Los Altos, who in future years will be right there too. But we’re talking about the present, and no way am I not going with West Covina (3-1), fresh off three straight wins over Venice, South Hills and Glendora, all upper-divisional foes. I’m going with Rowland (3-1) and Michael Ball to edge out Bonita (4-1) for second and third respectively. That leaves a fourth-place guaranteed spot, which I’m giving to Diamond Bar (4-0), who will edge out Diamond Ranch and Walnut for that final spot. There is one at-large berth in the Division, and given the fact five teams are ranked in this week’s top ten poll, it’s not a stretch that five teams could make it to the playoff party.

Valle Vista: The only guarantee thus far is that San Dimas (2-2) will do enough to win the league title, though going undefeated will be difficult. Covina (3-1), with its win over West Covina still fresh in the memory banks and with perhaps the best offense, will finish second, thus earning a precious playoff berth, (only two playoff spots are guaranteed in each league in the Mid-Valley Division with four at-large berths overall). Baldwin Park, because it started 0-4, could be in playoff trouble. The Braves need to finish second to guarantee a spot, but absolutely have to finish no worse than third to have any kind of a chance at a playoff spot, which won’t be easy with Wilson (2-1) and Pomona (3-1) much improved. But I still like the Braves to finish third, then I can’t wait for the playoff pairings. Lets say the Braves go 4-2 in the VVL and finish 4-6 overall. Do they get in over a fourth or fifth place Pomona or Wilson, who potentially could have a better overall record? I can’t wait to watch how CIF handles this, because regardless of who finishes third, the VVL should garner at least one of the at-large berths. But the reality is, scheduling easy pays off more than scheduling up.

Montview League: Azusa (3-0) should build on their back-to-back titles and bring a 12-game league winning streak into the Montview, which could very well stretch to 18 come November. Yes, the Aztecs will finish first with La Puente (3-1) a close second over Sierra Vista (3-0). But here’s the real story: Will the Montview get an at-large berth? Assuming Sierra Vista loses to Azusa, La Puente and beats everyone else, they would finish 8-2, and maybe 7-3 at the very worst. Is that good enough for an at-large? Or look at it this way, who does CIF take first, an 8-2 Sierra Vista or a 4-6 Baldwin Park, assuming both finish third in league. Interesting thought, isn’t it? As of now, the Dons are No. 7 and the Braves aren’t anywhere to be found in the Mid-Valley polls.

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Diamond Bar vs. Diamond Ranch at Ganesha on Friday is the Coveritlive game of the week

Here’s the deal, I wanted to send Mike “The Cousin” Robledo to Bishop Amat at Cathedral, but I was told by the Athletic Director there is no press box, and that the stadium only holds 2,500, which means just 1,250 on the visiting side, so Amat fans better arrive early. The AD was concerned with the overflow crowd, he said when he made the deal with Bishop Amat, he was told the Lancers only had 1,500 to 2,000 traveling fans. The game will be shown on tape delay on IBN sports on Saturday morning and Mike will provide Amat updates when available, but please, if you’re at the game with a workable cell phone, join Mike and send your updates. But hey, Diamond Ranch and Diamond Bar is something special regardless, so follow all the action along with updates from other games with Mike.

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CIF Polls: Strength of schedule means nothing in the Mid-Valley or Inland, but it matters in the Southeast? Where’s the consistency

Mid-Valley Division
1. Whittier Christian (Olympic) 4-0, 2. Azusa (Montview) 3-0, 3. Arroyo (Mission Valley) 3-1, 4. San Dimas (Valle Vista) 2-2, 5. Monrovia (Rio Hondo) 1-2, 6. Village Christian (Olympic) 3-1, 7. Sierra Vista (Montview) 3-0, 8. San Marino (Rio Hondo) 2-1, 9. Covina (Valle Vista) 3-1, 10. South Pasadena (Rio Hondo) 3-0
Robledo’s thoughts: Assuming that Whittier Christian and Azusa go undefeated, and probably will, they will finish No. 1 and 2. When I look at the top five, I’m looking at teams that could run the table in league, meaning there might not be much change for several weeks. The problem here is that strength of schedule means squat, obviously going unbeaten, regardless of who you face, matters most.
1. West Covina (Hacienda) 3-1, 2. Burbank (Pacific) 2-1, 3. Bonita (Hacienda) 4-0, 4. Rowland (Hacienda) 3-1, 5. Norwalk (Suburban) 2-2, 6. La Serna (Del Rio) 3-1, 7. Muir (Pacific) 1-2 , 8. Diamond Bar (Hacienda) 4-0, 9. Diamond Ranch (Hacienda) 1-3, 10. Santa Fe (Del Rio) 1-2
Robledo’s thoughts: The pollsters are listening to us, the Bulldogs exactly where they belong. Bonita should be No. 2, but give it up to the Hacienda, five teams in the top ten, including 1-3 Diamond Ranch, the biggest surprise of all. Here’s what I don’t get, strength of schedule obviously matters here, but not in the Mid-Valley? What gives.
1. Mission Viejo (South Coast) 4-0, 2. Servite (Trinity) 4-0 , 3. Lakewood (Moore) 4-0, 4. Bishop Amat (Serra) 4-0, 5. Newport Harbor (Sunset) 3-0, 6. Alemany (Serra) 4-0 , 7. Edison (Sunset) 3-1, 8. Los Alamitos (Sunset) 3-1, 9. Santa Margarita (Trinity) 3-1, 10. Long Beach Poly (Moore) 2-2
Robledo’s thoughts: I don’t know if Bishop Amat is this good, or should be ranked this high, but I do know they’re getting better, and when you add Brock Booth and Wallace Gonzalez to the arsenal, I wouldn’t be surprised with Cathedral and Venice next, they don’t get to No. 2 or 3 after what should be a 6-0 start.
1. Vista Murrieta (Southwestern) 3-0, 2. Centennial/Corona (Big VIII) 3-0, 3. Norco (Big VIII) 3-0, 4. Redlands East Valley (Citrus Belt) 3-0, 5. Chino Hills (Sierra) 3-1, 6. Rancho Cucamonga (Baseline) 4-0, 7. Upland (Baseline) 3-1, 8. Redlands (Citrus Belt) 3-0-1, 9. Roosevelt (Big VIII) 3-0. 10. Ayala (Sierra) 4-0
Robledo’s thoughts: The Sierra League or Baseline hasn’t started, yet there is no Charter Oak, Glendora, South Hills or Damien. Again, strength of schedule no consideration, look at Ayala, who has beaten four nobody’s compared to Glendora, who has a 3-1 schedule and has played nothing but solid competition. I blame myself, because I had Ayala No. 5 with Glendora No. 6 in our poll, which in hindsight, I should have reserved. I’ll take one for the team on this.

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Girls Volleyball: This week’s top 10

Girls Volleyball Top 10
1. St. Lucy’s (9-5) —
The Regents took on some of the best teams in the country and after going 4-4 during last weekend, broke even in Las Vegas. Who can do the same?
2. Chino Hills (10-1) — The Huskies have three victories over teams who have been ranked in our Top 10 this season. They get St. Lucy’s next week.
3. Bonita (10-2) — The Bearcats showed heart in beat Los Altos in four games on Tuesday. The tandem of Katie Kirby and Ashley Maxfeldt might be one of the best in the area.
4. Los Altos (7-2) — The Conquerors rebounded from a poor start by winning six of seven at the Mayfair Tournament.
5. South Hills (6-2) — The Huskies are expected to challenge St. Lucy’s and Chino Hills in a rugged Sierra League. St. Lucy’s is up first, next Tuesday.
6. Glendora (3-0) — The Tartans took the week off, but got back to work with a nonleague match against Ayala before facing Baseline League power Los Osos next week.
7. San Dimas (9-4) — The Saints are expected to roll in the Valle Vista.
8. Diamond Bar (11-6) — The Brahmas, who lost in four to Bonita last week, rebounded with a solid showing at the Whittier Tournament.
9. Ayala (5-2) — Most view the Bulldogs as the No. 4 team in the Sierra. That only demonstrates how rugged that league is.
10. La Puente (3-3) — The Warriors, ranked No. 6 in Division 4-A, opened Montview League play on a winning note.

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Chino Hills Tom: Cross Country video from Sierra League’s opening meet at Bonelli Park

Rankings: Check out this link, ranks top boys and girls cross country runners in the San Gabriel Valley

For more SGV cross country news and updates, visit It’s a tremendous site for local cross country and track news. Today there is a nice feature on Rowland High School’s Nick Rivera

2010 Cross Country Calendar

Chino Hills Tom reports from Tuesday’s Sierra League opening cross country meet at Bonelli Park, where Ayala and Claremont are the top contenders, check it out.

Top Ten Boys Marks
1. Paul Ross, Claremont, 14:36, Woodbridge
2. Henry Falotico, Claremont, 14:51, Woodbridge
3. Anthony Castro, Glendora, 14:52, Woodbridge
4. Colin Domonoske, Claremont, 15:04, Woodbridge
5. Alfredo Metoyer, Claremont, 15:05, Woodbridge
6. Timmy Reed, Ayala, 15:15, Woodbridge
7. Kenny Tanner, Ayala, 15:33, Woodbridge
8. Kunal Sampat, Ayala, 15:36, Woodbridge
9. Alfredo Contreras, Ayala, 15:39, Woodbridge
10. Austin Mendoza, Glendora, 15:43, Tartan Top Ten

Top Ten Girls Marks
1. Lauren Justus, Glendora, 17:04, Woodbridge
2. Taylor Khan, Ayala, 17:27, Woodbridge
3. Marissa Scott, Bonita, 17:59, Woodbridge
4. Lexie Jackson, Bonita, 18:17, Woodbridge
5. Jaclyn Gonzalez, Ayala, 18:18, Woodbridge
6. Mikayla Flores, Bonita, 18:21, Woodbridge
7. Chandler Colquitt, Ayala, 18:30, Woodbridge
8. Victoria Chen, Ayala, 18:45, Woodbridge
9. Arecly Rojas-Garcia, Chino Hills, 18:46, Woodbridge
10. Merin Arft, Claremont, 18:52, Woodbridge

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Hundreds gather to say goodbye to Fred Fraijo, loving family man and coach who touched many; Softball fundraiser on Thursday at Irwindale Park

The Northview baseball and softball teams, its alumni, and any past players that played for coach Fred Fraijo are welcome to participate in Thursday’s softball game at Irwindale Park in honor of Fred. The game will start at 5 p.m., with friends joining the field at 6 p.m. All donations and snackbar proceeds will benefit to the Fraijo family.

Hundreds gathered at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Irwindale on Tuesday to say goodbye to Fred Fraijo, who died last week in a motorcycle crash. Fraijo, 49, was beloved as a devoted family man and dedicated assistant softball coach at Northview High School who often provided one-on-one training in his backyard. Northview players attended the funeral wearing team jerseys, while co-workers at Sierra Aluminum Co. in Fontana – where Fraijo worked 23 years as a plant manager – arrived on motorcycles with black T-shirts that read “Fred Fraijo rode hard to the end.”

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The Glendoranator, Gretchen Jaques, will represent Team USA, and chooses Texas

Glendora’s Gretchen Jaques, arguably the best girls swimmer in the history of the San Gabriel Valley, has been selected to represent the United States on the 2010-2011 National Youth Team. The National Youth Team is a stepping stone to the USA National team where many athletes go on to represent the country in international competitions.

The USA Swimming 2010-2011 National Youth Team was selected from the top six times in Olympic events for 18 & U athletes at the 2010 Conoco Phillips National Championships and 2010 Speedo Junior National Championships. Gretchen qualified with her time of 26.22 in the 50 meter freestyle.

After visiting the University of Texas, Jaques verbally committed to attend there next fall and will be signing her letter of intent during the early signing period in November.

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Girls Volleyball: Bonita gets sweet revenge, beats Los Altos in four games in Hacienda showdown

Bonita High School needed four games to win its second Hacienda League match of the season Tuesday.
But for the Bearcats, there was more at stake than an advantage in the Hacieida League standings.
There was a little case of some sweet revenge, which Bonita believes it got after a 29-27, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20 victory over Los Altos.
The Bearcats (11-2, 2-0), getting 22 kills from senior outside hitter Katie Kirby and 42 assists from senior setter Ashley Maxfelt, vied it as payback for the Conquerors’ five-game victory to win their first CIF-Southern Section girls volleyball title last fall.
Los Altos, getting 11 kills and eight aces from Jazmen Russell and 15 kills from Amanda Brown, slipped to 7-3 and 1-1.
Bonita outside hitter Katie Kirby: “It’s revenge. We wanted it bad. We wanted to prove a point.”
Bonita coach Adriana Contreras: “Los Altos is a great team, both offensively and defensively, and they obvisiously brought their A game in games 1 and 2. But we’ve been preparing for this match since the beginning of the season. My girls did well.”

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Breaking News: Bishop Amat’s Brock Booth wins appeal, is eligible Friday against Cathedral

Bishop Amat athletic director Michael Manzo confirmed today that South Hills transfer Brock Booth won his appeal to the CIF-Southern Section and is eligible to play football for the Lancers on Friday against Cathedral. Booth, a tight end who has been practicing all season, was denied eligibility after South Hills challenged his transfer to Amat, citing it was for “athletically motivated,” reasons. The Booth family appealed the decision to a CIF hearing panel, which reversed the decision on Tuesday. Not only will undefeated Bishop Amat welcome Booth, but Glendora transfer Wallace Gonzalez (receiver) becomes eligible Friday after sitting out a full year, giving QB Rio Ruiz two new weapons to play with. “The (Booth) family was thankful they were able to present their case in front of the appeals panel at CIF and that the matters were cleared up,” Manzo said. “They’re (Booth family) looking forward to enjoying Brock’s senior year, and Brock is looking forward to contributing to the football team in any way he can.”

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Tribune Super 35 Rankings: Bishop Amat well ahead of the pack, but Bonita, West Covina join top five with Hacienda League ready to start

Question: I am convinced that if Charter Oak and South Hills were in the Hacienda and back in the Southeast Division they would have a tough time this year. But with Bonita 4-0 and West Covina coming off three big wins, could both of them compete in the Sierra?

1. Bishop Amat (4-0) — Not only the best fans, best tailgating and best place to watch a high school football game. They proved once again, they’re better than anything else in the Valley too after racing to 35-0 halftime lead over Damien.
2. Chino Hills (3-1) — After falling from No. 2 a couple weeks back, the Huskies climb back up after wins over Tesoro and Pomona. After what Tesoro did to South Hills, it makes the Huskies’ win look even better.
3. Bonita (4-0) — Who would have thought at the beginning of the year the Bearcats would climb this high in the rankings.
4. West Covina (3-1) — Consecutive wins over Venice, South Hills and Glendora have Bulldogs neck-and-neck with Bearcats as co-Hacienda League favorites.
5. Ayala (4-0) — The record looks great and they get our respect, but the truth is, they have played the easiest nonleague schedule of all Sierra League teams. The truth comes next against St. Paul and league play, which starts next week.
6. Glendora (3-1) — The Tartans had one the turnover battle to race to a 3-0 record, but it came back to bite them in a losing effort against West Covina.
7. Charter Oak (2-2) — Losing to Rancho Cucamonga and losing their starting quarterback Travis Santiago stings, but at least they have back-up Josiah Thropay, who would start on most teams in the Valley.
8. Claremont (3-1) — Pulls out a great win over Rowland after losing to Bonita a couple weeks back. Now the question, are they really Sierra League contenders?
9. Rowland (3-1) — All that Raiders momentum came to a screeching half against Claremont, but it’s just one game. You know they will compete in the Hacienda with Bonita and West Covina.
10. Azusa (3-0) — Kind of tough to ask La Puente to host Azusa in the first week of Montvliew league action, but it is what it is. The winner will in all likelihood capture the title.
The Rest: 11. Diamond Bar (4-0). 12. San Dimas (2-2), 13. Damien (2-1); 14. South Hills (1-2). 15. Walnut (2-1), 16. Covina (3-1), 17. Arroyo (3-1), 18. Diamond Ranch (1-3), 19. Rosemead (2-1); 20. Wilson (2-1), 21. Pomona (3-1), 22. Sierra Vista (3-0), 23. La Puente (2-1), 24. Baldwin Park (0-4), 25. Nogales (1-3), 26. El Monte (1-2), 27. South El Monte (1-2), 28. Ganesha (1-2), 29. Northview (0-3), 30. Los Altos (0-4), 31. Workman (1-2), 32. Bassett (1-2), 33. Mountain View (1-2), 34. Gladstone (0-3), 35. Duarte (0-2)

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More sad news from the SGV: Longtime Wilson girls basketball and softball coach Ed Bruyninckx passed away Sunday night

It is with deep sadness we report that longtime Wilson girls basketball and softball coach Ed Bruyninckx passed away on Sunday of an apparent heart attack. “The girls and the school is pretty devasted,” Wilson football coach Brian Zavala said. “Grief counselors have been called in and everyone is doing their best to cope with it.” Bruyninckx, this newspapers girls basketball coach of the year in 2008 when he led the Wildcats to a 23-5 record and their first league title since 1994, was as good as it gets and as well liked and respected as any coach I’ve dealt with. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. “He was a wonderful guy, one of the nicest guys you ever dealt with,” Rowland coach Gordon Hamlow said. “I got to know him for a number of years, he’s one of those good guys who got it done, and an excellent coach as well.”

Funeral Services: On Thursday, 10 a.m., at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 16750 Colima Rd, on corner of Colima and Dawn Haven in Hacienda Heights. The burial will follow shortly after at Forest Lawn in Covina.

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