Two-minute drill with Robledo, Aram and Miguel Monrovia at San Dimas, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
It seems only fitting that before the Monrovia and San Dimas high School football teams can entertain the thought of a CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division title, the two rivals would have to square off one more time. When the Wildcats visit the Saints on Saturday night in the semifinals, it will mark the fourth time in 14 months that the two teams have played. Monrovia won the first meeting in September 2009. Since then, San Dimas has beaten the Wildcats in last year’s Mid-Valley title game and again this season in a nonleague game. (To continue reading, click thread).

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Boys Basketball Top Ten Preview: Top three all from La Verne, but Lutheran leads the pack? Could Trojans become best team in area history?

By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
La Verne Lutheran made history last season, and there’s good reason to believe the Trojans might make a little more this season. Lutheran, which won the CIF State Division 5 title last season, could be even better in 2010-11.
The Trojans will have to be. “After what they accomplished last year, we expect to be better,” said Lutheran coach Eric Cooper, whose Trojans begin the season ranked No. 1 in the area. “But we’re in a tougher division, so the challenge will be tougher.” (To continue, click thread).

SGVN Pre-season Top Ten
1. La Verne Luthgeran (28-8)
2. Damien (22-9)
3. Bonita (24-5)
4. Bishop Amat (21-9)
5. Glendora (16-9)
6. Chino Hills (23-6)
7. San Dimas (19-6)
8. Walnut (14-14)
9. Northview (16-14)
10. Rowland (12-16)

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Tribskin Pick’em, your predictions and ours

Steve and I will go head-to-head in Tribskin Pick’em throughout the season for our annual dinner bet. I lead the overall series, two years to one.
Last Week: Robledo (11-1); Ramirez (9-3).
Season: Robledo (189-55); Ramirez (184-60).

Last week: I was four-for-four in the Mid-Valley and Southeast, the only game I missed was taking Norco over Vista Murrieta, which wasn’t close. I blame our Norco blogger for that and me for listening. Steve missed one in every division, taking Muir, Covina and Roosevelt, who all lost.

This week: I’m going to be a mood spoiler, there will only be only one team left after the weekend, West Covina, who will go on to win the Southeast title, unless of course they run into injuries or a turnover-filled game that costs them. I can’t imagine them losing to Mayfair, though road trips are never easy. I have seen Bonita twice, against West Covina and Muir, and both times, didn’t come away extremely impressed. I do love how they battle, but they got a juggernaut in La Serna, who has won ten straight. The way Whittier schools have beat up on us in the Mid-Valley division, I’m taking La Serna, who does own a win over La Mirada. Speaking of the Mid-Valley, Monrovia will return the favor against San Dimas. It’s like the ‘Cats have two championships, Saturday’s to exact some revenge, then next week where they hope to win their first title after nine championship tries. We know they hate the name BillyCats, but until they win a title …well, they’re the Billycats. If you thought just because Bishop Amat was eliminated there was no football at the highest level, look again, Chino Hills is hosting undefeated Corona Centennial, who many believe are better than Servite and Mission Viejo. It’s the game of all games for the Huskies. I don’t think they win or come close, but what a treat for everyone. On Friday, Mike “The Cousin” Robledo and I will do dual Coveritlive’s. He will be at West Covina and I will be at Chino Hills. We will blog ‘em both together, and you can join us during the chat. Should be a lot of fun.

This week’s games and predictions
CIF-SS Semifinals
Mid-Valley Division

Whittier Christian vs. Village Christian at Glendale HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Whittier Christian); Ramirez (Village Chr.)
Monrovia at San Dimas, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Monrovia); Ramirez (San Dimas)
Southeast Division

West Covina vs. Mayfair at Bellflower HS, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (WCovina); Ramirez (WCovina)
La Serna at Bonita, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Serna); Ramirez (Bonita)
Inland Division

Corona Centennial at Chino Hills, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Cor. Cent); Ramirez (Cor. Cent.)
Rancho Cucamonga at Vista Murrieta, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Vista); Ramirez (Vista)

Chino Hills with have their hands full with Corona Centennial QB Michael Eubank

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South Hills win Cory Lidle tournament

South Hills defeated Temecula Great Oak, 7-4, in the final of the Cory Lidle Thanksgiving baseball tournament on Sunday. The Huskies’ Ryan Peterson hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to give South Hills a 5-4 lead. South Hills’ Ty France was named MVP of the tournament and was awarded the Cory Lidle Foundation scholarship.

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Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista kick-off tournament season; please send us your schedules

Boys and girls basketball begins this week, beginning with the Sierra Vista-Baldwin Park Tip-Off Tournament, which includes Glendora, Verbum Dei and many other good local teams. We need all the other tournament schedules listed, so if you have them and want your tournament posted, email to or fax to 626-856-2758. We need scores from basketball games called to our sports desk nightly. Remember, the number is 626-962-8811, ext. 2242 or 2233 or you can email results to

Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista tournament, Nov 29-Dec.4
Arroyo Tournament, Dec. 6-13
Azusa tournament, Dec. 14-18
Covina Tournament, Dec. 27
Nogales Tournament, Dec. 27

Wilson tournament, Nov. 29–Dec.4
Covina tournament, Dec. 7-11
Duarte tournament, Dec. 6-11
Arroyo tournament, Dec. 8-13
Rowland tournament, Dec. 28-30

Sierra Vista-Baldwin Park Winter Tip-Off
Boys Basketball Nov. 30-Dec. 4

Today’s round-robin games
El Monte vs. Esteban Torres, 6 p.m., Sierra Vista HS
Rosemead vs. Sierra Vista, 7:30 p.m., Sierra Vista HS
Southeast vs. Rowland, 6 p.m., Baldwin Park Hs
Academia Avance vs. Baldwin Park, 7:30 p.m., Baldwin Park HS
Tuesday’s round-robin games
South East vs. Santa Fe at Sierra Vista, 3 p.m.
LA Garfield vs. Diamond Bar at Sierra Vista, 4:30 p.m.
Covina vs. Sierra Vista at Sierra Vista, 6 p.m.
Glendora vs. Azusa at Sierra Vista, 7:30 p.m.
Rowland vs. Esteban Torres, at Baldwin Park, 3 p.m.
South El Monte vs. Bell Gardens at Baldwin Park, 4:30 p.m.
Rosemead vs. Baldwin Park at Baldwin Park, 6 p.m.
Verbum Dei vs. Arroyo at Baldwin Park, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s round robin
Academia Advance vs. Covina at Sierra Vista, 3 p.m.
El Monte vs. Rowland at Sierra Vista, 4:30 p.m.
Baldwin Park vs. Sierra Vista at Sierra Vista, 6 p.m.
South El Monte vs. Glendora at Sierra Vista, 7:30 p.m.
Arroyo vs. Garfield at Baldwin Park, 3 p.m.
Esteban Torres vs. Santa Fe at Baldwin Park, 4:30 p.m.
Bell Gardens vs. Azusa at Baldwin Park, 6 p.m.
Verbum Dei vs. Diamond Bar at Baldwin Park, 7 p.m.
Thursday’s round-robin
Academia Advance vs. Sierra Vista at Sierra Vista, 3 p.m.
El Monte vs. Santa Fe at Sierra Vista, 4:30 p.m.
Glendora vs. Bell Gardens at Sierra Vista, 6 p.m.
Garfield vs. Verbum Dei at Sierra Vista, 7:30 p.m.
Esteban Torres vs. South East at Baldwin Park, 3 p.m.
South El Monte vs. Azusa at Baldwin Park, 4:30 p.m
Covina vs. Rosemead at Baldwin Park, 6 p.m.
Arroyo vs. Diamond Bar at Baldwin Park, 7:30 p.m.
Friday – Semifinals, 7:30 p.m. at Baldwin Park and Sierra Vista
Saturday - Championship, Baldwin Park HS, 8:30 p.m.

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Grant Jerrett and Eric Cooper Jr., heading to Arizona, giving Lutheran four D-1 starters

With seniors C.J. Cooper going to UTEP and Bruce English going to Loyola Marymount, La Verne Lutheran’s big underclassmen made their intentions known over the weekend. Trojans 6-foot-9 junior forward/center Grant Jerrett and 6-foot-4 sophomore Eric Cooper Jr., both committed to Arizona — giving the Trojans four division one players in their starting lineup.

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Sunday Tribbin: Monrovia-San Dimas IV … Set for Saturday night, San Dimas HS, 7:30 p.m.

I bet Monrovia is thinking they should be 3-0 against these guys. They won the first of three encounters last season 36-17 and lead 77-64 in total points over three games. But the Saints beat them 12-7 in the pouring rain for a championship and again with a fourth quarter come-from-behind 35-34 overtime win in September. Maybe the ‘Cats are just unlucky, they’ve lost nine straight championship games. Still, they looked so good when I saw them against South Hills, I just can’t imagine them losing to the Saints again. In any case, this is what the playoffs needed, a spicy rematch.

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State Playoffs: St. Lucy’s advances to regional finals, Chino Hills loses in four sets to Troy

CIF-State Southern California playoffs
Tonight’s regional semifinals
Division II

St. Lucy’s def. Downey 25-22, 20-25, 25-23, 25-15
Troy def. Chino Hills18-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21

Next: St. Lucy’s will face Troy on Tuesday in the Southern California Regional finals at the University of La Verne, 7:30 p.m. If the Regents win again, they play for the state title in San Jose on Saturday.

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Aram, I agree, it was a bad night of officiating

I’m rarely hard on the refs because I realize it’s a thankless job and we need those guys to keep the local circuit going, but what happened tonight at Muir was a fiasco. It’s just ridiculous to have that many flags in one game. Every other play, there was a flag. Sometimes these guys let the game get away from them and it becomes this cycle of flag after flag after flag. Terrible. — Aram’s comment on Saturday Morning QB

There were so many flags and the game was so long Aram and I had to change our plans in the middle of the Bonita-Muir game. I hope I get a final tally, but there was easily over 30 flags, maybe closer to 40. Instead of writing a game story and having Aram write a column — Aram left at halftime and bolted to the office, where I called in scoring updates and quotes from coaches to him. Without a press facility or place to write from the field, this was all we could do, the game ending at 10:45, right on deadline. Aram sent his story soon after I sent comments from coach Podley and Howard to him. It was that kind of night, and unusually cold too. My poor cousin Mike, he finished his live blog shaking on the chilly tower at Muir, learning first-hand these nights aren’t always as comfortable as an Amat press box. Gotta love winter football.

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Saturday Morning Quarterback: West Covina and Bonita take another step toward a mammoth rematch; San Dimas rolls out the black jerseys and wins big; Covina, Rosemead go down

Bonita game story: The Bonita and Muir high school football teams entered Friday’s Southeast Division second-round playoff game playing their best ball of the season, and naturally, nothing was decided until the fourth quarter.

Fridays results
CIF-SS quarterfinals
Southeast Division

Bonita 49, Muir 25 — It was one of the ugliest, coldest and longest regulation game I’ve ever covered. There must have been more than 30 penalties and at least 20 against Muir alone. Bonita scored twice in the final minute to make the score look lopsided, but it was back-and-forth for most of the game. Muir’s Howard Vaughn scored on fourth and goal from the one to cut Bonita’s lead to 30-25 with 4:49 left, then Muir recovered the onside kick. But after Bonita’s K.C. Huth sacked Mustangs QB Jeffrey Davis for a loss, Muir threw a desperation pass on fourth-and-16 from their own 45 and didn’t get it, then drew an unsportsmanlike for throwing a helmet – which gave the Cats a first down at the Mustangs’ 30. Giomani Johnson scored two plays later on a 30-yard touchdown to make it 37-25, then Johnson scored again with eight seconds — his third touchdown of the fourth quarter to make it 43-25. Bonita scored again on the final play of the game with Muir trying to flea-flick the ball around to make something happen. Johnson rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns and QB Garrett Pendleton threw for 161 yards. Muir’s Davis passed for 118 yards and rushed for 50.
West Covina 47, Santa Fe 7 – The Chiefs were as close as 14-7 late in the first quarter, but stopping the Bulldogs four quarters seems impossible these days.

Mid-Valley Division
Village Christian 34, Rosemead 0 – If you thought Village Christian’s win over Azusa last week was a surprise, then you probably weren’t surprised this week to see how easily they disposed of the Panthers.
Whittier Christian 28, Covina 17 – You knew the Valle Vista league champions had a tough game on the road. The Heralds are no joke, a legitimate threat to win the division.
San Dimas 56, Maranatha 20 – The Saints are looking like last years championship team again, leading 42-0 at half. Next up, a rematch at home with Monrovia.
Inland Division
Chino Hills 45, Etiwanda 21 – The Huskies move on to take on top seed Corona Centennial, who many believe are the best team in all of Southern California.

CIF-SS Semifinals
Mid-Valley Division

Whittier Christian at Village Christian, 7:30 p.m.
Monrovia at San Dimas, 7 p.m.
Southeast Division

West Covina at Mayfair, 7:30 p.m.
La Serna at Bonita, 7 p.m.
Inland Division

Corona Centennial at Chino HIlls, 7 p.m.

The Inland Insider reports from Chino Hills’ win over Etiwanda, setting up the Huskies’ home game next week with powerful Corona Centennial.

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The Covina loss a constant reminder for No. 1 West Covina to stay focused and grounded with upset-minded Santa Fe coming to town Friday

“I think the kids know what’s at stake. They hear about the Covina game every day. If you don’t play well, if you overlook, don’t play hard and lose focus, then you’re done. I don’t think we’re having any type of problem from a mental aspect.” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore on facing the Chiefs.

By Aram Tolegian, staff writer
West Covina, the top seed in the Southeast Division, should get a bit more of a challenge Friday in the second round against Santa Fe. The Bulldogs (10-1) had little trouble with Bellflower last week, but Santa Fe brings a defense capable of giving West Covina some resistance, at least for a little while.
“They have a very tough defense,” Maggiore said of the Chiefs, who held Bonita and Charter Oak to season-low point totals this season. “They play extremely hard and they’re really well-coached. They play the run well, so it’s going to be a challenge for our guys.”

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Podley knows all about Muir, he was their offensive coordinator on ’89 championship team

LIVE BLOGGING: For all our Star-News and Tribune readers, Mike “The Cousin” Robledo will do his Coveritlive Blog on Friday at Muir. If you can’t make it Bearcats fans, we got it covered.

“There might be trouble swirling around the practice or during the game sometimes, but when it came time to play football it’s a community that respects the game. The kids in the community know when it comes to football, it’s all business.” Bonita coach Eric Podley on Muir, where he was the offensive coordinator on the 1989 co-championship team.

Above: Muir coach Ken Howard is in his seventh season, during which the Mustangs have won four Pacific League titles and are making their fourth quarterfinal appearance, although they’ve never been beyond that.

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Bonita High School football coach Eric Podley doesn’t need a history lesson when it comes to the Bearcats’ opponent on Friday, Muir. After crushing California 51-6 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs, the Bearcats (10-1) play at Muir (6-4) in the quarterfinals Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Mustangs knocked off La Mirada 33-14 for their sixth consecutive victory. (To continue, click thread).

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After Village Christian ended Azusa’s perfect season, what chance does Rosemead have?

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
After watching Village Christian knock off No. 1 seed Azusa, Rosemead High School football coach Matt Koffler is hoping his team won’t be next. The Panthers, fresh off their win over Temple City last Friday, visit the Crusaders in the second round of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs on Friday at Glendale High. Kickoff is 7 p.m. (to continue, click thread).

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Chino Hills’ Ifo Ekpre-Olomu heading to Oregon

From the Bulletin’s Mr. Clay Fowler: Chino Hills’ highly recruited defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu verbally committed to Oregon this morning, he confirmed after the Huskies won their playoff opener 70-42 over Corona Friday night. The 5-foot-10 180-pound senior chose Oregon among scholarship offers from most of the Pac-10 save UCLA and USC, according to Ekpre-Olomu plays a variety of positions for Chino Hills, including wide receiver and running back but he set a school record with eight interceptions as a sophomore playing safety. Oregon plans to use him in the secondary, according to Ekpre-Olomu.

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On the road to Battle Royale II: St. Lucy’s, Chino Hills both sweep, advance regional semifinals

The St. Lucy’s Priory and Chino Hills girls volleyball teams, who fought it out for the CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA title on Saturday, with the Regents winning in four sets, appear to be on another collision course after both swept their first round matches in the CIF State Southern California Regionals.
St. Lucy’s, the top seed in Division II, swept No. 8 Mt. Carmel, 25-21, 25-16, 25-12 at Damien High School. The No. 3 Huskies, forced to take to the road, took down No. 6 Palisades, 25-17, 25-19, 25-10.
The Regents will host Downey, which defeated Edison, of Fresno, while Chino Hills will host Troy, who defeated Scripps Ranch, on Saturday. If both win, they will meet for the regional final next Tuesday, with St. Lucy’s hosting.
St. Lucy’s coach Sean Douglas, despite his team’s easy win, wasn’t pleased with the Regents’ effort.
“The whole problem is that your whole goal all year is to win (a Southern Section title),” Douglas said. “You don’t talk about going to state, don’t talk about anything else, you just want to win (the section). And we came in here still thinking about winning the championship.
“We didn’t play well tonight at all. Luckily, we were able to get through. It was kind of a hangover match. We have to step it up for the next rounds.”
Said junior Jasmine Warmington, who had a team-high nine kills: “I just think we need to focus a little more,” Warmington said. “We know what it takes to win and we know we have it, but we have to execute better. We have to play every game like it’s the championship.”

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Two-Minute Drill with Robledo, Miguel and Aram Muir vs. Bonita; San Dimas vs. Maranatha

Football Notebook: San Dimas facing another tough test in Maranatha quarterback Andrew Elfers, who has thrown for 3,000 yards and 34 touchdowns…..Arroyo coach Jim Singiser agrees with call that cost his team a shot at forcing overtime against San Dimas ….. Former Duarte coach and Baldwin Park defensive coordinator Wardell Crutchfield has resigned.

Southeast Quarterfinals: Bonita at Muir, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Mid-Valley Quarterfinals: Maranatha at San Dimas, 7 p.m.

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One of the best stories written on Kobe Bryant

Adrian Wojnarowski writes for Yahoo sports and is one of my favorite basketball writers. This was truly a magnificent piece on Kobe Bryant and his road to becoming a champion, which is a great read for high school athletes to help them understand the preparation and focus that it takes.

“How to truly make players better, what that really means. It’s not just passing to your guys and getting them shots. It’s not getting this or that many players into double figures. That’s bull[expletive]. That’s not how you win championships. You’ve got to change the culture of your team – that’s how you truly make guys better. In a way, you have to help them to get the same DNA that you have, the same focus you have, maybe even close to the same drive. That’s how you make guys better. I’ve never understood this stuff, where a star player sits out and a team goes into the tank. Well, they need him because he makes them better. Well, if he’s making them better, they should be able to survive without him. That’s how you lead your guys. You’ve got to be able to make guys suffice on their own, without you. If you’re there all the time and they take you away, they shouldn’t need a respirator.
“Once I understood all that, I looked at things completely different. I took my hands off. I didn’t try to control them. I let them make decisions, make their own [expletive]-ups and I was there to try and help them through it.”
Kobe Bryant

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All-Area is going to be tough, player of the year, quarterback of the year, running backs … it’s a tough call no matter what

With only six teams remaining we can start thinking about player of the year, coach of the year and theTribune’s first-team. Go ahead and fill in the blanks and comment away, but if you’re like me, you have no idea who deserves player of the year yet. Even filling in the top 25 spots won’t be easy. There is nobody that stands out as MVP, then again we’re only in the second round of the playoffs. But there are teams finished like Charter Oak, Claremont, South Hills, Damien, Bishop Amat, Baldwin Park and Azusa that still warrant strong consideration. That’s where the tough decisions come, weighing individual performances and level of competition against teams that continue on in the playoffs.

Above: Arroyo was one of several SGV teams that lost in the first round on Friday. Coach Jim Singiser looks like how I feel thinking about All-Area. Narrowing it down and picking the right guys won’t be easy. It never is.

2010 All-Area Team
The Super 25
QB – Pick one
RB – Pick two
OL – Pick five
AP – Pick one
WR – Pick three, which could include a tight end
PK – Pick one
First Team Defense
DL – Pick four
LB – Pick four
DB – Pick three
P – Pick one


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