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.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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


Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Winter top ten previews next week

Winter top ten previews for boys and girls basketball and boys and girls soccer will run on consecutive days from Nov. 30 through Dec. 3. Winter sports teams begin playing on Nov. 29. We will run a wrestling preview the following week. TOURNAMENT SCHEDULES: Please email or fax your tournament schedules to me so we can post your schedules on the blog, in the newspaper, update them after each round, and of course so we know which games to cover. You can fax to 626-856-2758 attention Fred in sports or email them directly (which is preferred) to fred.robledo@sgvn.com.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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 (11-4); Ramirez (13-2).
Season: Robledo (178-54); Ramirez (175-57).

Last week: Steve picked up a pair of wins and now trails by just three heading into Friday’s quarterfinals. We both missed taking Bishop Amat and Azusa, but I also took Arroyo and Baldwin Park, who lost to San Dimas and Schurr respectively, which were two games Ramirez picked correctly.

This week: To make it interesting, we will pick the remaining games in the Southeast, Inland and Mid-Valley Division, where six of our local teams remain. The most intriguing game is Bonita at Muir, which is where I’m headed this week. It’s a tough game for the Bearcats for several reasons, like being on the road where there are only about 500 seats for the visitors, a venue that can be quite intimidating. Muir is a big-game type of team too. They may fall asleep during the regular season, but when they’re inspired, they can play with anyone as we saw against Charter Oak last year, and again this year with their upset over La Mirada 33-14 in the first round. For teams that wish to throw it, like Bonita, it can be dangerous because of the Mustangs’ speedy and athletic corners. But I like Bonita because they can run too, and the way to beat Muir is to pound it all night because that’s been their weakness for years, their rush defense. Even though they moved the ball offensively at times against Bishop Amat earlier this year, they couldn’t stop Amat’s run game at all. You can pencil West Covina into the next round, but I’m afraid all we will have left is San Dimas in the Mid-Valley after Friday out of respect for the Olympic League, which went 3-0 and proved what everyone’s been saying, that they have the best league in the division from top to bottom. I would have liked Covina’s chances at home against Whittier Christian, but not on the road at Whittier College. CalPreps’ computers has Covina winning 29-22, but that’s probably because they factored in the Colts’ win over West Covina back in the beginning of the season, and we know what would happen if they played now. I’m rooting for the Colts, but after what happened to Azusa, I’m not betting against Olympic League teams unless one of them goes up against Monrovia. Speaking of the Olympic, that means I have Rosemead going down, and going down hard to Village Christian. Chino Hills is rather fortunate to get Etiwanda in the second round of the powerful Inland. Not a bad draw when you can face the weakest of the eight remaining, so I like their chances of moving on. So, after Friday we should have four remaining, West Covina, Bonita, San Dimas and Chino Hills.

Friday’s games and predictions
CIF-SS quarterfinals
Southeast Division
All games scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Southeast Division
Santa Fe (7-4) at West Covina (10-1) — Robledo (WCovina); Ramirez (WCovina)
Burbank Burroughs (7-4) at Mayfair (7-4) — Robledo (Mayfair); Ramirez (Mayfair)
Bonita (10-1) at Muir (7-4) — Robledo (Bonita); Ramirez (Muir)
La Serna (10-1) at Norwalk (7-4) — Robledo (La Serna); Ramirez (La Serna)
Mid-Valley Division
Rosemead (8-3) at Village Christian (7-4) — Robledo (Village Christian); Ramirez (Village Chr.)
Covina (10-1) vs. Whittier Christian (10-1) — Robledo (Whittier Christian); Ramirez (Covina)
Maranatha (8-3) at San Dimas (7-4) — Robledo (San Dimas); Ramirez (San Dimas)
Schurr (7-5) at Monrovia (9-2) — Robledo (Monrovia); Ramirez (Monrovia)
Inland Division
Corona Centennial (11-0) at Upland (8-3) — Robledo (Centennial); Ramirez (Centennial)
Chino Hills (9-2) at Etiwanda (6-5) — Robledo (CHills); Ramirez (CHills)
Rancho Cucamonga (10-1) at Corona Roosevelt (9-2) — Robledo (Rancho); Ramirez (Roosevelt)
Vista Murrieta (10-1) at Norco (9-2) — Robledo (Norco); Ramirez (VMurrieta)

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

State Playoffs: You mean St. Lucy’s and Chino Hills might do this again? Part IV? Why not

St. Lucy’s was awarded the top seed in the Southern California Division Division II bracket after defeating Chino Hills in four sets to claim Saturday’s Division 2AA title. The Huskies didn’t fall far, earning a third seed, meaning if they both advance two rounds in the state playoffs, they would meet at St. Lucy’s on Nov. 30 for the Southern California Regional Final, with the winner advancing to the state finals at the Event Center at San Jose State University. What I love about the state playoffs is that the lower seed is always at home, something the CIF-SS should consider instead of coin flips, I’m all for rewarding home games to teams that had the best regular seasons. In the first-round however, champions are at home, which is why Chino Hills is still on the road in the first round. In any case, wouldn’t it be great to do watch these two go at it again? First-round games are Tuesday night. I need the volleyball experts to tell us if we’ve got a shot at St. Lucy’s-Chino Hills IV. That Troy (29-1) looks dangerous, but the Huskies would get Troy at home.

Southern California Division II Regional
Tuesday’s first round
All matches begin at 7 p.m.
Top Bracket

8. Mt. Carmel (21-15) at 1. St. Lucys (30-9) at Damien High
5. Downey (27-3) at 4. Fresno Edison (26-6)
Bottom Bracket
3. Chino Hills (29-4) at 6. Palisades Charter (22-8)
7. Troy (29-1) at San Diego Scripps Ranch (27-12).

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email