Bishop Amat has taken on Northview and South Hills in huge nonleague baseball games the past two years. This year Amat coach Andy Nieto says they have finalized a game with Bonita on Monday, April 25, which will probably be played at Mt. SAC under the lights.
Thought I would share my selections to the CIF-Southern Section office this morning. Here ya go.
1. Corona Centennial, 2. Vista Murrieta, 3. Rancho Cucamonga, 4. Roosevelt, 5. Chino Hills, 6. Redlands East Valley, 7. Norco, 8. Redlands, 9. Upland, 10. Claremont
1. Covina, 2. Monrovia, 3. Azusa, 4. Arroyo, 5. Whittier Christian, 6. Schurr, 7. San Dimas, 8. Cerritos Valley Christian, 9. Maranatha, 10. Baldwin Park
1. Mission Viejo, 2. Servite, 3. Bishop Amat, 4. Alemany, 5. Long Beach Poly, 6. Lakewood, 7. Mater Dei, 8. Edison, 9. Santa Margarita, 10. Tesoro
1. West Covina, 2. Bonita, 3. La Mirada, 4. La Serna, 5. Diamond Ranch, 6. Mayfair, 7. Norwalk, 8. Arcadia, 9. Muir, 10. Burbank.
For boys water polo pairings, visit CIF’s website
By Steve Ramirez
Damien, who have advanced to the semifinals the past two years, open Division 3 on Wednesday with a home game against Estancia (20-5). Ayala, which finished second to the Spartans in the Sierra League, travels to Mira Costa (20-7). Bonita, which went 8-0 in the Hacienda League, opens Division 5, also on Wednesday, with a home game against either Burbank (13-12) or La Salle (17-9). Walnut (20-7), which finished second to the Bearcats, hosts Whittier (9-6), with Los Altos (11-18) traveling to Crescenta Valley (23-4).
Boys Water Polo
Area’s CIF playoff games
Claremont at Temple City, 3 p.m.
Wednesday’s first round
Ayala at Mira Costa, 3 p.m.
Estancia at Damien, 3 p.m.
Wednesday’s first round
Los Altos at Crescenta Valley, 3 p.m.
Whittier at Walnut, 3 p.m.
Burbank/La Salle winner at Bonita, 3 p.m.
Tuesday’s wild card
San Dimas at Lompoc Cabrillo, 3 p.m.
Sierra Vista at Garden Grove, 3 p.m.
Thursday’s first round
Rancho Alamitos at Wilson, 3 p.m.
Santa Ana/Summit winner at Nogales, 3 p.m.
For Covina the regular season is over, so let me explain why they deserve the top seed in the Mid-Valley because if things remain status quo and they don’t get a top four seed, then voters need to check themselves. Whether or not you wanna believe it, Covina earned No. 1 on paper. The win over West Covina, the Southeast Division’s top team with wins over South Hills, Bonita, Diamond Ranch and Glendora, is by far and away the most impressive win in the division by a landslide. Add the win over defending champ San Dimas (who owns a win over Monrovia) and what you have are two victories more impressive than any win Azusa or Arroyo have on their resume. That’s no disrespect to Azusa or Arroyo, it’s just the truth. The Colts should be ahead of Monrovia for beating West Covina and having the same record, but with a win over San Dimas too it’s a no-brainer. And lets not forget the win over Baldwin Park. That leaves Whittier Christian, who many think could be the top team in the division and not disputing that. But I don’t see a major victory on their schedule and they haven’t faced anyone lower than division ten. Any way you look at it, Covina deserves the top seed, whether or not you think they’re good enough to win it.
Here are the rankings going into the final week
1. Azusa (9-0)
2. Monrovia (7-2)
3. Arroyo (8-1)
4. Whittier Christian (8-1)
5. Covina (9-1)
Here it is, highlights and interviews from the Colts’ 27-23 comeback win over the Saints.
Alemany’s 21-14 victory over Notre Dame was much closer than anyone expected after the way Amat dismantled Notre Dame the week before, but don’t read much into it, Amat will still have their hands full on Friday. I will be there with Mike “The Cousin” Robledo’s live blog in case any of you can’t make the trip to Mission Hills.
This week’s schedule
Glendora vs. Rancho Cucamonga at Citrus College, 7 pm
Ayala at Chino Hills, 7 pm
Bishop Amat at Alemany, 7 pm
Claremont at Damien, 7 pm
South Hills at Charter Oak, 7 pm
Diamond Bar at West Covina, 7 pm
Diamond Ranch at Bonita, 7 pm
Walnut at Los Altos, 7 pm
El Monte at Rosemead, 7 pm
Gabrielino at South El Monte, 7 pm
Mountain View at Arroyo, 7 pm
Azusa vs. Gladstone at Citrus College, 7 pm
Duarte at La Puente, 7 pm
Sierra Vista at Bassett, 7 pm
Workman at Ganesha, 7 pm
Baldwin Park vs. Northview at CDF, 7 pm
Pomona at Nogales, 7 pm
San Dimas at Wilson, 7 pm
Covina 27, San Dimas 23 — After starting the year with a miracle comeback that ended with Covina scoring three touchdowns in the final five minutes to pull out a victory over West Covina, the Colts did it again, only this time it was for the Valle Vista League title.
Covina 27, San Dimas 23 — Colts battle back from 23-6 halftime deficit, Billy Livingston’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Carillo with 28 seconds left was the game-winner. Colts win their first league title since 2006.
South Hills 29, Claremont 14 — And you thought the Huskies were left for dead? What it means is that South Hills’ game against Charter Oak next week will likely be for third and the final playoff spot. Unreal.
West Covina 41, Diamond Ranch 10 — The Southeast’s top-ranked Bulldogs crushed the Panthers like they have everyone else, which secures the inaugural Hacienda League title.
Chino Hills 29, Charter Oak 22 – What a perfect night for Chino Hills, not just getting the win, but with South Hills’ win they’re now in a tie for first place in the Sierra with Claremont.
Damien 37, Ayala 14 – The Spartans are not out of the playoff picture left. If they can pull a South Hills and beat Claremont, they have a chance to get in.
Upland 41, Glendora 14 — The Tartans’ playoff hopes were bleak entering tonight, now they’re gone, and they still have to play Rancho Cucamonga.
Diamond Bar 34, Los Altos 6 — The Brahmas are finishing the year the way it started, but need a huge win in the final week against West Covina to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Bonita 57, Rowland 0 – The most impressive result of the night. The Bearcats answered a tough loss against West Covina with a crushing win over the Raiders.
Arroyo 40, El Monte 7 -- The Knights wrapped up the Mission Valley League title and another win should guarantee a Mid-Valley Division playoff seed.
Mountain View 15, Gabrielino 7 — The Vikings’ kept their faint playoff hopes alive in what has been a solid turnaround since a year ago.
Rosemead 34, South El Monte 0 – The Panthers will play El Monte next week for sole possession of second in the MVL.
Gladstone 49, Duarte 0 – The Gladiators probably won’t make the playoffs, but they have improved over last year.
Sierra Vista 21, Ganesha 13 – The Dons can still finish 7-3 with a victory next week. Is that good enough for a Mid-Valley at-large?
La Puente 41, Bassett 6 – The Warriors continued to look solid and can lock up second in the Montview with a win next week.
Azusa 36, Workman 0 – The Mid-Valley’s top-ranked Aztecs are doing what everyone expects, winning and winning easy.
Baldwin Park 57, Nogales 6 — With San Dimas losing, if the Braves beat Northview next week they will finish second and get the automatic playoff spot from the VVL.
Pomona 41, Wilson 21 – The Red Devils got a win after playing Covina and San Dimas tough earlier in the year.
Walnut 35, Northview 0 – The Vikings shouldn’t feel so bad, a win over Baldwin Park in the finale gives them a shot at the playoffs.
The Inland Insider with Charter Oak, Chino Hills highlights and interviews
By John Honell, Correspondent
Overcoming high temperatures, the Bonita girls and the Los Altos boys took top honors in the inaugural Hacienda League cross country finals at Mt. San Antonio College on Thursday. One runner from the Bonita girls team collapsed after her race and was taken to a local hospital for observation for problems associated with the heat. (to continue click thread).
Below: Bonita’s Marissa Scott won the girls Hacienda League title on Thursday
Los Altos softball standout Courtney Gano gave a verbal commitment to the University of Washington after her freshman season but will make it official next Wednesday during the early signing period from Nov. 10-17. Basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, baseball and other athletes who choose to do so (other than football) will make their college intentions official. We’re gathering a list of area athletes signing on Wednesday, so if you know anyone signing at your school, let us know.
ESPN Rise: Before the season began, there was doubt whether Ruiz might not suit up for the Lancers’ football team because he happens to be one of the top juniors in the nation in baseball and made the U.S. Under-16 National Team. Ruiz did not give up the sport and is shining as Bishop Amat’s quarterback. The 2009-10 California Sophomore Athlete of the Year completed 22 of 24 passes for 346 yards and five touchdowns last Friday as the Lancers improved to 8-0 with a 52-7 romp past Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.). Ruiz completed 20 straight passes at one point in the game and tied a reported CIF Southern Section record for most consecutive completions. He has passed for 1,615 yards and 17 touchdowns for the season.
“He’s one of the best defensive linemen we’ve seen since Shaun Cody. He’s the man.” Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar on Chino Hills nose guard Auston Johnson.
By Aram Tolegian, staff wrtier
The good news for the Charter Oak and Chino Hills high school football teams is that the loser of Friday’s showdown will still probably make the CIF Southern Section Inland Division playoffs. The bad news is who that team will likely play in the first round. If everything goes according plan, the Sierra League’s third-place team will likely get a road date with a league champion from one of the division’s first-place teams. That might mean a trip to play Centennial of Corona, which is considered to be one of the better teams in the entire Southland.
“In this game, some of our runs that have gone for 60 yards will go for 10 or 15. And that’s fine, too. That just forces us to put drives together. Their speed is definitely a factor. We caught Bonita’s kids from behind a couple times, but we’re not going to catch Diamond Ranch’s kids if they get in the open.” — West Covina coach Mike Maggiore on facing Diamond Ranch’s speed.
By Aram Tolegian
West Covina coach Mike Maggiore doesn’t think playing what amounts to a second consecutive Hacienda League championship game Friday will be too much for his team’s emotions to handle. The Bulldogs, fresh off their rout of previously unbeaten Bonita, hits the road Friday to take on Diamond Ranch, which like West Covina is 4-0 in league.
That’s the question we’re wondering in the office. We all want Alemany to beat Notre Dame this week so we can have two 9-0 teams, Amat and Alemany, fighting for the Serra League title next week. If Amat wins, then you seriously have to wonder if a Pac-5 championship is possible. With Darien Johnson, Jerry McClanahan, Jay Anderson, Austin Lacy, Daniel Kane and Davis Cazares all not back from last year’s team, nobody expected them to be this good, yet they look better than ever. They’re averaging 36 points while allowing just 14 points — a 23-point margin of victory. I thought with Ruiz, Zach Shay and Jalen Moore all juniors, next year might be the Lancers’ best shot at a Pac-5 title, especially with sophomore Dionza Blue and a handful of other underclassmen returning. But could this be the year Amat shocks everyone and wins its sixth championship? The way they’re playing, it’s not a silly question, even for Aram, AKA, the anti-Lancer.
By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
The Mission Valley League girls volleyball title will stay at Gabrielino High School. Senior outside hitter Amanda Watkins had 20 kills and Ashley Van Oosten had eight as the Eagles clinched their seventh consecutive league title with a 27-25, 25-12, 25-13 victory over host El Monte on Wednesday. (to continue click thread)
“What an absolute thrill for our players, coaches, staff and university,” said Broncos coach Greg Kamansky, who led the Broncos to their first national championship in March and national championship games in each of the last two seasons. “We’ll have an opportunity to savor the successes last season by playing against a program that represents the very best that our sport has to offer. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we look forward to the challenge of playing against a talented team that should be the preseason top-ranked team in the country and coached by one of basketball’s true icons and ambassadors.”
We’re getting to close to one of my favorites times of the year, soccer season, and particularly girls soccer, which has been a fun blog topic in recent years. The Hacienda League is the most intriguing, we’re finally going to have Los Altos and Walnut in the same league and playoff division, and they will be challenged by Bonita and Diamond Ranch. Even better, Bishop Amat should return to dominating form, with the Del Rey League moving to Division 3 with the Hacienda, and Sierra League, which boasts St. Lucy’s, Ayala, Claremont, Chino Hills and South Hills, creating a division that puts all the area’s best teams — with the exception of Glendora (Baseline, Division 2) — competing for a divisional crown and true area champion. Division 6 is interesting because reigning champ Sierra Vista now has to compete with teams from the Rio Hondo and Valle Vista Leagues, meaning San Dimas might have a shot at a divisional title. In any case, care to weight in on an early top ten?
Below: Los Altos’ Lauren Stupin is among the area’s top girls players returning.
Career Day at Damien High School was an enjoyable experience for me on Tuesday, especially with nearly the entire boys basketball team signed-up for a class and sitting in while I rambled on about a career in journalism. They wanted to know who the area’s top-ranked boys team is going to be, so I had to look ‘em in the eye and say, “not you,” that belongs to the CIF champs around the corner, La Verne Lutheran — you know the guys up the street from Bonita. The Spartans players gave me a hard time and said they would love to play the Trojans, though we know it won’t happen, at least not this year. In any case, it’s almost that time, care to weigh in on the top boys basketball teams, and how the new league’s will affect the landscape.
Below: Okay, at least we can establish that Damien has the best boys basketball fans in the Valley. Nothing rivals “The Pit.”
Sierra League finals: Junior Jaclyn Gonzalez has been one of the many standouts on Ayala’s stellar girls cross country team, but Gonzalez had never been in the position she faced Tuesday afternoon, as she held off Claremont’s Merin Arft to capture first place in the Sierra League finals at hot and dry Mt. San Antonio College.
Diamond Ranch football coach Roddy Layton confirmed that he served a one-game suspension during the Panthers’ 48-14 victory over Los Altos on Friday for an undisclosed blue-book violation that falls under undue influence. School officials made the decision after consulting with the CIF-Southern Section. Layton chose not to explain, but he will return to the sidelines when Diamond Ranch hosts West Covina for sole possession of first in the Hacienda League.
1. Bishop Amat (9-0) – Lancers winning by an average of 23 points a game — remarkable considering the competition. They remained No. 3 in the Pac-5 and have two weeks often before the showdown at Alemany for first in the Serra and a likely top four playoff seed.
2. West Covina (7-1) — The Bulldogs have won all their step-up games and won them convincingly, which is why they’re No. 1 in the Southeast and No. 2 in our poll. Until someone proves they can handle their athletic backfield and ferocious defense, they will continue to win.
3. Claremont (7-1) — No. 5 in the Inland Poll and closing in on a Sierra League title. They can clinch at least a tie with a win over South Hills, which appears almost a lock considering the amount of points South Hills gives up.
4. Chino Hills (6-2) — Dismantled South Hills and has looked like a beast ever since losing to Claremont. But now they get Charter Oak and an offense similar to what they faced against Claremont in a losing effort.
5. Covina (8-1) — The Colts can wrap-up the Valle Vista league title with a win at the defending champ Saints, which would give them two weeks off before the playoff. With the No. 5 ranking in the Mid-Valley, the Colts desperately need it to prove to pollsters they deserve a top-rour seed come playoff time.
6. Bonita (7-1) – They didn’t look very athletic against West Covina, but who does against them? The Bearcats are still a force and will have a chance to prove themselves against Diamond Ranch in their league finale.
7. Azusa (8-0) — They have been in playoff mode for more than a month, having the best season in school history and should without a doubt finish 10-0 and end up with the top seed in the Mid-Valley.
8. Charter Oak (5-3) – It’s been well noted the Chargers are 0-3 in step-up games and they’ve got another on Friday at home against Chino Hills. If you’re to believe the Chargers have any chance in the Inland Division, they have to prove they can win games like this.
9. Diamond Ranch (5-3) — The Panthers continue to look impressive in the Hacienda but now comes the test against West Covina at home, followed by Bonita in the finale.
10. Arroyo (7-1) – The Knights needed to beat Rosemead to feel confident about their Mission League title hopes, but they will have to beat fellow 3-0 El Monte on Friday to actually claim the MVL.
The Rest:11. Glendora (5-3), 12. San Dimas (5-3), 13. Damien (4-4), 14. Walnut (4-4), 15. Diamond Bar (5-3), 16. Rowland (4-5), 17. South Hills (2-6), 18. La Puente (6-2), 19. Ayala (4-4), 20. Baldwin Park (3-5), 21. Rosemead (5-3), 22. El Monte (4-4), 23. Pomona (3-5), 24. Northview (3-5), 25. Wilson (4-4), 26. Gladstone (4-4), 27. Sierra Vista (5-3), 28. Mountain View (4-4), 29. Ganesha (3-5), 30. Nogales (1-7), 31. South El Monte (1-7), 32. Bassett (3-5), 33. Workman (2-6), 34. Los Altos (0-8), 35. Duarte (0-7).
Raw footage from Bonita, West Covina game on Friday.
By Aram Tolegian, staff writer
The task of trying to slow down the West Covina High School football team this week goes to Diamond Ranch. And Panthers coach Roddy Layton appears just as perplexed as you might expect, given how unstoppable the Bulldogs have become. “Speed kills, so they’re good,” Layton said. “We’ve watched them on film and seen them live. They do a lot good of things, so pick your poison on offense – 1, 5, 20, 21, 84 – there are several (jersey) numbers.”
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
It’s not often that El Monte High School is playing for the Mission Valley League football championship in Week 9, but that’s exactly the case for the Lions this season.
El Monte (4-4, 3-0) has won its first three league games to put itself in position to take over sole control of first place if the Lions can beat defending league champion Arroyo (7-1, 3-0) on Friday.
Fred 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 (16-1); Ramirez (16-1).
Season: Robledo (138-43); Ramirez (132-49).
Last week: Fred and I had a pretty good week, both going 16-1. I got him by going with the runaway train that is West Covina, which beat Bonita. He got me back, with Walnut’s win over Rowland. I was afraid that would bite me, but when you are down, you have to go further out on the limb. Oh well, there’s always this week.
This week:There are some big games this week as we wind down the league season and get ready for the playoff run. Three games — West Covina vs. Diamond Ranch at Ganesha; Covina at San Dimas and Arroyo at El Monte — have league title implications. The big ones are of course West Covina- Diamond Ranch and Covina at San Dimas. As much as I love how Diamond Ranch can turn on the switch in October and November, I just can’t see how they match up well with West Covina, which is basically taking the place of Charter Oak and we all know how Roddy’s Ranchers did against the Chargers the past two seasons. Go with WesCov. I also like the Colts to beat San Dimas and win the Valle Vista League. Sorry coach Z, but there’s just too much speed. I know the last time I picked against Z and the Saints, it bit me, but… I also like Arroyo over El Monte. The Knights just have too much for the Lions, who have made a nice run to set this battle up.
Here’s our picks:
Glendora at Upland, 7:00pm — Robledo (Upland); Ramirez (Upland)
Los Altos at Diamond Bar, 7:00pm — Robledo (DBar); Ramirez (DBar)
Rowland at Bonita, 7:00pm — Robledo (Bonita); Ramirez (Bonita)
West Covina vs. Diamond Ranch at Ganesha, 7:00pm — Robledo (WCov); Ramirez (WCov)
Arroyo at El Monte, 7:00pm — Robledo (Arroyo); Ramirez (Arroyo)
Gabrielino at Mountain View, 7:00pm — Robledo (MntVw); Ramirez (MntVw)
South El Monte at Rosemead, 7:00pm – Robledo (Rsmd); Ramirez (Rsmd)
Duarte vs. Gladstone at Citrus College, 7:00pm — Robledo (Gladstone); Ramirez (Gladstone)
Ganesha at Sierra Vista, 7:00pm — Robledo (SVista); Ramirez (SVista)
La Puente at Bassett, 7:00pm — Robledo (LPuente); Ramirez (LPuente)
Workman vs. Azusa at La Puente, 7:00pm — Robledo (Azusa); Ramirez (Azusa)
Chino Hills at Charter Oak, 7:00pm — Robledo (ChOak); Ramirez (CHills)
Damien at Ayala, 7:00pm — Robledo (Damien); Ramirez (Damien)
South Hills vs. Claremont at Covina District, 7:00pm — Robledo (Claremont); Ramirez (Claremont)
Covina at San Dimas, 7:00pm — Robledo (Covina); Ramirez (Covina)
Nogales at Baldwin Park, 7:00pm — Robledo (BPark); Ramirez (BPark)
Wilson at Pomona, 7:00pm — Robledo (Wilson); Ramirez (Wilson)
Northview at Walnut, 7:00pm — Robledo (Walnut); Ramirez (Walnut)