Girls Hoops: Ayala extends Sierra League winning streak to 49 with victory over Claremont

By Clay Fowler, Staff Writer
Amy Campbell doesn’t often mention the Ayala girls basketball team’s Sierra League winning streak that reached 49 games with Wednesday’s 50-37 victory over Claremont. Most of the players on this year’s team have been part of only the last three. The same goes for Campbell, who is in her first year as Ayala head coach following Mel Sims’ long tenure.
“Six players graduated from last year’s team and one transferred,” Campbell said of the Bulldogs team that reached the CIF semifinals. “These are kids that haven’t played much varsity basketball. We’re very young.”
Nevertheless, an Ayala team with two seniors and no juniors has carried its league win streak into a sixth consecutive season. (To continue click thread).

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Boys Hoops: Calm under pressure Pompa nails game winner; La Puente perfect in Montview

By Tyler Drohan, Correspondent
La Puente High School’s German Pompa scored the winning basket with eight seconds remaining to give the Warriors a 34-32 victory over Sierra Vista on Wednesday and keep them in first place in the Montview League. Sierra Vista senior Herman Pech scored on a turnaround jumper from the baseline to tie the game at 32-32 with 21 seconds to play. Soon after, La Puente inbounded the ball inside to Pompa, who banked in the winner. Sierra Vista got a good look on the other end, but Andres Monteon’s shot rolled out as time expired. (to continue, click thread)
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No, this is not a football score, Rosemead beats Arroyo 32-25 to win its 19th straight in the MVL

By Nathan Cambridge, Correspondent
The Rosemead High School girls basketball team topped Arroyo 32-25 on Wednesday to give the visiting Panthers 19 consecutive Mission Valley League wins. “The victory means a lot to us because we are basically trying to keep our streak alive, and we know Arroyo is our biggest challenge,” Rosemead coach Jay Gauthier said. (to continue click thread)

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Already thinking baseball? Diamond Bar should be favored in the Hacienda; Sierra and Valle Vista up for grabs and what about Amat?

The slow time for us is between football and baseball (sorry basketball fans, that’s just how it is). Looking ahead, who do you like in the new Hacienda League? Will anyone challenge Bonita? Yes, Diamond Bar with Kenny Mathews, aka, the best returning pitcher in the Valley, will be the favorite in my opinion. How much are you going to enjoy Damien, South Hills and Charter Oak in the Sierra League? This is the most intriguing. I’m not sure what Ayala, Chino Hills and Claremont bring to the table, but Damien, Charter Oak and South Hills all in the same league for baseball is as good as it gets locally. How will our lone defending CIF champion, Glendora, do in the Baseline? They will continue to win because they’re a great baseball school, but what a shame they’re not in the Sierra … talk about wasting the perfect fit. Then of course there is always the Valle Vista, which a few years ago you could argue was the best league around. Not anymore, but it will be interesting with Wilson and Nogales joining to compete against Northview, San Dimas and Covina. Finally, will Bishop Amat have the pitching depth to be considered one of the best in the Southland again? Word is, QB Rio Ruiz will probably have to be a closer, that ought to be interesting ….

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Former Charter Oak linebacker Keith Smith turns into a Diaper Dandy for San Jose State


By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Former Charter Oak High School linebacker Keith Smith certainly made the most of his freshman season at San Jose State. Smith recently was named to the Football Writers Association’s Freshman All-American team and was named second-team All-Western Athletic Conference after finishing 30th nationally in tackles with 116. Smith led all freshmen nationally in tackles.

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Former Walnut and two-time Tribune MVP Nadia Link back on track at Long Beach St.

The college soccer season is over and this story is a few months old, but given we’re in the middle of the high school season and that Nadia Link was a big-time part of our coverage just a few years back, I thought I would share her feel-good story that I ran across from Long Beach Press-Telegram columnist Doug Krikorian. Link’s road to Long Beach wasn’t conventional, but she’s back on track fulfilling her potential. The extraordinary Long Beach State soccer player, Nadia Link, is seated in Starbucks in Belmont Shore speaking to the reporter when she spots her 20-month-old daughter outside the front door gazing with fascination at a pigeon.

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Renkens speaks about recruiting at Diamond Bar

Jack Renkens, a former high school coach, administrator, teacher and a regular contributor for several newspapers and magazines, founded Recruiting Realities, which explores the myths and truth’s of high school athletic recruiting.
Diamond Bar High school invited Renkens to speak to student athletes and parents interested in knowing more about the recruiting process on Thursday at the school, which is open to anyone interested in attending. Renkens is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Diamond Bar athletic director Kurt Davies at (909) 594-1405 Ext. 154

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Girls Soccer: La Puente’s dream upset ends in 2-2 tie against defending CIF champ Sierra Vista

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Waiting for the final whistle can be an excruciating feeling, especially in soccer where officials add injury time at their own discretion. On the other hand, it can be a blessing too, especially for the Sierra Vista High School girls soccer team, whose only goals came in the final seconds of injury time to close out each half.
That was the difference for the Dons, who salvaged a 2-2 tie against host La Puente after 80 minutes and two ten-minute overtimes to remain in first place in the Montview League while improving their league unbeaten streak to 19. (To continue, click thread).

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Bill Redell won his eighth title to match the record; can one of our coaches catch him?

Eric Sondheimer wrote that Bill Redell of Westlake Village Oaks Christian has tied the Southern Section record for most championships won by a football coach with eight. Redell is tied with late coach Randall Johnson from Rio Hondo Prep who won eight eight-man titles and Harry Welch, who won eight championships at Canyon Country Canyon and San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret’s. If eight championships is the standard, you have to like the coaching resume’s in our little backyard. Los Altos legend Dwayne DeSpain is the area leader with seven titles, but there are several current coaches who have a chance to reach DeSpain and maybe reach eight before their careers are finished. Of our active coaches, who has the best chance to finish with the most championships. Personally, when all is said and done, I like Maggiore’s chances to finish with the most, he’s the youngest and in the best situation in terms of enrollment and football demographics. But you wonder, if West Covina keeps winning, how long before neighboring schools send them out of the area to compete for titles.

Lou Farrar, Charter Oak, 5 titles
Steve Bogan, South Hills, 4 titles
Greg Gano, Damien, 4 titles
Steve Hagerty, Bishop Amat, 3 titles
Mike Maggiore, West Covina, 2 titles

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Basketball Rankings: Nothing changes at the top, Damien and Bonita top polls with huge games in Saturday’s SoCal Shootout at APU


Above: Bishop Amat coach Richard Wiard has a big non-league game on Saturday in the SoCal Shootout at APU against top-ranked Bonita. Wiard didn’t win multiple state titles by accident. On Friday, he was at Bonita scouting their game against Walnut. Now, who scouts non-league games in January? Wiard does. Preparation, that’s what separates Wiard from the rest. Knowing this, I still like Bonita, think they’re too talented and have been waiting for this opportunity a long time.

Tribune Rankings
Boys Hoops

1. Damien (15-1) – Facing undefeated Mission Viejo on Saturday at APU
2. La Verne Lutheran (8-3) — Good record against a powerful schedule with Price in town on Saturday
3. Glendora (14-4) – Impressive overall record, but might be third or fourth best in Baseline.
4. Chino Hills (14-4) – Sorry Huskies, this is Damien’s year to take the Sierra.
5. Bonita (12-3) — Rowland, Walnut, Diamond Bar are all tough in Hacienda, but ‘Cats are still the team to beat.
6. Ayala (12-5) — Are they a team Damien should worry about? They meet on Friday.
7. Bishop Amat (14-5) — No significant wins on resume, but they keep on winning and could be a factor in the Division 4AA playoffs.
8. Northview (17-3) – Getting better each week and in the same playoff Division with Amat, wouldn’t mind seeing them meet up down the road.
9. Rowland (13-5) — Boom Boom Hamlow’s best team in years, though a stinging loss to Diamond Bar hurts.
10. Mountain View (14-3) – They haven’t played a tough schedule, but overall record is best of the rest.

Girls Hoops
1. Bonita (15-1)
– Love the scheduling with a non-league game against Bishop Amat on Saturday in the SoCal Shootout at APU. Prediction: Cat’s by 10.
2. Bishop Amat (15-3) – In our neck of the woods, Amat not use to being No. 2. They can prove we’re wrong on Saturday.
3. Duarte (13-1) — Not only do they have size and are beating everyone in front, they’re young and only going to get better.
4. Diamond Ranch (7-8) — Tough schedule, bad record. Look, you know it, I know it, they’re better than this.
5. Chino Hills (11-6) — If they’re the best in the Sierra, how do you explain a 26-point nonleague loss to Bishop Amat?
6. Walnut (11-6) – Lori Huckler’s crew not use to losing league game, but that happens in a league with Diamond Ranch and Bonita. Welcome to the Hacienda.
7. Wilson (12-6) — Would love to see them win the Valle Vista for late coach Ed Bruyninckx, who passed away before the season started.
8. Sierra Vista (10-3) — They don’t like being No. 2 in the Montview, but they better get use to it with Duarte on a roll.
9. West Covina (10-6) — You have to feel for the Dogs who will probably do no better than fourth-best in the brutal Hacienda.
10. Baldwin Park (13-3) — Although they lost a tough game to Wilson, off to best start in years.

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Soccer Polls: Mountain View and Ayala on top


Tribune Rankings
Boys Soccer

1. Mountain View (5-2-3) Surging ahead in MVL
2. Claremont (10-0-4) — Only undefeated team left
3. Baldwin Park (10-1-2) – 33 goals for, just 9 against
4. Diamond Ranch (7-2) — 3-0 in Hacienda League
5. Sierra Vista (11-3-2) — Surprising 1-0 loss to Azusa
6. Glendora (9-6-5) — Huge 3-0-1 start in Baseline
7. Bonita (8-3-4) — Defense playing well
8. Diamond Bar (9-3-2) — Starting to pick up steam
9. Damien (5-2-5) — Starting to make noise
10. South Hills (8-5-3) — Can it survive the Sierra?

Girls Soccer
1. Ayala (11-4-2) — Team to beat in the Sierra
2. Bishop Amat (14-1) — Starting to resemble last year’s team.
3. Glendora (11-4-4) — Tough 2-2 start in the Baseline
4. Los Altos (10-2-4) — Look who’s on a roll again
5. Claremont (11-4-1) — 44 goals, just 12 against
6. Bonita (6-3-2) — Great 4-2 win over Walnut
7. Walnut (8-4-2) — Only 2-1-1 in Hacienda
8. Northview (13-3) — 5-0 in Valle Vista
9. Diamond Bar (9-4-1) — Area’s biggest surprise
10. Sierra Vista (11-2) — Defending CIF champs solid again

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Meet Imari “quadruple threat” Brown, who is putting Duarte girls hoops on the map

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Among all of Duarte High School girls basketball standout Imari Brown’s gaudy stats, there’s only one that really matters to the sophomore: assists. She’s got plenty of them, too, an average of 10.1 per game. But Brown’s assists are just one part of a dynamic stats package that includes 17.4 points, 15.2 rebounds and 8.2 steals per game.
“I’d really rather have more assists than points because I like to see my team do well,” Brown said. “Without my team, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. I can’t inbound the ball to myself. I can’t pass it to myself. My team has really helped me a lot.”

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Scouting Guru updates as signing day nears

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.

The Guru Writes: Tuesday marks the first day that college coaches can get back on the road and start recruiting. There are two purposes of the visits these days — they are looking for any players that have fallen through the cracks and see if there is any interest from the player to their school and to start work for the class of 2012 and 2013.

So here is the latest update from our some of the area schools in the valley. If you don’t see your favorite school on here, don’t worry – I’ll have it for you next week. (To continue click thread).

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The benefits of a Tribune subscription have taken a giant leap forward with the “E” Edition

For those of you who are Tribune subscribers, you have to take a look at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s E Edition, which allows you to sort through stories online like a regular newspaper. For those not subscribers, you can take a free tour. Basically, you’re looking at the newspaper just the way it is on the stands. To read a story, just lick on the story and read it the way it appears in the newspaper. After clicking on (View Demo), for sports, start on page C-1 (you will find the cursor near the top of the page) and thumb through (all sports pages in Cs), you will love it. Why is this huge for prep sports? Not only can you read stories, but you can read daily high school boxscores online just how they appear in the paper. Without a subscription, prep boxscores are not available online. In fact all sports boxscores can be easily read on the E Edition, including television listings and horse racing handicaps and results. For folks who live out of the area, this is like having your hometown paper wherever you live in the world. If you’re not a subscriber, this is another reason to join. For 50 cents a day, it’s still the greatest bargain there is.

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