Diamond Ranch girls basketball controversy won’t go away; Serra coach answers questions in Breeze story; This sure put’s CIF’s motto, “pursuing victory with honor,” to the test; *VIDEO shows Serra player with five fouls

UPDATE: Explosive video shown by NBC’s Fred Roggin shows that No. 32 had five fouls …

View more videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com.

UPDATE: Serra answers questions in today’s Daily Breeze story…Serra coach McKinsey Hadley describes what happened at the scoring table … Read the full story: “There was some discrepancy at the referee’s table,” Hadley said. “The ref said she had five fouls, so I took her out. Then they came back to me and said she doesn’t have five fouls, so I put her back in the game.”

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Diamond Ranch High School’s girls basketball team is painfully coming to grips with the fact that nothing can be done about what the Panthers feel was a gross injustice that likely cost them a chance to play in Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA championship game at Anaheim Convention Center. At issue is the final minute of regulation in Diamond Ranch’s 82-70 loss to Serra of Gardena on Saturday night in the semifinals of the 3AA playoffs at North Torrance High. With 32 seconds left to play in regulation and Diamond Ranch ahead 63-62, Serra’s Sierra Thompson picked up what Diamond Ranch officials believed to be her fifth foul, thus disqualifying her from the game. (To continue click thread)

Fred’s reaction: The only part that I question about Serra coach McKinsey Hadley’s comments is that one, coaches know when players are in foul trouble, they are constantly checking with assistants and scorekeepers during the game. In reading his comments it sounded to me that he was not interested at all in going over the video and finding the truth, he’s probably more concerned with preparing for Serra’s championship. If Hadley looked at the video and knows for sure whether his player fouled out or not, which is Diamond Ranch’s assertion, at the very least he and Serra should offer Diamond Ranch an apology. After all, if it was simply a mistake, it was a home team’s mistake that might have robbed the visitors of an opportunity to play for a title. Pursing victory with honor? This is what it’s all about.

According to Diamond Ranch officials, Thompson left the court, removed her jersey and dejectedly took a seat on Serra’s bench. She was then comforted by somebody from out of the stands.

Meanwhile, Diamond Ranch officials contend, an adult came out of the stands, went to the scorer’s table and started talking with Serra’s scorekeeper for the game. Moments later, Thompson was re-entering the game, with Serra’s scorekeeper claiming he had made a mistake and had Thompson with only three fouls.

Following a protest by Diamond Ranch coach Mike James, the head game official determined that, per CIF rules, the home team’s scorekeeper’s book is the official book for the game and that Thompson would be allowed to return to the game, which she did, and promptly hit a 3-pointer to put Serra ahead by two before Diamond Ranch tied the game at the buzzer with a layup by Erika Williams to send it into overtime.

Thompson went on to score 10 points in overtime as Serra punched its ticket to play in the division championship.

Thompson finished with 28 points.

Was the Serra scorekeeper’s book manipulated to keep Thompson in the game?

That’s what Diamond Ranch is wondering as it awaits word on whether its season will continue in next week’s state playoffs. One thing is for certain, though: CIF will take no action to reverse the outcome of Saturday’s game.

“If there’s a misapplication of the rules, then at that moment in the game, they (Diamond Ranch in this case) would make the official aware of it,” CIF-Southern Section spokesperson Thom Simmons said Tuesday.

“The official, at that moment, would then adjudicate it right then and there, and he would either agree or disagree. In the (CIF) blue book, it says we do not adjudicate after the fact.”

According to Simmons, the referees made the right decision to side with the host team’s scorebook. That outcome didn’t sit well, though, with Diamond Ranch athletic director Candace Cayer, who was in attendance and sent a text message to CIF-Southern Section assistant commissioner in charge of basketball Rainer Wulf immediately following the game.

“I decided to appeal it under CIF rule 112.2, which involves an ineligible player,” Cayer said. “And I believe that at the point she had fouled out and then returned to the game, that made her an ineligible player. That was not the rule application that CIF ruled it under.

“They ruled it under 112.3, which states that as an official makes a decision, then regardless of whether a rule was misapplied or not, there is no formal means for protest.”

Cayer has since watched the video replay of the game and claims it shows Thompson did have five fouls, which would jibe with Diamond Ranch’s official book for the game, and a Panthers assistant coach’s tally of fouls as well.

In the wake of Saturday’s loss, angered Diamond Ranch parents have sent a letter to CIF to express their disappointment. Panthers coach Mike James made his feelings known by taking to this newspaper’s prep sports blog to issue some pointed words about last Saturday’s events.

“This was a great game between 2 great teams,” James’ statement read. “Someone has to win and someone has to lose. The bigger question is are we really to the point where winning at all cost is more important than sportsmanship and integrity?

“For these kids to have to lose in this manner just makes for a hard pill to swallow. Especially when the video clearly shows this player had fouled out.

“CIF can’t just turn a blind eye to situations like this. Once you get to this level of the playoffs we have 3 man officiating crews and neutral sites. They need to take the next step and have a neutral party as the official scorer.”

Phone calls seeking comment from Serra athletic director Ted Dunlap weren’t returned. Serra plays St. Joseph of Santa Maria in Saturday’s championship game.

In most cases, a scorebook is kept by both teams, and in optimal situations both books are used to check and balance each other, but Cayer is now wondering whether that helps if the game officials are supposed to automatically side with the home team’s book, even if both don’t match up.

“Our scorekeeper was adamantly stating, at the time, that she (Thompson) had five (fouls),” Cayer said.

“I did not see the referee check our scorebook. He took the (Serra) scorekeeper’s word for it.”

With no further action expected to come from the school, Cayer said she’s hopeful that something can be done by CIF to ensure that another scenario like the one Diamond Ranch experienced Saturday won’t happen to somebody else.

“For the administration at Diamond Ranch, we are really proud of our girls,” Cayer said.

“It’s just sad that the cloud isn’t just above our girls’ heads, it’s also hanging over Serra. It’s a lose-lose for all the kids.”

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  • Allen B

    I am a Bonita supporter, because of my daughter going to school at Bonita, but I am real big sports fan too. When I read this article on the Serra and D-Ranch girls basketball game, I about flipped my lid!! This is bull crap! I understand people make mistakes, but when the score keeper has fouls down for players that have not even played, that is not a mistake! That is flat out cheating! Why doesn’t someone from Serra’s school say anything? Guilty? When they keep there mouths shut, it sure looks that way. If there refs would of done there job and kept that girl out of the game, D-Ranch would of won the game. She hit the tieing basket to put Serra ahead and then scored the 10 points in OT for them to win the game. CIF should be investigated by whom ever oversees them. CIF should be ashamed of them selves. What else bothers me is, when a player fouls out of the game the refs and the score keep let the player know they have five fouls and the player leaves the game. So, it looks like this happened, but how did this change from when she knew she fouled out and the refs knew she fouled out and she left the game? All of the sudden the score book changed and the fouls vanished? Serra and CIF both should be investigated and ashamed! I hope Serra gets blown off the court in the finals! They don’t deserve to be there and shouldn’t be there! Danial Bartlett

  • clean house

    the Serra Boys team had to forfeit their entire season for cheating and were not granted a playoff spot despite having a highly ranked team and now this happens with the girls team? They need to clean house at Serra and start from scratch with ethical staff

  • Allen B

    After reading what the Serra coach said, it sort of pissed me off! Does he think that the readers are stupid? The refs do not keep track of the players fouls! They would have to keep track of ten starters and all of the other players fouls that enter the game. So, why would the ref tell the coach that his player fouled out? The scorekeeper and the coach does! The coach also said that he was to into the game to know how many fouls she had! If this is the case and he didn’t know how many fouls his player had and his assistant coaches didn’t know how many fouls this young lady had, then both him and his staff need to be fired! A basketball coach knows how many fouls all his player has, at all times. He may very well of been into the game, but his assistant coaches know and tell him. So, either the coach, or one of his assistants or the score keeper let the refs know about this young lady having five fouls. Not the refs, like this coach has stated. This is straight out cheating on Serra’s part! The coach knew she fouled out and didn’t do the right thing, the young lady knew she fouled out and did not do the right thing and the score keeper new she fouled out and all are dishonest! What are the teachers that coach these kids saying to our student athlets? Do what ever you have to do to win? YES! Watch the Video of the game Serra, CIF and refs and the truth will come out! All of the staff and administration at Serra needs to be fired for cheating!

  • No doubt about it

    See for yourself. She fouled out with 5 fouls. NBC doesn’t show the officials reporting to the table but thats also in the video as well. The part I love the most is the coaches reaction to the call after she picks up foul 3 in the first half! Thats a coach who knows his leading scorer is in foul trouble.


  • Fed up,

    I just read the article from Daily Breeze and viewed the video on nbc, and just am confused more on how CIF can not do anything about this. 1. The video shows the fouls and the whistle. 2. The DRanch book shows the fouls, 3. the scorekeeper originally has the player fouling out 4. the player did not argue that she did not foul out at the time, 5. the coach did not question that his best player fouled out. Versus only 1. there was a mistake and now the book shows not fouled out. Thats 5 to 1 supporting a foul out. (The information posted by the below posters is very good.)

    I do not understand how a scorekeeper, could say to all that a player fouled out, and then the player left the game, and then say oops it was really only 3 fouls. What was the basis for the mistake? What were they looking at that prompted them to say she had 5 fouls? Another player with 5 fouls? or 4 fouls?

    I guess now one has to take a picture of the scoresheets after each quarter. What a travesty by the CIF, Serra, and High School Sports. And how sad that the athletes that have worked hard their entire lives will not be able to compete for the championship.

    Again, lets mount a demonstration which should be led by our AD who did file a formal protest. They should have signs that say “CIF= pursuing victory with honor, NOT” and show up with the film crews filming away.

    The CIF could find a rule that would make this right. There is just to much information here to allow this to go on.

    Suggestion, maybe the tribune could ask for a copy of the scoresheet or to see the actual one and do a story on that. Chances are that book is no longer around.

  • A Referee

    The referees go with the HOME TEAM scorebook!!!! That’s the rule, even if they believe the player has 5 fouls, they are NOT allowed to interject that. Quit blaming the referees, they can’t call the game, remember the score and the fouls of each player. What integrity do you have, if you needed that player to foul out to have a chance to win! If you want to be the home team, win more games in league!!! ALWAYS blaming the refs or something when you lose. STOP, you are not going to be granted a spot in the final on a protest, SORRY :-(…move on.
    It is sad for your seniors, but life has it’s heartbreaks, they will learn as they move on in life.

  • pomona insider

    If you really are an official I have a lower level of respect for your group than I did before. Home team is determined by coin flip or previous round home game,not on record or league standing. If you don’t know that goodness knows what horrible calls you make in a game, although I would bet that you aren’t a referee and the only stripes you were come from your job at foot locker.
    Fed up;
    Look at the CIF Blue Book. A formal protest could not be filed. The issue is not with DR it is with Serra. I’m going to bet that you are a parent who was banned from going to games because of your actions and now are complaining about the AD to grind your axe.
    Bottom line the whole southland knows Serra cheated, and really that is what is going to be the best outcome because I know Serra isn’t going to give up their illgotten spot in the finals. DR will just have to win state.

  • pomona insider

    fedup disregard I misread your post

  • Fan

    This is a total injustice and shows that CIF has their priorities out of whack. Something this egregious needs to be taken into consideration in order to right the wrong. I can’t believe that CIF does nothing about something this severe, but they had no problem punishing Notre Dame for not turning in paper work.

    A game was not officiated fairly and an inelgible player was in the game, but nothing happens.

    Some paper work for Notre Dame wasn’t fully faxed over to CIF and all hell breaks loose.

    Sounds pretty twisted to me.

  • JD

    Attention Serra Parents: Where are the Serra parents who know this is wrong. You put your child in a Christian school to help instill the correct values. Please stand up and say this is wrong. I know this is going to be tough for you and your child to do, but it is absolutely the right thing to do. God bless!!

  • FredJ

    What should have happened is Serra should acknowledge it and apologize for what happened. Then they should offer to play the last 38 seconds with their player fouled out and let the cards fall where they may. Serra could host it and whoever wins plays in this weekends final. That’s the right thing to do, you don’t always have to wait on a CIF decision, you can act in the best interest of kids and sportsmanship by doing the right thing. Serra’s reaction is to hope it all goes away in a hurry, I agree with all of you, just a terrible examble of how not to handle a situation when video clearly shows you were wrong.

  • Thanks?

    The quote in the Daily Breeze has the coach saying `Thank God’ and `Hallelujah’ when he found out his player had only 3 fouls. Don’t thank God, he has nothing to do with this, thank your scorekeeper.

  • ???

    Jcaz/73 did see the video?

  • AMAT 73

    Yes I did but really couldn’t tell all that well since I do not have audio on my computer at work so couldn’t hear what Fred Roggin had to say . If you saw it and heard it what is your opinion ???

  • Bruce Carlson

    CIf is washing their hands of this situation by saying that they are following the rules as written. They forget to say that the intent or spirit of the rules is the reason those rules exist. The desire to have a fair and just contest is the justification for all those numbered regulations. By skirting the moral issue in this case, CIF is absolutely revealing itself as an agency NOT interested in integrity or fairness. Their new motto should be “Following the rules no matter how unfair.”

  • reality

    The 2nd most interesting thing was how empty the bleachers were. Perhaps if there were more DR witnesses to this blatant theft Serra would not have been so bold as to try it. And why are people surprised at parochial school leadership failing to act and show moral fiber and character. Has’nt anyone been reading the papers the last 10 years??

  • Allen B

    CIF is a JOKE! I am not a D-Ranch fan at all. In fact I don’t even like them, but when you hear and see an injustice like this and all of the stupid crap that CIF has done over the years, it pisses you off! I don’t care who won the game between D-Ranch and Serra, but I want a good played and fair contest. If the double dribble, call it. If they travel, call it. If the young lady fouls out enforce it!! This makes the Serra coaches, the refs that the CIF hired and the score keeper look like total morons!! Oh, sorry they all ARE! CIF won’t look at this, because they don’t want to deal with a team cheating and refs that couldn’t ref a peewee game! Where do they get these clowns from? This has and does make high school sports in the state of California look like real dumb butts and that they have no moral at all. Just win at any cost! Cheating is fine, we can say it was with in our rules! LOL! Shame on CIF and the schooling system here that allows these clowns to do what ever they want to do. If I was on any kind of school board, I would have all of these clowns fired! Serra high school needs to go public now, because they have lost all of there honor! Lie and cheat at any cost to win, should not be a Christian shool teachings! This is a lesson to every other school out there, protect your self while playing sports in Cali, because CIF won’t protect you and do the right thing!

  • RE: reality

    All of the DR fans are camera side, they had a great turnout.

  • Allen B

    Oh, sorry I am posting again. Someone is going to say that this didn’t decide the game. Oh, but it did! The young lady that fouled out with 30 seconds left in regulation hit a three to put Serra up by two point when she came back in. Then D-Ranch tied the game to put it into OT. Then this same girl that should not of even been in the game scored the ten points Serra won by in OT. So, yes she did decide the game. I should go down to this final just to BOO CIF, the refs and the Serra coaches. Not going to do so, because I am not going to waist my time with a bunch of idiots that are dishonest. I really hope the other team blow Serra out and D-Ranch and Serra meat in state and D-Ranch Blows them out!!!

  • DR Daddy


    What you are seing on the film is from a Diamond Ranch CAM. The people on that side were from Serra (not many in attendence even though it’s only 10 min away from their school).

    On the Diamond Ranch side, we were full. We were directly behind all the players. So we saww everything.

  • roxanne

    All I Can Say is… go Saint Joes! (the team set to play Serra on Friday)
    ALL OF DIAMOND BACK…and all of those beliving in pursuing victory with honor are rooting for you guys!

  • socal_local

    CIF is hypocritical if they DO NOTHING about this. Their Sportsmanship Summit is a waste of time and resources. Seriously?! Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship? Wallet cards for student-athletes and coaches? Codes of conduct? Banners and posters for schools? And yet the governing board sits and ignores it all. Shameful! A disgrace! What is right isn’t always OFFICIAL, and what’s OFFICIAL isn’t always right! Heather Daims, Rick Spears, Jeff Cardoza, Dave Contreras, Mike Henson, Richard Graey, Michael Lewis, James Perry, Sister Cheryl Milner and the rest of the Federated Council, remember that you too should Teach, Enforce, Model, and Advocate! You are a sham if you DO NOTHING.

  • Blanca

    More important than wins or losses in sports is ethics and sportsmanship and unfortunately Sera Coaches, staff and administration don’t know the meaning or either. Diamond Ranch Girls played a hard fought game and deserve the respect of honesty and integrity from all involved in the decision, too bad they won’t get it. No one seems to want to stand up for whats right and you all should be ashamed!!! As a Christian school the values that you teach your kids will carry them through the rest of their lives. standing up for what is right isn’t easy, especially when it means admitting you were wrong, but it’s the right thing. The meaning of integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. DO THE RIGHT THING!!!

  • LA Soccer Dad

    What I hate worst is that no matter how badly a call is made; they [CIF] always side with the sides with the refs. Where is the dignity in that? Is that what they want to teach our kids? No matter what happens, you protect the status quo. Would it not be more sensible to say mistakes were made here, first, we should have caught the problem before it happened and second, after we learned that a Sera official made the wrong call [records] , they would be removed from further post season because of the their own official.

    No, instead CIF officials make look like they are the ones that are trying to keep down a bunch of poor sports and poor them, they are only trying to do the best for the kids. Well I think that CIF may be too big. This is our organization and I think it is time to revamp the whole program. These elitist talk down to people as if they are the only ones that know what they are doing.

    In the business world where we are accountable for the quality of our work, how are these officials showing us that they have a quality program. Should we not demand a quality program from them where coaches or school officials can lodge complaints and we can see what is being done to correct the problem then and there and more importantly, what is being done to keep it from happening again!

    Two weeks ago, the Los Altos Soccer team was up against Oak Hills 3-0 in the second half when the center ref decided that Oak Hills was going to win. He called off an offsides call from a side ref when the center ref was more than 40 feet away. This typically doesnt happen in soccer so some parents were upset on the sideline. Because of the complaints, I believe, that he got upset with the Los Altos side. The one thing I do know is that the next 13 foul calls were against Los Altos and Oak Hills wins 4-3 and will play in the championship game next week.

    I guess cheating does prosper and our coach gets to tell the boys the same life lesson that Rogan said to the Diamond Bar girls on NBC, sometimes life is NOT far.

  • waaaa waaaaa waaaa

    What a bunch of cry babies !

  • Stop Crying

    LA Soccer Dad,

    You have been crying about those bad calls for weeks, get over it. Please don’t compare that to this situation, totally different. Your version of it is YOUR parents started talking crap to the officials then the officials showed you who the boss was. Real big difference from this situation, where the Serra score keeper cheated. You were probably one of the parent’s mouthing off to the officials, move on.

  • CIF Championship Official

    In the video, the player does foul 5 times…but what isn’t in the video is who the official reported the fouls on……in a few of those fouls, its clear the player made contact, but there were also other teammates reaching and making body contact, so the official could have reported the foul on another player and the DR book, seeing the player in question also fouling, probably recorded the foul on her, instead of who the official reported the foul on…..there is more to this then what is being reported to the public….I heard a Serra parent came out the stands and addressed the table, from a person who was at the game….that should have been penalized also to DR’s favor…..I feel for the seniors aas they deserve the spot in the final! I guess CIF can make it up, by inviting them to the state tournament.

  • interested fan

    To DR Daddy…..

    Question,,,,Where all five fouls in the video reported to the table by the official? He didn’t give one of those fouls to another player?

  • DR Daddy

    To interested fan:

    All five fouls were reported to the table. The main scorebook was so incorrect, it had fouls for girls on Diamond Ranch that never even entered the game.

  • great for the sgv

    Has anyone looked at the official scorebook? You should be able to see where the fouls were erased. Indentions will remain.

  • Interested Fan

    Thanks ‘DR Daddy’

    Wow, CIF could have interjected an opinion at the game…there is usually a CIF Representative at EVERY Semi-Final game. If there was not a rep. there, then the DR AD really needs to do a formal complaint So sorry for your seniors,,,hopefully you can get an invite to the state tournament and get some payback 🙂