Softball: No. 1 Amat beats St. Paul 6-5; Charter Oak tournament semifinals today

Bishop Amat sneaks past St. Paul: As a freshman, Cassie Padilla played on the St. Paul High School freshman softball team.
She transferred to Bishop Amat and sat out last year, her sophomore season. So it was fitting that Padilla took it upon herself to get the game-winning hit when the two teams met on Thursday. With two outs and trailing by a run, Padilla singled in the tying and winning runs as the Lancers (7-1, 1-0) overcame a four-run deficit to pull out a 6-5 victory over St. Paul (4-4, 0-1) in Del Rey League play.

Charter Oak Tournament semifinals
Friday at Big League Dreams, West Covina

Bonita vs. Northview, 3:30 p.m.
Charter Oak vs. La Serna, 3:30 p.m.
Championship, Saturday, 3 p.m.

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Baseball: Glendora, Diamond Bar open with league wins; Bonita smudges San Dimas, 3-1; Sierra League opens today

By next week we should have our full staff back, but there are a couple baseball games that we must cover. Thursday’s Sierra League opener with Damien going to South Hills and Friday’s Valle Vista League opener with Northview heading to Nogales are two great games to start the league season. It will be South Hills and Nogales’ first introduction to their new leagues, and both have a great chance of competing for titles. Other good games to note, Glendora opens the Baseline with a 7-1 thumping of Upland and Diamond Bar appears headed back on the right track with a 5-1 win over West Covina to open the Hacienda. Kenny Mathews pitched six solid innings for Diamond Bar, allowing just two hits. Henry Omana closed the 7th, and had a home run. Baseball’s version of the smudge went to Bonita, who beat San Dimas 3-1 under the lights Wednesday. Bishop Amat opens the Del Rey on Friday at home against rival St. Paul. The rest of the week’s schedule is below. Please updates games where you’re at, and I will update results as soon as I can.

Above: Nogales coach John Romano will have his boys ready for the Valle Vista league opener on Friday against Northview.

Wednesday’s games
Baseline League

Glendora 7, Upland 1
Hacienda League
Diamond Bar 5, West Covina 1
Bonita 3, San Dimas 1

Thursday’s games
Sierra League

Damien at South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Chino Hills at Claremont, 3:15 p.m.
Charter Oak at Ayala, 3:15 p.m.

Friday’s games
Baseline League

Glendora at Rancho Cucamonga, 3:15 p.m.
Del Rey League
St. Paul at Bishop Amat, 3:15 p.m.
Hacienda League
Rowland at West Covina, 3:30 p.m.
Mission Valley League
El Monte at Rosemead, 3:15 p.m.
Mountain View at Gabrielino, 3:15 p.m.
Valle Vista
Northview at Nogales, 3:15 p.m.
San Dimas at Los Altos, 3:15 p.m.

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Softball: La Serna rally too much for Glendora, who fall 7-4; Charter Oak semifinals set

With La Serna knocking out Glendora (7-4), they will join Northview, Bonita and Charter Oak in Friday’s semifinals of the Charter Oak tournament at the Field of Dreams in West Covina. Northview advanced with a feel-good 3-2 win over South Hills — a mild surprise, and Bonita moved past San Dimas, 4-1. Charter Oak will meet La Serna and Bonita will face Northview in Friday’s semifinals at 3:30 p.m., with the winners advancing to Saturday’s championship.

By Fred J. Robledo
Glendora blows lead: Glendora high school pitcher Carly Argyle usually knows what to do late in games with a cushion, which made La Serna’s come-from-behind 7-4 victory in the final game of round robin play in the Charter Oak tournament on Wednesday at the Field of Dreams park in West Covina even more remarkable. (To continue click thread)

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Boys Hoops: Aram’s up close and personal feature on the contrast between La Verne Lutheran and La Canada with great insight from both coaches

Boys Basketball Southern California Regional Final

Saturday’s game at the Galen Center
La Canada vs. La Verne Lutheran, Noon

“The years that Glendora was great, when they had Tracey Murray, when they had my assistant coach Brandon Lee, when they had all those great players, do you think all those great players lived in Glendora? Where did they come from? They all came from different places.” La Verne Lutheran coach Eric Cooper.

“I’m proud of the way we do it at La Canada. I’m not taking anything away from anybody else, but I think we’ve done it right and I’m not saying that they don’t. I never look at it as a bad vs. evil type of situation. We’re different, and again, it’s not because of right or wrong. It’s public/private. We get who we get. It’s just another opponent. I respect Lutheran and what they’ve done.”La Canada coach Tom Hofman

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer

On one end of the Valley is the La Canada High School boys basketball program, led by a coach whom most people from Flintridge to La Verne and beyond have heard of. On the other end of the Valley is La Verne Lutheran’s program, led by a coach whose number is on speed dial by several college coaches but whom few people from his school’s surrounding area could pick out of a crowd.
The difference between the two programs, their players and the two men who lead them could not be any more pronounced. On Saturday at noon, they’ll meet at USC’s Galen Center to decide the CIF State Division III Southern California Regional championship. (To continue click thread).

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Softball: Charter Oak pounds way into tournament semifinals, which take place Friday

The final round robin games in the Charter Oak tournament at Big League Dreams in West Covina are today with semifinal games set for Friday at 3:30 p.m., and the championship on Saturday at 3 p.m. I will post the semifinal schedule tonight, but the Chargers already have punched their ticket.

Charter Oak wins: Charter Oak must love the Big League Dreams facilities in West Covina, where the Chargers are hosting their annual high school softball tournament. Not only are the fields enormous and wide open, the slick manicured outfields favor anything in the gaps, which the Chargers took full advantage of Tuesday. Inside-the-park home runs from Charter Oak’s Samantha Valadez, Monique Villasenor, Cassie Andrews and Jayme Chessler led to a 17-4 victory over La Salle, helping the Chargers improve to 6-2 overall and 2-0 in the tournament after a 6-1 win over Covina on Monday.

Charter Oak Tournament
At Big League Dreams, West Covina
Wednesday’s games

La Serna vs. Glendora, 3:30 p.m., Edison
Bonita vs. San Dimas, 3:30 p.m., Dodger
Covina vs. La Salle, 3:30 p.m.
South Hills vs. Northview, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s results
Charter Oak 17 La Salle 4 (C.O. wins Pool C)
Northview 6 Monrovia 5
South El Monte 5 Sierra Vista 2
Temple City 6 Alhambra 4

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Will post all-league teams next week: Hacienda girls have a couple shockers, where’s the justice for Lauren Stupin and Nikki Wheatley?

I won’t release the all-league teams until next week, but I have most of them with a couple of shocking decisions that stand out, both from the Hacienda League. How Cal State Fullerton bound midfielder Lauren Stupin wasn’t the player of the year in girls soccer is outrageous, she was far and away the best player on the best team in the Hacienda. That almost always results in an MVP, so not sure how they screwed that up. I guess politics as usual. Speaking of politics, I almost fell out of my seat looking at the Hacienda selections in girls basketball. I have to tell you, Bonita freshman guard Nikki Wheatley is getting strong player of the year consideration from us, but she’s not even on the first team in the Hacienda. Are you kidding me? I know she’s a freshman, but don’t penalize her for it, she’s obviously one of the best five players in the Valley, so for her not to be on a Hacienda first-team list (that includes seven players) is pure robbing the freshman of her just due.

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Baseball Rankings: Glendora tourney champ Claremont new No. 1; Bonita, Amat, South Hills and Charter Oak right behind

1. Claremont (4-0) — Out of nowhere, we got a new No. 1. The winners of the Glendora tournament pounded Ayala 14-1 in the championship with big wins along the way against Crescenta Valley, La Serna and El Rancho. Hey, they’re undefeated, so they’re on top.
2. Bonita (4-1) — Only loss to a very good Yucaipa squad in the Bonita-Northview tournament. Great wins over Damien and West Valley. Let’s see if the trend continues in a nonleague games against San Dimas this week.
3. Bishop Amat ( 4-2) - Early-season jitters are gone after a huge 5-0 win over Chatsworth on Monday. Pitcher Daniel Zamora looked the best he has all season. If the Lancers continue to pitch well, the wins will pile up.
4. South Hills (4-1) – a loss to undefeated Alta Loma, but a solid 7-1 win over Redlands East Valley, and wins over Covina and West Covina. Now, lets see how they do against Damien in the league opener on Thursday.
5. Charter Oak (3-1) — Only loss was a big one, a 7-0 blanking by Crescenta Valley, other than that they look sharp and dangerous.
6. Ayala (4-2) – Solid 8-4 win over Glendora before getting pounded by Claremont in the Glendora tournament finale. Another tough Sierra League team to keep an eye on.
7. Nogales (4-1) — You gotta love the start Nobles fans. In five games they only allowed 11 runs, which is terrific during tournament season. Coach John Romano’s group might just be the Valle Vista League favorites, and they open with Northview on Friday.
8. San Dimas (4-1) – Great start in the Arcadia tournament, their only loss a 3-2 setback against the host Apaches. However, not too many dangerous teams in the tournament, so jury is still out.
9. Glendora (2-2) — Ended own tournament with losses to Ayala and Crescenta Valley. The Baseline will be rough too, if you take out Glendora, the Baseline has an overall record of 24-3. That’s downright scary.
10. Diamond Bar (1-4) – Never has a preseason No. 1 fall this far after the first week, but not surprised during tournament season, either. They’re a team built for league and CIF. And I’m certainly not ready to give up on them just yet, three of their four losses were by a single run to San Clemente (4-3), Marina (3-2), and Millikan (2-1). They’re getting great pitching, once they score runs they will be fine. I still think they’re the favorites in the Hacienda.

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Softball Rankings: Amat keeps top spot, but there are plenty of changes in the top ten

South Hills wins opener in Charter Oak tourney: The offensive prowess of the South Hills High School softball team was on display in Monday’s opening-round game of the Charter Oak Tournament at Field of Dreams as the Huskies defeated Monrovia 11-1 in six innings.

1. Bishop Amat (6-1) — I love it when I go out on a limb and start a team No. 1 that had a .500 record last year, and then they start off like this. This is because I knew Amat was legit and they showed it in Arizona, going 6-1 in the Tournament of Champions, plus starting the year with an easy 9-0 win over Covina.
2. Glendora (6-1) — For a change the Tartans had an easy road to the San Dimas title game, but they do boast solid wins over La Canada and Northview. The bottom line is as long as pitcher Carly Argyle is doing her thing, the Tartans are in good shape.
3. Claremont (4-0) — The Wolfpack won a tournament in Upland, but haven’t beaten anyone worth bragging about. Let’s see how they fare in the Arroyo tourney.
4. South Hills (4-2) — Crushed Bonita and St. Lucy’s with losses to very good teams in the Brea Tournament, La Mirada and Northwood. The Huskies swing the bat with the best of them. Moving the rubber back a few feet might pay off for them the most.
5. Charter Oak (5-2) — You can throw out the 18-7 loss to Don Lugo in the second game of a doubleheader. They still score a lot of runs and beat Bonita and Covina most recently.
6. Bonita (7-2) - The ‘Cats win the Palm Springs tournament every year, so I don’t put too much stock in it. I thought they would roll through the San Dimas tournament, but they got pounded by South Hills (12-2), lost to Charter Oak and squeaked out a one-run win over San Dimas. Hmmm.
7. Ayala (2-3) – Just finished a very tough tournament in Corona, so don’t put too much stock in their record. You know when the Sierra rolls around, they will be one of the favorites.
8. Chino Hills (3-2) – Only losses to powerful Valencia and Corona with a notable win over Los Osos. The Huskies are another team that make the Sierra League extremely difficult.
9. Northview (4-2) – Surprising finalist in the San Dimas tournament, but lost in the final to Glendora, 8-3.
10. Duarte (4-1) — After a season-opening loss to Wilson (1-0) in their own tournament, the Falcons won four straight to win the consolation title. Haven’t played too many toughies yet, though.
Note: St. Lucy’s not ranked, full record not updated.

Monday’s Charter Oak Tournament Results
At Big League Dreams, West Covina

La Serna 9, South El Monte 0
Glendora 8, Sierra Vista 0
Bonita 6, Alhambra 3
San Dimas 7, Temple City 0
Charter Oak 6, Covina 1
South Hills 11, Monrovia 1
Tuesday’s games
La Salle vs. Charter Oak, 3:30 p.m. (Dodger Field)
Monrovia vs. Northview, 3:30 p.m., (Tiger Field)

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March Madness 101: Tips for filling out your bracket: The Dodo likes Toto, take Kansas

Yes, I picked Kansas and already in the office they’re calling me the, “Dodo that picked Toto.” Whatever, the last office pool I won was in 2008 with Kansas and every year I’m usually in the hunt going into the final weekend. Don’t look for me to go out on a limb, I like the top four seeds to reach the Final Four, and while that may seem boring, that’s how you win office pools, not trying to be too cute. I use to ask horse racing handicapper Jack Karlik why he always picked favorites, he would say, “you want the winners or not kid.” That goes for the NCAA tournament too, trying to pick too many upsets can ruin your bracket really quick. When picking the champion, don’t go with the most popular choice, go with the third, fourth or fifth most popular pick, which is why I like Kansas — again…

March Madness isn’t just about the upsets, buzzer beaters or Dick Vitale screaming through your television. It’s not just about tournament heavyweights Duke, Ohio State, Kansas and Pittsburgh walking a tightrope through early rounds or George Mason, Belmont, Oakland or USC hoping to become the next Cinderella at the dance.
March Madness is about everyone.
Whether you’re at work, home or by a computer or television, chances are you’re filling out your NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket this week and will have it somewhere by your side over the next three weeks until a champion is crowned April 4 in Houston. Although gambling on NCAA tournament pools is technically illegal, it’s what Americans do this time of year.The FBI estimates that $2.5 billion was wagered worldwide on the NCAA tournament last year. There are also estimates that March Madness will cost employers roughly $1.8 billion in “unproductive wages,” unless of course if you work in sports and have the designated task of breaking down the field from 68 to one. So, pay attention, if you’re filling out the bracket: There are four play-in games that start tonight so move Alabama State, Arkansas Little Rock, Clemson and USC into the field of 64. Now, let’s get started. (To continue, click thread).

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Softball: Charter Oak tournament begins today at Big League Dreams in West Covina

Charter Oak Softball Tournament
At Big League Dreams, West Covina
Game, team vs. team, time, field

1. La Serna vs. South El Monte, 3:45 p.m., Dodger
2. Sierra Vista vs. Glendora, 3:30 p.m., Edison
3. Bonita vs. Alhambra, 3:30 p.m., Wrigley
4. San Dimas vs. Temple City, 3:45, Yankee
5. Covina vs. Charter Oak, 3:30 p.m., Fenway
8. South Hills vs. Monrovia, 3:30 p.m., Tiger

Tuesday’s schedule
6. La Salle vs. Charter Oak, 3:30 p.m., Dodger
9. Monrovia vs. Northview, 3:30 p.m., Tiger

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So what did I miss?

When you take a week off and force yourself to stay away from all things prep sports, when you get back it feels like you’ve been gone for a month. Biggest surprise? La Verne Lutheran still in the state playoffs. All year we talk about Bonita, Damien and Bishop Amat and Bonita girls and Lutheran is back where they were last year, a game away from the state finals against La Canada, probably the best coached team in the Valley. Biggest disappointments, SGV baseball, Los Osos and Alta Loma in the final of the Covina/Northview tournament? Our preseason No. 1, Diamond Bar, 1-4? What happened to South Hills, Bonita, Los Altos and Damien? What’s going on with Bishop Amat, from what I can gather on MaxPreps they’re 3-2-1 with a couple games not reported? I’m scratching my head in softball too, Bonita dominated in Palm Springs, but couldn’t even beat Charter Oak for third in the San Dimas tournament? Give it up for Glendora, they won the San Dimas tourney after losing in previous years finals. I should have known with Argyle that they can beat anyone. I won’t apologize for our preseason No. 1, Bishop Amat, who is 6-1 after competing in the tournament of champions in Arizona. That’s a big-time result considering the teams in that tournament. So now that I’m back, what’s next?

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Area Colleges: Late bucket sinks Owls in CCCAA title game, 83-81

Citrus guard Lateef McMullan was long on this desperation trey as time expired in Saturday’s 83-81 loss to City College of San Francisco in the CCCAA title game at Ventura College. (Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)

VENTURA – In time, the Citrus College men’s basketball team will look at the 2010-11 season as a success after advancing to the California Community College Athletic Association championship game for the second time in four years and the third time in school history.
But not today.
The Owls will, most likely, reflect on what might have been after City College of San Francisco’s De’End Parker tipped in a miss by Fred Sturdivant with 2.5 seconds left to give the Rams their first title in 49 years with an 83-81 victory Sunday at the Ventura College Athletic Event Center.
The Owls, getting 23 points from Lateef McMullan and 13 from Donte Archie, had a chance to win it, but McMullan’s 3-point attempt from 25 feet was long at the buzzer.
CCSF, led by 24 points and 12 rebounds from Sturdivant and 17 points from Collin Chiverton, finished 31-2 in securing its second state title. Ironically, the first came at Citrus’ expense in 1962.
“I thought we had some good looks at the end,” said Citrus coach Chris Victor, whose Owls finished 27-6. “We were unable to hit them.
“All you can ask is for a good opportunity, and we had that. We played hard toward the end, and unfortunately they hit the shot at the end. Box-outs hurt us all (game), offensive rebounds hurt all (game), and it came down to that last bucket.”
But at one point it looked like CCSF might run away and hide after taking a 49-40 lead early in the second half.

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State playoffs: La Verne Lutheran beats Harvard-Westlake, Bonita girls lose to Serra

Grant Jerrett was all over Harvard-Westlake, helping La Verne Lutheran advance to next weekend’s CIF Southern California Regional Finals at the Galen Center.

State playoffs
Southern California Regional
Division 3
La Verne Lutheran 61, Harvard-Westlake 45 — The Trojans face La Canada in a battle between two schools that are on the furthest ends of the SGV, geography-wise.

Southern California Regional
Division 3
Serra 59, Bonita 49 — The careers of Madison Zylstra, Taylor Anderson and Jaclyn Smith come to an end. But what an outstanding run!

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News story on La Verne’s big win

….and from the South Bay Daily Breeze, Serra’s win over Bonita.

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Baseball/Softball: Glendora wins SD Tourney

Carly Argyle leads Glendora to the San Dimas Tournament title, 8-3 over Northview.

Here’s some scores from the area baseball and softball tournaments:

Clint Harwick Tournament
At Henderson Field

Claremont 14, Ayala 1
3rd Place – Crescenta Valley 11, Glendora 3
5th Place – Charter Oak 5, El Rancho 2
San Marino 17, La Serna 5
MVP - Kenny Chapman, Claremont
San Dimas Tournament

Glendora 8, Northview 3
3rd Place – Charter Oak 4, Bonita 3
Brea Olinda Tournament

South Hills 13, St. Lucy’s 0, 5 inn.

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Area Colleges: Citrus punches ticket to CCCAA title game, Mt. SAC knocked out again by Santa Rosa

I’m up here in beautiful Ventura for the California Community College Athletic Association basketball championships at Ventura College.
The Citrus College men’s team, which won a state title in 2008, advanced to the championship game with a convincing 94-84 victory over Fresno City on Friday. Now the Mt. SAC women’s team, arguably the top JC basketball program in the state over the past decade, fell to Santa Rosa at the state tournament for the second consecutive season, losing 56-55.
Let’s see if the Owls can bring home state gold on Sunday.

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