Duarte’s Imari Brown scores 31 points to lead the Falcons to a 55-37 win over Glendora to reach Thursday’s championship against Eagle Rock

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
It’s difficult to understand why the Duarte High School girls basketball wasn’t ranked in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA preseason poll.
All the Falcons did last year was finish 25-3, advance to the divisional quarterfinals, earn an invitation to the state playoffs and return all five starters, including Tribune first-team selection Imari Brown, who nearly averaged a quadruple-double as a sophomore. And despite a sore ankle, the junior is at it again.
Brown finished with 31 points, seven rebounds, eight steals and three assists in Duarte’s 55-37 victory over host Glendora to finish undefeated in Pool B of the Glendora girls basketball tournament on Wednesday, earning the Falcons a ticket to tonight’s championship against Eagle Rock at 7:30 p.m., at Glendora High School. (To continue click thread).

Glendora Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament
Monday’s round-robin results
Eagle Rock 59, La Serna 49
Schurr 40, Claremont 29
Duarte 65, Hoover 32
Glendora 37, Charter Oak 35
Tuesday’s round-robin
Duarte 57, Charter Oak 43
Eagle Rock 44, Schurr 40
La Serna 44, Claremont 39
Glendora 61, Hoover 29
Wednesday’s round-robin
Eagle Rock vs. Claremont, 3 p.m.
Schurr vs. La Serna, 4:30 p.m.
Hoover vs. Charter Oak, 6 p.m.
Duarte vs. Glendora, 7:30 p.m.
Championship on Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Glendora

“We surprised a lot of people last year so I guess we have to do it again,” said Brown, who also scored 32 points the night before in a win over Charter Oak. “We want to go far in CIF and the state, but we have a long way to go, we’re just getting started and we’re having a lot of fun.”
Duarte (6-1), who also received nine points and nine rebounds from center Yasmine Wilson and seven points from Shereese Cox, blanked the Tartans in the first quarter, racing to a 13-0 lead that stretched to 17-0 before the Tartans’ Leah Bolton stopped the bleeding with a banker with 6:50 left until half to get the Tartans on the board.
“Too many bad mistakes and turnovers killed us,” said Tartans coach Chris Harrison. “We fought hard and made it respectable the rest of the way, but we dug ourselves a pretty big hole and against a team like that, it’s tough coming back.”
The Tartans’ (11-4) Casie Lowden finished with a team-high 18 points and her bucket with just over two minutes left until half trimmed the Falcons’ lead to 21-11, but Duarte’s Mikayla Tickey answered with a 3-pointer and Brown scored off a steal to push the Falcons’ lead to 13 at halftime.
“Before the game and at halftime, all we talked about was Imari Brown because she’ll score lay-up after lay-up if you don’t get in front of her and that’s what she did,” Harrison said. “You try to game plan for her, but we couldn’t do much against her tonight, she was getting to the basket whenever she wanted.”
Duarte lost a non-league game against Glendale 36-32 in its second game of the season, a game Brown missed because of an ankle injury.
Brown said her ankle is still tender, but you could hardly tell.
“I’m just trying to get back the feel of the game,” Brown said. “I like to play, this is what I do.”
And for Falcons coach Mark Smith, Brown’s a player he can line-up anywhere.
“She can post up, play the point, the wing, whatever we need her to do,” Smith said. “The thing about this team is we did have a good year last year and we want to build on it, but sometimes we don’t play with the focus and intensity that we need to.
“But at the same time, I can’t complain. The name of the game is having fun and we play our best when they’re having fun and not putting too much pressure on themselves.”

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  • DR Fan


    Do you want me to tell you why Duarte isn’t ranked? I will tell you the reason. Weak tournaments,weak schedule, extremely weak league. If Duarte wants respect, they need to play some of the top teams. Just play some of the top SGV teams. How many times has Duarte played DRanch, Amat, or Bonita. The answer is 0 times. They have one really good player, The three top teams would blast them. They were 25-3 last year. I went back and looked at their schedule. They played one quality team, Keppel and lost to them by 25. What quality wins did they have wins against quality Compitition.


    okay first of all “OHH PLEASE FRED” you obviously dont know what you are speaking upon! yes, duarte has one of the most dominating players but that doesn’t mean shes the only good player. all five starters have very good attributes that contribute to the team and along with that to all their wins! just because one person shines doesn’t mean the team isnt good or isnt doing anything to contribute. On top of that yes, they lost to keppel but then again that was one of there first games of the season. what team doesnt have first game jitters and what not. In addition, if a team who isnt as good as the media protrays such as duarte in YOUR OPINION why did they go to semi finals and in addition get invited to STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS! maybe you should take time of of trying to ridicule this team and go watch one of their games instead of just looking at who they play!

  • DR Fan


    I must have really hit a nerve with you. First of all I’m not down grading anyone. I only used the facts. So I will continue with the facts. First Duarte did not make it to the Semi-Finals last year. They got knocked out in the second round. They did get invited to the State Tourney. So you are correct on that one. They got invited because 2 other teams got moved out up to another division. They lost in the first round. So I do have my facts straight.
    My point was that the Tribune hasn’t equally covered the teams that represent our area. 2 of the top 3 teams in the SGV were playing in the Ayala Best of the West Tournament last week. The Tribune chose not to send anyone to cover those games. And just so that you know buddy I do get out to watch different teams and players. Maybe you need to get out to the IE and get your eyes opened to some really good teams of the Baseline League or the Big VIII. It’s not an attack on your school, it’s just giving you information. Maybe a dose of reality is what they need to reach the next level. Here is my last peice of information for you. Don’t get caught sleeping in your league. Workman is a legit threat. Good Luck.