Bishop Amat’s blue-collar girls basketball team wins fifth championship since 1999 with convincing 44-30 victory over Oak Park in Division 3A championship game

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
ANAHEIM — Of all the Bishop Amat girls basketball championship teams this might have been the most blue-collar, hardest working of them all.

Without anyone near 6-feet, third-seed Bishop Amat pushed, shoved, tugged and frustrated top-seed Oak Park in Wednesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3A championship game at the Anaheim Arena, winning the school’s fifth girls basketball title since 1999 and first since 2006 with a convincing 44-30 victory.

Bishop Amat, who finished fourth in the difficult Del Rey League, will continue in the state playoffs next week after improving to 21-11 while Oak Park finishes 21-9.

It’s always difficult comparing championship teams, but this one seemed different than the others.

“Those other kids worked hard too, we didn’t win on accident,” Amat coach Richard Wiard explained in comparing his five champions. “But these kids have worked awful hard and they’re physical and don’t mind getting their nose dirty.

“They’re not as tall as the other groups and maybe we don’t have the division one players that we’ve had in past years, but that’s okay. A lot of effort can overcome that.” (To continue click thread).

Amat postgame celebration and trophy presentation


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Southern Section sends Claremont and Bishop Amat to Mission Viejo for Saturday night’s Division 3 girls soccer title at 5 p.m.

Not sure if Claremont or Bishop Amat enjoy having to go all the way to Mission Viejo High School instead of playing at nearby Warren High in Downey for Saturday’s Division 3 girls soccer title. But it is what it is, CIF scheduled all the boys games at Warren and all the girls games at Mission Viejo, so deal with it. See you on Saturday at 5 p.m., it’s a great matchup of the two best teams in the division. Amat’s been scoring at a rapid pace and Claremont hasn’t allowed a goal in the playoffs. Something has to give

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Girls Soccer semifinals: Bishop Amat and Claremont will meet in Division 3 title game; San Dimas falls to St. Margaret’s, 1-0

Defending champion Bishop Amat’s 4-1 victory over Chino Hills sets up a dream Division 3 final this weekend against Claremont, the third-ranked team in the country and 1-0 winner over St. Lucy’s. After losing to St. Margaret’s in last year’s D-6 title game, San Dimas loses in semifinals to St. Margaret’s again, 1-0

Game Story: The Nation’s third-ranked Claremont Wolpack advance to meet Bishop Amat in finals with 1-0 win over St. Lucy’s. Wolfpack haven’t allowed a goal in the playoffs.

Game Story: San Dimas falls to St. Margaret’s for second year in a row, losing in semifinals 1-0 after falling in title game to them last year.

Inland Insider Tom Kiss’ highlight video and interviews from Amat’s 3-1 win over Chino Hills.

Bishop Amat-Chino Hills photo gallery

By Fred J. Robledo
Chino Hills will have to settle for advancing to its first girls soccer semifinal in the school’s history.

Defending champion and fourth-seed Bishop Amat, looking as dominant as ever, overcame an early deficit and overwhelmed the visiting Huskies 4-1 in Tuesday’s CIF Southern Section Division 3 semifinals to advance to either Friday or Saturday’s championship at a site to be determined against national power and second-seed Claremont, a 1-0 winner over St. Lucy’s.

After Chino Hills’ Dayna Garcia scored off an Amanda Bell assist in the 19th minute, Amat’s reigning divisional player of the year and two-time area player of the year April Juarez went to work.

Juarez chested down a pass from Yazmin Montoya, turned and fired in the 21st minute to tie the game. Then Juarez took a long throw-in from freshman Natalie Tillman, and with her back to the goal, somehow freed herself to fire the go-ahead goal in the 28th minute for a 2-1 lead.

Juarez also set up the third goal just before half. She was tripped in the penalty area to set up a penalty kick and Nayeli Requejo stepped up and finished it in the 39th minute to go up, 3-1. (To continue click thread).

GIRLS SOCCER
TUESDAY’S RESULTS

Division 3
Bishop Amat 4, Chino Hills 1
Claremont 1, St. Lucy’s 0
Division 6
St. Margaret’s 1, San Dimas 0

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Softball Preview: South Hills, Chino Hills, Bishop Amat and St. Lucy’s a dynamite Fab Four

SOUTH HILLS LEADS TRIBUNE SOFTBALL TOP TEN PREVIEW

By Fred J. Robledo
November’s early signing period was all the proof of what kind of high school softball season that awaits.

St. Lucy’s and Chino Hills each had four players sign national letters of intent and the west Valley had 21 players in all announce their college intentions.

That doesn’t include the wealth of talented underclassmen that have made verbal commitments to help make the annual San Gabriel Valley Tribune preseason top 10 rankings a tough list to crack, starting with the only team to advance to a divisional championship last year, South Hills. (To continue click thread)

Tribune Softball Preseason Top Ten
1. South Hills (21-8)
2. Chino Hills (25-6)
3. Bishop Amat (25-4)
4. St. Lucy’s (16-13)
5. Bonita (23-5)
6. Glendora (17-7)
7. Northview (17-10-1)
8. Los Altos (14-8)
9. Charter Oak (11-14)
10. San Dimas (21-8)

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La Verne Lutheran and Bishop Amat not thrilled with weekday championship games at 4:45 p.m.

It’s a travesty. You put us all in the same division and we’re like crabs in a bucket trying to get out. Then, when we finally get out, you put us at a time when everybody is at work. You don’t put us on TV. You don’t put us on prime time. It’s like … man … it is what it is.” — Lutheran coach Eric Cooper on having to play at 4:45 p.m, on Thursday

Robledo’s thoughts: In Lutheran’s case, I understand CIF’s thinking. I don’t agree with it, but I get it. Even though Lutheran and Serra are two of the best teams in the Southern Section, Lutheran barely has a fan base and CIF doesn’t want to lose money by showcasing them in primetime. They want a packed Arena for the marquee night games and not sure if Lutheran can deliver that for them. Amat, on the other hand, brings plenty of fans to the girls game. I don’t care if you played that game at noon, the fans will come.

STORY: The thought of playing their respective CIF-Southern Section championship games on a weekday at 4:45 p.m. has to be somewhat of a buzz kill for fans of the Bishop Amat High School girls and La Verne Lutheran boys basketball teams.

Amat will play for the Division 3A championship against Oak Park at Anaheim Arena on Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. Lutheran plays Serra in Division 4AA on Thursday at Anaheim Arena at 4:45 p.m.

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Big Week Ahead: Girls Soccer semifinals on Tuesday, Bishop Amat championship Wednesday; La Verne Lutheran championship Thursday

CIF CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
GIRLS SOCCER
TUESDAY’S SEMIFINALS

Division 3
Chino Hills at Bishop Amat, 3 p.m.
St. Lucy’s at Claremont, 3 p.m.
Division 6
St. Margaret’s vs. San Dimas at Bonita, 5 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
WEDNESDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Division 3A
Oak Park vs. Bishop Amat, 4:45 p.m., Anaheim Arena

BOYS BASKETBALL
THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Division 4AA
Serra vs. La Verne Lutheran at Anaheim Arena, 4:45 p.m.

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Girls Basketball Semifinals: Bishop Amat will play for fifth title under coach Wiard, beats Covina 46-32; Bonita, Diamond Ranch come up short

Bishop Amat defense too much for Covina in 46-32 win: Defense has been what’s taken the Bishop Amat High School girls basketball program to lofty levels. And it was defense on Saturday night that punched the Lancers ticket into next week’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3A championship game at Anaheim Convention Center.

The Lancers got visiting Covina in a hole early, then used their defense to never allow the Colts to dig out. The 46-32 victory has Amat on the verge of winning its fifth Southern Section title under coach Richard Wiard.

Bonita can’t keep up with Arroyo Grande, loses 46-30: There will be no repeat of last year’s magical run to the CIF finals for the Bonita High School girls basketball team.

The second seeded Bearcats (27-4) lost to third seeded Arroyo Grande 46-30 in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA semifinal game.

It was the final game in historic Ellsworth Green gym as the Bearcats’ new facility will open in the fall.

“The girls have a lot to be proud of,” Bearcats coach Darren Baumunk said. “No one expected us to be back in the semis after losing what we did last year. It’s tough right now but we defended our (Hacienda) league championship and had a really good run.

Diamond Ranch battled hard with No. 2 Alemany, but lost 46-34: The third-seeded Panthers (25-7) held a five-point halftime advantage and led 28-26 with two minutes left in the third quarter at No. 2 Alemany (29-2), but Diamond Ranch struggled down the stretch in the defeat.

Chelsea Barnes had 16 points to lead Diamond Ranch, which made only 2 of 15 field goals and committed five turnovers in the final 10 minutes.

Tyvette White added six points for the Panthers, who were outscored 27-10 in the second half, including being held scoreless for a stretch of nearly five minutes in the third and fourth quarters.

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Masters Wrestling: Vikings Reign Surpreme; Next up state….championship?

TEMECULA – It remains to be seen if the Northview High School wrestling team can win a CIF State championship.
But one thing is certain – the Vikings are the best in the CIF-Southern Section.
Northview flexed its muscle Saturday, qualifying a school-record seven for next weekend’s state championships in Bakersfield and outdueling Corona Centennial for the team title, 101.5-98, during the CIF-SS Masters Meet at Temecula Valley High School.
Sophomore Bryan Salinas led the Vikings’ charge with a second-place finish at 145pounds. Other Northview qualifiers were Vincent Parra (106, third), Eric Ochoa (113, eighth), Daniel Valles (136, third), Javier Arellano (152, ninth), Steven Lopez (160, eighth) and Eddie Bernal (182, eighth).
The Vikings’ dominance capped the area performances that saw 14 competitors qualify for state, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
Chino Hills’ Christian Martin, who beat Diamond Bar’s Nathan Pike, 10-2, in the 113-pound final, was the area’s only champion. Other local qualifiers were Pike, Walnut’s Michael Sill (132, fourth), Rosemead’s Alberto Flores (145, seventh), South Hills’ Trevor Behr (152, fourth), West Covina’s Brad Ojala (170, fifth) and Chino Hills’ Brody Goens (182, sixth).
Northview assistant coach Bobby Bellamy: “This tournament’s a meat-grinder. It’s extremely difficult to get through this tournament and healthy to the next tournament. I’m just pleased we got seven guys to state. It’s the most guys Northview has ever had. It’s another milestone. We’ve never had seven state qualifiers. Hopefully, we can take them to Bakersfield and get them on the podium. I’m just so ecstatic. I’m overwhelmed with joy. I’m just so pleased with their effort. We have kids like Eric Ochoa, who placed fifth at (divisionals) and placed eighth here. Those kind of efforts … it’s just amazing.”
Chino Hills Christian Martin: I thought I could get to the semifinals and finals. But to tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure I could take it. After I saw who I had in the finals, I was confident I could beat him. I just went out there and wrestled smart.”

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Bonita girls water polo loses heartbreaker of all heartbreakers, losing 12-11 on last-second goal

The drama that unfolded Saturday at the Woollett Aquatic Center in the CIF-SS Division 5 girls water polo championship demands an acting analogy: If you showed Bonita the script beforehand, any one of the Bearcats would have been justified for chucking it to the ground in exasperation.

For the second straight year, Temescal Canyon stunned Bonita with a fourth-quarter comeback to capture the section title. This time, the Titans walked away with a 12-11 victory on Dannielle Wenzel’s goal with 1.77 seconds left.
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Baseball: Bonita beats Damien 6-0 in season opener, Bearcats pitcher Justin Garza throws six shutout innings

The Dicks Sporting Goods Preseason Baseball tournament began Friday with Bonita’s 6-0 win over Damien and another gem pitcher by Bearcats super senior Justin Garza, who threw six shutout innings to with his 14th straight game dating back to last year. The rest of the Saturday’s results are posted. You can also follow the tournament on the Dicks Sporting Goods preseason webpage. If you want me to tweet updates, send your final scores to sgvtribpreps@twitter and I will retweet them to our followers.

Dicks Sporting Goods Preseason Baseball Tournament
Pool A: Bonita, Covina, Arroyo, Damien, Tahquitz, Paloma Valley
Pool B: Northview, Claremont, Los Osos, Fullerton, West Covina, Keppel
Pool C: Orange Lutheran, Charter Oak, Los Altos, Alta Loma, La Puente
Pool D: South Hills, Crescenta Valley, Yucaipa, Chaffey, Rancho Cucamonga

Friday’s results
Bonita 6, Damien 0
Saturday’s games
Tahquitz6, Paloma Valley 2
Covina 20, Arroyo 1
West Covina 2, Claremont 1
Orange Lutheran 9, Alta Loma 1
Fullerton 13, Keppel 5
La Puente 10, Los Altos 1
South Hills 7, Crescenta Valley 3
Yucaipa vs. Charter Oak at UC Riverside, 7 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 27
Rancho Cucamonga vs. Chaffey at Cal Poly Pomona, 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28
Alta Loma at Los Altos, 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 29
Arroyo at Bonita, 5 p.m.
Tahquitz at Damien, 3:15 p.m.
Paloma Valley at Covina, 3:15 p.m.
Claremont at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
Fulleton at Los Osos, 3:15 p.m.
Keppel at West Covina, 3:15 p.m.
Yucaipa vs. Crescenta Valley at Stengel Field, 6 p.m.
Rancho Cucamonga at South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Cahffey at La Puente, 3:15 p.m.
Friday, March 2
Claremont vs. Los Osos at Chaffey College, 3:15 p.m.
Orange Lutheran vs. Los Altos at UC Riverside, 4 p.m.
South Hills vs. Yucaipa at UC Riverside, 7 p.m.
Rancho Cucamonga at Crescenta Valley, 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 3
Keppel vs. Northview at Littleton Field, 10 a.m.
West Covina vs. Fullerton at Littleton Field, 1 p.m.
La Puente vs. Charter Oak at Littleton Field, 4 p.m.
Covina vs. Bonita at Littleton Field, 7 p.m.
Arroyo at Tahquitz, 1 p.m.
Alta Loma at Chaffey, 1 p.m.
Monday, March 5
Paloma Valley vs. Damien at UC Riverside, 7 p.m.

Semifinals: Wednesday, March 7, at Bonita High, 3 and 7 p.m.
Championship: Saturday, March 10, at Bonita High, 7 p.m.

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Girls Soccer Quarterfinals: Bishop Amat rallies in final minutes to beat Ayala 4-3; St. Lucy’s, Chino Hills, Claremont and San Dimas all win

Bishop Amat scores three goals in final 15 minutes, and twice in last four minutes to beat Ayala 4-3

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
The Bishop Amat girls soccer team has been part of some incredible comebacks over the years, but this may trump them all.

The Lancers needed all of their championship swagger and used the finishing touches of a little-known freshman to shock host Ayala, 4-3, in a wild comeback thriller in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinals on Friday.

Amat, which beat Ayala in last year’s title game, overcame a two- goal deficit with 15 minutes to play and scored twice in the final four minutes to pull off the stunner, getting the game-winner from freshman Jamie Peters on a cross from Miranda Joya in the 78th minute to send the Lancers (21-4-4) to Tuesday’s semifinals, where they will host Chino Hills, a 5-1 winner over Bonita.

“Wow,” were the first words out of Bishop Amat coach Ruben Gonzalez’s mouth. “You got to believe in God and in miracles. You need luck when you make runs deep into the playoffs. It was one of those games and fortunately for us we were on the wining side.” (To continue click thread).

Game Story: South Pasadena too much for Sierra Vista in quarterfinals, wins 4-0

Game Story: Claremont takes down visiting Diamond Bar in quarterfinals, 1-0

Game Story: Chino Hills continues postseason run with win over Bonita, 5-1

Game Story: St. Lucy’s reaches the semis after beating Valencia, 2-1

Above: St. Lucy’s celebrating 2-1 win over Placentia Valencia

Friday’s Quarterfinal Results
Division 3
Chino Hills 5, Bonita 1
Bishop Amat 4, Ayala 3
Claremont 1, Diamond Bar 0
St. Lucy’s 2, Placentia Valencia 1
Division 6
San Dimas 2, Loara 1
South Pasadena 4, Sierra Vista 0


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Final: La Verne Lutheran 51, Crespi 49 … Trojans will face Serra in 4AA title game

La Verne Lutheran High School survived a last-second shot for the second consecutive game and moved into the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA finals with a 51-49 semifinal win over Crespi at the University of La Verne on Friday night.

The two-time defending state champion Trojans (24-6) will play Serra, a 70-63 winner over Price, next Saturday at the Anaheim Arena at a time to be determined.

The win qualifies the Trojans for this year’s Division IV state title chase, which begins in two weeks.

“It’s been like that all season,” Trojans coach Eric Cooper said. “We had a quadruple overtime and two double-overtimes. If that shot had gone in to go into overtime, I wouldn’t have been fazed. That’s the kind of season we’ve had.”

Crespi missed a game-tying shot in the final seconds and La Verne Lutheran survived a scare for the second straight game to win 51-49. The Trojans advance to the CIF-SS Division 4AA title game against top seed Serra at the Anaheim Convention Center next week on a day to be determined. Watch the final seconds and Trojans coach Eric Cooper’s reaction afterward.

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