Girls Basketball Playoffs: Covina and Bishop Amat steamroll to semifinals, will meet on Saturday at Amat; Bonita and Diamond Ranch win too

Some of it was great defense and some of it was visiting La Canada missing open shot after open shot.

But in the end, Covina High School’s first trip to the Final Four in the school’s history was well deserved as the Colts steamrolled the Spartans in the second half to advance to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A girls basketball semifinals with a 51-25 victory over the Spartans.

Covina (25-3), the second seed in the division, will face area juggernaut and third-seed Bishop Amat (19-11), a 54-30 winner over St. Joseph, at Bishop Amat in Saturday’s semifinal at 7 p.m.

Game Story: What was trending like a game that may come down to the final possession turned into anything but that for the Bonita High School girls basketball team Wednesday night.
The Bearcats played arguably their best five-minute stretch of the season and it was enough to avoid the need for any late dramatics as they put away visiting Agoura with a 53-45 win in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA playoffs.

Game Story: The third-seeded Diamond Ranch High School girls basketball team advanced to the semifinals for the third consecutive year with a 43-34 win over Palos Verdes in Wednesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA quarterfinals.

Basketball Roundup leading with Amat’s win: The Lancers (19-11), opening a first-quarter lead of 17-2, advanced behind the play of Leeah Powell, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Paulina Santana contributed 11 points and Janae Chamois had 10 points.

Wednesday’s second and quarterfinal results
Division 1A
Second round

Temecula Valley 57, Diamond Bar 33
Division 2AA
Second round

Ventura 62, Chino Hills 22
Division 3AAA

Bonita 53, Agoura 45
Division 3AA

Diamond Ranch 43, Palos Verdes 34
Division 3A

Oak Park 64, Charter Oak 29
Atascadero 60, St. Lucy’s 55
Bishop Amat 54, Lakewood St. Joseph 30
Covina 51, La Canada 25

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Girls Soccer Playoffs: Area teams go undefeated in D-3, Diamond Bar, St. Lucy’s, Bishop Amat, Claremont, Bonita, Ayala and Chino Hills all win; San Dimas and Sierra Vista advance too

San Dimas Jeanette Jimenez enjoys playoff ride in Saints’ 10-0 win

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
After scoring three goals in San Dimas’ easy 10-0 victory over visiting Oxford Academy in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 girls soccer playoffs, senior midfielder Jeanette Jimenez walked off with an ice pack on her knee, a reminder that she wasn’t part of the Saints team that reached the divisional final a year ago.

Jimenez, who will play at USC next fall, is magic in the midfield with the ball at her feet, but she hasn’t been around to showcase her skills since arriving as a talented freshman.
Jimenez was injured in league as a sophomore and missed the playoffs, and tore her ACL last year, cheering her teammates on the sidelines as they were eliminated in the championship game.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve got to experience this and I’m giving it 110 percent,” Jimenez said. “This is it for a lot of us. We’ve got a lot of seniors and we’re determined to get back to the championship and finish the job.”

Inland Insider Highlights and Reaction: The Chino Hills Huskies defeated the La Mirada Matadors 4-1 in a CIF Division 3 Girls soccer game at Chino Hills. After taking an early 1-0 lead the Matadors held the Huskies till the 60th minute when a defensive mixup allowed Kara Tabita from CH give them a 2-0 lead. It got close, at 2-1 but Ashley Gonzales scored 2 goals in the final 8 minutes to help the Huskies move on into the Quarter finals.

Wednesday’s second round results
Division 3
Bonita 3, Granite Hills 2
Chino Hills 4, La Mirada 1
Ayala 2, Quartz Hill 0
Bishop Amat 3, Yorba Linda 1
Claremont 2, Pasadena Poly 0
Diamond Bar 2, Serrano 1
St. Lucy’s 4, Mayfair 1
Division 6
Sierra Vista 5, Wilson 1
Segerstrom 4, Ganesha 0
San Dimas 10, Oxford Academy 0
Division 7
Citrus Valley 8, Arroyo 1
Firebaugh 3, Rosemead 3 (Firebaugh advances, 2-1 on penalties)

Division 3 Quarterfinals
Friday’s matchups

Bonita at Chino Hills, 3 p.m.
Bishop Amat at Ayala, 3 p.m.
Diamond Bar at Claremont, 3 p.m.
Placentia Valencia vs. St. Lucys at Damien, 3 p.m.

PREGAME: If there is anything to be learned from winter sports, it’s that area girls soccer is the strongest of all. There is a really good chance of area domination in Division 3. I will not be surprised at all if area D-3 teams go 7-for-7, which would set up a wild quarterfinal and finish over the next two weeks. But then again, picking favorites in soccer is no gimmie when games are decided by one or two goals. But still, the area is in good shape and the Sierra League could send all four to the quarterfinals and if Bishop Amat wins too, you have a great quarterfinal match-up of Amat and Ayala, a rematch from last year’s championship, on Friday. One of the intriguing area games today is Wilson hosting Sierra Vista in D-6 and last year’s D-6 finalist San Dimas against Oxford Academy which will be played at Bonita. D-7 is so watered down that I love Rosemead and Arroyo’s chances of going on a deep run, which is why girls soccer will appear so dominant. There is the potential for three CIF champions in the seven divisions. But today is crucial, we’ll see what’s left and I need all of your help, there are far too many games to cover. Send me your updates on sgvtribpreps@twitter so I can retweet scores and update the blog. And coaches, please, please, call us with your results to 626-962-8811, ext. 2233 or 2242 or email to scores Some parents have emailed wondering why we’re not writing up certain games in the paper, the answer is as simple as we get no calls from head coaches. As you can see, there are lots of games today, so we need help. I have not seen San Dimas this year and will be at its game today tweeting updates. I also chose San Dimas for practical reasons, I need to cover La Canada-Covina girls basketball tonight, and this allows me to write my story, post scores and get to Covina in time for the game. For all other results, we need your help. By the quarterfinals, we should be able to cover most games. Good luck tonight.

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You remember Jelani Gardner, right? Why is he in hot water coaching 7 and 8 year olds?

“I never cursed in front of kids, I never threatened a referee. It’s unbelievable how someone who feels threatened by you because we’re in the same business, (basketball training) can create lies and it be released in the news…How can you have violated league rules and never received a technical foul?? How can you be suspended by the league, when the board is full of family and friends of the opposing coaches?? Not one of my parents complained, every complaint was from the board or a parent from the opposing team. What a joke the wcyl is, it’s sad because this lack of professionalism and lack of basic basketball knowledge is seting our youth up for failure. they’re kids depending on adults to teach them the correct way, the same as a first or second grade teacher. Because the leaders of the league, Carlos Ayon, and Tom Fraijo played middle school basketball. they have the responsibility of setting the foundation for the city of WC?? Ignorance is Bliss!”A comment from Jelani Gardner in the comment thread of this story, which is our number one read topic today, check it out.

You remember Jelani Gardner don’t you? Bishop Amat and St. John Bosco phenom. Star at Cal Berkeley. He’s also a resident of West Covina coaching 7 & 8 year olds in the West Covina Youth Basketball League.This is an interesting read, apparently Gardner has been suspended for one year for allegedly using profanity and arguing with referee’s, yet he’s never even received a technical in a game and denies the use of profanity. Is this parents over-reacting to an isolated incident?
Is this one or two parents of kids who probably aren’t playing much making a bigger issue than this needs to be? Or is Gardner truly too much for 7 and 8 year olds? Gardner complains in the story about the league’s rule of not allowing players to double team a star player, saying the league is teaching them the wrong way to play basketball, which I completely agree with. Who makes rules like that and for what reason? In any case, read the comments portion of the story, makes me believe this is another case of one or two trouble-making parents over-reacting more than a coach who is over-bearing. What I also found interesting was listening to our reporter who covered the recent board meeting related to Gardner. She said it was so passionate and loud it was frightening. Maybe the parents can set a better example by discussing instead of shouting because I’ll tell you what, I’ve been to plenty of youth and high school games, and the people in the stands or sidelines are usually far worse than the coaches they complain about. Your thoughts?

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Boys Hoops Playoffs: Elimination night in the SGV, Damien, Bonita, Glendora, Chino Hills, Walnut, Charter Oak, Ayala, Covina and Bishop Amat all lose; Two-time state champion La Verne Lutheran lone survivor in Friday’s semifinals

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
It wasn’t exactly shock and awe, but the Pasadena High School boys basketball team came close to it.

With precision, speed and execution, the second-seeded Bulldogs blitzed Bonita in the first quarter to end on a 15-3 run, en route to a 64-50 win Tuesday night in the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA playoffs.

Pasadena (22-7) will host Beverly Hills (20-9) in Friday’s semifinals at Muir.
Bonita (25-5) had no answer for the Bulldogs in the first quarter, succumbing to their pressure that resulted in nine first-quarter turnovers. The Bearcats finished with 19 turnovers.

Pasadena led 22-7 after the first, and although Bonita, which trailed by as many as 19, made a valiant second-half run it never closed the gap under 10. (To continue click thread)

Division 1A
Second Round

Capistrano Valley 58, Walnut 39
Vista Murrieta 69, Chino Hills 68
Division 2A
Second Round

Leuzinger 68, Glendora 59
Division 2AA
Second Round

Riverside Poly 44, Ayala 42
Division 3AAA

Arroyo Grande 50, Damien 43
Pasadena 65, Bonita 50
Division 3A

Alemany 68, Bishop Amat 37
St. John Bosco 68, Covina 35
Division 3AA

Yorba Linda 45, Charter Oak 28
Division 4AA

La Verne Lutheran 50, Oaks Christian 48

Friday’s Division 4AA semifinal
Crespi vs. La Verne Lutheran at University of La Verne, 7 p.m.

Glendora can’t match Leuzinger from distance
By Fred J. Robledo
Glendora shot the ball well from distance against visiting Leuzinger during Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2A second-round boys basketball playoff.

But Leuzinger stroked it better, nailing 10 three-pointers and hitting clutch three’s at the end of the half and third quarter and rode that momentum to a 68-59 victory to eliminate Glendora from the playoffs.

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BOYS SOCCER PLAYOFFS: Mountain View does it again, beats La Canada 2-0; Claremont advances, Damien, La Puente, Diamond Bar, Sierra Vista and Diamond Ranch lose

Update on Quarterfinal Schedule
Thursday’s games

Division 2
Claremont at La Sierra, 3 p.m.
Division 5
Mountain View at Lakeside, 3 p.m.

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer
It’s usually the La Caada High School boys soccer team that keeps teams on its heels.

Mountain View flipped the script on Tuesday.

The visiting Vikings, mounting constant pressure, made a set piece and attack down the wing count in a 2-0 victory in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.

Mountain View (13-4-5) lost the coin flip and will be on the road and face the Lakeside-Paso Robles winner.

La Caada (14-6-5) bows out of the playoffs in the second round for the third consecutive season. The Spartans’ season practically came in full circle. The teams previously tied 1-1 in the season opener. In that game, the Vikings also were dominant and finished with a 23-3 advantage in shots. (To continue click thread)

Division 2
Claremont 3, Sunny Hills 0
Valley View 1, Damien 0, OT
Division 4
El Rancho 2, Diamond Ranch 1
Cathedral 3, La Puente 0
Crescenta Valley 1, Diamond Bar 0
Salesian 3, Sierra Vista 2
Division 5
Mountain View 2, La Canada 0
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Baseball Preview: Bishop Amat heads pack of talented baseball teams in the San Gabriel Valley

Note: Softball Preview will run on Tuesday, Feb. 28

From left, Rio Ruiz, Daniel Zamora and Adam Alcantara help make Bishop Amat one of the top high school baseball teams in the Southland. (Keith Birmingham / Staff Photographer)

Standout players, teams grace the San Gabriel Valley in this year’s baseball preivew

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
It’s just a start, but what a way to get the 2012 high school baseball season under way.
On March 1, at 6 p.m., defending CIF-Southern Section Division 4 champion Bishop Amat goes to Mater Dei to take on the Monarchs, Maxpreps’ second-ranked team in the nation.

On Friday at 6, the second annual Dicks Sporting Goods tournament begins and features area heavyweights Damien and Bonita meeting at Bonita.

The Valley has been blessed over the years with superstar talents such as Michael Young (Bishop Amat), Jason Giambi (South Hills), Mark McGwire (Damien), Cecil Fielder (Nogales), Fred Lynn (El Monte), Rick Aguilera (Edgewood), Tom Brunansky (West Covina), Corey Lidle (South Hills) and many others who have gone on to play major league baseball.

Who’s next?

Perhaps it will be Bishop Amat’s Rio Ruiz, South Hills’ C.J. Saylor and Los Altos’ Joe Munoz, all of whom all ranked in Baseball America’s list of top 100 seniors in 2012.

Or how about Bonita’s Justin Garza, who recently was clocked with a 94 mph fastball and is back after one of the best high school baseball seasons in Southern Section history. He’ll play for Cal State Fullerton next year.

Ruiz, the reigning CIF-SS Division 4 Player of the Year, ESPN California junior Player of the Year and Tribune Player of the Year, already has signed a national letter of intent with USC and is projected to be a first-round draft pack in this spring’s Major League Baseball First-Year
Player Draft.

Saylor and Munoz have committed to San Diego State, more proof that this is one of the most highly anticipated baseball seasons in recent memory.

As always, we begin with The Tribune’s annual top 10 preview. It’s loaded with heavyweights, starting with the defending champion. (To continue reading, click thread)

San Gabriel Valley Tribune Baseball Top Ten
1. Bishop Amat (29-4)
2. South Hills (21-5)
3. Bonita (27-5)
4. Damien (17-13)
5. Covina (16-11)
6. Los Altos (18-10)
7. Glendora (17-7-1)
8. Diamond Bar (15-12)
9. San Dimas (19-9-1)
10. Charter Oak (10-14)

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