St. Lucy’s beats South Hills, 6-5, in 9-inning Sierra League thriller …


Shannon Kent scored the winning run (this wasn’t it) in the 9th as St. Lucy’s beat South Hills.

St. Lucy’s 6, South Hills 5, 9 inn.:
What can I say? It was a Sierra League thriller. Brandi Harkness delivered the game-winning single to score Shannon Kent in the bottom of the ninth to give the Regents the win in their Sierra League opener. South Hills is now 0-2 in league, but had this game won 5-4 in the eighth and saw it get tied up on an error on what should have been an easy ground out to win/end the game.

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Bonita bats come up big in 8-2 win over Los Altos


Tyler Heslop deposited a ball over the left-field fence in Bonita’s six-run fifth.

Bonita 8, Los Altos 2:
Bonita turned a 2-1 lead in the fifth into an 8-2 rout of Los Altos after scoring six times in the fifth before the Conqs recorded an out. Justin Garza went the distance for the Bearcats and took a one-hitter into the seventh before allowing two hits and a run in that inning while earning his fourth win of the season. Both teams entered Thursday’s action tied with Diamond Bar for first place in the Hacienda League with 2-0 records.

For photog Keith Birmingham’s gallery from Thursday’s game, please go HERE.

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St. Lucy’s Big Four of O’Toole, Swan, Mavridis and Harkness want to finish senior year with titles


From left, St. Lucy’s softball standouts Laura Swan, Danielle O’Toole, Danielle Mavridis and Brandi Harkness are hoping for a big finish to their senior seasons. (Keith Birmingham / Staff Photographer)

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
The St. Lucy’s Priory softball foursome of Danielle O’Toole, Brandi Harkness, Danielle Mavridis and Laura Swan have gotten just about everything they’ve wanted out of their athletic careers. But something’s still missing.

Actually, two things. The first is a Sierra League championship and the second is a CIF championship. Beginning Friday, the quartet that has played together for the past 3 1/2 seasons will start a quest for championship glory when they and the rest of the Regents host South Hills in the Sierra League opener for both teams.

“Since this is our last run, it’s kind of upsetting and bittersweet,” O’Toole said. “It’s the last chance we have for a CIF title. The last chance we have for a league title. It’s probably the last chance for the school for a while to make something really big of the program.”

O’Toole and her three senior teammates who have been fixtures at their respective positions since their freshman seasons all will be playing at the next level at this time next year. Meanwhile, the next generation of St. Lucy’s softball hopefuls will have the difficult task of carrying on. (To continue click thread)

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Aram posted sad news for all of us, our beloved Big Bob passed away Wednesday evening …

Duarte/Monrovia area fixture “Big Bob” died in his sleep at home early Wednesday evening at age 52.

Big Bob, whose real name was Henry Clark, was best known in recent years for becoming one of Monrovia’s biggest football fans. He made appearances this past season on this website’s PrepXtra Live show as an outspoken Wildcats fan.

Here is Big Bob talking with us on PrepXtra Live in November. He joins us just after the 30-minute mark…I miss him already, can still hear him screaming, “That’s Baby Ball.” He loved to call and talk football and his infectious personality is why I enjoyed our conversations so much

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Baseball Final: South Hills 7, Chino Hills 3

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN, twitter.com/sgvtribpreps
As far as South Hills High School baseball coach Kevin Smith is concerned, no lead is safe enough in the Sierra League.

Even after Adrian De Horta’s three-run homer to left in the second inning staked South Hills to a seven-run lead, Smith didn’t start breathing easier until the Huskies walked away with a 7-3 victory over visiting Chino Hills on Wednesday.

“Chino Hills swings the bat so well you can’t relax,” Smith said. “You never know in this game, not until you get that final out.” (To continue click thread).

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Could Sierra League football wind up in the Southwest Division? Read what Orange County Register’s Steve Fryer has to say

From the O.C. Register: The Southwest Division’s counter-proposal, presented during the appeals process, stated that if the Sunset must leave the Pac-5 Division, which according to the CIF-SS recommendation would be replaced in the Pac-5 by the San Fernando Valley-based Marmonte League, that a move of the Sunset to the Inland Division would be a better competitive fit. The Southwest leagues would be willing to accept a corresponding move of the Sierra League, made up mostly of east Los Angeles County schools, to the Southwest Division for football playoffs.

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Did the Montview League get the shaft, and are public schools paying a hefty price for travel?

I spoke with Azusa High AD Sandy Gahring while covering a softball game Thursday about Tuesday’s appeals. Gahring said if the Montview is forced to move to the Northwest, she is not sure if the school will be able to afford transportation for potential playoff games at schools like Fillmore or Nordoff (Ojai) — from the Tri Valley League — given next year’s school budget. Gahring’s other concern was the gate for home games. She said with the Mid-Valley Division comprised of area teams, it not only makes travel easier, but it increases gate revenue for home playoff games because of the easy travel for visiting area teams. I’m in total agreement with Gahring. Forget the fact the Montview is moving into a tougher division after struggling to compete in its previous division, now you’re going to ask the schools to fork out a lot more money for travel and lose a lot more money in gate revenue. Forget competitive equity for a minute, but shouldn’t the financial costs and the burden it will place on the schools take precedent given the financial situation public schools are in? Geographic proximity, more than ever, should be the most important factor CIF considers when making these decisions. It should be the most important factor in re-leaguing as well. My biggest beef when Glendora was moved to the Baseline was the travel. You’re moving a public school into a league where it’s closest league foe is Los Osos! That’s ridiculous. These aren’t club programs, these are public high schools. As it is, Glendora can’t afford an on campus football coach. You move Charter Oak and South Hills into the Sierra for league games against Claremont, Chino Hills and Ayala when you have other high schools like Covina, Northview, West Covina, San Dimas and others just a few miles from each other which would cut travel costs down dramatically, while also giving athletes that extra hour or two for homework with league games much closer to home. I’m all for competitive equity, but the price the school’s are paying in travel at a time when school’s are forced to cut so many costs makes no sense at all.

By Aram Tolegian
A CIF-Southern Section playoff grouping appeals committee on Tuesday rejected the Montview League’s appeal of Assistant Commissioner Glenn Martinez’s proposed playoff grouping that would move the league out of the Mid-Valley Division and into the Northwest Division.

The league, represented by Workman High School assistant principal Scott Cavanias, athletic director Victor Perdomo and varsity football head coach Scott Morrison, argued a move out of the Mid-Valley Division and into the Northwest Division did not make sense on grounds of competitive equity, enrollment and geography.

The playoff groupings appeals committee, however, stood by Martinez’s proposal to move the Montview League to the Northwest Division to give it relief after the league posted just one playoff win in the past two seasons. The Southern Section reviews its playoff groupings every two years and bases its proposals on the past two year’s results. The current proposals would go into effect this fall.

“We thought what we presented was a better fit,” Perdomo said. “We got shot down, but they heard us.”

The league can appeal Tuesday’s decision at the April 25 Southern Section council meeting, where new groupings will be ratified.

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Former Azusa star football player Kendrec McDade shot and killed by police after alleged armed robbery; Pasadena Police investigating

Kendrec McDade, who helped lead the Azusa football team to back-to-back league titles in 2008 and 2009 and was a first-team all-league standout, was shot and killed on Saturday during a foot pursuit in Pasadena after an alleged armed robbery.

Below: Azusa’s Kendrec McDade runs for yardage in a football game against Ganesha in 2008. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/SPORTS)

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Pasadena Police Department asks Office of Independent Review to look at shooting of black teen

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The lawyer for slain teenager Kendrec McDade’s family on Tuesday described the shooting of the former Azusa High School football standout as a drive-by conducted by a member of the Pasadena Police Department.

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Community turns to social media to mourn the loss of Kendrec #McDade

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Baseball final: Damien deals Charter Oak third straight loss; Bonita 4, West Covina 1

Damien is sharp when it counts, deals Charter Oak third straight loss in the Sierra


Above: Damien ‘s Jack Spohn watches his two-run double during the second inning of Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Charter Oak. (Keith Birmingham / Staff Photographer)

By John Sherrard, Correspondent
Damien High School, behind a strong pitching performance by sophomore Grant Hockin, shut out Charter Oak, 4-0, on Tuesday in a Sierra League game.

Hockin, making his second league start, pitched into the seventh inning and allowed only four hits to win his third game.

“I’m glad we’re getting them (Charter Oak) now because they’re a good hitting team,” Damien coach Al Leyva said.

Leyva was referring to the host Chargers’ recent skid in league with their third loss in a row. Charter Oak, the Tribune’s No. 4-ranked team, started out Sierra League action with back-to-back wins over South Hills but now has fallen below .500 in league at 2-3 (6-4 overall).

TUESDAY’S BASEBALL RESULTS
BASELINE LEAGUE
Glendora 7, Rancho Cucamonga 3

Glendora used three errors and six hit batters to gain the victory. The Tartans (3-1 in league) used four pitchers in limiting the Cougars to four hits.

HACIENDA LEAGUE
Bonita 4, West Covina 1

Bonita’s Sam Stavang pitched six strong innings to improve to 3-0. Bonita is 10-1 overall and 2-0 in league.

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Duarte softball squeezed out a 2-0 win over Azusa to remain undefeated in Montview

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN, twitter.com/sgvtribpreps
Azusa High School pitcher Marissa Chavez survived inning after inning against two-time Montview League champion Duarte before the Falcons softball team finally got to her in the seventh.

After giving up a leadoff hit to Guadalupe Valdez, the Falcons’ Gaby Avina sacrificed-bunted Valdez to second and a strikeout later, Brianna Lopez belted a go-ahead two-out double to left to bring in Valdez.

Lopez later scored on a wild pitch and that was all the Falcons needed to squeeze out a 2-0 victory to improve to 10-2 and 5-0 in league.

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The Scouting Guru’s Grand Plan for the Hacienda

League re-alignments won’t happen until 2014, but the Scouting Guru is already looking ahead.

Guru’s Thoughts: So I’m messing with the thought of making the Hacienda League a “Super League” and spliting it into two divisions for football with week 10 being championship “crossover” week. This is what they are doing in the Marmonte League this year with a bunch of eyes watching closely.

Here is my initial thought on how you would break up the league

North
Diamond Bar
Diamond Ranch
Los Altos
Rowland
Walnut

South
Bonita
Charter Oak
Glendora
South Hills
West Covina

So in week 10, you would have North 1 vs South 1 and the winner of that game would be the top-seed from the league and the loser would be the second place team. North 2 vs South 2 would determine the third and fourth place teams. North 3 vs South 3 would be interesting in that the winner might have an inside track to getting an “at-large” birth for the playoffs.

As you can see, geography was in play. The school in the north are basically schools on the 60 freeway. The teams in the south are school along the 10/57 freeway. And you are still preserving the rivalries in the area. Walnut vs Diamond Bar, South Hills vs West Covina, Charter Oak vs Glendora, Diamond Bar vs Diamond Ranch.

Tell me if I’m on the right track. — JE

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Tribune/Star-News All-Star boys and girls basketball game on April 28

For those wondering, the annual Tribune/Star-News boys and girls basketball all-star game will be on Saturday, April 28 at Damien High School. We’re in the process of selecting the teams and coaches, but will make announcements soon. Tribune all-area teams for boys and girls basketball, soccer, girls water polo and wrestling will likely run during the week of April 11-17. March is one of those months where several of our staffers were asked to take vacation, so everything was pushed back.

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Baseball Rankings: South Hills back on top, but can they stay there? Bonita on way back

Tribune Top Ten Baseball Poll

1. South Hills (7-2) -- The nightmare of being swept by Charter Oak is yesterday’s news after beating Damien and crushing Ayala to get back in the Sierra title picture. We’ll try this again, South Hills is No. 1, let’s see if they act like it.

2. Bonita (9-1) – The Bearcats took one on the chin against South Hills with their Golden Boy Garza taking the defeat and everyone talking (including me) that they couldn’t hit. All they’ve done since is keep on winning. It’s weird writing this, but they’re undefeated without Garza and we know how great they’re with him. Maybe we overreacted on one defeat.

3. Damien (5-3) -- They dismantled Chino Hills like it was a football game, 21-7. My concern with the Spartans is they have given up five runs or more in four of eight games. Pitching needs to be more consistent to win consistently.

4. Charter Oak (6-3) — How do you go from sweeping South Hills to not even being competitive in 6-1 losses to Ayala and Claremont? It’s one thing to sneak up on teams, but it’s different with the bulls-eye on your chest. Let’s see how the Chargers bounce back after this.

5. Diamond Bar (7-1) — You have to give the Brahmas their respect. They’re pitching well, hitting well and have just one loss. They have surprisingly climbed to No. 1 in Division 3. But I’ve seen this song and dance before. When they beat Bonita and Los Altos I’ll believe they’re the real deal.

6. Northview (6-1-1) – What impressed me about watching Northview’s sweep over Baldwin Park last week is there was not one senior in the starting lineup. They have solid pitching and good enough hitting to make a run at the Valle Vista.

7. San Dimas (7-3) — The Saints are 2-0 in league after sweeping Wilson, who they won’t play again. The Valle Vista league schedule is whack. Instead of playing each team once then playing them again in the second half of the season (which almost every league has done for decades) you play the same team twice in the same week and are finished with them the rest of the year. Coaches set this up because they’re soooooo afraid of pitching match-ups. Weak. Takes the drama out of the league races unless the two best teams meet in the final week.

8. Bishop Amat (5-5) – After a 1-5 start they’re back to .500 after beating Loyola in the RJ Foundation game on Saturday. They will miss Rio Ruiz’s services the next few weeks, but they’re still No. 2 in Division 4.

9. Los Altos (6-4) -- Winners of five straight and only have allowed six runs during that stretch. And they have allowed just two runs in their last three wins. This is the Los Altos I expected at the beginning of the season. But can they do it at Bonita and Garza on Thursday?

10. Covina (4-3)– The Colts will play Wilson, Nogales and Baldwin Park twice each before finally finishing with San Dimas and Northview. If they want to win the league title, they better take care of business early.

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