Softball Rankings: Chino Hills hitting its stride heading into the CIF playoffs


1. Chino Hills (25-3) — On the verge of running the table in the Sierra, you have to give the Huskies credit. I thought the Sierra League champion, whoever it was, would have at least two losses because the league is so competitive. What it shows is that in a tough league Chino Hills is head and shoulders above everyone else. But can they win in the playoffs as the No. 1 seed with the bulls-eye square on its chest?

2. Bishop Amat (19-6) – The Lancers are closing in on an undefeated Del Rey League title, but lost a pair of games to Corona Santiago and Valencia’s West Ranch in Spring Fling tournament games last week. Apparently the Lancers weren’t treating the games like league or CIF playoff games, but the losses dropped them to No. 4 in the D-4 poll. If they’re the fourth-seed, that could mean a potential semifinal game with Chino Hills.

3. St. Lucy’s (19-5) — The sooner the Regents realize that the real prize is a CIF title, the sooner they erase the sour taste of another loss to Chino Hills. But lets get this straight, they don’t win a title or make a playoff run without O’Toole in the circle. Time for experimentation is over, you don’t get second chances in the one-and-done postseason.

4. Duarte (18-3) – There are some sports, like girls basketball and softball, where the Falcons are simply too good for the rest of the league. It must get boring winning so easily, but the Falcons have been in cruise control since February. Their record is so good it’s hard to believe they still can’t crack the top ten poll in Division 5, which isn’t exactly murders row with the exception of La Canada, by far the best team in the division.

5. Los Altos (17-6) — The Conquerors are closing the season in stride, winners of eight straight and the Hacienda League title within reach after recent wins over Bonita and its eight-inning win over West Covina. The Conqs weren’t the pre-season favorite, so a lot of credit has to go to its coaching staff for getting their players to buy in.

6. San Dimas (19-7) — Pitcher Elizabeth Celaya is as hot as anyone, throwing four straight shutouts including the 2-0 shutout over Northview last week that clinched at least a share of the league title, which they can win outright this week. They’re batting over .350 as a team, and in typical Saints fashion, are playing their best ball toward the end of the season, something Don Pollard-coached teams have always done.

7. Ayala (17-10) — With Claremont and St. Lucy’s left, my money is on the Bulldogs to break a third-place tie with Charter Oak and finish third in the Sierra. It’s a big accomplishment for a team that wasn’t expected in the top three when the season started, and they’re a team few would want to meet in the playoffs.

8. Charter Oak (13-8) — The Chargers are locked in a third-place tie with Ayala, both win 4-4 league records. The problem for the Chargers is they finish the season against St. Lucy’s and Chino Hills while Ayala gets Claremont and St. Lucy’s. Advantage, Wolfpack. However, the Chargers might make the playoffs as a wild card even if it finishes fourth.

9. Bonita (15-7) — They struggled at the beginning of the season, found their groove in the middle of it, now they’re struggling again late, losing their Hacienda League title hopes by getting routed by Los Altos. It’s hard to imagine any Hacienda League teams doing well in the D-2 playoffs, which is a tougher road than any of the Sierra League teams have to go through, so struggling late is what it is, the receipe for a first-round exit.

10. South Hills (15-10) — This isn’t the way Britney Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Sarah Macias and while she was there, Sydney La Follette, wanted to go out, but it is what it is. They ran out of steam and will miss the playoffs. Few players can say they played in a CIF final, but the Huskies seniors did just that and then some, going to back-to-back finals. There are no other players in the Valley who can say that.

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Los Altos’ Joe Munoz has a big future

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
For almost the past four years, Los Altos High School’s Joe Munoz has been playing some of the best baseball around. And finally, in his senior season, the most important people are starting to take notice.

It’s not uncommon these days for the 6-foot-3, 200-pound shortstop to have several Major League Baseball scouts watching his every move at each of his games. It goes with the territory when you’ve got Munoz’s size and are hitting over .400 at the plate.

“I think I’m more relaxed this season out of all the other seasons because I know I have a future right now,” Munoz said. “I’m focusing a lot better. The ball doesn’t seem like it’s moving a lot when I’m up there batting. It feels like I can see it perfectly.”

Munoz can relax because after the season either a career at San Diego State or an entry into the minor leagues awaits him. Whether he signs a contract with a major-league organization will depend on a lot of things, Munoz said.

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Spring Football: Charter Oak searching for answers on offense, but defense is solid

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
After over 40 consecutive years of not missing the first day of spring practice, there was no way veteran Charter Oak High School football coach Lou Farrar was going to let knee replacement surgery keep him away from the field Monday.

Farrar, who had the surgery last month, watched from a cart at the 50-yard line as the Chargers began preparations for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, Farrar’s veteran staff conducted business as usual.

“You gotta be there,” Farrar said. “My kids are working hard and I have to work hard to be there with them. First day of spring practice is really the first day of the next season.

“It was great. I got to see the kids all before practice started. I wanted to make it. I wanted to get there. I was working everyday just to make sure that I was able to get out there the first day of spring practice.”

Farrar has been undergoing physical therapy three days a week and estimated he’s lost 25 pounds since the surgery. In order to make their coach feel even more a part of the situation, the upperclassmen presented Farrar with a spirit pack for which they each chipped in to buy.

“He’s present and accounted for,” Farrar’s son and assistant head coach Dominic Farrar said. “None of us expected otherwise. He’s set a precedent that’s been a standard for so long. We just kind of fell into place and assumed our roles and responsibilities.

“When my mom dropped him off, I think everybody felt like the football season had arrived.”

The Chargers have plenty to work on this spring on offense. Quarterback Travis Santiago, a three-year starter, and running back Kurt Scoby must be replaced. Defense is another story, though. Charter Oak returns the bulk of its starters and again should field one of the top stop units in the area.

Farrar is aiming to be at practice three times per week and gradually will increase his workload on and off the field.

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Bishop Amat defeats North power De La Salle and with St. Paul’s 8-1 win over La Salle, Amat tied for first in Del Rey

Bishop Amat spent Cinco De Mayo in Northern California on Saturday, getting a huge non-league 5-4 win over Concord De La Salle at the Oakland Coliseum. Bishop Amat (18-9, 10-2) is finished with the Del Rey, but the Lancers earned a piece of their sixth-straight league title without even playing Monday. La Salle (17-7-1, 9-2) lost to St. Paul (13-15, 7-4) 8-1 to fall into a first-place tie with Amat. If St. Paul beats La Salle again on Wednesday at St. Paul, Amat wins the league title outright.

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Your top ten conteders for the Tribune’s Baseball Player of the Year

You can probably figure out who the leading contenders are, but here is what I came up with for top ten candidates with the playoffs beginning next week. There are players not on the list still up for consideration because plenty changes during the playoffs. This is a more difficult list than softball to compile because so many teams do not post stats, so until I get updated stats from certain teams, the teams that do not post will NOT be included. That doesn’t mean teams’ players who do not post will not be considered for player of the year or all area, they just won’t be mentioned for this discussion. I don’t know how they pick all-league teams without updating how players are doing game-to-game, but that’s the gamesmanship too many coaches are in favor of, so here goes….

Glendora’s Donovan Holmes, .479, 12 RBIs, 8 doubles, 15 SB
Bishop Amat’s Adam Alcantara, .432, 27 RBIs, 5 doubles, 4 triples
Los Altos’ Joe Munoz, .406, 4 HRS, 22 RBIs, 6 doubles, five triples
Bonita’s pitcher/infieder Justin Garza, 8-1, 0.47 ERA, 68ks; .batting 387, 15 RBIs
Bonita’s Tyler Heslop, .467, 26 RBIs, 2 HRs, 8 doubles
Bishop Amat pitcher Daniel Zamora, 7-3, 2.31 ERA, 60ks
San Dimas’ Shawn Kennedy, .407, 16 RBIs, 6 doubles, 3 triples
Sierra Vista’s pitcher/player Giovanni Rivera, .431, 19 RBIs, 17 SBs, 6-1, 1.19 ERA
Dylan Goodwin, Diamond Ranch, .413, 21 RBIs, 10 doubles, 2 triples
Zeph Walters, Diamond Bar, .500, 30 RBIs, 10 doubles, 2 HRs

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CIF swimming finals move to Riverside as Damien hopes to be contenders in Division 2

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN, twitter@sgvtribpreps
For the previous four years the San Gabriel Valley has been spoiled with swimmers like Glendora High School’s Gretchen Jaques, who won every individual event she entered since her freshman year, going 8-for-8 in finals, which culminated in the Tartans girls swimming team winning a CIF-Southern Section Division 2 team title a year ago.

Now it’s time to pass the baton to a new era of area standouts as the CIF-SS swimming and diving finals move from the Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach to its new home at the Riverside Aquatics Complex on the campus of Riverside Community College this week.

The Riverside center completed a renovation project that made it one of the most state of the art facilities in the country.

The Olympic-style venue has the ability to host swimming and diving in one location, and has the ability to accommodate more qualifiers and finalists. The CIF meet will now accept 36 qualifiers into the preliminary events with the top 20 returning for consolation and final heats.

The Division 2 swim finals feature the best area standouts with the Damien boys team among the favorites to compete for a team title with the preliminaries on Friday at 9 a.m., and the finals on Saturday at 10 a.m. (To continue click thread)

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Boys Tennis pairings: Wilson and Arroyo lone area teams to earn seeds in D-5

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN, twitter@sgvtribpreps
The CIF-Southern Section boys team tennis pairings were released Monday with Valle Vista League champion Wilson seeded second in Division 5.

Wilson will open the playoffs at home Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday’s wild card between Norte Vista and Riverside Notre Dame.

Mission Valley League champ Arroyo was seeded fourth and will await the wild card winner between Summit and Nogales in Wednesday’s first round.

Montview League champ Sierra Vista could possibly meet Arroyo in the second round if the Dons get past the wild-card winner between Nogales and Maranatha.

Mission Valley runner-up South El Monte will face either San Dimas or Santa Ana Valley, who meet in a wild-card match Tuesday.

In other wild-card matches in Division 5 on Tuesday, Covina will host Chino, Workman hosts Valley View, Rosemead is home against St. Monica Catholic and Ganesha is home against Don Lugo. Azusa is on the road at San Gorgonio.

In Division 2, Sierra League champion Claremont will host Walnut and Hacienda League title winner Diamond Bar is home against Cathedral City in first-round matches Wednesday.

Hacienda league runner-up Rowland is at Beverly Hills and Sierra second-place finisher Ayala is at Sea View champion Tesoro in first-round matches.

In D-2 wild-card matches Tuesday, South Hills is home against Atascadero and Bonita is away at Righetti.

Glendora is the lone area qualifier in Division 3. The Tartans finished third in the Baseline and will be home against Knight in Tuesday’s wild-card with the winner facing Citrus Belt champ Redlands in the first-round.

All matches are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

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Softball player of the year race is wide open … Your top ten choices heading to the playoffs

I put this list together in no particular order and the names can change depending on what happens over the next several weeks because playoffs have a habit of changing everything. You never know who gets hot and carries their team in the playoffs. But with a week to go before the postseason, this is what I came up with for the top ten MVP choices. Chino Hills, St. Lucy’s and Bishop Amat are clearly the top three teams and have other players to be considered. There are other players having great individual seasons that could have been mentioned as well, so if you think we missed someone, let us know … I’ll do a baseball top ten on Monday.

Bishop Amat’s Alexis Gonzalez (#40) is congratulated after hitting a home run. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/SPORTS)

Tribune’s Big 10 MVP candidates
Bishop Amat junior Alexis Gonzalez, .522, 28 RBIs, 8 HRs
Rowland junior Kaylea Snaer, .556, 14 HRs, 34 RBIs
Los Altos senior Alyssa Villalpando, .545, 10 HRs, 15 RBIs
St. Lucy’s senior Brandi Harkness, .471, 8 HRs, 37 RBIs
South El Monte freshman Ashley Diaz, .610, 9 HRs, 39 RBIs
Bishop Amat junior pitcher Sabrina Anguiano, 15-2, 0.78 ERA, 122Ks
Chino Hills senior pitcher Nikki Innamorato, 16-2, 0.97 ERA, 113Ks
St. Lucy’s pitcher Danielle O’Toole, 13-3, 1.70 ERA, 108Ks, batting .294, 11 RBIs
Chino Hills senior Nikki Girard, .385, 6 HRs, 29 RBIs
South Hills senior Britney Rodriguez, .453, 7 HRs, 30 RBIs

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It’s official, 30-day sit-out rule passes

“The old school part of me think it’s kind of a sad thing now to do that (transfer),” San Dimas High School football coach Bill Zernickow said when he heard the rule had passed. “But being a parent, I guess it’s good and empowering that you can take your child wherever you want them to go to school. Being a dad myself, I can see the benefit of that.”

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
A series of new transfer rule proposals, including the controversial 30-day sit-out rule, were passed by the CIF State Federated Council on Friday and will go into effect on July 1.

The proposals were approved at the Southern Section council meeting in late April, but that only got them a little more than halfway in the weighted vote needed to pass at the state level. The other nine sections that make up the state took care of the rest and on Friday the rules were passed at the State Federated Council meeting in Milpitas.

San Dimas’ league, the Valle Vista, was one of several local leagues to vote against the loosely labeled 30-day sit-out portion of the proposals at last month’s Southern Section Council meeting. In fact, that series of the proposals was barely approved by the Southern Section Council after a 41-40 vote of the 81 leagues who voted during the meeting. (To continue click thread)

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Baseball: Nogales does it again, beats Northview 1-0 to remain in control of Valle Vista

One run enough for Nogales: Coming off a game in which all the runs were scored in the final inning, fans could be excused for not being in their seats when Nogales High School scored the only run it needed in the top of the first inning Friday to defeat Northview 1-0 in a Valle Vista League baseball game.

Gladstone 13, Azusa 3

The Gladiators pulled together offensively to overcome the Aztecs. Gladstone totaled eight hits while Azusa had 12 and stranded several runners on base. Gladstone’s Kevin Amezquita went 3 for 4 with a home run. He drove in three runs and scored three runs. Teammate Richard Prieto pitched a complete game to pick up his seventh win of the season. Azusa and Gladstone each committed three errors. Gladstone improved to 13-6, 8-4.

La Puente 7, Duarte 0
La Puente rode the arm of junior Ethan Etchebarren to victory and remained tied for the league lead with Sierra Vista with two games remaining on the schedule. Both teams are 10-2 heading into next week. La Puente will play Azusa while Sierra Vista plays Duarte. Etchebarren pitched a complete game, allowed just two hits and no walks and struck out eight. Etchebarren also helped himself at the plate as he went 2 for 3 with a double and single and drove in two runs. Senior third baseman Raymond Cedillo contributed to the victory by going 3 for 4 with a double and two singles. He also drove in a pair of runs and scored a run. Senior left fielder Cody Hrey also contributed by going 2 for 3 with two singles and a run scored. The Warriors improved to 14-10 overall while the Falcons dropped to 15-7, including 7-5 in league.

Charter Oak 4, Damien 2

Charter Oak freshman Nick Hernandez was perfect at the plate by going 3 for 3 with three singles and one RBI to lead the Chargers past the Spartans. Senior pitcher Oscar Montenegro went the distance for Charter Oak (13-8, 6-7). He scattered eight hits, struck out four and did not walk a batter.

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Softball: Chino Hills beats St. Lucy’s 7-3 to take Sierra League title, O’Toole doesn’t start?

Chino Hills beat St. Lucy’s 7-3 in Friday’s big showdown that could have given St. Lucy’s at least a share of the Sierra League title. The Regents had been on a role behind senior pitcher Danielle O’Toole, who is headed to San Diego State, but O’Toole didn’t start. She came in during the fourth inning with the Regents already trailing 7-2. The Inland Insider, Tom Kiss, is at the game and will have postgame highlights and interviews. Should be interesting to hear the thought process on why you wouldn’t start the area’s best pitcher in the biggest game of the year.

“In a game like this when you’re trying to win a league championship, I was very surprised they didn’t start (O’Toole),” Chino Hills coach Mike Southworth said. “We’ve hit her in the past, but things can change. For her not to start, there must have been a major reason.”

“We were hoping that we would catch them off balance with our decision to change up the pitchers,” St. Lucy’s coach Ryan Nuveman said. “But they got some timely hits and we made a couple mistakes (in the third inning).”

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Former Charter Oak back Kurt Scoby on the move again, leaves Duarte for St. Paul

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer

The question of where former Charter Oak High School standout running back Kurt Scoby will play next season took another turn Thursday.

Scoby, who last month left Charter Oak for Duarte, has now left Duarte and is enrolled at St. Paul, first-year Swordsmen head coach Elijah Asante confirmed to the Tribune on Thursday.

“After careful consideration of the needs of Kurt Scoby, his guardian has decided to enroll him in a faith-based institution that is St. Paul High School,” the statement said. “Scoby needed a family environment with a spiritual emphasis.”

Scoby, a junior-to-be, rushed for 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns last season at Charter Oak. Rumors of his departure from Charter Oak started before the 2011 season began and picked up again following it.

Scoby eventually landed at Duarte after he was rumored to be considering Bishop Amat and Monrovia. But things never went smoothly for him at Duarte, according to sources, and he eventually sought out another transfer.

“I wish the kid nothing but the best and our team chemistry is so strong that this won’t affect us,” Duarte coach Jason Martin said. “We’re looking forward to a very successful year and competing for a league championship.”

For Asante, picking up a player of Scoby’s caliber is a major coup. The Swordsmen have one of the toughest nonleague schedules around with games against Mater Dei, La Habra and Servite before they start play in the rugged Mission League.

St. Paul made a splash this offseason when it hired Asante to replace legendary former coach Marijon Ancich, who retired after last season.

Asante made a name for himself after a strong run at Carson.

“Our objective is to develop scholar-athletes and win every time we take the field,” Asante said. “We are happy to get the kid (Scoby) in here. The first thing we need to focus on here is academics and make sure he does well in the classroom.

“I’m definitely pleased and look forward to working with him and developing his talent both in the classroom and on the football field.”

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Bonita’s Marissa Scott, Toure McCully, Rowland’s Nick Rivera and Diamond Ranch’s Andrew Fischer lead the way at Hacienda League finals



By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
There were no surprises at Thursday’s Hacienda League track and field finals, Bonita’s distance specialist Marissa Scott and Bonita sprinter Toure McCully won three titles in preparation for next week’s CIF-Southern Section prelims.

Super senior Nick Rivera of Rowland dominated in winning the 800 and 1,600 meters, state favorite Andrew Fischer set a personal-best in the 300 hurdles and Diamond Bar’s Udodi Okwandu dominated the girls muscle events in winning the 100 and 200 meters, and Rowland’s Desdrith Mejia won both girls hurdle events.

Scott, the area cross country runner of the year, set meet records in winning the 800 (2:19.23), 1,600 (5:17.64) and 3,200-meters (11:37.33).

She wasn’t challenged in any of the races.

“It’s a big accomplishment for me,” Scott said. “I think I can go a lot faster in the mile and two mile, we’ll have to see how it goes at CIF. But I’m proud of myself. I’ve worked really hard with cross country and track the last two years.”

McCully started the day wanting to set a personal best in the long jump and did just that with a winning leap of 22-10 to finish first.

McCully also won the 100 meters in 10.95 and dominated his signature event, the 110 hurdles, winning in 14.32.

McCully is hoping to win a Division 3 title in the hurdles.

“I came here wanting to take care of business and it was a good day,” McCully said. “I think I have a good shot at CIF in the hurdles. I won at the San Gabriel Valley championships and all the good hurdlers in my division were there, so we’ll see what happens.”

Rivera toned in down this season after competing in four events last year. He dominated his two events, winning the 800 in 1:53.70 and 1,600 in 4:21.85.

Rivera will be among the favorites in both events in Division 2.

“I backed off running to many events and feel much stronger concentrating on the events I do best,” Rivera said. “I’m not sure which race I will focus on the most next week, but I really feel like I can run a fast mile. In the 800, I feel like I can go 1:50.”

The Harvard-bound Fischer advanced to Masters in the 300 hurdles last year and was second in the Division 3 meet.

He’s hoping to take it a step further and is on the right track after a personal-best 37.79 to win the 300 hurdles.

“I feel much better with my steps,” Fischer said. “I’m very confident.”

Okwandu won the 100 in 12.40 and the 200 in 25.76.

Mejia won the 100 hurdles in 16.11 and 300 hurdles in 47.79.

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Softball: San Dimas beats Northview 2-1 to take over first in the Valle Vista

Led by the shutout pitching of junior Bethie Celaya, the San Dimas High School softball team clinched at least a tie for the Valle Vista League title with a 2-0 win over Northview on Thursday.

The Saints (19-7, 10-1) lead Covina by one game and will try to avenge their only league loss when they host the Colts next Thursday in the final game of the season.

“That was a great win for us,” Saints coach Don Pollard said. “It is always a heck of a battle over here. Bethie pitched really well today. Her defense failed her a little in the first inning, but she got back up and didn’t let it bother her. Covina comes to us next week and we’re going to give it a good shot.”

The Vikings (16-9, 9-2) had runners on base in each of the first six innings, but Celaya kept them at bay to complete the season sweep by the Saints.

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Ayala freshman Jaela Williams takes three individual titles at Sierra League track finals


By Fred J. Robledo
Ayala freshman Jaela Williams won three individual titles at Wednesday’s Sierra League finals at Chino Hills High School, winning the 100 hurdles in 14.58, 300 hurdles in 44.96 and taking the girls long jump title in 17 feet, 10 1/2 inches.

Damien’s Jarrett Gonzales, Claremont’s Klyvens Delaunay, St. Lucy’s Melissa Rake and Ayala’s trio of Christian Eagon, Ryan Kent and Ifunanya Gwacham were all double winners to highlight the the league finals meet.

Gonzales, a senior, won both boys hurdle events, winning the 110 high hurdles in 14.68 and 300 hurdles in 37.56.

Delaunay nearly tripled for the Wolfpack, winning the long jump (22-7), triple jump (49-6) and finishing second in the high jump (6-feet) behind Damien winner Robert Prata, (also 6-feet).

St. Lucy’s Rake dominated two girls field events, winning the shot put (36-7) and discus (105-6).

Ayala had a big day with multiple winners.

In addition to Williams’ big day, Eagon won the boys 800 meters (1:57.55), 1,600 meters (4:19.79); Kent took the boys shot put (52-2), discus (162-01); and Gwacham captured the girls high jump (5-01) and triple jump (36-3).

Damien’s Tom Ebiner also performed well. He won the boys 3,200 meters in 9:40.05 and finished second to Eagon in the 1,600 (4:19.90).

South Hills’ Candace Williams won the 400 meters in 58.23 and her teammate, Huskies freshman Danielle Murrietta, won the 1,600 in 5:14.46.

South Hills junior sprinter Shawn Cutkelvin won the 100 meters in 11.11 and was second in the 200 (22.37) behind winner Keawe Tolson of Chino Hills (22.27).

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WILD FINISH: Nogales takes control of Valle Vista with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat Northview, 3-2

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
There are always season-defining moments for teams that chase titles and that’s what the scene looked like with veteran Nogales coach John Romano jumping up and down with his players following Nogales’ dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Northview on Wednesday.

Nogales pitcher Erik Gonzalez and Northview’s Nick Chico battled it out for six scoreless innings before both teams busted through in the seventh.

Northview’s Alex Labor singled home Nick Ybarra and Jake Grijalva’s bases-loaded single scored Michael Carlos to give the Vikings a 2-0 lead.

Fortunately for the Nobles, Gonzalez settled down and got a fly-out and strikeout with the bases loaded to get out of the inning to keep his team within striking distance.

Gonzalez helped himself with a lead-off double to get the seventh-inning rally going.
After Chico got the next two batters to fly out, Eric Valenzuela singled to score Gonzalez, cutting the Vikings’ lead to 2-1.

Northview brought in DJ Howard to pitch, but he walked Adrian Guzman. Niko Castaneda came in to pitch for Howard, but he walked Cole Martinez to load the bases.

That set the stage for lefty Albert Lemus — one of only two seniors on the Nobles, and he went the other way with a game-winning walk-off single to left that scored Jacob Martin (who was running for Valenzuela) and Guzman for the winning run. (To continue click thread)

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Damien scores on wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh to beat Charter Oak, 2-1; South Hills 8, Chino Hills 1; Claremont 3, Ayala 2

By John Honell, Correspondent
LA VERNE - Do the little things and good things will happen is the mantra of every high school coach in America.

It took seven attempts but the Damien High School baseball team finally did the little things in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 2-1 win over Charter Oak on Wednesday.

The win gave the Spartans (12-8-1, 6-5-1) a 1 1/2-game lead over the Chargers for third place in the Sierra League standings.

“I tell my boys it’s better to be lucky than good,” Spartans coach Al Leyva said. “(Charter Oak) is a quality team and today we were just lucky.”

Eric Quezada walked to lead off the seventh inning and Kevin Hindes sacrificed him to second. Kevin Macedo was hit by a pitch. Then, with two outs,Quezada stole third on 2-1 count against David Banuelos. He scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

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Bishop Amat’s Natalie Rivas competing for Mexico’s U-17 National Team in World Cup qualifier games in Guatemala next two weeks


Above: Natalie Rivas, #6 for Mexico ..

While most high school girls are planning for the prom or summer, Bishop Amat’s super junior Natalie Rivas is with Mexico’s U-17 National team during a World Cup qualifying tournament in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which runs today through May 13. Rivas, best known for her clutch defending and scoring during Amat’s playoff runs the past two years, qualified for Mexico’s final roster after training in Mexico City in April. Of the 20 players on Mexico’s roster, 11 play for American club teams, including 10 born in the United States, like Rivas. The U-17 qualifying tournament is comprised of eight teams hoping to claim one of three spots for the 2012 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan later this year. The three teams favored to claim those spots will likely be the United States, Canada, and Mexico. However, one of the other five teams in the tournament could play the role of spoiler. Mexico and the U.S. play each other in the final match of their group on Monday, May 7th, at 3:30 p.m. All matches will be streamlined on CONCACAF TV

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South Hills-St. Lucy’s softball postponed because of the “dangerous drizzly conditions”, but the game of the day is on, Northview at Nogales baseball, 3:15 p.m.

Please tell me there are no more cancellations because of the “misty conditions”, in addition to Nogales-Northview and Nathan Cambridge is covering a Montview League special, La Puente at Duarte. St. Lucy’s will face South Hills softball on Thursday at South Hills. The big game is St. Lucy’s at Chino Hills on Friday.

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Softball: Gonzalez, Anguiano lead Amat over St. Paul, 6-0

Staff Photo by Leo Jarzomb

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
Bishop Amat High School has been the Del Rey League’s dominant softball team the past two years.
The Lancers showed that prowess Tuesday.
Alexis Gonzalez went 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs and Sabrina Anguiano was solid in the circle and Bishop Amat closed in on its second consecutive league title with a 6-0 victory over rival St. Paul at Little Lake Park.
Amanda Sanchez also had two hits and scored two runs for the Lancers, who improved to 17-4 overall and 8-0 in the Del Rey League. Amat, which had 13 hits, stretched its lead over the second-place Swordsmen to three games with four games left.
Cassie Padilla, Miranda Larios and Kristina Villalobos also had two hits each for the Lancers.
Justine Andrade had two hits for St. Paul, which slipped to 13-11 and 6-3.
Anguiano carried a perfect game into the fifth before finishing with a four-hittier with two strike outs. It was her sixth shutout in league play.
Gonzalez had a RBI single in the first and a two-run home run in the third.
Bishop Amat coach Jesse Mendez: “With our pitching and our defense the way it is, we just have to trust our bats. Today the girls came to play. We didn’t have any errors, Sabrina pitched and we hit the ball. They always come to play.”
St. Paul coach Roberta Argott: Once the game got a little bit longer and we got our second time around seeing (Anguiano), we got used to her. We started getting some hits and we got some good hits. But again, she came back and produced when she needed to. We got caught on her heals, so to speak, of not being ready at the right moment to come through and get back into the game. We just missed it.”

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Softball: Los Altos earns big 7-1 win over Bonita to take over first in Hacienda

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
HACIENDA HEIGHTS - The oft-changing race for the Hacienda League softball championship has taken another turn.

Los Altos High School avenged an earlier loss to Bonita with a 7-1 win on Tuesday to break a first-place tie between the teams atop the league standings and put itself a game up going into Thursday’s game at West Covina, which also is in the mix for the championship.

“It is big, but you know this week is tough,” Los Altos coach Nacho Hernandez said. “We’ve still got West Covina (on Thursday). That was the big thing we told these girls, we can celebrate tonight but at the end of the day we still have West Covina, Diamond Ranch and Diamond Bar.

“So, we can’t afford to have afford to have any type of letdowns.”

Los Altos (16-6 overall, 8-1 in league) did what Bonita couldn’t on Tuesday: take advantage of every mistake they were given. The Bearcats (14-7, 7-2) may spend the next couple of days wondering how they didn’t score more than one run after being the beneficiary of eight walks and one hit-by-pitch.

But for as wild as Los Altos pitcher Jennipher Solis was at times, she also was crafty enough to limit the damage. Solis got out of several bases-loaded jams and the only run she allowed came on a passed ball.

“I just have to have confidence that if I throw strikes and they hit it, then my defense will back me up,” Solis said. “I have a lot of a faith in them when I’m down.

“We do butt heads with Bonita a lot and have little conflicts between us, but a win is a win either way. In the beginning of the season, that’s what our goal was – to take league. That’s what we’re working for everyday out at practice.”

Los Altos struck in the first inning for a 1-0 lead on Alyssa Villapando’s RBI single. The lead climbed to 4-0 in the third inning courtesy of a two-run single by Celeste Wood and an RBI single by Lexi Garcia.

Bonita looked ready to make a dent in the lead in the fourth after loading the bases with one out, but Solis got out of the jam by getting a fly out and a foul out. Bonita finally got a run in the top of the fifth when Corrina Liscando scored on a ball that got past Villapando.

Los Altos put things away in the sixth by getting two on with two outs to set up a three-run home run to right field by Berlyne De La Mora. Solis rode the momentum by putting together her best two innings of the game in the sixth and seventh and issued only a walk for Bonita’s only runner.

“As long as we have more one more (run) than them, I’m satisfied with that,” Solis said. “But when she (De La Mora) hit that (home run), it was a little more easier that way.”

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Baldwin Park boys basketball coach Marc Hart resigns to become new boys coach at South Hills, replacing Paul Reed

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
Marc Hart, the head coach basketball coach, who led Baldwin Park High School’s boys basketball program to its best season in 2010, has been named the new head coach at South Hills, replacing long-time coach Paul Reed.

Hart spent nine seasons combined at Baldwin Park and rung up a 116-116 overall record.

But over the past four years, the Braves went 73-38 under Hart. Baldwin Park won 24 games in 2010, finished second in the Valle Vista League and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs in 2010. It was the best season in school history and Hart was named the Tribune’s Coach of the Year.

“My goal was to build Baldwin Park into a respectable program and to be around a top-10 team in Valley every year and it has become that,” Hart said. “I don’t think I can advance it any further than it’s gone with the resources that are there.

“I’m leaving behind a really good team. There was no pressure to win when I first took over and they let me grow as a person and a coach. It wasn’t easy, but over the past four years, it’s paid off. I was really happy they allowed me to be their head coach.”

At South Hills, Hart will face an entirely different set of challenges, namely the Sierra League. Banging with teams like Damien, Ayala and Chino Hills has been no easy task for the Huskies and Hart knows he will have to work harder than ever to have the Huskies competing for the league title.

“I’ve grown up in the area and I’ve always admired the athletic programs at South Hills,” Hart said. “They’ve always had a rich history in the Valley of turning out athletes. As a coach, we all have an ego and I thought it was a good opportunity, but it is a step up. But I think I’m up for the challenge. I needed a new challenge.”

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