Los Altos in big trouble without Hacegaba while Diamond Bar finds its groove behind Peterson

Above: Diamond Bar sophomore QB Tyler Peterson already has thrown for 1,083 yards and 14 TDs

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN

Nothing can unravel a season like the loss of a quarterback, especially one as valuable as Los Altos’ Cristian Hacegaba, who was playing well in leading the Conquerors to a 3-0 start while averaging 43 points a game.

But Hacegaba injured his shoulder in the first quarter of a 16-0 loss to Chino on Sept. 14 and never returned, and in Friday’s Hacienda League opener against Diamond Bar, Hacegaba was a no-show again in a 40-3 loss to the Brahmas.

Los Altos committed seven turnovers in the loss to the Brahmas, and now has to travel to back-to-back CIF-Southeast Division champion West Covina on Friday. The Bulldogs have never lost a league game since the Hacienda was created in 2010.

Hacegaba isn’t expected to play this week and there is no timetable for his return.

“Here comes the buzzsaw,” Los Altos coach Dale Ziola said of West Covina. “Injuries hit everyone, they hit West Covina so that’s not an excuse we can use.

“West Covina is sort of like the (Concord) De La Salle of the Hacienda League. They’re the team everyone is striving to be. You just have to accept the challenge and give it your best shot and hopefully we’ll be better this week.”

They couldn’t be much worse.

It’s hard to blame sophomore quarterback Lorenzo Silva, who made his first start against Diamond Bar a few weeks after suffering a concussion in a junior varsity game.

Of the seven turnovers, five were directly related to bad snaps and mishandling of the ball and two were interceptions, areas that Ziola said will improve with practice and reps.

“Lorenzo’s going to be fine, he was just in a tough spot without any Friday night experience,” Ziola said. “If we stay the course good things are going to happen. But the last thing you want to do is throw up your hands and feel sorry for yourself. Everyone goes through this.”

On the flip side, Diamond Bar (2-3, 1-0) is climbing its way back after an 0-2 start that included back-to-back blowout losses to Ayala (46-17) and Norwalk (52-38).

The Brahmas might be a year away from making serious noise because they start sophomore quarterback Tyler Peterson, who already has thrown 1,083 yards and 14 touchdowns, and have three dynamic sophomore receivers that all make big contributions.

Kanya Bell already has 22 receptions for 401 yards and six touchdowns, and Cordell Broadus has 15 receptions for 156 yards and three TDs.

Austin Cox, another sophomore, is coming into his own with nine receptions for two touchdowns.

While the future is bright, coach Ryan Maine isn’t ready to give up on the present.

Diamond Bar has a favorable schedule for a young team gaining experience each week. The Brahmas visit Rowland (3-2, 0-1) on Friday but don’t have to face West Covina or Bonita until the final two weeks of the season.

“How we do in this league is the million-dollar question,” Maine said. “No game is guaranteed. We’re not good enough to think past this week so we’ll continue to improve and get better and hopefully that will result in another win on Friday.”

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Girls Volleyball: Los Altos and Diamond Bar sweep to victory; Bishop Amat goes down

Los Altos 3, Rowland 0
The Conquerors won 25-17, 25-13, 25-6. Alyss Chacon led the way for Los Altos (3-1, 3-0) with 30 assists, seven aces, two blocks and two kills. Fabiana Rosas contributed 12 kills and one block. Rowland dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in league.
Diamond Bar 3, Diamond Ranch 0
Tatum Lockett had nine kills and Tia Hernandez added five kills as Diamond Bar (6-4, 2-1) swept Diamond Ranch (5-6, 0-3) 25-11, 25-6, 25-16. Allison Castanon chipped in 18 assists for the Brahmas, who play Tuesday at Walnut.
West Covina 3, Walnut 0
West Covina improved to 6-11 overall and 2-1 in league with the 25-22, 25-22, 25-20 win. Leading the Bulldogs was Genessee Tate with nine kills, six blocks and six aces. Laura Rose contributed six aces and two kills and Casey Shubin chipped in with 22 assists, eight digs and two aces.

Azusa 3, Workman 0
The Aztecs (5-1, 4-0) won 25-11, 25-18, 25-19. Senior Carmina Ortiz had seven kills and five aces to lead the way.
Gladstone 3, Duarte 0
Gladstone (10-2, 4-0) won 25-7, 25-20, 25-10. Leading the Gladiators was Melissa Jacob with 15 kills and eight aces.

Valley Christian 3, Bishop Amat 1
Valley Christian came from behind to defeat the Lancers 21-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-22
Chino Hills 3, Etiwanda 0
Meghan Buzzerio had 13 kills, four digs and two aces, Shelley Anderson added nine kills and 24 assists and Kiana Hayashida had five aces and 14 digs to lead the visiting Huskies (8-2) to victory. Chino Hills hosts Temecula Chaparral today.
Claremont 3, Bonita 0
Madison Shapiro had eight kills, a hitting percentage of .467 and eight digs, and Janie Feldscher had five kills, three blocks and a hitting percentage of .444 as the Wolfpack (4-0) swept the Bearcats 25-12, 25-18, 25-15. Annalyese Fausel had 23 assists and two blocks and Tyler Romero had nine digs for Claremont, which plays at West Covina South Hills on Thursday.

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Time for La Mirada, La Serna and the Hacienda to worry, West Covina QB Jon Najera and RB Josh Best will play in Friday’s game against Los Altos

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
West Covina High School coach Mike Maggiore jokingly said they dressed up an imposter prior to Friday’s 20-14 win over Diamond Ranch in the Hacienda League opener that improved the Bulldogs to 2-3 overall, though one of those losses was a win they forfeited to Covina for using an ineligible player.

Senior quarterback Jon Najera warmed up and dressed prior to beating the Panthers, but Maggiore decided to sit him out another week because he needed practice time.

“We were hoping nobody would notice,” Maggiore said of Najera in uniform.

Najera suffered a knee injury in a pre-season scrimmage against Claremont and hasn’t taken a snap since. Najera was one of the most impressive quarterbacks over the summer, leading the Bulldogs to the Arroyo Passing League title.

“He’s (Najera ) cleared to play,” Maggiore said. “He got cleared last Thursday and we anticipate him playing this week (at home against Los Altos on Friday).”

If Najera starts, it will only be his second start in a Bulldog uniform.

Najera was injured the first game of his junior season and when he returned late in the year the Bulldogs were well on their way to their second consecutive CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division title, so he only played a clean-up role in garbage time.

“He’s probably the most experienced, inexperienced quarterback there is,” Maggiore said. “He gives us so much more diversity and at a time when we missed 11 starters (against Diamond Ranch) because of injuries, it will be nice to get your quarterback back. It’s huge for us.”

Huge in a lot of ways.

Sophomore Antonio “Noodles” Hull is pegged as the future QB, but he’s not capable of throwing the ball around the park like Najera. Plus, with Najera back, it allows Hull to return to the backfield, where the Bulldogs will also welcome back junior Josh Best from injury.
“Josh is one of the better running backs in the area,” Maggiore said. “We’ve missed him a great deal too.”

Adding Best to go with Hull and bruiser Aaron Salgado in the backfield may finally allow the Bulldogs to look like a team seriously capable of winning a third straight Southeast title.

With West Covina looking human in blowout losses to Loyola and Chino Hills, La Mirada and La Serna have taken over the top two spots respectively in the Southeast rankings, with the Bulldogs third.

“We’ve got a couple guys back and we want to get more healthy,” Maggiore said. “Then you have to stay healthy so there’s a lot that has to go right.”

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Super 35 Rankings: Bishop Amat averaging 30+ to stay No. 1; Gladstone checks in at No. 10


Back in top ten: Gladstone returns to the Tribune’s top ten for the first time in a long time.


1. Bishop Amat (4-0-1) — The offense has scored 30 or more every game and is fun to watch again. If the defense catches up, they could be a force in the Serra League, where everyone has a winning record.
2. Chino Hills (3-1-1) — Still looks like the Sierra League favorites with a huge win at Great Oak and has a week off before heading to Charter Oak for the league opener.
3. Ayala (4-0) – They’ve undefeated against formidable opponents, but now they get undefeated Kaiser before the Sierra League starts.
4. Charter Oak (3-1) — Chargers answered loss to Bishop Amat like great teams should, routing neighboring Glendora. Now it’s time for another step-up at Los Osos. Can they handle it?
5. Damien (2-1) — The Spartans continue to remind area fans they’re still a force to be dealt with. If they get a win at Los Alamitos like Charter Oak did a few weeks ago, they’ll prove they’re ready for the Sierra.
6. *West Covina (2-3) — Even injured, the Bulldogs are still better than the rest ranked below, showing it again at Diamond Ranch, winning 21-14.
7. South Hills (3-1) — You have to give them credit for already matching last year’s win total on a team few expected anything from.
8. San Dimas (4-1) — You can mark down 9-1 right now because the Saints won’t lose again. They’re simply too good for the Valle Vista.
9. Glendora (2-2) — After its mighty 2-0 start, Ayala and Charter Oak have sent them back to earth.
10. Gladstone (4-0) — When was the last time the Gladiators were ranked in the top ten poll? Hope this isn’t a jinx.

The Rest: 11. Diamond Ranch (3-2), 12. Bonita (2-3), 13. Diamond Bar (2-3), 14. Rosemead (2-2), 15. Claremont (2-3); 16. Los Altos (3-2); 17. Northview (3-2), 18. El Monte (2-2), 19. *Covina (3-2), 20. Rowland (3-2), 21. La Puente (2-2); 22. Sierra Vista (3-1), 23. Mountain View (3-1); 24. Walnut (1-3), 25. Arroyo (2-2); 26. Azusa (2-2), 27. South El Monte (2-2), 28. Duarte (2-2); 29. Wilson (1-4); 30. Nogales (1-4), 31. Baldwin Park (0-5), 32. Pomona (1-3), 33. Workman (1-3), 34. Bassett (1-3), 35. Ganesha (0-4).

*Covina forfeit win; West Covina forfeit loss

Check out our Maxpreps Made Easy Widget for Tribune Football Fans. If coaches are posting rosters, updating stats and standings, this is the most useful SGV widget there is. Check it out, makes following your teams and area leaders simple.

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CIF Rankings: No. 3 West Covina still looks like the area team with the best shot at a title

Inland Division
1. Vista Murrieta (4-0), 2. Corona Centennial (3-1), 3. Rancho Cucamonga (4-1), 4. Upland (5-0), 5. Chino Hills (3-1-1), 6. Redlands East Valley (1-2), 7. Charter Oak (3-1), 8. Chaparral (3-1), 9. Norco (3-1), 10. Murrieta Valley (5-0)

Mid-Valley Division
1. Sierra Canyon (4-0), 2. Paraclete (4-1), 3. Monrovia (2-2), 4. San Dimas (4-1), 5. San Marino (5-0), 6. Brentwood (4-0), 7. Bell Gardens (3-1), 8. El Monte (2-2), 9. Windward (3-1), 10. Arroyo (2-2).

Southeast Division
1. La Mirada (4-1), 2. La Serna (4-1), 3. West Covina (2-3), 4. Norwalk (4-1), 5. Paramount (3-1), 6. California (4-0), 7. Diamond Ranch (3-2), 8. Muir (1-3), 9. Downey (3-2), 10. Bonita (2-3).

Northwest Division
1. Nordoff (5-0), 2. Bishop Diego (4-0), 3. La Salle (5-0), 4. North Torrance (3-1), 5. Gladstone (4-0), 6. Oak Park (3-2), 7. Heritage Christian (3-2), 8. El Segundo (2-2), 9. South Torrance (2-2), 10. Bishop Montgomery (4-1).

Pac-5 Division
1. Santa Margarita (5-0), 2. Tesoro (5-0), 3. Mater Dei (4-0), 5. St. Bonaventure (4-1), 6. St. John Bosco (4-0), 6. Mission Viejo (5-0), 7. Alemany (4-1), 8. Oaks Christian (4-1), 9. Crespi (6-0), 10. El Toro (5-0)

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