Damien won its first championship ever with a dominating fourth quarter, outscoring Santa Margarita 18-6, pulling away down the stretch to close out a 54-40 victory in the Division 3AA championship game Thursday at the Anaheim Arena. Damien senior Ayo Adedeji had his best game of the season, scoring 18 points with 13 rebounds and the always reliable sophomore Jeremy Hemsley finished with 17 points with four assists.
Tom Kiss’ video highlights and interviews of Damien’s first championship ever
Los Altos-Damien photo gallery By Steve Ramirez
WALNUT — The nonleague season in high school sports is about progressing and improving while preparing for league play.
It’s also about making a name for yourself, and the Los Altos baseball team has accomplished that aspect during the first two games of its season.
Isaiah Roybal gave up one run and two hits in six innings and Joey Franco had an RBI double to score Anthony Cuevas in the eighth inning as the Conquerors improved to 2-0 with a 2-1 victory over Damien in a Dick’s Tournament second-round game at Mt. San Antonio College.
Los Altos, which opened the tournament with a 2-0 victory over CIF-Southern Section power Yucaipa, advanced to face Temecula Valley, a 6-0 victory over Elsinore, in Friday’s quarterfinals at Mt. SAC. The time will be announced later.
Damien, which beat La Puente, 8-0, in the first round on Saturday, slipped to 1-1.
The Spartans and Conquerors are ranked Nos. 4 and 7 in the area, respectively. Los Altos coach Andrew Formano: “It means a lot. Early on, we’re trying to figure out who we are and trying to build from game to game. We played Yucaipa, which is a good ball club. Damien’s obviously a very good club, so we’re just trying to test ourselves and see where we’re at. Winning league is our goal and all this is prepping us for that. We’ll take every win that we can get. We’re competing, which is what it’s about.” Damien coach Al Leyva: “That shows we’ve got character, we’ve got heart. We didn’t give in. Yeah, we were short today by a run, but those things are going to happen. It’s a good character builder for us, and we passed the test. Now we go on to the next game.”
Dicks Sporting Goods Winners Bracket
Wednesday’s second round results
South Hills 3, Paloma Valley 2
Alta Loma 3, La Canada 1
Claremont 7, Corona Santiago 4
Bonita 3, Carter 1 Lower Bracket
Temecula Valley 6, Elsinore 0
Los Altos 2, Damien 1
Arcadia 13, Rosemead 3
Northview 10, Roosevelt 0
Friday’s Quarterfinal games
South Hills vs. Alta Loma at Mt. SAC, 4 p.m.
Claremont vs. Bonita at Bonita, 7 p.m. Lower Bracket
Temecula Valley vs. Los Altos at Bonita, 4 p.m.
Northview vs. Arcadia at Mt. SAC, 7 p.m.
1. Bishop Amat (24-7) — The Lancers have all the pieces for a run at a CIF-SS title 2. Chino Hills (32-3) — Can the Huskies repeat? You bet 3. Los Altos (20-8) — The favorite in the Hacienda 4. San Dimas (22-8) — Saints should rule the VVL and challenge for a D-5 title 5. St. Lucy’s (24-6) — Smith leads the way 6. Ayala (19-12) — Is there enough back to contend in the Sierra? 7. Charter Oak (14-11) — They can hit, but success will be decided in the circle 8. Bonita (18-8) — Losing Sanchez is a key blow for the Bearcats 9. South Hills (15-12) — Never doubt the Huskies 10. Duarte (20-4) — Strong returning core has Falcons eying repeat
READY FOR MORE: Catcher Jake Blunt, pitcher Parker Merritt and shortstop Justin Row are ready for a new season Feb. 20, 2013. (SGVN/Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb)
Here’s the initial area baseball rankings, which include the usual suspects. The story on the top 10 will be in Tuesday’s newspaper:
1. Bonita (32-2 in 2012) — Bearcats still formidable, aided by D-1 transfers 2. Bishop Amat (20-10) — Lancers serious contenders with 8 returning starters 3. South Hills (20-10) — Denson makes Huskies a powerful pick 4. Damien (15-11-1) — Will rely on UCLA commits Hockin and Olsen 5. Nogales (22-7) — Pitching tandem Gonzalez and Guzman are tough to beat 6. Glendora (18-11) — Tartans again the favorite in the Baseline 7. Los Altos (20-10) — If anyone can overtake Bonita in the Hacienda, its the Conqs 8. Northview (16-9-1) — All-leaguers Grijalva and Castaneda make the Vikes a tough out 9. San Dimas (18-9) — Saints will challenge Nogales, Northview for VVL supremacy 10. Diamond Bar (15-9-2) — Brahmas are young, but solid
BOYS & GIRLS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS Boys Basketball Anaheim Arena, Thursday Division 3AA Final
Santa Margarita vs. Damien, 8:15 p.m. Saturday
La Verne Lutheran vs. Serra, Noon. Girls Basketball
Anaheim Arena, Friday
Mark Keppel/J.W. North vs. Lynwood/Bonita, 5:15 p.m. Division 1A
Bishop Amat/Ventura vs. Vista Murrieta/Canyon Springs, 7 p.m.