Damien’s Isaiah McCullough (32) blocks the shot by Chino Hills’ Nick Earley (10) in the first half of a prep basketball game at Damien High School on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in La Verne, Calif. Chino Hills won 62-50. (Keith Birmingham/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
LA VERNE — When all else fails, the Chino Hills High School boys basketball team knows it can rely on its defense.
The Huskies turned to the trait again Tuesday and the result is the Sierra League championship.
Chino Hills used a 14-2 run to open the fourth quarter and clinched the league title with a 62-50 victory over host Damien.
The Huskies, getting 15 points from Cameron Curry and 13 from Bishop Mency, improved to 22-4 and 9-0 in league play. Jeremy Hemsley had 20 points and Jared Dizon 17 for the Spartans, who slipped to 19-6 and 6-3. Chino Hills coach Steve Baik: “We never got into a rhythm other than that stretch in the fourth quarter. Offensively, we like to build from our defense. It created some easy offensive opportunities for us. It created some flow and rhythm for us. Our players made plays. It was as simple as that. We’re fortunate to come out of here with a win.” Damien coach Matt Dunn: “I think you have to give them (Chino Hills) credit. When it came to winning time, they understood what it took. To be honest, I thought it was loose balls. They got every loose ball for four or five minutes and we go from up four to down 10. They are too good at that point. There were opportunities there to really keep it close, but we just didn’t quite hang in there long enough.”
Ron Rice, the dean of Valley boys basketball coaches, could it a career when his Vikings host San Dimas at Northview High School tonight at 6:30 p.m.
Below is my feature on coach Rice, who has been at Northview for 41 years.
END OF AN ERA: Northview’s Ron Rice, the dean of Valley boys basketball coaches, will likely coach his final game on Thursday. Staff photo by Keith Birminham.
Yes, that’s coach Rice, circa 1976
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
Sometime around 8 p.m. on Thursday, Northview High School boys basketball coach Ron Rice will shake hands with San Dimas’ Bruce Robbins and call it a career.
Rice, who recently announced this season, his 41st as Northview, will be his last, ending, barring a spot in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, his tenure when the Vikings host San Dimas in their Valle Vista League finale Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s been a fun run,” said Rice, who has been head coach at Northview since the 1971-72 season and at the Covina school, first as a junior varsity coach, since 1969. “This year has been a little disappointing. We lost three of our top players before the season. We had to remove one kid, another kid quit and lost the third to a torn ACL that really hurt us. Someone asked me, ‘Is it disappointing to end it this way?’ I said, ‘You can’t let one year effect 40.’ It’s been a good run, and the last 10 have been a whole lot of fun.” Continue reading →
Another league title for Bonita and Greg Eckler Staff photo by Keith Birmingham
TRIBUNE TOP 10
1. Chino Hills (20-4) — Just keeps on rolling
2. LV Luthereran (22-6) — Next stop, CIF-SS playoffs
3. Bonita (20-5) — Wrapped up Hacienda title
4. Damien (18-5) — Slipped vs. Claremont
5. Glendora (17-8) Another Baseline League loss, but a solid playoff run seems possible
6. Workman (23-1) — First on the line tonight
7. Covina (20-5) — Back-to-back league champs
8. Claremont (16-9) — Beat Damien last week
9. Rowland (17-7) — Playing for second in league
10. Walnut (16-8) — Big win vs. Diamond Bar
TRIBUNE TOP 10
1. Bishop Amat (18-7) — No match for Del Rey, but will make noise in playoffs
2. Bonita (20-5) — Wrapped up league title
3. Workman (20-4) — No trap games for Lobos after sweeping Duarte
4. Duarte (20-2) — Only two losses are to Workman
5. Diamond Ranch (18-6) — Capable of playoff run
6. Ayala (15-8) — Tough loss to Claremont
7. Wilson (16-6) — Valle Vista’s best
8. Rosemead (17-6) — Rematch vs. El Monte looms
9. Glendora (16-8) — Third in tough Baseline
10. South Hills (14-10) — Plays for first Tuesday night.
TRIBUNE TOP 10
1. Damien (12-3-3) — Routed previous No. 4 South Hills, 8-0
2. Sierra Vista (15-1-4) — Questions after upset tie to Ganesha
3. Walnut (14-3-1) — Big win vs. Diamond Bar. But how did the Mustangs lose to West Covina?
4. Claremont (10-6-1) — Making run for Sierra title
5. Pomona (11-4-3) — Another Valle Vista title after beating Nogales
6. Nogales (10-3-1) — Playing for second in league after lost to Pomona
7. South Hills (10-7) — Gave up 8 goals to Damien. Count them, eight
8. Los Altos (14-6-2) — Went 3-0 last week
9. Diamond Bar (13-6-2) — Staying in the hunt
10. Ayala (11-8-3) — Another tough Sierra foe
TRIBUNE TOP 10
1. Chino Hills (16-2-4) — Showed win was no fluke, beats Claremont again
2. Claremont (19-4-2) — Beat again by Chino Hills
3. Diamond Bar (15-3-3) — Wrapped up Hacienda with win over Walnut
4. Bishop Amat (13-4-5) — Ready for playoff run
5. Sierra Vista (17-2-1) — Clinched league title, ready for the challenge of the playoffs
6. San Dimas (14-4-2) — Valle Vista champs. Can Saints make a playoff run?
7. St. Lucy’s (9-5-3) — Holding its own in Sierra League
8. Walnut (10-6-1) — Title shot falls short
9. Los Altos (13-7-2) — Enjoyed solid week
10. Arroyo (10-3-4) — Battling for MVL title
By John Honell, staff writer
WALNUT -The Diamond Bar High School girls soccer team clinched its second consecutive Hacienda League title with a 3-2 win over Walnut on Monday.
The win gave the Brahmas (15-3-3, 9-0-1) a 2 1/2-game lead over the second-place Mustangs with two games left.
Sophomore Marissa Favela scored the match-winner in the 63rd minute. A Mustangs defender whiffed while trying to clear a direct kick toward the Walnut goal. That left Favela alone in front and she scored easily to break the tie.
“Any time you let Marissa get a chance she’ll put it away,” Brahmas coach Matt Brummett said.
“She’s got 11 goals this year. That’s second on our team behind (Tatum) Lockett’s 26.”
SOUTH EL MONTE – An innocent game of tug-of-war turned tragic Monday afternoon when two South El Monte High School students had their fingers severed.
Tug-of-war is a competitive game in which two teams pull, or tug, on a rope in opposite directions in a show of strength.
The students, a boy and a girl, were participating in the lunchtime Spirit Week activity celebrating homecoming when they were injured, El Monte Union High School District Assistant Superintendent Edward Zuniga said. Neither he nor other district officials would release the students’ names or ages.
The girl is a senior and varsity soccer player, while the boy is a football player.
By Fred J. Robledo, staff writer
Friends, alumni and faculty held a candlelight vigil at Walnut High School on Monday night for Monica Quan, 28, a member of the school’s Hall of Fame who was shot to death along with her fiance Sunday night.
Quan, an assistant women’s basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton, and Keith Lawrence, 27, were found in his car on the top floor of a parking structure at an upscale condominium complex in Irvine where they lived.
Quan was found in the front passenger seat and Lawrence was in the driver seat, Irvine police Lt. Julia Engen said. Officers found the couple’s bodies after someone reported seeing Lawrence slumped over the steering wheel.
“Detectives do not suspect murder-suicide or robbery. Right now, there is no suspect information,” Engen said.
A crowd carrying lit candles gathered at the steps of Walnut High School on Monday. Tall votive candles, bouquets and a balloon were placed next to a poster board featuring photos of Quan and a pal.
Ronald Hill was among Quan’s friends who showed up for the vigil.
“She was definitely loved,” Hill said. “She was an amazing person. I would never think this would happen to her. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Northview continued its dominance in the Valle Vista League, taking 13 of the 14 championships during Saturday’s league finals at Nogales High School. The Vikings qualified all 14 of their wrestlers to the CIF-Southern Section individual championships, scheduled at various sites in two weeks.
Charter Oak, which won the Sierra League dual championship, won the individual team tile, scoring four champions and qualified nine. South Hills, host Ayala and Chino Hills had three champions. South Hills qualified a league-best 10. Damien, which had one champion, qualified five to the divisional championships.
In the Mission League, Bishop Amat scored four championships to win the team title. The Lancers qualified all 14 to CIF-SS championships.
Sierra Vista dominated the Montview League, scoring eight titles and qualifying 12.
Complete results are after the jump. Continue reading →
Los Altos’ Stephanie Contreras, center, celebrates with her teammates after setting CIF-SS career goals record.
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
HACIENDA HEIGHTS – Los Altos girls water polo player Stephanie Contreras has climbed the mountain.
The senior became the CIF-Southern Section career goals leader Friday, scoring four to raise her total to 622 in a 9-8 victory over Temescal Canyon in nonleague game.
She eclipsed the old mark, set by La Salle’s Kara-Leigh Huse from 2005-08.
Contreras set the single-season record with 188 during her freshman season in 2010.
“It was kind of crazy, because after I scored I had to come out of the pool,” Contreras said. “Everyone was hugging me. We had a pretty good turnout, so it was good.”
Contreras tied Huse in the second quarter Friday, scoring an off-balance shot from the right side at 1:54 that pulled Los Altos within 6-5. She then tapped in a rebound shot for the record, which gave Los Altos a 7-6 lead with 6:40 left in the third quarter. She had another score in the third quarter before the Conquerors held on for a 9-8 win.
“The single season was out of the blue just before playoffs,” she said. “I was OK, I can score all these goals. But this was more of a build up. It definitely feels better.”
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
GLENDORA — The magic was back at Glendora High School Friday night.
But this time it was the visitors who wielded the late heroics.
Upland forced back-to-back to stops in the final 90 seconds that led to points from Deangelo Stowers and Dominique Mosley and the Highlanders rallied for a 53-48 victory over the host Tartans in Baseline League game.
Upland, getting 15 points from Mosley and 12 from Stowers, improved to 13-10 overall and 3-5 in league play. A.J. Bigornia had 15 points and Thomas Rico 12 for Glendora, which slipped to 17-8 and 2-6.
The key run, which saw the Highalnders outscore Glendora, 8-0, down the stretch, began after a steal and layup by Stowers for 49-48 lead with 49 seconds left. Upland than pressured Bigornia enough to miss a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left. Mosley grabbed the rebound, then after being fouled, he made two free throws for a 51-48 lead.
The Tartans’ Sean Williams was fouled with 7 seconds. He missed the first of a 1-and-1 attempt. Alfred Brown, who had nine, made two free throws to make it 53-48. Upland coach John McNally: “We reminded the kids that we still have to play defense. We were trading baskets once they got their lead, and we were able to step up and use our athletiscm.” Glendora coach Mike LeDuc: We had a stretch were we hit some shots. But we didn’t play like we were capable of playing. It was very frustrating.”
Sierra League girls soccer results: Chino Hills 2 Claremont 1; Ayala 2 Charter Oak 1; St Lucys 3 South Hills 0 Sierra League boys soccer results: Damien 8 South Hills 0; Claremont 3 Chino Hills 1; Ayala 1 Charter Oak 0
Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
LA VERNE – Damien erased the sour taste of two defeats in the most dominating fashion imaginable.
Damien senior Tristan Viscaino scored three goals during a nine minute stretch in the second half and the Spartans kept pouring it on, defeating helpless South Hills 8-0 in what was expected to be a hard-fought rematch.
South Hills rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit to stun Damien in their first meeting, winning 3-2 after getting a late goal to pull it out.
Not only was that loss fresh on the minds of Damien players, but so was Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Claremont that left the Spartans in a first-place tie in the Sierra League with the Wolfpack.
Claremont left no doubt this time.
Sam Williams ran through an onside trap and had an easy finish in the 13th minute to get the scoring started. Brett Jenkins doubled the lead with an 18-yard strike straightaway in the 23rd and Daniel Arellano made it 3-0 with a goal seconds before the half ended.
BREAKING NEWS:Northview’s legendary boys basketball coach Ron Rice, who started as the JV coach in 1969 and became the head coach in 1971, is retiring at the end of the season after more than four decades in charge. Rice’s last scheduled game is a home date with San Dimas on Thursday, Feb. 7. There is a 50-50 chance the Vikings make the playoffs as an at-large, so next Thursday could be his last game. We’ll write more over the next week for one of the most extraordinary, passionate and dedicated coaches the Valley has ever produced, but for now, let’s wish him well. Here is a story we wrote in 2009 when Rice won his 500th game. Northview is at Baldwin Park tonight, at Nogales on Tuesday before welcoming San Dimas in the finale on Thursday.
Ron Rice remembered his first win in 1971: “We beat Covina,” Rice said. “That was back in the Doc Sooter (who had 656 career wins) days.”
Tonight’s Boys Basketball Games
Upland at Glendora, 6:30 p.m. Valle Vista League
Northview at Baldwin Park, 6:45 p.m.
Nogales at Pomona, 6:45 p.m. Sierra League
South Hills at Damien, 6:30 p.m.
Chino Hills at Claremont, 6:30 p.m.
Ayala at Charter Oak, 6:30 p.m. Hacienda League
Rowland at Walnut, 6:45 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at Los Altos, 6:45 p.m.
Bonita at West Covina, 6:45 p.m. Montview League
Azusa at Gladstone, 6 p.m.
La Puente at Duarte, 6 p.m.
Ganesha at Workman, 6 p.m.
Bassett at Sierra Vista, 6 p.m. Mission Valley League
Mountain View at Gabrielino, 6:30 p.m.
Rosemead at Arroyo, 6 p.m.
South El Monte at El Monte, 6 p.m.