Boys Hoops: La Verne Lutheran shocks the Southland, beats undefeated Bishop Montgomery; Damien advances to first finals ever; Glendora done

James Escarcega talked to La Verne Lutheran coach Brandon Lee and came back with not only highlights, but exclusive, explosive post game comments from the locker room after the Trojans’ shocking 63-58 victory over 29-0 Bishop Montgomery, ranked No. 1 in Division 4AA and third in the state by MaxPreps.

CIF-Southern Section Boys Basketball Playoffs
Division 2A Quarterfinals

Redondo Union 55, Glendora 41
Division 3AA Semifinals
Damien 61, Corona del Mar 53
Division 4AA semifinals
La Verne Lutheran 63, Bishop Montgomery 58

By Steve Ramirez
Damien High School had ventured into the CIF-Southern Section boys basketball semifinals three times during the past four seasons only to have it end in heartache.
That disappointment ended Friday.

Sophomore Jeremy Hemsley scored 25 points and Jared Dizon had 15 and the Spartans advanced to the finals for the first time with a 61-53 victory over host Corona del Mar in a Division 3AA semifinal.
The Spartans improved 24-6 and will face Santa Margarita, a 65-59 winner over Leuzinger, in the finals next week at either Anaheim Arena or Mater Dei High School. The date and time will be announced later.
Blake Grable scored 23 points for the Sea Kings, who dropped to 21-10.
Damien coach Matt Dunn: “It’s a great feeling (to get to the finals). I thought our guys played great. Corona del Mar is a great team. It was a war right to the end, so I’m really proud of our guys.”
Damien’s Jeremy Hemsley: “It’ feels great. This was our goal. We worked hard all season. I think we really deserve it.”

Glendora-Redondo photo gallery
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
It was clear from the opening tip that visiting Redondo Union was going to spend the night harassing Glendora’s shooters, rushing them off the 3-point line and pressuring them all over the floor.
It worked to perfection.
While Glendora set a school record for three-pointers in a season (252), the Tartans shot a paltry 8-for-27 from behind the arc and that wasn’t nearly enough as Redondo Union handed Glendora a 55-41 defeat in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2A quarterfinals on Friday.
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Predicting a Damien championship victory over South Hills in the Dicks Sporting Goods baseball tournament that starts Saturday

Full Schedule for the San Gabriel Valley Dicks Sporting Goods High School Baseball Tournament.

STORY: You have to love it, a 32-team CIF style survive and advance tournament that starts on Saturday. You can also go the consolation route, but who follows that?

Robledo’s final four prediction: South Hills vs. Bonita; Damien vs. Charter Oak
Robledo’s championship prediction: Damien over South Hills

Memory Lane: One of my favorite pictures from 2007 and Aram’s description of it, which he dubbed “the shot heard around the SGV,” Northview’s incredible come-from-behind 4-3 CIF playoff victory over Bonita. Aram wrote: “I’ve never seen such a stunning end to a prep baseball game. What amazed me was the silence right after Arnold went yard. The Bonita fans were obviously shocked, but I don’t think it even registered with Northview fans for about a minute. That’s probably because it happened so quick. Arnold came to the plate, took a cut, then took another and connected. Poof! Game over! Absolutely unreal!!!!” — Aram Tolegian

Only negative comment about Dicks tourney: No Glendora. No Bishop Amat. No Nogales. No Alhambra. No Temple City. No Monrovia. Those are some of the best SGV teams we all love to watch. Even so, may be tough to top last year’s championship, South Hills beating Bonita and giving Garza his only loss of the year.

Top Bracket
South Hills vs. Covina at Bonita, 4 p.m., Saturday
Paloma Valley vs. Tahquitz at Paloma Valley, 3:15 p.m., Feb. 26
Crescenta Valley vs. La Canada at Stengel Field, 6 p.m, Saturday
Keppel vs. Alta Loma at Alta Loma, 3 p.m., Saturday
Corona Santiago vs. Baldwin Park at Northview, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Claremont vs. Colony at Bonita, 1 p.m., Saturday
Carter vs. Arroyo at Northview, 12:30 p.m., Saturday
Duarte vs. Bonita at Bonita, 10 a.m., Saturday
Bottom Bracket
Palm Springs vs. Elsinore at Palm Springs, 3:15 p.m., Feb. 26
Los Osos vs. Temecula Valley at Los Osos, 1 p.m., Saturday
Los Altos vs. Yucaipa at Azusa Pacific, 7 p.m., Saturday
Damien vs. La Puente at La Puente, 12 p.m., Saturday
Charter Oak vs. Arcadia at Bonita, 7 p.m., Saturday
Bonita JV vs. Rosemead at Rosemead, 3:15 p.m., Feb. 26
Northview vs. Cantwell at Northview, 9:30 a.m., Saturday
Roosevel vs. San Gabriel at San Gabriel, 11 a.m., Saturday

Division 2:
1. Great Oak, 2. Aliso Niguel, 3. Cypress, 4. Redlands, 5. Vista Murrieta, 6. Dana Hills, 7. Glendora, 8. Yucaipa, 9. South Hills, 10. La Mirada.
Division 3: 1. Gahr, 2. Palm Desert, 3. Bonita, 4. Downey, 5. Bishop Amat, 6. Elsinore, 7. Quartz Hill, 8. Palos Verdes, 9. Paramount, 10. Los Altos
Division 4: 1. Oaks Christian, 2. Alhambra, 3. Monrovia, 4. Nogales, 5. Kaiser, 6. Northview, 7. Calvary Chapel/SA, 8. Granite Hills, 9. San Dimas, 10. Century

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Boys Soccer: Servite beats Claremont in PKs, 4-2

CIF-SS Division 1 boys soccer playoffs

Servite 0, Claremont 0, Servite advances in PKs, 4-2

Granite Hills defeats Los Altos in penalties: The way things had gone to that point, the Granite Hills boys soccer team wouldn’t have celebrated until the last shot of the game anyway. After holding the lead twice in regulation and the early advantage in the shootout, only to watch each slip away, the Cougars prevailed Thursday when Los Altos’ final penalty kick sailed wide in a CIF-SS Division 5 second-round playoff game.

You have to feel for Los Altos losing on penalty kicks yesterday, and not sure I like how Granite Hills celebrated by almost piling on top of the kid.

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Northview and South Hills baseball to host fundraiser game for 10-year-old Nathan Perez on March 12 at Mt. SAC

Northview and South Hills Baseball will meet on Tuesday, March 12 at Mt. SAC at 7 p.m., for a very special cause to benefit Nathan Perez, the 10-year-old son of Vikings football coach Marcel Perez. The game was created after learning recently that Nathan was diagnosed with an extremely rare autoimmune disorder called Aplastic Anemia. Fortunately Nathan’s sister is a match and Nathan is expected to have a bone marrow transplant in the coming months that we all pray leads to a successful and healthy recovery. But it’s a long recovery with expensive medical costs, so Northview and South Hills is playing the event as a fundraiser in honor of Nathan, asking for $3 donations to help the family. The SGV always rises to the occasion in situations like this, so do what you can to support the Perez family and Little Nathan.

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Wrestling: Northview looking for another Masters title while Vikings girls try to secure a state title

By Steve Ramirez Staff Writer
It’s the aspiration of every wrestler in California to advance to Bakersfield and compete for a CIF State championship.
For area competitors, that goal is one weekend away. All will attempt to punch their ticket for the state championships when they compete in this weekend’s CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, scheduled for today and Saturday at Temecula Valley High School.
The medal round, including championship bouts, is slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday. The top nine placers in each of the 14 weight classes qualify for next weekend’s state championships at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
The area contingent will feature 65 qualifiers, including 14 who won CIF-SS individual titles last week.
Traditional power Northview, which won this event last season, is expected to be in the running with nine qualifiers, including five who won Central Division titles.
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