Baseball: Duarte stays alive, beats Sierra Vista, 3-1

By Steve Ramirez
It was put up or shut up for the Duarte High School baseball team.
The Falcons had to win, or say goodbye to their Montview League title hopes.
Catcher Sergio Garcia and pitcher Joel Ortega kept those aspirations alive Tuesday.
Garcia and Ortega each had RBIs in the sixth to break a score-less tie and Ortega pitched a solid six innings to lead Duarte to a 3-1 victory over Sierra Vista in a key Montview League game at Montgomery Field.
The Falcons improved to 11-11 overall and 8-3 in league play. Drew Valdez, who relieved Ortega, got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to earn the save.
Oscar Huerta had an RBI for Sierra Vista, which slipped to 14-5 and 8-3.
“This was big,” Duarte coach Brian Grimm said. “If we lose, we go down two games with three to play. It’s a big win.”
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Northview roughs up Nogales 7-0 while San Dimas’ Jimmy Lambert throws a perfect game in 5-0 win over Pomona

Northview coach Darren Murphy: “The goal is to be on the busride home Thursday with a shot to win this thing rather than needing help or hoping somebody loses. But you know Nogales is going to be ready. They’re going to rally them up and he (Nogales coach John Romano) will use every rally tactic he can.”

Nogales coach John Romano: “We’re in fourth, we’re 19-5 and we’re going to play Thursday. We’ve got the same team that won 22 games in a row last year and was the league champs. There is no magic here. We were beaten, we lost and they outplayed us. That’s the bottom line, there’s no sugar-coating it.”

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Northview all but ended what little chance Nogales had of defending its Valle Vista League title with a 7-0 shutout over the Nobles on Tuesday at Northview.
Vikings pitcher Niko Castaneda deserves most of the credit for out-dueling Nogales’ reigning league MVP pitcher Erik Gonzales, pitching a complete game and scattering five hits.
Castadena didn’t do it alone, Northview turned three double plays to improve to 19-6 and 7-2.
The Vikings, ranked fourth in Division 4, remain a game back of sixth-ranked San Dimas (19-6, 8-1), which defeated Pomona 5-0 behind a perfect game from Jimmy Lambert, who also had nine strikeouts.
Northview finishes league next week with two games against San Dimas that could decide the league title if the Vikings can defeat Nogales again on Thursday.
The Nobles are 19-5 overall, but a disappointing 5-4 in league to fall to fourth in the VVL behind Baldwin Park (18-5, 7-3).
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Baseball Rankings: Bishop Amat on a roll with seven straight Ws, Bonita still No. 1, Valle Vista heats up this week

Division 2:
1. Cypress, 2. Redlands East Valley, 3. Temecula Valley, 4. San Clemente, 5. Los Osos, 6. South Hills, 7. Redlands, 8. Oxnard, 9. Dos Pueblos, 10. Aliso Niguel, 11. Glendora, 12. La Mirada.
Division 3: 1. Bonita, 2. Serra, 3. Gahr, 4. Palm Desert, 5. Quartz Hill, 6. Loara, 7. Paloma Valley, 8. Warren, 9. Diamond Bar, 10. Bishop Amat.
Division 4: 1. Oaks Christian, 2. Kaiser, 3. Laguna Beach, 4. Northview, 5. Sonora, 6. San Dimas, 7. Baldwin Park, 8. Montclair, 9. Nogales, 10. Don Lugo.

Here’s this week’s area baseball rankings
1. Bonita (21-2-1) – It’s going so good for the Bearcats that Sam Stavang threw a no-hitter and struck out 10 in a 9-0 shutout over Los Altos to improve the ‘Cats to 8-0 in the Hacienda. However, over the weekend Bonita suffered a 4-1 loss to Oaks Christian, ranked 11th in the state by Maxpreps.
2. South Hills (17-5) – The Huskies turned what was thought to be a close Sierra League title race into a three-game lead with four to play. The Huskies finish with two games against Ayala and Chino Hills, but it would take a mammoth collapse for the Huskies not to take the Sierra again.
3. Glendora (16-6) – The Tartans are still a game back of Los Osos, who it will face twice next week. That means it can’t afford to stumble with a pair against Etiwanda (11-10-1) this week.
4. San Dimas (18-6) – The Saints are in the Valle Vista drivers seat with a game lead over Northview and two easy games this week against Pomona while the Vikings play twice against Nogales. But the Saints have to finish the job next week with two against Northview, so all is not locked up yet.
5. Northview (18-6) – The Vikings’ 3-0 loss to Baldwin Park leaves them in a tough spot with two weeks to go and two games apiece against Nogales and San Dimas. But even if they totally screw up and somehow fall to fourth, it appears four teams from the VVL will make the playoffs. But nobody wants to go the wild card route.
6. Baldwin Park (18-5) – The Braves are in a great spot with only two games left in the VVL against Wilson, both games they should win to finish 9-3 in league, which is good for at least third and maybe better depending on how Northview, Nogales and San Dimas fare against each other over the final two weeks.
7. Nogales (19-4) – Nogales has the beautiful overall record on paper, but the Nobles are fourth in league and need to show they’re the real deal in the home stretch.
8. Diamond Bar (17-4) – The Brahmas suffered an unexplainable 2-0 loss to Walnut that dropped it to 6-2 in league, two games back of Bonita. That means the Brahmas likely have to win out, including beating Bonita twice next week to have a shot at sharing the title. Good luck with that.
9. Bishop Amat (13-10) – The Lancers have quietly won seven straight, including a nice non-league 4-2 win over La Mirada over the weekend. Amat, 4-2 in league, faces Cathedraol, 5-1, and in second, twice this week. If the Lancers sweep, then maybe they will be someone to reckon with in the playoffs.
10. Chino Hills (14-8) – The Huskies are tied with Claremont for second in the Sierra with 6-5 records, three games back of 9-2 South Hills.

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Softball Rankings: Ayala, Chino Hills battle for first in the Sierra; No. 1 Amat closes in on Del Rey

Division 2
: 1. Mission Viejo, 2. Moorpark, 3. Chino, 4. Lakewood, 5. Millikan, 6. Chino Hills, 7. Mayfair, 8. Royal, 9. Ayala, 10. Beckman.
Division 3: 1. Highland, 2. Burbank, 3. Bishop Amat, 4. Righetti, 5. Alemany, 6. La Serna, 7. California, 8. Torrance, 9. Colton, 10. North Torrance.
Division 5: 1. Citrus Valley, 2. Downey Calvary Chapel, 3. Nipomo, 4. Lakewood, 5. Millikan, 6. San Dimas, 7. Ridgecrest Burroughs, 8. Aquinas, 9. Santa Ana Calvary Chapel, 10. Silverado.

This week’s softball rankings:
1. Bishop Amat (18-4)
– Amat can shut the door on the Del Rey League title with a win over St. Paul at home Thursday. They’ve been the areas best team from start to finish, but the CIF playoffs is where they need to show their stuff.
2. Ayala (15-4) – The Bulldogs are tied for first with Chino Hills and host the Huskies today in what should ultimately decide the league title. Who knew Ayala would be this good?
3. South Hills (15-5) – When you think of what the Huskies went through early in the season in losing coach Scott Fisch, who still hasn’t returned from administrative leave, this is one of the best stories in softball. The Huskies are 4-2 in league and control their own destiny finishing next week with Ayala and Chino Hills.
4. Chino Hills (19-7) – With Patricia Parks in the circle, everyone thought this would be the areas best team, but it hasn’t worked out the way. They suffered a shocking loss to South Hills and are now tied for first in the Sierra with Ayala, both 5-1 in league.
5. Bonita (18-6) – After Bonita finishes whipping on Walnut this week, the Hacienda League title will come down to two games in the final week against Diamond Bar, 7-1. Diamond Bar should beat up on Rowland too, so everything is set up for what should be championship week next week.
6. Charter Oak (17-6) – The Chargers are fourth and need a win over South Hills today for a chance at finishing third. Not sure if they’re a wild-card candidate if they finish fourth, but a big game regardless.
7. San Dimas (16-8) – The Saints are 9-0 in the Valle Vista and can clinch it outright next week against Northview. The Saints and Vikings are far-and-away the two best teams.
8. Northview (15-5) – The Vikings are 7-1 in the Valle Vista and have been solid most of the season. As long as they take care of all the games in between, they should face the Saints in the league finale for a piece of the title.
9. Duarte (15-3) – Duarte is dominating the Montview, 10-0 in league with nobody to challenge them. What the Falcons should do is challenge themselves next, and enter stronger tournaments next season.
10. South El Monte (13-4) – The Eagles are 11-0 in the Mission Valley and have done so easily. It must get tiring blowing away the competition like this. Then again, maybe not.

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Tenth Annual Tribune/Star-News All-Star Boys/Girls Basketball Classic Tonight at Damien High School

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Exactly which side of the Valley plays the best high school basketball will be decided today when the 10th Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic is contested at Damien High School.
The girls game will be played at 6 p.m. followed by the boys at 8. Each game pits the top senior talent from the east and west sides of the Valley.

Fans are urged to arrive early to avoid a parking crush and traffic delays.
The Star-News will be looking to add to its lead in both series with the boys owning a 5-4 series edge and the girls leading 6-3.
“Anytime you’re competing, you’re trying to win,” said Flintridge Prep coach Garrett Ohara, who will coach the Star-News boys team. “We also think the best way for us to play well is to play together. And if we do that, then I think that will give us a good shot to win.”
The Star-News headliner is Pasadena’s Andre Spight, who was the Star-News Player of the Year this season. But there’s plenty more scoring power than just Spight on the squad, especially from the outside.
The Temple City tandem of Eric Olivas and Felix Awujo are dangerous from outside, as is Maranatha’s Jeremy Major. The Star-News has good size, too, with Pasadena’s Raymond Jackson, Maranatha’s Michael DeMeester and Flintridge Prep’s Kareem Ismail down low.
The Tribune will counter with a team that features several of this past season’s top scorers on the east side of the Valley. Arroyo’s Primitivo Gomez is hoping to showcase himself after leading the Knights with 25 points and 10 rebounds per game this season.

Covina’s Mike Peters can be a scoring force. So can Damien’s Jared Dizon.
Being able to play an up-and-down pace with ample athleticism on the team has Tribune coach Matt Dunn of Damien thinking his team could cause the Star-News some matchup problems.
“I think our strength is that it’s a really versatile group,” Dunn said. “We have a lot of guys between 6-foot and 6-3, and that should make for a fun game.”
So often in this series the winning team has been the one that’s played as a cohesive unit, which is something Ohara was stressing in practice this week.
“There’s an opportunity for some people who would want to showcase themselves and I think we’re going to curtail that a little bit,” Ohara said. “Playing together is huge for us. It’s about sharing the ball, effort and not settling for any shot when we can get a better shot.
“I think it will come down to how they cooperate. It’s about 15 guys and not about one guy.”

There will be a 3-point contest at halftime of each game. In the boys game, the Tribune will be represented by Dizon, Jordan Stokes (San Dimas) and Joseph Dionisio (Rowland). The Star-News sharpshooters will be Olivas, Awujo and Spight.
In the girls game, a battle of size against speed should ensue, with the Tribune team possessing a bevy of strong post players and the Star-News heavy with guards.
The Tribune is led by dynamic scorer Imari Brown of Duarte and the inside presence of Bishop Amat’s Mauriana Clayton and Leeah Powell.
The Star-News will counter with Keppel’s Alyson Lock, who was the Star-News Player of the Year and will play at Loyola Marymount next season.
The Star-News’ guards corps is led by Arcadia’s Melody Chang and Keppel’s Samantha Lee. Forwards Kayla Pounds (Blair) and Rosemead’s Melody Gauthier can score from anywhere on the floor.
The Tribune team is coached by Amat’s Richard Wiard while the Star-News is coached by Keppel’s Joe Kikuchi.
The Star-News 3-point contest shooters will be Gauthier, Lee and Chang. The Tribune was to determine its shooters in Thursday night’s practice.


Primitivo Gomez, Arroyo
Osnar Garcia, Workman
Mike Peters, Covina
Jared Dizon, Damien
Korey Hackett, Claremont
Nnadi Udengwu, Diamond Ranch
Skyler Williams, La Verne Lutheran
Jordan Stokes, San Dimas
Danny Johnson, Northview
Chris Arzadon, Rowland
Keith Cavanaugh, Damien
Joseph Cook, Bishop Amat
Joseph Dionisio, Rowland
Ryan Ramirez, Bonita
Jeriko Santos, South Hills
Spencer Briglio, Keppel, Andre Spight, Pasadena, Raymond Jackson, Pasadena, Taturs Mayberry, Muir, Evan Bynum, Muir
Kareem Ismail, Flintridge Prep, Eric Oilvas, Temple City, Felix Awujo, Temple City, Jeremy Major, Maranatha, Michael DeMeester, Maranatha, Tyler Shimamoto, Gabrielino, Jasper Hwang, San Marino, Aarom Cosme, Alhambra, Jack Anderson, La Canada, Ryan Wiley, Rio Hondo Prep

Yewande Alabi, Diamond Bar
Amanda Britt, West Covina
Imari Brown, Duarte
Kelli Calton, Wilson
Mauriana Clayton, Bishop Amat
Aileen Giang, El Monte
Jasmine Hamori, Los Altos
Tai Lark, Diamond Ranch
Jessica Lupercio, Arroyo
Imani Payton, South Hills
Leeah Powell, Bishop Amat
Kristi Sakamoto, Ayala
Stephanie Vana, Bonita
Jennifer Vasquez, Bishop Amat
Megan Ward, Northview
Julissa Aguirre, Arcadia, Melody Chang, Arcadia, Emma Wong, San Marino, Leigh Kunitake, San Marino, Alyson Lock, Keppel, Lesley Tan, Keppel, Samantha Lee, Keppel, Carina So, Keppel, Syndey Hua, Rosemead, Melody Gauthier, Rosemead, Dariel Johnson, Pasadena, Kayla Pounds, Blair, Amber Partida, South Pasadena, Lili Lim, Westridge, Ari Tagdis, San Gabriel

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South Hills clinches playoffs while Damien playoff hopes fade; Duarte back in title hunt with 4-3 win over La Puente

South Hills in playoffs, Damien on life support: South Hills clinched a playoff spot in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 baseball playoffs with a 4-0 win over Damien on Thursday.
“Anytime you can beat a team as well-coached as Damien, it’s a good win,” Huskies coach Kevin Smith said. “But we’re in first place and we want to win out and get the best possible seed we can because that’s huge.”
The Huskies (17-5, 9-2) got a two-hitter from senior Adrian De Horta, who shut out the Spartans for the second time this season.

Duarte 4, La Puente 3: Anthony Baroni is one of Duarte High School’s top hitters, but he bats No. 9 in the order.
On Thursday, the senior left fielder did not have any hits. But the way he hit the ball put the Falcons back in the Montview League race.
“It’s almost a little tease batting ninth,” Baroni said.
He laid down a fifth-inning bunt that led to a throwing error to ignite a Falcons rally. Then he hit bases-loaded sacrifice fly an inning later to propel the Falcons to a 4-3 victory over visiting La Puente for a split of the week series.

Thursday’s Results
Del Rey League
Bishop Amat 2, La Salle 1
Valle Vista League
Balwin Park 3, Northview 0
San Dimas 4, Covina 1
Nogales 15. Pomona 0
League Standings: San Dimas 7-1, Northview 6-2, Baldwin Park 6-3, Nogales 5-3, Covina 3-7, Wilson 2-6, Pomona 0-8

Sierra League
South Hills 4, Damien 0
Claremont 6, Chino Hills 3
Ayala 8, Charter Oak 1
League Standings: South Hills 9-2, Chino Hills 6-5, Claremont 6-5, Ayala 5-7, Damien 4-7, Charter Oak 3-8

Montview League
Duarte 4, La Puente 3
Azusa at Gladstone, 3:15 p.m.
Sierra Vista 6, Bassett 1
Ganesha at Workman, 3:15 p.m.

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