One year after earning Tribune player of the year honors, La Verne Lutheran grad and Arizona freshman Grant Jerrett is making himself available for the NBA Draft. Question is, why? He only averaged 5 points and 3 rebounds for the Wildcats and was hardly an impact player. But he is 6-foot-10, shoot’s 3s and has the type of game that could translate to the NBA someday. But no way is he a fist round pick. He’s the type of player someone like the Lakers get late in the second round. Good luck, but a baffling decision.
What: 55th Mt. SAC Relays
Where: Mount San Antonio College, Walnut College and Olympic Developmental races begin at 10:15 a.m. today, high school races start at 5:50 p.m.; Competition for all starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday
By Erik Boal, Staff Writer
High school competition at the 55th Mount San Antonio College Relays begins tonight with multiple state and national leaders commanding the spotlight at one of the country’s most prestigious meets.
Several elite distance races are scheduled for today, with sprinters and hurdlers competing Saturday in individual events and relays, along with standout jumpers and throwers.
Here are 10 must-see events for any track and field fan planning to attend the meet:
6:05 p.m. today — Boys 4 x 800 relay
Loyola produced the national-leading time of 7:44.13 this season April 6 at the Arcadia Invitational, but No. 4 Redondo Union, No. 5 Rancho Cucamonga, No. 9 Centennial of Las Vegas and No. 17 Vista Murrieta are ready for the rematch with Cubs, who could challenge Dana Hills’ 2009 meet record of 7:40.30.
8:20 p.m. today — Girls 4 x 1,600 relay
Redondo Union is also scheduled to compete in the 4 x 800 relay earlier, but the Seahawks and Saugus have taken turns in recent years lowering the state record and it could be challenged again in this marquee matchup. Redondo is ranked No. 1 in the country this year in the 4 x 800 and distance medley relay and could add another nation’s best mark here.
11 a.m. Saturday — Girls 300 hurdles
The state’s two fastest performers in the low hurdles — Great Oak’s Jade Miller and Long Beach Poly’s
Kymber Payne — will produce a rematch of their battle two weeks ago at Arcadia, with Rancho Cucamonga’s Jordie Munford, last year’s state runner-up, also scheduled to run, in addition to Carson’s Dayna Hurd and Alemany’s Skylin Harbin.
12:45 p.m. Saturday — Girls 100
Long Beach Poly’s Arianna Washington delivered one of the most memorable performances at Arcadia with her national-leading 23.34 in the 200 meters. Now she’ll look to improve her season-best 11.81 in the 100 against a field that includes state-leader Brittany Brown of Claremont (11.71), St. Mary’s Academy’s Sierra Peterson (11.86), Etiwanda’s Kayla Richardson (11.93), Oaks Christian’s Schuyler Moore (wind-aided 11.97) and Redlands’ Margaux Jones.
1:55 p.m. Saturday — Boys 4 x 100 relay
Serra’s Lloyd Siscard will have already competed in the 300 hurdles, but he’ll also be counted on here for the state-leading Cavaliers (41.45) against a field that features California’s top five teams and seven of the top nine — including Roosevelt, Loyola, Notre Dame, Castro Valley, Vista Murrieta and Long Beach Poly — this season.
3 p.m. Saturday — Girls long jump
Harvard-Westlake’s Courtney Corrin produced the nation’s best jump under all conditions with her effort of 20 feet, 2 1/4 inches at Arcadia. She’ll take aim at the meet record of 20-3 1/2, with Los Osos’ Kira Moreland, Simi Valley’s Madisen Richards, Redlands’ Margaux Jones, Roosevelt’s Akia Armstrong and Vista Murrieta’s Michelle Norman also part of this talented lineup.
5 p.m. Saturday — Girls shot put
The state’s top three throwers — Dos Pueblos’ Stamatia Scarvelis, Alemany’s Nia Britt and La Sierra’s Tanya Sapa — will take aim at closing the gap against Ashlie Blake of Nevada, whose effort of 50-9 1/4 was enough to distance herself from the talented group of challengers at Arcadia. Notre Dame’s Ginika Iwuchukwu, Newbury Park’s Kendall Mader and Long Beach Millikan’s Destiny Talalemotu are also scheduled to compete.
6 p.m. Saturday — Girls high jump
South Pasadena’s Claire Kieffer-Wright, the defending state champion, prevailed in a three-way tiebreaker based on fewer attempts after clearing 5-10 at Arcadia. If she can equal or exceed her state-leading mark of 5-10 3/4, she’ll break Amy Acuff’s 1984 meet record of 5-10. Vashti Cunningham, who tied Kieffer-Wright at Arcadia and is the daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, is also scheduled to compete along with Harvard-Westlake’s Alex Florent.
6:05 p.m. Saturday — Boys 200
Notre Dame’s Khalfani Muhammad is the reigning state champion, but suffered a setback in this event against Roosevelt of Corona’s Elijah Mitchell by a 21.21 to 21.40 margin at Arcadia. They could both be chasing Devon Allen from Brophy Prep in Phoenix, who beat Mitchell and Muhammad last season at Arcadia, with Redlands’ Walter Jones and Camarillo’s Ahmed Obed also in the race.
7:35 p.m. Saturday — Girls Distance Medley relay
The only race Simi Valley star Sarah Baxter is scheduled to run this weekend is as the Pioneers’ 1,600-meter anchor on this relay. Even her efforts likely won’t be enough to challenge national-leader Redondo Union (11:51.82), which is aiming for Torrey Pines’ meet record of 11:41.84 in 2010, but Simi Valley could be one of several teams to eclipse the 12-minute barrier.
IF YOU GO
Player of the Year: TATUM LOCKETT, Diamond Bar, Senior
While U.S. National team forward Alex Morgan is Diamond Bar High School’s most famous girls soccer graduate, she never earned the accolades that forward Tatum Lockett is leaving with. Lockett finished the season with 35 goals and nine assists to lead Diamond Bar to the Hacienda League title and a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinal appearance.
She was named the Hacienda League most valuable player, was a Division 3 first-team selection and also has been selected the San Gabriel Valley Tribune girls soccer player of the year.
“I really didn’t expect all of this,” Lockett said. “You set goals and you want to exceed them, but what I learned from my coach and my family is just to keep on working. If you do your best and leave it all out there, there’s nothing more you can do.”
Lockett, a daunting striker who could finish through the run of play and on set pieces – particularly on headers – will continue her career at UC Riverside, which is no surprise considering her family bloodlines.
Lockett has two brothers who played football at Diamond Bar.
One is Bret Lockett, who continued at UCLA and is now in the NFL. And the other is Colin Lockett, who plays football for San Diego State.
But for Tatum Lockett, to be able to leave her own mark was extremely satisfying.
“I didn’t felt the need or pressure to live up to anything, but I wanted to make a name for myself and I think I did that,” Lockett said. “Since I was a freshman, there were a lot of expectations so for it to end like this, and to get (player of the year), I’m just really thankful and grateful to all my teammates and my family.”
Diamond Bar finished 19-4-3 and leaned on Lockett time after time to produce goals when it needed it the most.
“I had to kind of step up being a team leader,” Lockett said. “I felt I gave it my all and that we accomplished a lot this season. We didn’t win it all, but we competed and gave it everything we had.”
Coach of the Year: RUBEN GONZALEZ, Bishop Amat
The Lancers’ coach earned his second San Gabriel Valley Tribune coach of the year award after leading his club to its second CIF-Southern Section divisional title in three years, and third straight championship appearance. Bishop Amat defeated powerful Pasadena Poly 4-2 in the Division 3 championship after surviving a nerve-racking postseason playoff run that included a 4-3 quarterfinal victory over Diamond Bar, and a semifinal win over Yorba Linda that ended with Amat surviving in penalty kicks, 5-4, after a 0-0 tie in regulation and two overtimes.
TRIBUNE FIRST TEAM
Demi Lomeli, Bishop Amat, Senior
The ball-stopping defender was clutch during the Lancers’ march to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championship, earning Del Rey League first-team honors. She was part of a tremendous backline that boasted three starting defenders on the CIF-SS Division 1 first-team list.
Kelly Velasquez, Bishop Amat, Senior
The sturdy central defender usually marked the opposing teams best striker while also floating defenisvely to clean up breakdowns. She was argubaly the Lancers’ best defender, earning Del Rey League first-team and CIF-SS Division 1 first-team honors.
Morgan Quarternik, San Dimas, Jr.
The Valle Vista League first-team defender also was named to the CIF-SS Division VI first-team after anchoring the Saints’ backline to the divisional semifinals for the second straight season. The versatile Quarternik could do more than just defend, often helping her team build an attack.
Marissa Favela, Diamond Bar, Senior
The senior attacking midfielder helped the Brahmas to the outright Hacienda League title and quarterfinal appearance in the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs. She finished with 14 goals and 10 assists, earning Hacienda League first-team honors and was a Division 3 second-team selection.
Yazmin Montoya, Bishop Amat, Senior
The sturdy ball-winning midfielder is the only Lancers player to be a starter on the 2011 and 2013 CIF-SS championship teams, and was part of three straight Lancers squad that reached the finals. She finished with 12 goals and 11 assists and was named to the All Del Rey League squad.
Nayeli Requejo, Bishop Amat, Senior
The Lancers’ small but feisty attacking midfielder was a clutch performer throughout the Division 3 playoffs in leading her team to its second championship in three years. Requejo was named the Division 3 player of the year after finishing with 24 goals and 17 assists. She also was a Del Rey League first-team selection.
Jessica Lopez, Sierra Vista, Jr.
The Montview League most valuable player tallied a whopping 37 goals to go with 40 assists for the league champion Dons, who finished 22-3-1 and advanced to the second round of the Division 6 playoffs. Lopez also was a Division 6 first-team selection for the second straight year.
Katie Zamora, Bishop Amat, Senior
The senior forward earned Del Rey League first-team honors and had a knack for scoring when her team desperately needed it, finishing with five postseason goals during the Lancers’ Division 3 playoff run, including a goal in their title-winning 4-2 victory over Pasadena Poly. She finished with 18 goals and 8 assists.
Ashley Gonzalez, Chino Hills, Jr.
Against extremely tough competition, the junior striker proved to be one of the areas best finishers with 30 goals and 11 assists for the Sierra League champions, who advanced to the Division 2 quarterfinals. Gonzalez also was selected to the Sierra League first team and was a Division 2 first-team selection.
Daisy Duran, San Dimas, Jr.
The Saints’ dangerous striker powered her team to the Valle Vista League title and a second straight appearance in the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinals. Duran led her team and the Valle Vista league in scoring to earn league most valuable player honors. She also was a CIF-SS Division 6 first-team selection.
Katelynn Oshima, Walnut, Senior
The Mustangs’ goalkeeper boasted 10 shutouts in earning Hacienda All-League first-team honors and helped her team to a second-place finish behind Diamond Bar in the league standings. She also anchored the Mustangs to an easy 8-1 victory in the first round of the Division 3 playoffs.
Defender: Denise Garcia, Chino Hills, Jr.
Defender: Ariana Holmes, Claremont, Senior
Defender: Ciara Balderamma, Covina, Senior
Defender: Iris Yam, Diamond Bar, Senior
Midfielder: Mimi Rangel, Chino Hills, Senior
Midfielder: Micaela Estrada, Arroyo, Senior
Midfielder: Emily Castellano, Charter Oak, Senior
Midfielder: Hanna Chua, Claremont, Jr.
Forward: Daisy Ruiz, Sierra Vista, Jr.
Forward: Cassandra Reyes, Bishop Amat, Senior
GK: Britain Chaputa, San Dimas, Jr.
Rachel Curley, Bonita, So.
Alisson Kung, Wilson, Jr.
Helena Kisor, Diamond Bar, So.
Angela Schmidt, Diamond Bar, Senior
Lena Suehrstedt, Bishop Amat, Senior
Jamie Peters, Bishop Amat, So.
Erin Harris, Walnut, Jr.
Cassie Duran, Walnut, Senior
Samantha Verduzco, Los Altos, Jr.
Sarah Becerra, Los Altos, Senior
Amanda Ball, Chino Hills, Jr.
Madison Stark, Claremont, Jr.
Claire Damon, Claremont, Senior
By Steve Ramirez
COVINA – When it comes to pitching, Adrian De Horta is usually money for the South Hills High School baseball team.
The senior showed Thursday he can also be clutch with a bat in his hands.
De Horta went 3 for 4, including a key two-run triple to highlight a four-run sixth inning to help the Huskies to a 7-4 victory over Charter Oak in a Sierra League game.
South Hills, also getting two hits and an RBI from Niko Contreras, improved to 15-5 overall and 7-2 in league play to hold onto first place. De Horta also gave up four runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.
Nick Hernandez had two RBIs and Ross Barrera had two hits for the Chargers, who slipped to 7-9 and 3-6.
“It’s a big win for us,” South Hills coach Kevin Smith said. “You have to give the kids at Charter Oak a ton of credit. They battled their butts off today. I knew they were going to come back. Adrian wasn’t his best today. But he battled and had the big hit for us in the sixth inning.
“I’m pleased with that. I just thought we were a little flat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the win, the way we came back. I just don’t think we should have been in that situation. That’s what frustrates me. But it was a great high school baseball game.”
Player of the Year: BRETT JENKINS, Damien, Senior
By Fred J. Robledo
Brett Jenkins thought Damien lost too many talented players to challenge for the school’s first outright Sierra League title since 2006.
But the senior attacking midfielder didn’t expect the chemistry to come together the way it did, resulting in the outright league title and a CIF-Southern Section Division 1 second-round appearance as the Spartans finished the season 15-4-3.
Jenkins was the catalyst, finishing with a team-leading 12 goals and 13 assists in earning Sierra League most valuable player honors.
Jenkins, who was a Sierra league first-team selection as a junior, was also named to the prestigious CIF-SS Division 1 first team, and for his outstanding season, has been selected the San Gabriel Valley Tribune boys soccer player of the year for 2012-13.
“Going into the season we didn’t know what to expect and we had a rough start losing to Hesperia (2-0 in the third game of the season),” Jenkins said. “We didn’t have the individuals we had last year but we came together and played better as a team.
“When you look back, it was a great season, everyone stepped up and played a part.”
Jenkins was the perfect blend of playmaker and scorer.
He had five assists in an 8-0 win over South Hills, notched a hat trick in a 3-0 win over Charter Oak and scored two goals with two assists in a 5-0 non-league win over Arroyo.
It was that kind of balance that orchestrated the attack game after game.
“I had to find a way to get the ball in the back of the net,” Jenkins said. “And I give my teammates a lot of credit too. I don’t get assists if they don’t finish. We had a lot of players who could finish.”
Jenkins hasn’t decided where he will wind up next. St. Mary’s is an option, but he would also like to stay closer to home.
He will likely make his college decision over the coming months.
“We’ll see what happens, I’m still going over my options,” Jenkins said. “But all in all, I couldn’t of asked for a better senior season.
“This was a great team to play with, we all supported each other and got better toward the end of the year.”
Coach of the Year: ERIC McELREA, Damien
The Spartans are known for their soccer, having produced U.S. soccer legend Ricky Davis and back-to-back CIF-Southern Section title teams in 2005 and `06.
But the Spartans haven’t done much damage in the playoffs since and hadn’t won a Sierra League title outright since 2006. That finally changed. Damien won the Sierra League title outright with an 8-2 record and finished 14-5-3 overall, advacning to the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs. For his efforts, McElrea has been selected the San Gabriel Valley Tribune boys soccer coach of the year.
TRIBUNE FIRST TEAM
Michael Sanchez, Damien, Senior
The sturdy defender was named to the Sierra League first team and was a CIF-Southern Section Division 2 second-team selection. He was part of a defense that only allowed 19 goals. Sanchez also helped the league champion Spartans advance to the second-round of the Division 1 playoffs.
Alex Henry, Los Altos, Senior
The Conquerors’ senior defender was one of the area’s best ball stoppers, helping his team to a share of the Hacienda League title and second-round appearance in the CIF-SS Division 5 playoffs. Henry was named first-team all Hacienda League and was part of a defense that only allowed 17 goals in 30 games.
Gabe Brown, Diamond Bar, Senior
Was arguably the areas best all-around defender for the 15-7-2 Brahmas. He was named to the Hacienda League first team and also found ways to produce on the offensive end, finishing with four goals and three assists. He helped his team to a 2-1 victory over Laguna Beach in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 5 playoffs.
Danny Hernandez, Walnut, Junior
The Mustangs’ attacking midfielder was a Hacienda League first-team selection for the co-league champions. He was a natural attacking midfielder who finished with nine goals and seven assists in helping his team reach the second round of the CIF-SS Division 5 playoffs.
Juan Gutierrez, Pomona, Senior
The midfield general helped the Red Devils reach the second round of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs and led his team to the Valle Vista League title and an impressive 14-5-4 overall record. Gutierrez was a Valle Vista league first team selection and all-league choice for the second straight year.
Jorge Ramos, South Hills, Senior
Was the architect of the Huskies’ offense, controlling the midfield and final third in leading his team to a playoff spot from the competitive Sierra League. Ramos was named to the all-area soccer team for the second straight year and was a Sierra League first-team choice.
Ben Santia, Claremont, Senior
The Wolfpack midfielder could do it all, nearly helping his team reach the CIF-SS Division 1 semifinals, losing to eventual finalist Servite in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals. Santia was named to the prestigious Division 1 first team and also was a Sierra League first-team selection.
Benjamin Jimenez, Damien, Senior
The Spartans’ slippery forward was named to the Sierra League first-team after helping his team to the league title and finishing with 11 goals and eight assists. He had a spectacular game in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs, scoring all three goals in the Spartans’ 3-1 victory.
Matthew Lares, Rowland, Senior
The striker was so highly thought of despite the Raiders finishing fifth in the Hacienda League that he was named the Hacienda League most valuable player, something rarely earned for non-playoff teams. And for good reason, Lares finished with 21 of the Raiders’ 31 goals this season.
Mario Interiano, Walnut, Senior
Walnut’s leading scorer stood just over 5 feet, 4 inches, but was one of the most explosive players in the area, finishing with 18 goals and seven assists for the co-league champions. The striker was named to the Hacienda League first team, and was an all-league selection for the third straight season.
Dayker Villalobos, Baldwin Park, Senior
The areas best goalkeeper was named to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 first-team and was the Valle Vista League most valuable player. Villalobos almost singlehandly helped the Braves finish third in the Valle Vista league and reach the playoffs, despite its struggles on the field.
Defender: Alexis Godina, Baldwin Park, Senior
Defender: Steven Mancia, Claremont, Sophomore
Defender: Garrett Souza, Damien, Senior
Defender: Eddie Hurtado, Pomona, Senior
Midfielder: Alexander Piceno, Sierra Vista, Senior
Midfielder: Guillermo Sanchez, Sierra Vista, Senior
Midfielder: Austin Bishop, Glendora, Sophomore
Forward: Michael Flores, Sierra Vista, Junior
Forward: Kelley Collins, Claremont, Senior
Forward: Grayson Iwasaki, South Hills, Senior
Goalkeeper: Mike O’Toole, Damien, Senior
Kase Vollebregt, Diamond Bar, Senior
Steve Flores, Charter Oak, Junior
Gabriel Florez, Ayala, Senior
Adam Fox, Los Altos, Junior
Sam Williams, Damien, Senior
Wyatt Deane, Bonita, Senior
Gerardo, Hernandez, West Covina, Senior
Oscar Briceno, Rowland, Senior
Sergio Ramirez, Chino Hills Junior
Edgar Gomez, Azusa, Senior
Ruben Cueva, Bassett, Senior
Edward Mancilla, Bishop Amat, Senior
Juan Estrada, Sierra Vista, Senior
Josue Horan, La Puente, Senior
Carlos Loreto, Ganesha, Senior
Nathan DiFiori, Bishop Amat, Junior
South Hills at Charter Oak, 3:30 p.m.
Claremont at Damien, 3:30 p.m.
Ayala at Chino Hills, 3:30 p.m.
Valle Vista League
Nogales at Covina, 3:15 p.m.
Baldwin Park at Pomona, 3:15 p.m.
Wilson at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
Bassett at La Puente, 3:15 p.m.
Duarte at Gladstone, 3:15 p.m.
Workman at Azusa, 3:15 p.m.
Sierra Vista at Ganesha, 3:15 p.m.
By Aram Tolegian Staff Writer
Organizers have settled on April 26 as the date in which local hoops fans will find out exactly which side of the Valley plays the best high school basketball when the 10th Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic is played at Damien High.
The girls game will take place at 6 p.m. and the boys game will be played at 8 p.m. There will be a 3-point shooting contest at halftime of each game.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the fine athletes we have in our Valley from the Pasadena area all the way out to La Verne and Claremont,” game organizer Gordon Hamlow said. “It’s an opportunity for our seniors in the Valley to get one more chance to compete in front of their fans. For some, it will be their last competitive game and for others who are going on to college, it’s a neat opportunity to give people a taste of what to expect in the future.”
By Steve Ramirez
SAN DIMAS – San Dimas High School has won the Valle Vista League softball title the previous four seasons.
The Saints took a big step toward a fifth Wednesday.
Briana Quintana singled with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and host San Dimas took over first place with a 4-3 victory over Northview in a league encounter that also featured two of the top teams in the area.
Senior pitcher Bethie Celaya tossed a four-hitter and struck six for the Saints, who improved to 14-7 overall and 6-0 in league play. The Vikings, getting two RBIs from Monet Manning and Erinn Jaramillo hit a home run, slipped to 13-5 and 5-1.
“It’s a big win for us,” Quintana said. “(Northview is) our main competition. Winning here, puts us on top.”
Kaili Now started San Dimas’ winning rally when she beat out an infield single with one out. Deenah San Luis followed with a single to center field, which forced Northview coach Jeff Butler to make an unconventional decision of intentionally walking catcher Janell Wheaton to load the bases with one out.
Wheaton was 1 for 3 with a RBI triple in the third.
“I knew we were in trouble no matter what we did,” Butler said. “My philosophy forever has always been to not let their best hitter beat us. Janell is their best hitter. Briana is a good hitter too, but it put us in a force situation and a possible double play to get out of the inning.
“Sometimes you have to roll the bones. I rolled them and it didn’t come out right this time.”
Player of the Year: JEREMY HEMSLEY, Damien, Sophomore
By Steve Ramirez
For some, this was supposed to be a re-building season for the Damien High School boys basketball team.
Instead, it was the best season in the program’s history, ending with the school’s first CIF-Southern Section divisional title with a Division 3AA championship and a victory in the CIF State playoffs.
The difference for the Spartans, who had lost in the semifinals three out of the previous four years, was sophomore Jeremy Hemsley, who proved to be the difference between Final Four frustration and championship glory.
For his efforts, Hemsley is San Gabriel Valley Tribune Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
“I think we did a good job of bringing the school together,” said Hemsley, Damien’s go-to- player, who came up big down the stretch. “It was nice, having everybody (there) who likes sports, giving them something (they never had). I’m happy we were able to accomplish a lot this year.”
The key was Hemsley, who quickly got the Spartan faithful get over the loss of all-everything postplayer Chris Reyes, who graduated after last season and is now at St. Mary’s.
Hemsley, who averaged nearly 20 points a game, helped Damien to a 15-2 start before keying the stretch in the postseason, which included easy victories over Los Amigos (74-28), Wilson (60-45) and Temescal Canyon (62-32) before securing the title with wins over Corona del Mar (61-53) in the semifinals and Santa Margarita (54-40) in the 3AA title game. Hemsley averaged 20 points in the postseason, including dropping 25 on Corona del Mar and 17 against Santa Margarita.
“I never really felt the pressure coming into the season,” Hemsley said. “My goal coming into the season was to win ( a section title). I didn’t feel the pressure of it, I just wanted to accomplish that goal.”
Because of it, he pushed himself and his team in the critical moments down the stretch, including the close games in the final four. Hemsley made three of four free throws down the stretch before capping the win at Corona del Mar in the semifinals with a signature dunk. Then, after getting in early foul trouble in the title game, he responded with a monster fourth quarter to key the 54-40 victory over Santa Margarita.
“I tried to tell my teammates there going into the second half that we weren’t in a bad situation,” Hemsley said. “I tried to lead my team, and that’s what happened.”
But Hemsely wasn’t quite finished with the heroics. He added one more memory to the season when he drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Spartans a 74-72 victory over Mission Oak, of Tulare, in the first round of the state playoffs.
Damien’s magical run finally ended with a 59-48 loss at Chaminade in the Southern California Regional quarterfinals.
“It was a great year,” Hemsley said. “I’m really proud of my teammates and coaches and what we were able to accomplish this year. ”
And next season?
“Next year, I think we’re going to be a young team, but I think we’re going to be better,” Hemsley said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Coach of the Year: MATT DUNN, Damien
Dunn has turned around the culture at Damien, transforming the basketball team from a solid program to one of the best in the area that annually competes for CIF-SS glory. After advancing to the divisional semifinals three times in the previous four seasons, Dunn finally got the Spartans over the hump with a Division 3AA title, the first section crown in school history. Dunn, whose Spartans were 26-7, was 3AA Coach of the Year
TRIBUNE FIRST TEAM
PRIMITIVO GOMEZ, Arroyo, Senior, Forward/Guard
The senior proved to be one of the better front court players in the area. He earned Mission Valley League MVP and ranked about the area leaders in scoring with 25.7 points a game. He also had 10.7 rebounds per contest and 3.4 assists. Gomez keyed the Knights run to the school’s first Mission Valley League title and 20-7 record. He saved his best for Arroyo’s big games, scoring 30 points with 14 rebounds in the Knights’ 67-66 victory over second-place Gabrielino on Jan. 11, then had 28 and 10 in the rematch on Jan. 30.
OSNAR GARCIA, Workman, Senior, Guard
The senior earned Montview League MVP after keying the Lobos to one of the better seasons in the program’s history, which included going 26-2, winning the Montview League and advancing two rounds in the CIF-SS Division 4AA playoffs. Garcia was a prolific scorer with 24 points a game. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 4.0 steals per contest.
MIKE PETERS, Covina, Senior, Guard
Peters played a major part in Covina making a little school history, which included the Colts win back-to-back league titles for the fist time since the early 1980s. Covina shared the Valle Vista League crown last year and won it outright this season. The senior ranked among the area leaders in scoring, which earned in league MVP and first team All-CIF-SS Division 3A
CAMERON CURRY, Chino Hills, Senior, Guard
The senior was a key factor for the Huskies, who went undefeated in winning the Sierra League and advanced two rounds in the CIF-SS Division IAA playoffs. Curry ranked among the area leaders in scoring and earned first team All-Sierra League.
JARED DIZON, Damien, Senior, Guard
Dizon was a key factor, along with area player of the year Jermey Hemsley, to the Spartans winning the school’s first CIF-SS crown. He was Damien’s outside option, averaging 13.7 points a game with 85 3-pointers. He was first team All-CIF-SS Division 3AA and All-Sierra League.
NNADI UDENGWU, Diamond Ranch, Senior, Forward
The senior averaged 16.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game to help the Panthers to a 16-13 record. He earned first team All-CIF-SS Division 3AA and Hacienda League co-MVP.
DANE HOLLAR, Bonita, Junior
Hollar helped Bonita to a 25-6 record and continue its string of Hacienda League titles. He ranked among the area leaders in scoring and was league co-MVP.
JOE RUSHING, La Verne Lutheran, Junior, Forward
The junior helped the Trojans to CIF-SS Division 4AA finals and a 26-8 record, which included a 63-59 victory over Bishop Montgomery in the quarterfinals. Rushing averaged 15.1 points a game and was first team All-CIF-SS Division 4AA.
SKYLER WILLIAMS, La Verne Lutheran, Senior Guard
The senior was another key part of the Trojans run to the CIF-SS Division 4AA finals, which included a victory over highly-regarded Bishop Montgomery in the quarterfinals. He averaged 12.2 points a game.
A.J. BIGORNIA, Glendora, Junior, Guard
The junior helped Glendora advance to the CIF-SS Division 1A quarterfinals and a 19-11 record. He ranked among the area leaders in scoring, including dropping in 30 points in a 55-49 victory over Dominguez in a second-round playoff game. He was first team All-CIF-SS Division 2A and first team All-Baseline League.
Elias Hernandez, Covina, Jr.
Jordan Stokes, San Dimas, Sr.
Westley Ondatje, Chino Hills, Sr.
Keith Cavanaugh, Damien, Sr.
Joseph Cook, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Joseph Dionisio, Rowland, Sr.
Ryan Ramirez, Bonita, Sr.
Christian Manalo, Diamond Bar, Jr.
Thomas Rico, Glendora, Jr.
Jeriko Santos, South Hills, Sr.
1. Damien (26-7)
2. La Verne Lutheran (26-8)
3. Chino Hills (24-5)
4. Glendora (19-11)
5. Bonita (25-6)
6. Workman (26-2)
7. Covina (21-6)
8. Claremont (20-10)
9. Arroyo (20-7)
10. Rowland (19-9)
Player of the Year: NIKKI WHEATLEY, Bonita
By Steve Ramirez
Bonita High School, after advancing to the CIF-Southern Section divisional finals and semifinals the previous two seasons, was supposed to be in rebuilding mode this season.
Nikki Wheatley wouldn’t allow it.
For her efforts in helping the Bearcats to a third consecutive semifinal appearance, Wheatley is San Gabriel Valley Tribune Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
It’s the junior’s third consecutive season on the All-Area team and her second Player of the Year award.
“It was definitely rewarding,” Wheatley said. “The same thing happened (last year) when we lost some key players and people didn’t believe we were going to do as good.
“The same thing happened this year. We lost Bri Kennedy (to graduation) and people thought we were going to struggle, but by us playing as a team we picked up the slack and still make into (the Southern Section and state playoffs).”
A big part of that was Wheatley, who stepped up her game to lead a young Bearcats team that was perfect in winning the Hacienda League before advancing to the 2AA semifinals and the Division 2 state playoffs.
Wheatley, who has been arguably the top player in the area since leading Bonita to the divisional finals in 2011, played her best down the stretch in helping the Bearcats to the 2AA final four.
She averaged more than 20 points a game through the regular season to earn Hacienda League MVP before scoring 29 and 24 points, respectively, in playoff wins over Mira Costa (52-47) and Cajon (60-47) in the second and quarterfinal rounds before a 22-point effort in a 60-47 loss to Lynwood in the semifinals.
“I definitely knew I would have to step up this season,” Wheatley said. “I knew I had to be a key player. But we also had a lot of other girls step up to help me. I knew I had to step up and play by best each and every game.”
Bonita ended its season with a 66-43 setback to La Costa Canyon, of Carlsbad, in the first round of the state playoffs.
“I thought we had a good season,” Wheatley said. “It was disappointing that we couldn’t go further. But I thought how far we went was really good for our team.
“With all the young players we had, we worked really hard and went further than I think people expected.”
Wheatley was big part in that. But a lot as been expected of the junior since she bursted on to the local scene her freshman season in 2011. She’s also stepped up her game each season.
“I think I’ve improved a lot in my shot,” Wheatley said. “My freshman year, because we had some good shooters, I didn’t have to shoot a lot.
“I also make better decisions on the court than I did then. I try to limit my turnovers and I feel I better in getting everyone else involved in the game.”
Now she’s ready for a final season in 2013-14, which could conclude with that elusive CIF-SS title, with an influx of transfers to help the key returners.
“Next year, I hope we can make it really for next year,” Wheatley said. “I feel with some key players coming in, I’m really excited and I think next year will be a good year.”
Coach of the Year: RICHARD WIARD, Bishop Amat
Wiard is arguably the top girls basketball coach in area history. He has guided the Lancers to five CIF-Southern Section titles and two state titles. The Lancers added to their lore this season, going 25-10 and advancing to the sectional finals for the seventh time, losing to Canyon Springs in the Division IA championship game. Amat was again the last area team standing, losing to Long Beach Poly in the CIF State Division I Southern California Regional semifinals. Wiard was Division IA Coach of the Year.
TRIBUNE FIRST TEAM
PAULINA SANTANA, Bishop Amat, Junior, Guard
Santana was key figure for the Lancers down the stretch. She had big games in playoff wins over Westminster and Ventura. The junior was named first team All-CIF-SS Division IA and first team All-Del Rey League.
DAGMAR RAMIREZ, Bishop Amat, Junior, Forward
Notable: Ramirez was one of the top players in the area before suffering a knee injury late in the regular season. She was second team All-Del Rey League.
MAURIANA CLAYTON, Bishop Amat, Senior, Forward
Notable: Clayton was another key player down the stretch that helped the Lancers overcome the injury to Ramirez to make a run at the program’s sixth divisional title. She had big games vs. Westminster and Ventura. Clayton was first team All-CIF-SS Division IA and second team All-Del Rey League.
JANAE CHAMOIS, Bishop Amat, Junior, Guard
Chamois stepped up in the postseason to provide Amat with a solid defensive front while contributing to the offense. She had solid outings vs. Westminster and Ventura.
CASIE LOWDEN, Glendora, Senior, Forward
Loweden was one of the top inside players in the area, She averaged 14. 8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game to help the Tartans to a 19-10 record. The senior was first team All-Baseline League.
KELLI CALTON, Wilson, Senior, Guard
Calton was the key factor for the Wildcats, who went 22-7 and advanced to the CIF-SS Division 3AA quarterfinals. She averaged 12.9 points a game. The senior was Valle Vista League MVP and first team All-CIF-SS Division 3AA/
IMARI BROWN, Duarte, Senior, Guard
Brown has been on of the top players in the area the past three years. She helped the Falcons to a 22-3 record and second-place finish in the Montview League, averaging 26.7 points and 7.9 assists per game. She also had 12 rebounds a contest to be one of the top all-around players in the area. She was Montview League MVP.
LESLIE RIVERA, Workman, Freshman, Guard
Rivera was one half of the Lobos’ dynamic duo that also included freshman Alize Williams. She helped Workman to one of its better seasons in recent memory, which included a 24-5 record and the Montview League title. She earned first team All-Montview League after averaging 9.3 points and 5.6 assists a game. She also had 3.9 steals per contest.
ALIZE WILLIAMS, Workman, Freshman, Forward
Williams was the inside option of the Lobos’ dynamic freshmen duo that also included Leslie Rivera. Williams put in 15 points and 7.9 rebounds to help Workman go 24-5 and win the Montview League title. She was first team All-Montview League.
YEWANDE ALABI, Diamond Bar, Senior, Center
Alabi was one of the area’s top post players. She was dominate inside, ranking among the Hacienda League leaders in scoring and rebounds. She was first team All-Hacienda League.
Taj Lark, Diamond Ranch, Sr.
Amanda Britt, West Covina, Sr.
Dy’mond Mitchell, San Dimas, So.
Kaelyn Kawamoto, Wilson, Jr.
Marisol Chavez, Baldwin Park, So
Jackie Richetson, Ayala, So.
Imani Payton, South Hills, Sr.
Dominique Theus, Covina, Jr.
Janessa Thropay, Chino Hills, Fr.
Leeah Powell, Bishop Amat, Sr.
SGVN TOP 10
1. Bishop Amat (25-10)
2. Bonita (25-7)
3. Workman (24-5)
4. Diamond Ranch (21-8)
5. Wilson (22-7)
6. Ayala (19-9)
7. Duarte (22-3)
8. Rosemead (20-7)
9. Glendora (19-10)
10. South Hills (16-12)
By Steve Ramirez
LA PUENTE – There was nothing complex about the La Puente High School’s key to victory Tuesday.
The Warriors slugged three doubles during the first 11 pitches they saw, then rode the arm of pitcher Ethan Ethchabarren en route to 3-1 win over host Bassett in a Montview League game.
La Puente, getting RBI doubles from Etchabarren and Joel Serna, stayed atop the league standings after improving to 7-8 overall and 6-1 in league play. Etchebarren gave up three hits and stuck out seven.
Otoniel Solis had a RBI for the Olympians, who slipped to 5-6 and 3-4. The Olympians’ Frank Villanueva gave up six hits and struck out two.
“He knows how to pitch,” La Puente coach Javier Fierro said of Etchabarren. “He wasn’t his best. He had trouble adjusting to the wind, but he understands how to make them hit the ball off balance and get them out. We’re lucky to have him.”
Here’s this week’s baseball rankings:
1. Bonita (16-2) – Coach John Knott said before the season that it would take time for the Bearcats to jell. They have and look to be as good as ever. This is definitely team that could challenge for a repeat.
2. South Hills (14-4) – Adrian DeHorta is becoming the Huskies’ stopper, leading the way in a victory over Claremont that put South Hills atop the Sierra League. But for CIF-SS playoff success, they’ll need another pitcher. Can they find him?
3. Northview (14-3) – Be wary of the Vikings, who looked like a Division 4 title contender after pushing Bonita to the limit last Thursday. But first are the rough challenges of the Valle Vista League, which includes four teams ranked in the area top 10.
4. Nogales (14-3) – The Nobles took a step back, losing to two to San Dimas. Can they bounce back?
5. Diamond Bar (14-2) – The Brahmas have looked good all season. Their real test comes at the end of the regular season when they get a home and home vs. Bonita. I can’t wait.
6. Glendora (13-5) – The Tartans look as strong as ever, challenging in the Baseline. They need to take care of business before closing the season with a series against Los Osos.
7. San Dimas (13-5) – The Saints made a statement last week, sweeping Nogales. But they still have Northview to deal with in the coming weeks.
8. Baldwin Park (12-4) – The Braves just won’t go away. They swept Covina to stay in the Valle Vista hunt.
9. Claremont (8-6) – The record isn’t the best, but the Wolfpack has the look of the second-best team in the Sierra behind South Hills right now, which is saying something.
10. Bishop Amat (6-10) – It’s all downhill for the Lancers, who opened Del Rey League play against Serra. Can they recover?
This week’s softball rankings:
1. Bishop Amat (13-3) – The Lancers had their 13-game winning streak snapped by West Ranch last week. But this team stills look like the best in the area.
2. Chino Hills (13-5) – The Huskies looked very beatable against Charter Oak. But had the look of their usual self, beating Ayala. Will the real Chino Hills continue to show up?
3. Ayala (11-4) – Hard to drop the Bulldogs after losing a tough one to Chino Hills. But they will be tested against Charter Oak and South Hills.
4. Charter Oak (16-3) – The Chargers continue to look like the real deal, nearly upsetting Chino Hills before beating South Hills.
5. South Hills (11-4) – The Huskies opened Sierra play with a loss to Charter Oak, but they will hold their own against stalwarts Chino Hills and Ayala.
6. San Dimas (16-5) – The Saints, after a sluggish start, are rolling now. But Northview comes to town on Wednesday.
7. Bonita (13-6) – The Bearcats have showed no signs of losing two of their better players before the season. They are the team to beat in the Hacienda League.
8. Northview (14-4) – How could are the Vikings? We find out when they visit San Dimas on Wednesday.
9. Duarte (11-2) – The Falcons are the team to beat in the Montview, after shuting down second-place Sierra Vista last week.
10. South El Monte (9-4) – The Eagles have bearly broken a sweat in the Mission Valley League until now. But old rival Arroyo comes to town on Wednesday.
The CIF-Southern Section celebrated its 100th anniversary by selecting the 100 greatest high school athletes in Southern Section history. Each athlete attended a Southern Section School. There were 14 chosen from the combined circulation areas for the Whittier Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Pasadena Star-News listed below. Who do you think should of made the list? To view the full list, visit the CIF-SS website. Spokesperson Thom Simmons said the list will be posted later today.
1918 – Chris Paddock, track, Pasadena
1937 – Jackie Robinson, baseball, Muir
1939 – Jack Kramer, tennis, Montebello
1940 – Ralph Kiner, baseball, Alhambra
1943 – Glenn Davis, football, Bonita
1963 – Bob Seagren, track, Pomona
1964 – Stan Smith, tennis, Pasadena
1971 – Pat Haden, football, Bishop Amat
1979 – Bruce Matthews, football, Arcadia
1979 – Gary Zimmerman, football, Walnut
1979 – Jill Sterkel, swimming, Wilson
1981 – Mike Powell, track, Edgewood
1989 – Tracey Murray, basketball, Glendora
1996 – Stacey Nuveman, softball, St. Lucy’s
The annual senior boys/girls basketball all-star game between the Tribune and Star-News is on Friday, April 26 at Damien High School. The girls game is at 6 p.m, followed by the boys game at 8 p.m. The Tribune boys and girls all-area teams will be published on Wednesday in the Tribune and online, and on Thursday, we’ll announce the roster for the boys and girls teams.
By Steve Ramirez
EL MONTE – The race for the Mission Valley League baseball title got a little tighter Friday.
Arroyo made sure of it.
Derick Martin singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth and Randy McCormick induced a double-play with the tying run at third with one out in the seventh and the host Knights moved into a first-place tie with Mountain View with a 3-2 victory in a battle of the top two teams in the league.
Arroyo, also getting RBIs from McCormick and Lorenzo Perez, improved to 6-7 overall and 5-2 in league play. Jordan Santone and Jose Moreno had RBIs for Mountain View, which slipped to 7-9 and 5-2.
“This was definitely one of the biggest wins of the season,” Martin said. “Hopefully, we can carry this momentum and try to keep it going and build the gap between us and everybody else.”
By Steve Ramirez
AZUSA – There was nothing on the line Thursday night at Azusa Pacific but pride.
That was enough for the Bonita and Northview high school baseball teams, who battled 11 innings before the Bearcats, ranked No. 1 in the Valley this week, outlasted the Vikings, 3-2.
Jacob Blunt had the game-tying RBI in the seventh and Austin McGilvra had a RBI double in the 11th for Bonita, which improved to 15-2-1. Northview, getting a two-run double in the sixth from Dom Baca, dropped to 13-4.
The Vikings, who missed a chance to win it in the eighth when Alex Labor was thrown out at the plate trying to advance on a passed ball, loaded the bases with two outs in the 11th. But reliever Sam Stavang struck out Michael Carlos to end the game.
By Steve Ramirez
COVINA – Charter High School, after losing 14-12 to Chino Hills on Tuesday, knew it couldn’t afford to open Sierra League play with back-to-back setbacks.
Pitcher Brooke Clemetson and catcher Monique Mata the Chargers won’t have to.
Clemetson tossed a five-hitter and struck out seven and Mata had two hits and two RBIs to lead host Charter Oak to a 3-1 victory over South Hills.
The Chargers, also getting and RBI from Clemetson, improved to 16-3 overall and 1-1 in the Sierra League. Lexi Robles had a RBI in the seventh for Charter Oak, which slipped to 11-4 and 0-1.
“In this league, you feel like you have to win everyone you can get, especially after the disappointment on Tuesday,” said Charter Oak coach Scott Higuera, whose team saw Chino Hills rally back from a 12-6 deficit three days ago. “I was hoping the we would bounce back, and despite a shaky seventh inning, I liked our effort today.” Continue reading
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
After watching South Hills High School pitcher Adrian De Horta work out of several jams and come up with his best magic with the game on the line in the seventh, all Claremont coach Geoff Ranney could do was tip his cap.
De Horta pitched a complete game shutout to lead South Hills to a 2-0 victory, bearing down after Wolfpack leadoff hitter Jeremy Giles belted a one-out double in the seventh to put runners on second and third with the Wolfpack’s big hitters to follow.
But De Horta got Josh Chua to strikeout, then got slugger Nick Costello to fly out to end the game.
“He threw an incredible game,” Ranney said. “We were in situations with opportunities to score several times and he just pulled up his belt up and got down to business.
“We asked our guys to compete today, to be there all seven innings and get those opportunities, but he (De Horta) got the best of us.” (To continue reading, click thread)
Ayala 9, Charter Oak 1
South Hills 2, Claremont 0
Valle Vista League
San Dimas 4, Nogales 3
Baldwin Park 6, Covina 3
Duarte 13, Workman 3
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
There’s nothing like the re-leaguing process to bring out the high school kid in even the most respected administrators among us.
Oh yes, every four years principals, athletic directors and in some cases even superintendents get together and put on a display befitting something you might see in the quad any day of the week during a lunchtime quarrel between jilted teenaged lovers and their respective groups of friends.
Alliances are formed. Enemies are made. Scapegoats are manufactured.
Certain evidence is cast aside. Success (popularity) is punished and the end result of all of this is new-look leagues for our local sports teams to compete in.
Great day of baseball with two league games for sole possession of first. Sierra Vista (10-3, 4-1) will go for the sweep traveling to La Puente (5-8, 4-1) for first in the Montview after beating the Warriors 2-1 earlier in the week. South Hills (12-5, 4-2) will host Claremont (8-5, 4-2) for first in the Sierra after losing 12-11 to the Wolfpack. That series is tied 1-1. Also, San Dimas (14-5, 4-1), a 4-2 winner at Nogales Tuesday, can put the Nobles (14-2, 1-1) in a big hole with a sweep at home today. It’s gut-check time for Nogales, which started 12-0 but is 2-2 in its last four. And then there’s a great way to end the night with two of the areas best teams squaring off at Azusa Pacific when Northview takes on Bonita at 6 p.m.
Today’s Baseball Games
Northview vs. Bonita at Azusa Pacific, 6 p.m.
Claremont at South Hills, 3:30 p.m.
Chino Hills at Charter Oak, 3:30 p.m.
Damien at Ayala, 3:30 p.m.
Valle Vista League
Nogales at San Dimas, 3:15 p.m.
Covina at Baldwin Park, 3:15 p.m.
Pomona at Wilson, 3:15 p.m.
Sierra Vista at La Puente, 3:15 p.m.
Bassett at Gladstone, 3:15 p.m.
Ganesha at Azusa, 3:15 p.m.
I asked Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty who his best running back is heading into spring football.
“I don’t know, there are about 12 of them that go to practice every Wednesday, it’s kind of tough to say,” Hagerty said. “(QB) Koa Haynes, probably. He’s our best running back. He was the second or third leading ball carrier last year and he’ll run a lot this season.”
So there you go, sort of.
Hagerty’s always had backs. Whether it was graduating Dionza Blue, Jay Anderson or Deshawn Gaisie, the player he moved from safety to RB in his first year as head coach at Amat. Gaisie turned into one of the areas leading rushers, so Hagerty’s not all that concerned.
But who are some of the names you might hear pan out?
How about Greg Flowers, a 6-foot senior listed as a linebacker last year. Or Devin Vasquez, a 5-foot-9 senior-to-be who carried the ball a few times. There is Gabe Perez, a JV up-and-coming back, and as Hagerty suggested, “there might be even be some young freshman, you never know.”
Young Freshman? On varsity? “I haven’t seen enough of them yet, but you never know,” Hagerty said. “But we feel like someone will emerge, because they always do.”
Want some interesting possibilities? How about junior-to-be Anthony Camargo, a 6-foot-2 receiver last year. “He’s a good one, we’re still trying to figure out what his best position is,” Hagerty said. Or how about free safety Michael Gonzalez, injured last year, but one of Amat’s best returning players. Or Adrian Ortega, another senior-to-be who could be moved from WR to RB.
“To answer your question, I don’t know,” Hagerty said. “We’ll let it sort itself out.”
Above: Diamond Bar quarterback Tyler Peterson had a big sophomore year. But will he remain at QB with Noodles in school?
By Aram Tolegian Staff Writer
When standout Antonio “Noodles” Hull left West Covina High School for Diamond Bar, it signaled the biggest transfer of the offseason.
In just a few short weeks, the mystery as to what position, exactly, Hull will be playing for the Brahmas this fall will begin to be solved.
A big early clue may come on April 20 when the Brahmas have their first passing competition of the season at Arroyo High against the Knights and Montebello.
“He wants to try and play quarterback and we’re going to let him compete at it,” Diamond Bar coach Ryan Maine said.
One problem, though, the Brahmas already have a quarterback in junior-to-be Tyler Peterson, who had a solid sophomore season.
The first big passing competition in the Valley comes earlier than usual this season with the advent of the Charter Oak Tournament, which will take place on May 18 and feature 16 teams.
Locals playing in the tournament include the Chargers, La Serna, La Habra, Monrovia, Rosemead, Arroyo, South Hills, Glendora, El Rancho, Diamond Ranch and Muir.
The teams will be split into four pools and later re-seeded for a knockout tournament. First games are at 9 a.m.