San Dimas is on the verge of another title after 61-28 blowout; La Serna back in title game; Muir, Monrovia, St. Francis, Rio Hondo Prep all lose

What an incredible night of what could have been. Well, it was for San Dimas, but the rest of the SGV was rolling for a while too. Muir looked like it was on the verge of knocking off undefeated Norwalk and St. Francis had a chance of upsetting one of the best teams in the state, Serra. But both couldn’t get it done in the fourth to pull it out. Three-time defending Mid-Valley champ Monrovia won’t get its dream final against San Dimas. The Wildcats fell behind early and rallied to take the lead over Paraclete in the fourth quarter. But the Cats got beat in the final minute and so did their chances of becoming the first SGV school since the 70s Temple City Rams to win four straight titles. Rio Hondo Prep is another that won’t get a chance to defend its title after losing to Salesian. But Frankie “Football” Palmer is going to his third straight championship game and looking for his first ring. But this night was about San Dimas. From 0-4 to the verge of a tile, they’re something special and not even Paraclete is going to stop them.

saintsceleSan Dimas marches on: Nobody was talking about San Dimas in September. But as coach Bill Zernickow always says, September doesn’t matter, December does.
His words ring true again and now the Saints are hoping to get fitted for one.
San Dimas will finally get its chance to win its second CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championship since 2009 after running all over host Arroyo for a 61-28 victory in the semifinals on Friday, snapping the Knights’ 11-game winning streak.
And it was all ground and pound.
San Dimas running back Joseph Mayorga went nuts, rushing for a school-record 327 yards and four touchdowns. And he wasn’t alone, Fausto Martinez rushed for 215 yards, two TDs and Manny Elizalde finished with 92 yards and two touchdowns.

Monrovia falls in final minute: Andrew Jimenez kicked an 18-yard field goal with 39 seconds left and host Paraclete ended the Wildcats’ dream of four consecutive CIF-Southern Section titles with a 22-21 victory over Monrovia in a Mid-Valley Division semifinal Friday night.
Muir’s championship bid comes up short: For one half on Friday night, everything was going according to script for the Muir High School football team. Then, the lights went out on the Mustangs’ offense and visiting Norwalk rallied from two touchdowns down at halftime to knock off Muir with a 35-28 win and earn a spot in next week’s CIF-Southeast Division championship game.

Tonight’s CIF-SS Semifinals Results

Paraclete 22, Monrovia 21
San Dimas 61, Arroyo 28
Championship: San Dimas will host Paraclete next Friday
La Serna 28, Burbank 21
Norwalk 35, Muir 28
Western Division
Serra 22, St. Francis 16
Chaminade 49, Lompoc 14
Northeast Division
Salesian 35, Rio Hondo Prep 20
Mission Prep 41, Desert 14

For updates of tonight’s games, click thread

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GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Bonita’s dynamic duo of Nikki Wheatley, Kandyce Smith lead No. 1 Bearcats


By Fred J. Robledo

Bishop Amat and Bonita high schools have gone back and forth the past few years in the East San Gabriel Valley, taking turns as the Tribune’s No. 1 girls basketball team with both earning CIF-Southern Section titles along the way, Bonita winning in 2011 and Bishop Amat in 2012 and a runner-up last season.
Nothing’s changed for the areas top programs, except the playoff road is more difficult.
Both teams moved to Division 1AA, arguably the toughest in Southern California, which includes Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly, Lynwood and other heavyweights.
However, with the creation of the new “open division,” which takes the top 16 teams in the CIF-SS at the end of the season, some divisions like 1AA could become more winnable with the top teams pulled out for the “open division” winner take all tournament.
It’s something Bishop Amat and Bonita will keep close tabs on during the season along with young Workman, a team that competes in Division 4AA with powers Harvard-Westlake, Windward and Bishop Montgomery. If those private powers are selected to the “open division”, Workman may finally be in a position to make a deep tournament run.
But there’s no arguing Bonita, Bishop Amat and Workman are clearly the class of the East San Gabriel Valley for the 2013-14 season. Here’s a look at the Tribune’s preseason top ten:

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Boys Basketball Top Ten Preview: Defending CIF champ Damien and super junior Jeremy Hemsley lead the way


By Stephen Ramirez
Damien High School enjoyed a magical season in 2012-13.
The Spartans, after some heart-breaking close calls in recent years, finally broke through, winning the school’s first CIF-Southern Section boys basketball title, with the 3AA Division crown and advanced two rounds in the state playoffs.
What do they do for an encore?
Win another?
The task won’t be easy. Damien, for one has moved to four levels to Division 1AA, but with star Jeremy Hemsley, who went from inexperienced sophomore to Area Player of the Year, anything is possible. But for now, coach Matt Dunn will concentrate on the journey, which begins next Friday with a nonleague game at home against Sunny Hills.
“This is obviously a whole new group,” said Dunn, whose Spartans begin the season ranked No. 1 in the area. “We return some guys, but we have guys with new roles, and guys who are new, so the dynamic of the whole group changes. They’re better be a fire (to repeat). At this point, no one really cares what happened last year. This is its own individual journey.
“I think our guys understand that. We practice hard. I think we have a pretty high potential, but we have a ways to go to meet that potential, too.”
It’s starts with Hemsley, who is the key for Damien. The junior, who also was Division 3AA Player of the Year, averaged a team-high 19 points per game, while also bringing in 6.1 rebounds per contest. But also, if there was a key play to be made, Hemsley made it, including scoring seven points down the stretch to clinch last season’s title run in the championship game.
“I think he can be a lot better,” Dunn said of his star. “He’s the hardest worker on our team. I think he’s bigger than stronger, improved his shooting and he’s improved as a leader. Last year, he was a leader by example, now we need him to be more vocal.”
Damien, which lost first team All-Area guard Jared Dizon to graduation, also features junior wing Malik Fitts, who is expected to fill Dizon’s role as the No. 2 option; junior wing Isaiah McCullough and forward Thaddeus Smith. But this is a deep, experienced squad that features nine returning players.
“We have an awful lot of potential,” Dunn said. “Offensively, this is the most talented team we’ve had. And I think our kids are really good about sharing the ball. That’s a good place to start.
“But we don’t talk about winning and losing, just improving and reaching our potential. If this team is able to do that, I think at the end of the season, we’ll have a chance to win some games and see what happens then.”

FOR THE REST OF THE TOP TEN, CLICK THREAD. (Note, Chino Hills, Ayala and Claremont will not be included in the Tribune rankings. They will still be part of our Sierra League coverage, but they will be ranked and considered for all-area exclusively in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, our sister paper.
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Arroyo coach Jim Singiser on preparing for San Dimas’ Wing T: “If they go out and drop 50 or 60 on us, then I’ll tell you it was a difficult task.”

singiserBy Aram Tolegian
A short week punctuated by a holiday is not exactly the most optimal situation for trying to teach a bunch of teenagers how to defend the Wing-T offense.
But Arroyo coach Jim Singiser said he and his staff will make the best of it as they prepare for Friday’s semifinals showdown against San Dimas.
The Saints run the Wing-T offense, which some teams simply don’t ever see otherwise until they play San Dimas. That’s the situation Arroyo is in this week and it’s got Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday to contend with, too.
“If they go out and drop 50 or 60 on us, then I’ll tell you it was a difficult task,” Knights coach Jim Singiser said. “Our scout team can’t run in two days what San Dimas has been running in five years. That’s the problem, you can’t simulate it.
“And even if you can, San Dimas will do it better on Friday.”
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Monrovia at Paraclete, Friday’s Weather Forecast Hi 53, Low 39 with chance of rain .. Tribskin Pick’em semifinals

STORY: “They have to play in the same weather we do,” Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox said. “They’re probably a little more used to the cold weather. I was talking to (Paraclete head coach) Norm (Dahlia) and their kids don’t like freezing-cold weather. They might play in it more than we do, but it’s not like they’re hyped up for it to be freezing cold.”

That’s Lancaster, I can’t look at this schedule and not wonder what it will be like for Monrovia at Paraclete this week. Even snow isn’t out of the equation. I’ll bet Paraclete keeps this one at 7:30, just to make sure its a tad cooler. Now the big question for us, who’s gonna cover this sucker? Steve, Aram, Keith, any suggestions? And what are your thoughts on the other semifinal games? My Muir-La Serna prediction and San Dimas-Monrovia finals call is right on track.

TRIBSKIN PICK’EM: Aram Tolegian and I will go head-to-head picking football games throughout the season. He edged me out the past two seasons, but it’s not happening this year, not when we’re playing for a Slater’s 50-50 burger.

Aram Tolegian (11-5, last week); (186-75, season total)
Fred Robledo (15-1, last week); (193-68, season total)

Last Week: I’ve blown this open over the last two week and now lead by seven over the football expert. I went 15-1 in the second round, my only loss taking Rancho Cucamonga over Norco. Aram also lost that game plus he also lost taking Dominguez over Norwalk, Diamond Bar over La Serna, Carpinteria over El Segundo, Santa Fe over Burbank.

This week: Sticking with my pre-playoff predictions in the Mid-Valley and Southeast .. I like San Dimas facing Monrovia and if it happens, San Dimas gets the championship game at home. I’ve still got Muir meeting La Serna in the championship, nothing’s changed. I’m going on a limb and taking St. Francis over power Serra and Rio Hondo Prep over Salesian.

Friday’s Semifinals

Monrovia at Paraclete, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Monrovia); Aram (M-Town)
San Dimas at Arroyo, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (San Dimas); Aram (SD)
Burbank vs. La Serna at Cal Hi, 7:30 — Robledo (La Serna); Aram (Frankie Football)
Norwalk at Muir, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Muir); Aram (Muir)
Western Division
Serra at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (St. Francis); Aram (Serra)
Lompoc at Chaminade, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Chaminade); Aram (Chaminade)
Northeast Division
Rio Hondo Prep at Salesian, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (RH Prep); Aram (Salesian)
Desert at Mission Prep, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Mission Prep); Aram (MP)

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Arroyo coach Jim Singiser with one of the great pre-game, post-game speeches ever (All Access); Highlights of La Serna’s win; PrepXtra with the Boys

James Escarcega, also known as The Guru, deserves a lot of credit for pulling this off. And thanks to Arroyo coach Jim Singiser as well, the all access pre-game, post-game locker room talk was fantastic.

Tom Kiss, Courtney Ponce and highlights of La Serna’s win over Diamond Bar with postgame reaction …

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San Dimas, Arroyo advance to meet in much anticipated Mid-Valley Division semifinal; Diamond Bar, Los Altos, Charter Oak, Pomona all get routed



La Serna stuns Diamond Bar: Third-seeded La Serna made sure of it, looking like the well-oiled machine that’s bidding for its third straight Southeast title game after losing the previous two, routing the host Brahmas 51-7 on Friday to advance to the semifinals next week against Burbank at Cal Hi.
San Dimas keeps on rolling: The San Dimas High football team turned on the speed against San Marino and marched into the CIF-SS Mid Valley Division semifinals with a 56-28 win over the Titans, Friday night at San Marino High.
Arroyo back in the final four: After a nine-year absence, Arroyo High School is headed back to the CIF-Southern Section semifinals. Arroyo, winning its 11th consecutive game, defeated Schurr 28-14 in the Mid-Valley Division quarterfinals Friday night at Schurr high, but not without a furious last-minute Schurr drive for a potential tying score.
Muir beats Los Altos without its quarterback: No Dejon Williams, no problem.Playing without its suspended star quarterback, the Muir High School football team turned to its defense on Friday night and stifled visiting Los Altos en route to a 27-2 victory in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs.
Charter Oak no match for Vista Murrieta: With a 38-point second quarter, Vista Murrieta defeated Charter Oak, 52-7, in a CIF-Southern Section Inland Division quarterfinal game on Friday night
Paraclete beats Pomona 46-23: Pomona had its best season in a decade cut short by the fourth-seeded Spirits in a Mid-Valley Division game. The Red Devils (10-2) couldn’t overcome an on-side kick to start the second half and a controversial offensive pass interference penalty later in the third quarter as the Spirits broke open a close defensive battle in the second half.
Duarte can’t keep up: Bishop Diego (10-2) built a big lead against the host Falcons to advance to the Northwest Division semifinals, 41-7. Duarte (7-5) returned a fumble for a touchdown. The Cardinals play No. 2 seed Nordhoff, a 38-20 winner over Torrance.

Top Bracket

Monrovia 41, Montebello 7
Paraclete 46, Pomona 23
San Dimas 56, San Marino 28
Arroyo 28, Schurr 14
Semifinals: Monrovia at Paraclete; San Dimas at Arroyo

Norwalk 19, Dominguez 7
Muir 27, Los Altos 1
La Serna 51, Diamond Bar 7
Burbank 41, Santa Fe 0
Semifinals: Norwalk at Muir; Burbank at La Serna

Vista Murrieta 52, Charter Oak 7
Norco 23, Rancho Cucamonga 21
Upland 30, Corona Santiago 29
Corona Centennial 49, Chaparral 14
Semifinals: Vista Murreita at Norco, Corona Centennial at Upland
Bishop Diego 41, Duarte 7
Rio Hondo Prep 46, Excelsior Charter 7
Newport Harbor 49, La Habra 48
St. Francis 42, Camarillo 21



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Muir’s super QB DeJon Williams suspended for Friday’s quarterfinal against Los Altos for controversial flag .. We’ve got video

Muir’s superstar quarterback Dejon Williams has been suspended for Friday’s huge Southeast quarterfinal at home against Los Altos because he received two taunting penalties, the second of which was caught on tape which resulted in his ejection in the final minutes of Muir’s 53-35 first-round victory over La Mirada. Per CIF rule, a player ejected must sit out the next game. What’s especially troubling is look at why he got the second taunting penalty in the video. Not sure why he got a flag. Williams points for a split-second to the sideline and then INNOCENTLY flips the ball to the referee after a touchdown. That’s a taunting penalty? Absolutely ridiculous. Horrible judgment, interpretation from the referee. It’s hard to imagine you would take away a players’ dream at a CIF title over something like this. Only the referee can rescind the decision, not CIF, and for this not to be rescinded after the fact for the sole purpose of DOING THE RIGHT THING, is horrible. But as of today, what’s in the referee report sticks. Williams is out. I’ll be honest, I doubt even Los Altos takes pleasure in this. Nobody wants to see anything like this happen to a player. It tarnishes was was building as one of the great quarterfinals between two storied and hungry programs. If this is taunting, then you might as well take the emotion out of the game altogether.

FROM CIF-SS SPOKESPERSON THOM SIMMONS: “The white hat, who has the ability and the power to rescind that ejection, is firm in his stance that the ejection is proper,” Simmons said. “The CIF-Southern Section considers the matter final and over. It’s not our place to have an opinion. Our place is to accept the report of the official and not second guess somebody who was actually on the field on the night of the event.”

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Are you ready for some baseball? South Hills to host youth baseball camp next week

New South Hills High School baseball coach Darren Murphy announced this week that the school will host a youth baseball camp on Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The camp is for ages 5 and up. Below is the details. For more info, e-mail coach Murphy at

South Hills High School
645 W. Barranca St., west Covina
(field is located off Cameron Ave.)
When: Monday, Nov. 26 and Tuesday, Nov. 26
Time: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each day
Age group: 5 and up
Cost: $50 per camper

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Diamond Bar girls golf finish second in state, Walnut third in tiebreaker

STORY: After going back and forth throughout the regular season and taking turns securing bragging rights during the playoffs, Diamond Bar and Walnut were again separated by the narrowest of margins Wednesday at the state girls golf final.
When it came to challenging Torrey Pines for state supremacy, even the Hacienda League rivals had to tip their hats and visors in a show of respect.
Torrey Pines captured its fourth consecutive title and fifth overall with a 364 at Quail Lodge Golf Club, with Diamond Bar and Walnut tying at 396 and the Brahmas securing second place based on the sixth-golfer tiebreaker by one stroke.

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Water Polo semifinals: Los Altos punches ticket to title game, will Glendale in Division 5 finals Saturday

Saturday’s Championship

Glendale vs. Los Altos, William Woollett Center, Irvine, 2:30 p.m.
Semifinals results
Los Altos 11, Pasadena Poly 7
Glendale 16, Walnut 12


Los Altos Wins: L.A. is renown as the city of Showtime. There was no better example of it than Wednesday evening, as Los Altos High School ran its fast-break offense to perfection in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 water polo semifinals. The Conquerors defeated 2012 champions Pasadena Poly, 11-7, at Mt. San Antonio College to advance to Saturday’s championship match.

Walnut Loses: Walnut High’s water polo team has been fighting — and overcoming — adversity all season. Beating Glendale, however, was a different matter.
Manuk Piloyan and Armon Momdzhyan scored five goals apiece to lead the Dynamiters to a 16-12 win over the Mustangs in the CIF-SS Division 5 semifinals on Wednesday night at Mt. San Antonio College.

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Breaking: Diamond Bar’s Antonio “Noodles” Hull thanks his team for guaranteeing him a playoff game … And The Two-Minute Drill shocker, Aram eats his Noodles and takes the Purple

“I was just thinking about how I’m going to get ready because I’m going to be on the field,” Hull said of his thoughts toward the end of Brahmas’ 63-29 beat-down over defending champion Downey. “I couldn’t believe it. They kept promising me that I was going to play this year and they kept their promise.”



By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
The Diamond Bar High School football team kept its promise to teammate Antonio “Noodles” Hull.
When Hull, a standout all-purpose threat on offense and defensive back, was declared ineligible last summer by the CIF-Southern Section until Nov. 16 after it determined his transfer from West Covina to Diamond Bar was athletically motivated, his teammates assured him they’d get to the second round so he’d have at least one game his junior season.
Last Friday night, the Bramhas delivered. Diamond Bar, the No. 3 team out of the Hacienda League went on the road and put a 63-29 whipping on defending division champion Downey.
And because of that, Hull will be suited up and fully eligible for game action this Friday when the Brahmas host powerful La Serna in the second round of the Southeast Division playoffs. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
“I was just thinking about how I’m going to get ready because I’m going to be on the field,” Hull said of his thoughts toward the end of the Downey game. “I couldn’t believe it. They kept promising me that I was going to play this year and they kept their promise.”
After some late-season drama that included a forfeited game against Rowland due to suspensions that came as a result of a brawl against rival Diamond Ranch on Oct. 18, the Brahmas appeared to be real long shots to even make the playoffs heading into Week 10.

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Los Altos coach Dale Ziola leery of Muir QB Dejon Williams “He’s a special player.” … Two Minute Drill, Aram, Fred, Steve all picking Muir

By Aram Tolegian
Los Altos head coach Dale Ziola has seen the game film on Muir quarterback Dejon Williams and knows his team in for a serious challenge on Friday night when they visit the Mustangs for a chance at the semifinals.
Williams shredded La Mirada for six touchdown passes and on defense the senior standout made two interceptions last Friday. He returned both for touchdowns, but one was called back for a penalty.
“He’s a special player,” Ziola said of Williams. “I would say he’s the best quarterback we’ve seen all year. His ability to expand the play is … I’ll put it this way, I was watching highlights of their game vs. Pasadena in the Rose Bowl and maybe it was just the Rose Bowl setting, but I was having flashbacks of the USC-Texas national championship game where Vince Young went wild.
“You watch No. 1 (Williams’ jersey number) play and he’s that kind of a football player. He can throw the ball a mile, but the most impressive thing about him is that he can extend plays.”

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Tribskin Pick’em: Only Tribune teams I have making it to Thansgiving practice are San Dimas and Arroyo

Aram Tolegian and I will go head-to-head picking football games throughout the season. He edged me out the past two seasons, but it’s not happening this year, not when we’re playing for a Slater’s 50-50 burger.

Aram Tolegian (20-12, last week); (175-70, season total)
Fred Robledo (23-9, last week); (178-67, season total)

11-8-13 SDIMAS15

Last Week: I picked up three games on Aram and helped my cause by taking Diamond Bar, Los Altos, Muir, all teams that Aram predicted their season’s would end on Friday. Aram has some catching up to do, but there are several more games this week for us to choose.

This week: When I made my Divisional predictions, I predicted La Serna-Muir in the Southeast finals, Monrovia-San Dimas in the Mid-Valley finals and Rancho Cucamonga, Corona Centennial in the Inland finals. All are still alive so I’ve got them all winning this week. Diamond Bar with Antonio Noodles Hull could give La Serna a scare, but that’s about it. Muir-Los Altos is a heavyweight match, but how can you not like Muir after beating La Mirada last week. One of the tough games to predict is Arroyo at Schurr, especially after how bad the Mission Valley looked in the Mid-Valley and with Arroyo rallying to beat Baldwin Park. I’ll still take Arroyo, but don’t feel as good about it as I did a week ago. San Dimas at San Marino looks dangerous on paper for the Saints, but the Saints are looking too good, and if they win, there is no doubt they’re going to the finals.

Top Bracket

Monrovia at Montebello — Robledo (Monrovia); Aram (Monrovia)
Paraclete at Pomona — Robledo (Paraclete); Aram (Clete)
San Dimas at San Marino — Robledo (San Dimas); Aram (SD)
Arroyo at Schurr — Robledo (Arroyo); Aram (Arroyo)

Dominguez at Norwalk — Robledo (Norwalk); Aram (Dominguez)
Los Altos at Muir — Robledo (Muir); Aram (Muir)
La Serna at Diamond Bar — Robledo (La Serna); Aram (D-Bar)
Burbank at Santa Fe — Robledo (Burbank); Aram (Santa Fe)

Charter Oak at Vista Murrieta — Robledo (Vista); Aram (VM)
Norco at Rancho Cucamonga — Robledo (Rancho); Aram (RC)
Upland at Corona Santiago — Robledo (Upland); Aram (Uptown)
Centennial Corona at Chaparral — Robledo (Corona C); Aram (CC)

Oak Park at Cerritos Valley Christian — Robledo (Oak Park); Aram (OP)
El Segundo at Carpinteria — Robledo (El Segundo); Aram (Carp)
Bishop Diego at Duarte — Robledo (Bishop D); Aram (BD)
Nordoff at Torrance — Robledo (Nordoff); Aram (Nordstroms)

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