Mountain View comes out of nowhere to win Mission Valley League title; South Hills girls clinch playoff spot

The Inland Insider covered the win-or-stay home game between South Hills and Ayala girls. South Hills won 2-1 to clinch second and a playoff berth. Ayala fell to fourth and was eliminated. Tom Kiss has your highlights and post-game interviews. ALSO, At the 4:06 mark of video, watch as an Ayala player yanks down a South Hills player by pulling her hair. Kind of reminds me of the famous New Mexico player who did the same thing, in addition to several other hard fouls.

By Fred J. Robledo
With the CIF-Southern Section boys and girls soccer pairings released on Monday, league titles and playoff berths were decided for several teams finishing up league play on Thursday.

There was no better come-from-behind story than the Mountain View boys soccer team, which was buried in fourth after the first-round of Mission Valley League play, but won its last four games to clinch the league title.

Andrew Centeno’s goal in the 20th minute lifted Mountain View (8-10-4, 6-2-2) to a 1-0 victory over Arroyo (11-4-4, 6-3-1), then the Vikings got some help from Rosemead to clinch it outright.

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Boys Basketball: Workman rallies past rival La Puente to earn Montview League 3-peat

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
When ever the Workman High School boys basketball team has needed a big play, this season it’s looked to guard J.P. Rodriguez.
The senior came through again on Wednesday.
Rodriguez nailed a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, than scored seven points in the extra period to help host Workman to a piece of its third consecutive Montview League title with a 61-55 victory over rival La Puente.
The senior had 26 points and Alan Matron and Joshua Paul Rodriguez had 13 each for the Lobos, who improved to 19-6 and 12-1 in league play. It’s also Workman’s fifth title in the past six seasons. La Puente, getting 15 points from Matthew Arguello and 13 and 11, respectivley, from Edvin Peraza and Enrique Ramirez, slipped to 13-11 and 10-3.
La Puente looked like it might get its own piece of the crown late in the fourth quarter after Ramirez buried a 3-pointer from the side for a 46-45 lead at 1:17 and Anthony Burchett made a layup for a 48-45 lead with 35 seconds left. But it was more than enough time for J.P. Rodriguez to respond.
The senior took a pass from James Magaway and nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to tie it at 48. La Puente had a chance for the win, but Peraza’s desperation 3-pointer was long at the buzzer.
Workman assumed control from the start of overtime. Joshua Paul Rodriguez made a layup for the lead at 3:01 and J.P. Rodriguez pushed it to 53-48 with a 3-pointer at 2:19. Matron followed with a 3-footer in the lane for a 55-49 lead, but La Puente countered with a 3-pointer by Peraza to pull within 55-52 with 1:08.
J.P. Rodriguez then made four free throws down the stretch to push it to 61-55 in the final minute.

Workman coach Martin Flores: “J.P.’s been our MVP all year and he made big shots. It’s been a challenging season for us, but we’re really proud that we did a 3-peat and our fifth title in the past six years, because this year for us was going to be a rebuiding year. I really proud of the boys and what they accomplished. They did what they needed to to do.”
La Puente coach Jason Aceves: “We took the lead on that 3-pointer by Kiki (Ramirez). We thought we could ride it out. We had done a good job denying the ball from their best shooter (Rodriguez), but he got open. You go from an extreme high to an extreme low. But it was a good shot. He was wide open and he hit it.”
J.P. Rodriguez: “James (Magaway) gave me a good pass. I was wide open, so I shot it.”

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Sierra League Soccer: Damien boys clinch Sierra; South Hills girls beat St. Lucy’s in overtime, 3-2

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

South Hills 3, St. Lucy’s 2, overtime
Chino Hills 4, Claremont 0
Ayala 3, Charter Oak 0
Standings: Chino Hills 9-1; South Hills 5-3-1; Claremont 5-4; Ayala 5-4; St. Lucy’s 2-6-1; Charter Oak 1-8

The Inland Insider Tom Kiss was at Claremont’s 2-0 boys soccer victory over Chino Hills. Watch the highlights and post-game interviews.

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Baldwin Park’s Danny Vega scores twice to lead Braves over Northview 2-0; Vikings question call that would have tied it 1-1 in final minutes

Below: Baldwin Park’s Danny Vega, the Valley’s leading scorer with 31 goals, scores twice in 2-0 win over Northview.

IS THIS A FOUL? Northview’s Robert Munoz appeared to tie the score in the 75th minute, but a mystery call denied it. You be the judge. “It was a pretty tough call,” said second-year Northview coach Miguel Chavez. “You can never rely on refs, you get good refs and bad refs, but it doesn’t matter. I always tell the boys to never rely on the refs, it was just an unfortunate day for us. We were playing with heart, playing well, it was back and forth and there was really no threat from either team except for the free kicks.”

GOAL SCORER: Baldwin Park’s Danny Vega scores his area leading 30th and 31st goals of the season. Check out his free kick in the 75th minute that gave the Braves a 1-0 lead.

Interviews from Northview coach Miguel Chavez, Baldwin Park forward Danny Vega and Baldwin Park coach Ricardo Mira.

By Fred J. Robledo
COVINA – Northview did all it could to deny the East San Gabriel Valley’s leading scorer, shadowing Baldwin Park striker Danny Vega and limiting his opportunities in the final third.
But Northview was helpless against Vega on two second-half free-kicks at the top of the penalty area, watching the senior bury both in the 60th and 78th minutes to lead the Braves to a 2-0 victory to clinch at least of share of the Valle Vista League title, which they can win outright with a victory over Wilson in the league finale on Thursday.
Vega picked his spot on both shots, darting one to the left corner and the other to the right to raise his area-leading goal-scoring total to 31.

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Soccer Polls: Sierra Vista boys No. 1 and still undefeated; Bishop Amat girls return to top spot


1. Sierra Vista (18-0-2) — Second in Division 4 behind nationally ranked Cathedral.
2. Damien (12-3-4) – Needs win or tie in final two to clinch the Sierra League title.
3. Diamond Bar (15-7-1) — Closing in on Hacienda League title.
4. Arroyo (10-3-4) – Back in first in MVL thanks to Mountain Views win over El Monte.
5. Northview (14-3-2) — Gets Baldwin Park rematch today for the Valle Vista League title.
6. Baldwin Park (14-4-2) – Needs to sweep Northview to claim Valle Vista
7. El Monte (11-3-0) – Back to back losses to South El Monte and Mountain View
8. Los Altos (10-5-6) — Only a game back of Diamond Bar after beating Brahmas, 2-1.
9. Bishop Amat (9-5-3) — At Cathedral, ranked fourth in the state by MaxPreps on Wednesday.
10. Duarte (13-6) — Gave Sierra Vista run for their money twice.

1. Mario Saenz, Sierra Vista, 24
2. Sebastian Ocampo, Sierra Vista, 23
3. Andre Gamboa, Diamond Bar, 21
4. Michael Flores, Sierra Vista, 15
5. Jacob Bianchessi, Damien, 12
6t. Guy Horcasitas, Diamond Bar, 11
6t. Evan Ball, Glendora, 11
6t. Federico Hurtado, Charter Oak, 11
9t. Manuel Medina, Los Altos, 10
9t. Julio Sanchez, Duarte, 10

1. Bishop Amat (17-5-3) — Doing what it always does, playing best at the end of the year and No. 3 in Division 3
2. Los Altos (16-2-3) — Defense wins Hacienda for Conqs, giving up only three goals in league.
3. South Hills (15-3-2) – Needs wins over St. Lucy’s and Ayala to guarantee playoff spot in the Sierra.
4. Sierra Vista (17-3-0) — So dominant in the Montview it outscored its opponents 81-4.
5. Diamond Bar (14-4-3) — Loses Hacienda title game to Los Altos, 1-0
6. San Dimas (14-6-0) — Saints third in Division 6 behind No. 2 Sierra Vista.
7. St. Lucy’s (8-12-2) – Regents playoff hopes fade after back-to-back losses.
8. Charter Oak (8-12-0) – Chargers aren’t this bad and will benefit from re-leaguing next season.
9. Wilson (11-9-3) – Ranked ninth in Division 6
10. Azusa (9-4-4) — Solid second in Montview behind powerful Sierra Vista

Goal Scoring Leaders
1. Jessica Lopez, Sierra Vista, 28
2. Sofia Serafin, Bishop Amat, 25
3. Daisy Duran, San Dimas, 24
4. Jaline Miranda, Azusa, 22
5. Alison Kung, Wilson, 21
6t. Hailey Zerbel, South Hills, 18
6t. Samantha Verduzco, Los Altos, 18
8. Jamie Peters, Bishop Amat, 16
9. Daisy Ruiz, Sierra Vista, 15
10. Alejandra Vargas, Sierra Vista, 14

Baseline League
Del Rey League
Hacienda League
Mission Valley League
Montview League
Sierra League
Valle Vista League

Baseline League
Del Rey League
Hacienda League
Mission Valley League
Montview League
Sierra League
Valle Vista League

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Boys Basketball: Walnut wraps up Hacienda with 64-60 win over Los Altos

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
Zuri Williams scored 16 points and Lawrence Besong had 14 and Walnut High School put the chase for the Hacienda League boys basketball championship to rest with a 64-60 victory at Los Altos on Monday night.
The Mustangs, ranked No. 1 in the area this week, won their 12th consecutive game to improve to 20-5 overall and 10-0 in league play. Albert Jelowicki also had 10 points for Walnut. Los Altos, getting 16 points from Michael Barrera and 12 points and eight rebounds from Jayson Jones, slipped to 16-8 and 5-5.
Walnut, after outscoring Los Altos, 27-14, in the third quarter, looked like it might cruise to the title. But Los Altos found it’s rhythm in the fourth quarter. The Conquerors put to together a 16-6 surge to pull within 57-56 with 2:27 remaining following consecutive 3-pointers by Barrera and a free throw by Calvin Kao.
But like it did in a 65-55 victory over the Conquerors on Jan. 22. Walnut came up big down the stretch to seal the victory. Besong scored on a drive to the basket to push it to 59-56 at 2:37 before he made one of two free throws for a 60-56 lead with 2:15 to play.
The Mustangs, who were 16 of 29 from the free throw line, made four of six free throws in the final minute to clinch it.

Walnut coach Josh Cameron: “It took us about three years to get going,” said Walnut coach Josh Cameron. Once we did, we made some good runs. We made it to the quarterfinals three years ago, but we never had a chance to win league. It means the world to me, it means the world to all these guys who were here when they were freshman and sophomores. We committed to each other that this was going to be the team that finally turns the tide. We did it. I’m very proud of these guys.”

Los Altos coach Jeff Lucas: “We made a great run. We told our team after that they put in a great effort. A effort is always nice, but it’s not the W. We gave them too many points in transition. It kind of hurts, because we feel they didn’t earn it. We gave it to them with those turnovers.”
Zuri Williams: “We were able to hit some big shots down the stretch. We played some really good defense. With their point guard (Christian Espinoza) out, it definitely helped us.”

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Basketball Rankings: Walnut boys take over top spot; Bonita girls stay No. 1

CIF-SS BOYS BASKETBALL POLLS: Damien ranked tenth in Division 1AA and not on open Division watchlist. The top 9 in 1AA are still on the list, meaning Damien will likely get a top four seed.
CIF-SS GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS: Bonita girls ranked ninth in 1AA, but no longer on CIF Open Division watchlist. The top eight in 1AA are still on the watchlist. If all eight go, Bonita could get the top seed.

walnuthoopsBasketball Rankings
Boys Basketball Top 10

1. Walnut (19-5) — The new No. 1 hasn’t lost in 2014. Winners of 11 straight playing the best defense in the Valley.
2. Damien (20-5) — I know what your going to say, they beat Walnut twice, how do you drop them? A: Both games were close. B: Rankings about what you’ve done lately.
3. Glendora (18-7) — Big week with coach Mike LeDuc earning 800th coaching victory.
4. Wilson (19-7) — Best season in years.
5. Los Altos (16-7) — Still a game ahead of Bonita for third.
6. Bonita (15-7) – When was the late time the Bearcats were 4-5 in the Hacienda?
7. Workman (18-6) — Rallied to beat Gladsone for the Montview League title.
8. South Hills (12-13) – Huskies are what they’re, a good Valley team in over their head in the Sierra.
9. Bishop Amat (13-12) – As far as Bishop Amat boys basketball is concerned, a winning record is considered progress.
10. Gladstone (19-3) — Great season regardless of both losses to Workman.

workmangirlsGirls Basketball Top 10
1. Bonita (21-2) — Still on the Open Division bubble but my sources believe they won’t get selected, which is actually a good thing.
2. Bishop Amat (19-6) — There once was a day when the Lancers were capable of competing for the Del Rey. Not anymore.
3. Diamond Ranch (17-5) — Don’t be surprised if it goes deep in the playoffs.
4. Covina (16-9) – Colts just keep on winning.
5. South Hills (15-8) — Still on only 3-5 in the Sierra.
6. Walnut (12-9) — How did they lose to West Covina?
7. Wilson (15-9) – Solid second in the Valle Vista.
8. Workman (14-8) — Closing in on second straight Montview title.
9. El Monte (12-7) — Showdown with Gabrielino on Wednesday.
10. Duarte (12-9) — Will finish second in the Montview.

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Northview wrestling does it again, wins CIF Division 2 Dual Title; Arroyo, Rowland advance to divisional finals

NORTHVIEW WINS DIVISION 2 TITLE: Northview High’s wrestling team left no doubt to any spectators in the South Hills High School gym Saturday night as to which team is the the best in Division II.
The Vikings claimed their third Division II CIF Dual championship in four years with a dominating 42-30 win over Servite.
“Each CIF championship is special, but this one is really special,” said Northview coach Bobby Bellamy. “We lost last year to Bosco, so we were able to get a little redemption and bring back the championship.”

ARROYO NEARLY WINS DIVISION 5 TITLE: Arroyo High’s wrestling team needed to win the final two matches of Saturday’s CIF-SS Division 5 Dual Meet Championships to dethrone defending champion Yorba Linda.
The Knights did just that, but not by enough points.
In Saturday’s second-to-last match at Irvine High, 220-pounder Joseph Pinon earned a 1-0 victory, which pulled Arroyo within five points of the Mustangs. That meant heavyweight Luis Hernandez needed to pin Yorba Linda’s Abe Ochoa for six team points.

ROWLAND SHOCKS EVERYONE ADVANCING TO DIVISION 3 FINALS: If you looked at the seedings, as well as history, it was supposed to be top-seeded, host and two-time defending champion Victor Valley facing No. 2-seeded and legendary Santa Ana Calvary Chapel in the finals.
But it was instead a pair of upstarts, No. 4-seeded Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon and No. 3-seeded Rowland, fighting for the CIF-SS Division 3 Dual Meet Wrestling Championship.

BLOOMINGTON WINS DIVISION 4 TITLE: The celebration started earlier than expected for Bloomington in the finals of the Southern Section Division IV dual-meet wrestling championships Saturday night at Quartz Hill High.
Four matches remained, but the result was a foregone conclusion after Derek Abeln pinned Downey’s Juan Soto in 1 minute, 21 seconds at 170 pounds to clinch the Bruins’ fifth consecutive division title.

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Workman seizes control of Montview, beats Gladstone

Gladstone's Manny Chavaria (#30) gets the ball stripped away by Workman's Noah Juarez (#14) and Alan Matron (#10) in their Montview League game at Gladstone High School in Covina on Friday February 7, 2014. Workman defeated Gladstone 43-39. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Gladstone’s Manny Chavaria (#30) gets the ball stripped away by Workman’s Noah Juarez (#14) and Alan Matron (#10) in their Montview League game at Gladstone High School in Covina on Friday February 7, 2014. Workman defeated Gladstone 43-39. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

By John Honell

COVINA — With first place on the line, Workman took a huge step toward its third consecutive Montview League title by rallying for a 43-39 win over host Gladstone on Friday night.
The Lobos (18-6, 11-1) came from behind in the second half to knock off the Gladiators (19-3, 10-2), who were seeking their first league championship since 2000. The Lobos have a one-game lead over the Gladiators with two to play.

J.P. Rodriguez brought the Lobos within two points, 17-15, with two long 3-pointers in the last minute of the first half.
He hit back-to-back long 3s to open the third quarter, then forced a turnover that led to a layup by Oliver Lopez. After a Gladiators timeout, he stole the ball at mid-court and made a layup for the Lobos’ biggest lead of the game 25-19.
Workman coach Martin Flores: “That seemed to rock them back on their heels. It was just enough and these guys kept their composure and got a couple of steals and took care of it. J.P. is our MVP. He seems to come up the big plays at the right moment.”
Gladstone coach Gary Kilmer: That’s kind of been Workman’s M.O. They come out strong in the third quarter. We answered the bell but that (J.P. Rodriguez) buried some long shots. He had an outstanding game but we had our chances.”
J.P. Rodriguez: “I just felt like we had to pick up our defense. Our offense was really slow. I was trying to get a better shot because (Gladstone’s) Ben Reaves is a really good defender and I got just a little bit of space so I just had to shoot it (even if it was a long shot).”

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Boys Basketball: Claremont rallies for 63-61 win over Damien in overtime

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
If the Damien High School entertained any thoughts of winning a piece of the Sierra League title, it had to win out.
Claremont all but put those hopes to rest.
Chris Edwards scored 20 points, including two baskets in overtime, and the host Wolfpack rallied for 63-61 victory over the Spartans in a league game on Friday.

Omar Mahmoud also had 20 points for Claremont, which improved to 18-8 overall and 5-3 in league play.
Malik Fitts had 19 points for Damien, which slipped to 20-5 and 6-2. Jeremy Hemsley, who fouled out with a little more than two minutes left, had 14 points.
The Spartans had a chance to tie the score, but Fitts missed a 3-pointer with about eight seconds left and after being fouled with 0.7 seconds left, Tyler Ginyard made just one of three free throws.
Damien coach Matt Dunn: “I guess that’s the result. We don’t really talk about that (the league race). Our goal every year is to play our best basketball at the end of the year. I thought we grew in some areas tonight, but not in others. The next couple of weeks we can try to perfect it and see what can happen in the playoffs.”

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WRESTLING: Northview top seed at Saturday’s CIF-SS Division 2 dual finals at South Hills HS

STORY: Northview High School has been the area’s dominant wrestling program, winning six CIF-Southern Section dual championships, and the Vikings will get a chance to add to their trophy collection.
Northview received the top seed for Division 2 when the CIF-SS released pairings for its dual championships on Thursday.
The one-day event in scheduled for Saturday in six divisions at various sites. All first rounds are scheduled for 11 a.m., with the quarterfinals and semifinals slated for 3 and 5 p.m., respectively. The finals will be at 7:15 p.m.

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Boys Basketball Schedule: Workman visits Gladstone for all the marbles in the Montview

TONIGHT: The big game tonight is for first in the Montview, Workman (17-6, 10-1) at Gladstone (18-2, 9-1) for sole possession of first. John Honell is covering it for us. Steve Ramirez is covering Damien at Claremont.
Boys Basketball Schedule
Baseline League

Glendora at Los Osos, 6:30 p.m. (for sole possession of third)
Del Rey League
Bishop Amat at St. Bernard, 7 p.m. (Amat can lock down third)
Hacienda League
West Covina at Walnut, 6:45 p.m. (Mustangs can clinch league outright with win)
Los Altos at Rowland, 6:45 p.m. (Battling for third along with idle Bonita)
Diamond Bar at Diamond Ranch, 6:45 p.m. (Brahmas can remain in second with win)
Mission Valley League
Gabrielino at Mountain View, 6:30 p.m. (Gabby still game ahead of SEL)
El Monte at South El Monte, 6:30 p.m. (Battle to secure second and stay in title hunt)
Arroyo at Rosemead, 6:30 p.m. (Fighting to avoid finishing last)
Montview League
Workman at Gladstone, 6 p.m. (Biggest game of the night for sole possession of first)
Azusa at La Puente, 6 p.m. (Warriors can do no worse than third)
Sierra Vista at Duarte, 6 p.m. (Playing for pride)
Ganesha at Bassett, 6 p.m. (Ditto, playing for pride)
Sierra League
Chino Hills at Ayala, 6:30 p.m. (CHills still undefeated in league)
Damien at Claremont, 6:30 p.m. (Spartans can secure second and stay one-game back of CHills)
South Hills at Charter Oak, 6:30 p.m. (Playing for area pride).
Valle Vista League
Northview at Wilson, 6:30 p.m. (Wilson won league, trying to stay unbeaten)
Pomona at Baldwin Park, 6:30 p.m. (Pomona trying to remain in third)
Covina at Nogales, 6:30 p.m. (Covina one-game back of third)

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Girls Soccer: Ayala, Claremont, South Hills and St. Lucy’s battling for two playoff spots; Claremont-Damien boys battle Friday

While we were all focused on signing day, the Inland Insider Tom Kiss was at Ayala’s 1-0 victory over St. Lucy’s which makes the Sierra League standings crazy with a week left and three games to play. Chino Hills is in, but who gets the next two automatic D-2 berths. Ayala, Claremont, South Hills and St. Lucy’s will fight it out. In boys soccer, Claremont is at Damien on Friday. If Damien wins, they wrap-up the Sierra. If Claremont wins, they’re tied for first. Clay Fowler is covering it for us today and the Inland Insider is there for highlights.

Sierra Girls Soccer Standings
Chino Hills 6-1
Ayala 4-3
Claremont 4-3
South Hills 3-3-1
St. Lucy’s 2-4-1
Charter Oak 1-6
Friday’s games
Claremont vs. St. Lucy’s at Damien HS, 5:30 p.m.
Charter Oak vs. South Hills at CDF, 5:30 p.m.
Ayala at Chino Hills, 5:30 p.m.

Sierra Boys Soccer Standings
Damien 6-0-1
Claremont 4-0-3
Chino Hills 4-3
South Hills 1-4-1
Ayala 1-4-1
Charter Oak 0-5-2
Friday’s games
Damien at Claremont, 5:30 p.m.
South Hills at Charter Oak, 5:30 p.m.
Chino Hills at Ayala, 5:30 p.m.

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WHO’S GOT NEXT: When will Kurt Scoby sign with Fresno State and where will area player of the year Joseph Mayorga play next? Read all about it

josephmayorgaSTORY: With Signing Day now in the rear view mirror, it’s time for area football fans to turn their attention to next year’s class of local high school football recruits. And if early returns are any indicator, the local class of 2015 it could be just as lucrative as ‘14.
Arguably the area’s biggest hotbed of recruiting activity will be at Muir where the Mustangs have two outstanding receiver/defensive back prospects in Taeon Mason and DeSean Holmes. Mason just recently gave an early verbal commitment to USC, but if recent history tells us anything, early commits are about as valuable as pet rocks.

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