“Imari can have a game like that every single night. That’s a dream player. We have other players beside Imari, who normally all year long have been putting up 17 points a game. We don’t want to call it ‘The Imari Show’, but sometimes the girls get caught looking. I tell the girls to stop looking like they do with Kobe (Bryant). Sometimes they just watch her play and you can’t do that.”– Duarte coach Mark Smith
By Aram Tolegian
DUARTE — After ending Duarte’s Montview League win streak at 39 games last Friday night, the Workman High School girls basketball game was out to prove the victory was no joke … and maybe start a prolonged league winning streak of its own.
Mission accomplished on the both ends.
Freshman guard Leslie Rivera score 25 points, including several clutch 3-pointers in the second half, as Workman took another giant step toward the Montview League title with a 74-68 victory over host Duarte on Monday night.
Workman (18-4, 10-0) led 57-47 late in the third quarter, but Duarte (17-2, 7-2) rallied behind standout Imari Brown to forge a 64-63 lead with 2:50 to play. That’s when things got a little too crazy in the stands as a packed house of Lobos and Falcons fans mixed it up enough to the point that the game was delayed a few minutes while sherriff’s deputies calmed things down.
Intro: Pac-5 discussion with Aram and Fred discussing whether Amat deserves to be in the Pac-5 Division 28:00 mark: Inland Division and how Charter Oak got a ridiculous draw. 39:45 mark: Southeast Division, can the Hacienda get out of the first round? 45:45 mark: Mid-Valley Division, can anyone beat the top four seeds? 55:00 mark: Northwest Division, Gladstone and La Puente with winnable games?
By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
There were no real surprises following the CIF-Southern Section football playoff pairings on Sunday.
As expected, Bishop Amat earned an at-large berth in the Pac-5 Division after losing to Notre Dame on Friday and Charter Oak, who has been dominant all season, earned the fourth seed in the Inland Division though it received the tougheset road possible for a seeded team.
The Sierra League champion Chargers (9-1) open against Chaparral (7-3), a third-place team from the difficult Southwestern League — a league that boasts top-seed Vista Murrieta.
If Charter Oak is fortunate enough to move on, it could face Rancho Cucmaonga in the second round.
In other Inland Division first-round games, South Hills (6-4) has the almost impossible task of facing top-seed Vista Murrieta (10-0) on the road while Chino Hills (7-2), second in the Sierra, earned a home game against Citrus Belt third-place Redlands (7-3).
Bishop Amat (7-2-1) was extremely fortunate to avoid the top seeds in the Pac-5 Division after sneaking in with an at-large berth.
Bishop Amat will be at Moore League champion Long Beach Poly (7-3) on Friday at Veterans Stadium.
If the Lancers advance, they could possiblly get second-seed Mission Viejo at home in the second round.
“I don’t know about feeling good about (playing them),” Amat coach Steve Hagerty said of Long Beach Poly. “No matter how you want to spin it we’re happy that we’re in the playoffs and still playing.
“We don’t have control over who we play, but all the teams in the Pac-5 are good. What we know about Poly from the past is they’re always althletic and physical, so I don’t know about any of this stuff (of having a good draw).” Continue reading →
Intro: Discussing this week’s big games 25:45 mark: West Covina coach Mike Maggiore discusses the season and Thursday’s showdown with Rowland 53:00 mark: The Scouting Guru joins us to talk about the Pac-5 and other possible playoff scenarios.
Highlights Opening remarks: Discussion on West Covina’s forfeit, why coaches aren’t updating MaxPreps and Damein’s Josh Savage unavailable for Friday’s game vs. Orange Lutheran 14:00 mark: Monrovia’s Brett Walsh and George Frazier. 40:00 mark: Bishop Amat’s Dionza Blue, Dareen Andrews and Sal Velasquez 1:05 mark: Aram, Fred and Reginald Miller’s closing thoughts.
What: San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame Game Who: East vs. West Where: West Covina, High School When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
There’s absolutely no secret what the West team is going to try to do in Friday’s Hall of Fame All-Star Game in order to get some respect back for its side of the Valley. And, of course, it’s also no secret what the East will try to do to keep its recent string of series dominance in tact.
The top recently graduated high school football seniors will renew the East vs. West rivalry tonight at West Covina High. Introductions are 7 p.m. and kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
When rosters for the game were announced earlier this month, the huge advantage the West had at quarterback was glaring. Tribune Player of the Year Steven Rivera of Arroyo and Star-News Player of the Year Andy Guerrero of San Gabriel combined to throw for 6,669 yards and 67 touchdowns last season.
Now teammates, both quarterback have been very vocal about getting the West back some respect after the East increased its series lead to 20-10-2 with a 7-6 win last season. It’s a sentiment that has obviously trickled down to the rest of the roster.
“I definitely think we have the right approach and attitude about the game,” said West coach Jude Oliva, who led San Gabriel to a 9-5 record last season. “A lot of the kids have a great understanding of the history of this game and know the West hasn’t been successful the last couple years. They’ve come in here and have been talking about trying to end the streak.”
Wisely, Oliva is making no bones about his team’s desire to air it out tonight and ride the arms of Guerrero and Rivera as far as they can. That means a host of West weapons should see plenty of chances to make big plays.
Muir running back Tairen Owens and Monrovia’s Marquise Bias headline the backfield. Monrovia all-purpose threat De’Shawn Ramirez and San Gabriel speedster Alex Villalobos could have huge nights if Guerrero and Rivera have their way.
Trouble is, East coach Dale Ziola said his team is well aware of the firepower the West has stockpiled and will look to counteract it with a talented secondary and fierce pass rush. Ziola led Los Altos to a remarkable turnaround in his first season, taking the program from 0-10 in 2010 to 8-4 last season.
“One of the parents had mentioned that they’re (the West) going to be going no huddle and how we better get in shape,” Ziola said. “The way you stop the no huddle is to force incomplete passes. I think we have the defensive backs to stop routes, get in people’s faces and disrupt timing so much that we can afford to put our linebackers on their quarterbacks.
“Our plan is to keep their receivers where they’re supposed to be.”
It’s easy to see why Ziola is confident in his secondary. Charter Oak’s Herman Akins is a hybrid who can run with receivers or play near the line. Bonita’s Garrett Horine has East coaches thinking he might be the best player on the field. Rowland’s Terry Ford and West Covina’s Lonzel Barnett are so fast and quick that it’s hard to imagine anyone finding room on them.
And when the East has the ball, it will be using its run game to also play defense by eating the clock and keeping Guerrero and Rivera off the field.
“We expect to play very physical,” Ziola said. “They’re talking about speed on the West side, but I’ve seen the size of their defense on their roster and I’ve seen the size of the guys we have and the running backs we have, so we’re going to be a ground and pound football team. The boys we have on this side give us a big advantage to go out and do that.”
The East’s backfield is downright frightening. There’s speed and quickness in West Covina’s Jimmy Frazier and Azusa’s Desmond Reed. There’s a bruiser in Los Altos’ Justin Fa’aola. There’s a combo of speed and physicality in Glendora’s Corey Victoria and Bonita’s Cameron Griffin.
“All the running backs expect to have a good night,” Ziola said of his running backs. “There’s nobody out there expecting to relinquish what the East has done in the past. They’re all expecting to get their fair share of carries and do great things with it.”
If the West is to win, it may have to force a faster tempo than the East wants to play. And there’s no better way of doing just that than by getting Guerrero and Rivera off early and possibly a lead a on the scoreboard.
“They’re both great at passing the ball and using their feet,” Oliva said of his QB tandem “We kind of have a little mixture of run and pass stuff for them depending on what the East is doing defensively. It’s not a surprise, we’ll throw the ball. We definitely have got some guys who can play.”
Star-News 91, Tribune 81: Michelle Miller scored 39 points en route to earning Star-News team MVP honors and the Star-News proved stronger down the stretch to up its series lead to 6-3. The game was tied at 74-74 with 5:40, but big 3-pointers by Monrovia’s Gina Henderson and Miller helped the Star-News pull away. Diamond Ranch’s Chelsea Barnes scored 22 points and was named Tribune team MVP.
Shannon Kent scored the winning run (this wasn’t it) in the 9th as St. Lucy’s beat South Hills.
St. Lucy’s 6, South Hills 5, 9 inn.: What can I say? It was a Sierra League thriller. Brandi Harkness delivered the game-winning single to score Shannon Kent in the bottom of the ninth to give the Regents the win in their Sierra League opener. South Hills is now 0-2 in league, but had this game won 5-4 in the eighth and saw it get tied up on an error on what should have been an easy ground out to win/end the game.
Tyler Heslop deposited a ball over the left-field fence in Bonita’s six-run fifth.
Bonita 8, Los Altos 2: Bonita turned a 2-1 lead in the fifth into an 8-2 rout of Los Altos after scoring six times in the fifth before the Conqs recorded an out. Justin Garza went the distance for the Bearcats and took a one-hitter into the seventh before allowing two hits and a run in that inning while earning his fourth win of the season. Both teams entered Thursday’s action tied with Diamond Bar for first place in the Hacienda League with 2-0 records.
For photog Keith Birmingham’s gallery from Thursday’s game, please go HERE.
Call it blind faith or just a hunch, but Charter Oak High School receiver Chris Gilchrist is headed to Boca Raton, Fla., next season to play for Florida Atlantic, a school Gilchrist did not visit during the recruiting process and began courting him very late in the game.
Gilchrist decided late Tuesday he would attend Florida Atlantic and made it official on Wednesday morning by signing his letter of intent.
“They showed the most interest, even though it was late,” Gilchrist said.
“I talked to them every night. They have a whole new coaching staff, so it’s a fresh start for me and them.
“It was nice to know that somebody wanted me to go play football for them.
“It’s just a feeling you get when somebody puts a lot of effort into talking to you, trying to get to know you and wanting to meet you.”
Gilchrist was far from the only local athlete to make his or her college destination official on Wednesday.
At West Covina, 2010 Tribune Player of the Year Chris Solomon ended a long recruiting process by choosing to play for Nevada over Colorado.
Pomona’s Gerrad Kough picked Colorado long ago and stuck with that decision Wednesday.
Bishop Amat saw football standouts Ajee Montes (SMU) and Jalen Moore (Eastern Washington) make their plans official. For Moore, the decision came down to where he would get the earliest opportunity for playing time, and that meant Eastern Washington instead of Colorado.
“Too many running backs,” Moore said of Colorado. “When I was on my trip (at Eastern Washington), they made me feel like I was at home.”
Montes is headed to play for well-known coach June Jone at SMU. He will play defensive back for the Mustangs.
“I have a chance to play early,” Montes said. “What I liked a lot about June Jones is that he’s consistent. He’s had winning seasons and three back-to-back-to-back bowls.”
Diamond Ranch saw four members of its football team sign on Wednesday and their destinations were quite impressive. Receiver Andrew Fischer (Harvard) and linebacker Jacob Ardron (Columbia) will play in the Ivy League.
Offensive tackle Blake Benjamin will play for the Navy and aim for medical school.
Defensive back Chris Miller will make it easy for local fans to follow his career by playing in the Pac-12 at Oregon State.
“It’s a college town and everybody in the town is friendly,” Miller said of Corvallis, Ore., where Oregon State is located. “Being in the PAC-12, that’s a competitive conference.
“Any school that would’ve given me an offer, I would’ve taken it. Oregon State gave me the offer and I hopped on it.”
The Wilson duo of J.R. Nelson (Montana) and Keith Hawk (Yale) made their choices official. Nelson will play cornerback for the Grizzlies after making a name for himself as an one of the area’s most dangerous offensive players.
“I chose Montana because it’s a great school and I just felt like it was a great place for me,” Nelson said. “I loved the mountains and the snow. It’s cold, but you have to love that snow. It’s something we don’t get in Southern California.”
Glendora running back Corey Victoria became the first of probably many local standouts to choose Azusa Pacific University, which will begin play in Division 2 next season. For Victoria, the chance to stay local and play in front of family and friends was too good to pass up.
The signings did not stop at football. Several of the area’s top girls also made their college plans official.
The soccer signings were as follows: Shavonn Johnson (Bonita) signed with Lamar. Shannon Kent (St. Lucy’s) signed with Loyola Marymount. Alyssa Cabral (Bishop Amat) signed with Cal-State Dominguez Hills. Amber Marani (Walnut) signed with UC Riverside and Mayra Almazan (South Hills) is heading to
UC Santa Barbara.
Bishop Amat saw a pair of volleyball players sign in Rachel Seals (Seattle University) and Megan Bowcock (Great Falls).
Glendora field hockey standout Leah Cofer signed with Pacific.
Softball signees were as follows: Kellie McCleve (Glendora) Salt Lake College. Jeovanna Rios (Bishop Amat) Fort Lewis College. Sumer Knight (West Covina) La Sierra. Tayler Castro (West Covina) Cal Baptist. Alexzandra Blanco (West Covina) Central Arizona and Taylor Miller (Glendora) La Sierra.
Rowland track and cross country standout Nick Rivera signed with Texas Tech.