About Fred Robledo

Fred J. Robledo is the local sports editor for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group

It’s a new era for girls basketball with Duarte No. 1


Girls Basketball Top Ten Preview by Keith Lair
The Duarte High School girls basketball program has been no stranger to success.
The Falcons have had four 20-plus winning seasons in the last four years and have been to the CIF Southern Section playoffs every year since 2010. They went to the CIF State tournament in 2010 and reached the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS divisional playoffs last year.
But the Falcons appear to have stepped up their game. They have hired Scott Wiard as head coach. Scott helped his father, Richard, to two CIF State and five CIF-SS titles at Bishop Amat.
“They’ve had a pretty good run the last five years and we’re trying to build on that,” Scott Wiard said. “The kids are used to competing at a high level. We’re trying to build a CIF championship program and when we came from Amat we thought we can do it here.”
The Wiards, with Richard as an assistant coach, will find the cupboards are not bare. The Falcons have two of the best players in the west San Gabriel Valley, which is why they earned the preseason No. 1 position.
Six-foot-seven sophomore Patricia Morris is back, along with a top point guard and a top scorer.
Morris averaged 9.2 points and nine rebounds on a team that went 20-9 last year.
“From May until now she is so much better,” Wiard said. “She presents problems with her height. She is such a good athlete. She played tennis and has improved her footwork. She will be pretty special for us.”
And then there is senior Mackenzie Barnes, who led the Falcons in scoring last year playing point guard.
“I think in girls basketball if you have a really good point guard and a big girl in the middle, you’ll be pretty decent,” Wiard said. “We’re pretty blessed because we are fortunate to have both.
“(Barnes) does the right things and gets in the right spots and she’s gotten a lot better.”
Then there’s junior Ryley Thompson, one of the top 3-point shooters in the valley. Seniors Karmeece Robinson and Sofia Calvo also return. Freshman Delanye Thompson, Ryley’s sister, is expected to see playing time off he bench.
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Tribskin Pick’em: Got Charter Oak, San Dimas reaching finals; Bishop Amat bowing out

This simple Tweet went viral late Friday with a lot of folks thinking I lost my mind for thinking Amat could be on the same field with St. John Bosco. I stand by what I wrote, that I like their chances, and what I mean by that is I like their chances for a mammoth upset. But am I ready to predict it? No. Nobody in their right mind would pick Amat if you were asked to bet the mortgage on it. But I don’t think it’s impossible and I do believe it will be a winnable game in the fourth quarter. I was wavering on Charter Oak and Glendora before finally settling on Charter Oak. I watched the first game and Charter Oak handled Glendora up front. That’s going to be the difference again. But it will be closer than 28-7 the second time around. I love San Dimas’ chances against Viewpoint after watching how close Covina came to beating them. I picked San Dimas to upset Paraclete and get to the finals and not changing my mind now. I also like Sierra Canyon to beat Pomona in a not-so-close game. In other out of area games, take St. Francis in an upset over No. 1 La Serna and go with La Mirada to reach the finals over Cathedral. I also have La Habra all day over Villa Park.

Friday’s CIF-SS Playoff Schedule and predictions
All games start at 7:30 p.m., unless noted
Pac-5 Division

Bishop Amat vs. St. John Bosco at Cerritos College, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Bosco); Aram (Bosco)
Southwest Division
Villa Park at La Habra — Robledo (La Habra); Aram (Aram)
Southeast Division
La Serna at St. Francis — Robledo (St. Francis); Aram (La Serna)
La Mirada at Cathedral, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Mirada); Aram (La Mirada)
Central Division
Charter Oak vs. Glendora at Citrus College — Robledo (Charter Oak); Aram (Charter Oak)
Summit at San Marino — Robledo (San Marino): Aram (San Marino)
Mid-Valley Division
Pomona vs. Sierra Canyon at Granada Hills HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SC); Aram (SC)
San Dimas vs. Viewpoint at Agoura HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (San Dimas); Aram (San Dimas)

holman HOLMAN DELIVERING IN FIRST SEASON: Raise your hand if you picked the San Dimas High School football team to reach the semifinals or beyond of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs.
Besides Saints fans, very few football fans around the Valley had San Dimas surviving its second-round trip to No. 2 seed Paraclete. But that’s exactly what happened.San Dimas scored arguably the most impressive victory of any Valley team last Friday when it toppled Paraclete, 43-28, at Antelope Valley College.
“My guys, they wanted Paraclete,” first-year San Dimas head coach Mark Holman said. “We were just really focused. We’ve been getting better every week since the Northview loss. We are built for this kind of football.”Now, the path is clear for San Dimas to reach the championship game. Despite being on the road in Friday’s semifinals, San Dimas (9-3) is favored by most to beat Viewpoint (7-5).

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Damien and new coach Mike LeDuc headline Tribune Pre-Season Boys Basketball top ten poll


Damien boys basketball standout Bryce Peters, who signed a national letter of intent with Colorado and is the headliner for the Spartans’ defending Division III state champions, was asked what it has been like since legendary area coach Mike LeDuc took over.
“He looks re-charged,” Peters said. “It’s been great. He’s excited for something new.”
LeDuc is one of the winningest boys basketball coaches in section history with 826 career wins. LeDuc won four CIF championships and 15 league titles in nearly 30 years at Glendora before deciding the time was right to return to Damien, where he began his coaching career from 1979-86 before moving to Glendora in 1987.
The opportunity to take over at Damien became available when Spartans coach Matt Dunn, who won a divisional and state title with the Spartans, bolted for St. John Bosco.
“I’m not coming in with the expectation of doing what they did last year, they had a real special team,” LeDuc said. “Our goal is to win as many games as we can and be the best we can possibly be.
“Last year was an incredible year for Damien basketball. Now, we’ve got a new group of kids who are going to write their own story.”
And that group is still pretty special, which is why Damien leads the way as the Tribune’s top-ranked squad as the season gets underway this week.
“The (change) has been great,” LeDuc said. “Of course Glendora was special and there are a lot of memories there. But this is something new and I’m excited about it.”
LeDuc always has let scorers score, so expect Peters to average more than 20 points with a supporting cast that will compete in the super tough Baseline League and be among the favorites in Division 1AA.
Along with Peters, the Spartans return junior Justin Hemsley, the brother of Jeremy Hemsley, who was the back-to-back player of the year now at San Diego State.
Add to that Elijah McCullough, Kaleb Wilborn and 6-foot-7 transfer Isaiah White from Upland to round out what will likely be the starting five.
Peters averaged 14 points last year as the third option behind Jeremy Hemsley and Malik Fitts.
“Bryce is a very, very talented player and this is going to be his opportunity to shine, lead and show what he’s capable of doing,” LeDuc said. “Last year he had to play a different role, this year it’s different and I expect him to have a fantastic season.”

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Bishop Amat, Glendora, Charter Oak and San Dimas advance to semifinals

SCOREBOARD: Follow the SGVN quarterfinal scoreboards for scoring updates throughout the night

Charter Oak routs Monrovia: When asked how many times he’s taken a team to the semifinals, Charter Oak High School football coach Lou Farrar was stumped. “Nine times? Twelve?” said Farrar, who has won five CIF championships. “I’ll have to look it up and text you.” Whatever the number, Farrar can add one to it after his Chargers posted a resounding 52-14 win over Monrovia in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Central Division playoffs.”

Sweet runs wild: Bishop Amat’s Torreahno Sweet and Oaks Christian quarterback Matt Corral and USC-bound receiver Michael Pittman put on a quite a show in the CIF-SS Pac-5 Division quarterfinals at Kiefer Stadium on Friday.
But when the dust settled, Sweet and Amat prevailed with a 61-40 victory to end Oaks Christian’s undefeated season and propel Amat back to the semifinals for a second straight year.

Glendora gets payback: Last season Colony defeated Glendora with a hobbled Matt Fink in the second round, scoring two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to break a tied game, on their way to a CIF-SS Central Division championship. Glendora (11-1) earned an opportunity for redemption and made the most of it, defeating Colony 28-14 on Friday night. The Tartans will host their Mayor’s Trophy rival Charter Oak in the semifinals at Citrus College, The Chargers beat Glendora 28-7 in week 4.

Pomona in thriller over Northview: The Northview High School football team led for 47 minutes, 36 seconds of a 48-minute game Friday night, but a 5-yard run by Darreon Lockett gave Pomona its only lead in a 62-55 shootout, sending the reigning champion Red Devils back to the CIF Southern Section Mid-Valley Division semifinals.
The Vikings (10-2) led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter, but Pomona (11-2) scored three touchdowns on the next four drives to tie the game at 34. Northview scored three more touchdowns in the second half, but each one was answered quickly by a Pomona touchdown.

Viewpoint stuns Covina: Seth Frank kicked a 42-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining to lift Viewpoint to an improbable 37-35 victory over Covina in the CIF Southern Section Mid-Valley Division quarterfinal at West Covina High.

San Dimas advances to semis: The Paraclete High School football team came up short against San Dimas in a thrilling 43-28 quarterfinal game in the CIF Southern Mid-Valley Division.The game was much closer than the score would suggest with Paraclete trailing by just six points behind with just over 2 minutes left.

Friday’s results
Pac-5 Division
Bishop Amat 61, Oaks Christian 40
Southwest Division
La Habra 42, Laguna Hills 14
San Clemente 52, Sonora 45
Southeast Division
La Serna 68, Harvard Westlake 42
St. Francis 21, Burroughs 7
La Mirada 38, Dominguez 13
Central Division
Charter Oak 52, Monrovia 14
Glendora 28, Colony 14
San Marino 52, Don Lugo 10
Mid-Valley Division
Sierra Canyon 49, Schurr 14
Pomona 62, Northview 55
Viewpoint 37, Covina 36
San Dimas 43, Paraclete 28
Northwest Division
Aquinas 35, Maranatha 14

Football Semifinals
Pac-5 Division

Bishop Amat vs. St. John Bosco at Cerritos College
Central Division
Summit at San Marino
Charter Oak vs. Glendora at Citrus
San Dimas at Viewpoint
Pomona at Sierra Canyon

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Tribskin Pick’em: Taking Amat, Charter Oak, Northview, San Dimas to reach semifinals


San Dimas faces familiar foe: One of the most cringe-worthy road trips any Mid-Valley Division team can take is to Lancaster on a Friday night to take on Paraclete High School.
But perhaps the Mid-Valley team best equipped to deal with it is San Dimas, which has plenty of experience through the years against the Spirits in high-stakes games.
“It’s like a college road trip,” first-year San Dimas head coach Mark Holman said. “We’ll leave here Friday at noon, get up there at 2 and have a walk through. Have some dinner. We’ll try to make it like a normal home game.”

This weeks games and predictions
CIF-SS Playoff Schedule
Friday’s Quarterfinals
All games start at 7:30 p.m., unless noted
Pac-5 Division

Oaks Christian (11-0) at Bishop Amat (9-2) — Robledo (Amat); Aram (BA)
Southwest Division
La Habra (10-1) at Laguna Hills (8-3) — Robledo (La Habra); Aram (LaHab)
San Clemente (9-2) vs. Sonora (9-2) at La Habra HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SC); Aram (SC)
Southeast Division
La Serna (9-2) at Harvard-Westlake (8-3) — Robledo (HW); Aram (LS)
Burroughs (10-1) at St. Francis (8-3) — Robledo (St. Francis); Aram (SF)
La Mirada (8-3) at Dominguez (8-3) — Robledo (La Mirada); Aram (LM)
Central Division
Monrovia (8-3) at Charter Oak, 7 p.m. (10-1) — Robledo (COak); Aram (CO)
Glendora (10-1) at Colony (8-3) — Robledo (Colony); Aram (G-Hi)
San Marino (11-0) vs. Don Lugo, 7 p.m. (6-5) — Robledo (SMarino); Aram (SM)
Mid-Valley Division
Sierra Canyon (11-0) at Schurr (6-5) — Robledo (Sierra Canyon); Aram (SC)
Pomona (9-2) vs. Northview (10-1), at CDF, 7 p.m. — Robledo (NView); Aram (N)
Viewpoint (6-5) vs. Covina (7-4), at West Covina HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Viewpoint); Aram (View)
San Dimas (8-3) at Paraclete (6-5) — Robledo (SDimas); Aram (Clete)
Northwest Division
Maranatha (7-4) at Aquinas (7-4) — Robledo (Aquinas); Aram (Mara)

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