South Hills boys basketball coach Marc Hart, who was the Tribune coach of the year in 2010 while with Baldwin Park and a divisional coach of the year that season, resigned as head coach of South Hills after a 7-20 season.
“Things just didn’t work out as planned going from Baldwin Park to here,” Hart said. “I didn’t get the development I had hoped and with sother personal things, I thought it was time.”
By Keith Lair
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
BROOKE CONTRERAS, LOS ALTOS, SOPHOMORE
Brooke Contreras has always thought of herself as a defensive stalwart.
“I am mostly a defensive player on my club team and I only play defense,” she said. “But my dad (Los Altos co-head coach Bobby Contreras) told me to become more of an offensive player and a defensive player.”
The sophomore scored 136 goals, 50 more than her freshman year. She also had 35 assists.
“Who doesn’t like scoring?” she said.
But it’s still not her forte.
“Defense wins games,” she said. “I like playing both. I have to make sure my offense is better and he (father Contreras) made me more of an offensive player.”
She scored with 1:27 to play to break a tie in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 title game and give the Conquerors an 8-7 victory over heavily favored Palm Desert.
She had 67 steals and drew 22 ejections, which helped the Conquerors create power-play situations.
“Winning the CIF title was amazing,” she said. “All of that hard work paid off. I can’t believe we won it. We worked so hard, going to morning practice and then to afternoon practice.”
It gives Brooke her first championship ring. Her brother, Justin, was selected the Tribune Player of the Year in the fall. But the senior failed to get a ring. The Conquerors lost in the CIF-SS Division 5 title game.
“I’ll be teasing him for weeks and weeks,” Brooke said.
It was the first time that the Conquerors have won a CIF-SS girls title in water polo.
COACH OF THE YEAR
DANNY FEOLA, SAN DIMAS
San Dimas High School has had a girls water polo program for only two years, Danny Feola beginning the program only last year. The Saints finished second in the Valle Vista League in their inaugural season and then went undefeated in league play this season.
But it was in the playoffs that the Saints shined this season. They defeated Savanna in sudden death overtime in the opening round of the CIF-SS Division 7 playoffs. The Saints had two blocked shots in a 5-3 quarterfinal victory over La Sierra before falling to eventual division champion Foothill Technology of Ventura in the semifinals. San Dimas finished the season 20-11.
Hilary Adkins, St. Lucy’s, senior
Sarah Adams, Charter Oak, junior
Devynn Stein, Charter Oak, senior
Erin Gonzales, Bonita, senior
Victoria Mezack, Los Altos, senior
Shelby Garcia, San Dimas, junior, goalkeeper
Amanda Legaspi, Bonita, freshman
Devin Holcomb, St. Lucy’s, junior
Katie Fugnit, Charter Oak, sophomore
Kaitlyn Eng, Los Altos, senior
Samantha Murillo, Los Altos, senior, goalkeeper
Kirra Hemric, Bonita, sophomore
Hailey Gonzalez, San Dimas, junior
Rachel Garwick, Bonita, junior, goalkeeper
BASELINE: Los Osos (21-10)
PALOMARES: Ayala (23-7)
HACIENDA: Charter Oak (26-6), Los Altos (26-7)
VALLE VISTA: San Dimas (20-11)
MIRAMONTE: Workman (6-5)
— Rita Kear (@SDSAINT1) March 15, 2015
STORY: Bonita learned the hard way that you have to be as close to perfect as possible if you’re going to beat San Dimas pitcher Peter Lambert.
An unearned run that scored without the aid of a hit was the difference in San Dimas’ 2-1 victory in the championship game of the Fifth Annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Baseball Tournament.
Lambert, who was named the tournament’s MVP, backed up last week’s 13-strikeout complete game shutout performance over South Hills with another gem, striking out nine Bearcats while allowing just one run in another complete game.
“Lots of fun,” said Lambert of the atmosphere around the game. “Against our arch-rival from across town, I wanted the ball and our team did well.”
GAME STORY: Except for Damien nearly self destructing down the stretch, the Spartans did reach a historic milestone in the CIF State Southern California Division III regional quarterfinals Saturday night.
Second-seed Damien led by as many as 18 points before fending off pesky 10th seed Corona del Mar 61-56 to reach the regional semifinals for the first time in school history.
Senior Jeremy Hemsley led the way with 21 points but wasn’t happy with how his team finished with several turnovers and missed shots in the final minutes that allowed the Sea Kings to get close.
By John Honell
The incredible run of the under-sized, under-manned, over-achieving South Hills basketball team came to an end it but not before putting a scare into number one seed Brea-Olinda on Saturday night.
The ninth seeded Huskies (27-8) dropped a 63-49 decision to the Wildcats in a CIF-State Southern California Division III Regional quarterfinal game.
The Huskies came out tentative to start the game and fell behind 16-1 with 1:56 left in the first quarter. At that point senior captain Brittany Wang took over, scoring the next 17 points, including five 3-pointers to give the Huskies an 18-16 lead midway through the second period.
Wang scored 18 of her game-high 30 points in the second period as the Huskies went into halftime with a 28-27 lead. Sam Perez added 9 points for the Huskies.
The first time the men’s basketball teams from Cal Poly Pomona and Azusa Pacific squared off, the Broncos were victorious, although they needed overtime. That was in a non-conference game the first week of the season.
The locals got a chance to meet again, this time when the stakes were significantly higher and it was Azusa Pacific avenging that earlier loss, registering a 77-67 win in an NCAA Division II West Regional semifinal Saturday at the Felix Events Center.
SATURDAY’S NCAA DIVISION II WEST REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
At Azusa Pacific University
Cal Poly Pomona vs. Azusa Pacific, 7:30 p.m.
CAL POLY ADVANCES ON BUZZER BEATER: Terrence Drisdom hit the winning shot at the buzzer to give the Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team a 62-60 victory over Dixie State on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Division II West Regional at Azusa Pacific University.
“It is kind of unreal,” Drisdom said. “That was my first game-winner in my entire life.”
Drisdom scored a game-high 18 points, including the winning shot that sent the Broncos to the semifinals today against the host team, Azusa Pacific, at 75-67 winner over Western Oregon.
APU ADVANCES WITH 75-67 WIN: Troy Leaf and Azusa Pacific defeated Western Oregon, 75-67, Friday in the first round of the NCAA Division II West Regional at Felix Event Center.
It was the first NCAA playoff win for the Cougars’ basketball program.
“It was a historic day for our school,” said Cougars coach Justin Leslie. “Someone had to win it, and I am glad it was us.”
Leaf led all scorers with 36 points, shooting a perfect 13 for 13 from the free-throw line.
“We made 17 of 18 free throws (as a team),” Leslie said. “You are going to win some games when you finish 17 of 18 from the line.”
The Cougars (25-5) struggled early, allowing the Wolves (23-7) to go on an 11-0 run before scoring their first points of the game with a 3-pointer by Robert Sandoval off an assist from Leaf.
State Playoff Preview: It has been a whirlwind of milestones and historic achievements for the South Hills High School girls basketball team, which will visit top-seed Brea Olinda in the CIF-State Southern California Division III Regional quarterfinals Saturday at 6 p.m.
Ninth-seed South Hills (24-7) made the long haul to Tulare on Wednesday and knocked off CIF-Central Section Division III champion and eighth-seed Mission Oak, 70-54, to advance.
Brea Olinda (23-4) had a first-round bye and hasn’t played since losing to Mater Dei, 77-50, in the CIF-Southern Section Open Division quarterfinals on Feb. 24.
For South Hills coach Tiffany Liang, she represents the past and present.
Division III Southern California Regional Quarterfinals
No. 10 Corona del Mar (25-7) at No. 2 Damien (25-5), 6 p.m.
The Spartans dusted off the rust of going 11 days without playing to post an easy 86-53 first-round victory over 15th-seed Selma while resting nearly all of their starters for the entire fourth quarter. The Sea Kings, which lost to Beverly Hills in the Division 3A championship game, 55-47, will give the Spartans a much tougher test that it received in the opening round. The Sea Kings knocked off seventh-seed El Cajon Valley 46-33 to advance and have played a tough schedule that includes non-league losses to Mater Dei (67-44) and Price (66-55).
SATURDAY’S DICKS SPORTING GOODS FINAL
Bonita vs. San Dimas at Mt. SAC, 7 p.m.
By John Honell
San Dimas got a two-hit pitching performance by junior Jacob Castillo and beat Etiwanda 3-0 in the semifinals of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Baseball Tournament Wednesday at Mt. Sac.
The Saints (4-0), the Tribune’s top-ranked team, will face arch-rival Bonita, a 4-1 winner over Alta Loma, in Saturday’s championship at Mt. SAC at 7 p.m.
The Saints struggled at the plate but used a hit batter, an error on a sacrifice bunt and a bases loaded single by centerfielder Jonathan Longtin that drove in pinch-runner Josh Aquilar and Peter Lambert with the first two runs of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Longtin scored the third run of the inning on a fielder’s choice and that was enough for Castillo to improve his record to 2-0.
The 2015 softball season may be young, but South Hills High School is off and running with a 6-2 record and a tournament championship.
After starting the season at 2-2, the Huskies have reeled off four consecutive wins and claimed the seventh annual North Orange County Championship Tournament title with a 4-1 victory over Valencia High of Placentia on Friday afternoon at Fullerton High.
Pitchers Caitlyn VanHemelryck (3-1) and Natalie Lugo combined for a two-hitter and allowed only four base runners.
VanHemelryck (five strikeouts), who was named to the all-tournament team, started and pitched the first four innings and Lugo, who was named the MVP, retired nine of the last 10 batters to get the save.
“It’s good to have Natalie backing me up (Friday),” VanHemelryck said. “As long as we score a few runs, me and Natalie together can keep the run count down.
“My rise ball was working thankfully. I’m more of a drop ball pitcher and my rise ball just helped me out more.”
THURSDAY BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Apparently there was some glitch in the voting and they will meet again on Monday at Walnut High School at 5 p.m. to vote again. Nothing is expected to change, however, but you never know.
Tuesday’s Results: Below is Proposal B, which was voted on this morning by the Mt. SAC area for league realignment starting in the 2016 season, creating a football only and all sports except football leagues. The Miramonte and Baseline leagues remain the same, but others made tweaks. Baldwin Park will go back to the Valle Vista and Nogales will move to the Montview league for all sports. The Palomares, Hacienda and Mt. Baldy leagues will remain the same as they’re now, however in football only, they will juggle it around.
Here’s how the football leagues will look in 2016
Palomares football: Ayala, Bonita, Claremont, Colony, Glendora, South Hills (Adds Colony, ships Diamond Bar to Hacienda).
Hacienda football: Charter Oak, Chino, Diamond Bar, Diamond Ranch, Los Altos, West Covina (Adds Diamond Bar, ships Walnut to Mt. Baldy).
Mt. Baldy League: Alta Loma, Chaffey, Don Lugo, Montclair, Ontario, Walnut (Adds Walnut, ships Colony to Palomares).
Damien vs. Selma feels more like the first round of the Sierra Vista tournament than a state playoff opener.
— Fred J. Robledo (@SGVNSports) March 12, 2015
STORY: After Damien’s Malik Fitts dunked in the first three seconds, the rest was a formality.
Damien cruised in the first round of the CIF State Southern California Division III regional playoffs with an easy 86-53 home victory over travel-weary Selma, a CIF-Central Section Division III semifinalist located 16 miles from Fresno.
The second-seed Spartans (25-5), which hadn’t lost at home in eight years before suffering back-to-back losses in the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs, will be at home again Saturday in the regional quarterfinals against 10th-seed Corona del Mar at 6 p.m. Corona del Mar upset sixth-seed El Cajon Valley, 46-33.
“When we won CIF (in 2013), it was hard to get excited for the state playoffs because we had just achieved our goal,” Damien coach Matt Dunn said. “I think that feeling has switched on us, which is kind of strange. We’re as excited for this (state) as we normally would be getting ready for the CIF (divisional) playoffs.
Damien state playoff preview: After nearly two weeks off since losing in the CIF-Southern Section Open Division consolation semifinals to Redondo Union, 82-77, in overtime on Feb. 28, Damien’s boys basketball team is ready for the CIF-State Southern California Division III regional playoffs, where the second-seed Spartans (24-5) are one of the favorites.
Damien will host 15-seed Selma (22-7) in the first round Wednesday at 7 p.m. Selma, located 16 miles from Fresno, lost to Bakersfield West in the CIF-Central Section Division III semifinals, 87-63, and its best player is 6-foot-5 senior Anoop Grewal, averaging 16 points and six boards.
“I don’t know much about them,” Damien coach Matt Dunn said of Selma. “They didn’t play any Southern Section teams and all I could find was about a three-minute video on them online. I’m not sure how much it matters, at this point our guys are just ready to plan again.”
Dicks Sporting Goods San Gabriel Valley Baseball Tournament
San Dimas 3, Etiwanda 0
Bonita vs. Alta Loma at Mt. SAC, 7 p.m.
STORY: San Dimas standout pitcher Peter Lambert dominated on Friday night, leading the Saints to a 5-0 victory over South Hills in the quarterfinals of the Fifth Annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Baseball Tournament in front of a large crowd at Mt. SAC.
The pregame hype around the game was all about the match-up between two of the area’s best in Lambert and Cal State Fullerton signee Gavin Velasquez. However, it was Lambert who stole the show, striking out 13 in a three-hit, complete-game shutout.
“He (Lambert) wanted the ball and he was focused and attacked,” said San Dimas head coach Mike Regan.
WEDNESDAY CONSOLATION GAMES IN DICKS TOURNEY
Los Osos @ Crescenta Valley at Stengel Field, 6 p.m.
Pasadena @ South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Rancho Cucamonga @ Valencia, 3:15 p.m.
Carter at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
Claremont @ Fullerton, 3:15 p.m.
Chino Hills @ Warren, 3:15 p.m.
La Canada @ Apple Valley, 3:15 p.m.
Arcadia @ Walnut, 3:15 p.m.
Temecula Valley @ Victor Valley, 3:15 p.m.
Los Altos @ Tahquitz, 3:15 p.m.
Adelanto @ San Gabriel, 3:15 p.m.
Paloma Valley @ Montebello, 3:15 p.m.
Charter Oak @ Yucaipa, 3:15 p.m.
Covina @ Long Beach Cabrillo, 3:15 p.m.