About Steve Ramirez

Steve Ramirez has covered prep sports for San Gabriel Valley Newspapers since 1989.

Softball: Bishop Amat gets revenge on rival St. Paul; takes over first in 11-3 win


By Stephen Ramirez
WHITTIER –
Bishop Amat High School, after being swept by rival St. Paul last season, waited nearly a year for redemption against the Swordsmen.
The Lancers didn’t waste the opportunity Monday.
Alyssa Barrera and Julia Menrad had three RBIs each and Bishop Amat enacted some sweet revenge with an 11-3 victory over St. Paul in a Del Rey League softball game at York Field.
Menrad and Barrera also hit home runs for the Lancers, who took over first place at 9-4 overall and 3-0 in league play. Niko Walker had two hits and Taylor Fogle a two-run triple for the Swordsmen, who slipped to 11-6 and 3-1.

Bishop Amat’s Alyssa Barrera: “We really wanted this game, especially because of what happened last year. Our goal was to not let (St. Paul sweep three games) ever again. We came out on the field, every inning wanting to win this game. Every at-bat, we all were 100-percent in, and we came out with a great win.”

St. Paul’s Taylor Fogle: “I felt I needed to do something with my bat. When I got up there and she (Bishop Amat’s Samaria Diaz) threw me that pitch, I was like, ‘I got to hit that.’ When I hit (it), I felt, ‘Whoo, there’s a fire right there.’ We were right there.”

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Damien punches ticket to state title game, holds off Cathedral, 68-62

Damien head coach Matt Dunn reacts after a basket against Cathedral in the second half of the CIF State Division 3 Regional Basketball Final at Colony High School in Ontario, Calif., on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Damien won 68-62. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Damien head coach Matt Dunn reacts after a basket against Cathedral in the second half of the CIF State Division 3 Regional Basketball Final at Colony High School in Ontario, Calif., on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Damien won 68-62. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter


ONTARIO — The best season in Damien High School basketball history will include a trip to Berkeley.
Bryce Peters had 20 points and Jeremy Hemsley had 17 and the Spartans scored their first trip to the CIF State championships with a 68-62 victory over Cathedral Saturday in the Division III Southern California Regional final at Colony High School.
Malik Fitts also had 15 points for No. 2 seed Damien, which improved to 28-5 and will face Campolindo, a 50-44 winner over Drake, for the state title next Friday at 4 p.m. at the University of California.
Kobe Paras had 23 points and Milan Acquah 17 for No. 1 Cathedral, which finished 22-8.
“It’s really special,” Damien coach Matt Dunn, whose Spartans won a CIF-Southern Section title in 2013. “It’s the one thing this group hasn’t done yet. They won a CIF championship when they were sophomores, won a (Baseline) League championship this year, so to get to the state title game is very special.”


For a brief moment, Cathedral looked like it might steal the opportunity from Damien. The Phantoms, who trailed by 16 in the first half and 12 early in the fourth quarter used an 8-2 run to pull within 57-52 following a 3-pointer by Acquah and a putback by Paras with 3:14 left.
But the Spartans countered with a surge of their own to put it away. Micah Robinson buried a 3-pointer at 2:30 for a 62-52 lead and Fitts, following a steal by Hemsley, sealed with a dunk for a 64-57 lead with 46 seconds left.

“We let up a little bit,” said Hemsley, who also had seven rebounds, eight assists and three steals. “But we ended up getting the rebounds and stops that we needed to win the game.
“We shared the ball, which I think was key part of us winning the game. Cathedral is more of a one-on-one type team, so we shared the ball, and that contributed a lot to the win.”
Damien, getting 10 points each from Hemsley and Peters, led 31-21 at halftime. The Spartans took control early, breaking from the tip with a 9-3 blitz before using a 7-0 surge to go up 31-15 on a 3-pointer by Peters with 2:21 left in the half.
Paras, who had 16 points in the first half, hit consecutive 3-pointers to make it 31-21 at halftime.
Cathedral, getting five of six free throws and a layup from Acquah cut it to 36-31 lead early in the third quarter. But Damien countered with consecutive layups by Fitts for a 43-35 lead going to the fourth.
The Spartans then held off a second Cathedral surge to win, 68-62, and advance to the state title game.
“At this moment, I just want to win the state championship,” Hemsley said. “I’m glad we got the win, I’m glad we’re going to the championship, but I’m looking to win it now.”

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CCCAA Basketball Championships: Mt. SAC women, East Los Angeles women lose title games


By Stephen Ramirez
NORWALK –
Mt. San Antonio College waited a year for a chance to get back to the California Community College Athletic Association women’s basketball title game.
The wait for state championship No. 7 will be a little longer.
Michelle Townsend hit a 3-pointer with 57 seconds left and Chabot, of Hayward, upset top the No. 1 Mounties, 63-58, in the CCCAA title game Sunday at Cerritos College.
Morgan Green scored 26 points and Townsend had 15 for the Gladiators, who finished 31-3 and won their first state championship.

Mt. SAC’s Priscilla Lopez drives the baseline on Chabot’s Brianna Booker during Sunday’s CCCAA women’s championship game. photo by blaine ohigashi

Mt. SAC’s Priscilla Lopez drives the baseline on Chabot’s Brianna Booker during Sunday’s CCCAA women’s championship game. photo by blaine ohigashi


Priscilla Lopez had 14 points and Sashanique Youngblood 13 for Mt. SAC, which finished 34-1. The Mounties lost in the title game last season.

“It’s tough, it’s tough,” Mt. SAC coach Brian Crichlow said. “I know myself and the young ladies, we’re all hurting. We set goals at the beginning of the year and we were able to set all of them, except this one. But it doesn’t diminish the fact they were 34-1 and they played hard every game.
“It’s a little disappointing, but it’s life. Somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. Unfortunately, we came up on the wrong end.”
It seemed to be there for the taking for Mt. SAC, which used an 18-5 blitz for a 32-28 lead at halftime. But the Mounties couldn’t shake Chabot, which got a 3-pointer from Green and two inside shots from Alana Simon (17 points) to draw even at 58 with 1:35 to play.
Townsend then hit a 3-pointer for a 61-58 lead before Lopez and Youngblood missed 3-pointers with 30 seconds left and Lopez was long on a short jumper in the final seconds.
“Not being able to hit shots down the stretch hurt us,” Crichlow said. “We made some mistakes late, and it hurt us. It’s a tough way to go out this way when you fought so hard to get here.”

MEN
SADDLEBACK 50, EAST L.A. 47 –
The Huskies, after an incredible run from No. 13 seed to the title game, finally ran out of magical moments.
Conor Clifford scored 16 points and the Gauchos (32-2) closed with a 10-2 run to secure their third CCCAA title since 2002 and deny the Huskies their first.
Marquis Salmon had 15 points for East Los Angeles, which finished 23-10. The Huskies had a chance to tie it late. But Te’Shon Burton missed a 3-pointer with five seconds left and Saddleback’s Dusty Baker intercepted a pass at the buzzer.

“We just didn’t execute down the stretch,” East L.A coach John Mosley said. “It was a little loud,a little noisy. We didn’t get a good possession at the end. But I’m proud of these guys and what they’ve accomplished.”

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CCCAA Final Four: Ex-Arroyo star Primitivo Gomez scores 21 points to lead East Los Angeles College into men’s basketball state title game


By Stephen Ramirez
NORWALK >>
East Los Angles College’s incredible playoff run will take the Huskies to the California Community College Athletic Association men’s basketball state championship game.
Former Arroyo High School standout Primitivo Gomez scored 23 points and Je’Ron Primus had 17 as East. L.A. continued its recent magic with a 94-83 victory over Merritt, of Oakland, in the state semifinals at Cerritos College on Friday.
Marcus Romain and Marquis Salmon also had 12 points each for the Huskies, who improved to 22-10 and advanced to face either Saddleback or Canada, of Redwood City, in Sunday’s title game at 1 p.m.
Gomez also had 12 rebounds for East L.A., which began the playoffs seeded No. 13 in the South.
DJ Kennedy had 20 points and Travon King had 19 points for Merritt, which finished 25-6.
East L.A. showed solid poise down the stretch, turning away two late pushes by the Thunderbirds to advance.

Merritt, the No. 1 seed from the North, trailed most of the game, but stalked the Huskies late, cutting a nine-point deficit to 81-79 with three minutes left.
East L.A., getting two free throws and a putback from Richard Bivens, pushed the lead to 87-81 with 1:04 to play before making five of six free throws down the stretch to seal it. The Huskies closed the game with a 9-2 surge.

East L.A.’s Primitivo Gomez: “It’s a great feeling. All of us felt a little bit disrespected (at the start of the playoffs), but we’ve worked really hard. We’re a team that believes in ourselves and that’s what matters. We play hard as a unit, and when you play as a unit, that’s how you win.”

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Softball: Claremont knocks off Charter Oak 6-4 in quarterfinals of Charter Oak tourney

Charter Oak Softball Tournament
Wednesday’s quarterfinals at Big League Dreams, West Covina
All Games at 3:15 p.m.

La Serna 4, Burbank 2
St. Paul 3, Yorba Linda 1
Upland 3, La Habra 1
Claremont 6, Charter Oak 4
Friday’s semifinals at 3:15 p.m.
La Serna vs. St. Paul
Upland vs. Claremont


By Stephen Ramirez
WEST COVINA —
It wasn’t perfect, but coming off a tough loss, winning mattered most for the Charter Oak High School softball team on Monday.
Cloe Ochoa had three hits and three RBIs and was steady in the circle to lead the Chargers to a 6-4 victory over Montebello in Chargers Classic first-round game at Big League Dreams Park.
Marissa Chavez also had two hits and a RBI for Charter Oak, which improved to 4-1. The Chargers will face Claremont, a 4-2 winner over Bishop Amat, in Wednesday’s quarterfinals at 3:30 p.m.
Destenie Castillo and Mariah Ginez each had a RBI for the Oilers, who slipped to 1-1. Montebello faces Bishop Amat in a consolation quarterfinal at 3:30 p.m. today.

Charter Oak coach Scott Higuera: “I thought Chloe pitched very well and we were able to bounce back from a tough loss on Saturday. It’s always important to forget the tough ones go and move on to the next game. I feel we did that. We didn’t’ play real crisp, like we like to, but overall, I’m happy with the win of course, but we need to get back to work at practice tomorrow and get ready to face Claremont on Wednesday.”

Montebello coach Laurie Capps: “I’m proud of the way we bounced back. It’s only our second game of the season. We didn’t falter, which I’m proud of. We hung in there. We did a good job.”

Charter Oak’s Cloe Ochoa: “I just wanted to give back to my team, since they help me so much on defense. I wanted to make it a little less stressful on the field for them.”

Charter Oak Softball tournament
Monday’s first round results at Big League Dreams
Upper Bracket

La Serna 10, Alhambra 0
Burbank 9, Covina 0
St. Paul 8, Bonita 0
Yorba Linda 6, Glendora 4
Lower Bracket
Upland 6, San Dimas 2
La Habra 4, Los Altos 3
Claremont 4, Bishop Amat 2
Charter Oak 6, Montebello 4

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CIF State Wrestling Finals: San Marino’s Julian Flores wins state title


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
BAKERSFIELD >>
Julian Flores, along with brothers Zander and Evan Wick, were the core of San Marino High School’s rise from afterthought to one of the top wrestling programs in the state.
Saturday, Flores climbed the highest mountain, scoring the 132-pound title at the CIF State wrestling championships at Rabobank Arena.
He’s San Marino’s first state champion.

“It’s unbelievable,” Flores said. “I really didn’t have a good postseason, but it all matters here in March. I just let it go. It was amazing.”
Flores title capped a stellar day for San Marino, which also had Zander Wick place second at 145, with Zander Silva (113), Luke Troy (152) and Evan Wick (138) all earning top-eight medals.
But Saturday was all about Flores, who opened the day with a 5-2 win over Pitman’s Angel Velasquez in the semifinals before scoring a 3-1 win over Mission Oak’s Jaden Enriquez in the final.
He used an escape with 1:25 left in regulation to force overtime before taking down Enriquez early in the extra period for the win.
“I wasn’t really panicking,” Flores said. “I knew I would get a takedown some how. I didn’t know what I was going to do exactly, but I just hit on something.”
Zander Wick, after beating Palm Desert’s Anthony Mantanona in the semifinals, was hoping to join his teammate atop the podium. But was denied by Poway’s Ralphy Tovar, 5-0.
“He definitely knew what I was going to do,” Wick said. He slowed me down and I couldn’t get any of my offense. I tried my all, but it just wasn’t good enough.
“As far as the season, I did really well this year. I didn’t place here last year. To make it to the finals is a huge accomplishment, but it’s always a bummer when you lose in the finals.”
It was also a strong weekend for area competitors, who scored 10 medals. The others were San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (113, third), San Marino’s Silva (113, fifth), Wick (138, fourth) and Troy (152, third); Northview’s Richie Casillas (120, seventh) and Ricky Padilla (160, sixth); Sonora’s Russell Rohlfing (126, sixth) and Bishop Amat’s Nigel Ruiz (145, seventh).
Gonzalez fought back from 6-3 loss to Clovis’ Justin Meija in Friday’s quarterfinals to win four consecutive bouts on Saturday. He beat De La Salle’s Donovin Guerrero, 4-2, to take third.
“(Third is) the closest thing you can get in the consolation bracket,” Gonzalez said. “I came here to take first. Lost a tough one in the quarterfinals yesterday, and came back strong today.
“Once you lose, you can’t do any better. I wrestled my heart out. I can believe how fast these past four years have flown by. Everything worked out the way it did.”
Northview’s Joe Dominguez (145) and Damien’s Patrick Sanchez (285) lost in the consolation fifth round and will not medal.

2015 AREA STATE MEDALISTS
113

David Gonzalez, San Dimas, 3rd
Zander Silva, San Marino, 5th
120
Richie Casillas, Northview, 7th
126
Russell Rohlfing, Sonora, 6th
132
Julian Flores, San Marino, Champion
138
Evan Wick, San Marino 4th
145
Zander Wick, San Marino, 2nd
Nigel Ruiz, Bishop Amat, 7th
152
Luke Troy, San Marino, 3rd
160
Ricky Padilla, Northview, 6th

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CIF State Wrestling Championships: Area bites back with six semifinalists


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
BAKERSFIELD >>
Area wrestlers, after not producing a state finalists the previous two seasons, had their day of redemption on Friday
Six locals advanced to the semifinals, with six others in line to earn top-eight medals highlighted the first day of the CIF State championships at Rabobank Arena.
San Marino, which won its first CIF-Southern Section Masters title last week, continued its upward trend, getting four to this morning’s semifinals. Julian Flores (132 pounds), who had advanced to the semifinals the past two seasons, led the contingent that also includes Zander Silva (113), Zander Wick (145) and Luke Troy (152).
Northview’s Ricky Padilla (160) and Sonora’s Russell Rohlfing (126) round out the area semifinalists.
The six will face morning matches beginning at 9:30 a.m. for a chance to advance to the finals, scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

“It’s great,” said Flores, of San Marino’s effort. “As a team, we want to be on top. Hopefully, we can continue to do well in this tournament.”
Still alive for a top-eight finish are San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (113); Northview’s Richie Casillas (120) and Joe Dominguez (145); San Marino’s Evan Wick (138); Bishop Amat’s Nigel Ruiz (145) and Damien’s Patrick Sanchez (285).
All but Dominguez advanced to the quarterfinals before losing. All will also need to win in the consolation fifth round, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., to earn a top-eight medal.
Dominguez lost in the third round, but came back to win two consolation rounds to advance to today.
Flores was steady all day, scoring two close decisions before dominating Kenny Jones (Lassen), 10-1, in the quarterfinals.
“It’s nice to be back in the semis,” Flores said. “The last two years I made it to the semis and failed to do what I set out to do. This year, I have so much more confidence, and I feel a lot more confident for tomorrow.”
Silva was dominant at 113, earning a technical fall and a win by fall before beating Javier Alaniz (Clovis West), 10-2, in the quarterfinals.
Troy and Padilla advance after earning Master titles last week.

“It’s not my goal (to just get to the semis),” Padilla said. “I want to be at the top of the podium at the end of the day.”
Rohlfing advanced after losing in the quarterfinals last season.

“Last year, I lost in the quarters, so this is really big for me,” Rohlfing said. “I’m really excited. I’m just going to take it to him.”
Failing to qualify for today were Montebello’s Nico Gomez (106); Bishop Amat’s Sidney Flores (106); Northview’s Andres Hooper (126) , Andres Estrada (132) and Roger Arce (170); Sonora’s Josh Kawaguchi (132); California’s Richard Pocock (132); Charter Oak’s Antonio Zavala (152) and San Marino’s Aaron Padilla (160)

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Wrestling: San Marino wins 2015 Masters title; Arroyo’s Jackie Quinones wins state title

Zander Wick, from San Marino, celebrates after defeating Corona Santiago's Jeremy Thomas during their 145 pound match Saturda at the CIF-SS Master Meet at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario February 28, 2015. (Will Lester/Staff Photographer)

Zander Wick, from San Marino, celebrates after defeating Corona Santiago’s Jeremy Thomas during their 145 pound match Saturda at the CIF-SS Master Meet at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario February 28, 2015. (Will Lester/Staff Photographer)

By Stephen Ramirez

ONTARIO –
San Marino High School had big expectations entering the 2015 wrestling season.
The Titans lived up to that billing Saturday.
San Marino, a few years removed from being the doormat in the Rio Hondo League, is the best in Southern California after taking the CIF-Southern Section Masters title in dominating fashion at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena.

The Titans, led by two-time Masters champion Zander Wick (145 pounds) scored four individual championships and had six qualifiers to the CIF State championships en route to a first-place finish, St. John Bosco was second with Northview third. The Titans and Vikings each qualified six competitors to next weekend’s state championships, scheduled for Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
The other individual champions for San Marino were Zander Silva (113), Julian Flores (132) and Luke Troy (152).
“We did really well,” said Wick, who won at 126 last season. “It was awesome. It’s amazing, because three years ago we weren’t even league champions, we were like last in our league. We got good coaches to come in and we got a lot better.

“Nobody would have thought back then we could come in and take first at Masters. It’s great.”
The rest of the area had a pretty solid day as well, with six champions. The other two were Northview’s Richie Casillas (120) and Ricky Padilla (160). The area qualified 21 to next week’s state championships.

The other area qualifiers were Montebello’s Nico Gomez (103, fifth); Bishop Amat’s Eddie Flores (103, seventh) and Nigel Ruiz (145, fourth); San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (113, second); Sonora’s Russell Rohlfing (126, third) and Josh Kawaguchi (132, second); Northview’s Andres Hooper (126, sixth), Andres Estrada (132, fourth), Joe Dominguez (145, third) and Roger Arce (170, fifth); California’s Richard Pocock (132, fifth); San Marino’s Evan Wick (138, second) and Aaron Padilla (160, third); Charter Oak’s Antonio Zavala (152, seventh) and Damien’s Patrick Sanchez (285).

Zander Wick was one of two from the area to repeat as Master champions. He was joined by Padilla, who won at 152 last season.
Wick, ranked No. 3 in the state, beat No. 2 Jeremy Thomas, of Corona Santiago, 7-2. He led 3-2 late getting a takedown and near-fall to win by 5.
“My match was very tough,” Wick said. “He had me on a single leg, and I can’t remember what I did but I was able to put him on his back to win 7-2.”
Padilla was steady in beating Hemet’s Caleb Wilson, 3-0.
“It’s a great feeling to be two-time Masters champion,” Padilla said. “Not too many people have done it. It’s a tough section, so its real good.”

GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
It was mission accomplished for Arroyo High School’s Jackie Quinones Saturday.
The senior had a season-long of goal of winning CIF-Southern Section and CIF state wrestling titles this season. She accomplished the former two weeks ago and finished off the aspiration by winning at 189 pounds at the CIF State championships at Visalia Convention Center.
Quinones’ title quest was the area highlight, which also included Northview finishing second for the second consecutive season.
The Vikings, who won a state title in 2013, had three competitors score a top-eight medal. They were Izzy Valles (137, second), Deidra Valles (150, fifth) and Azusenna Molina (170, second).
The area had 10 athletes win medals. The others were Walnut’s Alyssa Barredo (101, second) and Mia Dow (121, fourth); California’s Nadia Escamilla (111, sixth); West Covina’s Jennifer Lopez (116, seventh); Arroyo’s Lesly Ramirez (150, sixth) and San Dimas’ Daishea Jaime (121, second).

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Northview, San Marino score CIF-SS wrestling titles


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

SANTA MARIA – Another year, another CIF-Southern Section wrestling title for Northview High School.
The Vikings scored their fifth consecutive championship in dominating fashion, winning the Northern Division crown with ease.
Northview had six individual titles and qualified eight for next week’s CIF-SS Masters Meet at Citizen’s Bank Arena in Ontario.
Scoring titles for the Vikings were Eddie Flores (106 pounds), Richie Casillas (120), Andres Estrada (132), Joe Dominguez (145), Ricky Padilla (160) and Roger Arce (170). Casillas was lower-weight MVP.

San Dimas’ David Gonzalez won at 113, scoring his second consecutive divisional title.
Thirteen area competitors qualified for the masters. Also advancing to next week are Northview’s Andres Hooper (126, third) and Steven Comstock (152, third); Rowland’s Christian Ramirez (132, second); San Dimas’ Julian Moreli (195, second) and Covina’s David Chavarria (220, fifth).

The top nine at Masters qualify for the CIF State championships, scheduled for Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield on March 6-7.
Northview scored its second CIF crown in as many weeks. The Vikings won the Central Division dual championship two weeks ago.
“It’s just an attitude,” said Padilla, who beat Sultana’s Allen Dromeo by fall in the 160 bout. “Big props to all 14 guys. Everyone won a match. It was great. A real team effort.”
Casillas won four matches by fall, including pinning Simi Valley’s Jacob Cam in the 120 final at 5:59.
Estrada scored his first divisional title by rallying past Ramirez, 3-3, in the 132 final.
“This kid has beaten me before, so I went in there knowing it would be a tough match,” Estrada said. “I felt if I kept my head in the right place, and was disciplined enough, I’d come away with the ‘W.’”
Gonzalez was dominant in winning at 113. He scored three wins by fall before beating Santa Maria’s Issac Sechslingloff, 12-0, in the final.
COASTAL DIVISION
San Marino had five individual champions and won the team title over second-place Victor Valley at Lakeside High School in Elsinore.
The champions for San Marino where Zander Silva (113), Julian Flores (132), Evan Wick (138), Zander Wick (145) and Aaron Padilla (160).
The other area qualifiers were Bishop Amat’s Sydney Flores (103, fifth), Jonathon Ornelas (126, fourth), Nigel Ruiz (145, second) and Joshua Sapien (285, second); San Marino’s Sebastian Velasquez (126, third), Luke Troy (152, second) and Tino Maese (182, fifth) and La Canada’s David Vardanian (220, fifth).
CENTRAL DIVISION
Damien’s Patrick Sanchez, who was second at heavyweight, and Bassett’s Arturo Vasquez, who was fifth at 182, were the lone area qualifiers at Grand Terrace High School.
SOUTHERN DIVISION
Montebello’s Nico Gomez (106) and California’s Richard Pocock (132) scored wins at Marina High School.
Also qualifying for Masters were Cal’s Christian Espinoza (106, second), Peter Rodriguez (152, fourth) and Alex Sotelo (160, third); La Serna’s Damien Valdez (106, third) and Nick Garcia (195, fourth); Gladstone’s Mario Barrios (113, third); Santa Fe’s Jose Peraza (132, third) and John Robles (182, third); Schurr’s Joseph Staley (145, fifth) and Efren Velez (170, fifth) and Duarte’s Angel Villanueva (285, second).
EASTERN DIVISION
Sonora enjoyed a daily double with wins by Russell Rohlfing (126) and Josh Kawaguchi (132) at Ayala High School. Rohlfing was also lower-weight MVP.
Area qualifiers were Arroyo’s Minh Nguyen (120, second), Thien Luu (145, fifth) and Jose Flores (195, fifth); Charter Oak’s Vincent Zavala (120, fifth), Jack Castorena (138, fifth) and Antonio Zavala (152, second); West Covina’s Frank Lopez (126, fifth), Gabriel Maldonado (132, fifth), Silvio Caceres (160, third) and Tyler Ili (182, fourth); Gabrielino’s Jael Yanes (132, third); Walnut’s Micah Maes (152, fourth); Diamond Bar’s Derek Moss (160, fourth); South El Monte’s Josh Escobedo (170, third); South Hills’ Carlos Calderon (182, fifth) and Austin Moreno (285, third); Rosemead’s Adam Macias (285, fourth) and Sonora’s Chance Lyster (220, fifth).

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CIF-SS Girls Wrestling Finals: Northview wins team title; San Dimas’ Daishea Jaime, Arroyo’s Jackie Quinones score individual titles


By Stephen Ramirez
EASTVALE – The San Gabriel Valley has been the dominant force since girls wrestling has been a CIF-sanctioned sport, and the area lived up to the billing at the CIF-Southern Section championship finals on Saturday.
Northview won its second consecutive section title and three area athletes scored individual titles at Roosevelt High School. The Valley also had 32 qualify for the CIF State championships, scheduled for Feb. 27-28 at the Visalia Convention Center.
The Vikings had a section-best nine state qualifiers, led by Deidra Valles, who was second at 150 pounds.
The area champions were San Dimas’ Daishea Jaime (121), Arroyo’s Jackie Quinones (189) and California’s Nadia Escamilla (111).


The other state qualifiers were Northview’s Haven Driscoll (101, fourth), Emily Hays (121, sixth), Julia Padilla (126, fourth), Izzy Valles (137, third), Mia Leon (160, fifth), Azusenna Molina, Serina Carrillo (189, eighth) and Desiray Galvez (235, seventh); Walnut’s Alyssa Barredo (101, second), Lauren Cuellar (111, fifth) and Mia Dow (121, second); West Covina’s Jennifer Lopez (116, third), Jimena Sarmiento (150, eighth) and Yvette Garcia (170, second); Sierra Vista’s Krystal Velazquez (111, eighth), Briana Villchis (126, sixth) and Angelica Ochoa (160, second); Bonita’s Natalie Romero (143, third) and Alyssa Palmer (160, sixth); Monrovia’s Brianna Dominguez (106, third); Schurr’s Sidney Valencia (106, seventh); Nogales’ Lizeth Flores (111, fourth); Santa Fe’s Nancy Guzman (116, sixth); Charter Oak’s Adriana Oliva (137, fourth); Gabrielino’s Jasmine Monroe (137, eighth); Rowland’s Cherydan James (143, fourth); Arroyo’s Lesly Ramirez (150, fifth) and San Dimas’ Haley Valdez (116, second).
“The expectations at Northview are high, whether it’s the boys or girls,” Northview coach Robert Dominguez said. “We’re family. We’re expected to go to class, get the grades and win championships. My girls came here and wrestled hard. It’s all about them. They had the right attitude. I’m proud of them.”

Jaime won an all-area battle in the 121 bout, beating Dow, 5-1.
“I feel accomplished,” Jaime said. “I got (Dow) back. I’ve been working really hard for this, so I’m really happy. I wrestled smart. I wasn’t focused on winning, like before. I was focused on working my moves.”

Quinones, who had four wins by fall, beat Pioneer Valley’s Torey Barrett, 5-0, in the 189 final. She won a state title last year, but after finishing sixth here last season.
“I want to win everything this year, because last year I didn’t win everything,” Quinones said. “Winning all of them is the goal again.”

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South Hills alumni game set for Saturday

The South Hills High School baseball program will debut the improvements to its field when it hosts its annual alumni game on Saturday.
All alumni are welcome to attend. Pre-game batting practice is scheduled for 9:45 a.m.
Second-year coach Darren Murphy said the turnout was good last season and he’s hoping more players/fans show up on Saturday.
The improvements to the field include a new backstop and screen.

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Wrestling: Northview, San Marino receive top seeds for dual championships

By Stephen Ramirez
Northview and San Marino, arguably the top two wrestling teams in the area, received top seeds in their respective divisions when the CIF-Southern Section released pairings Thursday for Saturday’s the dual championships.
The Vikings, who won a dual title last season, are No. 1 in the Central Division, with San Marino taking the top spot in the Western Division.
The 16-team tournaments will be Saturday at selected sites. Preliminary rounds begin at 11 a.m., with the finals slated for 7:15 p.m. The six host sites are Alta Loma High School (Central), Marina (Coastal), Carter (Eastern), Dos Pueblos (Northern), Redondo (Southern) and Millikan (Western).

Northview has a bye in the first round and will face the winner of Colton and Norte Vista in the quarterfinals. Other area first-round matchups are Bonita vs. Walnut, San Dimas vs. No. 3 Ayala; Hillcrest vs. Charter Oak and Diamond Bar vs. No. 2 Bloomington.
San Marino faces Lakewood in the first round of the Western Division. Other area first-round matchups are Arroyo vs. California; Montebello vs. Millikan; La Canada vs. Gabrielino and Santa Fe vs. No. 2 Downey.
Bishop Amat is No. 2 in the Northern Division and faces Channel Islands in the first round.
Bassett, which won its first league title in nine seasons with a Miramonte League championship, is no. 3 in the Southern Division. The Olympians face Fillmore in the first round. The other area first-round matchup is Montview League champion Duarte vs. La Puente,
Sonora, which won the Freeway League, faces San Clemente in Coastal first-round matchup.
GIRLS REGIONAL PREVIEW
Northview will host the CIF-SS Eastern Region girls wrestling championships on Saturday.
The event features some of the top competitors in the area. Preliminary rounds are slated to begin at 10 a.m., with the finals scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
Other regionals are slated for Tustin, Pioneer Valley and Upland high schools. The CIF-SS finals are scheduled for next weekend at Roosevelt High School, with the state finals slated for Visalia Convention Center on Feb. 27-28.
Regional host Northview, which won the CIF-SS meet last season, is led by seniors Izzy Valles (137 pounds) and Daisy Velasquez (143) and sophomore Deidra Valles (150).
Other key area athletes competing are El Monte’s Brianne Penunuri (101) and krissiana Fregoso (11); San Dimas’ Haley Valez (116), Daishea Jaime (121) and Monique Barajas (126); Walnut’s Alyssa Barredo (101), Lauren Cuellar (111) and Sarah Arellano (131); Sierra Vista’s Angelica Ochoa (160) and West Covina’s Jennifer Lopez (116).

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Boys Soccer: El Monte boys soccer edges Mountain View, 2-1

 El Monte's Jesus Garcia, top, scores past Mountain View goal keeper Michael Garcia (74) in the first half of a prep soccer match at South El Monte High School in El Monte, Calif., on Thursday, January 29, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

El Monte’s Jesus Garcia, top, scores past Mountain View goal keeper Michael Garcia (74) in the first half of a prep soccer match at South El Monte High School in El Monte, Calif., on Thursday, January 29, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

By Jared Pine
EL MONTE — After tying its previous meeting with Mountain View this year, the El Monte High School boys soccer team defeated the Vikings 2-1 with a goal from Ramon Rodriguez in the 77th minute for the Mission Valley League victory at home Thursday afternoon.
The win gives El Monte (10-6-2, 7-1-1) a game and a half lead over Mountain View (9-6-3, 5-2-1) in the league standings. The two teams were nearing their second 1-1 tie this season, but with just three minutes left in the game, El Monte earned a corner kick. The Spartans directed the kick out of the box, but when the ball came back in, Rodriguez was there and put his head on the ball amidst the Vikings’ defensive scramble, knocking the ball just over the line for the go-ahead goal.
Mountain View had a chance to answer in the final minute after Mauricio Rodriguez got a yellow card just outside the box on the goalkeeper’s left side. Valera Moises took the free kick for the Vikings, which was punched out by goalkeeper Jose Paredes. The ball was controlled by Roberto Alvarez, who took one dribble to control the ball and lifted it toward the goal. Paredes jumped up for the floater and knocked it over the cross bar, and Mountain View couldn’t get a shot off on the ensuing corner kick right before time expired.

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Girls Basketball: St. Paul completes sweep of Bishop Amat

 St. Paul players celebrate their win over Bishop Amat after their Del Rey girls basketball game at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs on Thursday January 29, 2015. St. Paul defeated Bishop Amat 53-38. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

St. Paul players celebrate their win over Bishop Amat after their Del Rey girls basketball game at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs on Thursday January 29, 2015. St. Paul defeated Bishop Amat 53-38. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

By Stephen Ramirez
SANTA FE SPRINGS – There was no league title at stake when the St. Paul High School girls basketball team hosted Bishop Amat on Thursday. It just seemed that way.
That’s what sweeping your rival for the first time in nearly three decades will do for you, especially one that has had the upper hand in the series.
Clarissa Perez scored 19 points and Adrianna Gonzalez had 14 as the Swordsmen beat the Lancers for the second time, scoring a 53-38 victory in a Del Rey League game at St. Paul.
St. Paul, which won at Amat (69-45) on Jan. 13, improved to 14-10 overall and 2-3 in league play. Bishop Amat, getting 14 points from Jurhandi Molina, slipped to 7-15 and 0-5.


St. Paul, after falling behind, 16-7, after the first quarter, put together a 14-minute stretch in the second, third and four quarters where it outscored the Lancers, 27-4, for a 45-28 advantage late in the fourth. The stretch included keeping Bishop Amat scoreless for more than eight minutes over the final seven of the third and the first of the fourth.

St. Paul’s Clarissa Perez: “It’s a great feeling to sweep Amat. Coach (Robert Miller) said its the first time in 24 years we’ve swept Amat. It’s a great win for us, and I’m very proud of all my teammates.”

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Girls Basketball: Youthful Covina looking like Valle Vista League favorite

By Stephen Ramirez
Youth is being served for the Covina High School girls basketball team, and so far, it’s been a good thing for the Colts.
Covina, with a lineup that features two sophomores and a freshman, is 11-8 and sits atop the Valle Vista League with San Dimas at 2-0.
Freshman Allison Ayala, with a 12 points per game average, has led the way, along with sophomore swing player Mariah Sierra, who is averaging 10 a game, and sophomore point guard Diana Navarro, a transfer from Azusa who is averaging 11.3 in the four games since becoming eligible.
The elder is senior Princess Nava, who is averaging 7.7 a game.
“We’re real young, but we knew we had to go young if we were going to have a chance to win league,” said Covina coach Nick Masi, who guided the Colts to the league title last season. “At the beginning of the season, they just weren’t ready, but we were hoping if we start them early, and give them the minutes and experience, that they’d be ready for league. Low and behold, they really stepped up.”

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