About Steve Ramirez

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

CCCAA Final Four: Mt. SAC beats SJ Delta, in positing for state-record seventh women’s basketball title

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

CERRITOS – Mt. San Antonio College will get its shot at history.
Sabrina Norton scored 15 points, including seven down the stretch, and the Mounties will get a shot at a record seventh women’s basketball state title after scoring a 51-47 victory over San Joaquin Delta in a California Community College Athletic Association semifinal Friday at Cerritos College.
Mt. SAC, also getting 10 points each from Shaela Flynn (Muir High School) and Johnea Thompson, improved to 29-4 and will face Ventura, an 87-73 winner over Fresno City, in the championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Cerritos College. Ventura is also gunning for a seventh CCCAA title. The Mounties beat the Pirates, 63-54, in December.

San Joaquin Delta, getting 16 points from Selina Moore and seven from Kelci Haueter, finished 27-6.
It was looking bleak for the Mounties after Delta put together a 22-10 blitz for a 46-42 lead with less than five minutes to play. But Mt. SAC, which had lost back-to-back games in December after giving up late leads, showed it could win that way.
Norton, who had 11 points in the second half, made it 46-45 on a three-point play at 3:55 before Thompson scored in the lane for a 47-46 lead with 3:25 left.
Sashanique Youngblood and Tahniya Sweatt (Muir) scored on consecutive inside shots to push it to 51-46 with 1:33 left.
Delta’s Teylor McMiller (six points) made one of two free throws at 1:30 before the Mustangs missed consecutive shots with less than a minute to play to clinch it for the Mounties.

Mt. SAC coach Brian Crichlow: We’re known for our defense and that’s what we were hoping for at that point. We needed to play defense and hit some big shots down the stretch.”

Mt. SAC’s Sabrina Norton: We all knew what we had to do and we weren’t ready to go home. It was whatever it took, whether it be making shots, getting a rebound or playing defense. We had to do it, and we won.”

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Dead ball, or groundball error?

Here’s the play from last night’s South Hills-Alta Loma baseball game, won by Alta Loma, 1-0. South Hills had the tying run on third with two outs. The Huskies’ Corey Cadek appears to hit a groundball that was misplayed for an error, allowing the tying run to score. But the umpire ruled the batted ball glanced off Cadek in the batter’s box, which is a dead ball.
What do you think. It’s hard to tell, but it appears to come off the ground too fast to have struck the player.

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DICK’S TOURNAMENT: Northview, South Hills lose semifinals games, will play for third on Saturday at Mt. SAC


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
WALNUT —
South Hills and Northview high schools will meet Saturday at Mt. SAC in what might be the early-season game of the year.
The prize they will battle for will be remarkably different.
Both lost semifinal games Wednesday and will play for third place of the Dick’s Sporting Goods baseball tournament at 4 p.m. at Mt. SAC.
South Hills, now led by former Northview coach Darren Murphy, lost a somewhat controversial decision, 1-0, to Alta Loma, with the Vikings, now led by former South Hills assistant Dan Roddy, losing, 6-1, to Tahquitz. Alta Loma and Tahquitz will play for the championship at 7:30 p.m., also at Mt. SAC.
South Hills dropped to the third-place game after it appeared to tie Alta Loma on a mis-played groundball to first with two outs in the bottom of the seventh that allowed Jon Ayala, who led off with a single, to score. But it was ruled that the ball glanced off batter Corey Cadek, resulting into a foul ball and sending the runners, including Quinn Cotter, who was at first, back to their respective bases.
Cadek then flied out to center field to end the game.

“The ball takes a funny spin on a two-hopper to first base,” Murphy said. “But that’s what the call is. As I told the kids, you don’t want to put the game in the umpire’s hands, but we did. We had to rely on a call or two and when you do that, bad things are going to happen. It shouldn’t have come down to one play.”
The controversial ending overshadowed a solid performance by South Hills pitcher Gavin Velasquez, who gave up three hits and no earned runs in seven innings. He also struck out seven. Velasquez has yet to yield an earned run this season, falling to 0-1.
Alta Loma scored its only run in the fifth on back-to-back throwing errors.
“We have to score runs,” Murphy said. “We made two errors that led to their one run. It’s a tough one, but we came up short.”

Northview was no match for Tahquitz in the first game.
Junior Kaycee Garcia tossed a three-hitter and struck out 11. He retired eight of the final 11 batters.
The Titans, getting three hits and a RBI from Hayden Firth, led 5-1 after three innings.

“(Garcia) did a good job of keeping us off balance,” Roddy said. “We battled. We just didn’t seem to have much energy tonight. We had a tough time finding our rhythm. By that time, we were behind.”
Garcia also had two RBIs.
Nick Ybarra had a double for Northview, which scored its only run on a wild pitch in the second.

DICKS BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
SEMIFINALS

Alta Loma 1, South Hills 0
Tahquitz 6, Northview 1
Saturday’s Championship
At Mt. SAC

Alta Loma vs. Tahquitz, 7:30 p.m.
Third-place Game
At Mt. SAC

South Hills vs. Northview, 4 p.m.

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CIF State Wrestling championships, Final Day: San Marino’s Julian Flores, Evan Wick take fifth; Bishop Amat’s Nigel Ruiz, Northview’s Bryan Salinas, Bonita’s Seth Morales take eighth

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By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
BAKERSFIELD —
There were no area champions, but locals still put together a strong showing at the CIF State wrestling championships at Rabobank Arena on Saturday.
They produced five medalists, led by San Marino High School’s Evan Wick and Julian Flores, who took fifth at 120 and 132 pounds, respectively. The other placers were Bishop Amat’s Nigel Ruiz (145), Northview’s Bryan Salinas (160) and Bonita’s Seth Morales (170). All were eighth after losing medal-round matches.
Flores began the day as the lone area competitor with a shot at the title. But he lost to Paradise’s Wyatt Wyckoff by fall in overtime in the semifinals, then re-grouped to finish fifth, losing to Clovis’ Isaiah Hokit in the third-place semifinals before beating Selma’s Ruben Garcia, 7-6, in the fifth-place match.

“I ended up taking fifth again,” said Flores, who was fifth at 120 last season after losing in the semifinals.
“I’m not really happy about that. It’s a lot of work. It sounds good, but placing fifth? I’m not really happy about it.”
It looked like Flores might have a chance to be the area’s first state finalist after he scored a reverse late in regulation against Wyckoff. But then was pinned with nine seconds left in the extra period.
“It was kind of tough coming back,” Flores said. “In some ways, I thought I had it. I lost that match and then the next one, and took fifth.”

Wick came back from a disappointing one-point loss in the quarterfinals to win three of four bouts on the day, beating Poway’s Kimo Dial in the consolation fifth round to ensure a top-eight finish before beating Bakersfield’s Carlos Herrera by fall (1:41) in the fifth-place bout.
“It’s definitely disappointing, not being in the finals, not taking first,” Wick said. “But fifth place I feel is still like a strong finish. It’s a tournament where everyone shows up. I feel I wrestled by best. It’s all behind us now.”

Ruiz went 1-2, but became the first Bishop Amat competitor to place at the state championships since Andrew Ortega was fifth at 125 in 2008. He secured a medal after beating Carter Armendarez, 7-6, in the consolation fifth round. He lost to El Dorado’s Gino Roman, 6-2, in the seventh-place match.
“It’s an amazing feeling, knowing that I accomplished something that no one (at Amat) has done in a while,” Ruiz said. “Overall, it was a great experience — my first time at state, first time getting this far. It feels pretty good.”
Salinas, who beat Liberty’s Jake Maas in the consolation fifth round, and Morales, who beat Corona Santiago’s Bryce DeCammargo in the consolation fifth round, defaulted their seventh-place matches.
San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (106), San Marino’s Zander Wick (126), Northview’s Ricky Padilla (152), Diamond Bar’s Keandre Johnson (220) and Glendora’s Ryan Padilla (285) lost in the consolation fifth round and did not medal.

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CIF State Wrestling Championships: San Marino’s Julian Flores lone area rep to semifinals

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
BAKERSFIELD –
All San Marino High School Julian Flores, after losing in the semifinals last season, wanted was a second chance.
He’s getting it.
The sophomore will have his shot at redemption after a steady effort Friday at the CIF State wrestling championhips at Rabobank arena, advancing to the Final Four at 132 pounds to lead the area, which had six advance to the quarterfinals and 10 still in position to score a top-eight medal.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals were San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (106); San Marino’s Evan Wick (120) and Zander Wick (126); Northview’s Bryan Salinas (160) and Bonita’s Seth Morales (170). All are still alive for a top-eight medal, but need to win their first match Saturday in the consolation fifth round to gaurantee a top-eight finish. Also advancing to the consolation fifth round after losing earlier in the tournament are Northview’s Richard Padilla (152), Bishop Amat’s Nigel Ruiz (145), Diamond Bar’s Keandre Johnson (220) and Glendora’s Ryan Padilla (285).
The consolation rounds continue this morning at 9 with the semifinals slated for 9:30. The finals are scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

“I made it to the semis last year and lost to the state champion,” Flores said. “This is a differenent story. I’m not losing in the semifinals this time.”
Flores gets his second chance after scoring decisions over La Costa Canyon’s Alec Baker (10-4) and De La Salle’s Nathan Cervantes (5-4) before beating Folsom’s Josh Lazaro by fall in the quarterfinals, pinning him in 3:14.

“I got behind (to Lazaro), used a double and put him on his back,” Flores said. “And I’m on my way to the semis.”
The other five area competitors to advanced to the quarterfinals were not as fortunate.
Gonzalez, who moved up to No. 2 at 106 after scoring titles at CIF-SS divisionals and Masters the past two weeks, lost 8-6 to Bakersfield’s Navonte Damison, giving up a takedown and escape to fall, 8-6. It’s his first loss since losing to Northview’s Richard Casillas in the Valle Vista League finals last month.
The Wick brothers also suffered heart-wrenching losses in the quarterfinals. Evan Wick lost, 2-1, to James Logan’s Jacob Donato, with Zander Wick falling, 4-3, to Madera’s Daniel Ruiz.
Salinas, who was ranked No. 1 in the state at 160 before losing in the finals at Masters last week, looked primed to get to the semifinals, carring a 3-0 lead over Oakmont’s Kaleio Romero into the third period. But he gave up a escape at 1:56 before yielding a takedown with 34 seconds left, then a near-fall with three seconds to go to lose, 4-3.

Morales lost, 6-2, to Gilroy’s Matt Penyacsek.
Failing to advance to the final day were Northview’s Richard Casillas (106), Vincent Parra (113), John Rivera (132) and Anthony Martinez (182); Rowland’s Miguel Juarez (106) and Mario Flores (138); Charter Oak’s Joe Alexander (132); Damien’s Kaulin Garcia (182); Arroyo’s Luis Hernandez (220) and Sierra Vista’s Isaac Aguilar (285).

106
David Gonzalez (San Dimas): Round 1: Def. Greg Viloria (West, SJS), 5-2; 2nd Rd: Def. Raymond Monela (James Logan, NS), 9-0; 3rd Rd: Def. Kai Middlebrook (Poway, SD), 2-0, OT; Quarters:Lost to Navonte Demison (Bakersfield, CS), 8-6. Conso Rd5 (Saturday): Vs. Javier Alanis (Clovis East, CS).
Miguel Juarez (Rowland): Round 2: Def. Jimmie Lopez (Christopher, CC), 8-4; 3rd Rd: Lost to Navonte Demison (Bakersfield, CS), by fall, 2:30; Conso Rd3: Lost to Andrew Nelms (Porterville, CS), 8-5. OUT
Richard Casillas (Northview): Round 2: Lost to Logan Eaton (Oakdale, SJS), 7-5; Conso 2nd Rd: Def. Ethan Diaz (Canyon Springs), by fall, :53; Conso Rd3: Lost to Kai Middlebrook (Poway, SD), 6-3. OUT
113
Vincent Parra (Northview): Round 1: Def. Devon Silva (Chico, NS), 12-0; 2nd Rd: Def. Abbas Khan (El Camino Real), 10-2; 3rd Rd: Lost to Devan Turner (Dixon, SJ), by fall, 3:17; Conso Rd3: Def. Tanner Browning (Golden Valley, SJS), 10-2; Conso Rd4: Lost to Nico Colunga, Oakdale (SJS), by fall, 2:21. OUT
120
Evan Wick (San Marino): Round 1: Def. Alejandro Jimenez (Buchanan, CS), 5-1; 2nd Rd: Def. Isaiah Palomino (Bellarmine, SJS), by fall, 4:17; 3rd Rd: Def. Jake Schaffer (Otay Ranch, SD), 9-0; Quarters: Lost to Jacob Donato (James Logan, NCS), 2-1; Conso Rd5 (Saturday): Kimo Dial (Poway, SD).
126
Zander Wick (San Marino): 2nd Rd: Def. Andy Alvarez (Granite Hills, CS), 12-2; 3rd Rd: Def. Devon Sookhoo (Enochs, SJS), by fall, 1:33; Quarters: Lost to Daniel Ruiz (Madera, CS), 4-3; Conso Rd5 (Saturday): Angel Velasquez (Modesto, SJS).
132
Joseph Alexander (Charter Oak): Round 1: Lost to Lake Gee (Las Plumas, NS), 8-6; Conso Rd1: Def. John Rivera (Northview), 5-4; Conso Rd2: Lost to Jaden Enriquez (Mission Oak, CS), by fall, 4:27; OUT
Julian Flores (San Marino): Round 2: Def. Alec Baker (La Costa Canyon, SD), 10-4; Rd3: Def. Nathan Cervantes (De la Salle, NCS), 5-4; Quarters: Def. Josh Lazaro (Folsom, SJS), by fall, 3:14; Semifinals (Saturday): Vs. Wyatt Wyckoff (Paradise, NCS).
John Rivera (Northview): Round 2: Lost to Wyatt Wyckoff (Paradise, NS), by fall, 2:48; Conso Rd.1: Lost to Joseph Alexander (Charter Oak), 5-4. OUT
138
Mario Lopez (Rowland): Round 1: Def. Ethan Dunn (Modoc, NS), Tech. Fall, 15-0; Rd2: Lost to Abel Contreras (Porterville, CS), 6-1, OT; Conso Rd2: Def. David San Miguel (Bellarmine, CC), 4-3; Conso Rd3: Lost to Sean O’Rourke (Mater Dei Catholic, SDS), 4-1. OUT
145
Nigel Ruiz (Bishop Amat): Round 2: Def. Ashton Demaree (El Diamante, CS), by Tech. Fall, 15-0; Rd3: Lost to Jared Hill (Clovis, CS), 7-5; Conso Rd3: Def. Michael Ripley (Oroville, NS), by Tech. fall, 15-0; Conso Rd4: Def. Nathan Pimmentel (Dos Palos, CS), by fall, 4:21; Conso Rd5 (Saturday): Vs. Cartr Armendarez (Temecula Valley).
152
Ricky Padilla (Northview): Round 1: Def. Tristan Smith (Bear Creek, SJS), by fall, 4:26; Rd2: Lost to Jesse Gregerson (Libert, NC), 5-4; Conso Rd2: Def. Izzac Suarez (Dos Palos, CS), 5-2; Conso Rd3: Def. Dominic Kincaid (Clovis, CS), 2-1; Conso Rd4: Def. Rene Sanchez (Upland), by fall, 4:01; Conso Rd5 (Saturday): Vs. Andrew Morgan (Fountain Valley).
160
Bryan Salinas (Northview): Round 2: Def. Chase Miles (Sutter, NS), 8-0; Rd3: Def. Michael Wright (Dinuba, CS), 3-1; Quarters: Lost to Kaleio Romero (Oakmont, SJS), 4-3; Conso Rd5 (Saturday): Vs. Jake Maas (Liberty, CS).
170
Seth Morales (Bonita): Round 1: Def. Marcus Macias (Central, CS) by fall, 1:39; Rd2: Def. Chris Moran (Sanger, CS), by fall, :43; Rd3: Def. Will Sumner (Nevada Union, SJS), by default; Quarters: Lost to Matt Penyacsek (Gilroy, CC), 6-2; Conso Rd5 (Saturday): Vs. Bryce Decamargo (Corona Santiago).
182
Kaulin Garcia (Damien): Round 2: Lost to Alec Gamboa (Madera, CS), 11-3: Conso Rd1: Def. Adrian Vizcaino (Central Valley, SJS), 1-0: Conso Rd2: DEf. Antonio Melo (Hilmar, SJS), by default; Conso Rd3: Lost to Zack Wally (James Logan, NCS), 11-5. OUT
Anthony Martinez (Northview): Round 2: Lost to Young Wooan (Buchanan, CS), 11-4: Conso Rd2: Def. Tyler Roman (University City, SDS), by fall, 1:57; Conso Rd3: Lost to Waseem Elhamad (Mira Mesa, SD), 8-2. OUT
220
Keandre Johnson (Diamond Bar): Round 1 Def. Jonathan Pohahou (Wilcox, CC), 10-2; Rd2: Def. Christian Hernandez (Mission, SFS); Rd. 3: Lost to Gabriel Gonzalez (Washington Union, CS), by fall, 2:41; Conso Rd3: Def. Brian Book (Durham, NS), by fall, 1:36; Conso Rd4: Def.
Luis Hernandez (Arroyo): Round 2: Lost to Victor Raigoza (Orland, NS), 6-4; Conso Rd. 1: Def. Zak Levatino (Buchanan, CS), 5-2; Conso Rd2: Def. Travis Yarbrough (Bakersfield, CS), by fall, 3:24; Conso Rd3: Lost to Jeff Holsinger (Santa Margarita), by fall, 2:56. OUT
285
Ryan Padilla (Glendora): Round 1: Def. Wyatt Landreth (Foothill, NS) by fall, 5:06; Rd2: Lost to Saul Menses (Del Oro, SJS), 5-4; Conso Rd2: Def. Miguel Villanueva (Madera South, CS), by fall, 4:33; Conso Rd3: Def. Jesse Gomez (Buena Park), 3-1; Conso Rd4:
Issac Aguilar (Sierra Vista): Round 2: Lost to Gary Miltenberger (Fremont, CC), 3-2; Conso Rd. 2: Lost to Dawuud Davis (Dinuba, CS), by fall, 1:55. OUT

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Softball Rankings: Amat still the one

The Bishop Amat High School softball teams is ranked No. 1 in the area on the strength of returning players, from left. Alyssa Barrera, Amanda Sanchez and Mandy Larios. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

The Bishop Amat High School softball teams is ranked No. 1 in the area on the strength of returning players, from left. Alyssa Barrera, Amanda Sanchez and Mandy Larios. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

By Stephen Ramirez, @SteveRRamirez on Twitter
There were no area CIF-Southern Section softball champions last year. But that may change this season.
Five local teams began the year ranked in their respective divisions and look capable of bring home championship hardware.

The top of the heap is traditional power Bishop Amat, which has been the area’s elite program in recent years, and that’s not expected to change in 2014.
The Lancers, who begin the season ranked No. 1 in the area, suffered big time losses, including coach Jesse Mendez to West Covina, but there’s plenty of optimism in La Puente with the return of arguably three of the better players in the area — third baseman Amanda Sanchez, shortstop Mandy Larios and outfielder Alyssa Barrera.
There’s also the factor of new coach Kristen Dedmon, whose experience includes three years as head coach at Capistrano Valley and being a graduate assistant at NCAA power UCLA in 2008.
“As a coach, it is exciting to join a program that has talent and a tradition of excellence,” Dedmon said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the team puts all of the things we’ve worked on into practice during the games.”
The talent is definitely still there, especially with Sanchez, who was one of the top hitters in the area last season, hitting .569 with 30 RBIs. She also She also scored 28 runs. Larios hit .264 with 13 RBIs, with Barrera hitting .338 with 11 RBIs. She also scored 20 runs.
The challenge will be in the circle, where Sabrina Anguiano is gone. The replacements will lie with senior Anissa Sanchez and sophomore Samaria Diaz. The two combined for 16 innings last season.
“My team knows that I expect a lot from them,” Dedmon said. “Having so many returners on the team is an asset because they have experience that they can pass on to their teammates. They know what it is like to play together and to make the postseason.
“The girls are really hungry to make CIF again this year and to advance further than they did last year. That being said, we’ll have to take this season one game at a time in order to reach our goals. As with any team, getting them to work together and persevere through the ups and downs of a season is one of the biggest goals and I’m pleased to say that this is a group of girls that loves to compete and thoroughly enjoy being teammates.”
The rest of the top 10 is after the jump Continue reading

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Wrestling: Northview takes Masters title, San Dimas’ David Gonzalez and Vikes’ Ricky Padilla win titles

HERE’S A VIDEO FROM THE GURU, JAMES ESCARCEGA;

San Dimas' David Gonzalez (blue) and Alta Loma's Zander Silva (white) wrestle during the 106lb championship match of the CIF-SS Masters Wrestling Meet at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA., Saturday, March 1, 2014. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (blue) and Alta Loma’s Zander Silva (white) wrestle during the 106lb championship match of the CIF-SS Masters Wrestling Meet at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA., Saturday, March 1, 2014. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin


By Stephen Ramirez, @SteveRRamirez on Twitter
ONTARIO –
The road to the CIF State wrestling championships didn’t run through the San Gabriel Valley on Saturday. It just seemed that way.
The area, led by brothers Evan and Zander Wick, of San Marino High School, scored four individual titles and had 19 competitors qualify for next weekend’s state meet in Bakersfield after putting together solid performances at the CIF-Southern Section Masters championships at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena.
The area champions were the Wicks, who won titles at 120 and 26 pounds, respectively; San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (106) and Northview’s Ricky Padilla (152). All followed up divisional championships last weekend with Master titles on Saturday.
Northview, whith a section-best six state qualifiers, won the team title, with San Marino, which qualified three, finishing eighth.

Also qualifying from the area were Northview’s Richard Casillas (106, sixth), Vincent Parra (113, third), John Rivera (132, third), Anthony Martinez (182, eighth) and Bryan Salinas (160, second); Rowland’s Miguel Juarez (106, seventh) and Mario Lopez (138, fifth); Bishop Amat’s Nigel Ruiz (145, second); San Marino’s Julian Flores (132, second); Bonita’s Seth Morales (170, third); Damien’s Kaulin Garcia (182, ninth); Diamond Bar’s Dandrell Johnson (220, fourth); Arroyo’s Lois Hernandez (220, eighth); Charter Oak’s Joseph Alexander (132, fifth) and Glendora’s Guillermo Padilla (285, fifth).
Northview, with a section-best six state qualifiers won the team title.
For Zander Wick, Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Riverside King’s Kristian Vasquez, was all about redemption. Vasquez eliminated him at Masters last season.
He got some revenge after using two takedowns for a 4-1 lead before winning, 4-2.
“It was a drive from last year, because I didn’t make state,” Wick said. “Really, it was just me wanting to come back and win this, because last year I didn’t place.”
Evan Wick, who qualified for the state meet last season, but didn’t place, gets a second chance after wins by fall and technical fall and two decisions, including a 6-2 victory over West Torrance’s Yoshito Funakoshi in the finals.
“It’s definitely good,” Wick said. “I hadn’t had a Masters title under by belt yet. It’s good to come here, win CIF, win Masters. It’s good momentum for state.”
Gonzalez, ranked in state top 10 earlier this season, won against a higher-ranked opponent for the second consecutive week. Last week, he beat Northview’s Casillas, who was sixth in the state, for the Central Division title and followed it up with a 2-0 win over Alta Loma’s Zander Silva, who was rated No. 2. He scored a takedown with three seconds left in the first period than withstood a switch attempt by Silva in the final seconds.
“It feels really great,” Gonzalez said. “Last week, I had a tough match against Casillas and won, and this week against Silva. It’s a great to win a CIF belt, then a Masters belt. State is up next.”
Padilla, ranked No. 11 state, was dominant in winning at 152. He jumped out to leads of 3-0 and 7-1 before beating Hemet’s Caleb Wilson, 14-6.
“It’s great just to be here,” Padilla said. “I’m just looking forward to continuing that at state and placing.”
Nigel, who lost to Corona Santiago’s Justin Thomas, 7-2, is Amat’s first state qualifier since 2008.
Salinas, ranked No. 1 in the state, lost in an upset at 160.

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Girls Wrestling: Arroyo’s Jackie Quinones wins state title; Northview places second

Northview High School came up short in its quest for a second consecutive CIF State girls wrestling title, placing second to Albany Saturday night at the Visalia Convention Center.
Arroyo’s Jackie Quinones was the only area competitor to score an individual title, taking first at 189 pounds.
Eighteen area athletes took top eight medals. In addition to Quinones, they were Northview’s Daveena Banda (126), Katie Auxier (143, third), Jazmin Perez (121, fifth) and Diedra Valles (170, sixth); Nogales’ Alondra Becerra (101, fifth); Walnut’s Alyssa Barredo (106, third); Mountain View’s Inez Martinez (116, fourth) and Milagros Garcia (170, third); Covina’s Fay Venturina (116, seventh); San Dimas’ Daishea Jaime (121, sixth) and Brandie Elizalde (126, third); Arroyo’s Jade Harvey (138, eighth); Sierra Vista’s Angelica Ochoa (160, fifth) and Evelyn Avila (234, fourth); West Covina’s Yvette Garcia (170, seventh) and Jazmine Chavarria (235, eighth); Baldwin Park’s Jessica Villegas (189, fifth);

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Northview wins another CIF-SS wrestling title; seven area athletes win titles

Northview's Vincent Parra prior to defeating Righetti's Andrew Ibarra (not pictured) in the 113lb match during the CIF-SS Central Division wrestling championships at Notre Vista High School in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, Feb.22, 2014. (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

Northview’s Vincent Parra prior to defeating Righetti’s Andrew Ibarra (not pictured) in the 113lb match during the CIF-SS Central Division wrestling championships at Notre Vista High School in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, Feb.22, 2014. (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)


By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
RIVERSIDE —
Northview High School has been one of the CIF-Southern Section’s elite programs for nearly two decades, and the Vikings added to that lore Saturday.
Senior Bryan Salinas, a favorite to win a state title, led a group of three Northview athletes who earned individual titles and the Vikings won their fourth consecutive team title at the Central Division championships at Norte Vista High.

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Baseball: Northview to face South Hills in exhibition game to support RJ Legacy Foundation

Darren Murphy, a former Northview baseball coach who is now at South Hills, will face his old team in an exhibition game on Thursday to support the RJ Foundation. (File photo by Keith Birmingham/Staff Photographer)

Darren Murphy, a former Northview baseball coach who is now at South Hills, will face his old team in an exhibition game on Thursday to support the RJ Foundation.
(File photo by Keith Birmingham/Staff Photographer)

Former league rivals Northview and South Hills will square off on Thursday at Maverick Park in West Covina for an exhibition baseball game to support the RJ Legacy Foundation. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 6 p.m.
The RJ game, the fourth since 2010, will feature new South Hills coach Darren Murphy, who previously coached at Northview and built the Vikings into one of the Valley’s top prorgrams, vs. Northview’s new coach Dan Roddy, a long-time assistant at South Hills.
Pre-game ceremonies include at tribute to RJ and late Alta Loma head coach and Bonita assistant coach Ted Persell, who died in December. Bishop Amat senior Scott Hurst, a member of the 2013 Team USA gold medal winning team, will throw out the first pitch. Food will be provided by Buckboard BBQ Covina at the concession stand and parking is free.
Maverick Park is located at 350 South Citrus Avenue in West Covina.

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Boys basketball playoffs: Damien gets No. 4 seed in 1AA as 10 area teams receive seeds

Damien and coach Matt Dunn are ready for another playoff run. (File photo by Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Damien and coach Matt Dunn are ready for another playoff run.
(File photo by Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

Damien High School, which won last season’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA championship, began this season as the area’s best chance to bring home a boys basketball title.
The Spartans still possess the area’s best hope after receiving a top-four seed after the CIF-Southern Section released its playoff pairings Sunday.
Damien, ranked No. 1 in the area most of the season, drew the No. 4 seed in Division 1AA and will host Diamond Bar, a former league foe, in the first round at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Spartans were one of 10 local teams to receive a top-16 seed among the 11 divisions but the only one to receive a top-four ranking.
Other area seeds were Walnut (14) in 1AA; Glendora (6) in 2AA; Los Altos (14) in 2A; Bonita (12) in 3AA; Bishop Amat (8), El Monte (12), Gladstone (10) and South El Monte (15) in 3A and Workman (15) in 4AA.

Damien coach Matt Dunn: It’s kind of funny. We’ve had years where we won a bunch of games, there’s been years where we struggled at the end. But ultimately, I think it comes down to whether your guys want to keep playing, and we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do that. I feel our guys are really excited for the playoffs. I think we’re in a good spot. We still have our best basketball ahead of us.”

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Girls basketball playoffs: Bonita gets top seed in 1AA; Diamond Ranch and Bishop Amat also get top five seeds

Is an elusive CIF-SS title finally within reach for the Bonita girls basketball team? (File photo by Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Is an elusive CIF-SS title finally within reach for the Bonita girls basketball team?
(File photo by Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez

Bonita High School has seen its quest for a CIF-Southern Section girls basketball title come up short in recent seasons. But the Bearcats may have their best opportunity yet.
Bonita, after winning another Hacienda League title, received the top seed in Division 1AA when the CIF-SS released playoff pairings on Sunday. The Bearcats, who lost in the semifinals last season and in the finals in 2011, will host Silverado in the first round on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Bonita is one of six area teams to receive a top-16 placement, with Bishop Amat No. 5 in 1AA and Diamond Ranch No. 4 in 3AA. The others are South Hills (10) and Wilson (15) in 3AA and Covina (11) in 3A.

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Girls Water Polo Playoffs: Bonita gets top seed in Division 4

Bonita has been the best area girls water polo team throughout the season and that performance was awarded Sunday.
The Bearcats, who went undefeated in winning their fourth consecutive Hacienda League crown, received the top seed for Division 4 when the CIF-Southern Section released playoff pairings for girls water polo.

HERE IS THE LOCAL SCHEDULE:
GIRLS WATER POLO
DIVISION 3
Wild Card Round
Tuesday

Paso Robles at Charter Oak
First Round
Wednesday

Righetti at St. Lucy’s
Charter Oak-Paso Robles at Harvard-Westlake
DIVISION 4
Wild Card Round
Tuesday

Walnut at Sunny Hills
First Round
Thursday

Oxnard-San Marino at Bonita
Walnut-Sunny Hills at South Pasadena
Temple City at Los Altos
DIVISION 7
First Round
Thursday

San Dimas at Hemet
La Puente at Chino
Notre Dame/Riverside at Wilson

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Wreslting: Northview wins CIF-SS girls Finals title

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

Northview High School, after winning a CIF state girls wrestling title last season, took a major step toward a repeat Saturday.
The Vikings, paced by individual champions Izzy Valles and Katie Auxier at 137 and 143 pounds, respectively, qualified a tournament-best eight for next week’s state championships in Visalia, to easily win the CIF-SS championship at Roosevelt High School in Eastvale.
The top eight in each of 14 weight classes qualified for the state championships, scheduled for Visalia on Feb. 28-March 1.
West Covina, with five qualifiers, was third, with Mountain View and Walnut, sixth and seventh, respectively.
Auxier, who was upper weight MVP, and Valles, led a group of six area competitors to win titles. The others were Walnut’s Alyssa Barredo (106) and Mia Dow (116); Baldwin Park’s Jessica Villegas (189) and West Covina’s Jazmine Chavarria (235).
Other area state qualifiers are Northview’s Rose Martinez (106), Jazmin Perez (121), Daveena Banda (126), Jasmine Mendez (131), Mia Leon (160) and Deidra Valles (170); West Covina’s Melissa Ortiz (101), Esmeralda Garcia (143), Jackie Trujillo (150) and Yvette Garcia (170); Nogales’ Alondra Becerra (101); South El Monte’s Brittany Soto (101); Charter Oak’s Vanessa Felciano (106), Maria Rodriguez (111) and Adriana Oliva (137); Mountain View’s Inez Martinez (116), Rosemary Martinez (131) and Milagros Garcia (170); Rowland’s Marliena Granados (116); Covina’s Fay Venturina (116); San Dimas’ Daishea Jaimie (121) and Brandi Elizalde (126); Gladstone’s Nayza Martinez (126); Arroyo’s Jade Harvey (137) and Jackie Quinones (189) and Sierra Vista’s Angelica Ochoa (160) and Evelyn Avila (235).

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

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
INDUSTRY –
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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Boys Basketball: Walnut wraps up Hacienda with 64-60 win over Los Altos


By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
HACIENDA HEIGHTS —
Checkmate.
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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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
Correspondent

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
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
CLAREMONT —
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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Girls Water Polo: Bonita wraps up another Hacienda League title with 12-6 win over Los Altos


By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
HACIENDA HEIGHTS –
Bonita High School will leave the Hacienda League at the same level it entered it — as the dominant girls water polo program.
Natalie Rivas and Erin Gonzalez scored three goals each and Bonita wrapped up its fourth consecutive league title with a 12-9 victory over host Los Altos on Thursday in a game featuring two teams ranked in the top 10 of CIF-Southern Section Division 4.
Claire Turner and Kirra Hemric also had two goals for second-ranked Bonita, which improved to 18-9 overall and 7-0 in the Hacienda League.
Brooke Contreras had four goals for No. 7 Los Altos, which slipped to 11-11 and 4-2.
Bonita countered Los Altos’ early surge with three quick goals to take a 3-2 lead after the first quarter. Gonzalez scored on a back-hand shot in the hole before her and Turner followed with tallies to make it 3-2.
The Bearcats then scored on their first three shots in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead at halftime.
Bonita, after Los Altos, closed within 9-6 after three quarters, outscored the Conquerors, 3-0, in the fourth to win 12-6.

Bonita coach Andy Rosenberg: “I’m pleased with my girls,” said Bonita coach Andy Rosenberg. We got down, but kept our composure and came back. I really liked that. It was really good, to be here in a hostile environment and come back. (Los Altos) is a good team. They never give up, and I imagine they will do well in CIF and we may wind up seeing them again.”
Los Altos coach Chris Coleman: “It was a fantastic start, then we were down 3-2 after simple mistakes. They scored from the five spot two times in a row. It kind of fell apart.”
Bonita’s Claire Turner: “We have a lot of good scorers. But we wanted to work on our defense against them.”

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Boys Basketball: Mike LeDuc gets 800th win as Glendora scores 63-56 victory at Upland

Glendora head coach Michael LeDuc, left, is congratulated by former Ramona (Riverside) head coach Dough Stockham who was LeDuc's high school coach after defeating Upland 63-56 for his 800th win as a head coach during a prep basketball game at Upland High School

Glendora head coach Michael LeDuc, left, is congratulated by former Ramona (Riverside) head coach Dough Stockham who was LeDuc’s high school coach after defeating Upland 63-56 for his 800th win as a head coach during a prep basketball game at Upland High School

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
UPLAND >>
For Glendora High School coach Mike LeDuc, the Tartans’ success over the past three decades has never been about one man.
So much so on a day when LeDuc scored his 800th victory with a 63-56 win at Upland on Tuesday, he deflected this personal milestone to what it meant for this Glendora team, to beat one of the better teams in the Baseline League on the road, and do so in impressive fashion.
Glendora (17-7 overall 3-4 in league), getting 19 points from senior guard A.J. Bigornia and 16 from Thomas Rico, played arguably its best game of the season, holding Upland (13-11, 3-4) to under 40-percent shooting while outscoring the Highlanders, 37-22, during the second and third quarters to take control.


Glendora coach Mike LeDuc: “To me, it’s not about me (getting the 800th victory), but our guys playing pretty tough and starting to play better. It’s more about that than any milestone for me. We played tough, we played good. I think we are starting to play better. Upland is a very good team. We’ve lost the last couple of times we’ve come over here, so it was important that we played well, and we played tough.“

Glendora’s A.J. Bigornia: “It was really special. Coach has worked so hard all these years, coaching Cameron Murray, Tracy Murray, Casey Jacobson … It’s an honor for me to be on his team.”

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Girls Basketball: Covina all but wraps up Valle Vista League after rallying for 45-37 victory over Wilson

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
COVINA >>
Covina and Wilson high school have taken turns winning the Valle Vista League girls basketball titles the previous two seasons, and Dominique Theus put the Colts in position to add to their trophy collection.
The senior scored a game-high 20 points and keyed a second-half surge as host Covina took a major step toward the league title with a 45-37 victory over Wilson on Monday.
The Colts, also getting 10 points from Mariah Sierra and eight from Daeanera Tuaua, improved to 15-9 overall and 9-0 in league play. Covina, ranked No. 6 in the Valley, moves two games ahead of Wilson with three games left. Wilson, which went 12-0 in winning the league title last season, slipped to 14-9 and 7-2. The Wildcats were led by Elizabeth Lau and Kaelyn Kawamoto, with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Sierra, after Lau made two free throws at 3:17, then hit a 3-pointer for a 38-37 lead with 2:48 left. Sierra then made a fast-break layup with 53 seconds left before Theus sank two free throws for a 43-37 lead with 42 seconds left to clinch it.

Covina coach Nick Masi: “I can’t be more proud of my players, my coaching staff from fighting back from unranked (to begin the season) to (possibly) league champs. I can’t be any more proud of them. I’ll be honest. Wilson was the league favorites. We knew that and (winning) it was our goal. It was something we just couldn’t do last year, but they became champions tonight by beating (Wilson) twice. That’s a big deal.”

Wilson coach Chris Roberts: “You have to give Covina all the credit in the world. We couldn’t get the shots we wanted today. It was the same thing when we ran into them at our place. They’re a very disciplined team, defensively. We tried has hard as we could, but in the end, they were more effective, defensively.”
Dominique Theus: “We were down by seven at halftime, but I told my team we have to win. We have to do what we have to do on defense, play smart and try our best on offense and come out ahead.”

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Prices are right for Wilson; Wildcats rout San Dimas in Valle Vista League showdown

Wilson's Kyle Price (3) drives to the basket past San Dimas' Omar Nasri (50) in the first half of a prep basketball game at Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

Wilson’s Kyle Price (3) drives to the basket past San Dimas’ Omar Nasri (50) in the first half of a prep basketball game at Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >>
Wilson High School began the season as the favorite to win the Valle Vista League boys basketball title, and the Wildcats will likely live up to that preseason billing.
Kyle Price scored a game-high 19 points and Kevin Price had 16 and 12 rebounds and host Wilson solidified its hold on first place with an 82-47 victory over second-place San Dimas on Friday.

The Wildcats, also getting nine points from Eric Lee and eight each from Justin Lee and Justin Chan, improved to 15-7 overall and 8-0 in league. San Dimas, getting 12 points each from Ryan Ocampo and Omar Nasri, slipped to 10-10 and 6-2.
Wilson, keyed by the inside play of Kevin Price and some cluth 3-point shooting from Li, put this one away after using runs of 11-1 and 14-6 in the third quarter to go up 53-33. The Wilcats then outscored San Dimas, 28-11 to win by 35.

Wilson coach Willie Allen: “It was huge and the boys knew it. They knew how big this was. They didn’t want to share any league title. They wanted to make sure we won this outright.
“We had a good game at San Dimas (earlier this season) that was close, and we wanted to send a message to the rest of the league.”

San Dimas coach Bruce Robbins: “We didn’t respond very well being down. Since we made the switch (to an up-tempo attack), we hadn’t been behind. Our kids just didn’t respond, or we didn’t respond to when we missed shots. When we missed shots, our heads went into the toilet somewhere. I guess I could have done something to slow the game down, but I really didn’t want to do that because we’re trying to get a certain way to playing in our kids’ minds that we think in the long run is better for us. I kept us playing the way we want to play, and Wilson did a nice job.”

Kevin Price: “We just (keep) our composure. (Basketball) is a game of runs. They had theirs and we had to stop it and get ours.”

MORE FROM COACH BRUCE ROBBINS

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Glendale spoils Kevin Smith’s Mt. SAC debut, 8-4, in 11 innings


By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
WALNUT >>
Kevin Smith’s debut as Mt. San Antonio College’s baseball coach didn’t go as planned on Thursday.
Nick Padilla hit a three-run double in the 11th inning and visiting Glendale spoiled Smith’s first game with an 8-4 victory over the Mounties at Mazmanian Field.
The Vaqueros, who won their first game after opening with losses to Oxnard and Cypress, also got two hits each from Jerry Ismerio and Jay Sheeley. Richie Rollice (South Hills High School) Kolby Oriti (Northview) and Carlos Martinez (Nogales) had two hits each for Mt. SAC.
Glendale didn’t waste it’s chance in the 11th. The Vaqueros loaded the bases with one out following to hit batters and a throwing error. Padilla then doubled down the right field line to score all three for a 7-4 lead.
Sheeley followed with an RBI single to make it 8-4.
Mt. SAC, which fell behind 4-0, tied it at 4 in the seventh. Richie Rollice (South Hills), Kolby Oriti and Carlos Martinez (Nogales) had singles before Edgar Cabral (La Puente), Dustin Fraley and Nico Contreras (South Hills) followed with RBI walks to make it 4-3. Boomer Baker then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Cabral and tie it at 4.
Mt. SAC coach Kevin Smith: “It’s a little bit quicker, pitchers throw a little bit harder and the game is a little bit faster (at this level), but baseball is baseball. If you catch and throw and hit the baseball in key situations you win. On the other hand, if you don’t, you’re going to lose. We didn’t do all the things we needed to do to win. I am happy with the effort the guys gave us tonight. They never gave up, worked hard. We’re OK.”

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Gabrielino takes over Mission Valley League race with 58-43 win over South El Monte

South El Monte's Enrique Duarte (2) scrambles for the loose ball with Gabrielino's Eli Peters, left, and teammate Gary Hawkins in the first half of a prep basketball game at South El Monte High School in South El Monte, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)

South El Monte’s Enrique Duarte (2) scrambles for the loose ball with Gabrielino’s Eli Peters, left, and teammate Gary Hawkins in the first half of a prep basketball game at South El Monte High School in South El Monte, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
SOUTH EL MONTE >>
The race for the Mission Valley League boys basketball title is Gabrielino High School’s to lose.
Eli Peters scored a game-high 23 points and had eight rebounds and Gabrielino took over first place with a 58-43 victory over host South El Monte on Wednesday.
Grant Kirchhoff had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Bryan Phan had 13 points for Gabrielino, which improved to 17-3 overall and 5-0 in league play. South El Monte, getting 18 points from Eduardo Hernandez and 12 from Alex Ortiz, slipped to 10-5 and 4-1.

The key for Gabrielino on Wednesday, like it was in its 67-45 victory over El Monte last week, was the third quarter. Gabrielino was 10 of 15 from the floor during that stretch and opened the quarter with a 16-9 surge to go up 42-28 following three inside shots by Kirchhoff and a 10-footer by Peters.

Gabrielino coach John Carney: “It’s nice. We’ve talked before that its another step in the process, where we want to go and how we want to get there. But I was telling the guys, the second half of league is going to be tougher than the first half. We’re where we want to be, but it’s going to be harder than the fist half.”
Eli Peters: “We definitely got more intense (during the second half). We had that fire. We just kept rolling.”

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