By John Honell
Foul balls and freshmen, as well as an outstanding performance on the mound by senior Lorenzo Llorens, were the keys to San Dimas’ 5-1 win over host Wilson in a Valle Vista League contest on Tuesday afternoon.
Leading 2-0, Llorens bases-loaded double in the seventh inning broke open a pitchers duel between himself and Wilson ace Matt Rodriguez.The CIF Southern Section’s new pitch count rule, which limits pithers to 110 per game, came into effect against both pitchers in the seventh inning.
Rodriguez, who has signed with New Mexico, had to leave with one out and a runner on first when he got to his 108th pitch of the game in the top of the seventh.
A hit batter and a walk to set the table for Llorens, who cleared the bases with a double to right center.“I’m a pretty small guy,” Llorens said. I’m really cheating on the fastball and I got it.”
By John Sherrard
Two CIF Southern Section Top 10 teams met in the opening round of the 5th Annual Boras Classic on Tuesday and Mater Dei High School came out on top over La Mirada, 5-1.
Mater Dei (11-6), ranked eighth in Division 1, received a complete-game four hitter from senior pitcher Michael Thomas.
La Mirada (15-3), ranked No. 2 in Division 2, off to its best start in the last few years, will play Bishop Amat (14-5) in a second-round consolation game at noon today at Mater Dei. The Monarchs advanced to a second-round game against Corona Santiago.
In other first-round games Tuesday, Bishop Amat lost 3-1 to Corona Santiago and Damien fell to Huntington Beach, 4-1.
Bishop Amat’s loss broke a 10-game winning streak.Corona Santiago scored twice in the top of the seventh on a run-scoring double by junior catcher Jacob Shanks for the 3-1 lead.
The Rosters for the 14th annual Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic, set for Friday, April 21 at Damien High School, have been selected. ALL PLAYERS SELECTED need to contact (me) Fred Robledo at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me on twitter @sgvnsports to confirm you can play. I have reached a few of you, but need confirmations on everyone. If someone can’t make it, we want to fill the spot. Congrats to all that made it, it was tough choosing this year, lots of great seniors in the area.
PRACTICE, TUESDAY, SAN DIMAS HS: There will be one practice for the all-star on Tuesday, April 18 at San Dimas HS. The girls will practice from 5:30 to 7 p.m., followed by the boys from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Coach: Jason Villanueva, Rowland
TRIBUNE ALL-STAR ROSTER
Guard: Nick Hart, West Covina
Guard: Joe Quintana, Bonita
Guard: Jarren Ford, Bishop Amat
Guard: Ethan Sims, Wilson
Guard: Cameron Martin, Los Altos
Guard: Jayden Alibey, Mountain View
Guard: Curtis Hong, Rowland
Guard: Angel Rivas, Covina
Guard: Ezekial Alley, Damien
Guard, Ryan Dai, Walnut
Guard: Malik Corey, Diamond Bar
Guard: Colin Cuniff, Damien
Forward: Justin Hemsley, Damien
Forward: Oliver Lopez, Workman
Forward: Ronny Rafeh, San Dimas
Forward: Jamie Strong, Glendora
Coach: Adam Nunemaker, Glendora
TRIBUNE ALL-STAR ROSTER
Guard: Tianna Eaton, Rowland
Guard: Alyssa Ono, Bonita
Guard: Jezteni Espinoza, Los Altos
Guard: Jenna Pitpit, Walnut
Guard: Ryley Thompson, Duarte
Guard: MyJoi Adams, Pomona
Forward: Juliana Gamboa, Diamond Bar
Forward: Andrea Bustillos, West Covina
Forward: Daylin Rodriguez, Bishop Amat
Forward: Briyanna Coleman, Bonita
Forward: Karlee Fink, Glendora
Guard: Selena Guerrero, Sierra Vista
Guard: Diana Navarro, Covina.
Forward: Mariah Sierra, Covina
Forward: Kirsten Winiecki, San Dimas
Forward: Jackie Lam, El Monte
FOR STAR-NEWS ROSTERS, CLICK THREAD
Continue reading “Tribune/Star-News Rosters set for 14th annual Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic at Damien on April 21” »
Tribune Top Ten Baseball Rankings
1. Bishop Amat (14-4) — Hottest team, winners of 10 straight including taking the Prestigious National Classic.
2. South Hills (16-3) – Still winning, but not blowing everyone away.
3. Glendora (17-4) – Gets another shot at South Hills on Wednesday.
4. Charter Oak (10-3) – Expected sweep over struggling Diamond Ranch
5. San Dimas (14-4) – Looking like San Dimas of old.
6. Bonita (11-7) – Struggling 3-4 record in the Palomares.
7. Nogales (16-2) – Includes forfeit loss to Gladstone.
8. Wilson (11-4) – Hosts San Dimas Tuesday for first in Valle Vista.
9. Walnut (12-7) — Is 6-1 in the Hacienda.
10. Damien (7-8) – Needs to rally to make playoffs.
Tribune Softball Rankings
1. St. Lucy’s (12-5) – Is in the Baseline league title hunt.
2. Charter Oak (14-3) – Back-to-back losses to Foothill, Glendora
3. South El Monte (16-2) – Dominating the Mission Valley League.
4. Glendora (13-7) – Beat Charter Oak, 6-5.
5. Los Altos (14-6) – Tied for first in Hacienda with Charter Oak, Chino.
6. Bishop Amat (10-9-1) – First in Del Rey League at 5-1.
7. South Hills (11-9-1) – Looking like South Hills again.
8. Bonita (12-9) — Second in Palomares at 5-3.
9. Arroyo (10-6-1) – Solid second behind South El Monte in MVL.
10. Wilson (7-4-2) – Best season in years.?
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE 2017 ALL-AREA GIRLS BASKETBALL PHOTO GALLERY
TRIBUNE GIRLS BASKETBALL ALL-AREA TEAM
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tianna Eaton, Rowland, Senior
The Rowland High School girls basketball team will be remembered as the powerhouse that Tianna Eaton built.
Rowland went 51-5 over the past two years, which included back-to-back CIF Southern Section semifinals appearances and back-to-back undefeated Valle Vista League titles.
At the center of it all was the do-it-all guard who averaged 19.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.1 steals and three blocks per games this past season to help Rowland finish 26-2 and advance to the Division 2AA semifinals, where it eventually lost to Camarillo.
Rowland and Eaton never reached the championship game, but before Eaton arrived, Rowland hadn’t won a league title since 1988, and hadn’t reached the semifinals since 1979.
“It meant a lot to be able to make Rowland a more well known (girls basketball) school,” Eaton said. “The students along with the staff are such great and supportive people. They constantly tell us how proud they are and it’s just great knowing we have such a great support system.”
It was an amazing two years for Eaton, who is headed to UC Riverside on a full scholarship after earning consecutive Valle Vista League player of the year awards and consecutive CIF-SS first team honors.
For her efforts, Eaton has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune girls basketball player of the year for the second straight season, becoming the first player to earn back-to-back player of the year awards since Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley won it three straight years from 2012-14.
Eaton spent her freshman season at Diamond Ranch, and sophomore year at Diamond Bar, where she didn’t play. She transferred to Rowland her junior season, and Raiders coach Quentin Carr helped her develop a total game, particularly her dribbling, and the turnaround was astounding.
“I’ve transferred to quite a few schools,” Eaton admitted. “But out of all of the school’s, coach Carr has been the one coach that has pushed me to be the best I can be. He has helped me grow as a player and an individual by trusting me with the responsibility of leading his team and I cannot thank him enough for that.”
Eaton helped the Raiders win two tournaments and was named MVP of both tournaments, and in the Division 2AA quarterfinals, she helped lead the Raiders’ memorable comeback in a 53-52 victory over Walnut, finishing with 20 points.
And she did all she could in her final game as a senior, scoring a season-high 33 points with nine rebounds in a 70-55 semifinal loss to Camarillo, showing her competitive spirit.
Eaton said she will remember the final two games the most.
“My most memorable game was the game against Walnut,” Eaton said. “Although it wasn’t my best game, it was such a close and intense game and it was just one of those games you never forget. Coming out with the win made it even better.
“But I think my biggest accomplishment was scoring 33 points in my last game. We didn’t come out with the win but the other team all came and congratulated me and it honestly meant a lot. I had to end my high school career with a bang and I believe I did that.”
Coach of the year: Adam Nunemaker, Glendora
In two seasons at Glendora, Adam Nunemaker has turned the Tartans girls basketball program into something to be proud of.
For years the girls lived in the shadow of the hallowed boys program, which had won four CIF Southern Section titles under legendary coach Mike LeDuc, who left to Damien the year Nunemaker arrived at Glendora.
After going 15-12 in his first season, Nunemaker, helped Glendora reach new milestones, advancing to the school’s first-ever CIF-SS championship game, where it eventually lost to Thousand Oaks in the Division 3AA title game.
Glendora finished 25-6, set a school record for victories in a season, and was the only area team to play for a section title. That’s quite an accomplishment for a program that has never won a league title, and for his efforts, Nunemaker has been selected the San Gabriel Valley Tribune girls basketball coach of the year for the 2016-17 season.
Guard: Alexis Lowden, Glendora, Jr.
Lowden was a major reason why the Tartans won 25 games this season and enjoyed a deep run in the playoffs, reaching the championship game. She helped her team by putting up 12.7 points per game and 12.2 rebounds. Lowden led the Tartans in every major statistical category.
Guard: Faith Castillo, Rowland, Jr.
Castillo showed the Raiders were far from a one-girl show. The junior guard was second on the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game. She also averaged four steals per game as Rowland won 26 games. Castillo was a first-team all-Valle Vista League selection.
Guard: Alyssa Ono, Bonita, Sr.
Ono was key in helping the Bearcats win 18 games and take home the Palomares League championship. The senior finished her career by averaging 12.3 points per game. For her efforts, Ono was named MVP of the Palomares League.
Guard: Jezteni Espinoza, Los Altos, Sr.
Espinoza is best known as the girl who hit the shot of the season when she sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Arcadia in the playoffs. But that was just one sliver of a stellar campaign that saw the senior lead her team in scoring with 19.7 points per game. She also averaged five rebounds and four assists, and was named the Hacienda league MVP.
Guard: Jenna Pitpit, Walnut, Sr.
Pitpit was a key reason why Walnut won 25 game this season and earned a share of the Hacienda League championship. Pitpit averaged a team-high 15.6 points per game and also grabbed a whopping 5.2 steals per game. She was named to the Hacienda league first team.
Guard: Allison Ayala, Covina, Jr.
Ayala was the driving force behind Covina’s 24-win season and second-place finish in the Valle Vista League. Ayala led the Colts in scoring with 17.2 points per game. She also averaged two steals and was a first-team all-Valle Vista League selection.
Guard: Casandra Santos, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Santos played a big hand in getting the Lancers girls basketball program back on track. She averaged 12.8 points per game and 4.2 assists. For her efforts, Santos was a first-team all-CIF Division 3AA and first-team all-Camino Real League selection.
Forward: Juliana Gamboa, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Gamboa’s illustrious prep career came to an end but not before she wound up third on Diamond Bar’s all-time scoring list. She averaged 17.3 points per game along with 7 rebounds and 4.8 assists. Gamboa was a first-team all-CIF Division 1A selection for the second straight year, and was selected to the Palomares league first team.
Forward: Yasmin Dabbous, Walnut, Jr.
Dabbous was a force inside for the Mustangs, who won 25 games and earned a share of the Hacienda League championship. Dabbous averaged 12.7 points per game and pulled down 8.9 rebounds. She was an all-Hacienda League first team selection.
Center: Patricia Morris, Duarte, Jr.
Morris was the force inside for a Falcons team that won 27 games this season. The 6-foot-7 center averaged 17.4 points per game and 12.8 rebounds. She was named MVP of the Montview League and earned all-CIF Division 1A honors.
Guard: Ryley Thompson, Duarte, Sr.
Guard: MyJoi Adams, Pomona, Sr.
Guard: Selena Guerrero, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Guard: Diana Navarro, Covina, Sr.
Guard: Brenda Reyes, Los Altos, Guard
Guard: Kaylin Ngo, Rowland, Fr.
Guard: Delaney Thompson, Duarte, So.
Forward: Andrea Bustillos, West Covina, Sr.
Forward: Daylin Rodriguez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Forward: Briyanna Coleman, Bonita, Sr.
Forward: Mariah Sierra, Covina, Sr.
Forward: Kirsten Winiecki, San Dimas, Sr.
Forward: Jackie Lam, El Monte, Sr.
Forward: Rachel Campinia, Rowland, Jr.
Center: Ulani Wells, Los Altos, Jr.
FINAL TOP TEN RANKINGS
1. Rowland (26-2)
2. Walnut (25-4)
3. Glendora (25-7)
4. Los Altos (24-4)
5. Duarte (27-5)
6. Bishop Amat (20-8)
7. Bonita (18-9)
8. Covina (24-6)
9. Diamond Bar (20-8)
10. West Covina (17-12)
Camino Real: St. Monica
Hacienda: Los Altos, Walnut
Mission Valley: Gabrielino
Valle Vista: Rowland
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE 2017 BOYS BASKETBALL ALL-AREA PHOTO GALLERY
TRIBUNE BOYS BASKETBALL ALL-AREA TEAM
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cameron Shelton, Damien, Junior
Cameron Shelton was a sophomore on the infamous Chino Hills boys basketball team with Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball that went 35-0 and won a CIF Southern Section Open and State championship, along with being recognized national champions by several publications following the 2015-16 season.
Shelton was a solid player off the bench for Chino HIlls, but his transfer to Damien put him in position for a bigger role and more responsibility, and he took the baton and helped Damien to one of its best seasons ever.
Shelton, a 6-foot-2 junior, averaged 22 points a game and set school records for most points (782) and steals (106) in a season and helped Damien to a remarkable 31-5 record as well as the CIF-SS Open Division consolation title, and a CIF-State Southern California Regional semifinals appearance.
Shelton expected to make a big impact, and knows what great players he surpassed to set the school single-season marks, passing Brian Jackson for the scoring record and Victor Lesley for the assist mark.
“It means a lot to set the Damien single-season scoring record,” Shelton said. “Especially since Damien has had so many great scorers over the years, guys like Jeremy Hemsley, Brian Jackson, Bryce Peters, Chris Reyes and Efrem Leonard.
“All those guys were great scorers and for me to be able to set the record, it feels great. It also says a lot about my teammates, we play a really unselfish brand of basketball and they had no problem with me scoring. They even encouraged me to go get the record when they found out I was close.”
For his efforts, Shelton has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune boys basketball player of the year for the 2016-17 season.
“Coming to Damien and having as big an impact as I did feels great,” Shelton said. “All the hard work I put in this summer with the team and the hours in the gym and the weight room certainly paid off.
“I believe that we’re one of the greatest teams in Damien history, if not the greatest, and to be a key contributor is certainly something special.”
While Damien didn’t win the hardware like the 2013 team that won the Division 3AA championship and finished 26-7 or the 2015 squad that won the Division III state championship and finished 29-5, one can make a solid argument the 2017 was still the best ever because of how well it competed in the prestigious Open Division, advancing to the semifinals, and then going on to win the consolation title with a 79-68 win over Eastvale Roosevelt.
Damien earned the top seed in the CIF State Division I playoffs, and performed well before being ousted by eventual champion Corona Centennial, a team it had beat during the Open Division playoffs.
Damien beat more talented programs in a season than any other time in history, and finished ranked 37th in the nation by MaxPreps.
“The season we had is something I expected from day one, so I’m not surprised at all,” Shelton said. “I knew we had a chance to be one of the best teams in the state and we had a great chance to win a championship so I’m definitely not satisfied with the way we ended the season. We wanted more and we’ll be back next year.”
And if there is anything Damien fans learned about Shelton, it’s that they should expect more of the same next year, when Shelton is a senior.
“One thing about me is that I’m extremely passionate about winning, I can’t stand to lose,” Shelton said. “I think out of my three years playing, I’ve played 106 games and I’ve won about 95 of them. Even with my travel ball team, Earl Watson Elite, we don’t really lose games. So everywhere I go I’m all about winning games and coming to Damien and playing for one of the best high school coaches ever (Mike LeDuc), we really saw eye-to-eye which helped the season become much easier because everyday we had the same goal in mind.”
Coach of the year: Mike LeDuc, Damien
Mike LeDuc added to his resume with a 31-win season that included a CIF-SS Open Division semifinals appearance, an Open Division consolation title and a CIF-State Southern California Regional semifinals appearances in helping Damien to one of its best seasons ever.
LeDuc built his legend at Glendora, where he won four CIF-SS titles, 15 league championships and 702 wins in nearly 30 years as its head coach.
But LeDuc returned to Damien in 2015, a place where he started his career from 1979-86, and in two seasons with the Spartans they competed in the CIF-SS Open Division each year.
But this past season proved special with Damien beating a laundry list of some of the best teams in the state, which included two wins over Long Beach Poly and Eastvale Roosevelt, as well as signature wins over CIF-State Division I champion Corona Centennial, along with wins over JSerra, Redondo Union and Fairfax.
And among the five losses, two were to Chino Hills and one each to Mater Dei and Sierra Canyon, who were among the best teams in the country.
For his efforts, LeDuc has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune coach of the year for the 2016-2017 season.
Guard: Nick Hart, West Covina, Sr.
Hart proved to be one of the area’s most prolific scorers, averaging nearly 26 points per game for the Bulldogs. He had 13 games with 30 or more points scored, including five with 40 or more. For his efforts, Hart was a first-team all-Hacienda League selection.
Guard: Joe Quintana, Bonita, Sr.
Quintana’s stellar prep career came to an end this season, but not before he became the school’s all-time leader in scoring, field goals made, assists and steals. Quintana averaged 20.2 points per game and 6.8 rebounds this season. He was a first-team all-CIF Division 1A selection.
Guard: Jarod Lucas, Los Altos, So.
Lucas make the All-Area team for the second consecutive season after leading Los Altos to the Hacienda League championship. Lucas averaged 25.3 points per game to go along with 7.8 rebounds and five assists. Lucas was named Hacienda League MVP and all-CIF for Division 1A.
Guard: Agassi Goantara, Walnut, Jr.
Goantara was a major reason why the Mustangs won 20 games this season and finished second in the Hacienda League. The junior guard averaged 16 points per game to go along with 5.8 rebounds. For his efforts, Goantara was a first-team all-Hacienda League selection.
Guard: Julian Lopez, Los Altos, Jr.
Those who thought Los Altos was a one-man show this season often got a taste of Lopez and didn’t like it. The junior guard proved to be quite the tag-team partner of standout Jarod Lucas. Lopez averaged 14.1 points per game, 5.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals. He was a first-team all-Hacienda League selection.
Guard: Donnell Leffridge IV, San Dimas, Jr.
Leffridge was the driving force behind San Dimas’ Valle Vista League championship this season. He averaged 17 points per game to go along with 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists and steals. Leffridge was named MVP of the Valle Vista League.
Guard: Jarren Ford, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Ford was one of the area’s top distributors this season as he helped Bishop Amat win 20 games and give a good showing in the Camino Real League. Ford averaged a whopping 8.9 assists per game. He also averaged two steals and was a first team all-Camino Real League selection.
Guard: Ethan Sims, Wilson, Sr.
The Wildcats may have struggled in the won-loss column, but Sims posted one of the better all-around seasons in the area. He averaged 22.4 points per game to go along with 9.1 rebounds. He had 17 games with 20 or more points and was a Valle Vista League first-team selection.
Forward: Justin Hemsley, Damien, Sr.
Hemsley’s prep career came to an end with a bang. The senior averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds per game. He broke the school record for rebounds in a season with 370. For his efforts, Hemsley was a first-team all-CIF Open Division selection.
Forward: Elijah McCullough, Damien, Jr.
McCullough was a major reason why the Spartans won 31 games this season against a very difficult schedule. He averaged 14 points per game as Damien’s sharpshooter from the outside. McCullough finished with 111 3-pointers, which broke the school record for most 3-pointers in a season.
Guard: Cameron Martin, Los Altos, Sr.
Guard: Jayden Alibey, Mountain View, Sr.
Guard: Curtis Hong, Rowland, Sr.
Guard: Ezekial Alley, Damien, Sr.
Guard, Ryan Dai, Walnut, Sr.
Guard: Malik Corey, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Guard: Angel Rivas, Covina, Sr.
Guard: Colin Cuniff, Damien, Sr.
Guard: Gjerard Wilson, Bishop Amat, So.
Forward: Oliver Lopez, Workman, Sr.
Forward: Ronny Rafeh, San Dimas, Sr.
Forward: Jamie Strong, Glendora, Sr.
Forward: Dalton Clevergen, South Hills, Sr.
Forward: Andrew Williams, Bonita, Sr.
Forward: Jermaine Braddock, Charter Oak, Sr.
FINAL TOP TEN RANKINGS
1. Damien (31-5)
2. Los Altos (21-6)
3. Walnut (20-8)
4. Bonita (19-7)
5. San Dimas (20-9)
6. Bishop Amat (20-7)
7. Rowland (21-9)
8. West Covina (15-13)
9. Workman (21-6)
10. Covina (17-12)
Baseline: Chino Hills
Camino Real: St. Anthony
Hacienda: Los Altos
Mission Valley: Gabrielino
Valle Vista: San Dimas