Los Altos’ Tyler Nevens and Arroyo coach Jim Singiser headline 2016 Tribune All-Area Football Team

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tyler Nevens, Los Altos

It was only fitting that Tyler Nevens carved a special place for himself in the storied history of the Los Altos High School football program. After all, you don’t just lead a team to two CIF finals appearances in a three-year span and have people not remember you.
tylernevens2But it wasn’t only the wins that guarantee Nevens long-lasting fame at Los Altos. The numbers also lock up a special place for him. Nevens finished his career as the school’s all-time leading rusher and figures to hold that distinction for quite a long time.
The final stats were simply outstanding: Nevens rushed for 2,533 yards and 40 touchdowns. As a result, the Conquerors went 13-1 and won the Hacienda League, which later named Nevens its MVP. For those reasons, Nevens is the Tribune’s Player of the Year.
“I would say it’s a true blessing,” Nevens said of the award. “I put in a lot of hard work and just knowing that my hard work paid off and I’m getting recognition for it is truly a blessing.”
It was hard not to consider Los Altos a one-man show on offense. Sure, the Conquerors had other capable weapons, but they kept things pretty simple. Los Altos preferred to pound Nevens behind their mammoth offensive line and just ground opponents to a pulp in the process.
Nevens had five games this season in which he rushed for over 200 yards. He scored in every game and twice scored five touchdowns in a game and twice more scored four touchdowns in a game.
“I would say the whole season was the highlight for me, because I rushed for over 2,000 yards this season,” Nevens said. “That was my goal, that I wanted to achieve before I end high school. Just the fact that I passed the 2,000 mark, it’s a really good feeling.”
Nevens rose to immediate fame after arriving on Los Altos’ varsity team as a sophomore. Nevens ran wild that year, too, and led the Conquerors to the CIF finals. But there was no league championship that season. And last year, the Conquerors underperformed and missed the postseason all together.
Los Altos came back a very determined group this season. Nevens served notice immediately by rushing for 287 yards and four touchdowns on just 10 carries in a season-opening rout of San Marino. He wound up averaging 8 yards per carry for the season and 180.9 yards per game.
Los Altos won the Hacienda League championship, taking every game by double figures on the final scoreboard. The Conquerors mashed their way through the playoffs but came up just short, losing a close game to Paraclete in the finals.
Nevens has seven college offers, but none of them are what he would call big schools. Nonetheless, he will be playing on Saturdays next fall. The 4.0 student figures to have a bright future no matter what football brings.
“Right now, I have seven offers, but none of them are big Division 1 offers,” Nevens said. “It’s kind of understandable how I don’t have any. It’s kind of hard because there are many kids who have the same talent as me, but there are other kids who are even better than me.
“High school was a grind. It was about getting your job done. I live off being the first man there and the last one to leave, being loyal to those who support you and everything else will come your way.”

jimsingiserCOACH OF THE YEAR: Jim Singiser, Arroyo
Singiser gambled and won. The veteran Knights head coach bet on his team and it paid off with a successful two-point conversion to beat Rancho Mirage in overtime of the CIF Division 12 championship. It was Arroyo’s first CIF championship since 1986. Arroyo has been one of the area’s most-consistent winners under Singiser, but this year the Knights punched through for the biggest of all championships. Arroyo finished with 13 wins and also won the Mission Valley League. It wasn’t easy for Singiser and his staff, though. Their top defensive player was lost for the season early in September due to disciplinary action. And their quarterback was a sophomore, who early in the offseason had expected be on junior varsity.

stevencomstockOFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Steven Comstock, Northview, Jr.
There were times when Northview High School quarterback Steven Comstock chose to burn opponents with his arm. Then, there were times he used his legs. And when Comstock did both in the same game, it was darn-near impossible to stop the Vikings.
Comstock, the junior dual-threat quarterback who is also a CIF champion wrestler, put on the show this season that so many expected of him. And because of it, his team was a league champion with several big victories to their credit.
After throwing for 2,679 yards and 30 touchdowns, and adding another 830 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns, Comstock is the Tribune’s Offensive Player of the Year.
“I’m a little surprised, but very humbled,” Comstock of the award. “I definitely couldn’t have done it without my team, my offensive line, my receivers and even the defense and coaches. That’s all something that pretty much got me there into this spot.”
With Comstock at the helm, Northview continued to be one of the top teams in the area. The Vikings won the Valle Vista League for the third consecutive season. Not surprisingly, Comstock was named league MVP.
Comstock hit the ground running this season. Against Charter Oak, he nearly threw for 400 yards and had three touchdown passes in a blowout loss. Undeterred, weeks later he rallied Northview back from a big deficit against Don Lugo to come away with a win after he hit receiver Antwaun Ayers on a touchdown pass in the closing minute.
In league, Comstock was a force that couldn’t be stopped. Against Covina, he rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown. Against San Dimas, he ran for 147 yards and three scores. When you throw in that he also had six touchdown passes combined against those teams, it becomes obvious that Comstock was a weapon that just couldn’t be stopped.
“That win over Don Lugo was definitely huge,” Comstock said. “It showed that we could come together in the last few seconds. The win over San Dimas was also a huge thing. We all played together in that game and really won it as a team.”
Northview stomped Chino in the first round of the playoffs, but came up short against finalist Burbank in the second round. Comstock threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in the loss, but it wasn’t enough.
With one more high school season ahead of him, Comstock is already thinking about all that’s to come. He’s already got four college offers in tow with more expected to come. Perhaps the next big accomplishment will be a CIF championship.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all,” Comstock said. “We just have to work hard during the offseason. We have some guys. We’re going to work hard and do our thing and see what happens. I’m not worried about colleges. I already have offers that I’m satisfied with. There’s no pressure, just having fun.
“I’m just excited to see what comes next in my football career.”

briancasteelDEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brian Casteel, Charter Oak, Sr.
The Charter Oak High School football team coaching staff may show the game tape of Brian Casteel’s performance against Downey to future generations of Chargers as an example of what they need to live up to.
In that game, in the second round of the playoffs, Casteel did just about everything humanly possible to get his team into the semifinals with a road victory. Casteel had two rushing touchdowns, a touchdown receiving and returned an interception for a score.
It was the kind of all-around performance that he provided so often that almost felt normal despite the fact that very few players are able to pull it off. For reasons like that, Casteel is the Tribune’s Defensive Player of the Year.
“It’s surprising because defense is my secondary position because I’m offensive minded,” Casteel said of the award. “But if anything, I would rather have defense be the award. Growing up, defense was always one of the sides that I looked forward to playing. I do like the ball in my hands, but defense was always funner to me.”
The Downey game was just one example of what Casteel could do. On offense, he finished with 644 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns along with 766 yards receiving and eight scores. On defense, he tallied 72 tackles, three interceptions, two sacks and a caused fumble and a fumble recovery.
With original starting quarterback Bret Clemetson lost early in the season due to an injury, Casteel was forced to play a bigger role on offense in addition to his normal job on defense. The Chargers were still able to finish second in the Hacienda League and make the Division 4 playoff field. That’s when Casteel really came alive.
In Charter Oak’s first-round playoff win over Glendora, Casteel had 10 tackles and also scored four touchdowns on offense. Against Sierra Canyon in the semifinals, Casteel netted 11 tackles with two touchdowns on offense.
“This year, I prepared myself better than I had before because I knew I was going to have to play both ways,” Casteel said. “Yeah, it was exhausting. It was a lot to do. There was a lot o pressure. But last year when Zion Echols graduated he said he was passing the torch to me.”
Casteel will continue his football career next season at Arizona. Although the interest in him from other schools have picked up, he’s sticking with Wildcats for now and plans to make it official on Signing Day.

ernestocamachoNEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Ernesto Camacho, QB, Arroyo
Camacho, who had never played football until his freshman year, originally thought he was going to be the junior varsity starter this season. Instead, he was pressed into varsity action early in the season and promptly rose to stardom. By the time the season was over, Camacho had led the Knights to their first CIF championship in 30 years. He threw for 3,158 yards and 35 touchdowns. Camacho also ran for 529 yards and 11 scores. He was named Mission Valley League MVP.

Warren Bryan
Quarterback, Damien, Jr.

warrenbryanBryan was one of the most electric players around as he guided Damien to a six-win season. He threw for 2,825 yards and 25 touchdowns while also rolling up 453 yards and nine scores on the ground. Bryan had multiple touchdown performances in every one of Damien’s games and was an all-Baseline League selection.

Jarrell Sykes
Running back, San Dimas, Sr.

jarellsykesSykes capped off his stellar prep career with yet another huge season. The Saints’ feature back finished with 1,815 yards and 20 touchdowns. He had eight multi-touchdown games and nine games with 100 yards or more. Sykes was once again a first-team all-Valle Vista League selection. This is Sykes second-consecutive All-Area Team selection.

Sal Tovar
Running back, South El Monte, Jr.

saltovarTovar spent the entire season near the top of the state’s rushing leaders. Tovar finished with 2,809 yards and 39 touchdowns. He averaged 215 yards per game as South El Monte posted its best season in a while, winning 11 games. Tovar rushed for over 100 yards in every game and had seven games with 200 yards or more. He was an all-Mission Valley League selection.

Jermaine Braddock
Receiver, Charter Oak, Jr.

jermainebraddockBraddock stamped himself as the next big-time player coming out of Charter Oak. The junior managed to put up strong numbers despite the Chargers’ troubles at quarterback. Braddock caught 63 passes for 1,142 yards and 12 touchdowns. For his efforts, he was an all-Hacienda League selection.

Antwaun Ayers
Receiver, Northview, Sr.

antwaunayersAyers proved to once again be one of the most explosive play makers in the area. The speedy receiver pulled down 68 receptions for 1,465 and 21 touchdowns. Ayers also stood out on defense where he intercepted six passes as a defensive back. For his efforts, Ayers was named Offensive MVP of the Valle Vista League.

Brandon Burchfield
Receiver, Damien, Sr.

brandonburchfieldBurchfield ranked among the area’s leading receivers after hauling in 53 receptions for 918 yards and nine touchdowns in Damien’s explosive offense. Burchfield’s top performance came against Claremont when he had seven receptions for 244 yards and two touchdowns. He was an all-Baseline League selection.

Devon Hemsley
All-purpose, Duarte, Jr.

devonhemsleyHemsley tipped his hand as to what’s to come next season. The junior quarterback made a big splash by passing for 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for 378 yards and five touchdowns as Duarte won the wild Montview League. For his efforts, Hemsley was named Montview League MVP.

Andrew Garcia
Line, Los Altos, Sr.

andrewgarciaGarcia concluded his stellar prep as being arguably the best two way-lineman in the area this season. Garcia was a force up front for Los Altos’ offense, which rolled up nearly 3,000 yards rushing this season. On defense, Garcia tallied 102 tackles and seven sacks. Garcia was an all-Hacienda League selection on both offense and defense for the second straight year.

Nathen Aceves

nathanacevesAceves was one of the most versatile linemen around and helped paved the way for a Charter Oak offense that averaged 35 points per game. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound guard and his line mates were faced with having to protect up to five different quarterbacks. For his efforts, Aceves was named Hacienda League Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Jael Martinez
Line, Northview, Sr.

jaelmartinezMartinez was a key cog up front for a Northview offense that averaged 40 points per game. The Vikings put up huge numbers in both the pass and run games, and Martinez was integral in both. He also recorded 29 tackles on defense and three sacks. Martinez was named Valle Vista League Lineman of the Year.

Victor Arteaga
Line, Glendora, Jr.

victorarteagaArteaga lived up to the advanced billing that he was one of the top linemen in the area. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound junior helped pave the way for a GLendora rushing offense that ground up nearly 2,400 yards of production. For his efforts, Arteaga was a first-team all-Palomares League selection.

Luke Espinosa
Line, Bishop Amat, Sr.

lukeespinosaEspinosa was the Lancers’ top offensive lineman and helped his team average over 28 points per game in league play. Amat’s balanced offense required Espinosa to do well in both pass and run blocking. For his efforts, Espinosa was a second-team all-Mission League selection.

Jesse Ortiz
Kicker, Arroyo, Sr.

jesseortizOrtiz had two of the most clutch kicks of the season, nailing a pair of 41-yard field goals in the CIF championship game against Rancho Mirage. Ortiz’s booming leg was a major reason why Arroyo averaged nearly 40 points per game. Ortiz made 10 out of 13 field goals and was later named first-team all-Mission Valley League.

Andrew Manuele
Defensive line, Los Altos, Sr.

andrewmanueleManuele made his impact felt on both sides of the ball. On offense, he lead the Conquerors in receiving with 37 receptions for 599 yards and five touchdowns. On defense, Manuele had 94 tackles and 11.5 sacks. He also caused four fumbles. Manuele was named Hacienda League Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Jayson Jones
Defensive line, Los Altos, Sr.

jaysonjonesThe 285-pound Jones was a force up front for a Conquerors defense that allowed just 16 points per game this season. Jones lead the Conquerors in sacks with 12.5. He finished the season with 87 tackles and two pass deflections. Jones simply could not be blocked and was named Defensive MVP of the Hacienda League.

Aaron Maldonado
Defensive line, Bishop Amat, Jr.

aaronmaldonadoMaldonado put on full display why he’s the top interior defensive lineman in the area. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound junior tallied 57 tackles and eight sacks. All that despite often being double teamed by opponents. Maldonado’s best game was a three-sack performance against Servite. He was named Defensive MVP of the Mission League.

Michael Salcedo
Linebacker, Los Altos, Sr.

michaelsalcedoSalcedo was all over the field for a Los Altos defense that allowed just 16 points per game this season. Salcedo led the area in tackles with 158. He also had four fumble recoveries and an interception. Salcedo had nine games in which he reached double figures in tackles and was an all-Hacienda League selection.

Cesario Carillo
Linebacker, Arroyo, Sr.

cesariocarrilloCarrillo was the rock in the middle of Arroyo’s defense. The senior headlined a Knights defense that allowed just 18.6 points per game. Carrillo finished with 119 tackles, 72 of which were solo. Carrillo had six games with double figures in tackles. He was a first-team all-Mission Valley League selection.

Jeremiah Moya
Linebacker, Bishop Amat, Sr.

jeremiahmoyaMoya proved to be a tackling machine for Amat. The senior recorded a team-high 99 tackles. His best performance came against JSerra when racking up 17 tackles. In Amat’s big win over Chaminade, Moya had 15 tackles and picked up his sixth game of the season with double-digit tackles. Moya was a first-team all-Mission League selection.

Kobe Quiroga
Linebacker, Northview, Sr.

kobequirogaQuiroga was the rock in the middle of Northview’s defense, which allowed only 16.5 points per game this season as the team won 10 games. Quiroga finished with 114 tackles and five sacks. He also caused two fumbles, recovered a fumbled and blocked a punt. Quiroga was named Valle Vista League Defensive MVP.

Yezdan Marquez
Defensive back, Arroyo, Sr.

yezdanmarquezMarquez posted one of the best all-around seasons in the area while helping lead Arroyo to a CIF championship. On offense, Marquez led the Knights in receiving with 868 yards and 15 touchdowns. On defense, Marquez led the area in interceptions with eight. He also had 60 tackles and was an all-Mission Valley League selection.

Trey Green
Defensive back, Diamond Ranch, Sr.

treygreenGreen was a force all over the field for the Panthers. As a receiver, he led the team with 43 receptions for 826 yards and seven touchdowns. On defense, Green had 23 tackles and an interception. Green finished with 1,007 all-purpose yards and was a first-team all-Hacienda League selection.

Quintus Alton
Defensive back, West Covina, Sr.

quintusaltonAlton proved his worth all over the field for the Bulldogs. On offense, he had 300 yards receiving and five total touchdowns. On defense, he was ball hawk as evidenced by his five interceptions. Alton also had 57 tackles and a fumble recovery. He was a first-team all-Hacienda League selection.

Nick Lariviere
Defensive back, South Hills, Jr.

nicholaslariviereLariviere was big a part of South Hills’ success on both sides of the ball. On offense, he had 39 receptions for 759 yards. On defense, he recorded 82 tackles and added two caused fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Lariviere was later named co-Athlete of the Year in the Palomares League.

Hunter White
Punter, Los Altos, Sr.

hunterwhiteWhite’s booming leg helped the Conquerors win many field position battles. As a punter, he pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 23 times while averaging 40 yards per punt. As a place kicker, White was the only kicker in the state who attempted more than 50 PATs without a miss. He was an all-Hacienda League selection.


QB — Bryce Wooldridge, Glendora, Jr.
RB — Steven Ocariz, Arroyo, Jr.
RB — Kevin Thomas, Northview, Sr.
WR — Jarren Ford, Bishop Amat, Sr.
WR — Mikey McCauley, Damien, Jr.
WR — Tahron Tolbert, South Hills, Sr.
ALL — Quinton Groves, La Puente, Jr.
OL — Oscar Villa, Los Altos, Sr.
OL — Michael Chase, Glendora, Jr.
OL — Abbas Darwiche, San Dimas, Sr.
OL — Cristian Castillo, Arroyo, Jr.
OL — Zion Maae, Covina, Jr.
K — Shazel Sakr, Bishop Amat, Jr.

DL — Nick DiFiori, Bishop Amat, Sr.
DL — Alec Sanchez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
DL — Vincent Silva, South El Monte, Sr.
LB — Jacob Camargo, Damien, Sr.
LB — Joseph Romero, Charter Oak, Jr.
LB — Christian Northey, West Covina, Sr.
LB — Ruben Aguilar, South El Monte, Sr.
DB — Anthony Lopez, Los Altos, Sr.
DB — Josh Bryan, Damien, Sr.
DB — Daniel Mendoza, Arroyo, Jr.
DB — Larenzo Williams, Nogales, Sr.
P — Jared Arellano, Walnut, So.

GAME OF THE YEAR: Arroyo 35, Rancho Mirage 34 OT, Dec. 3, 2016
Championship games don’t always live up to the hype, but this one did. A back-and-forth game before a packed stadium at Arroyo High ended with Knights head coach Jim Singiser making a gutsy call to win the CIF Southern Section Division 12 championship. After scoring to get within one in overtime, Singiser decided to go for two points and the win … or a stinging loss. Quarterback Ernesto Camacho found receiver Devin Knight in the front corner of the end zone and Arroyo won its first CIF championship in 30 years. It marked the only CIF championship by an area team this season.

ALMONT: Montebello
ANGELUS: Cathedral
OLYMPIC: Valley Christian
PACIFIC: Crescenta Valley
PREP: Pasadena Poly
RIO HONDO: Monrovia
VALLE VISTA: Northview

Division 1: St. John Bosco
Division 2: San Clemente
Division 3: Edison
Division 4: Sierra Canyon
Division 5: Calabasas
Division 6: Paraclete
Division 7: San Gorgonio
Division 8: Yorba Linda
Division 9: Valley Christian
Division 10: St. Anthony
Division 11: Valley View
Division 12: Arroyo
Division 13: Rancho Christian

1. Los Altos (13-1)
2. Charter Oak (11-3)
3. Bishop Amat (7-4)
4. Northview (10-2)
5. Arroyo (13-2)
6. Damien (6-5)
7. West Covina (6-5)
8. San Dimas (8-3)
9. South El Monte (11-2)
10. Covina (7-5)

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Friday Recap: Bishop Amat boys basketball place fifth at Covina Christmas Tournament

If you have any scores or stats from any local high school sporting events call them into the desk at 626-544-0992 or 0991 or scores@SGVN

Boys basketball
Bishop Amat 72, South Hills 63 — Gjerard Wilson scored 22 points, Bailey Lopez added 21 points and Jarren Ford had 11 points for the Lancers (11-2), who placed fifth at the Covina Christmas Tournament. Jason Rodriguez had 24 points and Dalton Clevenger had 12 points for the Huskies (7-8). Ford earned all-tournament honors.
West Covina 69, Kaiser 66 — Nick Hart had 49 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocks and Darian Nickols had 12 points for the Bulldogs (10-6), who placed fifth in the Damien Classic bronze division. Hart earned all-tournament honors.
Chino 71, Diamond Ranch 44 — Coree Joseph had 15 points for the Panthers (3-10) in an Orange Holiday Classic loss.

Girls basketball
Rosemead 39, Northview 22 — Kathleen Pham scored 12 points and Ruby Espinoza, Krystal Espinoza and Amy Ung each had eight points for the Panthers (7-9), who placed third at the Ontario Tournament. Gloria Valdez scored 11 points for the Vikings. Pham earned all-tournament honors.
Patriot 55, Wilson 29 — Kendra Ukita had nine points and two rebounds and Hennessy Hernandez had seven rebounds for the Wildcats in an Ontario Winter Classic loss.
Glendora 64, La Salle 41 — Alex Lowden scored 23 points and Michelle Can added 21 points for the Tartans in a Glendora Tournament victory Thursday.

Girls soccer
Rowland 2, Colony 1 — Melanie Romero and Leslie Cortes each scored a goal and Braelynn Lamoca and Melissa Rodriguez each had an assist for the Raiders (7-4-2), who won the Ontario Christian Tournament consolation championship. Alexis Caceres and Ruby Fernandez both earned all-tournament honors.
Charter Oak 2, Pomona Catholic 1 — Andrea Jaimes and Bria Salazar each scored a goal and Lori Torres had an assist for the Chargers (9-2-1) in an Ontario Christian Tournament victory Thursday.

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Damien hangs on with 62-61 victory over Roosevelt, will face Mater Dei in Friday’s championship

Damien will face Mater Dei in final: Damien High School basketball coach Mike LeDuc started his 48-team tournament this year because he wanted to provide his team some good competition to prepare it for upcoming Baseline League games.Mission accomplished.
The Spartans advanced to the championship game of The Classic at Damien with a dramatic 62-61 win over Roosevelt on Thursday. Damien (15-0) plays Mater Dei, a 51-49 semifinal winner over Corona Centennial, Friday night at 8:30 p.m.

Watch the final 30 seconds as Damien hangs on for 62-61 victory over Eastvale Roosevelt to advance to Friday’s Gold Division championship at the Classic against either Mater Dei or Corona Centennial. Friday’s game is at 8:30 p.m.

Upper Bracket

Mater Dei 54, Lynwood 41
Birmingham 81, Oak Park 78
Corona Cetennial 70, Alemany 50
Etiwanda 66, Las Vegas Centennial 62
Bottom Bracket
Long Beach Poly 71, Rancho Christian 55
Damien 85, Moreau Catholic 64
Eastvale Roosevelt 87, Santa Monica 63
St. John Bosco 73, Crespi 41
Mater Dei 74, Birmingham 67
Corona Centennial 77, Etiwanda 63
Damien 71, Long Beach Poly 63
Eastvale Roosevelt 74, St. John Bosco 65
Mater Dei 51, Corona Centennial 49
Damien 62, Eastvale Roosevelt 61
Damien vs. Mater Dei, 8:30 p.m.

lucas4Los Altos’ undefeated season ends in Silver semifinals: In several of Los Altos High school boys basketball team’s wins this season, which included two tournament titles, the Conquerors fell behind and found a way to win and stay undefeated. But coach Jeff Lucas knew their good fortune wouldn’t last forever.
In the Silver Division semifinals of The Classic at Damien High School on Thursday, Los Altos fell behind by 11 points to CIF San Diego Section’s Vista in the third quarter and did what it usually does, rally to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter.

Upper Bracket

Taft 64, Highland 45
Claremont 67, Mission Prep 66
Leuzinger 63, Rancho Verde 42
Dominguez 49, Price 47
Bottom Bracket
Windward 71, Knight 70
San Diego Vista 82, Colony 69
Rancho Cucamonga 63, St. Bernard 56
Los Altos 69, Long Beach Jordan 57
Taft 61, Claremont 54
Dominguez 79, Leuzinger 63
San Diego Vista 64, Windward 58
Los Altos 77, Rancho Cucamonga 76
Taft 72, Dominguez 69
San Diego Vista 77, Los Altos 69
Taft vs. Dominguez, 5:30 p.m.
Los Altos vs. Dominguez, third place, 8 p.m.

Upper Bracket

La Canada 72, Rialto 49
Kaiser 67, Trinity Classical 29
Diamond Bar 56, Victor Valley 42
San Dimas 68, Pomona 34
Bottom Bracket

La Salle 63, Arizona Verrado 43
West Covina 64, Silerado 59
La Sierra def. Alta Loma
Hesperia 63, El Rancho 27
La Canada 57, Kaiser 47
Diamond Bar 56, San Dimas 54
La Salle 89, West Covina 86
Hesperia 43, La Sierra 36
La Canada 61, Diamond Bar 59
Hesperia 62, La Salle 49
La Canada vs. Hesperia, 4 p.m.

Three knock-out style tournaments headlines THE CLASSIC at Damien High next week, a Gold Division featuring the best of the best, along with Silver and Bronze Divisions that feature some of the area’s best teams, and solid teams from all over Southern California. Will update scores and schedule each morning.
Damien advances to Gold semifinals: The Damien High School boys basketball team had its first big matchup of an anticipated many this season on Tuesday evening.
It was a match in more ways than one, too. Long Beach Poly is ranked higher than the Spartans in the CIF Southern Section poll. The Jackrabbits also had a big size advantage.

La Salle beats West Covina in Bronze quarters: Size was the strength for the La Salle High School boys basketball team as it wore down, then held off a tenacious West Covina squad, 89-86, in the quarterfinals of the Bronze Division of The Classic at Damien on Tuesday night.
The Lancers (7-3) will play the winner of the La Sierra/Hesperia game in the semifinals on Thursday at 6 p.m.
“It came down to the end,” said West Covina head coach Damien Tate. “But I think the factor was (La Salle’s) size that got us.”

Monday’s Games
Los Altos opens with Silver Division win:
A slow start gave way to a fast finish for the Los Altos High School boys basketball team.The Conquerors trailed by 10 points at halftime before storming back in the second half to defeat Long Beach Jordan, 69-57, in the first round of the Silver Division of the Classic at Damien tournament.
Los Altos (9-0) will play the winner of the St. Bernard-Rancho Cucamonga game in the quarterfinals at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
“Our defense picked up (after halftime),” Los Altos head coach Jeff Lucas said. “It helped they missed some shots too but we were harping defense at halftime and that made the difference in the second half.”

San Dimas 68, Pomona 34 — Donnell Leffridge scored 15 points and Spencer Bandow added 11 points and had four rebounds for the Saints (8-3) in a Damien Tournament bronze division first-round victory. Also for San Dimas, Elijah Jackson had six assists and Russell Ocampo had five assists. Ivan Richmond had eight points for Pomona. San Dimas will host Diamond Bar today at 4:30 p.m.

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Chino Hills and host Glendora will square off in Friday’s girl basketball title game

Final Four is set: The Covina High School girls basketball team overcame a slow start with a strong push in the second quarter to defeat La Serna 62-35 in pool play action of the Glendora tournament on Wednesday night. With the win, Covina advances to the semifinals Thursday night against Chino Hills.
“This is our third tournament this season and the third time reaching the semifinals,” Covina coach Nick Masi said. “I’m excited. The whole team is. The toughest part will be the fourth game in four days.”

Glendora Girls Basketball After Christmas Tournament
Pool A: Glendora, Westminster La Quinta, Temple City, Montclair
Pool B: Covina, Monrovia, West Covina, La Serna
Pool C: Charter Oak, Moreno Valley, Chino Hills, Lancaster
Pool D: Yucaipa, La Salle, Chino, La Quinta
Monday’s round robin
Temple City 49, Montclair 32
La Salle 49, Yucaipa 32
Chino Hills 58, Lancaster 29
Glendora 74, Westminster La Quinta 11
Chino 50, La Quinta 33
Charter Oak 38, Moreno Valley 37
Covina 66, Monrovia 28
West Covina 56, La Serna 37
Tuesday’s round robin
Chino Hills 44, Charter Oak 19
La Salle 42, La Quinta 23
Lancaster 62, Moreno Valley 30
Glendora 68, Temple City 29
Westminster La Quinta 36, vs. Montclair 32
Covina 57, West Covina 47
La Serna 53, Monrovia 42
Yucaipa 70, Chino 35
Wednesday’s round robin
West Covina 58, Monrovia 32
Temple City 34, Westminster La Quinta 22
Chino Hills 60, Moreno Valley 7
Lancaster 63, Charter Oak 31
Yucaipa 61, La Quinta 38
La Salle 60, Chino 39
Glendora 73, Montclair 37
Covina 62, La Serna 35
Thursday’s semifinals
Glendora 64, La Salle 41
Chino Hills 36, Covina 35
Friday’s championship
Glendora vs. Chino Hills, 7:30 p.m.

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St. Francis wins Nogales boys basketball title with 85-79 win over La Serna

St. Francis wins the title: The third time proved to be the charm for the St. Francis High School basketball team.
Joey Walsh scored 31 points and Malakhi Jensen had 16 as the Golden Knights won their first tournament in three tries this month with an 85-70 victory over La Serna to take the Nogales tournament title at Nogales High.
Sean Stephen had 10 points and Lucas Shin and Omari Moore had nine each for St. Francis, which improved to 9-3.

Nogales Boys Basketball After Christmas Tournament
Pool A: Bassett, Nogales, Montebello, St. Francis
Pool B: Don Lugo, Yucaipa, La Serna, Norco
Monday’s round-robin
Yucaipa 50, Norco 49
La Serna 63, Don Lugo 37
St. Francis 74, Montebello 46
Bassett 68, Nogales 55
Tuesday’s round-robin
La Serna 68, Norco 64
Yucaipa 79, Don Lugo 66
St. Francis 117, Bassett 50
Montebello 46, Nogales 42
Wedneseday’s round-robin
Montebello def. Bassett
La Serna 51, Yucaipa 42
Norco 72, Don Lugo 49
St. Francis 79, Nogales 45
Thursday’s championship
St. Francis 85, La Serna 70

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Whittier beats Charter Oak 78-63 to capture the Wilson boys basketball tourney title

Charter Oak falls in final: Whittier High School boys basketball coach Chris Dalley said he and his team sat on the bench reflecting on what could have been.
The Cardinals handled tough Charter Oak 78-63 in the Wilson tournament championship game on Thursday night. But Dalley said he and his team thought about how they could’ve won two tournament championships this season.He was referring to a 55-51 heartbreaking loss to San Dimas earlier this month in the Glendora Winter Shootout championship. Dalley said the win over Charter Oak was redemption.
“This was a confidence-builder heading into league play,” Dalley said. “We talked about winning a championship and knowing what it would be like heading into league play.”

Wilson’s Boys Basketball Battle For the Ball Christmas Tournament
Pool A: Whittier, La Habra, Bell Gardens, Wilson
Pool B: Perris, Rowland, Charter Oak, Dymally
Monday’s round robin
Rowland 51, Perris 47
Charter Oak 74, Dymally 14
Whittier 63, La Habra 55
Bell Gardens 55, Wilson 50
Tuesday’s round robin
Rowland 84, Dymally 40
Charter Oak 70, Perris 31
La Habra 72, Bell Gardens 25
Whittier 83, Wilson 72
Wednesday’s round robin
Perris 74, Dymally 23
Charter Oak 64, Rowland 61, OT
Whittier 75, Bell Gardens 49
La Habra 79, Wilson 56
Thursday’s championship
Whittier 78, Charter Oak 63

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Walnut finishes third in Covina boys basketball title; J.W. North wins it.

Walnut's Agassi Goantara (24) fights for the ball with JW North's Sadiq Muhammad as teammate Mason Westlake (12) looks on in the first half of a Covina Christmas Tournament prep basketball game at Covina High School in Covina, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016.(Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Walnut’s Agassi Goantara (24) fights for the ball with JW North’s Sadiq Muhammad as teammate Mason Westlake (12) looks on in the first half of a Covina Christmas Tournament prep basketball game at Covina High School in Covina, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016.(Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

By Stephen Ramirez
COVINA — There will be no local teams in the Covina High School boys basketball tournament championship game, but Walnut made a strong run Wednesday.Cameron Nunley tipped in a putback shot with three seconds left and J.W. North rallied for a 60-58 victory over the Mustangs in the semifinals at Covina High.
Walnut (10-5) had a chance to win it, but Eli Ramos’ desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer was wide.
North (8-3) will face Cajon, a 72-60 winner over Fremont, in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. Walnut faces Fremont at 6.
Mason Westlake led North with 17 points. Ryan Dai had 17 for Walnut.

“We played well,” Walnut coach Joe Khouzam said. “We had a couple of mental breakdowns at the wrong time. But I love this group. They fight, they don’t quit. It’s a young group and they are learning. I’m happy with how we played tonight.”
Walnut almost got it done. But North used a 15-8 blitz down the stretch to win.
The Huskies trailed most of the second half before putting together an 8-3 surge to take a 51-50 lead on a LaShawn Jackson’ 3-pointer with 3:27 remaining.
The teams then traded baskets before Walnut’s Andrew Lee (nine points) drained a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to tie it at 58.
North then ran the clock down to about 10 seconds left when Melvin Walker missed from just inside the free-throw line. Nunley (13 points, 7 rebounds) got the rebound and tipped in an off-balance putback for the 60-58 lead.
Ramos took the in-bounds pass before missing his 3-pointer from just inside the half-court line at the buzzer.
“(North’s) last possession, we were trying to get it out of their best shooter’s hands,” Khouzam said. “We emphasized blocking out. But they got a lot of size on us and got the tip back.
“Last play, we were trying to get a deep pass down (the court). It didn’t work out as well as we wanted it to go.”
North, getting seven points from Walker and six from Westlake, led 26-25 at halftime.
Walnut opened the third quarter with a 10-5 blitz to lead 35-31 before finishing the quarter with a 7-5 run for a 42-38 lead.
The Mustangs pushed the advantage to five points twice in the fourth before North rallied.
“Tomorrow is a big game for us,” Khouzam said. “We always want to come out of a tournament 3-1 or 4-0. We still have that opportunity. If we win, we’ll get out of here 3-1, which is really good for us.”

The annual Covina Boys Basketball Christmas knockout tournament starts on Monday. Here’s the schedule, will update scores during the week.

Monday’s First Round
Top Bracket

Cajon 74, South El Monte 38
South Hills 65, Sierra Vista 40
Fremont 67, Lakeside 64
Mountain View 84, Northview 79
Bottom Bracket
Bishop Amat 81, Duarte 11
Walnut 60, California 31
JW North 76, Arroyo 27
Florida Ransom Everglades 42, Covina 34
Tuesday’s quarterfinals
Cajon 76, South Hills 70, OT
Fremont 67, Mountain View 65
Walnut 62, Bishop Amat 59
J.W North 50, Florida Ransom Everglades 43
Wednesday’s semifinals
Cajon 72, Fremont 60
J.W. North 60, Walnut 58
Thursday’s championship
J.W. North 49, Cajon 38
Third place game
Walnut 65, Fremont 61

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