Thursday Gameday Countdown: La Serna looks to keep it going vs. Santa Fe; Chiefs in must-win scenario

(Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)

(Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)

There was a time when the La Serna-Santa Fe rivalry almost trumped the Lancers annual encounter against California, mainly because the winner usually secured the Del Rio League title.
That won’t be on the line tonight when the Lancers and Chiefs get together at Cal High, but it’s just as important.
Host La Serna, fresh off its rally for Cal High, needs a win to put pressure on El Rancho in the race for the league title. Santa Fe, already with a loss to Cal, must beat either La Serna tonight, or El Rancho in two weeks to entertain any thought of a playoff bid. I’ll be at the game and will provide updates at @SteveRRamirez on Twitter. I’ll post a game story, along with some highlights later.


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Volleyball Top 10 poll

Here is the San Gabriel Valley-area poll for the week:
1. Flintridge Sacred Heart (21-4)
Won prestigious San Diego tournament
2. Pasadena Poly (15-2)
League showdown at Chadwick Wednesday
3. St. Paul (23-6)
Tough stretch in Tempe, Ariz. tourney
4. Gabrielino (22-3)
Lost in finals of own tournament
5. South Pasadena (9-5)
All alone atop Rio Hondo League
6. St. Lucy’s (10-6)
Key game vs. Rancho Cucamonga Tuesday
7. Whittier Christian (14-10)
Critical league game at Village Thursday
8. Arcadia (14-5)
Unbeaten in Pacific League
9. Mayfield (13-7)
Played Westridge in key game Tuesday
10. La Habra (17-6)
Lost to Troy in five games
Others: Glendora (14-6), La Mirada (16-4), San Dimas (15-5), Westridge (19-5), La Canada (7-5), Walnut (11-8), Duarte (20-8), San Gabriel (8-3), La Serna 9-7, Diamond Ranch 13-5.

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California boys cross country moves into No. 1

Here is the San Gabriel Valley-area poll for the week:
Boys Top 10
1. California
2. Arcadia
3. Bishop Amat
4. Flintridge Prep
5. Schurr
6. Covina
7. Los Altos
8. Glendora
9. Walnut
10. San Marino

Girls Top 10
1. Arcadia
2. Bishop Amat
3. Mayfield
4. Flintridge Prep
5. Glendora
6. Covina
7. St. Lucy’s
8. Bonita
9. El Rancho
10. La Canada

Runners of the week:
Brian Ochoa, Whittier, Senior: He won the Del Rio League cluster meet race at La Mirada Park.
Samantha Huerta, La Mirada, Junior: She won the Suburban League’s cluster meet with the third-fastest time in meet history for the Cerritos Regional Park course.

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Montebello still No. 1 in water polo poll

Here is the San Gabriel Valley-area poll for the week:

1. Montebello (19-3)
Made finals of South Bay tournament
2. La Serna (9-8)
Faces El Rancho on Wednesday
3. Damien (10-3)
Lost to Los Osos by goal
4. Los Altos (5-2)
Played Walnut on Tuesday
5. La Canada (6-11)
Record is very deceiving
6. Flintridge Prep (15-5)
Ended losing streak vs. Pasadena Poly
7. San Dimas (14-10)
Impressive tournament showing
8. San Marino (13-3)
Making noise in Rio Hondo
9. Pasadena (12-7)
Still needs to overcome Crescenta Valley
10. Rowland (10-4)
One-point loss to San Dimas
Others: Charter Oak (9-3), Temple City (16-6), Walnut (5-6), Schurr (11-6), Glendora (12-10).

Player of the week
Ian Hernandez, Montebello, Senior: The goalkeeper helped the Oilers to the championship game of the South Bay tournament.

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Daily News Top 10 Football Rankings: No change at the top, La Mirada leads the way

la m over bell

1. La Mirada (6-1) –
The Mats, back from a respite, have yet to be challenged since early in the season, and it won’t happen this week against rival Mayfair.
2. La Habra (4-3) – The Highlanders, after struggling with a tough schedule, are back in their comfort zone. They’ve dominated their first two Freeway League games, and no reason it won’t continue.
3. El Rancho (6-1) – No trap game last week for the Dons, who followed up the win over La Serna, with an easy win over Whittier. It’s not if El Rancho wins the Del Rio League title, but when.
4. La Serna (5-2) – The Lancers showed the heart of champion last week, coming back late to beat California. After splitting with their stiffest competitors, they should win out and take no worse than second in the Del Rio.
5. California (4-3) – The Condors, after losing to La Serna, still has designs on a share of the league title, meaning it must take care of business this week.
6. St. Paul (4-3) – The Swordsmen’s playoff hopes were dealt a major blow with the loss to Salesian. It could get even worse, with St. Francis coming into town this week.
7. Cantwell Sacred Heart (6-1) – The Cardinals, after dominating the past few weeks, enters league play this week as the favorite. Nothing changes that view.
8. Montebello (2-5) – Maybe the tough schedule hardened the Oilers for an Almont League title run. This looks like a different team from the one we saw in nonleague play. Will it continue?
9. Santa Fe (2-5) – The real Chiefs finally showed up last week. But to make the postseason, they have to take down either La Serna this week, or El Rancho to close the season. I’m not sure they can do that.
10. Pioneer (3-4) – The Titans were dealt a dose of reality with a big loss to Santa Fe. You can expect more of the same this week vs. El Rancho.

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Friday Night Rewind: La Serna takes Battle of Whittier; El Rancho, La Habra win; Santa Fe breaks through

Kevin Ramos of La Serna (11) is stopped by Thomas Vielma of Cal (33). Ramos scored a 2-yard touchdown run with 30 second left in the game to give the Lancers a 25-19 win on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (Photo by Chris Burt/Whittier Daily News)

Kevin Ramos of La Serna (11) is stopped by Thomas Vielma of Cal (33). Ramos scored a 2-yard touchdown run with 30 second left in the game to give the Lancers a 25-19 win on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (Photo by Chris Burt/Whittier Daily News)


La Serna High got a 2-yard touchdown run by Kevin Ramos with 30 seconds left to get past rival California 25-19 on Friday night.
The Lancers, who won the Southeast Division last season, were mere seconds away from being upset for the second straight week in the Del Rio League. Instead, quarterback Enrique Pacheco found receiver Curtis Ashton on a 48-yard pass with under a minute to play to set up the winning score.
“It wasn’t necessarily a deep shot, it was a pattern that had someone deep and Enrique made a good throw and Ashton a good catch and we’re fortunate to get that play,” La Serna head coach Margarito Beltran said. “That’s our kids. They’re resilient. We were fortunate to come out with a victory, but we’ll take it.”
La Serna, which lost to El Rancho last week, improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in league. California fell to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in league, but the Condors were oh so close to season-changing win.

– Aram Tolegian
After an emotional win over La Serna High last week, there was no let down Friday night as El Rancho easily defeated visiting Whittier 42-6 in a Del Rio League game.
Dons quarterback Andrew Perea, who passed for a school-record last week, threw for two touchdowns and 158 yards on 7-of-11 passing. He also ran for 51 yards and a 6-yard score. Perea now has more than 2,000 yards of total offense to lead the Dons (5-2, 2-0).
– John Sherrard

La Habra High School extended its Freeway League winning streak by taking a 42-7 victory over visiting Fullerton on Friday night.
Carlos Martin rushed for 145 yards and touchdowns of 11 and 53 yards and caught an 18-yard TD pass for the Highlanders (4-3, 2-0). Quarterback Eric Barriere completed 12 of 20 passes for 189 yards and two scores and rushed for two other TDs.

1. La Mirada (6-1), idle
2. La Habra (4-3) def. Fullerton, 42-7
3. El Rancho (6-1) def. Whittier, 42-6
4. California (4-3) lost to La Serna, 25-19
5. La Serna (5-2) def. California, 25-19
6. St. Paul (4-3) lost to Salesian, 21-7
7. Cantwell Sacred Heart (6-1) def. Carpinteria, 28-0
8. Montebello (2-5) def. Keppel, 23-0
9. Pioneer (3-4) lost to Santa Fe, 38-13
10. Santa Fe (2-5) def. Pioneer, 38-13
Cerritos Valley Christian 67, Whittier Christian 44
Schurr 55, San Gabriel 0

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Jacob Maier is putting the St. Paul back on the map

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> St. Paul High School, after going 1-9 each of the previous two seasons, is enjoying a resurgence so far this season, winning four of its first six, including opening Angelus League play with an overtime victory over La Salle.

A big key for the Swordsmen has been senior quarterback Jacob Maier, who as a multiple threat is the focal point of St. Francis’ offense that opposing defenses must figure how to stop.

But his biggest value to the Swordsmen is not something that can be charted on a stat cheat.

“We regrouped after last year,” St. Paul coach Rick Zepeda said. “We went to work right away and Jake was one of the focal guys to get everyone ready to go. For the most part, it’s showing.

“He’s one of the big leaders on campus. Only a couple of times as a junior been elected captain of the team here at St. Paul, and he’s one of them. He’s been reelected as a captain this year as a senior, so yes, absolutely, he’s a great leader.”

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El Rancho’s Brown ready for repeat

El Rancho sophomore Donald Brown won’t be a surprise for favored California in Thursday’s Del Rio League cluster meet.

Brown won the first race and is ready to face the Condors at La Mirada Regional Park.

Read more:

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La Serna scores Del Rio League volleyball victory


The final stat sheet may reflect a three-set sweep, but the host El Rancho girls volleyball team gave everything it had in the loss.

La Serna (8-7, 3-0), which has won the last five Del Rio League titles, won 25-16, 25-20, 25-23 to register its 13th league victory in a row over the last two seasons.

Leading the way for the Lancers were senior middle blockers Simone Oram with 11 kills and three blocks and Isabelle Von Lockner with nine kills and five blocks. Junior outside hitter Laura Butler added seven kills and had two aces.

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San Gabriel sweeps Montebello in three games


The San Gabriel High School volleyball team is relentless.

Right when visiting Montebello thought it had the Matadors in a touchy spot, San Gabriel came up with a big defensive stop.

“We’re not as tall as volleyball girls should be,” starter Vicki Wu said. “We just have to work on other things so we can balance everything out.”

The Matadors made two key defensive stops en route to a three-set sweep of the Oilers in a first-round Almont League showdown. San Gabriel (8-2, 4-0) scored a 25-17, 25-11, 25-23 victory.

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