Basketball Update Whittier boys fall short, loses tourney final; Whittier girls drop semifinal in Cantwell tourney, play for third-place today

Above: Whittier s Juan Quintero (#15)
makes a shot as they play Lawndale in the Championship game
of the Whittier High School Holiday Invitational on Thursday Dec. 29, 2011.
(SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/SPORTS)

Two years, two final-round losses for the Whittier boys basketball team, which lost Lawndale in the finals of its own tournament on Thursday.
The Whittier girls team suffered the same fate, losing to Campbell Hall in the semifinals at the Cantwell Tournament. The Cardinals finish the tourney against Rosemead in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Here’s the game story from the Whittier boys game:

By John Sherrard Correspondent
The Whittier High School boys basketball team knew it had a tall order – literally – in Lawndale on Thursday night in the title game of Whittier’s own Second Annual Holiday Invitational.
That tall order was 6-foot-7 freshman center Chimezie Metu. He was a factor in the middle early, but a balanced scoring attack led Lawndale to a 70-65 victory.
Lawndale (11-3) was led by three players in double figures. Chris Munoz, Lemar Young and Will Newman had 17, 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Young had all of his points in the second half.
Whittier (7-8), which trailed by 10 points in the third quarter, 44-34, whittled away at the lead and came within four points with less than a minute remaining in the game.
Senior guard Damien Salcedo hit a short jumper and knocked down two free throws to bring Whittier close, 67-63.
“You know, it’s tough, two years in a row in our own tournament,” Whittier coach Joey Mata said.
Continue reading “Basketball Update Whittier boys fall short, loses tourney final; Whittier girls drop semifinal in Cantwell tourney, play for third-place today” »

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Rose Bowl Updates: Wilson is Badgers’ X-Factor

Associated Press photo

As part of our coverage of the 98th Rose Bowl Game, here’s my story on Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson:

LOS ANGELES – There are a lot elements that were key for Wisconsin as the Badgers returned to the Rose Bowl Game
The X-factor is quarterback Russell Wilson, who is not a typical Wisconsin signal caller.
Wilson, a senior transfer from North Carolina State, added athleticism to a position that for years required nothing special, just someone who minimized mistakes while guiding an offense that used its mammoth front line and big running backs such as Ron Dayne and John Clay as focal points.
Wilson, at least for this season, changed that perception.
“The true sign of a great player is someone who can make something out of nothing,” said Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, whose Badgers face Oregon in the 98th Rose Bowl Game on Monday. “A lot of times it might be a call offensively where the scheme for the success of that play shuts down and you have to make a change.
“Russell has made changes this year on first, second, third and even fourth down that have allowed us to stay alive and make a play.”
Wilson’s biggest audible came not at Camp Randall Stadium, but off the field.
Continue reading “Rose Bowl Updates: Wilson is Badgers’ X-Factor” »

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Basketball: Cantwell comes up short against Campbell Hall; Whittier boys play for title

Above: Cantwell-Sacred Heart’s Priscilla Rodriguez drives for two points against Campbell Hall during the Cantwell Tournament on Wednesday at the Montebello campus. (Leo Jarzomb / Staff Photographer)

The Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary girls basketball gave it a valiant effort before coming up short against ranked Campbell Hall in the quarterfinals of its Cardinal Classic. Whittier advanced and is playing Campbell Hall tonight. The finals are scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m.
In boys action, Whittier advanced to the finals of its second annual tournament for the second time, and is hosting Lawndale tonight.

Here is correspondent John Sherrard’s story of the Cantwell-Campbell Hall game:

MONTEBELLO – The Cantwell Sacred Heart girls basketball team took the second-ranked Campbell Hall Vikings to the limit in the Cardinal Classic Wednesday night, but fell just short.
Trailing by as many as 15 points early in the third quarter, host Cantwell fell to CIF-SS Division 4 power Campbell Hall, 62-55, in the quarterfinals of its own tourney.
The Cardinals trailed Campbell Hall, 42-27, to begin the third quarter and were led by sophomore guard Justine Manjarrez with nine points in the quarter to put Cantwell within striking distance in the fourth.
Manjarrez scored 13 points, including 5 for 6 at the line in the game.
The Cardinals, who are a young team, were led by sophomore forward Sylvia Garcia with 20 points (9 for 10 free throws) and junior guard Priscilla Rodriguez (17 points, 7 of 8 free throws).
Trailing by seven, 59-52, with 43 seconds left, Rodriguez hit her only 3-pointer of the game to cut Campell Hall’s lead to four points, but Campbell Hall’s Lauren Holiday and Nicole Tolbert combined to make three free throws to seal the victory for the Vikings.
“We did everything we could and actually had a game plan and followed it,” Cantwell first-year coach Jose Herrera said.
“Our game plan was to get Holiday out of her game and did that early,” said Herrera.
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Rose Bowl: A Day at the Magic Castle!

I’m on the Rose Bowl beat this week, and Tuesday was a day at “The Happiest Place on Earth” — Disneyland. Here’s a photo of some members of the Wisconsin, on the left, and Oregon in front of the Magic Castle.

Here’s my story from Tuesday’s Arrival Press Conference at Disneyland:

ANAHEIM – For some, going to Disneyland never gets old.
You can put the Oregon and Wisconsin football teams in that group.
The Ducks and Badgers, who meet in Monday’s 98th Rose Bowl Game, kicked off festivities Tuesday with the traditional stop at Disneyland.
It’s the second trip for both teams within the past three years. Wisconsin also is playing in “The Granddaddy of Them All” for the sixth time since 1994 while Oregon is seeking its first victory in the Rose Bowl Game since beating Pennsylvania, 14-0, in 1917.
“It’s a real honor to be back here again,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. “I know (Wisconsin) was here last year, and we were here two years ago.
“When you talk about a college football game and you talk about tradition, it starts with the Rose Bowl. And there’s no better place to kick it off than Disneyland.”
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Girls Basketball Update: Whittier, Cantwell on collision course to Cardinal Classic semifinals

Whittier and Cantwell, two of the better programs in the area, have each advanced to the Cardinal Classic quarterfinals at Cantwell after winning their respective pools.
Whittier, 9-1 with the only loss coming to traditional power Bishop Amat, faces Paramount at 8 p.m. tonight. Cantwell, 9-6, after winning a doubleheader on Monday, faces Campbell Hall at 6:30 tonight. If both win, they will meet in Thursday’s semifinals at 6:30 p.m. The other quarterfinals will feature El Segundo vs. Rosemead at 3:30 p.m., with Rialto vs. St. Joseph at 5. Finals are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday.

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