High School Notebook: St. Paul’s Holly Shafer signs with Ave Maria University

St. Paul High School basketball player Holly Shafer, seated next to her mother, Tammy, signs her national letter of intent Thursday with Ave Maria University in Florida. (Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

SANTA FE SPRINGS – St. Paul High School girls basketball player Holly Shafer has chosen her college destination.

Shafer signed her national letter of intent Thursday with Ave Maria University, which is located in Florida.

“I like the team and the atmosphere,” Shafer said of Ave Maria. “It’s a really new school and I get to be a part of something that is growing.

“I really like the school. There’s only 900 students on campus so it will be easy for me to adjust. It’s 30 minutes outside of Miami. It will still have that big city feel even though I’ll be in a small school.”

Shafer said she would like to major in biochemistry.

“I want to be a forensic scientist,” said Shafer, whose favorite television shows include “CSI” and “NCIS.”

Shafer, who plays power forward, averaged 14 points and eight rebounds last season in helping the Swordsmen reach the CIF-Southern Section Division 4A semifinals. She expressed high hopes about the team’s prospects for this season.

“I’m pretty excited,” Shafer said. “We have the same team we had last year. Our chemistry is getting stronger.”

St. Paul is playing in the Leon Davis Classic Tournament, which is being hosted by Whittier Christian. The Swordsmen are scheduled to face the host Heralds at 7:30 p.m. today.

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High School Basketball: La Mirada boys open season on winning note

La Mirada’s Taelin Webb, left, steals the ball from La Serna’s Ted Teyechea during Wednesday’s game. La Mirada won, 72-44. (Leo Jarzomb / Staff Photographer)

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

WHITTIER – La Mirada High School opened its boys basketball season in superb fashion Wednesday by defeating La Serna 72-44 in a nonleague game.

Taelin Webb scored 30 points to pace the visiting Matadores (1-0), who held the lead from start to finish.

“We’re excited about this season,” La Mirada coach Bryce Jones said. “We return a lot of guys who can play. We’re very deep.

“We just want to play faster than we did last year but be tough to score on. It’s a good start for us. If we could rebound and play fast, we’ll beat a lot of teams. I thought we were the more aggressive team (on Wednesday).”

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High School Boys Basketball: Quarterfinals set for Sierra Vista/Baldwin Park tournament

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
twiiter.com/sgvnsports

The quarterfinals of the third annual Sierra Vista/Baldwin Park boys basketball tournament are set with area heavyweights Damien and Keppel squaring off today at 6 p.m. at Sierra Vista High School.

The other quarterfinal at Sierra Vista matches California, which knocked off Glendora 52-49 in round-robin play, against Claremont at 7:30 p.m. The winners meet in Friday’s semifinals.

Other quarterfinals tonight at Baldwin Park including Rowland against CIF-Southern Section power Thousand Oaks at 6 p.m. and Colony facing Troy at 7:30 p.m.

Damien, which defeated Azusa 89-21 and Diamond Ranch 63-51, is hoping to use the tournament to build confidence after graduating big man Chris Reyes.

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High School Football: Santa Fe had plenty to be proud of

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

Santa Fe High School put together a solid 2012 season under first-year head coach David Pierson.Pierson, who took over for longtime coach Jack Mahlstede, guided the Chiefs to an 8-5 record and a CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division semifinal berth.After posting a second-place 4-1 record in the Del Rio League, the Chiefs staged an impressive postseason run by winning two games before falling to Downey 35-3 in last week’s semifinal. Downey will face La Serna in Saturday’s Southeast Division final that is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Cal State Fullerton.

“It came to a screeching halt last week,” Pierson said. “The kids and the coaching staff were disappointed. I take my hat off to Downey and I wish them the best of luck. It will also be nice to see La Serna represent the Del Rio League on Saturday.”

The Chiefs started their playoff journey with a first-round, 11-10 win over Bonita and then went on to stun top-seeded La Mirada 27-26 in the second round.

“It was a great experience,” Pierson said of this season. “We had a good time with the players and we had a lot of memorable moments. I’m very proud of our team.”

Santa Fe sophomore quarterback Christian Lara emerged as the Chiefs’ main offensive weapon by passing for 1,068 yards and seven touchdowns while completing 84 of 165 attempts.

Lara also led the Chiefs’ ground attack with 935 yards and nine scores on 171 carries.

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Palmer leads La Serna to CIF-SS title game

La Serna High quarterback Frankie Palmer has helped lead the Lancers to the upcoming CIF-SS Southeast Division Championship game against Downey High. He is pictured at the Whittier campus on Nov. 27. (Leo Jarzomb/Staff Photographer)

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps
La Serna High School junior quarterback Frankie Palmer is already putting together quite a resume.

Since taking over the starting duties as a sophomore last season, Palmer has guided the Lancers to two consecutive CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division championship-game appearances.

Palmer and the Lancers (12-1) are preparing for Saturday’s CIF-SS Southeast Division final against Downey (10-3), which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Cal State Fullerton. A victory would give the Lancers their first CIF-SS football crown since 1967.

“It feels great,” Palmer said of the Lancers’ achievement. “Our team has worked really hard for this and we deserve it.

“We have put in numerous hours of time. Our coaches have put great game plans together. We have a great group of guys who have helped us reach the final the last two years – from the seniors we had last year to the guys we have this year.

“It feels great but the task is not over. Downey is a great team and we will have a tough game on Saturday.”

Heading into the Lancers’ 35-17 semifinal triumph last week against West Covina, Palmer had thrown for 1,925 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 60.6 percent of his attempts. Palmer has also done a good job taking care of the football, throwing only three interceptions.

Palmer has also contributed to the Lancers’ ground attack, rushing for 257 yards and two scores on 79 carries.

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High School Boys Basketball: Glendora falls to California in overtime

By John Honell, Correspondent

BALDWIN PARK – California High School began its boys basketball season with a 52-49 overtime victory against Glendora in the third annual Sierra Vista/Baldwin Park “Winter Tip-Off” Tournament on Tuesday night.The Condors scored two quick baskets to start the overtime period. Robert Amaro scored, then Andrew Barber added a basket off a steal by Ryan Schroll.The Tartans (1-1) battled back to take a 49-48 lead on a 3-pointer by sophomore Brandon Brothers with 2:03 left.

It was the Tartans first lead since midway through the third period.

That was it for Glendora, as Matt Lambrecht hit a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and Richard Kristl-Givens sank the first of a 1-and-1 free-throw attempt for the final margin.

The Condors (1-0) will play Garey at 3 p.m. today in the final game of pool play.

They then play the winner of the Northview-Claremont game in the first game of bracket play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The game will be played at Sierra Vista High School.

The championship game of the tournament will be held Saturday night at 7:30 at Covina High School.

Lambrecht led all scorers with 21 points, including four 3-pointers.

“We had plenty of chances,” Tartans coach Mike LeDuc said. `But we made mistakes when we had chances. We played like it was a really early season game.”

Lambrecht made three consecutive 3-pointers in the second quarter to break open a close game.

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High School Girls Basketball: Schurr holds off Baldwin Park in opener

By John Sherrard, Correspondent

MONTEBELLO – It might only have been an early season game, but the Baldwin Park High and Schurr High girls basketball teams battled like it was the postseason Tuesday night.Schurr, behind a game-high 14 points from junior guard Elizabeth Castillo, defeated the visiting Braves 45-39 in a season-opening nonleague game for both teams.Baldwin Park was led by the duo of senior center Tiffany Rojas and junior guard Seriah Escobedo, with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

“This was a good preseason game for us, without a doubt,” Schurr coach Paul Chavez said. “It’s definitely the type of scenario (a tight game) we want to put ourselves in early and see how we fare in terms of taking care of the basketball.”

For the second consecutive year, Schurr beat Baldwin Park, but this year’s result was a much different game.

The Spartans defeated Baldwin Park by 31 points in 2011, but the Braves came out of the gate fast Tuesday and gave Schurr everything it could handle.

Unfortunately for Baldwin Park, it failed to convert at the free-throw line late in the game and that was the difference.

Baldwin Park entered the fourth quarter trailing 33-30, but was only 3 of 13 from the line down the stretch.

“We missed eight in a row (free throws) in the fourth quarter and once we started missing, mentally they shut down,” fourth-year Baldwin Park coach Raquel Viramontes said.

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High School Football: CIF-SS luncheon kicks off championship week

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
twitter.com/ChemicalAT

For guys like Monrovia High School football coach Ryan Maddox and Rio Hondo Prep’s Ken Drain, the CIF-Southern Section luncheon held the Monday before the championship games have seemingly become an annual tradition.

Even La Serna was back at the luncheon for a second consecutive season on Monday when all the teams in all the championship games kicked off the biggest week of the season by dining together at The Grand in Long Beach.

“No it doesn’t get old, this is a great thing,” said Drain, who has been to seven championship luncheons as head coach of the Kares. “The menu is pretty much the same. It’s usually really good. I enjoy it.”

Rio Hondo Prep was represented by Drain and team captains Colby Rivera, Jake Holguin, Rico Perez and Jared White. The Kares (11-1) host Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo on Friday night in the Northeast Division championship. Kickoff is 7:30.

The game marks the second time this season the teams will have played. Mission Prep beat Rio Hondo Prep, 47-14, on Aug. 31 and is favored to deny the Kares their second straight division title and Drain’s fifth overall.

“I think we’ll be a lot better, but they are a really good team,” Drain said. “I think we’re a lot better than we were and we didn’t play very well in that game. We’re looking forward to it.”

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High Schools: Condors’ impressive season goes national

St. Paul softball player Jazmine Martinez, center, signs a letter of intent with Philadelphia’s Holy Family University as family and friends look on Monday on the St. Paul campus in Santa Fe Springs. (Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

California High School’s boys cross country team is headed for the national stage.

The Condors continued to build upon their already terrific season last Saturday by capturing second place at the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.

They scored 127 points to finish behind first-place Arcadia, which had 53. That strong finish lifted the Condors to the Nike Cross Nationals scheduled for Saturday in Portland, Ore.

“We’re on cloud nine right now,” California coach Tony DiMarco said. “It’s pretty exciting. The school is treating us great right now. It’s a pretty awesome feeling actually. It’s always fun to get recognized for your accomplishments.”

Sam Bautista was California’s top performer at the state meet, completing the course in 15 minutes, 35 seconds to take 16th place.

Leo Corcoran ran a 15:37 to earn 20th place for the Condors.

Jose Pacheco (34th, 15:45), Matlazomatl Rojas (45th, 15:56) and Josh Roldan (53rd, 16:02) rounded out the Condors’ top five runners.

California won the tiebreaker for second place against Carlsbad when Chris Ramirez (71st, 16:09), who was the Condors’ sixth-best performer, finished ahead of Carlsbad’s No. 6 runner Sean Unger (86th, 16:16).

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