Friday Night Final: La Serna advances; Santa Fe eliminated

La Serna’s Frankie Palmer scrambles for yardage during Friday’s CIF-SS playoff game against West Covina. La Serna won, 35-17. (Keith Birmingham / Staff Photographer)

La Serna is headed back to the CIF-SS Southeast Division Finals after defeating West Covina. The Lancers will face Downey, which beat Santa Fe in the Southeast’s other semifinal.

FRIDAY’S FINAL SCORES
La Serna 35, West Covina 17
Downey 35, Santa Fe 3

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Friday Night Countdown: La Serna and Santa Fe gear up for the CIF-SS Southeast Division semifinals

Santa Fe’s Daniel Alvarado (6) celebrates his touchdown with Charles Muhlenkamp (2) as they play La Mirada in their CIF-SS second-round football playoff game at Pioneer High School in Whittier on Friday, Nov. 16. (SGVN/Staff photo by Keith Durflinger)

It’s semifinal Friday and both La Serna and Santa Fe are looking to advance to next week’s championship game. La Serna faces West Covina at California High School while Santa Fe visits Downey. I will be at Santa Fe’s game at Downey. You can get quarter updates on our scoreboard page.

SGVN SCOREBOARD
SEMIFINALS PREVIEW

CIF-SS SOUTHEAST DIVISION
Tonight’s semifinal games
Santa Fe at Downey, 7 p.m.
West Covina vs. La Serna at California HS, 7:30 p.m.

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Daily News Pick’em: Your picks and ours

I had a record of 3-1 during last week’s second round of the CIF-SS playoffs.  My only miss was on La Mirada-Santa Fe.  Here are my choices for tonight’s semifinal round:

LAST WEEK’S RECORD: 3-1
SEASON RECORD: 88-27

CIF-SS SOUTHEAST DIVISION
Tonight’s semifinal games
Santa Fe at Downey, 7 p.m. — Santa Fe
West Covina vs. La Serna at California HS, 7:30 p.m. — La Serna

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High School Basketball: Montebello girls set to get season going

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

Montebello High School starts its girls basketball season Friday with a trip to the Downey Tournament, scheduled Friday through Nov. 29.The tournament also includes Santa Fe, El Monte, Lakewood, North Torrance, Marina, Sunny Hills and Cabrillo of Long Beach.The Oilers’ first game is scheduled for Friday against Lakewood at 3 p.m. Montebello follows that opener with Saturday’s 3 p.m. matchup against North Torrance.

First-year Montebello head coach Jim Duddy believes the tournament can give the Oilers some good seasoning as they get ready for the Almont League season.

“It will be a good experience and we’ll get a couple of extra games in the tournament,” Duddy said.

The Oilers, who seek to rebound from last year’s 5-17 season, feature four key returnees in junior guard Tiffani Martinez, senior center Monique Mendibles, senior forward Adriana Gallardo and junior guard Bianca Ortiz.

“Mendibles is a four-year starter,” Duddy said. “Gallardo is a solid role player for us.”

The Oilers, who missed the postseason last year, are hoping to contend for a CIF-Southern Section Division 1A playoff berth.

“Our competition is going to be Schurr and Alhambra with (defending league champion) Keppel a step above,” Duddy said.

Read more: High School Basketball: Montebello girls set to get season going

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High School Volleyball: Whittier Christian ends its run in first round of State Division II playoffs

By John Sherrard, Correspondent

RIVERSIDE – The winning streak and season came to an end for CIF-Southern Section Division 2A champion Whittier Christian High School Tuesday night in the first round of the CIF State Division II playoffs.

Whittier Christian lost for the first time in the last nine matches, dating back to the Ayala Tournament last month and finishes with a 35-5 record.

A bigger, quicker and stronger Martin Luther King High ended a dream season for the Heralds, 25-20, 25-19, 26-28, 25-21 to advance.

The Wolves (27-7) will play Canyon Crest Academy of San Diego on Saturday.

“This has been a great season, winning CIF and watching the team come together like they have,” Whittier Christian coach Shawn Hunter said. “We knew state teams would be big and strong and they (MLK) showed it (Tuesday). I’m real proud of my girls this season for their accomplishments.”

Leading the way for the Division 2AA champs was junior outside hitter, Kalei Greeley, who had a match-high 30 kills.

Pacing Whittier Christian, which has advanced to its second consecutive state playoffs, was junior outside hitter Kylee Wolfe with 20 kills.

Junior Deanna Blaine had 14 kills and junior middle blocker Stephanie Stevenson added 15 kills.

The first set was back and forth with each team taking no more than a two-point lead until MLK extended the score to four points, 23-19, on consecutive kills by Greeley and the Wolves took the opening set.

Read more: High School Volleyball: Whittier Christian ends its run in first round of State Division II playoffs

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High School Cross Country Notebook: California boys set for state meet

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

The California boys cross country team made history at last weekend’s CIF-Southern Section Finals at Mt. San Antonio College.

The Condors took fourth in the Division 1 race, with 161 points to finish with a total team time of 1 hour, 13 minutes, 34 seconds. Since they finished in the top seven, California qualified for the CIF State Championships for the first time in school history.

“We’re pretty excited,” California coach Tony DiMarco said. “It feels great to make it. It kind of felt like something was missing because we didn’t get on the podium. The rain threw us off a little bit but we survived it.”

Sam Bautista was the Condors’ top runner last weekend, finishing 21st in Mt. SAC’s rain course with a time of 14:34.

Matlazomatli Rojas and Leo Corcoran followed closely behind Bautista, taking 24th and 25th, respectively. Both Rojas and Corcoran recorded a mark of 14:37.

Jose Pacheco turned in a 40th-place finish, contributing a time of 14:44.

The Condors are gearing up for the state meet, which is scheduled for Saturday at Fresno’s Woodward Park.

“We feel like we can get back on the podium,” DiMarco said. “Our goal is to finish in the top three, which will give us a great shot at making the nationals. I feel like we’re capable of being in the top three.”

Read more: High School Cross Country Notebook: California boys set for state meet

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High School Volleyball: Whittier Christian set for state playoffs

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

Whittier Christian High School, fresh off of capturing the CIF-Southern Section Division 2A girls volleyball crown on Saturday, is now directing its focus on the CIF State championship playoffs that begin today.The Heralds (35-3) open at King of Riverside (26-7), the CIF-SS Division 2AA champion, in a Southern California bracket Division II first-round game at 7 p.m.”We’re playing good volleyball in the playoffs and that’s a good thing,” Whittier Christian coach Shawn Hunter said. “We’re peaking at the right time.

“The girls were excited after Saturday’s win. We’re going to do our best to compete.”

Hunter said it would be interesting to see how the Heralds fare against the state’s other elite teams.

“It’s a fun atmosphere to be there,” he said. “We’re excited about it.”

The Heralds won the Division 2A tournament by defeating Chadwick 22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-22. Junior outside hitter Kylee Wolfe recorded a game-high 20 kills to pace the win. Outside hitter Deanna Blaine, also a junior, had 11.

Junior setter Jennifer Washle totaled 40 assists, five aces and five kills. Junior libero Nicole Santos played a major role as well with 29 digs.

King, coached by Gene Krieger and Sondra Lough, earned the Division 2AA title by beating Los Osos 25-19, 25-13, 22-25, 25-17.

Junior outside hitter Kalei Greeley led the Wolves with 29 kills and 23 digs during Saturday’s final.

Read more: High School Volleyball: Whittier Christian set for state playoffs

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High School Football Notebook: Santa Fe now seeking trip to division final

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

After stunning top-seeded La Mirada High School in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs on Friday, Santa Fe finds itself in the semifinals.Quarterback Christopher Mancilla and wide receivers Robert Campos and Charles Muhlenkamp each played significant roles for the Chiefs (8-4).Mancilla completed 16 of 22 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns, which went to Campos (2 yards) and Daniel Alvarado (9 yards).

Campos made six receptions for 90 yards while Muhlenkamp caught five passes for 81 yards and a 40-yard touchdown that was thrown by Christian Lara.

“Our kids played a good game,” Santa Fe coach David Pierson said. “We took advantage of our opportunities when they were presented to us. My hat is off to our players. We’re hitting on all cylinders now. Our team gave a great effort.”

The only team standing between the Chiefs and an appearance in the championship game is Downey (9-3), the top team from the San Gabriel Valley League.

The Vikings, coached by Jack Williams, clinched their semifinal berth by defeating Norwalk 45-42 on Friday.

Downey will host the Chiefs in Friday’s semifinal, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

LANCERS ALSO IN SEMIS

The other area team joining Santa Fe in the semifinal round is La Serna (11-1), which beat Dominguez 29-13 in Friday’s CIF-SS Southeast Division second round.

Read more: High School Football Notebook: Santa Fe now seeking trip to division final

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High School Cross Country: California stays on course to advance to state

El Rancho’s Andre Hernandez competes during the Division 1 race at Saturday’s CIF-SS Cross Country Finals at Mt. SAC. (Sarah Reingewirtz / Staff Photographer)

By Keith Lair, SGVN
Twitter.com/KeithLLair

WALNUT – When members of the California High School cross country team woke up Saturday, they viewed wet pavement.

So did CIF-Southern Section officials. They immediately moved the CIF-SS Finals to the Mt. SAC rain course, which does not have any hills.

The Condors survived to compete for another day. So did Santa Fe’s Kevin Ramirez. California and Ramirez will be competing in next week’s CIF State meet in Fresno.

“I’m just happy we survived the day,” California coach Tony DiMarco said. “On the rain course, anybody can beat anybody. We just went in here saying that we have to make sure we qualify.

“We made it to next week where we’ll be back to reality.”

The Condors finished fourth in the Division 1 race. The top seven teams and top five individuals earned berths for next weekend.

Read more: High School Cross Country: California stays on course to advance to state

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