Basketball talk: Who do you think should be the Whittier area’s player of the year for boys and girls basketball?

Hello, high school sports fans.  The prep basketball season is headed for its final stages, which means it’s time to start thinking about who should win player of the year honors.  So, which boys and girls basketball players should be considered?  I would like to hear from you.

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Tuesday’s CIF-SS playoff schedule: El Rancho, La Serna and La Mirada featured in soccer semifinal action

Soccer semifinal Tuesday is rapidly approaching and three Whittier-area teams are involved.  In Division 3 boys soccer, El Rancho High School will make the trip to Century.   La Mirada and La Serna, the area’s two remaining girls soccer teams, will also take the field.  La Mirada will visit Downey in Division 4 while La Serna will host La Quinta in Division 5.
Here is Tuesday’s CIF-SS schedule:

Girls Soccer
Semifinal games
Division 4
La Mirada at Downey, 5 p.m.
Division 5
La Quinta at La Serna, 3 p.m.

Boys Soccer
Semifinal game
Division 3
El Rancho at Century, 3:30 p.m.

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High School Girls Water Polo: La Serna falls short of ultimate prize

By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer

IRVINE – La Serna High School started strong but Troy had the better finish in Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4 girls water polo championship game at William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center.

Troy earned a 9-5 win for its first CIF-SS crown in school history. Shannon Grossman and Alison Lany led the way for the second-seeded Warriors. Grossman scored four goals while Lany added three in the fourth quarter.

Gabby Pierandozzi and Katie Hill each scored twice to pace La Serna, which finished 21-11.

Hill’s second goal gave the fourth-seeded Lancers a 4-2 lead with 4:42 remaining in the third quarter. La Serna, however, couldn’t sustain its momentum as Troy took control by scoring seven of the game’s last eight goals.

The Freeway League champion Warriors (25-8) started their winning surge with four consecutive goals. After Grossman recorded back-to-back goals to tie the game at 4-4, Minna Mattis gave Troy the lead for good when she scored with 26 seconds remaining in the third.

Lany, Troy’s leading offensive player, then made her presence felt in the final quarter. Troy was clinging to a 6-5 lead with 4:07 left when she helped secure the victory by scoring the game’s final three goals.

Read more: High School Girls Water Polo: La Serna falls short of ultimate prize

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High School Girls Basketball: Cantwell Sacred Heart foiled in bid for title game

By John Sherrard, Correspondent

MONTEBELLO – It’s been 11 years since the Cantwell Sacred Heart High School girls basketball team was in the CIF-Southern Section finals.There won’t be a return appearance to the title game this season for the Cardinals as they lost 49-45 to visiting St. Monica in the Division 4A semifinals Saturday night.

But it wasn’t without a valiant effort.

Trailing by 10 points with 3:40 remaining in the game, the Cardinals went on a 7-2 run, highlighted by a long 3-pointer by senior guard Priscilla Rodriguez, to cut it to 43-38 with 1:38 left.

However they traded baskets the rest of the way and fell to Camino Real League opponent St. Monica.

Cantwell (18-10), which last won a CIF-SS championship in 2002, was led by a game-high 19 points from junior guard Sylvia Garcia.

St. Monica (26-6) was led by senior Briana Harris with 15 points.

“We’ve done that (comebacks) all year long,” Cantwell coach Omar Villalta said. “Defensively that is our positive, but what took the air out of us was we couldn’t hit shots down the stretch.

Read more:  High School Girls Basketball: Cantwell Sacred Heart foiled in bid for title game


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High School Girls Basketball: Priscilla Hidalgo gives St. Paul a shot in final

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

VENTURA – Priscilla Hidalgo stepped up when she was absolutely needed.

The senior guard took a charge call and then drove the length of the floor to score a layup with 0.3 seconds remaining to give

St. Paul High School a 41-39 victory at St. Bonaventure in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4A basketball semifinals on Saturday.

“At the beginning of the game, the plan was to drive and dish,” Hidalgo said. “I drove and did not see anybody there. I looked at the clock and said, `I have to go up strong.’

“I was looking at the shot and said, `Please go in.’ I heard the whistle, I heard cheering, I closed my eyes and crossed my fingers.”

The top-seeded Swordsmen, tied at 39, were called for an illegal pick at the top of the key with 35.6 seconds to play. McKenna Hill, the fourth-seeded Seraphs’ top player, dribbled 35 feet away as the clock dwindled to 12 seconds on the game clock and 7 seconds on the 30-second clock. She drove to the basket, but Hidalgo stepped in front of her just in time to draw a charging foul with 10.7 seconds remaining.

“The moment started from the charge,” Hidalgo said.

The Swordsmen inbounded the ball to Hidalgo, who looked over at coach Robert Miller. He motioned for her to go.

“That’s what we wanted,” Miller said. “We didn’t want to call timeout. We thought to just get her the ball. She’s going to get bumped in the open court, maybe get lucky that way, or she’s going to get her shot.

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Saturday CIF-SS playoff round-up: La Serna falls short in girls water polo final; St. Paul advances to girls basketball championship game

La Serna goalie Jacqui Verdugo, right, is comforted by Anne Pacheco after Saturday’s 9-5 loss to Troy in the CIF-SS Division 4 championship game. (Keith Birmingham / Staff Photographer)

La Serna started strong but couldn’t quite finish in a 9-5 loss to Troy in Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4 girls water polo championship game.  In CIF-SS Division 4A girls basketball action, St. Paul punched its ticket to the finals with a 41-39 semifinal triumph over St. Bonaventure.  The Swordsmen will face Camino Real League rival St. Monica in the championship game.  St. Monica defeated Cantwell Sacred Heart 49-45 in the division’s other semifinal.

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Friday’s CIF-SS playoff round-up: Cantwell Sacred Heart falls short in Division 4A boys basketball semifinal; El Rancho boys soccer advances

Cantwell Sacred Heart fell just short in a 52-51 defeat to Pacific Hills in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4A boys basketball semifinals.  El Rancho, meanwhile, is moving on to the Division 3 boys soccer semifinals after defeating La Sierra 5-0 in the quarterfinals.

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High School Girls Basketball: Cantwell Sacred Heart, St. Paul hoping to be semi-tough

By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer

The area’s two remaining schools in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4A girls basketball playoffs will look to take one step closer to a divisional crown in today’s semifinal round.

St. Paul (19-11) will visit St.Bonaventure (21-8) of Ventura while Cantwell Sacred Heart (18-9) hosts St. Monica (24-6).

Both games are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.

Top-seeded St. Paul is coming off a 50-34 quarterfinal triumph over Crossroads on Wednesday.

Senior forward Cassidy Carrillo paced the Swordsmen by scoring a game-high 15 points and pulling down seven rebounds. Senior guard Priscilla Hidalgo added 10 points while senior forward Holly Shafer recorded eight points and six rebounds.

It marks the fourth consecutive trip to the semifinals for the Swordsmen, who captured the Camino Real League crown with a 7-1 record.

Fourth-seeded St. Bonaventure earned its semifinal berth by defeating Whitney 64-54 on Wednesday.

The Seraphs, coached by Ruben Marin, are led by guard McKenna Hill and forward Jenny Lopez, who are both seniors.

St. Bonaventure finished with a third-best mark of 6-4 in the Tri-Valley League.

Two of St. Paul’s Camino Real rivals, Cantwell Sacred Heart and St.Monica, will be facing each other in the other semifinal.

It’s the third meeting between the two schools. St. Monica defeated the Cardinals twice in the regular season by scores of 60-50 and 64-59.

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High School Girls Water Polo: La Serna looks to make more history in title match

By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer

La Serna High School’s girls water polo team made history when it defeated top-seeded Bonita 10-9 in Wednesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4 semifinals.

The Lancers will look to make even more history as they take on Troy in today’s championship game, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine.

It’s the first championship game appearance for Del Rio League champion La Serna (21-10), which is seeded fourth.

“We’re really excited and pumped up,” La Serna coach Erin Brown said. “The girls are ready to fight for a championship title.”

Troy (24-8), which captured the Freeway League crown and is the No. 2 seed, is an opponent the Lancers know well. Today’s game will mark the third meeting of the season between the two schools.

The Warriors won the first match Dec. 4 at La Serna, 15-14, when Shannon Grossman scored the winning goal in triple-overtime. The Lancers, however, came back and defeated Troy 7-6 three days later at the Villa Park Tournament in El Toro High.

“We’re excited to play Troy,” Brown said. “We know it’s going to be a great game. We have a lot of confidence, but we are still going to come out like we’re playing them for the first time because anything can happen in CIF.

“We’re fired up and we’re ready to fight for a title.”

Key players for La Serna include Gabby Pierandozzi, Jenel Rivera, Isabella Villa and goalkeeper Jacqui Verdugo.

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Thursday CIF-SS playoff round-up: La Serna and La Mirada advance to girls soccer semifinals

Two of the area’s girls soccer teams are headed for Tuesday’s semifinal round.  La Mirada eliminated Riverside Poly 2-1 in the Division 4 quarterfinals.  La Serna is also semifinal-bound after its 2-0 quarterfinal triumph over Temescal Canyon in Division 5 action.
Here are Thursday’s CIF-SS girls soccer results:

Thursday’s quarterfinal games
Division 4
La Mirada 2, Riverside Poly 1
Division 5
La Serna 2, Temescal Canyon 0
Division 7
Marshall 1, Montebello 0

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