Keeler to be remembered at St. Paul-Brea game Tuesday

St. Paul’s baseball team will honor the memory of Tim Keeler with a moment of silence before Tuesday’s Anaheim Lions Tournament game at Brea High.
St. Paul coach Casey Morales was a longtime friend of Keeler’s and coached with him previously. Keeler was a longtime coach and teacher in the Whittier area, most recently at Cal High. He passed away last week.
Game time is 3:15 p.m. at Brea, and the moment of silence will be held around 2:45 p.m.
Cal High will also hold a memorial for Keeler at 5 p.m. Friday in its gym.

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Lancers, Swordsmen set for third meeting this year

This week’s best area softball game should come Thursday, when St. Paul will host La Serna at York Field in a nonleague showdown. First pitch is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.
St. Paul is riding a six-game winning streak and just won the Savanna Tournament on Saturday, topping Sunny Hills 1-0 in the final. The Swordsmen are 12-4 overall. La Serna, ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 3, is 10-1.
Thursday’s game will be the third meeting between the teams this year, and they’ve split the first two. A doubleheader was originally scheduled, but only one game will be played.
Another big game this week involves Cantwell-Sacred Heart, which hosts St. Monica in a Camino Real game Tuesday. The Cardinals are 2-0 in league play while St. Monica is 1-0, 9-0 overall. Game time is 3:15 p.m.

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La Serna, Santa Fe to meet in important early DRL game Wednesday

Early control of the Del Rio League baseball standings will be at stake Wednesday when Santa Fe visits La Serna at 3:15 p.m.
Each team is 1-0 in league play, tied with Cal for first place. Wednesday’s winner will hold at least a share of first, depending on the outcome of Cal’s game with El Rancho, and will hold an important head-to-head victory as well. La Serna is 4-5-1 overall while Santa Fe is 4-6.
* Wednesday’s Whittier-Pioneer DRL game will be played at Lake Center Athletic Park at 3 p.m. With the renovations of Pioneer’s athletic facilities this year, all the Titans’ home games will be played at alternate sites.

This Week’s Del Rio League Baseball Schedule

Whittier vs. Pioneer at Lake Center Athletic Park, 3 p.m.
Santa Fe at La Serna, 3:15 p.m.
El Rancho at Cal, 3:15 p.m.

El Rancho at Santa Fe, 3:15 p.m.
Cal at Whittier, 3:15 p.m.
Pioneer at La Serna, 3:15 p.m.

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Lancers learn the last out is the hardest to get

La Serna’s baseball team had pulled within a run of St. John Bosco in the sixth inning Saturday, and a base-running blunder by the Braves nearly let the Lancers escape the bottom of the inning trailing by that same deficit. Pinch runner Chasen Wilson, at third base with one out, missed the sign for a squeeze bunt and was eventually thrown out at the plate after a 1-2-6-5-1 rundown.

That gave La Serna the second out of the inning, and the Lancers were just one out from escaping the jam and going to the seventh down by one.
But Bosco’s Matt Green came to the plate next, and he extended the lead when he lined a two-run double to the left field gap. An error by Green in the sixth allowed La Serna to inch within a run, but he made up for the mistake with his second hit of the game.
“He’s been our best hitter in big situations all year,” said SJB coach Moon Cordero, “and he came through again for us.”
“That was huge,” agreed La Serna coach Anthony Gonzales. “You’ve gotta make plays in key situations, and they did.”

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Day 2 sweep gives SoCal squads the edge in Sacramento

A 6-0 sweep Saturday gave Southern California teams the edge in Sacramento this weekend at the CIF State Basketball Championships. Northern teams had an impressive first day, winning four times, but SoCal was the overall winner, 8-4.
Saturday’s sweep began with the Division IV games, where Sierra Canyon (girls) and Bishop Montgomery (boys) each won. Division II championships went to Chaminade (girls) and St. John Bosco (boys), and Long Beach Poly’s girls claimed the Open Division crown after winning Division I last year. In the Open Division boys final, Mater Dei claimed its fourth consecutive state title and completed an unbeaten season.
Here are this weekend’s final scores:
Division V boys: St. Joseph Notre Dame 57, Renaissance Academy 32
Division III girls: Modesto Christian 64, Santa Barbara 55
Division III boys: Chaminade 71, Sir Francis Drake 51
Division I girls: Canyon Springs 56, Pleasant Grove 30
Division I boys: Monte Vista 66, Corona Centennial 55

Division IV girls: Sierra Canyon 64, Justin-Siena 37
Division IV boys: Bishop Montgomery 85, Moreau Catholic 44
Division II girls: Chaminade 80, Archbishop Mitty 51
Division II boys: St. John Bosco 63, Folsom 54
Open Division girls: Long Beach Poly 70, Salisian 52
Open Division boys: Mater Dei 71, Bishop O’Dowd 61

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It’s four on the floor for NorCal in Sacramento

Northern California teams won four of the six CIF State basketball championships played Friday.
Pinewood (Division V girls), St. Joseph Notre Dame (Division V boys) and Modesto Christian (Division III girls) all won state titles early Friday at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramentom, and Monte Vista’s boys closed the first day of competition by claiming the Division 1 championship. Southern California got on the board in the in the Division III boys final, won by Chaminade, and Canyon Springs claimed the Division I girls crown.
Friday’s scores
Division V girls: Pinewood 60, La Jolla Country Day 42
Division V boys: St. Joseph Notre Dame 57, Renaissance Academy 32
Division III girls: Modesto Christian 64, Santa Barbara 55
Division III boys: Chaminade 72, Sir Francis Drake 51
Division I girls: Canyon Springs 56, Pleasant Grove 30
Division I boys: Monte Vista 66, Corona Centennial 55

Saturday’s games
10 a.m. – Division IV girls: Justin-Siena vs. Sierra Canyon
Noon – Division IV boys: Moreau Catholic vs. Bishop Montgomery
2 p.m. – Division II girls: Archbishop Mitty vs. Chaminade
4 p.m. – Division II boys: Folsom vs. St. John Bosco
6 p.m. – Open Division girls: Salisian vs. Long Beach Poly
8 p.m. – Open Division boys: Bishop O’Dowd vs. Mater Dei

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La Serna rolling after an early-season stumble

Things seem to be turning around for La Serna’s baseball team.
After a three-game losing skid that dropped their record to 1-3-1, the Lancers have now won three in a row as they prepare for Saturday’s doubleheader at St. John Bosco. In victories over Nordhoff, El Rancho and John Glenn, they scored 20 runs and allowed just 10.
“We’re starting to become a team,” said La Serna coach Anthony Gonzales. “We’re limiting our mistakes on defense, and the pitching has been great. (Senior right-hander) Gavin Callender has been nails for us.”
Callender, the Lancers’ No. 1 starter, struck out five and threw a complete-game shutout in La Serna’s 3-0 victory over El Rancho to open Del Rio League play last week. On Thursday, he threw six innings in the Lancers’ eight-inning victory over John Glenn.
La Serna gave up four runs in the sixth and had to score two in the seventh just to force extra innings. In the eighth, Tony Ceron’s single brought in the winning run.
St. John Bosco is 3-5, but its schedule has included JSerra, ranked No. 2 in CIF-SS Division 1, as well as Servite and Mater Dei.
“It’s a very strong program,” Gonzales said. “That’s why we scheduled them.”
Gonzales said junior David Ornales would start the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, but he wasn’t sure who would start the second.

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St. Paul, Amat put on a slugfest in Del Rey Leaue showdown

The ball was flying all over the place Thursday at York Field when St. Paul and Bishop Amat met in a Del Rey League softball showdown.
The teams combined for four home runs and three doubles in the Swordsmen’s 7-5 victory. Amat center fielder Alyssa Barrera hit a pair of home runs and drove in three runs, and Lovie Lopez hit a three-run shot for St. Paul in the fifth. Taylor Ancona added a solo home run for the Swordsmen.
Both teams now sit atop the Del Rey standings at 2-1, and Thursday’s victory was the first at any level vs. Amat for St. Paul’s seniors.
“It’s been so long since St. Paul has been able to beat them,” St. Paul coach Jim Maier said. “… This was a big, huge confidence game for us.”
St. Paul pitcher Koreen Orozco allowed three runs in the first four innings but earned the complete-game victory.
“She could have folded easily but she didn’t,” Maier said. “She actually got better and stronger, and our energy level rose.”

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Longtime area coach, teacher Tim Keeler passes away

Tim Keeler, a longtime teacher and coach with Whittier area high schools, passed away Thursday morning following a short illness.
Keeler coached baseball, football and wrestling, among other sports, at Cal, La Serna and Whittier high schools. He also taught photography and videography and worked in local television for many years.
“He was one of the most caring guys, most unselfish guys I’ve known,” said Cal AD Jim Arnold. “It was never about him. … He would do anything for the kids.”
Keeler often produced highlight videos for student-athletes to send to college recruiters.
“Everybody loved Keeler,” said Cal High wrestling coach Doug Loo, for whom Keeler was an assistant coach. “He was a good guy, a good teacher, a good coach. He had a big heart.”
Loo said he received over 100 texts Thursday from students, former wrestlers and colleagues, all deeply saddened by Keeler’s death.
“He was one of us and a part of our program forever,” Loo said. “He was always looking out for my guys.”
Funeral services will be private, but a public memorial is being planned.
Cal High senior Jared Ibey was a student of Keeler’s, and learned the basics of photography and videography in Keeler’s classes.
“He was an awesome teacher,” Ibey said. “Whenever you had any questions, he would stop whatever he was doing and tell you how to make it better.”

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Highlanders will face still competition at Woodbridge Tourney

La Habra’s softball team could find itself facing the second-ranked team in CIF-SS Division 1 on Saturday at the Woodbridge Tournament.
The Highlanders are in the same tournament pool as Marina, which is No. 2 in this week’s Division 1 poll. If they beat Barstow at 12:30 p.m. at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, and Marina beats Garden Grove, the Highlanders and Vikings will meet at 2:30 p.m. Marina is 11-1 and hasn’t allowed any opponent more than two runs this season.
La Habra is 8-4, with a recent victory over Yorba Linda, ranked No. 5 in Division 1. Seniors Taylor Pierce, Camille Manzo and Hope Moreno have led the way, and freshman Janelle Rodriguez is playing like a varsity veteran.
Pierce is 4-2 in the circle with 25 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings. Manzo is hitting .469 with 13 RBIs and Moreno is hitting .379.
“They’re leading the way,” said La Habra coach Frank McCarroll. “It’s a pretty good group.”
Rodriguez is also 4-2 in the circle, including the victory vs. Yorba Linda, and is batting an eye-popping .538 as the team’s designated player.
La Habra will visit Cal for a nonleague game April 8, and will open its Freeway League schedule with road games vs. Fullerton (April 15) and Sunny Hills (April 17). Fullerton is ranked No. 6 in Division 3 and Sunny Hills is No. 8 in Division 2. The Highlanders are ranked 10th in Division 3.
“That’s gonna be a tough week,” McCarroll said.

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