BOYS BASKETBALLLA SERNA 58, CAL 31
WHITTIER — The tide has definitely turned in the La Serna and California high school boys basketball rivalry these days.
The latest battle between the schools turned out to be all La Serna on Friday night as the Lancers defeated the visiting Condors 58-31 in a Del Rio League game.
The Lancers, who haven’t won a DRL title since the 2010-11 season, were led by junior guard Cedric Sobers and transfer Nick Martinez with 10 points each.
La Serna (15-2, 2-0) has steadily improved over the last four years and is off to its best start in a while.
This was the biggest game, minutes-wise for the sophomore Martinez, who transferred from Cantwell Sacred Heart this season.
Leading the way for California (8-9, 0-2) was senior Mark Maldonado with 10 points.
The first quarter started slowly for both teams, but the Lancers, behind a 3-pointer by Sobers, led 6-0. The Condors finally scored midway through the quarter and trailed 6-2.
However, La Serna woke up with authority and went on an 8-0 run to end the quarter for a 14-2 lead.
The Lancers’ hot streak continued into the second quarter as they continued the run, outscoring Cal High 22-11, behind six points from senior Walter (11 points) Franco and five from senior forward Steven Maldonado.
They led at the half 36-13 with Franco leading the way with nine points. Also in the half, 6-foot-6 center Martinez scored six points and he continued into the third quarter with another four for his biggest output as a Lancer.
La Serna’s Nick Martinez: “It felt really good that I could help the team get a win. I’m glad coach had confidence in me to play in crucial minutes. I remember watching coach (Marino) Angulo coach his first Cal-La Serna game and saw how crazy and how many people were at the game.”
— John Sherrard
Schurr 71, Bell Gardens 67
Keppel 44, Montebello 42
Del Rio League
Pioneer 67, El Rancho 35
Santa Fe 53, Whittier 50
La Habra 64, Sonora 63
Santa Fe League
St. Paul 62, Mary Star 55
La Mirada 55, Norwalk 47
SONORA 60, LA HABRA 29
LA HABRA — Sonora High School continues to own the City of La Habra when it comes to girls basketball.
Meghann Henderson scored 27 points and Lainie James had 24 and the Raiders beat rival La Habra for the fifth consecutive time Friday with a 60-29 victory in a Freeway League game at La Habra High.
Henderson also had eight rebounds for Sonora (12-5, 2-0). Samantha Esquivel had 12 points off the bench and Hannah McArthur had eight points and 15 rebounds for La Habra (11-6, 0-2).
“It’s been (a few years since La Habra won). It’s just kind of tough staying intense throughout the game.”
The Highlanders, who last beat Sonora in 2014 when they swept the Raiders, got off to a quick start before Sonora settled in with three minutes left in the first quarter.
The Raiders, after falling behind 8-6 on two 3-pointers by Emma Zener (six points), closed the period with a 6-2 surge to lead 12-10 before outscoring the Highlanders 19-2 in second quarter to lead 31-12 at halftime.
Sonora’s suffocating full-court trap pressured La Habra into 15 turnovers during the first two quarters, keying the 19-2 blitz in the second.
The Highlanders, who didn’t shoot a free throw, had 24 turnovers and made just 12 of 42 shots.
Sonora’s Meghann Henderson: “(Coach Melissa Barajas) definitely got on us (after the start). She made us realize that we just can’t sleep on everyone. She reminded us you have to come out with the same intensity every game. Then we got control of the game.”
— Stephen Ramirez
KEPPEL 57, MONTEBELLO 8
ALHAMBRA — So much for the Keppel High School girls basketball team being vulnerable in the Almont League this season.
Despite heavy graduation losses and injuries to two key starters, the Aztecs blasted visiting Montebello 57-8 on Friday night in a game that, on paper, figured to be a lot closer than it actually was.
Keppel improved to 14-3 overall and 2-0 in league. Montebello looked like one of several teams in the league possibly capable of knocking the Aztecs from their perch. The Oiler fell to 11-6 overall and 1-1 in league.
As the final score suggests, this one was over quickly. The Aztecs applied their patented pressure defense and Montebello just couldn’t handle it. If the Oilers broke the press, then the turnover came in the halfcourt.
Meanwhile, Keppel was hot from the start and scored the first 37 points of the game. Katie Kuang and Sally Smith did the damage from outside while Jocelyn Song was a force around the basket.
Keppel coach Jose Herrera: “A lot of the girls have picked it up. And credit to them. We could have easily tanked the season and gone in a different direction, not the Keppel tradition. But girls stepped up. It was now their opportunity and they seized the moment.”
— Aram Tolegian
Del Rio League
El Rancho 57, Pioneer 28
Whittier 43, Santa Fe 33
Cal 62, La Serna 54