CIF-SS Playoffs: Sonora boys basketball recovers from slow start to smother Bloomington, 82-3

Sonora celebrates after rallying for 82-35 win over Bloomington (Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)

Sonora celebrates after rallying for 82-35 win over Bloomington
(Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)

By Stephen Ramirez

LA HABRA – If the Sonora High School boys basketball needed a reminder that the road back to the CIF-Southern Section finals won’t be an easy one, it got it early Wednesday.
The Raiders responded like a championship team should
Christian Rhodes scored 17 points and Aashad Womack had 16 as Sonora recovered from a slow start and smothered visiting Bloomington, 82-35, in a 3AA Division first-round game.
The top-seeded Raiders, also getting 14 points from Ben Rico, improved to 24-4 and will face either Northwood or Norwalk in the second round on Friday. Brandon Simiano had 12 points for the Bruins, who finished 11-15.

“We’ve been forward looking to the playoffs since the final buzzer at the Honda Center last year,” Rico said. “This was it. We came out slow, but we adjusted in the second half and played the game like we should have.”
Sonora, which nearly missed entrance into the Open Division, outscored Bloomington, 65-9, over the final three quarters.
The key moments came in the second and third quarters. The Raiders, after falling behind 14-10 in the first quarter, closed the second with a 19-7 surge to lead 36-26 at halftime. They followed with a 28-4 blitz in the third quarter to go up 64-30 after three quarters.

“It was intensity (in the second half),” Sonora coach Mike Murphy said. “We played much harder in the second half. They got our attention in the first half. But that’s a good basketball team, and if you don’t come ready to play, they exposed us.”
But Sonora was able to wake up and recover.
Rhodes, who scored 14 of his 17 in the first half, made three consecutive fast-break layups to key a 13-3 run at the end of the second quarter.
Womack started the third with a 3-pointer and a putback for a 41-28 lead at 5:14 before Jason McClung had a 3-pointer and Rico a 3-point play to push it to 49-28 at 4:03. Rico had nine points in the second half.
Simiano and Carlos Gamboa each had 3-pointers to key a 10-2 run for Bloomington, which led 14-10 with four minutes left in the opening quarter. Sonora followed with runs of 8-5 and 18-7 to take the lead for good.


No. 1 Sonora 82, Bloomington 35
No. 13 Pioneer 70, Pacifica/Garden Grove 55
No. 13 Whittir Chr. 50, 29 Palms 44
No. 2 Campbell Hall 73, St. Paul 29

La Serna 11, Palos Verdes 10, OT
Santiago/Corona 16, La Habra 4
Harvard-Westlake 14, California 7

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Tuesday’s Rewind: Own goal ends Montebello’s girls soccer season

By Clay Flower
FONTANA >> Steve Jennings has seen plenty of own goals.
But in 22 years on the sidelines, the Summit High School girls soccer coach had never witnessed something like he saw Tuesday.
In a wild-card game between two third-place teams, Summit walked away a 1-0 winner over Montebello, which scored an own goal in the 74th minute of the CIF-SS Division 6 playoff opener at Miller High School. The SkyHawks will take on Orange League champion Savanna in Thursday’s first round.
Arguably the team’s best player on Tuesday aside from her lone miscue, Montebello captain Liz Tinoco lifted an attempted pass to her goalkeeper too high and could only watch as it sailed over Destiny Almillo’s head and into the goal.
“I’ve been coaching high school soccer here in Fontana since 1992 and I have never had a goal scored like that,” Jennings said. “I’ve had own goals where our girls hit it and it bounced off someone, but not where their team intentionally put it back to the goalie and it goes in. That was quite a freaky moment.”

WHITTIER – For the second year in a row the Pioneer High boys basketball team has advanced to the second round of the CIF-SS Division 3A playoffs, rallying on Wednesday to defeat Pacifica of Garden Grove 70-55 before a packed crowd.
Pioneer (19-8) will play at No. 4 seed Esperanza, an 82-43 winner over Adelanto, on Friday.
The celebration started before the game as the game announcer introduced the Titans as the Del Rio League Champions, their first title in 44 years.
But,Pacifica (12-15) stole the show in the opening quarter by taking a 23-14 lead. It was all downhill from there for the Mariners as Pioneer, which advanced to last year’s quarterfinals, outscored Pacifica 37-19 over the next two quarters to take a nine-point lead heading into the final quarter.
“They (Pacifica) kind of picked apart our man-to-man defense in the first quarter,” fourth-year Pioneer coach Gregory Gilmore said. “Once we switched over to our zone defense, that’s when they struggled.”
The Pioneers’ two leading scorers, senior forward Joshua Valdez (21 points, six rebounds) and senior forward Teran Massengill (18 points) each had 13 points in the second and third quarters.
– John Sherrard

Summit 1, Montebello 0

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CIF-SS Girls Soccer: La Mirada, La Serna receive top four seeds

ls over cal

By Stephen Ramirez
La Mirada and La Serna have been the top two girls soccer programs in the area in recent years, and both could add to their success in the coming weeks.
Both received top four seeds in their respective divisions when the CIF-Southern Section released playoff pairings on Monday.
La Mirada (21-2), which has given up just nine goals all season and only one in the Surburban League, received the No. 2 seed in Division 4 and will host Culver City (12-7-2) in the first round on Thursday. The Matadores have won 13 consecutive games since losing to Estancia, 2-1, on Dec. 29. Culver City finished third in the Ocean League.
La Serna (14-5-2), which is undefeated in 13 games since a 2-1 loss to La Mirada in December, is the No. 4 seed in Division 5. The Lancers, who gave up just one goal in going undefeated in the Del Rio League, will host either Lompoc (10-7-3) or Windward (7-8-4) in the first round. Lompoc and Windward meet in Tuesday’s wild-card round.
All first round games are slated for Thursday, with the wild-card round on Tuesday. The finals are scheduled for March 6-7. All games are slated for 3 p.m. starts.
Schurr (15-3-1), which shared the Almont League title with Alhambra (12-7-3), is the only other area team to be at home in the first round. The Spartans host Vasquez (13-6-5) in a Division 6 game. Both shared their respective league titles, but lost tie-breakers. Vasquez tied for the Desert Mountain League title with Mammoth (12-6-2).
Montebello (10-3-9), the third-place team from the Almont League, is in a wild-card game Tuesday in Division 6. The Oilers are at Summit (15-4-1). The winner advances to face Savanna (10-10-3) on Thursday.
Other area first-round games on Thursday are La Habra (10-11-2) at Mira Costa (17-5-4) in Division 2; El Rancho (8-10-3) at Rio Mesa (12-8-4) and California (13-7-4) at Palm Desert (13-2-2) in Division 5 and Whittier Christian (11-9-2 at Pacific Christian (9-2-3 in Division 6.


La Habra at Mira Costa
Culver City at No. 2 La Mirada
El Rancho at Rio Mesa
Lompoc-Windward winner at No. 4 La Serna
California at Palm Desert
Vasquez at Schurr
Whittier Christian at Pacific Christian

Montebello at Summit
(Winner adv to Savanna)

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CIF-SS Boys Soccer: No area teams get seeded; undefeated Cal gets favorable draw

California didn't receive a top four seed, but the Condors will still be a tough out. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

California didn’t receive a top four seed, but the Condors will still be a tough out. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
There were no area teams to receive a top four seed when the CIF-Southern Section released its playoff pairings for boys soccer on Monday.
The area’s best, California, which is 20-0, just missed out, and will host Palm Springs (12-10-2) in the first round of the Division 2 bracket on Friday. The Condors could meet No. 4 seed Sunny Hills (18-3-2) in the quarterfinals.
The first-round is scheduled for Friday, with the finals slated for March 6-7. All games are 3 p.m. starts.
The rest of the brackets fell into place for area teams, who sans California, didn’t win a league title this season.
Montebello (13-5-3), which won the Almont League, will host Long Beach Jordan (9-7-6) in Division 2. The Oilers, who ended the regular season with a loss to rival Schurr, could face No. 2 seed Aliso Niguel (11-1-5) in the second round.
La Mirada (11-8-1), which shared the Suburban League title with Norwalk (14-5-1), and La Serna, which finished second on the Del Rio League to Cal, received first-round home games.
The Matadores will host Laguna Beach (9-7-4) in a Division 4, with the winner likely getting top seed Hart (20-0-5) in round 2.
La Serna (16-4-4) will host Sonora (8-7-5) in Division 2. The Raiders were second to No. 4 seed Sunny Hills in the Freeway League. They are undefeated in their last eight games, winning five. The Lancers have won four of their last five. They finished with a 3-1 loss to Cal.
Other area first-round match-ups in Division 2 are El Rancho (9-12) at No. 1 Millikan (20-2-5) and Schurr (11-6-4) at Laguna Hills (15-9-3).
St. Paul (10-10-1), which lost a battle with St. Anthony (16-6-1) for first in the Santa Fe league last week, is at Laguna Blanca (10-1-3) in Division 7.
Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary (9-10-1), the No. 3 team from Camino Real League, is at top seed Granite Hills (15-2-8) in Division 5.

El Rancho at No. 1 Millikan
Palm Springs at California
Schurr at Laguna Hills
Sonora at La Serna
Jordan at Montebello
Laguna Beach at La Mirada
Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary at No. 1 Granite Hills
St. Paul at Laguna Blanca

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CIF-SS Boys Basketball: La Mirada, Sonora get top seeds


By Stephen Ramirez
It’s been a sweet season for the La Mirada High School boys basketball team, and it may get a little more tastier for the Matadores in the weeks to come.
La Mirada, after winning its first league title since 1982, was one of two area teams to receive a top seed when the CIF-Southern Section released its boys basketball playoff pairings on Sunday. The other area team to get a No. 1 draw was Sonora, which is the top seed in Division 3AA after advancing to the 2A finals last season before losing.
The Matadores, benefitting from being left out of the Open Division bracket, which was released on Friday, are No. 1 in Division 2A. The Open Division was released on Friday, with area No. 1 Cantwell getting a No. 11 seed. The Cardinals will be at No. 6 Etiwanda on Thursday.
First-round games in the 1AA, 1A, 2AA, and 2A divisions are scheduled for Friday with 3AA, 3A, 4AA and 4A set to begin on Wednesday. All games are tentatively slated for 7:30 p.m. starts.
“It was nice to be recognized as one of the better teams in Southern California,” La Mirada coach Bryce Jones said. “But we’re happy to be in Division 2A. We’re confident, and we’re excited to be a No. 1 seed.”


Cantwell at Etiwanda

No. 4 Santa Margarita at Montebello
Schurr at No. 2 Tustin
Cal at No. 2 Village Christian
Santa Fe at No. 14 Glendale
Eisenhower at No. 14 Whittier
West Covina at No. 1 La Mirada

Bloomington at No. 1 Sonora
Pacifica/Garden Grove at No. 13 Pioneer
No. 13 Whittir Chr. at 29 Palms
St. Paul at No. 2 Campbell Hall

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CIF-SS Girls Basketball: St. Paul, Cantwell on collison course for semifinals

St. Paul and Cantwell, who met in this game last season, could meet in CIF-SS semifinals after receiving top seeds in Division 4A on Sunday. (File photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ Whittier Daily News)

St. Paul and Cantwell, who met in this game last season, could meet in CIF-SS semifinals after receiving top seeds in Division 4A on Sunday. (File photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ Whittier Daily News)

By Stephen Ramirez
St. Paul and Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary high schools have been the top two girls basketball teams in the area all season, and now they could be on a collision course for an epic showdown.
The Swordsmen and Cardinals received the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds, respectively, for Division 4A when the CIF-Southern Section released its girls basketball pairings on Sunday.
The two region rivals could meet in the semifinals. St. Paul scored a 54-50 win over Cantwell in December.
“That’s definitely a possibility,” Cantwell coach Matt Zamora said. “But it’s so far ahead. We want to take it one game at a time. But we’d obviously like to take it that far. It would be a huge, huge game.”
For now, Cantwell (19-7) will look to the task at hand, which has the Cardinals hosting Southland Christian, of Walnut, in the first round. The game is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, but with the boys team playing an Open Division game that day, the school is looking to play it on Wednesday, if it gets approval.


No. 16 Fountain Valley at Schurr
La Serna at No. 3 Millikan
Santa Fe at No. 1 Burroubhs/Burbank
Pioneer Valley at El Rancho
Whittier at No. 14 Walnut
La Habra at No. 12 Grand Terrace
La Mirada at No. 7 San Jacinto

El Monte at No. 4 Sonora
Pioneer at No. 7 St. Joseph/Lakewood
Whittier Christian at No. 4 Marymount
Southlands Christian at No. 3 Cantwell
St. Paul at California Military

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CIF-SS Girls Water Polo: No seeds for area teams; La Serna, Montebello, Schurr get home first-round games

La Serna High School has a girls water polo title to its credit, but if the Lancers are to add to their trophy case, they’ll do so as the underdog.
No area teams received seeds when the CIF-Southern Section released girls water polo pairings Sunday. But La Del Rio League champion La Serna, Almont League champion Montebello and Schurr got home games in their respective first-round contests.
La Serna will be host the wild-card winner between Palos Verdes and Sunny Hills in Divsion 3 on Wednesday. Montebello will hosts Thousand Oaks on Thursday. Schurr hosts Dana Hills, also on Thursday.
Also in Division 3, Del Rio League runner-up California will be at Harvard-Westlake, also on Wednesday. El Rancho will be at La Habra in a Division 3 wild-card game on Tuesday.
The quarterfinals are scheduled for Saturday, with the semifinals on Wednesday. The finals are slated for Feb. 28 at William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine.
All games are scheduled for 5 p.m.

Thursday’s First Round
Thousand Oaks (20-9) at Montebello (21-7)
Dana Hills (17-12) at Schurr (23-6)
Wednesday’s First Round
Palos Verdes (9-17)-Sunny Hills (19-8) winner at La Serna (15-14)
California (19-3) at Harvard-Westlake (20-7)
Tuesday’s Wild-Card Round
El Rancho at La Habra

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Cal’s Nadia Escamilla scores CIF-SS girls wrestling title; Northview wins team title

By Stephen Ramirez
EASTVALE — The San Gabriel Valley has been the dominant force since girls wrestling has been a CIF-sanctioned sport, and the area lived up to the billing at the CIF-Southern Section championship finals on Saturday.
Northview won its second consecutive section title and three area athletes scored individual titles at Roosevelt High School. The Valley also had 32 qualify for the CIF State championships, scheduled for Feb. 27-28 at the Visalia Convention Center.
The Vikings had a section-best nine state qualifiers, led by Deidra Valles, who was second at 150 pounds.

The area champions were San Dimas’ Daishea Jaime (121), Arroyo’s Jackie Quinones (189) and California’s Nadia Escamilla (111).
The other state qualifiers were Northview’s Haven Driscoll (101, fourth), Emily Hays (121, sixth), Julia Padilla (126, fourth), Izzy Valles (137, third), Mia Leon (160, fifth), Azusenna Molina, Serina Carrillo (189, eighth) and Desiray Galvez (235, seventh); Walnut’s Alyssa Barredo (101, second), Lauren Cuellar (111, fifth) and Mia Dow (121, second); West Covina’s Jennifer Lopez (116, third), Jimena Sarmiento (150, eighth) and Yvette Garcia (170, second); Sierra Vista’s Krystal Velazquez (111, eighth), Briana Villchis (126, sixth) and Angelica Ochoa (160, second); Bonita’s Natalie Romero (143, third) and Alyssa Palmer (160, sixth); Monrovia’s Brianna Dominguez (106, third); Schurr’s Sidney Valencia (106, seventh); Nogales’ Lizeth Flores (111, fourth); Santa Fe’s Nancy Guzman (116, sixth); Charter Oak’s Adriana Oliva (137, fourth); Gabrielino’s Jasmine Monroe (137, eighth); Rowland’s Cherydan James (143, fourth); Arroyo’s Lesly Ramirez (150, fifth) and San Dimas’ Haley Valdez (116, second).
“The expectations at Northview are high, whether it’s the boys or girls,” Northview coach Robert Dominguez said. “We’re family. We’re expected to go to class, get the grades and win championships. My girls came here and wrestled hard. It’s all about them. They had the right attitude. I’m proud of them.”

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CIF-SS Pairings: Cantwell boys get 11th seed for Open Division playoffs, will travel to Etiwanda next Thursday

cantwell hoop

After a 21-3 regular-season record and Baseline League championship, the CIF-SS Open Division playoff pairing announcements on Friday afternoon weren’t a matter of if for the Damien High School boys basketball team.
More like a matter of who, when and where.
The Spartans knew they’d be invited to the Southland’s biggest dance and on Friday they got their first-round assignment: a home game against Orange Lutheran (22-4) on Feb. 19.
“We’re really excited,” Damien head coach Matt Dunn said. “If you have a team that you think can compete at that level, it’s an incredible opportunity. I think we’ve earned the right to play in the best of the best tournament.”
Damien was made the No. 5 overall seed. Orange Lutheran is the No. 12 seed. Only one other local boys team made the field and that was Cantwell Sacred-Heart, which went 15-11 and will play at Etiwanda (20-7) on Thursday.

– Aram Tolegian

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Pioneer boys, El Rancho girls clinch Del Rio League basketball titles

Pioneer grabs a title.  El Rancho plays Pioneer Friday night, February 13, 2015 at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Pioneer grabs a title.
El Rancho plays Pioneer Friday night, February 13, 2015 at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez

PICO RIVERA – The Pioneer boys and El Rancho girls basketball teams had no plans to share their respective Del Rio League titles.
They won’t have to.
Teran Massengill had 25 points and Joshua Valdez 19 as the Pioneer boys rallied for a 72-68 victory over host El Rancho to win the league title outright on Friday. Crystal Rodriguez had 18 points and Sarah Gurrola had 14 as the Dons clinched the girls title with a 68-34 victory over El Rancho.

The Pioneer boys, who beat California in a battle for first on Wednesday, improved to 18-8 and finish 8-2 in the Del Rio League. They rallied from nine points down in the first half and trailed by a point with five minutes left before outscoring the Dons, 16-11 down the stretch.
El Rancho (9-17, 1-9) got 28 points from Noah Losoya and 23 from Arturo Gomez.

Pioneer’s Teran Massengill: “It’s a real big win for us. We were excited to be in this game. It’s been a while since (Pioneer) has been league champions, and it’s finally come. Last game, we didn’t consider ourselves league champions until we won it outright. I’m proud of my team and the team effort it took to win this game.”
El Rancho’s Crystal Rodriguez: “It feels good.We worked really hard to get to this point. For us seniors, it’s an honor to finish off like this.”

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