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Monday, January 3, 2011
Inland Empire: Five things from the holiday break

By Dan Arritt

1. Etiwanda is off to a 14-0 start after winning the Westlake Village Oaks Christian tournament last week. The Eagles still have a ways to go to match the 23 straight they won to start the 2007-08 season. USC-bound guard Byron Wesley is playing to expectations, averaging 18.3 points. Jordan Daniels is at 12.5 and Tyler LaCour is at 11.2. The Eagles open Baseline League play Friday against visiting Rancho Cucamonga.

2. Corona Centennial certainly joined the upper-echelon of Southland boys' basketball teams with its performance last week at the Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines High School. Playing in the prestigious National Division, the Huskies won three of four games, including a 61-58 victory against Woodland Hills Taft, ranked No. 2 in the state by ESPN RISE heading into the tournament. They followed that up with a 59-51 victory against another City Section power, Westchester, in the fifth-place game.

3. Justin Gudger of Murrieta Valley was expected to be one of the top players in the Inland Empire this season, but he was better than advertised at the Holiday Classic. Playing in the Senator’s Division, the 6-foot-4 senior forward averaged 23.5 points over four games. He was especially hot over the last two, scoring 30 points on 12-for-19 shooting in a 67-62 loss to San Diego St. Augustine, then putting up 28 on 12-for-14 shooting in a 66-55 victory against North Hollywood Campbell Hall.



4. Ashton Robinson of Redlands is leading the state in scoring. You read that right, leading the state. Robinson has twice surpassed the 50-point barrier this season and is averaging 35.6 points heading into the Terriers’ next game Tuesday at Twentynine Palms. Robinson, a senior point guard, scored a school-record 51 points in a two-point victory Dec. 10 against Riverside King, then broke the record again last week with 56 points in an 87-65 victory against Bloomington in a consolation game at the San Bernardino Kiwanis tournament. His scoring is especially remarkable considering he averaged just 8.2 points last season.

5. Another statistic that has popped up among state leaders is the 64 three-pointers buried by sophomore Brad Amburgey of Big Bear through 13 games, which is second-most in the state. Must be the altitude. And how about this stat? Abram Montoya of Indio has taken 16 charges in 13 games, which is also second-best in the state. Must be the desert air.