Los Angeles Preps: Alta Loma

I.E.: Baseball season preview

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
6:30
PM PT
The meat of the high school baseball season is upon us, with several teams beginning league play this week. Here’s a look at the programs who’ve established themselves as the best in the Inland Empire so far, led my J.W. North, the defending Southern Section Division 1 champion. A list of the top players from the region follows, one for those playing high school baseball and another for the handful who have opted to train with ABD Academy in San Bernardino, and the dates for the start of league play are listed at the bottom.

Top 10 teams

1. J.W. North – The Huskies have picked up where they left off, winning their first six games, including a 3-0 victory against Temescal Canyon in the final of the Redlands Invitational.

2. Indio – The Rajahs are off to an 8-0 start and they're not piling up wins against cream puffs. They’ve beaten Granite Hills, Temecula Valley, Norco, Palm Springs and meet Chino on Tuesday in the championship game of the Chino tournament.

3. Redlands East Valley – The Wildcats only blemish is a 4-2 loss against J.W. North. They might have the talent to make a run at the top of this list, but still need to gain some quality victories.

4. Granite Hills – Hailing from Apple Valley, the Cougars aren’t much of a household name. They soon could be, however, posting early-season wins against Chino Hills, Valley View, Oak Hills and Canyon Springs and holding their own in three-run losses to J.W. North and Indio.

5. Temescal Canyon – The Titans are another team whose only setback came against J.W. North. They came into the season ranked fifth in the Southern Section Division 3 preseason coaches’ poll and have shown they belong.

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Inland league boys' previews

January, 9, 2012
1/09/12
9:23
PM PT
BASELINE LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – Etiwanda @ Glendora; Upland @ Los Osos; Alta Loma @ Rancho Cucamonga.

Last year’s finish: Etiwanda (9-1); Glendora (6-4); Upland (6-4); Los Osos (5-5); Rancho Cucamonga (4-6); Alta Loma (0-10).

Players to watch: Jordan McLaughlin (Etiwanda), 5-11, So., G; Sheldon Blackwell (Etiwanda), 6-4, Jr., F; Brandon Townes (Etiwanda), 6-2, Sr., G; Sam Flemming (Etiwanda), 6-0, Sr., F; Nick Colletta (Glendora), 6-5, Jr., F; Kyle Gordon (Glendora), 6-4, Sr., G; Myles Pearson (Upland), 5-10, Sr., G; Ferrell Marshall (Upland), 6-0, Sr., G; Malcolm Drumwright (Rancho Cucamonga), 6-1, Jr., G; Victor Joseph (Rancho Cucmamonga), 6-1, So., G; Adom Jacko (Alta Loma), 6-6, Sr., F; Jonathan Solomon (Los Osos), 6-3, Sr., F.

Predicted order of finish: Etiwanda, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Los Osos, Alta Loma.

MOUNTAIN PASS LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – Beaumont @ Citrus Hill; Hemet @ West Valley; Tahquitz @ San Jacinto.

Last year’s finish: Citrus Hill (10-0); San Jacinto (8-2); Beaumont (5-5); Tahquitz (4-6); West Valley (2-8); Hemet (1-9).

Players to watch: Anthony Rounds (Citrus Hill), 6-7, Sr., F; Ralph Myles (Citrus Hill), 5-0, Sr., G; Dejon Brown (Beaumont), 6-2, Sr., G.; Andrew Walker (Beaumont), Jr.; Kris Acevedo (Hemet), 6-0, Sr., G; P.J. Murrieta (San Jacinto), 5-10, So., G; Roosevelt Adams (West Valley), 6-4, Sr., F; Robert Edwards (West Valley), 6-4, Jr., F; David Walker (Tahquitz), 6-1, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Citrus Hill, Beaumont, San Jacinto, West Valley, Hemet, Tahquitz.

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I.E.: A closer look at the Baseline League

August, 10, 2011
8/10/11
4:54
PM PT
ESPNLA plans to spend the next 10 days or so previewing the top leagues from the Inland Empire. First up, the Baseline League.

BASELINE LEAGUE

Last season’s results: Rancho Cucamonga (11-2, 5-0); Upland (8-4, 4-1); Etiwanda (6-6, 3-2); Los Osos (5-5, 2-3); Glendora (5-5, 1-4); Alta Loma (0-10, 0-5).

Players to watch: Two of the league’s top three passers return for their senior seasons. Larry Cutbirth of Etiwanda threw for a league-leading 2,996 yards last season, ninth best in the Southern Section, and 32 touchdowns. He led the Eagles to the team title last month at the Claremont seven-on-seven passing tournament. Rancho Cucamonga quarterback Dimitri Morales also returns after throwing for 1,828 yards and 22 touchdowns while helping the Cougars reach the SS-Inland Division semifinals. Morales was intercepted just once in the final seven games. Kenny Lawler of Upland, who has committed to Arizona State, is the top returning receiver after hauling in 42 passes for 887 yards and nine touchdowns. Up front, offensive tackle Cameron Turner of Rancho Cucamonga is a returning first-team all-Inland Division selection. Defensively, senior middle linebacker Chandler Scott returns for Etiwanda after sitting out last season with a knee injury. As a sophomore, Scott was a first-team all-Baseline League selection after leading his team in tackles. Scott will team with fellow senior linebacker J.J. Everard, who led the league in tackles last season.

Projected order of finish: Rancho Cucamonga, Etiwanda, Upland, Los Osos, Glendora, Alta Loma.

Key games: Sept. 9 – Etiwanda vs. Vista Murrieta @ Ontario Colony HS; Sept. 16 – Etiwanda vs. Norco @ Colony; Sept. 23 – Upland @ Norco; Sept. 30 – Los Angeles Loyola @ Upland, Rancho Cucamonga vs. Redlands @ Los Osos; Oct. 14 – Etiwanda vs. Upland @ Colony; Oct. 21 – Rancho Cucamonga @ Upland; Oct. 28 – Rancho Cucamonga vs. Etiwanda @ Los Osos.

Alumni in the NFL: Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers (Alta Loma ’03); Kenyon Coleman, Dallas Cowboys (Alta Loma ’97); Patrick Chung, New England Patriots (Rancho Cucamonga ’04); Terrell Thomas, New York Giants (Rancho Cucamonga ’03); Gerald Alexander, Carolina Panthers (Rancho Cucamonga ’02); Vincent Brown, San Diego Chargers (Rancho Cucamonga ’07)

Fast fact: Alta Loma comes in riding a 20-game losing streak after allowing an average of 48 points a game last season. There’s reason to be hopeful for a turnaround, however. The Braves return their top two tacklers from last season, senior middle linebacker Phillip Fisher and junior safety Andrew Pacheco.

On the clock: Big VIII League.

Look At Them Now: Jordan Hamilton

February, 4, 2011
2/04/11
3:45
PM PT
Jordan Hamilton Brendan Maloney/US PresswireJordan Hamilton, a former Compton Dominguez High standout, is averaging 19 points and 7.5 rebounds for Texas.

For as long as most can remember, the Southland has been one of those must-stop destinations on the West Coast for Division I college basketball coaches and scouts in search of the next potential big thing at the next level.

So imagine what was going on in the minds of the powers that be once they all had an opportunity to set their eyes on Jordan Hamilton during his high school days at Los Angeles Dorsey before an eventual transfer to nearby Compton Dominguez.

After speaking with numerous individuals who were around back then, from 2005 to 2009, the consensus seemed to be that Hamilton was always destined to succeed and become yet another local product to move on and make a name for himself nationally.

Sure enough, Hamilton has lived up to the hype. A starter for Texas nowadays, the 6-foot-7 sophomore small forward is averaging a team-high 19 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Longhorns (19-3 overall), who are No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 3 in the Associated Press rankings.

Hamilton and Co. next play host to Texas Tech for a Big 12 Conference game on Saturday night.

It seems not so long ago, Hamilton was a senior at Dominguez. At the time, ESPNU ranked him as the No. 1 small forward in the country and No. 8 recruit overall.

“Yeah, I know about Jordan Hamilton, know him well,'' said Joel Francisco, a recruiting analyst for ESPN. “In high school, he was one of the best out West. He was one of the top scorers in the nation. I had a feeling that he had the type of game that was ready for the next level. I always thought he was capable of making an immediate impact somewhere.''

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