Los Angeles Preps: Big Bear

Eagle Rock wins water polo title

February, 17, 2012
The Eagle Rock girls' water polo team won the CIF City Section championship, 10-8, over El Camino Real on Thursday at Contreras Learning Complex.

It was the first water polo championship in school history for Eagle Rock.

Lindsey Garcia scored four goals for Eagle Rock, the top seed in the water polo playoffs.

Her goal with 2:25 left in the match gave Eagle Rock a 9-8 lead, according to a story in the Daily News. Elizabeth Gonzalez scored about a minute later to give Eagle Rock a two-goal lead.

Better late than never for Sherman Oaks Notre Dame

The Sherman Oaks Notre Dame boys' basketball team didn’t win a single game in Mission League play. The Knights entered the Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs with an 0-12 record in league play and a 13-game losing streak.

They had to wait a day to play their first-round game because of snow and ice on the Antelope Valley freeway leading out to Paraclete in Lancaster. Notre Dame played Paraclete in the first round.

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I.E.: Boys' basketball Top 10

December, 6, 2011
With the boys' basketball season a week under way, some teams have already proved they're a force to be reckoned with, while a few others have started a step slow. Here's a look at the teams and players to watch in the coming months, and where you can see them play.

1. J.W. North, 4-0

The Huskies return their top two scorers from last season’s 19-11 team. Aaron Peck, a 6-4 senior forward, was an all-Division 2A selection after averaging a team-high 17.5 points and nine rebounds. He forms a dangerous trio up front with 6-5 junior forwards Marcus Baugh (10.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Dorian Butler (7.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg). Rancho Verde transfer DeShon Taylor, a sophomore guard, more than shores up the back court.

2. Etiwanda, 3-1

The Eagles graduated their top five scorers from last season’s team that advanced to the Division 1AA semifinals but should regroup well behind their next superstar, sophomore guard Jordan McLaughlin. The 5-11 ball handler scored 20 points Saturday night in a 72-61 loss to LaVerne Lutheran in the Rose City Classic championship game in Pasadena. Etiwanda will also count on 6-4 junior forward Sheldon Blackwell and 6-3 senior guard Dominique Walker.

3. Murrieta Valley, 5-0

The Nighthawks graduated their top two scorers from a team that finished 24-4 last season but appear to have filled the gaps in a hurray, evident by their 58-54 victory last weekend against Rancho Verde in the final of the Big Daddy tournament at Citrus Hill High. Darius Butler, a 6-3 senior forward, and Reid Shackelford, a 5-11 senior guard, appear willing and able to step into scoring roles. Butler is averaging 21 points through the first five games after averaging 8.7 last season, and Shackelford has bumped his scoring average up from 3.6 last season to 18.8. Jackson Helms, a 6-7 senior forward, is also rounding into one of the region’s better big men.

4. Rancho Verde, 3-1

Jordan Grace, a 6-2 senior guard, is a returning Division I-AA selection. He’ll team up nicely with 6-foot senior guard Kendall Schmidt, who transferred from Woodcrest Christian after averaging 25 points a game last season. Sophomore guards Jalen Hall and Tre Nottingham and 6-3 junior forward Lance Jones give the Mustangs additional depth, while 6-6 newcomer Khalil Fuller, the brother of Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller, will push to join the rotation.

5. Colony, 3-1

The Titans return their two best players from last season’s team, which finished 20-10, including 11-1 in the Mt. Baldy League, and advanced to the Division 2AA quarterfinals. Miles Poullard, a 6-2 senior guard, and Everett Turner, a 6-foot junior guard, were all-Division 2AA selections last season. With no player taller than 6-4 on the roster, the Titans will need to maintain an up-tempo pace to be successful.

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I.E.: 5 questions to ponder after Week 6

October, 17, 2011
Su’a Cravens of Vista Murrieta is the best football player in the Inland Empire, really? When it comes to game-changing abilities on both sides of the ball, it’s a no contest. Though just a junior, Cravens looks like a college player on the football field, from his physical characteristics to his instincts to his advanced athletic abilities. Cravens pretty much single handedly defeated Chaparral, 27-10, in a Southwestern League opener Friday night. He scored on a 17-yard catch and run on third and 16 to give the Broncos a 14-10 lead in the third quarter, caused and recovered a fumble at the Vista Murrieta seven-yard line with the Broncos still clinging to a four-point lead with about four minutes remaining in the game and then intercepted a pass on Chaparral’s next possession and returned it 27 yards for a game-sealing touchdown. He could probably boot long field goals too, but the Broncos are pretty well set in that department (see below).

Which teams in the I.E. combined to set a state record last weekend? Big Bear and Desert Hot Springs needed eight overtimes to settle their De Anza League game Friday night in the desert. Big Bear finally won, 56-50, when Lucas Jenkins scored on a nine-yard run after Desert Hot Springs failed to get points on its previous possession. The score was tied, 22-22, after four quarters. The previous state record for overtimes was seven in 1991, when Perris defeated Palm Springs, 70-62. The national record is 12 overtime periods. It just so happens Big Bear was also involved in one of the state’s longest softball games. The Bears needed 30 innings over two days to defeat San Jacinto, 3-2, in 2001.

What was the next-best game in the I.E. last weekend? Serrano and Apple Valley needed just one overtime in their Mojave River League game, but it was a classic matchup of undefeated High Desert teams. Serrano, the two-time defending league champion, scored on a 39-year field goal by Leo Farias with 7.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to tie the score, 17-17. Apple Valley, which was seeking its first victory over the Diamondbacks since 2006, had to settle for a 46-yard field goal by Jonathan Gonzales on the first overtime possession. Serrano then handed the ball to Adarius Hogan on five consecutive snaps and he scored on a one-yard run on the final carry for the game-winning touchdown.

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Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

February, 7, 2011
1. They’ll probably be talking about Richard Ewing’s shot for years to come at Twentynine Palms. The Wildcats trailed by a point with 1.1 seconds remaining Friday night and Big Bear guard Owen David was at the free-throw line. He made the first and then intentionally missed the second but ended up missing the rim too, giving Twentynine Palms a chance to inbound the ball. Sean Lopez threw an overhand pass to Ewing at mid-court, who turned and threw the ball through the net to give the Wildcats a 46-45 victory and at least a share of the De Anza League title.

2. Upland was facing a must-win Friday at Etiwanda and the Highlanders came through with a 69-65 victory in a Baseline League game. John Gilliam and Myles Pearson scored 20 points each for Upland, which committed just two turnovers while forcing 13. The Highlanders remain in fourth place in league, but can get back in the top three by winning their final two games. Etiwanda, meanwhile, can clinch the league title outright by winning one of its final two games.

3. Rialto Eisenhower coach Steve Johnson must like the direction his team is headed after the Eagles knocked off Los Angeles Fairfax, 53-39, on Saturday at the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei. Eisenhower lost to Fairfax by 22 points back in December. Marvelle Harris scored 22 points and Keyon Sayles had 15 for the Eagles, who held the Lions to 30.7% shooting.

4. E.J. Twyman scored 30 points Thursday night to lead Elsinore to a 58-54 victory against Perris, clinching the Sunbelt League title for the second consecutive season. Perris managed to cut the deficit to one point with about a minute remaining and had the ball but Devon Ware’s layup rolled out and Twyman calmly sank four free throws down the stretch to end the rally. The Tigers also forced 25 turnovers.

5. Corona Santiago sophomore girls’ basketball player Chrishae Rowe scored a season-high 32 points Thursday to lead the Sharks to a 73-53 victory against Corona Centennial in a Big VIII League game. Rowe also had 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals in leading Santiago to its 13th consecutive victory against the Huskies. If the Sharks can beat Riverside North and Riverside Poly this week, they’ll finish unbeaten in league play for the fourth consecutive season.

Inland Empire: Boys basketball games of the week

February, 3, 2011
Upland (14-9, 3-4) at Etiwanda (23-1, 7-0), Friday, 6:30 p.m. – With the return of last season’s Baseline League co-MVP John Gilliam, who would have thought Upland would be scrambling for a playoff spot heading into the last two weeks of the regular season? But the Highlanders have dropped four of their last six league games and face a tough stretch run.

Rialto Eisenhower (14-7) vs. Los Angeles Fairfax (14-8) at Santa Ana Mater Dei, Saturday, 2:30 p.m. – Eisenhower coach Steve Johnson said last month that he planned to use this Nike Extravaganza game as a measuring stick to find out how far his team has progressed. The Eagles lost to Fairfax, 56-33, on Dec. 21, the start of four losses in five games, but seem to have righted the ship. Ontario Colony is also entered in the showcase. The Titans play Huntington Beach Ocean View at 11 a.m.

Big Bear (15-7, 6-2) at Twentynine Palms (16-6, 7-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m. – Twentynine Palms senior forward Zach Hill went for a season-high 22 points in leading the visiting Wildcats to a 59-54 victory against Big Bear three weeks ago in their first DeAnza League meeting. One more and they’ll clinch at least a share of the league title. A loss will likely create a three-way tie for first with Desert Hot Springs (13-9, 6-2).

Eastvale Roosevelt (15-5, 9-1) at Corona (15-6, 7-3) – Corona led by six points entering the fourth quarter when these teams met Jan. 10 but ended up losing, 57-49. Much of Roosevelt’s damage in that game was done by junior guard Shawn Joseph, who scored a season-high 17 points. With a win, the Mustangs can lock up at least second place in the Big VIII League and remain within a game of first-place Corona Centennial (19-3, 10-0).

Redlands Adventist (16-4, 9-2) at Bloomington Christian (16-6, 10-1), Tonight, 6 p.m. –In this small-school special, second place will be on the line in the Victory League. Redlands Adventist is ranked second in Division 6A, and Bloomington Christian is No. 15 in Division 5A. Bloomington Christian won the first meeting, 51-37. Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian Academy sits in first at 17-2, 11-0.

Looking ahead:

San Bernardino vs. San Bernardino Cajon at Cardinal City Arena, Monday, 7:30 p.m.