Los Angeles Preps: Chino

IRVINE -- When they played earlier this season for the Mt. Baldy League title, Chino swept Chino Don Lugo.

When they played Saturday for the Southern Section Division 2 championship, Chino dusted the Conquistadores again, scoring a 10-6 victory at Barber Park.

Chino pounded out 11 hits and took advantage of five errors by Don Lugo. Chino scored two runs in the second, three in the third, four in the fourth, and one in the fifth.

Pitcher Miranda Viramontes, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, allowed three hits and struck out nine, but she also walked six and hit two. The worst of it was in the bottom of the sixth when she walked four and hit two, then gave up Kailey Pazzolo's two-run single to cap a five-run inning. It was the only hit of the inning, but by that time, Viramontes had been staked to a 10-1 lead.

"I lost my focus a little bit," said Viramontes (20-4), a sophomore.

It's the first championship for Chino (25-9), which reached the finals only once before, 1985. It's the third loss in a championship for Don Lugo (23-6), having suffered setbacks in 1978 and 1990.

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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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L.A. South: Boys' basketball roundup

January, 17, 2012
1/17/12
1:08
AM PT
La Verne Lutheran beat Orange Lutheran, 61-58, in a matchup between two of the best teams in Southern California. Top senior Grant Jerrett of La Verne Lutheran dealt with early foul trouble but the Trojans earned a hard-fought road victory.

Elsewhere, Kajon Mack had a game-high 32 points to help Gardena Serra (16-2) beat Santa Monica, 63-56, in the finale of the MLK Day Hoops Showdown at Price High School. Daddy Ugbede added 12 points and eight rebounds. Santa Monica stormed back from a large deficit with a 28-point fourth quarter but by then it was too late. Los Angeles Price (13-5) held off Palm Springs, 62-57, thanks to 17 points and 13 rebounds from Skylar Spencer.

At the Los Osos Shootout in Rancho Cucamonga, Damien improved to 16-1 with a 52-47 victory against Ventura. Chris Reyes scored 18 points for Damien. Pacific Hills (16-3) beat Chino Hills, 69-55, behind Marcus Jackson's 22 points. Bishop Amat got past Chino, 51-42, while Glendora blew out Claremont, 68-48.

In another non-league game, Bishop Montgomery (15-3) defeated Valencia, 71-53.

MLK Day schedule at Los Osos

January, 15, 2012
1/15/12
10:04
PM PT
Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos will host an all-day event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and it features an attractive matchup between Ventura (14-4) and La Verne Damien (15-1).

9:30 a.m. -- Twentynine Palms vs. Walnut
11 a.m. -- Miller vs. Irvine Northwood
12:30 p.m. -- Los Osos vs. Pomona
2 p.m. -- Chino vs. Bishop Amat
3:30 p.m. -- Pacific Hills vs. Chino Hills
5 p.m. -- Claremont vs. Glendora
6:30 p.m. -- Ventura vs. Damien
8 p.m. -- Chino Hills Ayala vs. Rialto Eisenhower

Big VIII, Mojave River, Mt. Baldy

January, 4, 2012
1/04/12
3:27
PM PT
BIG VIII LEAGUE

Where they stand: Each team played a league game in mid-December. They resume play tonight with the following schedule: J.W. North @ Corona Centennial; Corona Santiago @ Norco; Corona @ Riverside King; Roosevelt @ Riverside Poly.

Last year’s finish: Centennial (14-0); Roosevelt (12-2); Corona (8-6); J.W. North (7-7); Santiago (6-8); Poly (5-9); King (3-11); Norco (1-13).

Players to watch: Aaron Peck (J.W. North), 6-4, Sr., F; Dorian Butler (J.W. North), 6-5, Jr., F; Marcus Baugh (J.W. North), 6-5, Jr., F; Deshon Taylor (J.W. North), 6-0, So., G; Sam Finley (Centennial), 6-2, Jr., G; Sedrick Barefield (Centennial), 6-0, Fr., G; Dorion Barnett (Santiago), 6-3, Jr., F; Alex Blumenfeld (Santiago), 6-0, Sr., G; Marcos Hazelwood (Corona), 6-1, Sr., F; Jeremiah Abdelmeesh (Norco), 6-2, Sr., F; Kendall Brown (Roosevelt), 6-4, Sr., G; Jalen Young (Roosevelt), 6-5, Sr., G; Shawn Joseph (Roosevelt), 6-3, Sr., G; Noah Prouse (Poly), 6-6, Sr., F; Jeff Gonzalez (Poly), 6-6, Sr., F; Brandon Pippenger (King), 6-8, Sr., C; Nikko Turner (King), 5-8, Sr., G; Mark Wilson (King), 6-0, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: J.W. North, King, Poly, Centennial, Corona, Roosevelt, Santiago, Norco.

MOJAVE RIVER LEAGUE

Where they stand: Already tightly bunched after a handful of MRL games in mid-December, league play resumes tonight with Oak Hills @ Hesperia and Apple Valley @ Sultana. Serrano plays Friday @ Hesperia.

Last year’s finish: Sultana (10-2); Oak Hills (9-3); Hesperia (5-7); Serrano (6-7); Apple Valley (1-11).

Players to watch Daaron Flagg (Sultana), 6-4, Sr., G; Robmar Porter (Sultana), 6-4, Sr., F; Brian Enriquez (Sultana), 6-2, So., G; Chrishtian Buttler (Sultana), 5-9, Sr., G, Denzel McCloney (Serrano), 6-0, Sr., G; Timmall Thomas (Serrano), 5-10, Jr., G; Daniel Davis (Oak Hills), 6-4, Sr., F; J.T. Roach (Apple Valley), 6-3, Jr., F.

Predicted order of finish: Sultana, Oak Hills, Serrano, Apple Valley, Hesperia.

MT. BALDY LEAGUE

Where they stand: Half the teams got a head start on league play before the holidays. They all play Friday night, with Don Lugo @ Colony, Chino @ Chaffey and Garey @ Montclair.

Last year’s finish: Colony (11-1); Montclair (10-2); Ontario (8-5); Don Lugo (7-5); Garey (4-8); Chino (1-11); Chaffey (1-11).

Players to watch: Miles Poullard (Colony), 6-2, Sr., G; Everett Turner (Colony), 6-0, Jr., G; Devyn Sampson (Montclair), 6-3, Sr., G; Bobby Talamantes (Montclair), 5-9, Sr., G; Jody Smith (Montclair), 6-1, Jr., G; Marciano Rogers (Ontario), 6-3, Sr., G; Devonte Turner (Ontario), 6-3, Sr., G; Eric Ortiz (Ontario), 6-1, Sr., G; Josh Thompson (Don Lugo), 6-4, Sr., G; Jon Garnica (Chino), 6-1, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Colony, Montclair, Ontario, Don Lugo, Chino, Garey, Chaffey.

Up next: Baseline, Mountain Pass and Southwestern leagues.

I.E.: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
12:18
AM PT
Well, that’s a wrap on the 2011 high school football season. The Inland Empire is certainly more respected than ever for what it accomplished this fall, beating Pac-5 Division foes Mission Viejo, Alemany, Crespi, Loyola, Tesoro and Mater Dei. They also staged a few memorable matchups against each other, none better than Vista Murrieta’s 35-28 come-from-behind victory against defending champion Corona Centennial in the Inland Division championship game. Here’s a look at the final top 10 of the season.

1. Vista Murrieta, 9-5 – The Broncos went undefeated on the field, beating state-ranked J.W. North, Upland and Centennial in the final three rounds of the Inland Division playoffs. Vista Murrieta self-reported an ineligible player prior to Southwestern League play -- a player who would quickly become eligible --leading to the forfeiture of all five nonleague victories. Many believe the Broncos deserved a state bowl bid but were passed up in favor of two-loss Santa Margarita, largely due to their forfeits. Vista Murrieta will be an early favorite to make the trip next season, as its best player, running back/strong safety Su’a Cravens, is set to return, as well as quarterback Nicholas Stevens and middle linebacker Bryce Smith, the Inland Division’s leading tackler.

2. Corona Centennial, 12-2 – Before the season, Centennial coach Matt Logan said the Huskies would need four or five games to find their footing. Try six quarters. The Huskies won 12 straight after their season-opening loss to St. Bonaventure, all but one by a wide margin. They quickly developed chemistry between a veteran offensive line and first-year senior starters Hayden Gavett at quarterback and Romello Goodman at running back and churned out yardage like past seasons. They came up one drive short against Vista Murrieta, however.

3. Upland, 12-1 – For most of the season, the Highlanders seemed like the front runner to unseat Centennial, but they ran into the same Vista Murrieta storm as the Huskies and saw their run end with a 39-18 semifinal loss. Still, they opened plenty of eyes with a 38-23 nonleaguue victory against L.A. private-school power Loyola and another one-sided victory against Baseline League foe Rancho Cucamonga.

4. Rancho Cucamonga, 11-2 – With 14 starters back from a team that lost in double overtime of the 2010 Inland Division semifinals, the Cougars came into this season ranked No. 2 in the ESPNLA Inland Empire preseason rankings. They weren’t as prepared as Upland and lost that clash, but got off the mat to beat fourth-seeded Redlands East Valley in the Inland Division quarterfinals and then put a scare into top-seeded Centennial in the semis before ultimately losing, 41-21.

5. Redlands East Valley, 11-1 – Give the Wildcats credit for turning the national spotlight on the I.E. in Week 5 with their 10-7 victory against nationally ranked Mission Viejo. They went on to finish the regular season undefeated but fell back into their habit of losing early in the playoffs. A nonleague victory against City Section-power Dorsey also stands bright on their resume.

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I.E.: The Top 10

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
10:47
PM PT
The top three teams put up 50-plus points in their Inland Division second-round victories, while Rancho Cucamonga found a way to win with just nine. Should make for some interesting semifinal action in the Inland Division.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 11-1 – Romello Goodman accomplished something no other Centennial running back has, scoring eight touchdowns in a 56-21 victory Friday night against visiting Chaparral in an Inland Division second-round game. Goodman has rushed for more than 300 yards in each of the playoff victories. Next: vs. Rancho Cucamonga at Los Osos HS, Friday.

2. (2) Upland, 12-0 – Upland wide receiver Kenny Lawler continues his postseason parade to the end zone, snaring three touchdown passes in a 51-13 victory Friday night against Charter Oak in the Inland Division. Lawler, who has committed to Arizona State, has five of his eight touchdowns this season in the playoffs. Next: at Vista Murrieta, Friday.

3. (3) Vista Murrieta, 7-5 – Su’a Cravens continues to show that the offensive side of the ball might just be his best side, rushing for a career-high 205 yards in 10 carries and scoring on three long touchdown runs to lead Vista Murrieta to a 58-13 victory Friday night against J.W. North in an Inland Division game at Riverside College. Next: vs. Upland, Friday.

4. (5) Rancho Cucamonga, 11-1 – The Cougars demonstrated they know a thing or two about defense too, holding fourth-seeded Redlands East Valley to two field goals in a 9-6 victory Friday night in an Inland Division game at Citrus Valley High. Next: vs. Corona Centennial at Los Osos HS, Friday.

5. (4) Redlands East Valley, 11-1 – Offense has been a question mark for most of the season and the fourth-seeded Wildcats didn’t have an answer for Rancho Cucamonga, suffering their third straight early-round playoff exit after going unbeaten in Citrus Belt League play.

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I.E.: Central Division second-round previews

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
7:06
PM PT
CENTRAL DIVISION

Second round, Friday

No. 1 Rancho Verde (11-0) at San Gorgonio (6-5), 7 p.m.

How they got here: Rancho Verde defeated visiting Don Lugo, 44-0; San Gorgonio won at La Quinta, 44-41.

Matchup to watch: San Gorgonio quarterback Monroe Offield (294 total yards last week) vs. Rancho Verde defense (hasn’t allowed a point in last 12 quarters)

Fast fact: These teams already met this season, with Rancho Verde winning, 37-10, against the visiting Spartans in Week 1. San Gorgonio also started and ended last season with losses to the Mustangs.

Prediction: Rancho Verde 34, San Gorgonio 14.

No. 4 Colony (10-1) at Moreno Valley (5-6), 7 p.m.

How they got here: Colony eliminated visiting Valley View, 28-14; Moreno Valley surprised host Cajon, 43-16.

Matchup to watch: Colony middle linebacker Eddie Martinez (7.6 tackles per game) vs. Moreno Valley running back Imeria Talia (867 rushing yards, nine TDs last four games).

Fast fact: Moreno Valley last won a playoff game in 2007, the same postseason that ended with a 29-14 loss to Colony in the Central Division semifinals.

Prediction: Moreno Valley 24, Colony 21.

No. 3 La Sierra (10-1) at Carter (10-1), 7 p.m.

How they got here: La Sierra defeated Chaffey, 23-6, at Norte Vista; Carter eliminated visiting Palm Desert, 48-22.

Matchup to watch: La Sierra defensive lineman A.J. Fanene (12 solo tackles last week, 24 sacks last two seasons) vs. Carter running back Gaylon Maxie (1,835 rushing yards, 24 TDs)

Fast fact: Carter won its first playoff game in school history last week while hosting its first postseason game.

Prediction: La Sierra 28, Carter 21.

No. 2 Palm Springs (11-0) at Chino (9-2), 7 p.m.

How they got here: Palm Springs shut out visiting Rialto, 35-0; Chino defeated visiting Arlington, 26-14.

Matchup to watch: Palm Springs linebacker Kyle Lass (13.2 tackles per game, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries) vs. Chino running back Xavier Browne (1,511 rushing yards, 16 TDs)

Fast fact: After finishing 0-10 in the 2009 season, Chino is 20-3 over the last two.

Prediction: Palm Springs 42, Chino 21.

I.E.: The Top 10

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
1:13
AM PT
Despite a few close calls, the Inland Empire top 10 got through the first round of the Southern Section playoffs intact. That won’t be the case this week, however.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 10-1 – The Huskies found themselves in a shootout with an unlikely opponent Friday night in their Inland Division first-round game but ultimately prevailed against Redlands, 49-35, thanks to five touchdowns for running back Romello Goodman. Next: vs. Chaparral, Friday.

2. (2) Upland, 11-0 – Arizona State-bound wide receiver Kenny Lawler showed his big-play ability for Upland in a 59-21 victory Friday night against Murrieta Valley, hauling in first-half touchdown passes of 45, 60 and 55 yards in the Inland Division opener. Next: vs. Charter Oak, Friday

3. (3) Vista Murrieta, 6-5 – The Broncos scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter Friday night against visiting Damien and coasted to a 38-13 victory in an Inland Division first-round game. Next: vs. J.W. North at TBD, Friday

4. (4) Redlands East Valley, 11-0 – The Wildcats had to come from behind twice against Norco in a turnover-filled Inland Division first-round game Friday night before holding on to win, 20-15. Next: vs. Rancho Cucamonga at TBD, Friday.

5. (5) Rancho Cucamonga, 10-1 – The Cougars escaped their Inland Division first-round game by completing a 37-yard desperation pass with no time on the clock against Chino Hills, giving them the points they needed in a 39-38 victory. Next: vs. Redlands East Valley at TBD, Friday.

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CIF-SS playoffs: Central Division

November, 13, 2011
11/13/11
1:01
PM PT
CIF-SS playoffs:
Central Division
This group might not carry the hoopla of the Inland Division, but it certainly has some quality teams and superb athletes. Rancho Verde hasn’t lost a regular-season game since 2007, yet hasn’t won a section title in that stretch either. Not so for Palm Springs and Colony. Palm Springs won the Eastern Division title in 2009, and the Titans won Central Division titles in 2006 and 2007. Here’s a breakdown of the division:

The seeds: No. 1 Rancho Verde, No. 2 Palm Springs, No. 3 La Sierra, No. 4 Colony.

Best first-round matchup: Palm Desert (5-4) at Carter (9-1) -- Carter had a chance to clinch the program's first outright San Andreas League title Thursday night against Cajon but lost, 24-7. That missed opportunity could spill over to the playoffs. Carter will have its hands full trying to stop Palm Desert running back Tim Santa Maria, who rushed for 333 yards in 33 carries and scored four touchdowns in a 38-35 loss Friday against La Quinta, dropping the Aztecs into third place in the Desert Valley League and setting up this matchup.

Toughest road: Palm Springs (10-0) -- The Indians’ unblemished record might be a bit misleading because they really haven't played any quality opponents this season, though they did blow out everyone except Palm Desert in the season opener. They open against a Rialto team that has a big-time victory against Cajon this season, one that likely cost the Cowboys a top four seeding. Waiting in the wings would be a matchup against Chino or Arlington, two other programs that could pose a problem with their potent run games.

Potential shocker: Valley View at Colony, first round -- Valley View had a bye in Week 10 to give them extra time to prepare for the playoffs and provide running back Michael Harrison a chance to rest up for the heavy workload he’s likely to encounter. Harrison, who has rushed for 1,373 and 16 touchdowns this season, is the type of power runner that has given Colony fits this season. The Titans have already allowed 100-yard rushing performances to Xavier Browne of Chino, Devon Samuels of Chaffey, Jamel Hart of South Hills, Jordan Robinson of Ayala and Corey Victoria of Glendora.

Darkhorse: Cajon (9-1) -- As mentioned above, Cajon would likely be one of the top three seeds if not for its loss against Rialto three weeks ago. The Cowboys have the athletes to make a run at any team in this division, and seem to have found a quality replacement for quarterback Edwin Martinez, who went down with a knee injury two weeks ago. De Juan Brooks stepped up from the junior varsity and threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns in the victory against Carter, locking up a share of the San Andreas League title.

Final analysis: This division is Rancho Verde’s to lose but that’s exactly what the Mustangs did last season, cruising to the championship game before getting stunned by Colton, the third-place team from the San Andreas League. They certainly didn’t catch any breaks in the brackets, getting stuck on the same side as Cajon and Colony, both of which feature Division 1-bound athletes who can change the course of a game.

Championship prediction: Palm Springs vs. Rancho Verde – These two programs appear to be in a class by themselves, though neither has really proved themselves against quality opponents during the regular season. Look for both teams to build momentum during some challenging early games and meet head on for the section title. Rancho Verde 27, Palm Springs 21.

Link to the Central Division bracket on CalPreps.com

I.E.: Games of the Week

October, 26, 2011
10/26/11
5:22
PM PT
The Central and Eastern divisions highlight the games of the week this time around. The key matchups on the schedule Friday night will likely determine first place in the Mojave River, San Andreas and Mt. Baldy leagues. Second place in the Big VIII League looks to be on the line Thursday.

A-Game

(Inland Empire rankings included)

No. 9 Oak Hills (7-0, 1-0) at Serrano (5-2, 2-0), Friday (7 p.m.) -- There hasn’t been any growing pains for Oak Hills. The school opened onlyt two years ago, but the varsity football team has yet to post a losing record, owning a 23-7 overall mark heading into the biggest game in the program’s history. Serrano is the two-time defending Mojave River League champion with a 27-7 record over the last 2 seasons. The Diamondbacks ramped up for league play with a strong nonleague schedule that included a 10-point loss to Upland, the second-ranked team in the Inland Empire. They’ve allowed a truck load of points this season, however, and Oak Hills has the talent to get into the end zone. Expect a lot of touches by Oak Hills senior running back Marshaun Coprich, who has rushed for 1,374 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Serrano running back Adarius Hogan is 27 yards shy of the 1,000-yard barrier.

Calpreps.com computerized projection: Serrano 26, Oak Hills 20

ESPNLA: Serrano 28, Oak Hills 27

B-List

No. 7 J.W. North (6-1, 3-1) vs. No. 8 Corona Santiago (5-2, 3-1) at Riverside College, Thursday (7 p.m.) -- Both of these teams have already lost to Corona Centennial -- as has Norco -- so the Big VIII League title is no longer a realistic goal. That said, who would have thought the battle for second place in the Big VIII would involve these teams? Norco was thought to be a shoe-in as bridesmaid to Centennial, but then J.W. North scored a huge upset vs. Alemany in nonleague play and Santiago pounded Norco three weeks ago. Both teams feature savvy, elusive quarterbacks. Justin Gheorghe of J.W. North has thrown 15 touchdown passes and hasn’t been intercepted this season. Santiago junior Michael Darr is the team’s leading passer and rusher, though running back Roosevelt Monk has boosted the run game since joining the team four weeks ago.

Calpreps.com: J.W. North 38, Santiago 31

ESPNLA: Santiago 34, J.W. North 30

No. 10 Rialto (6-1, 4-0) at Carter (7-0, 4-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – These teams had mixed success after joining the San Andreas League last season, and this match up didn’t exactly stand out on the must-see list heading into the season, but that changed when Rialto stunned Cajon last weekend, 27-25. Rialto relies heavily on two-way skill players Michael Romero, Tyler Telphy, Paul Cortez and Nicholas Seiuli. Carter gets most of its offense from senior running back Gaylon Maxie, who has rushed for 1,073 yards and 16 touchdowns. Senior defensive back Kris Brown has a league-leading four interceptions for Carter.

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I.E.: The Top 10

October, 23, 2011
10/23/11
11:25
PM PT
Two ranked teams dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten last weekend and another needed overtime to keep its perfect record intact. Nine unbeaten teams remain in all from the Inland, Central and Eastern divisions, including one top 10 newcomer.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 6-1 – The Huskies passed their final true test of the regular season with flying colors Friday night, using the tandem of quarterback Hayden Gavett and running back Romello Goodman to dismantle Norco, 45-18. Next: at Corona, Friday.

2. (2) Upland, 7-0 – The Highlanders once again proved they might be the only Inland Division team capable of staying with Centennial come playoff time, delivering another solid all-around performance in a 31-17 victory Friday against visiting Rancho Cucamonga. Next: vs. Glendora at Citrus College, Friday.

3. (5) Vista Murrieta, 7-0 – The Broncos are another team that has the defense to compete with anyone in the Inland Division, they just need to find a bit more offense. They held Temecula Valley to 64 total yards Friday night in a 41-3 victory. Next: at Great Oak, Friday.

4. (3) Redlands East Valley, 7-0 – The Wildcats had to rally late against Redlands to avoid being part of the second-biggest upset in the Inland Empire this season. They scored a touchdown with five minutes remaining Friday to tie Redlands and then won in overtime, 21-14. Next: at Eisenhower, Friday.

5. (4) Rancho Cucamonga, 6-1 – The Cougars finally got a chance to play a top 25 opponent and they likely learned a few things in the 31-17 loss to Upland. Mainly, win the turnover battle and you have a much better chance to win the game. Next: vs. Etiwanda at Los Osos, HS, Friday.

(Read full post)

I.E.: The Top 10

October, 16, 2011
10/16/11
10:14
PM PT
The dawn of league play for most Inland Empire teams meant better chess matches between coaching staffs who've grown familiar with one another over the years. Upland, Redlands East Valley and Vista Murrieta each had their unbeaten records put to the test by league rivals, but each managed to sneak away with victories. Meanwhile, Corona Centennial continued to run laps around any team in its path, familiar or otherwise.

1. (1) Centennial, 5-1 – The Huskies big-play ability was on display in a 56-34 victory Friday against host Corona Santiago, as they scored on six plays of 28 yards or more to take sole possession of first place in the Big VIII League. Next: vs. Norco, Friday.

2. (3) Upland, 6-0 – The Highlanders overcame an early 10-point deficit to defeat Etiwanda, 24-17, behind 227 yards passing and two touchdowns from quarterback Nick Romine. Upland was out-gained, 409-304, in total yardage. Next: vs. Rancho Cucamonga, Friday.

3. (2) Redlands East Valley, 6-0 – A week after upsetting Mission Viejo, the Wildcats nearly suffered a similar fate, rallying from a one-point halftime deficit Friday and holding on to beat A.B. Miller, 21-13. Miller had its chances, but a pass slipped through a receiver’s hands in the end zone in the closing seconds. Next: at Redlands, Friday.

4. (4) Rancho Cucamonga, 6-0 – Junior running back Tyan Washington topped 100 yards for the third straight game in a 41-17 victory Friday against Alta Loma. Washington finished with 115 yards and three touchdowns in the Baseline League opener. Next: at Upland, Friday.

5. (5) Vista Murrieta, 6-0 – The Broncos escaped with a win Friday night at Chaparral after forcing a red-zone turnover late in the game while leading by four points and then returning two interceptions for touchdowns in the final two minutes in the 27-10 victory. Next: vs. Temecula Valley, Friday.

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I.E.: The Top 10

October, 10, 2011
10/10/11
12:04
AM PT
Another week, another huge upset by the Inland Empire. At this rate, getting past the second round of the Inland Division playoffs will be a huge feat for any team.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 4-1 – The Huskies took their up-tempo offense to the extreme, scoring six touchdowns in the first 13 1/2 minutes of a 52-34 victory against J.W. North. Next: at Corona Santiago, Friday.

2. (4) Redlands East Valley, 5-0 –The Wildcats were pretty well known in the Inland Empire but now they’ve gone nationwide after defeating nationally ranked Mission Viejo, 10-7. Next: vs. A.B. Miller at University of Redlands, Friday.

3. (2) Upland, 5-0 – The Highlanders had the week off to further enjoy their triumph against Loyola and prepare for their Baseline League opener against another tough foe. Next: vs. Etiwanda at Colony HS, Friday.

4. (3) Rancho Cucamonga, 5-0 – The Cougars also had the week off, giving them time to wonder why they didn’t schedule some tougher nonleague opponents. Next: vs. Alta Loma at Chaffey HS, Friday.

5. (5) Vista Murrieta, 5-0 – The Broncos had the closest thing to a bye, beating up on visiting Palisades, 37-0. Next: at Chaparral, Friday.

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I.E.: The Top 10

October, 2, 2011
10/02/11
10:18
PM PT
The Inland Empire flexed its muscles again last week, positing two big wins against Serra League teams. As it stands now, the SS-Inland Division is 7-4 against the Pac-5.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 3-1 – The brass at Centennial still isn’t pleased with how the offense is stepping on its own toes, but talent was able to overcome the mistakes in a 48-6 victory Thursday against Riverside Poly. Next: vs. J.W. North, Friday.

2. (3) Upland, 5-0 – If there was any doubt whether the Highlanders were for real after hammering Norco the week before, they made sure there was none Friday after handily defeating Loyola, 38-23. Next: vs. Etiwanda at Colony HS, Oct. 14.

3. (2) Rancho Cucamonga, 5-0 – The game wasn’t as close as the score would indicate in a 24-7 victory Friday night against Redlands. Now the Cougars have a week off to regroup and start thinking about their Baseline League game Oct. 21 at Upland. Next: vs. Alta Loma at Chaffey HS, Oct. 14.

4. (4) Redlands East Valley, 4-0 – OK, it's official, the Wildcats aren't just good, they're very good. They proved that by defeating Chino Hills, 34-0, for their third shutout in four games. Next: vs. Mission Viejo at University of Redlands, Friday.

5. (7) Vista Murrieta, 4-0 – The Broncos already had the defense and now they’ve found their offense after piling up 407 total yards in a 38-20 victory Friday at Crespi. Next: vs. Palisades, Friday.

6. (6) Norco, 3-1 – Sullied by their 27-point loss to Upland the week before, the Cougars took out their frustrations Friday night against short-handed Roosevelt, 42-7. Next: vs. Corona Santiago, Friday.

7. (5) J.W. North, 4-0 – More was expected from the Huskies when they took on Corona on Friday night, but they couldn’t shake the Panthers until the second half of their 38-17 victory. Next: at Corona Centennial, Friday

8. (8) Cajon, 4-0 – With the toughest part of their schedule behind them until the playoffs, the Cowboys were able to breathe easier in a 66-6 victory Friday against San Bernardino in their San Andreas League opener. Next: vs. San Gorgonio, Friday.

9. (9) Rancho Verde, 4-0 – The Mustangs overcame double digits in penalties to defeat Moreno Valley, 28-7, but they're the only team that can get away with that in the Inland Valley League. Next: at Valley View, Friday.

10. (10) Etiwanda, 2-2 – After scoring 160 points in their first four games, the Eagles had a bye last weekend, giving their offense a chance to catch their breath before four more huge games. Next: vs. Eisenhower at Colony HS, Thursday.

Just missed: Los Osos, Elsinore, Heritage, Summit, Citrus Hill, Palm Springs, Serrano, Chino, Chaparral, Murrieta Valley, Oaks Hills, Yucaipa.

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