Los Angeles Preps: Citrus Belt League

Boys' hoops: Fairfax 73, Eisenhower 67

February, 4, 2012
2/04/12
4:28
PM PT
SANTA ANA -- The post-halftime woes that have plagued Fairfax disappeared Saturday and the Lions held on for a 73-67 victory against a hot Rialto Eisenhower team in the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei.

Fairfax was strong in the third quarter, thanks to senior guard Brendyn Taylor's ability to get to the free-throw line. He scored 14 of his team-high 22 points -- including 10-for-10 on free throws -- in the second half to lead the Lions (17-9). Taylor had help from point guard Landon Drew, who scored 13 of his 17 after the break. Fairfax had lost two of three, including last week to Gardena Serra in an all-day showcase event inside its own gym.

Marvelle Harris had 25 points and Terrance Sims had 23 for Eisenhower (16-7). The Citrus Belt League-leading Eagles failed to extend their 11-game winning streak.

I.E.: A closer look at the Citrus Belt League

August, 11, 2011
8/11/11
10:53
PM PT
CITRUS BELT LEAGUE

Last season’s results: Redlands East Valley (8-3, 5-0); Redlands (7-3-1, 3-2); Yucaipa (6-5, 3-2); Fontana A.B. Miller (5-5, 3-2); Rialto Eisenhower (1-9, 1-4); Fontana (0-10, 0-5)

Players to watch: Redlands East Valley will have the luxury of a 1-2 punch in the backfield. Jesse Riley was a first-team all-league selection as a junior last season, playing a key role in a 24-22 victory against rival Redlands by rushing for 146 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll be joined by junior Taylor Thompson, who brings a more bruising running style. REV also returns quarterback Austin Decoud and a dominant offensive lineman in Dominique Robertson, who reportedly has an offer on the table from Arizona State. Edmund Faimalo also returns up front, as well as junior tight end Blake Braun, both first-team all-league picks a year ago. Defensively, the Wildcats will lean on defensive lineman Justin Sedivy and outside linebacker Trevor Douglass. Redlands figures to provide the biggest obstacle for REV again this season. The Terriers also return their quarterback, senior Mike Stallone, and a gifted ball carrier in junior Darryl Miller, who left an impression at the end of last season by rushing for 137 yards and two touchdowns in a first-round playoff loss to Norco. The most heralded newcomer to the CBL is Reshawn Hooker of A.B. Miller. Hooker, a senior linebacker who transferred from San Bernardino Arroyo Valley in the offseason, is rated as the 49th best player in the state by Rivals.com. He reportedly has scholarship offers from six Pac-12 schools, including UCLA. Boise State is also high on his preference list. Yucaipa made the playoffs last season as the league’s third-place team and the Thunderbirds will be counting on junior quarterback Clayton Leach-Mead to continue his improvement. Nate Pascale led their defense with six sacks last season.

Projected order of finish: Redlands East Valley, Redlands, A.B. Miller, Yucaipa, Eisenhower, Fontana.

Key games: Sept. 9 – Compton Dominguez vs. Redlands East Valley @ Perris Citrus Hill HS, Fontana Summit @ Redlands; Sept. 16 – A.B. Miller @ Arroyo Valley; Sept. 23 – Los Angeles Dorsey vs. Redlands East Valley @ Citrus Hill, Etiwanda @ A.B. Miller; Sept. 30 – Redlands vs. Rancho Cucamonga @ Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos HS, Redlands East Valley @ Chino Hills; Oct. 7 – Mission Viejo vs. Redlands East Valley @ Univ. of Redlands; Oct. 21 – Redlands East Valley @ Redlands; Oct. 28 – Yucaipa @ Redlands; Nov. 4 – A.B. Miller @ Yucaipa; Nov. 10 – Redlands East Valley @ Yucaipa, Redlands @ A.B. Miller.

Alumni in the NFL: Nick Barnett, Buffalo Bills (A.B. Miller ’99); Victor Butler, Dallas Cowboys (Eisenhower ’05); Ryan Clady, Denver Broncos (Eisenhower ’04).

Fast fact: The Inland Empire has developed some intense rivalries in recent years but none have quite reached the level of Redlands East Valley and Redlands. It was one-sided at first, with Redlands winning the first five meetings between 1998 and 2002 by a combined score of 237-6. Since then, Redlands East Valley has taken control, winning six of the last eight, including four straight.

On the clock: Desert Valley League.

Inland Empire: Boys' basketball playoff preview

February, 13, 2011
2/13/11
6:30
PM PT
The Southern Section boys’ basketball playoff pairings were released Sunday and Inland Empire teams were seeded high in several divisions. Here’s a rundown:

Division 1AA

Etiwanda lost two games in the final two weeks of the season, causing the Eagles to fall a couple spots in the seeding order. Instead of entering the postseason seeded No. 2, the Eagles are No. 4, one behind Corona Centennial, who they beat back in December. MurrietaValley is seeded fifth, Rialto Eisenhower is seventh and Eastvale Roosevelt is 10th. Murrieta Valley won the Division 2AA title last season and Eisenhower won in Division 2A.

Division 1A

RedlandsEast Valley is seeded fifth after finishing second to Eisenhower in the Citrus Belt League. The Wildcats open Wednesday against visiting Dana Hills, and Pepperdine-bound center Paulin Mpawe should have a strong game against the undersized Dolphins. Victorville Silverado was seeded sixth and received a first-round bye because the Hawks were champions of the Desert Sky League.

Division 2AA

Sixth-seeded Fontana Summit certainly fits the bill of a dark horse in this division. The SkyHawks are playing their best basketball of the season, carrying an 11-game winning streak into the postseason. They played Riverside Patriot on Thursday in a game that would determine the Sunkist League title and posted an impressive 70-31 victory. Other teams to watch are eighth-seeded Victorville Victor Valley and 10th-seeded Ontario Colony.

Division 2A

Elsinore was seeded second after running away withthe Sunbelt League title. The Tigers enter the postseason on a nine-game winning streak and open the playoffs against visiting Westminster, which advanced with an 8-18 record. San Bernardino, which won its first league title since 1993, is seeded sixth and Chino Hills Ayala is 10th.

Division 3AA

Second-seeded Palm Springs posted an impressive 22-1 record during the regular season, its only loss coming by two points against Palos Verdes Peninsula, the top-seeded team in Division 2A.

Division 3A

Palm Desert, which finished runner up to Palm Springs in the Desert Valley League, is the highest-seeded I.E. team in this division at No. 7. The Aztecs face an interesting first-round match up against visiting Lakewood Artesia, once one of the elite programs in Southern California but now just fourth-place team from the Suburban League.

Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

November, 22, 2010
11/22/10
4:09
PM PT
1. The Baseline League went 3-0 in Inland Division play Friday night, while the Citrus Belt League was 0-3. The biggest upset victory in the division belonged to Etiwanda, the third-place team from the Baseline, which defeated CBL champion Redlands East Valley, 21-16. The Eagles have been forced to outscore teams this season because its defense had allowed an average of 35.6 points coming into the playoffs. The defense came through against REV, however, returning a fourth-quarter fumble 100 yards for a touchdown, stretching its lead to 21-10.

2. What a day for Ifo Ekpre-Olomu of Chino Hills. He began Friday by committing to play for Oregon, then went out that night and scored four touchdowns in a 70-42 victory against Corona in an Inland Division first-round game. Ekpre-Olomu had two touchdown runs of six yards, another for 53 and a 100-yard kickoff return for a score. As lopsided as the final score appears, the Huskies led only, 49-42, heading into the fourth quarter.

3. A more impressive fourth-quarter surge was delivered Friday night by Riverside La Sierra in a 54-49 loss to Palm Springs in a Central Division first-round game. The Eagles scored 32 points in the final quarter, turning a laugher into a nail-biter. "I started the night 57 years old and I ended it 83," Palm Springs coach Steve Fabian told the Desert Sun after the game. Fabian decided to rest star running back Nephi Garcia after taking a 37-point lead and nearly regretted it.

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Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

October, 18, 2010
10/18/10
8:00
AM PT
1. After the season started with three consecutive losses, it was pretty clear Etiwanda wasn’t as bad as its record indicated. After all, the Eagles averaged 32 points in the losses. Defensively, they were still adjusting to the absence of junior linebacker Chandler Scott, who led the Baseline League in tackles as a sophomore but suffered a season-ending knee injury before the start of the season. Etiwanda is now riding a three-game winning streak after knocking off Glendora, 39-27, in a Baseline League opener Thursday night at Ontario Colony High. The Eagles’ high-octane offense was on display in the second quarter when they put up 27 points to erase a 14-point deficit. Larry Cutbirth continues to look like one of the Southland’s top quarterbacks in the class of 2012, throwing three more touchdowns to give him 17 on the season.

2. Gutsy call of the week belongs to Rancho Cucamonga coach Nick Baiz, who elected to go for two points during overtime in a Baseline League opener Friday night against host Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos. The roll of the dice paid off when quarterback Dimitri Morales found J.T. Huggins in the end zone for a two-point pass that sealed the 29-28 victory. Oregon State took the same chance Saturday night against Washington and the gamble didn’t pay off so well.

3. The Smudge Pot is all but obsolete these days, but the annual Smudge Pot game between Redlands and Redlands East Valley is alive and well. REV won the Citrus Belt League opener, 24-22, on Friday night at the University of Redlands, getting the final points on a 24-yard field goal by Cody Madsen as time expired. REV has now won four straight against its cross-town foe. The Terriers had taken their final lead on a 71-yard touchdown run by quarterback Mike Stallone on fourth and one with 6:33 remaining, followed by a successful two-point conversion.

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