Los Angeles Preps: Citrus Valley

IRVINE -- When it came to bat in the bottom of the second inning, top-seeded Citrus Valley found itself trailing by two runs in its Southern Section Division 6 championship game.

By the time it came to bat in the third, the Blackhawks were in control.

Citrus Valley scored three runs in the bottom of the second and pitcher Taylor Troost struck out 10 in 4 1/3 innings of relief to give the Blackhawks a 5-2 victory over Lake Isabella Kern Valley at Col. Barber Park.

Troost came on with one out in the top of the third and runners at second and third, then pitched like she owned Deanna Manning Stadium. A popup to second and a strikeout ended the threat by Kern Valley (25-5).

Troost gave up only three hits the rest of the way, two in the fifth inning when she got a double-play to end the inning.

Jessica Yasin, who singled with two out in the seventh, got two of the three hits against Troost.

And if Friday's performance was any indication, Citrus Valley may not be done winning championships. Troost is a freshman. She came on in relief of junior Hayley Jaquess, who had been hit in the hand while batting during the three-run rally in the bottom of the second.

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I.E: Final boys basketball top 10

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
4:27
PM PT
1. Etiwanda, 30-3: The Eagles finished with their third 30-win season in the last seven and should be in good shape for the next couple years with the return of sophomore point guard Jordan McLaughlin, who averaged a team-high 17.8 points. Etiwanda was taken out by Long Beach Poly in the Division 1AA semifinals for the second straight season, then fell to Loyola in a Southern California Regional second rounder.

2. Eisenhower, 20-8: The Eagles established their run-and-gun identity as the season moved along, and had one of the top players in the I.E. to facilitate that style in shooting guard Marvelle Harris, whose play helped him earn a scholarship from Fresno State in the process. Eisenhower’s season ended with a close loss to Long Beach Poly in the quarterfinals.

3. Elsinore, 28-5: The Tigers came up short of their first section final appearance since 1974, losing by nine points to Mayfair in the Division 2A semifinals. They came back to beat Thousand Oaks in the program’s first SoCal Regional appearance before losing to Inglewood in the second round of Division 2. E.J. Twyman played up to expectations entering his senior year, averaging 26.9 points.

4. Colony, 22-10: Two straight losses to end the season didn’t dampen an otherwise strong run by the Titans. Their season was highlighted by a 73-71 victory against second-seeded Compton in a Division 2A quarterfinal. Colony then lost a back-and-forth game against Righetti to prevent the program from advancing to the championship game for the second time in four seasons.

5. Murrieta Valley, 25-3: Righetti took out the third-seeded Nighthawks the round before they beat Colony, ending an otherwise strong season. They won three tournaments prior to Southwestern League play, then defended that title. Darius Butler scored in double figures in every game en route to averaging a team-high 19.6 points, while Reid Shackelford proved to be one of the I.E.’s most improved players, averaging 16.8.

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I.E.: Boys' basketball Top 10

February, 5, 2012
2/05/12
10:53
PM PT
Most of the top teams in the I.E. held their ground last week, with several clinching outright league titles, or at least a share, heading into the final week of the regular season.

1. (1) Etiwanda, 24-1: Sam Flemming scored with 15 seconds remaining to lift the Eagles to a 70-69 victory Tuesday at Upland, keeping them perfect in Baseline League play. Etiwanda came back to win its 21ststraight game Friday night and clinch the outright league title at Los Osos. Next: Tuesday @ Alta Loma.

2. (2) Eisenhower, 16-7: The Eagles clinched their third consecutive outright Citrus Belt League title with victories last week against visiting A.B. Miller (79-49) and at Redlands East Valley (61-34). Eisenhower wasn’t able to keep up with Fairfax on Saturday afternoon at the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei and lost, 73-67. Next: Wednesday @ Redlands.

3. (4) Elsinore, 22-3: The Tigers are well on their way to a fourth straight Sunbelt League title after defeating Temescal Canyon (64-57) and Perris (57-55) last week. Elsinore has won 29 consecutive league games. Next: Wednesday @ Heritage.

4. (5) Murrieta Valley, 21-2: The Nighthawks maintained their one-game lead on Vista Murrieta in the Southwestern League with wins last week at Great Oak (46-35) and Murrieta Mesa (60-39). Reid Shackelford sank five of seven three-pointers against Murrieta Mesa. Next: Tuesday vs. Vista Murrieta.

5. (3) J.W. North, 19-5: Last week began with another hiccup in Big VIII League play, an 11-point loss at Riverside Poly, but the Huskies came back with wins against visiting Roosevelt (64-49) and at Corona Santiago (53-48) to clinch at least a share of the league title with two games remaining. Next: Monday @ Riverside King.

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I.E.: Boys' basketball Top 10

December, 6, 2011
12/06/11
6:37
PM PT
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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Softball season ends tonight with the Southern Section's marquee game pitting third-seeded Corona Santiago, which is ranked No. 10 in the ESPN Rise national rankings, against Anaheim Canyon, a third-place team from the Century League that is ranked No. 27 nationally.

It's the last of four games scheduled for today. It brings together a program that is used to getting to the finals, Santiago -- which is playing for the title for the fourth time in eight years -- against a program that is in the championship for the first time.

The way the ball flew out of the park on Friday in the first three games of the weekend, it would be a huge surprise if several aren't hit Saturday: Canyon hit six in the semifinals against Los Alamitos, and Santiago's Lauren Sweet has 14 on the season.

Games are at Barber Park in Irvine.

Here is a look at today's schedule:

Division 1: Anaheim Canyon (23-7) vs. Corona Santiago (27-5), 6 p.m.

Tennessee-bound right-hander Cheyanne Tarango (23-7, 2.38) has had her ups and downs, but she's been good in the playoffs and may provide the edge in experience over Santiago sophomore Erica Romero (15-3, 1.39). Of course, this is unlikely to be a pitchers' duel. Santiago has 10 players who have homered, seven who who have homered at least twice, and five who have at least 20 RBIs. In addition to Sweet (.482, 43 runs, 46 RBIs), Santiago's lineup boasts Randel Leahy (.315, 24 runs, 22 RBIs, 8 HR), Erin Rodriguez (.342, 23 runs, 20 RBIs, 4 HR), Danielle Hernandez (.359, 20 runs, 31 RBIs, 4 HR) and Yvon Minogue (.422, 35 runs, 24 RBIs, 4 HR). Canyon has to like its chances after the way it beat Los Alamitos in the semifinals. Junior shortstop Lauren Young (.462, 27 runs, 36 RBIs), an Arizona commit, is complemented by Kelly Stowe (.381, 26 runs, 28 RBIs), Shannon Bustillos (.439, 11 runs, 24 RBIs) and Taylor Swearingen (.386, 19 runs, 26 RBIs).

Division 2: No. 4 Camarillo (25-7) vs. La Mirada (21-11), 3:30 p.m.

It has been 15 years since Camarillo played for a championship, and the Scorpions are trying to win for the first time since 1991. They are led by Bianca Noriega (.420, 22 runs, 27 RBIs) and Kristie Dederick (.392, 27 runs, 27 RBIs), and the leadoff tandem of Hayley Chamberlain (.396, 28 runs) and Jenna King (.384, 25 runs). Sarah Shadinger (18-5, 1.44 ERA) has 217 strikeouts in 141 innings. La Mirada finished third in the Suburban League. The Matadores, in the finals for the fifth time, haven't won since 1991. They've been getting it done in the playoffs with pitching; their last thee victories have come despite scoring only three runs. Rochelle Sablay (.451, 23 runs, 25 RBIs) and Courtney Skogen (.345, 21 runs, 24 RBIs) anchor the offense.

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Inland Empire: Corona Santiago vs. El Modena highlights softball semifinals

May, 30, 2011
5/30/11
3:59
PM PT
SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL SEMIFINALS

TOP CHOICE

Division 1

Corona Santiago at Orange El Modena, Tuesday, 3:15 p.m.

When it comes to entertainment, these teams belong right at the top. Santiago won its quarterfinal game Thursday at Huntington Beach Marina on an eighth-inning solo home run by No. 9 hitter Brenda Lee. The Vanguards survived the second round with a 12-11 victory against second-seeded Etiwanda, throwing out the tying run at the plate to end the game after the runner tried to score from first on ball hit into the gap. El Modena traveled to Valencia the next day and scored twice in the seventh to defeat the Vikings, 5-4. The Vanguards are led by Michigan-bound pitcher Haylie Wagner, who is probably most dangerous with a bat in her hands. El Modena needs to figure out a way to keep Santiago lead-off hitter Lauren Sweet off the bases. The senior catcher is also a threat to hit the ball out of the park, owning 13 home runs for the third-seeded Sharks this season.

SECOND BEST

Division 3

Chino Hills at Westlake Village Oaks Christian, Tuesday, 3:15 p.m.

These teams met in a quarterfinal last season and Chino Hills walked away with a 5-0 victory behind a four-hitter from sophomore pitcher Nikki Innamorato. Now a year older, Innamorato is sporting an 18-5 record for the fourth-seeded Huskies, who have allowed a total of one run in their three previous playoff victories. Chino Hills features five starters hitting .367 or better, led by junior third baseman Garie Blando (.430). Oaks Christian is the top-seeded team in the division and the Lions have played like it, shutting out their last five opponents. Senior pitcher Kiana Quolas (Coastal Carolina) has been leading the defensive effort, notching 27 consecutive scoreless innings from the circle.

THE REST

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Inland Empire: Quick look at the softball playoffs

May, 16, 2011
5/16/11
9:05
PM PT
SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS

Seeded I.E. teams:

Div. 1 – No. 2 Etiwanda, No. 3 Corona Santiago.

Div. 2 – No. 1 Chino Don Lugo, No. 3 Chino.

Div. 3 – No. 4 Chino Hills.

Div. 4 – No. 1 San Bernardino Aquinas.

Div. 5 – No. 2 Beaumont.

Div. 6 – No. 3 Citrus Valley.

Div. 7 – None.

Best wild-card games Tuesday:

Div. 1 – Corona at Temecula Great Oak. Corona finished fifth in the Big VIII League and should match up well against Great Oak, who beat the Panthers, 3-1, on March 14. The Wolfpack won their final four games to solidify the third place in the Southwestern League. Sophomore pitcher Hannah Dewey is 16-6 with a 2.87 ERA, including a seven-hitter in the victory against Corona.

Div. 2 – San Bernardino at Ontario. Sabrina Garcia will likely get the start in the pitcher’s circle for San Bernardino. She’s 12-7 with a 2.44 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 132 innings. Garcia is also hitting a team-high .343 with 14 RBIs.

Div. 3 – Redondo at Romoland Heritage. The Patriots reached the Division 5 semifinals two seasons ago and senior pitcher Bethany Slick remains their ace. Redondo enters the playoffs on a three-game losing streak but the Sea Hawks come from a very competitive league.

Div. 4 – Palm Springs at Phelan Serrano. Palm Springs pitcher Nicole Clements is 13-9 with a 1.63 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 142 innings. She’s also batting a team-high .535 with two home runs and 23 RBIs. Serrano won the Hemet Tahquitz tournament last month, knocking off Palm Desert in the championship game, 10-0.

Div. 5 – Montebello at Victorville Silverado. The Hawks enter the playoffs on a four-game losing streak with cost them a chance at the Desert Sky League. Silverado will likely continue to lean on the pitching arm of Alexis Conant, who is 10-5 with a 4.17 ERA.

Div. 6 – Twentynine Palms at Mojave. Julia Cullinan, a sophomore at Mojave, was second in the Southern Section with a .705 batting average. She also hit 10 home runs and was the team’s top pitcher with a 7-4 record. Twentynine Palms enters the playoffs riding a six-game winning streak.

Div. 7 – La Verne Calvary Baptist at Wildomar California Lutheran. Miranda Romero of California Lutheran batted .603 with nine home runs during the regular season.

Check back Wednesday for a preview of the top first-round games.

Inland Empire: Colton's title has a Rich touch

May, 12, 2011
5/12/11
1:01
PM PT
Behind another strong performance from junior right-hander Tyler Rich, the Colton baseball team defeated visiting San Gorgonio on Wednesday to clinch the outright San Andreas League title.

Rich improved to 9-1 and lowered his earned-run average to 1.14 with the two-hitter, his seventh consecutive victory and sixth straight complete game.

The Yellowjackets finished the regular season 21-6 overall and 13-1 in league play. They’ll be the top-seeded team out of the SAL when the playoff pairings are announced this weekend.

Glendora (11-3) clinched at least a share of the Baseline League title and the league’s No. 1 seed with a 7-4 victory Wednesday at Upland. Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos (10-4) can still get a share of the league title with a win Friday against visiting Rancho Cucamonga, and a loss by Glendora against visiting Upland.

Moreno Valley Canyon Springs (11-3) and Moreno Valley Vista del Lago (11-3) each won their respective games Wednesday to finish as co-champions in the Inland Valley League, but Canyon Springs is the league’s No. 1 seed based on head-to-head results.

Hemet (12-2) clinched at least a share of the Mountain Valley League title with a 2-1 victory Wednesday at Hemet Tahquitz (11-3). The teams meet again Friday in the regular-season finale at Hemet, and a victory by Tahquitz would give it a share of the league title. Hemet already owns the tiebreaker for the league’s top seeding, however.

Redlands Citrus Valley (13-1) clinched the outright Mountain Valley League title Wednesday with a 7-1 victory at second-place Riverside Notre Dame (10-4).

Ontario Colony clinched a share of the Mt. Baldy League title and the league’s top seeding with a 7-3 win against visiting Ontario.

Here’s a list of the key games on today’s schedule.

SIERRA

Chino Hills (11-3) vs. Ayala

South Hills (11-3) @ Charter Oak

*Chino Hills owns tiebreaker vs. South Hills

BIG VIII

King (10-3) @ North

J.W. North (9-4) vs. King

*North won first meeting vs. King, 3-0

CITRUS BELT

Redlands (11-3) @ Fontana

Yucaipa (10-4) vs. Eisenhower

*Redlands owns tiebreaker vs. Yucaipa

SUNKIST

Kaiser (10-4) @ Bloomington

Summit (9-5) @ Patriot

*Summit owns tiebreaker vs. Kaiser

Inland Empire: Spotlight on baseball league races

May, 10, 2011
5/10/11
12:16
PM PT
As the final week of the regular season winds down, a number of league titles in the I.E. are still up for grabs. Here's a look at the major races still left to be settled.

BASELINE

Glendora (10-3), Wed. @ Upland, Fri. vs. Upland

Los Osos (9-4), Wed. @ Rancho Cucamonga, Fri. vs. Rancho Cucamonga.

*Glendora owns tiebreaker vs. Los Osos

BIG VIII

J.W. North (9-3), Tues. vs. Santiago, Thurs. vs. King

King (9-3), Tues. vs. Roosevelt, Thurs @ North

Santiago (7-5), Tues. @ North, Thurs. vs. Poly

Norco (7-5), Tues. vs. Poly, Thurs. @ Corona

*North won first meeting vs. King, 3-0

CITRUS BELT

Redlands (10-3), Tues. vs. Fontana, Thurs. @ Fontana

Yucaipa (9-4), Tues. @ Eisenhower, Thurs. vs. Eisenhower

Redlands East Valley (8-5), Tues. vs. Miller, Thurs. @ Miller

*Redlands owns tiebreaker vs. Yucaipa

DESERT VALLEY

Palm Desert (9-1), Tues. vs. Palm Springs, Thurs. @ Palm Springs

Indio (8-2), Tues. vs. La Quinta, Thurs. @ La Quinta

La Quinta (8-2), Tues. @ Indio, Thurs. vs. Indio

*Palm Desert’s only league loss vs. Indio

INLAND VALLEY

Canyon Springs (10-3), Wed. @ Arlington

Vista del Lago (10-3), Wed. vs. La Sierra

La Sierra (9-4), Wed. @ Vista del Lago

*Canyon Springs owns tiebreaker vs. Vista del Lago

MOUNTAIN PASS

Hemet (11-2), Wed. @ Tahquitz, Fri vs. Tahquitz

Tahquitz (11-2), Wed. vs. Hemet, Fri. @ Hemet

*Hemet won first meeting vs. Tahquitz, 6-2

MOUNTAIN VALLEY

Citrus Valley (12-1), Wed. @ at Notre Dame, Thurs. @ Notre Dame

Notre Dame (10-3), Wed. vs. Notre Dame, Thurs. vs. Notre Dame

*Citrus Valley won first meeting vs. Notre Dame, 3-2

MT. BALDY

Colony (9-2), Wed. vs. Ontario

Chino (9-2), Wed. @ Don Lugo

Don Lugo (8-3), Wed. vs. Chino

*Colony owns tiebreaker vs. Chino

SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

Colton (12-1), Wed. vs. San Gorgonio

Rialto (11-2), Wed. vs. Pacific

San Gorgonio (10-2), Wed. @ Colton, Friday @ Pacific

*Colton and Rialto split season series

SIERRA

Chino Hills (10-3), Tues. @ Ayala, Thurs. vs. Ayala

South Hills (10-3), Tues. vs. Charter Oak, Thurs. @ Charter Oak

Damien (8-5), Tues. @ Claremont, Thurs. vs. Claremont

*Chino Hills owns tiebreaker vs. South Hills

SUNBELT

Temescal Canyon (10-3), Tues. vs. Lakeside, Thurs. @ Lakeside

Paloma Valley (8-5), Tues. vs. Elsinore, Thurs. @ Elsinore

Lakeside (7-6), Tues. @ Temescal Canyon, Thurs. vs. Temescal Canyon

Heritage (7-6), Tues. vs. Perris, Thurs. @ Perris

*Paloma Valley owns tiebreaker vs. Temescal Canyon

SUNKIST

Kaiser (10-3), Tues. vs. Summit, Thurs. @ Bloomington

Summit (8-5), Tues. @ Kaiser, Thurs. @ Patriot

Patriot (7-6), Tues. vs. Jurupa Valley, Thurs. vs. Summit

Bloomington (7-6), Tues @ Norte Vista, Thurs. vs. Kaiser

*Kaiser and Summit split previous two meetings

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