Los Angeles Preps: El Modena

Calabasas faces Palos Verdes in Division 3AA

February, 16, 2012
Top-seeded Calabasas had a bye in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs. The Coyotes will play No. 16 Palos Verdes, 61-42 winners over Hueneme, in the second round.

No. 13 Agoura survived a first-round scare and beat Diamond Ranch by one point, 67-66. The Chargers will play fifth-seeded Torrance in the second round.

Only a couple of upsets in the first round. El Modena beat sixth-seeded Rancho Alamitos and Yorba Linda beat 10th-seeded Temple City.

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The first round of the Southern Section boys' basketball playoffs began Wednesday, and in Orange County, there were a few seeded teams that held form, and two underdogs from the Century League that showed their bite.

Leading the upsets was El Modena (9-18), which finished last in the Century League but took down sixth-seeded Rancho Alamitos (20-5), the champion of the Garden Grove League, 55-54. Austin Payne scored 18 points and Luke Volk 10 as the Vanguards overcame a 43-39 deficit heading into the fourth quarter of the 3AA contest.

In Division 3AAA, Brea Olinda (16-12), an at-large team that finished fifth in the seven-team Century League, scored a 60-50 victory at 10th-seeded Woodbridge (19-8) as Adam Williams scored 13 and Michael Turner 10. Brea pulled away with about three minutes remaining and the score tied at 48-48.

Several county teams that were favored held serve, including No. 5 Tustin, which defeated Sonora, 65-48, and No. 6 Esperanza, which defeated Covina South Hills, 73-47.

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Anaheim Canyon has been one of the better programs in Orange County for years, but the Comanches had never reached a Southern Section championship game.

That will change.

Canyon launched an aerial assault that has been rarely seen in the semifinals. The Comanches hit six home runs and powered to a 13-5 victory in Division 1 over fourth-seeded Los Alamitos.

Los Alamitos (27-4-1) had been ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 5 in the nation by ESPN Rise.

Canyon (23-7) will play third-seeded Corona Santiago (27-5) in the Division 1 finals either Friday or Saturday at Col. Bill Barber Park in Irvine.

Canyon scored eight runs in the second inning against freshman pitcher Andie Formby (23-4). She had allowed only three runs in the first three playoff games.

Lauren Young, Kelly Stowe and Taylor Swearingen homered in the big inning, which gave Canyon an 8-1 advantage.

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Here's a look at the Southern Section softball semifinals that include Orange County teams:


No. 4 Los Alamitos at Anaheim Canyon, Tuesday, 3:15 p.m.

This might be Canyon's year. In the past, the Comanches have had high expectations and underperformed for various reasons. This year, they were under the radar but seem to be peaking at the right time. They have never reached a section final before, but in four playoff games -- including a wild card game -- the state's 11th-ranked team has not scored fewer than five runs. That's been enough for Tennessee-bound pitcher Cheyanne Tarango. Los Alamitos, ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 5 in the nation, has had an even easier time of it: The Griffins haven't won by fewer than five runs in the playoffs.

No. 3 Corona Santiago at El Modena, Tuesday, 3:15 p.m.

El Modena's stud pitcher, Haylie Wagner, and Santiago's stud catcher, Lauren Sweet, are both headed to Michigan in the fall. Bragging rights are on the line. Both these teams are survivors. Santiago, ranked No. 18 in the nation by ESPN Rise, defeated Marina in eight innings, 4-3, in the quarterfinals. El Modena, despite giving up six runs in the seventh inning, outlasted second-seeded Etiwanda in the second round, and then scored twice in the seventh to hold off Valencia, 5-4.

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

May, 30, 2011


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.


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.


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The Valencia softball looked like it was in a good position to advance to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.

The Vikings were home for their quarterfinal game against El Modena. Their starting pitching, Carly Mortensen, was coming off an impressive 1-0 shutout over Vista Murrieta. El Modena played Wednesday and beat second-seeded Etiwanda, 12-11, shutting down a six-run, seventh-inning rally by Etiwanda to advance.

Mortensen, who has been nursing an arm injury, wasn’t nearly as effective against El Modena and Valencia lost, 5-4, in the quarterfinals.

It was the third time this season that Valencia and El Modena have played. Valencia won the previous two games, including in the Tournament of Champions in Arizona.

El Modena rallied for two runs in the seventh inning of Thursday’s CIF quarterfinal game to take the lead and eliminateValencia from the playoffs.

Mortensen gave up all five runs on 10 hits. She had eight strikeouts and walked three. By comparison, against Vista Murrieta, she tossed a three-hitter and struck out nine.

Karlie Habitz gave Valencia an early lead with an RBI single in the first inning. But El Modena took a 3-1 lead into the third inning off back-to-back home runs by Victoria Zamora and Devin Vanderhoff.

Valencia rallied for three runs in the third. Missy Fundora capped the three-run rally with a two-run double.

Vanderhoff and Sam Mazza each came through with RBI singles in the seventh inning to knock Mortensen out of the game.

El Modena advances to the semifinals and will face Corona Santiago, the third-seeded team in the playoffs, in the semifinals on Tuesday.

LA North and OC: El Modena upends West Ranch

May, 18, 2011

STEVENSON RANCH -- The El Modena baseball team scored two gift runs in the first inning and won its wild-card game, 5-3, over West Ranch in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs at West Ranch High School on Tuesday.

El Modena went up 3-0 in the second inning on an RBI single by Zach Nehrir. He scored a run in the first inning.

West Ranch cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning. Josh Heinz knocked in the first run with a sacrifice fly. Aaron Watkins followed with an RBI single.

El Modena scored two more runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 5-2 lead. Daniel Guerrero and Jared Moffat came up with back-to-back RBI singles.

Guerrero started the game for El Modena. He went 4 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on six hits. He struck out one and walked two.

West Ranch mounted a seventh-inning rally to make things interesting.

Matt Blake drove in Michael Alvarez with a two-out, RBI double to cut the lead, 5-3. Then JC Cloney, who was 2-for-3 with two doubles and scored a run, walked to put runners at first and third.

But Heinz bounced back to the pitcher to end the game.

El Modena moves on to play Lakewood in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs on Friday.

Here’s a look at the other wild-card games:

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LA North: CIF Southern Section baseball playoff pairings

May, 16, 2011
The CIF Southern Section baseball playoffs begin Tuesday with wild-card games. Edison of Huntington Beach earned the top seed in the Division I bracket. Mater Dei of Santa Ana is the second seed. Vista Murrieta is No. 3 and JSerra is No. 4.

Here’s a look at some of the key Division I wild-card matchups of teams in the LA North region:

Wild-card games, Tuesday
El Modena (15-13) at West Ranch (15-10-1)
Senior catcher Chris Barnett leads El Modena in hitting (.380) and doubles (13). He is second on the team with 15 RBIs. The team has hit two home runs all season. Junior first baseman JC Cloney leads West Ranch with four home runs and is second on the team with 15 RBIs. He is hitting .307. Junior Josh Heinz is hitting .362 and leads the team with 16 RBIs.

Millikan (13-16) at Moorpark (17-10)
Millikan junior Jordan Ybarra is hitting .402 and has driven in 33 runs in 29 games. He has 10 doubles, two home runs and scored 24 runs. Moorpark finished in fourth place in the Marmonte League with an 8-6 record. The Musketeers went 6-4 in their last 10 games including wins over Foothill and San Luis Obispo in the San Luis Obispo tournament.

Royal (19-8) at Villa Park (16-13)
Royal junior Justin Greco leads the team with four home runs and 34 RBIs in 27 games. He is hitting .316. Villa Park’s Wyatt Strahan leads the team with three home runs. He has 12 RBIs and is hitting .306. He is also 6-3 with a 1.53 ERA and 45 strikeouts on the mound.

Oxnard Pacifica (12-12) at Norco (18-8)
Pacifica junior Richard Vasquez leads the team with a .424 batting average. Senior outfielder Eric Contreras leads Pacifica with 14 RBIs and is hitting .319. Norco finished in a tie for second place in the Big VIII League with a 9-5 record. The Cougars went 7-3 in their last 10 games of the season and won three in a row against Centennial, Riverside Poly and Corona to close out the regular season.

First round, Friday
Tesoro (18-13) at Westlake (19-8)
Oxnard (20-6) at Dana Hills (17-13-1)
Newbury Park (18-9) at Camarillo (21-4-1)
Los Alamitos (12-13-1) at Hart (20-6)

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