Los Angeles Preps: Joe Stein

LA North: Loyola is looking to make a statement

March, 7, 2011
This is it. Finally, at long last, the time has come to separate the men from the boys with regards to the overall perception of the Los Angeles Loyola High prep basketball program.

The Cubs are about to embark on play in the Southern California Regional playoffs, where they will be competing at the toughest of levels, Division I, with the state's top teams.

The first test comes on Tuesday night against visiting San Diego Torrey Pines at 7 p.m. A victory, of course, would be a statement-maker and perhaps serve as proof that Loyola deserves to be mentioned among the Southland's best after competing in Division II all season long.

“I think we're considered, maybe, a notch below some of the big-time programs around here,'' Cubs coach Jamal Adams said. “But here we go, here is our chance, our opportunity to be recognized as one of the top teams in Los Angeles, in the state, and maybe, in the nation.

“Would we like to raise out profile? Yes, most definitely. Would we like to be more high-regarded and respected? Yes, of course. We have a major mental challenge ahead of us, we know that. But we're ready, that's the good part about this whole situation. We're pumped up.''

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LA North and Orange County: Loyola 74, Capistrano Valley 58

March, 5, 2011
ANAHEIM -- This one was over seemingly before it started.

Joe Stein made sure of it. So did his teammate Julian Harrell.

The talented tandem from Los Angeles Loyola High played well from the opening whistle of Saturday's Southern Section Division 1A boys' basketball title game until the final buzzer sounded in a 74-58 victory over Capistrano Valley at Anaheim Convention Center.

“Those two guys, Joe and Julian, they are about as good as it gets,'' Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “We're talking about competitive kids who don't like to lose.''


That much was apparent from the beginning as Stein scored seven points in the first quarter for the top-seeded Cubs (24-5). The senior was not finished, far from it. He added another five points in the second quarter to give Loyola a 39-22 advantage at intermission.

“We had some good spacing out on the floor and that opened things up for me,'' Stein said. “If I get a good look at the basket, I'm going to knock down shots.''

The Cougars (24-7) limited Stein's effectiveness in the second half. Harrell, however, proved to be a problem for Capo in his own right, particularly in the third quarter. He scored on a variety of driving layups and free throws to help maintain a 14-point lead.

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Inland Empire and LA South: Loyola 90, Redlands East Valley 60

February, 25, 2011

LOS ANGELES — After running out of luck in the semifinals of the Southern Section boys’ basketball playoffs the last three seasons, Los Angeles Loyola left nothing to chance Friday night against Redlands East Valley.

The top-seeded Cubs jumped all over No. 5 REV in the first half of the Division 1A game at Cal State Los Angeles, allowing them to enjoy the view down the stretch in the 90-60 victory.

Loyola (23-5) will play third-seeded Capistrano Valley in the championship game March 5 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Joe Stein, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, finished with 23 points for the Cubs, including 13 in the first half, and teammate Julian Harrell, a 6-6 junior forward, totaled 10 of his 18 points in the opening half.

Loyola opened up a 28-14 lead after the first quarter and stretched it to 51-29 by halftime. The Cubs were the better team, but they didn't take anything for granted at the opening tip.

“We came out, brought it to them from the beginning of the game, showed them we were a better team,” Stein said. “We were more physical, we had better shooters. They had an advantage with the height inside, but we just played more physical than them and brought it to them in the first half. They were just too tired in the second half.”

The Wildcats (25-6) featured 6-9 senior center Paulin Mpawe, who signed with Pepperdine. He scored 13 points, just one below his average but missed several in-close shots. The Cubs did a much better job defending REV’s leading scorer, senior guard Terrell Todd, who came in averaging 20.7 points but was limited to 10.

The only bright spot was senior forward Mark Esho, who scored a team-high 14 points, more than double his season average. That was little consolation for Esho, however.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “We’re the starting five, we should be out there dominating. We didn’t play to our potential, but they played a good game. They played like the top-seeded team.”

REV coach Bill Berich also felt blindsided by the Cubs but admitted they were simply the stronger team.

“You would have liked to have been in a position to compete,” he said. ”I think if we play them five times, I don’t know if we win one.”

Berich took solace that the Wildcats played Loyola fairly even in the second half. Berich said he overheard some Loyola players say the Wildcats gave up during the game, but he didn’t see it that way.

“It wasn’t like we rolled over and quit,” he said. “I don’t think we played great but I thought we played the whole game. I was happy with that.”

LA North and LA South: No. 8 Loyola 71, No. 7 Harvard-Westlake 51

February, 4, 2011
Plain and simple, there probably is no boys' basketball program around that is as hot as Loyola right about now.

North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake would most likely attest to that after running into the Cubs on Friday night as Loyola walked away with a 71-51 victory in a game that figures to shake up the Mission League standings.

“Honestly, this team is growing and becoming stronger with each and every game we play,'' Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “They stand together and fight, they scrap, they claw their way to wins. You know what, that has been a recipe for success.''

The Wolverines (21-3, 9-1), No. 7 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 rankings, entered the showdown against their longtime league rival in first place. They were riding an impressive 18-game winning streak, so confidence was not lacking.

However, none of that mattered to the second-place Cubs (19-5, 9-2), ranked No. 8 in the ESPNLA rankings. They appeared to be determined from the start.

The Cubs jumped out to a 19-12 lead by the end of the first quarter. They did not let up in the second quarter thereafter as Joe Stein knocked down a number of shots from out on the perimeter to help guide Loyola to a 15-point advantage at the break.

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Inland Empire: Etiwanda to face Loyola in tournament final

December, 30, 2010
The Etiwanda boys’ basketball team will try for its 14th consecutive victory to start the season Thursday night when it plays Los Angeles Loyola in the championship game of the Westlake Village Oaks Christian tournament.

The Eagles knocked off Sacramento, 68-54, in a semifinal Wednesday night. USC-bound forward Byron Wesley scored 17 points and Brandon Townes (11), Jordan Daniels (11) and Troy Fiawoo(10) also scored in double figures for Etiwanda.

Loyola is led by 6-5 junior small forward Julian Harrell and 6-5 senior wing Joe Stein.

Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Over at the Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines High, Corona Centennial will play in Thursday’s fifth-place game in the featured National Division after upsetting Woodland Hills Taft, 61-58, on Wednesday. Taft began the tournament ranked second in the state and 21st in the nation by ESPN RISE.

Centennial will take on another City Section power, Westchester, at 3:30 p.m.

In the Senator’s Division, Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos reached the championship game with a 68-59 victory Wednesday against Lakewood Mayfair. The Grizzlies will meet El Cerrito in Thursday’s final at 8:15 p.m. at San Diego Cathedral Catholic High.