Los Angeles Preps: Palm Springs

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, 12, 2012
2/12/12
11:53
PM PT
None of the top 10 teams dropped a game last week, leaving things intact heading into the Southern Section playoffs beginning Friday.

1. (1) Etiwanda, 26-1: Dominique Walker, a 6-3 senior guard, scored a career-high 19 points Thursday night in a 70-64 victory against Rancho Cucamonga in a Baseline League finale. Next: Friday vs. San Clemente in a Division 1AA first-round game.

2. (2) Eisenhower, 18-7: There might be some debate which is the second-best team in the Inland Empire but there’s no arguing who’s the best team in the Citrus Belt League after the Eagles completed their third consecutive undefeated run. Next: Friday vs. Montebello in a Division 1AA first-round game.

3. (3) Elsinore, 24-3: After their close call against Perris the week before, the Tigers completed their third-straight undefeated run through Sunbelt League play with one-sided victories against Heritage and Paloma Valley. Next: Friday vs. Patriot in a Division 2A first-round game.

4. (4) Murrieta Valley, 23-2: The Nighthawks earned payback against Vista Murrieta with a 71-48 victory Tuesday and also clinched their second consecutive outright Southwestern League title. Vista Murrieta handed Murrieta Valley its only blemish in league play with a 13-point win Jan. 19. Next: Friday vs. Chino in a Division 2A first-round game.

5. (5) J.W. North, 21-5: The Huskies couldn’t beat Riverside Poly in Big VIII League play but beat everyone else en route to a 12-2 record and first place in the Inland Empire’s toughest league. Poly finished second at 9-5. Next: Friday vs. Simi Valley in a Division 2AA first-round game.

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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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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 Hoops Showdown schedule

January, 15, 2012
1/15/12
10:05
PM PT
Los Angeles Price and Playa del Rey St. Bernard will host all-day showcases on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The schedules:

At Price High School (7901 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles)

12:30 p.m. - Campbell Hall vs. Ribet Academy
2:00 p.m. - Dominguez vs. Dorsey
3:30 p.m. - Providence vs. Morningside
5:00 p.m. - Palm Springs vs. Price
6:30 p.m. - Mayfair vs. Washington Prep
8:00 p.m. - Santa Monica vs. Gardena Serra

At St. Bernard High School (9100 Falmouth Ave., Playa Del Rey)

11:00 a.m. - Perris vs. Fremont
12:30 p.m. - Elsinore vs. Leuzinger
2:00 p.m. - Renaissance Academy vs. View Park
3:30 p.m. - LACES vs. St. Monica
5:00 p.m. - Beverly Hills vs. Brentwood
6:30 p.m. - Culver City vs. St. Bernard
Looking to see some good basketball and help a good cause at the same time? Consider heading over to Villa Park for the Coaches vs. Cancer Showcase.

The only team that appears in the ESPNLA top 20 is Mission Viejo, which appears in the big mismatch of the day; the Diablos, winners of 17 in a row, face Victorville Victor Valley, which has lost 16 in a row.

Remember, it's for a good cause. The event raises money for the Leukemia Society, St. Joseph Cancer Center, and Hoag Hospital Cancer Center.

Here's the schedule for games on Saturday.
  • Huntington Beach Edison (15-3) vs. Redondo (7-8), 2 p.m.
  • Anaheim Canyon (14-4) vs. Huntington Beach (10-8), 3:30 p.m.
  • Palm Springs (9-5) vs. Cerritos Gahr (11-6), 5 p.m.
  • Villa Park (10-8) vs. Los Alamitos (9-9), 6:30 p.m.
  • Victor Valley (1-16) vs. Mission Viejo (17-1), 8 p.m.
DESERT VALLEY LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – La Quinta @ Palm Springs; Xavier Prep @ Cathedral City; Indio # Palm Desert. Friday – Coachella Valley @ Palm Desert.

Last year’s finish: Palm Springs (12-0); Palm Desert (10-2); La Quinta (7-5); Indio (7-5); Cathedral City (3-9); Xavier Prep (3-9); Coachella Valley (0-12).

Players to watch: Quintin Taylor (Palm Springs), 6-2, Jr., G; Nick King (Palm Springs), 6-1, Sr., G; Xavier Thomas (Indio), 6-4, Sr., F; Abram Montoya (Indio), 6-2, Sr., G; Jonathan Serven (Palm Desert); 6-3, Sr., G; Robert Romero (Palm Desert), 6-5, Sr., F; Mike Releford (Cathedral City), 5-10, Sr., G; Taylor Pope (La Quinta), 6-0, Sr., G; Nathan Hill (La Quinta), 6-4, Jr., G; Creighton Chaney (Xavier Prep), 6-0, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Palm Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Cathedral City, Xavier Prep, Coachella Valley.

INLAND VALLEY LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – Arlington @ Moreno Valley; La Sierra @ Ramona; Canyon Springs @ Rancho Verde; Vista del Lago @ Valley View.

Last year’s finish: Rancho Verde (11-3); Canyon Springs (11-3); Arlington (8-6); Ramona (8-6); Valley View (7-7); Vista del Lago (5-9); La Sierra (3-11); Moreno Valley (3-11).

Players to watch: Jordan Grace (Rancho Verde), 6-2, Sr., G; Kendall Schmidt (Rancho Verde), 6-0, Sr., G; Lance Jones (Rancho Verde), 6-3, Jr., F; Rajshah Head (Canyon Springs), 6-0, Sr., G; Joseph Esthers (Valley View), 5-10, Sr., G; Devonte Klines (Valley View), 5-11, So., G; Stephen Scroggins (Moreno Valley), 5-11, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Rancho Verde, Canyon Springs, Valley View, Arlington, Vista del Lago, Ramona, La Sierra, Moreno Valley.

SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – San Bernardino @ Rialto, Arroyo Valley @ Colton, Cajon @ Pacific. Saturday – Rialto @ Carter. Monday – Arroyo Valley @ San Bernardino.

Last year’s finish: San Bernardino (14-0); Cajon (11-3); Rialto (9-5); Arroyo Valley (9-5); Colton (5-9); San Gorgonio (4-10); Carter (3-11); Pacific (1-13).

Players to watch: Khleem Perkins (San Bernardino), 6-3, Jr., G; Javone Rabon (San Bernardino), 6-4, Sr., F; Jamie Jenkins (San Bernardino), 5-8, Sr., G; Richie Ragoo (Colton), 5-11, Sr., G; Devin Jones (Cajon), 6-0, Sr., G; Stephen Marshall (Arroyo Valley), Sr., G; Antonio Clemmons (Pacific), 6-0, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: San Bernardino, Cajon, Arroyo Valley, Rialto, Colton, Pacific, San Gorgonio, Carter.

Next up: Big VIII, Mojave River and Mt. Baldy leagues (open league play Wednesday).

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.: Not all fairways and greens in Palm Springs

December, 8, 2011
12/08/11
7:49
PM PT
Anyone who has picked up a travel brochure or golf bag is likely familiar with Palm Springs. For many Southern California residents and snowbirds from the North, the sun-splashed community is almost like a second home.

But among the pristine fairways and sparkling swimming pools is a pretty successful high school football program. The Indians have won 23 consecutive home games heading into their showdown Friday night against visiting Rancho Verde in the Central Division championship game.

“We have a lot of good things going on in the desert and people just don’t realize that,” said Palm Springs coach Steve Fabian. “They think of it as more of a resort town.”

Don’t feel bad for the Indians. They have a loyal fan base that resides in town and shows up for games in droves. Fabian said the school is bringing in extra bleachers to accommodate both the home and visiting crowds.

Palm Springs officials have experience hosting championship games. This will be the fourth at the on-campus stadium in the last 13 years. They won the Eastern Division title in 2009 for the program’s only section title in the school’s 73-year history.

“We haven’t lost a home game in four years,” Fabian said. “That’s part of the pride.”

The run is impressive considering Fabian faces challenges unlike most Southland teams. Temperatures can approach 120 degrees when practice begins in August. Two years ago, it was 107 at kickoff for the season opener against Palm Desert. The two Desert Valley League schools have been forced to open the season against each other the last two years because they can’t find an opponent willing to travel out to the desert that time of year.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40s for Friday night’s game.

“Almost an 80-degree difference,” Fabian said with a laugh. “It’s amazing when we think about it, but we try not to.”

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Preview: Rancho Verde at Palm Springs

December, 7, 2011
12/07/11
8:44
PM PT
Top-seeded Rancho Verde is set to take on No. 2 Palm Springs in the CIF-Southern Section Central Division championship game Friday night at Palm Springs High. It’s the only matchup this weekend of top-seeded and undefeated teams. Here’s what to look for:

How they got here:

Rancho Verde (13-0) – defeated Don Lugo (44-0), San Gorgonio (44-28) and Colony (42-14).

Palm Springs (13-0) – defeated Rialto (35-0), Chino (42-14) and Carter (17-13).

Recent championship history:

Rancho Verde – The top-seeded Mustangs were upset by Colton in last season’s Central Division final, 17-7.

Palm Springs – The Indians won the 2009 Eastern Division title, 24-14, against Serrano, lost the 2005 Division VIII championship, 42-30, against Ridgecrest Burroughs, and the 2004 title against Serrano, 25-18.

Players to watch:

Rancho Verde – Demorea Stringfellow is a junior wide receiver for the Mustangs who came into this season with a UCLA offer already on his resume. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound speedster is a favorite target of quarterback Carlos Hernandez and can turn a short pass into a long touchdown in the blink of an eye.

Palm Springs – Nick King is a three-sport star for the Indians who has been making plays on both sides of the ball the last three seasons. He has six interceptions this fall to give him 12 for his career On offense, he’s the team’s No. 1 ball carrier and a primary target out of the backfield as a receiver. He returns punts pretty well too.

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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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ESPNLA prep football Top 25

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
11:40
PM PT
LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Top-ranked Westlake rolled through Thousand Oaks to clinch its spot in the Northern Division championship game. Four new teams enter the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings this week, led by Carson, which upset top-seeded San Pedro in the City Section Division I semifinals. The Colts return to the title game after losing to Crenshaw last year. Ocean League champion Santa Monica lost to league rival Culver City -- the surprise of the playoffs -- and fell out. Our rankings heading into the championship round:

1. Westlake (13-0)
Quarterback Justin Moore and tailback Dashon Hunt encountered no problems, leading the Warriors to their largest margin of victory since September. Last week: Beat Thousand Oaks, 62-0. Next: Northern Division championship vs. Oaks Christian, Friday.

2. Corona Centennial (12-1)
What the 5-foot-5 Romello Goodman lacks in size he makes up for in speed. The tailback rushed for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns to send the Huskies to another title game. Last week: Beat Rancho Cucamonga, 41-21. Next: Inland Division championship vs. Vista Murrieta, Friday.

3. Vista Murrieta (8-5)#
All units contributed Friday, with the Broncos getting scores on offense, defense and special teams. The versatile Su'a Cravens, an offensive hero the previous week, had four sacks. Last week: Beat Upland, 39-19. Next: Inland Division championship vs. Corona Centennial, Friday.

4. Santa Margarita (11-2)
Some job second-year coach Harry Welch has done. Quarterback Johnny Stanton capped the game-winning 70-yard drive with a late one-yard touchdown run. Last week: Beat Mission Viejo, 21-20. Next: Pac-5 Division championship vs. San Clemente at Angel Stadium, Saturday.

5. Oaks Christian (11-2)
The Lions erased a 10-point deficit to punch their ticket to the final. Oaks Christian captured the Northern Division crown last year with a one-point win over Westlake. Last week: Beat St. Bonaventure, 27-24. Next: Northern Division championship vs. Westlake, Friday.

6. San Clemente (12-1)
Senior Christian Tober scored three touchdowns Friday -- each of at least 70 yards -- helping the Tritons reach their first final since 1979. Last week: Beat Tesoro, 51-16. Next: Pac-5 Division championship vs. Santa Margarita at Angel Stadium, Saturday.

7. Narbonne (10-3)
The Gauchos made easy work of a very good defense to secure a spot in the title game for the third time in four years. Quarterback Troy Williams is hungry. Last week: Beat Dorsey, 41-7. Next: City Section Division I championship vs. Carson at East L.A. College, Friday.

8. Mission Viejo (10-3)*
A tough way for the Diablos to go out. The defense had a go-ahead 85-yard touchdown on a recovered fumble but couldn't make a stop in the final minutes. Quarterback Alex Bridgford wasn't able to manufacture the game-winning drive. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 21-20.

9. Upland (12-1)*
It took a while, but the previously unbeaten Highlanders finally met their match. They were within two points at the break but numerous mistakes turned costly in the second half. Receiver Kenny Lawler won't soon be forgotten, though. Last week: Lost to Vista Murrieta, 39-18.

10. St. Bonaventure (10-3)*
The Seraphs at one point led by 10 despite the absence of quarterback Marc Evans, who did not play because of a shoulder injury. They got the ball back in the waning seconds but time ran out on the final punt return. Last week: Lost to Oaks Christian, 27-24.

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I.E.: The Top 10

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
11:15
PM PT
The finish line is near for the 2011 high school football season. The cream has risen to the top heading into the Southern Section finals this weekend, and the Inland Empire will be well represented in the three most high-profile divisions. Here’s another look at the top teams in the region.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 12-1 – After rushing for more than 300 yards in the first two rounds of the Inland Division playoffs, Romello Goodman was held to 248 in a 41-21 semifinal victory Friday night against Rancho Cucamonga at Los Osos High. Next: At Vista Murrieta, Friday.

2. (3) Vista Murrieta, 8-5 – The third-seeded Broncos wilted second-seeded Upland with a relentless pass rush and big plays on offense and special teams, adding up to a 39-18 victory Friday night in the other Inland Division semifinal at Vista Murrieta. Next: vs. Centennial, Friday.

3. (2) Upland, 12-1 – The Highlanders ran into an opponent that wouldn’t budge on defense and wasn’t easy to take down with a ball in their hands. Still, they had a season to remember.

4. (4) Rancho Cucamonga, 11-2 – The Cougars did all they could to stop Centennial but simply didn’t have enough bodies. They should have one of the region's more stout defenses next season, however.

5. (5) Redlands East Valley, 11-1 – If the Inland Division gets a state bowl berth over the Pac-5 next week, they can thank the Wildcats for their regular-season victory against Mission Viejo.

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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.

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