Los Angeles Preps: Palos Verdes Peninsula

Inland Empire: Winners and losers from Thursday's SoCal Regionals

March, 11, 2011
3/11/11
4:38
PM PT
Looking back, even the losses don’t seem so bad anymore.

The Fontana Summit boys’ basketball team never quite received the respect it deserved this season, mainly due to its lukewarm 10-6 start to the season.

The SkyHawks were seeded No. 6 in the Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs and marched into the semifinals. They were awarded an at-large berth into the Southern California Regional Division 2 playoffs and were seeded 10th.

After winning its opener in overtime, Summit scored its biggest upset of the season Thursday night, traveling to second-seeded Ventura and dominating from start to finish in the 66-45 victory. Ventura won the Division 2AA title last weekend.

Summit will meet Palos Verdes Peninsula in Saturday’s semifinals. Thanks to a couple of other upsets on the same side of the bracket, the SkyHawks are seeded higher than the Panthers, giving them home-court advantage. After traveling to Harbor City for their first-round game Tuesday, then to Ventura less than 48 hours later, the SkyHawks should appreciate the opportunity to play in their own gym.

Summit hasn’t lost at home this season. All of their defeats occurred during pre-league tournaments and showcases. Two defeats came against Etiwanda, a Southern Section Division 1AA semifinalist, another to Division 1AA finalist Corona Centennial and one to San Diego Section Division I champion Carlsbad La Costa Canyon.

Eagles can’t get past Jackrabbits...again

Etiwanda coach Dave Kleckner will spend another offseason seeing everything in green and gold, but it won’t be the good kind.

Those are the school colors of Long Beach Poly, which ended the Eagles' season for the second consecutive year with a 66-63 victory Thursday night in a Division 1 regional quarterfinal at Long Beach City College.

During the last two postseasons, Etiwanda has played the Jackrabbits four times and lost three. The Eagles made a valiant comeback from 14 points down at the start of the fourth quarter and had a chance to tie on Jordan Daniels' last-second 3-point attempt.

Byron Wesley scored 18 points in his last game for Etiwanda before heading off to USC. Tyler LaCour pitched in 17.

Long Beach Poly moves on to play Mater Dei on Saturday at Long Beach City College beginning at 7 p.m. In the other Division 1 semifinal, second-seeded Corona Centennial will host third-seeded Woodland Hills Taft at 5 p.m. at Eastvale Roosevelt High.

For the Eagles, it’s back to the drawing board. They graduate their top five scorers in Wesley, Daniels, LaCour, Troy Fiawoo and Evan Jenkins. Look for them to rebuild around their next star, freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin.

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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.

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