Los Angeles Preps: Rancho Cucamonga girls basketball team

Inland Empire: Winners and losers from SoCal Regional openers

March, 9, 2011
Before the Etiwanda boys’ basketball team could prepare for the rematch, the Eagles had to take care of the mismatch.

They marched to Fresno on Tuesday and knocked off Central Section champion Bullard, 69-49, setting up a second-round game Thursday at Long Beach Poly.

Etiwanda lost to the Jackrabbits by seven points last week in a Southern Section Division 1AA semifinal. A year ago, the Eagles beat Poly in the section semifinals, only to lose in regional playoff rematch.

Byron Wesley led the way against Bullard, totaling 18 points and 11 rebounds.

It’s the fifth straight season the Central Section Division 1 champion has lost to a visiting team from Southern California in the regional opener.

Summit climbs over Narbonne

The Fontana Summit boys’ basketball team returned from 10 days off to win its Southern California Regional Division 2 first-round game Tuesday night, taking down host Harbor City Narbonne in overtime, 72-70.

The seventh-seeded SkyHawks fell behind by 11 points in the first half but made up the deficit behind 22 points from senior point guard Montigo Alford. Still, they were on the verge of falling behind with 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation after Shailo Leafa was fouled while making a lay up. He missed the free throw, however, and the game went to overtime.

Summit (25-8) took the lead for good when 6-6 senior forward Dorian Cason made one of two free throws with 26.6 seconds remaining. Narbonne, which won the City Section Division 2 title Saturday, then missed their final three field-goal attempts.

The SkyHawks will head back on the road Thursday, traveling to second-seeded Ventura for a second-round game.

Palm Springs cooled off

The Palm Springs boys’ basketball team ran into a hot team, and an even hotter player.

The Indians couldn’t stop Chatsworth and sharp-shooting guard Derrick Hector, who made eight of nine three-point attempts and scored 30 points in the 74-66 victory at Chatsworth High.

In the City Section Division 3 championship game Saturday, Hector scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half to lift the Chancellors to a 66-61 victory against L.A. Garfield.

Palm Springs, playing its first state playoff game in school history, received 21 points and nine rebounds from 6-9 center Dillon Floyd, 20 points from Marcus Hall and 11 from Thaddeus Gray.

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Inland Empire: Five things from the (long) weekend

January, 18, 2011
1. The Victorville Victor Valley boys’ basketball team came down the hill Saturday and took on host Villa Park in a nonleague game. The Jackrabbits came in favored but still pulled off a stunner, rallying from 13 points down with four minutes remaining to win, 75-73. Isaiah Kepley converted a three-point play with 34 seconds remaining to tie the score, 73-73. The Jackrabbits then forced a turnover and Zeke DeBlase scored a layup with 3.4 seconds left for the winning margin. Victor Valley (15-3) entered last week ranked No. 5 in Southern Section Division 2AA, Villa Park was No. 7.

2. The Etiwanda boys’ basketball team is still on track to better its 23-0 start from three years ago. The Eagles (18-0, 3-0) cleared a couple of major hurdles over the long weekend, defeating host Upland, 53-40, in a Baseline League game Friday night, then scoring with 9.9 seconds remaining Monday to defeat Ventura, 52-51, at the Martin Luther King Shootout at Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos. Etiwanda travels to Los Osos (12-5, 2-1) for a league game Friday, then plays Ontario Colony (10-7, 4-0 in the Mt. Baldy League) on Saturday at the Azusa Pacific Shootout.

3. Chino Hills had never lost to La Verne Damien until Friday night. However, the Huskies (15-4, 1-1) couldn’t control Damien in transition, in particular 6-foot-7 forward Chris Reyes, and lost the Sierra League game, 59-50, on their home floor. The victory ended a six -game winning streak against the Spartans (15-1, 2-0). Jon Richman scored 15 points to lead Chino Hills, which defeated Rancho Cucamonga at the Los Osos showcase and returns to action Wednesday against visiting West Covina South Hills.

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Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

January, 10, 2011
1. The Rancho Cucamonga girls’ basketball team ended Etiwanda’s 66-game Baseline League winning streak Friday night, scoring a 48-39 victory at Rancho Cucamonga. The Eagles were playing without leading scorer Jada Blackwell, who reportedly had pneumonia, and guard Tatiana Parish, who had strep throat. Briana Baker scored 17 points to lead the Cougars and center Kourtney Ainsworth had 10. The streak dated back seven years.

2. Another girls’ team to watch is Rialto. The Knights improved to 15-2 on the season and 3-0 in the San Andreas League with 93-21 victory Friday night against Rialto Carter (5-10, 3-1). Janae Sharpe finished with 44 points, 13 assists and 15 steals, and Danae Williams, who came in second in the state in rebounding at 18.3 a game, had 22 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks for Rialto.

3. Add another name to the lost of top boys’ basketball players in the Baseline League. Royal Mathews, a 6-2 senior guard, scored 34 points Friday night in a 77-64 loss to Etiwanda in the league opener. Mathews scored 43 points earlier this season in a 95-91 victory against Vista Murrieta. The league already includes last season's co-players of the year, Byron Wesley of Etiwanda and John Gilliam of Upland.

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