Los Angeles Preps: Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos

I.E.: Summit-Etiwanda highlights opening week

August, 31, 2011
Through out this season, ESPNLA plans to highlight the Inland Empire's top matchups of the week, whether it's two undefeated teams going head to head in league play, a beefy offensive line against a swarming defensive front, or an offseason transfer meeting up against his former team. And what's a good preview without a prediction?

Here's what to look for this weekend.


Fontana Summit vs. Etiwanda at Fontana A.B. Miller HS, Friday (7 p.m.) -- One of the top passers in the Southern Section last season goes up against one of the best ball hawks. Larry Cutbirth of Etiwanda threw for 2,996 yards and 32 touchdowns last season, both stats among the top 10 in the state’s biggest section. He'll have to contend with Boise State-bound senior corner Donte Deayon, who hauled in 10 interceptions as a junior, which tied for second in the section. The game was expected to mark the long-awaited return of Etiwanda senior linebacker Chandler Scott, who sat out last season because of a knee injury after leading the Baseline League in tackles as a sophomore, but he suffered another knee injury over the summer and is expected to miss the first two games.

Prediction: Summit 26, Etiwanda 21.


San Bernardino Cajon at Temecula Chaparral, Friday (7 p.m.) -- Chaparral would very much like to spring from the blocks and start the season on a positive note for new coach Ryan Tukua. The matchup to watch here is also quarterback vs. cornerback. Matt Morin returns behind center for Chaparral and the San Diego State-bound left-hander will be trying to beat a Cajon secondary that includes Damontae Kazee, who has committed to Washington but has a brother, Walter, who plays running back for San Diego State. Kazee is also Cajon’s biggest offensive threat at receiver, and he’ll face a defense led by Chaparral strong safety C.J. Dozier, who has committed to Arizona State.

Prediction: Chaparral 20, Cajon 17.

Pomona Diamond Ranch at Chino, Friday (7 p.m.) -- If nothing else, this game should be interesting to watch from a coaching perspective. Chino’s balanced offense will stare down a defense coached by former Riverside North, USC and NFL defensive end Chris Claiborne, in his first season as defensive coordinator at Diamond Ranch. He'll have to find a way to stop Chino quarterback Sean Molles, who threw for 2,343 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, and running back Xavier Browne, who totaled 1,275 yards and 20 touchdowns. Claiborne was defensive coordinator the last two seasons at Corona High, where he developed defensive end DeVante Wilson, now at USC.

Prediction: Chino 28, Diamond Ranch 10.

La Quinta at Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, Friday (7 p.m.) -- Taylor Pope might have to be a one-man band for La Quinta. The senior quarterback is the lone returning all-Desert Valley League selection from last season’s team, and one of the key pieces on defense and special teams for the Blackhawks. Los Osos missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2004 and returns just eight starters, but the Grizzlies have one of the area's better offensive guards to lean on in 6-4, 280-pound senior Dylan La Frenz.

Prediction: La Quinta 14, Los Osos 13.

Inland Empire: Key first-round softball games

May, 19, 2011

Division 1

Mater Dei at Riverside Poly, Thursday, 2:30 p.m.

These teams met in a season-opening tournament in Bullhead, Ariz. and Mater Dei won, 10-1. The Bears didn’t finish off the regular season too well either, losing to Corona Santiago, 14-5, to miss out on a share of the Big VIII League title. The playoffs haven't gone well for Mater Dei lately. The Monarchs haven't advanced past the second round since 2005.

Yucaipa at Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, Thursday, 3;15 p.m.

Los Osos proved it can play with any team in Division 1 by defeating second-seeded Etiwanda, 1-0, in a Baseline League game last week, though the Eagles had already clinched at least a share of the league title and the league’s No. 1 seed for the playoffs. Yucaipa enters the playoffs on a six-game winning streak.

Division 2

Ontario Colony at Moreno Valley Valley View, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

Colony advanced to the first round with a 7-4 wild-card victory Tuesday against visiting Norwalk. Valley View, the Inland Valley League champion, is led by freshman pitcher Ashley Birnie (8-1, 1.96 ERA).

Division 3

Manhattan Beach Mira Costa at Lake Elsinore Lakeside, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

Tough draw for Lakeside as Mira Costa tied for the Bay League championship but lost the tiebreaker with co-champ Palos Verdes Peninsula and ended up as the league’s No. 2 seed. Lakeside, the Sunbelt League champion, will count on junior pitcher Jasmine Smithson-Willett (18-6, 1.21).

Division 4

Riverside Patriot at La Quinta, Thursday, 3;15 p.m.

Patriot has no problem scoring runs, as evident by its 16-7 wild-card victory Tuesday against Redlands Arrowhead Christian. The question is, can the Warriors outscore the Blackhawks, who are averaging nearly eight runs a game this season?

Division 5

Temple City at Barstow, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

This figures to be an offensive showdown between North Dakota-bound senior Jessica Loicano of Temple City and Taylor Purdy and Miranda Peralta of Barstow, all of whom are batting .500 or better this season.

Division 6

Rosamond at Yucca Valley, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

Yucca Valley junior pitcher Felicia Gonzales (11-6, 2.51) has won her last eight decisions.

Division 7

Trona at Riverside Bethel Christian, Thursday, 3;15 p.m.

Jordan Ward leads Bethel Christian in both hitting and pitching.

Inland Empire: Colton's title has a Rich touch

May, 12, 2011
Behind another strong performance from junior right-hander Tyler Rich, the Colton baseball team defeated visiting San Gorgonio on Wednesday to clinch the outright San Andreas League title.

Rich improved to 9-1 and lowered his earned-run average to 1.14 with the two-hitter, his seventh consecutive victory and sixth straight complete game.

The Yellowjackets finished the regular season 21-6 overall and 13-1 in league play. They’ll be the top-seeded team out of the SAL when the playoff pairings are announced this weekend.

Glendora (11-3) clinched at least a share of the Baseline League title and the league’s No. 1 seed with a 7-4 victory Wednesday at Upland. Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos (10-4) can still get a share of the league title with a win Friday against visiting Rancho Cucamonga, and a loss by Glendora against visiting Upland.

Moreno Valley Canyon Springs (11-3) and Moreno Valley Vista del Lago (11-3) each won their respective games Wednesday to finish as co-champions in the Inland Valley League, but Canyon Springs is the league’s No. 1 seed based on head-to-head results.

Hemet (12-2) clinched at least a share of the Mountain Valley League title with a 2-1 victory Wednesday at Hemet Tahquitz (11-3). The teams meet again Friday in the regular-season finale at Hemet, and a victory by Tahquitz would give it a share of the league title. Hemet already owns the tiebreaker for the league’s top seeding, however.

Redlands Citrus Valley (13-1) clinched the outright Mountain Valley League title Wednesday with a 7-1 victory at second-place Riverside Notre Dame (10-4).

Ontario Colony clinched a share of the Mt. Baldy League title and the league’s top seeding with a 7-3 win against visiting Ontario.

Here’s a list of the key games on today’s schedule.


Chino Hills (11-3) vs. Ayala

South Hills (11-3) @ Charter Oak

*Chino Hills owns tiebreaker vs. South Hills


King (10-3) @ North

J.W. North (9-4) vs. King

*North won first meeting vs. King, 3-0


Redlands (11-3) @ Fontana

Yucaipa (10-4) vs. Eisenhower

*Redlands owns tiebreaker vs. Yucaipa


Kaiser (10-4) @ Bloomington

Summit (9-5) @ Patriot

*Summit owns tiebreaker vs. Kaiser

Inland Empire: Boys' basketball top 10

February, 14, 2011
The regular season came to an end last week and the second season begins Wednesday with first-round playoff games in most divisions. Upland and Fontana Summit are among the Inland Empire teams that built momentum heading into the playoffs, Eastvale Roosevelt and Ontario Colony seem to be heading in the opposite direction.

1. Corona Centennial, 23-3 (1) – The Huskies scored early and often in a 65-45 victory Thursday against Eastvale Roosevelt, giving them the outright Big VIII League title. Michael Caffey returned from an ankle injury to score 21 points, Gelaun Wheelwright had 20 and Dominique Dunning 16 for Centennial, which is seeded third in Division 1AA. Next up: Wednesday vs. Temecula Great Oak in a first-round game at Centennial, 7 p.m.

2. Etiwanda, 25-2 (2) – Etiwanda wrapped up the regular season with one-sided wins against Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos and Alta Loma, then learned it was seeded fourth in the Division 1AA playoffs. The Eagles paid the price for two late-season losses and dropped a couple spots in the seeding order. That means they’ll have to go through top-seeded Long Beach Poly to reach the finals, instead of second-seeded Mater Dei. Next up: Wednesday vs. Long Beach Wilson in a first-round game at Etiwanda, 7 p.m.

3. Murrieta Valley, 23-3 (3) – The Nighthawks ended a perfect run through Southwestern League play with double-digit wins at Vista Murrieta and Temecula Chaparral. MurrietaValley, which won the Division 2AA title last season against Compton, now steps up two levels for the playoffs. The Nighthawks are seeded fifth in Division 1AA. Next up: Wednesday vs. Corona in a first-round game at Murrieta Valley, 7 p.m.

4. Rialto Eisenhower, 17-7 (4) – The Eagles blew out Fontana and Yucaipa last week to finish unbeaten in Citrus Belt League play for the second consecutive year. After the Eagles went 7-6 in December, they found their groove down the stretch, even getting payback against Los Angeles Fairfax for an earlier loss. Eisenhower, the Division 2A champion the last two seasons, enters the Division 1AA playoffs seeded seventh. Next up: Wednesday vs. Chaparral in a first-round game at Eisenhower, 7 p.m.

5. Elsinore, 23-4 (5) – The Tigers employed their full-court press to perfection last week in one-sided victories against Romoland Heritage and Menifee Paloma Valley. They finished undefeated in Sunbelt League play and are seeded second in the Division 2A playoffs, their highest seeding in school history. Elsinore advanced to the Division 3AA semifinals last season, eventually losing to Santa Ana Foothill, which is seeded third in same half of bracket. Next up: Wednesday vs. Westminster in a first-round game at Elsinore, 7 p.m.

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Inland Empire: Boys' basketball top 10

February, 1, 2011
Some losses are more understandable than others. Etiwanda lost to a highly ranked opponent at a Saturday night showcase, while Moreno Valley Rancho Verde fell to a familiar foe from the Inland Valley League. The latter is much less acceptable. Victorville Silverado lost its rematch against Victorville Victor Valley, keeping both out of the top 10, while Fontana Summit and Redlands East Valley earned second chances to prove they belong.

1. Etiwanda, 22-1 (1) – The Eagles let one get away Saturday night against Los Angeles Loyola and lost, 70-64, at Fairfax High in L.A. No shame in losing to the Lions, however, they came into the game ranked No. 2 in Division 1A and looking to avenge a loss to Etiwanda in late December. Next up: Tonight at Glendora, 6:30 p.m.

2. Corona Centennial, 18-3 (2) – Gelaun Wheelwright had a week to remember. The Weber State-bound guard combined for 51 points in Big VIII League road victories against Riverside King and Riverside Poly, making 20 of 28 field-goal attempts, including seven of 13 from beyond the three-point stripe. Next up: Tonight vs. Riverside North at Centennial, 7:30 p.m.

3. Murrieta Valley, 19-3 (3) – The Nighthawks didn’t blink Wednesday while taking down Temecula Chaparral, the defending Southwestern League champion. Justin Gudger scored 18 points and Austin Quick had 13 in the 62-43 victory. Next up: Wednesday vs. Temecula Great Oak at Murrieta Valley, 7 p.m.

4. Ontario Colony, 15-8 (5) – The Titans had a much easier time against Chino Don Lugo the second time around. After winning by just three points at Don Lugo on Jan. 5, Colony blew out the visiting Conquistadors in the second half Wednesday and won, 94-65. The Titans have won 59 consecutive Mt. Baldy League games. Next up: Wednesday vs. Chino at Colony, 6:30 p.m.

5. Rialto Eisenhower, 14-7 (6) – After losing to Richmond Salesian, the Eagles took out their frustrations on Yucaipa in the form of a 93-47 victory last Tuesday. They still haven’t earned the respect of Southern Section voters, however, who have them pegged way down at No. 11 in Division 1AA. Next up: Tonight vs. Redlands East Valley at Eisenhower, 6 p.m.

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Inland Empire: Boys' basketball games of the week

January, 27, 2011
Victorville Victor Valley (18-3, 6-1) at Victorville Silverado (15-1, 7-0), Friday, 6:30 p.m. – This rematch couldn’t come soon enough for Victor Valley, which got smashed in its own gym by Silverado, 81-51, in a Desert Sky League game Jan. 12. These teams are a lot closer than that score would indicate. Silverado is ranked No. 6 in Division 1A, the Jackrabbits are No. 6 in Division 2AA.

Etiwanda (21-0) vs. Los Angeles Loyola (15-5) at the Fairfax HS State Preview Classic, Saturday, 8 p.m. – This would be one of the most anticipated match ups of the showcase season except for the fact these teams met less than month ago. Etiwanda, ranked No. 2 in Division 1AA, defeated Loyola, ranked No. 2 in Division 1A, 70-61, in the final of the Oaks Christian tournament Dec. 30. The players to watch are Byron Wesley of Etiwanda, a 6-5 wing who has signed with USC and averages 18.3 points a game, and Julian Harrell of Loyola, a 6-5 junior wing who is averaging a team-high 16 points.

Murrieta Valley (18-3, 5-0) at Temecula Valley (14-6, 3-2), Friday, 7 p.m. – The Nighthawks gave Murrieta Valley a tough time when they last met Jan. 12, especially 6-8 senior post player Josh Richardson, who had career highs of 26 points and 21 rebounds in the 67-61 loss. Murrieta Valley will need to count on its tallest player, 6-6 junior Jackson Helms, to keep Richardson out of the paint.

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