Los Angeles Preps: Rialto

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 Top 10

October, 30, 2011
10/30/11
11:47
PM PT
There was no letting up for the top seven teams in last week’s rankings, but there was some turnover at the bottom. Two additional undefeated teams make their debut after winning key league games last week. Meanwhile, a Big VIII League team dropped out of the top 10 for the second consecutive week.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 7-1 – For the third consecutive game, the Huskies punted the ball just once, and for the sixth straight game they scored at least 48 points in a 49-6 victory Friday at Corona. Next: vs. Roosevelt, Friday.

2. (2) Upland, 8-0 – Upland fullback/defensive lineman Christian Powell landed a scholarship offer from Washington last week, then went out Friday night and scored a touchdown on both offense and defense in a 49-3 victory against Glendora at Citrus College. Next: vs. Los Osos, Friday.

3. (3) Vista Murrieta, 3-5 – The Broncos forfeited five games last week for using an ineligible player but returned to winning games on the field in a 45-24 victory Friday against Great Oak. Su’a Cravens rushed for three touchdowns in the victory. Next: vs. Murrieta Valley, Friday.

4. (4) Redlands East Valley, 8-0 – The Wildcats had five more sacks in a 34-14 victory Friday against Eisenhower, raising their season total to 23. REV surged to a 27-0 halftime lead. Next: vs. Fontana at Citrus Valley HS, Friday.

5. (5) Rancho Cucamonga, 7-1 – The Cougars returned two kickoffs for touchdowns Friday in a 30-27 victory against Etiwanda, the second coming by Chris Hawkins with 3:30 remaining, providing Rancho Cucamonga its final three-point edge. Next: vs. Glendora at Los Osos HS, Friday.

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I.E.: Games of the Week

October, 26, 2011
10/26/11
5:22
PM PT
The Central and Eastern divisions highlight the games of the week this time around. The key matchups on the schedule Friday night will likely determine first place in the Mojave River, San Andreas and Mt. Baldy leagues. Second place in the Big VIII League looks to be on the line Thursday.

A-Game

(Inland Empire rankings included)

No. 9 Oak Hills (7-0, 1-0) at Serrano (5-2, 2-0), Friday (7 p.m.) -- There hasn’t been any growing pains for Oak Hills. The school opened onlyt two years ago, but the varsity football team has yet to post a losing record, owning a 23-7 overall mark heading into the biggest game in the program’s history. Serrano is the two-time defending Mojave River League champion with a 27-7 record over the last 2 seasons. The Diamondbacks ramped up for league play with a strong nonleague schedule that included a 10-point loss to Upland, the second-ranked team in the Inland Empire. They’ve allowed a truck load of points this season, however, and Oak Hills has the talent to get into the end zone. Expect a lot of touches by Oak Hills senior running back Marshaun Coprich, who has rushed for 1,374 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Serrano running back Adarius Hogan is 27 yards shy of the 1,000-yard barrier.

Calpreps.com computerized projection: Serrano 26, Oak Hills 20

ESPNLA: Serrano 28, Oak Hills 27

B-List

No. 7 J.W. North (6-1, 3-1) vs. No. 8 Corona Santiago (5-2, 3-1) at Riverside College, Thursday (7 p.m.) -- Both of these teams have already lost to Corona Centennial -- as has Norco -- so the Big VIII League title is no longer a realistic goal. That said, who would have thought the battle for second place in the Big VIII would involve these teams? Norco was thought to be a shoe-in as bridesmaid to Centennial, but then J.W. North scored a huge upset vs. Alemany in nonleague play and Santiago pounded Norco three weeks ago. Both teams feature savvy, elusive quarterbacks. Justin Gheorghe of J.W. North has thrown 15 touchdown passes and hasn’t been intercepted this season. Santiago junior Michael Darr is the team’s leading passer and rusher, though running back Roosevelt Monk has boosted the run game since joining the team four weeks ago.

Calpreps.com: J.W. North 38, Santiago 31

ESPNLA: Santiago 34, J.W. North 30

No. 10 Rialto (6-1, 4-0) at Carter (7-0, 4-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – These teams had mixed success after joining the San Andreas League last season, and this match up didn’t exactly stand out on the must-see list heading into the season, but that changed when Rialto stunned Cajon last weekend, 27-25. Rialto relies heavily on two-way skill players Michael Romero, Tyler Telphy, Paul Cortez and Nicholas Seiuli. Carter gets most of its offense from senior running back Gaylon Maxie, who has rushed for 1,073 yards and 16 touchdowns. Senior defensive back Kris Brown has a league-leading four interceptions for Carter.

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I.E.: The Top 10

October, 23, 2011
10/23/11
11:25
PM PT
Two ranked teams dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten last weekend and another needed overtime to keep its perfect record intact. Nine unbeaten teams remain in all from the Inland, Central and Eastern divisions, including one top 10 newcomer.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 6-1 – The Huskies passed their final true test of the regular season with flying colors Friday night, using the tandem of quarterback Hayden Gavett and running back Romello Goodman to dismantle Norco, 45-18. Next: at Corona, Friday.

2. (2) Upland, 7-0 – The Highlanders once again proved they might be the only Inland Division team capable of staying with Centennial come playoff time, delivering another solid all-around performance in a 31-17 victory Friday against visiting Rancho Cucamonga. Next: vs. Glendora at Citrus College, Friday.

3. (5) Vista Murrieta, 7-0 – The Broncos are another team that has the defense to compete with anyone in the Inland Division, they just need to find a bit more offense. They held Temecula Valley to 64 total yards Friday night in a 41-3 victory. Next: at Great Oak, Friday.

4. (3) Redlands East Valley, 7-0 – The Wildcats had to rally late against Redlands to avoid being part of the second-biggest upset in the Inland Empire this season. They scored a touchdown with five minutes remaining Friday to tie Redlands and then won in overtime, 21-14. Next: at Eisenhower, Friday.

5. (4) Rancho Cucamonga, 6-1 – The Cougars finally got a chance to play a top 25 opponent and they likely learned a few things in the 31-17 loss to Upland. Mainly, win the turnover battle and you have a much better chance to win the game. Next: vs. Etiwanda at Los Osos, HS, Friday.

(Read full post)

I.E.: A closer look at the San Andreas League

August, 16, 2011
8/16/11
10:02
PM PT
SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

Last season’s results: San Bernardino Cajon (10-3, 7-0); San Bernardino San Gorgonio (7-5, 6-1); Colton (11-3, 5-2); Rialto Carter (6-4-1, 4-3); San Bernardino Arroyo Valley (4-6, 3-4); Rialto (5-5, 2-5); San Bernardino (3-7, 1-6); San Bernardino Pacific (0-10, 0-7).

Players to watch: The San Andreas League made a strong impression during last season’s SS-Central Division playoffs, finishing 6-3 and sending two unseeded teams to the semifinals, including eventual champion Colton. While the Yellowjackets will need to replace most of their leaders, the SAL features a busload of other returning talent. The most decorated athlete is Damontae Kazee of Cajon, a first-team all-league selection as a wide receiver and defensive back last season, and an all-Central Division selection on offense. Kazee committed to Washington last spring. Rialto and San Gorgonio also have a strong group of returners. Tyler Telphy of Rialto is the league’s top returning rusher after totaling 970 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He’ll be joined on offense by fellow first-team all-league offensive lineman Julian Ramos. On defense, Bernabe Orozco had 11 sacks for the Knights last season, and junior defensive back Bryan Davis had four interceptions. Rialto will also feature one of the top kickers in the I.E., senior John Pena, an all-Central Division pick. San Gorgonio features a returning all-Central Division player in wide receiver Brandon Charles, and running back Jamie Snowten made great strides in the second half of last season. On defense, the Spartans will lean on defensive end Ryan Hunter-Simms, who produced 13 sacks en route to making last season’s all-Central Division squad. Hunter-Simms won a SS-Masters meet title in the discus last spring and finished third in state. Pacific went winless last season but should improve with the return of 6-5 senior receiver Haneef Hill, a first-team all-leaguer, as well as a number of other players with varsity experience. Another player to watch is Kris Brown of Carter, who swiped five interceptions last season.

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

Key games: Sept. 2 – Cajon @ Temecula Chaparral, San Bernardino @ Upland; Sept. 9 – San Gorgonio @ Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, Rialto @ La Quinta, Colton vs. Riverside North @ Riverside College, Arroyo Valley @ Palm Springs; Sept. 16 – Fontana Kaiser @ Cajon; Sept. 22 – Colton vs. Fontana Summit @ Fontana A.B. Miller HS; Sept. 30 – Rialto @ Colton; Oct. 7 – San Gorgonio @ Cajon; Oct. 21 – Cajon @ Rialto; Oct. 28 – Colton @ Cajon; Nov. 4 – Rialto @ San Gorgonio; Nov. 10 – San Gorgonio @ Colton.

Alumni in the NFL: Jimmy Smith, Baltimore Ravens (Colton ’06); Shareece Wright, San Diego Chargers (Colton ’06); Allen Bradford, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Colton ’06); Lonyae Miller, Dallas Cowboys (Rialto/Fontana Kaiser ’06).

Fast fact: Three players who were seniors on the 2006 Colton team were selected in the NFL draft in June, the most players from the same high school in this year’s draft. Jimmy Smith, a cornerback out of Colorado, is a safe bet to make the Baltimore Ravens. Shareece Wright, a cornerback out of USC, is in camp with the San Diego Chargers, and college teammate Allen Bradford is trying to secure a back-up running back role with Tampa Bay.

On the clock: Southwestern League.

Inland Empire: Spotlight on baseball league races

May, 10, 2011
5/10/11
12:16
PM PT
As the final week of the regular season winds down, a number of league titles in the I.E. are still up for grabs. Here's a look at the major races still left to be settled.

BASELINE

Glendora (10-3), Wed. @ Upland, Fri. vs. Upland

Los Osos (9-4), Wed. @ Rancho Cucamonga, Fri. vs. Rancho Cucamonga.

*Glendora owns tiebreaker vs. Los Osos

BIG VIII

J.W. North (9-3), Tues. vs. Santiago, Thurs. vs. King

King (9-3), Tues. vs. Roosevelt, Thurs @ North

Santiago (7-5), Tues. @ North, Thurs. vs. Poly

Norco (7-5), Tues. vs. Poly, Thurs. @ Corona

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

CITRUS BELT

Redlands (10-3), Tues. vs. Fontana, Thurs. @ Fontana

Yucaipa (9-4), Tues. @ Eisenhower, Thurs. vs. Eisenhower

Redlands East Valley (8-5), Tues. vs. Miller, Thurs. @ Miller

*Redlands owns tiebreaker vs. Yucaipa

DESERT VALLEY

Palm Desert (9-1), Tues. vs. Palm Springs, Thurs. @ Palm Springs

Indio (8-2), Tues. vs. La Quinta, Thurs. @ La Quinta

La Quinta (8-2), Tues. @ Indio, Thurs. vs. Indio

*Palm Desert’s only league loss vs. Indio

INLAND VALLEY

Canyon Springs (10-3), Wed. @ Arlington

Vista del Lago (10-3), Wed. vs. La Sierra

La Sierra (9-4), Wed. @ Vista del Lago

*Canyon Springs owns tiebreaker vs. Vista del Lago

MOUNTAIN PASS

Hemet (11-2), Wed. @ Tahquitz, Fri vs. Tahquitz

Tahquitz (11-2), Wed. vs. Hemet, Fri. @ Hemet

*Hemet won first meeting vs. Tahquitz, 6-2

MOUNTAIN VALLEY

Citrus Valley (12-1), Wed. @ at Notre Dame, Thurs. @ Notre Dame

Notre Dame (10-3), Wed. vs. Notre Dame, Thurs. vs. Notre Dame

*Citrus Valley won first meeting vs. Notre Dame, 3-2

MT. BALDY

Colony (9-2), Wed. vs. Ontario

Chino (9-2), Wed. @ Don Lugo

Don Lugo (8-3), Wed. vs. Chino

*Colony owns tiebreaker vs. Chino

SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

Colton (12-1), Wed. vs. San Gorgonio

Rialto (11-2), Wed. vs. Pacific

San Gorgonio (10-2), Wed. @ Colton, Friday @ Pacific

*Colton and Rialto split season series

SIERRA

Chino Hills (10-3), Tues. @ Ayala, Thurs. vs. Ayala

South Hills (10-3), Tues. vs. Charter Oak, Thurs. @ Charter Oak

Damien (8-5), Tues. @ Claremont, Thurs. vs. Claremont

*Chino Hills owns tiebreaker vs. South Hills

SUNBELT

Temescal Canyon (10-3), Tues. vs. Lakeside, Thurs. @ Lakeside

Paloma Valley (8-5), Tues. vs. Elsinore, Thurs. @ Elsinore

Lakeside (7-6), Tues. @ Temescal Canyon, Thurs. vs. Temescal Canyon

Heritage (7-6), Tues. vs. Perris, Thurs. @ Perris

*Paloma Valley owns tiebreaker vs. Temescal Canyon

SUNKIST

Kaiser (10-3), Tues. vs. Summit, Thurs. @ Bloomington

Summit (8-5), Tues. @ Kaiser, Thurs. @ Patriot

Patriot (7-6), Tues. vs. Jurupa Valley, Thurs. vs. Summit

Bloomington (7-6), Tues @ Norte Vista, Thurs. vs. Kaiser

*Kaiser and Summit split previous two meetings

State Basketball: Div. II girls, Stockton St. Mary's 64, Rialto 48

March, 25, 2011
3/25/11
8:53
PM PT


SACRAMENTO -- The Stockton St. Mary’s girls' basketball team was full of surprises in the CIF State Division II championship game against Rialto at Power Balance Pavillion on Friday night.

Sophomore Courtney Range scored a career-high 17 points in leading St. Mary’s to a 64-48 win over Rialto. It was the seventh state championship and the fourth in a row for St. Mary’s. Range said it was the first time in her high school career that she led her team in scoring.

The win over Rialto capped an unexpected run to a state title for St. Mary’s.

Coach Tom Gonsalves said his team’s championship run was unexpected for a couple of reasons. One, his team graduated a number of key players from its three-time state championship team. Two, his team was moved up from Division III, where it won the last two state championships, to Division II.

“No one expected anything and the road was a rough one getting here,” Gonsalves said. “It’s a great feeling of accomplishment.”

St. Mary’s started slowly and Rialto took advantage. The Knights took an early 8-4 lead in the first quarter and held it until the last eight seconds of the quarter. Range scored on a layup to give St. Mary’s an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“I think we had a great opportunity,” Rialto coach Michael Anderson said. “Miscues hurt us a lot.”

Rialto came right back at the start of the second quarter to take back the lead. The Knights tied the score with about a minute left to play in the first half. But St. Mary’s hit a 3-pointer and Kendall Kenyon put back a missed shot to give the Rams a five-point lead, 32-27, at halftime.

“They’re clutch shooters,” Gonsalves said. “They’re not great shooters. They step up when we need it.”

St. Mary’s used a 19-9 run in the third quarter to build a 15-point lead. At the end of three quarters, St. Mary’s led 53-40.

Range led four players from St. Mary’s in double figures in scoring. Onome Jemerigbe and Ali Gibson each scored 12 points. Kenyon finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Brittani Walker scored a team-high 17 points for Rialto and was 8-for-10 from the field. Denae Williams scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. Cal State Northridge-bound senior Janae Sharpe scored eight points.

State Basketball: Div. II girls, Rialto vs. Stockton St. Mary's

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
8:33
PM PT
CIF STATE GIRLS DIVISION II

At Power Balance Pavilion, Sacramento

Matchup: Rialto (33-3) vs. Stockton St. Mary’s (28-2), Friday, 6 p.m.

How they got here: St. Mary’s won its third Northern Division Regional championship in a row and its ninth in school history. St. Mary’s is ranked seventh in the nation by ESPN Rise and is coming off a 56-48 win over Del Oro in the championship game of the Northern California Regional. St. Mary’s was actually down three points, 27-24, at halftime and outscored Del Oro, 32-21, in the second half. Both of St. Mary’s losses came in December in the Nike Tourament of Champions in Arizona. The Rams lost to Brea Olinda (No. 5 by ESPN Rise) and Riverdale Baptist from Maryland (No. 10 by ESPN Rise). Rialto has played some tight games in the playoffs, including two against Buena. Rialto beat Buena by two points, 44-42, to win the Southern California Regional championship. The Knights beat Buena, 55-53, to win the Southern Section Division 2AA championship.

Key players: Kendall Kenyon set a school record with 20 rebounds against Del Oro in the Northern California Regional final. She also scored eight points. Ali Gibson, who’s headed to Oregon State, led St. Mary’s with 15 points against Del Oro. Regina Camera hit four 3-pointers and scored 12 points.

Cal State Northridge-bound Janae Sharpe leads Rialto in scoring with 24.6 points per game. She scored only eight in the Southern California Regional final against Buena. Denae Williams is the team’s leading rebounder at 18.7 per game. Trazhazia Webb leads Rialto in assists with 11.0 per game. Brittany Walker led Rialto in scoring with 12 points against Buena in the Southern California Regional final.

What to expect: St. Mary’s has won nine of the past 11 Northern California Regional championships in three divisions. The Rams have created a nice little dynasty in Central California. They won two Division III state championships in a row and will be playing for their fourth straight state title. This is St. Mary’s first trip through the Division II playoffs, but the new road to a state title has been far from rough.

Inland Empire and LA North: Rialto 44, Buena 42

March, 19, 2011
3/19/11
5:37
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- Stunning. Unbelievable. For the second time in two weeks, Janae Sharp grabbed a dagger from midair and thrust it into the heart of Buena High School.

With a scant 2.8 seconds left in a tie score — Buena getting the ball because of a controversial offensive foul — a long pass downcourt bounced once. Sharpe grabbed it on the run, took one step and let fly at the free-throw line. Fractions of a second later, the buzzer sounded on history.

Top-seeded Rialto scored a 44-42 victory over second-seeded Buena to win the Southern California Regional championship on Saturday at Galen Center. The Knights (33-3) are headed to the state finals for the first time where they will play Stockton St. Mary’s, a 56-48 winner over Loomis Del Oro.

The Cal State Northridge-bound Sharpe scored eight points. Brittany Walker scored 12 and Summer Webb 10.

Two weeks ago, Sharpe was the hero when she drove through traffic and her shot danced on the rim before falling true as the buzzer sounded in a 55-53 victory over Buena (26-8).

No one questioned the beauty, credibility or enormity of Sharpe’s game-winner in Round 2, but that Rialto even had the ball was open for debate.

“I’ve always preached about being positive, in conducting yourself in a manner to be proud of, but I don’t think my mom would have any problem with me saying that was probably the worst call in high school sports,” said Buena coach David Guenther.

Rialto had taken a 40-35 lead when Brittani Walker scored inside after a nifty pass from Webb, but then went almost four minutes without a point. After Keani Albanez made three of four free throws in the last minute that gave Buena a 42-40 advantage with 21 seconds remaining. Sharpe scored on a drive with 15 seconds remaining.

The score tied at 42-42, Albanez — who led all scorers with 19 points — drove the length of the court. When she collided with Denae Williams, Albanez was whistled for the offensive foul, her fifth.

“I thought it was a great call,” Rialto coach Michael Anderson said.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Albanez said.

Only 2.8 seconds remained.

Needing a near miracle, Walker threw a football pass as Sharpe broke down the court. The deep defender hesitated.

Sharpe didn’t. And then the shot fell.

Inland Empire: Winners and losers from SoCal Regional openers

March, 9, 2011
3/09/11
4:57
PM PT
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.

(Read full post)

Inland Empire: Girls' basketball playoff preview

February, 14, 2011
2/14/11
9:19
PM PT
The Southern Section girls’ basketball playoff pairings were released Sunday and a number of top Inland Empire teams are massed in Division 1AA, with a few others scattered elsewhere. First-round games begin Thursday. Here’s a rundown:

Division 1AA

Moreno Valley Canyon Springs enters the playoffs as the fourth-seeded team in this division. The Cougars lost two games during the regular season and one was against second-seeded Long Beach Poly, 64-37, back on Dec. 2. Canyon Springs is led by Nebraska-bound guard Tear’a Laudermill, who is averaging 16.6 points. The division is loaded with other top I.E. teams, including fifth-seeded San Bernardino Cajon, sixth-seeded Etiwanda, eighth-seeded Fontana Summit and ninth-seeded Corona Santiago, all coming off league championships. Summit and Santiago face a potential second-round match up Saturday.

Division 1A

Rancho Cucamonga ended Etiwanda’s 66-game Baseline League winning streak this season but couldn’t hold on for the league title. The Cougars are seeded fourth in this division, two spots ahead of Big VIII League runner-up Corona Centennial. Sierra League champion Chino Hills is seeded seventh and opens Thursday against visiting Redlands East Valley.

Division 2AA

Rialto ended Cajon’s 85-game league winning streak this season and went on to share the San Andreas League title with the Cowgirls. For their efforts, the Knights are the top-seeded team in this division. Rialto has an interesting first-round match up Thursday, hosting at-large selection Santa Margarita, which won the Division 3A title last season. Another team to watch is eighth-seeded Norco.

Division 2A

Indio went 23-2, including 12-0 in the Desert Valley League, and is seeded fourth in this division. The Rajahs only losses came against Division 1AA qualifiers Temecula Great Oak and Temecula Chaparral. Indio’s first-round opponent, Riverside North, finished 4-20 and lost its last 12 games. Citrus Belt League champion Rialto Eisenhower is seeded seventh.

Division 3A

Sunbelt League champion Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon enters as the sixth-seeded team in this division. The Titans open against Murrieta Mesa (3-22). De Anza League champion Yucca Valley is seeded eighth.

Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

January, 31, 2011
1/31/11
4:22
PM PT
1. Huge upset in the Inland Valley League on Friday night as the Moreno Valley Canyon Springs boys’ basketball team surged to a 13-point halftime lead against visiting Moreno Valley Rancho Verde and held on for a 55-50 victory. Rancho Verde came in ranked No. 4 in the Inland Empire by ESPNLA and undefeated in league play over the last two seasons. With the victory, the Cougars (13-10, 8-2) moved within a game of the Mustangs (18-4, 9-1). Rajshah Head scored 16 points and Taj Spencer had 14 for Canyon Springs.

2. Regardless of the sport, there’s usually never a dull moment when Redlands and Redlands East Valley get together. The boys’ basketball teams clashed again Thursday night and it was REV coming out on top for the second time this season, 74-62, at Redlands. Paulin Mpawe, a 6-foot-9 center for REV who’s headed to Pepperdine, had 18 points and 18 rebounds. Redlands senior guard Ashton Robinson, scored 29 points but actually lowered his scoring average to 34, which is still second best in the state. REV improved to 19-4, 5-1. The Terriers dropped to 15-6, 3-3.

3. Etiwanda came up two victories short of matching its 23-game winning streak to start the season three years ago. The Eagles were defeated Saturday night, 70-64, by Los Angeles Loyola at the Fairfax State Classic Preview, dropping their record to 21-1. Etiwanda has had some close calls this season but the Eagles actually let this one get away, building several double-digit leads before unraveling in the fourth quarter. Byron Wesley scored 30 points for Etiwanda, but only four in the fourth. The Eagles won’t have time to sulk as they travel to second-place Glendora for a key Baseline League game Tuesday.

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