Los Angeles Preps: Rowland

Division 2A: No. 1 Peninsula 59, No. 16 Rowland 49

February, 18, 2011

ROWLAND HEIGHTS -- Panthers roar too, right?

With top-seeded Peninsula and No. 16-seeded Rowland tangled in a closer-than-expected scrap, Panthers standout Reese Morgan made a bucket and let it all out.

He roared. Another basket, another roar. Each time louder, more ferocious.

Peninsula wasn't about to get ambushed on the road, not after putting together a 24-game win streak and going undefeated in Bay League play. Not on Morgan's watch, at least. The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-bound guard had a game-high 23 points, helping Peninsula (27-1) erase a halftime deficit in a 59-49 win Friday night. The Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 2A boys basketball playoffs.

That's worth a roar or two.

"I tend to do that," Morgan said of his roaring. "I'm a pretty emotional player. I don't try to get too angry or down, but when I'm excited I'll show it. I think it gets the crowd into it and gets my teammates into it a little bit. It's a little bit of a motivation for myself, I get myself pumped up. I think I play better after that."

So did the Panthers, whose one-point deficit at the break had everyone mulling the improbable upset. A buzzer-beating three-pointer by Rowland's Derrick Mar sent the gym into a frenzy at halftime.

"It was not good," Morgan said. "I knew they had the momentum after that, but I thought we'd be OK."

Peninsula would be fine, but the close call had coach Jim Quick making a trip to the water cooler every few minutes. Sam Borst-Smith had 15 and Odera Anakwanze had 10 for the Panthers. Sharif Watson finished with 17 for Rowland (17-12).

Quick wasn't pleased with his team's execution in the first half and acknowledged that a better defensive approach helped things turn around in the second. The Panthers held the Raiders to eight points in the third quarter.

(Read full post)

LA South: Games of the week

October, 14, 2010
No. 9 Encino Crespi (5-1) at No. 6 Bishop Amat (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Amat looks to slow down Crespi quarterback Kenny Stenhouse, who has made breaking school records a weekly habit. The Lancers also have a solid signal caller in junior Rio Ruiz.

Locke (3-2) at No. 18 Dorsey (5-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
The Dons, coming off a close call against visiting Mira Mesa of San Diego, get a chance at redemption in the Coliseum League opener. Dorsey lost to Locke, 24-20, last year.

St. Paul (4-1) at Cathedral (4-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
This Mission League opener promises to be a doozy. St. Paul's lone loss came by a three-point margin, while Cathedral dropped its game to highly ranked Bishop Amat. The teams are ranked No. 7 and No. 8, respectively, in the Western Division in the latest CIF-Southern Section poll.

Rowland (4-2) vs. Diamond Ranch (3-3) at Ganesha HS, Saturday, 7 p.m.
Another week, another intriguing Hacienda League contest. Diamond Ranch, ranked fifth in the Southeast Division, is coming off three straight wins. Rowland, ranked eighth, lost to West Covina last week.

LA South: Games of the week

October, 8, 2010
Lakewood shook the Moore League with its thunderous defeat of Long Beach Poly last year, snapping the Jackrabbits' 80-game league winning streak. Poly had been sitting in the top stop for a long, long time. Seventeen years, to be exact.

A year later, the No. 4 Lancers are perfectly content if things play out the way they're supposed to.

While a bruised Poly team (3-2) seeks redemption in tonight's game at Long Beach Veterans Stadium -- which will be televised locally by Prime Ticket -- Lakewood (5-0) looks to do more than just stay undefeated. For the Lancers, it's about proving that last year's outcome was legit.

"I think it's very important to show Poly that last year wasn't a fluke and that Lakewood is really at the top of the Moore League," Lakewood quarterback Tyler Schultz said. "But this isn't the CIF championship game, so we're just going to go out there and have fun."

Schultz has had plenty of fun this season, throwing 14 touchdowns to go along with just one interception. Judging by those numbers, it's safe to say Jesse Scroggins, who is now at USC, hasn't been missed much.

"The best thing for me has been taking it game by game," Schultz said. "I have a ton of confidence in my defense, so I am not afraid to take risks."

It's no coincidence that the senior manages the game well. Schultz is also a talented catcher who is considering UC Santa Barbara and Oregon State for college ball.

He expects tonight to be a World Series of sorts.

"It's going to be one of the funnest games that I've ever played," Schultz said, "in any sport."

Three more to see:

* Venice (1-3) at No. 7 Bishop Amat (5-0), Tonight -- This one might be over by halftime if the Amat offense does what it has been doing recently.

* San Diego Mira Mesa (2-2) at No. 17 Dorsey (4-0), Tonight -- The Dons hope their momentum hasn't fizzled following their bye week.

* West Covina (4-1) at Rowland (4-1), Tonight -- Look no further than this battle to gauge the parity in the new Hacienda League.