Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

1. The Rialto Eisenhower boys’ basketball team faced a short-handed Richmond Salesian team from Northern California on Saturday in a showcase held at the University of La Verne, but still couldn’t close the gap against the team that came in ranked 10th in the West Region by ESPN RISE. The game featured 13 lead changes but Salesian led when it counted and won, 57-54. The Pride played without standout sophomore Jabari Bird, a 6-5 wing who was averaging 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds. He was ruled ineligible the day before by the North Coast Section for violating CIF transfer rules. He played for Benicia as a freshman. Salesian also had to forfeit 16 victories this season.

2. Ashton Robinson of Redlands hasn’t let up on his remarkable scoring binge. He scored 43 points in an 18-point loss to Eisenhower on Tuesday, they came back with 26 in a 12-point win Thursday against Fontana Miller. His 34.4 scoring average is second-best in the state and seventh in the nation. He’s also among the Southern Section leaders in three-point shooting and free-throw shooting. Robinson’s surge in offensive production is especially noteworthy because the senior guard averaged just 8.2 points for the Terriers last season.

3. Corona Centennial point guard Michael Caffey scored 25 points Thursday night to help the Huskies holds off Eastvale Roosevelt, 59-56, in a Big VIII League game at Centennial. Among his teammates, which includes New Mexico-bound Dominique Dunning and Weber State-bound Gelaun Wheelwright, Caffey has shown the most improvement in his offensive game this season, bumping up his scoring average from 12.6 last season to 18.5. He’s also averaging 6.4 assists and 3.2 steals. Caffey has signed with Long Beach State.

4. The day after Ontario Colony survived a close call while extending its Mt. Baldy League winning streak to 55 games, the Titans put a scare into Etiwanda’s unbeaten streak. Colony pushed the Eagles from start to finish Saturday at Azusa Pacific but came up short, 66-62. Etiwanda came in ranked No. 1 in the I.E. by ESPNLA, Colony was No. 8. The Titans rallied from eight points down in the third quarter Friday night against Montclair and won, 78-71, to keep their five-year league winning streak intact.

5. Two girls’ basketball teams from the I.E. remain undefeated heading into big games this week. San Bernardino Cajon improved to 20-0 and 7-0 in the San Andreas League with victories last week against San Bernardino and San Gorgonio. The Cowboys, ranked No. 4 in Southern Section Division I-A, host Rialto (19-2, 7-0) today at 6 p.m. Rialto is the top-ranked team in Division 2AA. Temecula Chaparral (19-0, 4-0) posted Southwestern League wins last week against Temecula Valley and Great Oak. The Pumas travel to Murrieta Valley (15-5, 4-0) on Wednesday night. Chaparral beat Murrieta Valley, 49-37, in the final of Nighthawk Classic on Dec. 30.