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I.E.: 5 notes from last week

1. The J.W. North boys' basketball team clinched at least a share of the Big VIII League title and the league’s top seeding heading into the playoffs with a 53-48 victory Friday night at Corona Santiago. The Huskies (19-5, 10-2) aren’t the league's hottest team heading into the final week of the regular season, however. Riverside Poly went 3-0 in Big VIII League play last week, including a 51-40 victory against visiting J.W. North. The Bears have won four straight league games overall to push their record to 7-5 and move them into a three-way tie for third with Roosevelt and Riverside King.

2. Breejae Flonnoy of Kaiser might be easy to overlook during pre-game warm ups, but the senior point guard is getting plenty of attention following the opening tip. Flonnoy, who stands 5 feet 5, made five three-point baskets and scored a season-high 30 points Friday night to lift the Cats to a 55-47 victory against Patriot, moving them into sole possession of second place in the Sunkist League with two games remaining. Kaiser (10-9, 6-2) has not qualified for the playoffs since the 2005-06 season.

3. Murrieta Mesa still hasn’t reached the level of the other two high school basketball programs in the city, but the Rams are inching their way. Heading into the final week of the regular season, Murrieta Mesa (16-9, 4-4) sits in third place in the Southwestern League, just behind Murrieta Valley and Vista Murrieta. If the Rams can maintain that spot, they would qualify for the playoffs for the first time in the school’s short history. In its Southwestern League debut last season, Murrieta Mesa lost all 10 games and finished 6-20 overall. The Rams helped their chances last week by defeating Chaparral, 71-62, as junior point guard Shane Staton scored a season-high 22 points.

4. Upset of the week goes to Valley View, which rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit Thursday night and toppled first-place Rancho Verde, 61-60, in an Inland Valley League game, ending a nine-game losing streak against the Mustangs. Four players scored in double figures against Rancho Verde, led by senior guard Joseph Esthers with 19 points. Interestingly, the last time the Eagles beat Rancho Verde was five years ago Tuesday, and that victory also came by one point. Rancho Verde (18-6, 10-2) should still win the league title but the loss to Valley View (13-11, 7-5) will surely affect its seeding.

5. Angelica Guardado, a 5-11 senior center for the Cajon girls’ basketball team, is likely done for the season after re-injuring her knee during a loss to Rialto in a San Andreas League showdown Tuesday, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported. Guardado was in her second game back after missing about six weeks with the same injury. Before she went down early in the 68-47 loss to Rialto, she was averaging 20.7 points and 16.9 rebounds in 11 games for Cajon (20-4, 10-2). That leaves senior forward Sophie Bhasin to carry the offensive load for Cajon. Bhasin has shown that's possible, averaging 24.7 points.