Los Angeles Preps: South Hills

France leads South Hills with arm and bat

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
6:42
PM PT
Ty FranceBlair Angulo/For ESPNLA.comTy France pitched a complete game and knoncked in three runs for South Hills on Thursday.

WEST COVINA -- An electric right arm. A compact swing. A keenness for high-stress situations.

Senior Ty France of South Hills put all of his skills on display Thursday afternoon, leading the Huskies to a 4-0 victory against visiting Upland in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 baseball playoffs. France, a San Diego State signee, struck out 11 in a complete-game effort and also drove in three runs.

By the way France looked, you'd never guess it was only his second start of the season.

"I didn't expect him to go seven innings and shut them out. It's just a great effort on his part," South Hills head coach Kevin Smith said. "He's a bulldog. I wish I had 15 of him."

France has been on varsity for four years, experiencing sudden success as a freshman on a South Hills squad that captured the section title. He's a known commodity in the San Gabriel Valley, a slick-fielding shortstop who doubles as his team's closer. Smith, though, wanted his best curveball thrower on the mound against an Upland lineup that scored 22 runs in the wild-card round earlier in the week.

"I love pitching," France said. "I love getting out there and controlling the game."

France did that and more, scattering six hits and walking only two, one of them intentional. He helped his own cause at the plate with a pair of two-out RBI singles, putting South Hills (18-7) up early. UCLA signee Daniel Robertson had half of Upland's hits in his final high school game.

"Getting those two early runs helped a lot," France said.

(Read full post)

Dynamic duo at South Hills

March, 28, 2012
3/28/12
11:27
PM PT


WEST COVINA -- Ty France and C.J. Saylor jog out the corner gate, walk along the outfield fence and, together, retrieve the American flag that waves during their baseball games at South Hills High School. Having fulfilled their duty as team captains and now eying a celebratory snack, the dynamic duo briefly stops at the snack shop behind left field.

Suddenly they sprint back toward the dugout at the sound of Huskies head coach Kevin Smith's whistle, again in unison.

They've known each other for about a decade, their friendship beginning on little league diamonds and growing on travel ballclubs. They bat third and fourth in the South Hills lineup, forming a tandem feared by pitchers across the San Gabriel Valley. And they've signed on to play together next season at San Diego State.

"They were role players for a couple of years," Smith says. "Now they're big time."

Both stand at around 5 feet 10, but France is the flashier of the two. Hair flows out of his hat, his eye black is purposely smeared and the web of his infield glove is bold green. France is a natural third baseman, Smith says, but has unselfishly stepped in at shortstop and doubles as closer.

"When I get on base I feel like he's going to get me in every time," Saylor says. "When Ty's hitting behind me, I know he's going to get the job done."

Saylor is the louder of the two, a fiery catcher who demands attentiveness from the other eight players on the field. He sports a buzz cut and old-school stirrups.

"He takes charge," France says. "When we're in the dugout he's always on everyone, making sure they're in the game."

(Read full post)

Whirlwind of SGV coaching resignations

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
4:57
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It has been a dizzying start to the new year in the San Gabriel Valley, where four head football coaches have stepped down in recent days: Bob Burt (Hacienda Heights Wilson), Darryl Thomas (Covina), Eric Podley (Bonita) and Steve Bogan (South Hills).

Bogan won four CIF-Southern Section titles and 13 league crowns in his 19 years at South Hills. He will remain a teacher at the school, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported. The Huskies went 3-7 in each of the last two seasons.

Thomas spent the last 15 years as Covina's coach, reaching the playoffs 10 times. The Colts were 11-2 last season, losing to two-time Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia in the semifinals. Thomas will remain as Covina's athletic director and will hire his replacement.

Podley was Bonita's head coach for 12 years, highlighted by the Bearcats' appearance in the 2010 Southeast Division championship game. Adrian Medrano, who served as Bonita's special teams coordinator, will replace Podley, who will remain on the staff as offensive coordinator.

Wilson went 1-9 under Burt in his first and only season. Nick Christos was named the school's new head coach, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Elsewhere, Pasadena La Salle will announce Russell Gordon as its new football coach, according to the Pasadena Star-News. Gordon, who spent 15 seasons at Campbell Hall, replaces Antoine Peterson, who was fired after four seasons.

Citrus Belt, Sierra and Sunkist previews

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
4:04
PM PT
CITRUS BELT LEAGUE

League openers: Wednesday night – Fontana @ Redlands; Yucaipa @ Eisenhower; A.B. Miller @ Redlands East Valley.

Last year’s finish: Eisenhower (10-0); Redlands East Valley (8-2), Redlands (6-4); Yucaipa (4-6); A.B. Miller (2-8); Fontana (0-10).

Players to watch: Marvelle Harris (Eisenhower), 6-3, Sr. G; Terrance Sims (Eisenhower), 5-10, Sr., G; Toriano Harris (Eisenhower), 6-1, Sr., G; Evan Pea’Ches (Redlands), 6-7, Sr., F; Jamal Ellis (Redlands East Valley), 5-11, Sr., G; Daylin Billingsley (Yucaipa), 6-6, Sr., F; Adam Stanford (A.B. Miller), 6-3, Jr., F.

Predicted order of finish: Eisenhower, Redlands, Redlands East Valley, Yucaipa, Fontana, A.B. Miller.

SIERRA LEAGUE

League openers: Wednesday night – Ayala @ Chino Hills; Damien @ Claremont; Charter Oak @ South Hills.

Last year’s finish: Damien (9-1); Chino Hills (7-3); Ayala (7-3); Claremont (5-5); South Hills (1-9); Charter Oak (1-9).

Players to watch: Chris Reyes (Damien), 6-7, Sr., F; Clayton White (Damien), 6-0, Sr., G; Jared Dizon (Damien), 6-3, Jr., G; Josh Ramirez (Ayala), 6-4, Sr., G; Jared Ponce (Ayala), 6-2, Sr., G; Matt Ponce (Ayala), 5-10, Sr., G; Tyler Ponce (Ayala), 6-2, Sr., G; Mike Navar (Chino Hills), 6-7, Sr., C; Deion Page (Chino Hills), 6-1, Sr., G; Deandre Page (Chino Hills), 6-1, Sr., G; Bishop Mency (Chino Hills), 6-4, So., F; Kyle Maloof (Claremont), 6-1, Sr., G; Korey Serna (South Hills), 6-9, Sr., C; Kody Brown (Charter Oak), 6-7, Sr., F.

Predicted order of finish: Damien, Chino Hills, Ayala, Claremont, South Hills, Charter Oak.

SUNKIST LEAGUE

League openers: Wednesday night – Jurupa Valley @ Summit, Patriot @ Bloomington; Norte Vista @ Kaiser.

Last year’s finish: Summit (10-0); Patriot (8-2); Jurupa Valley (5-5); Bloomington (3-7); Kaiser (2-8); Norte Vista (0-10).

Players to watch: Devon Alexander (Summit), 6-1, Sr., G; Darrick Arnold (Summit), 6-3, Sr., F; Isaiah Taylor (Summit), 6-1, Sr., G; Thomas Folsom (Patriot), 6-10, Sr., C; Stephon Bryant (Jurupa Valley), 6-2, Jr., F; Sam Parks (Jurupa Valley), 6-1, So., F; Steven Avila (Jurupa Valley), 5-10, Jr., G; John Moss (Bloomington), 5-10, Sr., G

Predicted order of finish: Summit, Jurupa Valley, Kaiser, Patriot, Bloomington, Norte Vista.

Previously:

Baseline, Mountain Pass, Southwestern and Sunbelt leagues

Big VIII, Mojave River and Mt. Baldy leagues

Desert Valley, Inland Valley and San Andreas leagues

CIF-SS playoffs: Central Division

November, 13, 2011
11/13/11
1:01
PM PT
CIF-SS playoffs:
Central Division
This group might not carry the hoopla of the Inland Division, but it certainly has some quality teams and superb athletes. Rancho Verde hasn’t lost a regular-season game since 2007, yet hasn’t won a section title in that stretch either. Not so for Palm Springs and Colony. Palm Springs won the Eastern Division title in 2009, and the Titans won Central Division titles in 2006 and 2007. Here’s a breakdown of the division:

The seeds: No. 1 Rancho Verde, No. 2 Palm Springs, No. 3 La Sierra, No. 4 Colony.

Best first-round matchup: Palm Desert (5-4) at Carter (9-1) -- Carter had a chance to clinch the program's first outright San Andreas League title Thursday night against Cajon but lost, 24-7. That missed opportunity could spill over to the playoffs. Carter will have its hands full trying to stop Palm Desert running back Tim Santa Maria, who rushed for 333 yards in 33 carries and scored four touchdowns in a 38-35 loss Friday against La Quinta, dropping the Aztecs into third place in the Desert Valley League and setting up this matchup.

Toughest road: Palm Springs (10-0) -- The Indians’ unblemished record might be a bit misleading because they really haven't played any quality opponents this season, though they did blow out everyone except Palm Desert in the season opener. They open against a Rialto team that has a big-time victory against Cajon this season, one that likely cost the Cowboys a top four seeding. Waiting in the wings would be a matchup against Chino or Arlington, two other programs that could pose a problem with their potent run games.

Potential shocker: Valley View at Colony, first round -- Valley View had a bye in Week 10 to give them extra time to prepare for the playoffs and provide running back Michael Harrison a chance to rest up for the heavy workload he’s likely to encounter. Harrison, who has rushed for 1,373 and 16 touchdowns this season, is the type of power runner that has given Colony fits this season. The Titans have already allowed 100-yard rushing performances to Xavier Browne of Chino, Devon Samuels of Chaffey, Jamel Hart of South Hills, Jordan Robinson of Ayala and Corey Victoria of Glendora.

Darkhorse: Cajon (9-1) -- As mentioned above, Cajon would likely be one of the top three seeds if not for its loss against Rialto three weeks ago. The Cowboys have the athletes to make a run at any team in this division, and seem to have found a quality replacement for quarterback Edwin Martinez, who went down with a knee injury two weeks ago. De Juan Brooks stepped up from the junior varsity and threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns in the victory against Carter, locking up a share of the San Andreas League title.

Final analysis: This division is Rancho Verde’s to lose but that’s exactly what the Mustangs did last season, cruising to the championship game before getting stunned by Colton, the third-place team from the San Andreas League. They certainly didn’t catch any breaks in the brackets, getting stuck on the same side as Cajon and Colony, both of which feature Division 1-bound athletes who can change the course of a game.

Championship prediction: Palm Springs vs. Rancho Verde – These two programs appear to be in a class by themselves, though neither has really proved themselves against quality opponents during the regular season. Look for both teams to build momentum during some challenging early games and meet head on for the section title. Rancho Verde 27, Palm Springs 21.

Link to the Central Division bracket on CalPreps.com

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
10:55
PM PT
Dejon ColemanTim Haddock For ESPNLA.comArleta's Dejon Coleman set a school record with 330 yards rushing vs. Jefferson last week.

  1. Upon further review, Arleta running back Dejon Coleman rushed for 330 yards and set a school record against Jefferson in his team’s 45-7 win on Friday afternoon. Coleman scored three touchdowns in the game and has 36 touchdowns on the season. El Camino Real running back Kawan Rally had a record-setting weekend too. He rushed for four touchdowns against Chatsworth and set a school record with 62 touchdowns for his high school career. El Camino won, 49-20, over its West Valley League rival.
  2. A week after committing to San Jose State, Highland quarterback Christian Tago had one of his best games of his high school career. He passed for 294 yards and two touchdowns in Highland’s 35-0 win over Eastside in a Golden League game. Highland is tied for first place in the Golden League with Quartz Hill and Eastside. Highland receiver Leonard Merriweather caught five of Tago’s passes for 130 yards. He also rushed for 126 yards and scored two touchdowns.
  3. Camarillo receiver Jake Maulhardt caught 10 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns against Pacifica. He has 100 catches on the season, putting him in an elite group of receivers in CIF-Southern Section history. Thousand Oaks receiver Richard Mullaney set the Southern Section record with 122 receptions in his senior season in 2010. Pepe Villasenor from St. Bonaventure and Hayo Carpenter from Ridgecrest Burroughs are second on the Southern Section reception list at 111. Maulhardt has at least two more games and playoffs to move up on the receptions list.
  4. Amy Weissenbach, one of the most decorated and accomplished runners in Harvard-Westlake history, has committed to Stanford. She is the National Federation High School record holder in the 800 and the reigning Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Althlete of the Year. She is a two-time CIF state champion in the 800 and was on the Harvard-Westlake distance medley relay team that set a national high school record. Weissman was on the Harvard-Westlake cross country team that won the CIF Division IV state championship in 2009. Calabasas senior Walker Huddy will commit to Cal and play on the school’s golf team. Huddy won the Marmonte League championship and most valuable player as a sophomore and was an All Marmonte League first team selection in his junior year.
  5. The South Hills girls' volleyball team won the Crescenta Valley tournament, downing Pasadena Poly, 25-17, 25-22, in the gold division championship match. Sydney West earned tournament MVP playing for South Hills. Sydney La Follette and Zoe Herrera from South Hills were selected to the all-tournament team. The Van Nuys girls' volleyball team won the silver division championship, defeating L.A. Baptist, 25-15, 18-25, 15-11. Van Nuys did not win a match in pool play, but beat Righetti in the quarterfinals and Maranatha in the semifinals to reach the championship match.

L.A. South: Five games to see live

October, 12, 2011
10/12/11
4:19
PM PT
League play kicks off with a bang. As part of our running feature, here are five of this week’s must-see games in south Los Angeles County:

[+] EnlargeChaiyse Hales
Blair Angulo/For ESPNLA.comPoly QB Chaiyse Hales hopes to repeat his performance of a year ago against Lakewood.
No. 19 Lakewood vs. No. 6 Long Beach Poly at Veterans Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m.: When the final whistle blew last year, the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits gave coach Raul Lara the celebratory, icy Gatorade bath. He probably wouldn't mind a good soaking Friday night. The scoreboard keeper at the Vet might be busy. Poly (5-1, 2-0 Moore League) finally found its offensive rhythm last week, hanging 67 points on Jordan, and the Lakewood Lancers (5-1, 2-0) are averaging 45 points per game under first-year offensive coordinator Zach LaMonda, a former assistant coach at Servite. Jackrabbits senior quarterback Chaiyse Hales was the standout in last year's rivalry game, throwing for 189 yards and two touchdowns, and running for another score.

No. 22 Alemany at No. 7 Bishop Amat, Friday, 7 p.m.: Poor defensive play is Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty's biggest concern heading into this one -- and for good reason. The Lancers (5-1) have allowed the most points (111) among Serra League teams this year. These two met for the league title in last season's finale -- Alemany (4-1) claimed the championship with a 38-30 win -- so you know the Lancers will be plenty motivated. "It's going to be a fight," Lancers senior running back Jalen Moore said after last week's 38-35 win at Venice. "The league is going to come down to the end, but I feel like we should be able to take it all way." The game will stream live on FOXSportsWest.com as part of the website’s Prep Zone platform.

Charter Oak vs. South Hills at Covina District Field, Friday, 7 p.m.: For now, the Sierra League appears to be a four-team race and these two are a part of that group. The Charter Oak Chargers are the favorites (4-1) but Friday's road game could get tricky given that the South Hills Huskies (3-2) aren't strangers to tight games. Four of their five contests have been decided by four points or less. Chargers defensive coordinator Roger Lehigh would like to contain tailback Jamel Hart, who has hit triple-digit rushing yards in every game this season. It all adds up to an intriguing league opener.

Damien at Claremont, Friday, 7 p.m.: This is the other marquee Sierra League matchup, though it could have been a headliner any other week. The Damien Spartans (4-1) are fresh off a win against a Pac-5 Division opponent, JSerra, and their only loss this season was to Bishop Amat, which entered the week ranked No. 7 by ESPN Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Claremont Wolfpack (4-1) are looking to avenge last year's loss. Quarterback Gabe Schaper looks to rebound after throwing two costly interceptions last week.

West Covina at Bonita, Friday, 7 p.m.: Will spectators be in for another epic? These two met twice in 2010. West Covina thumped Bonita in the first game, basically securing the Hacienda League championship behind Chris Solomon's spectacular running. They saw each other again in the Southeast Division title game, which the West Covina Bulldogs (5-1) won on a thrilling last-minute drive. The Bonita Bearcats (2-3), coming off a bye week, will have redemption on their minds.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.

L.A. South: Five games to see live

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
7:14
PM PT
As part of our running feature, here are five of this week’s must-see games in south Los Angeles County:

Los Osos vs. South Hills at Covina District Field, Thursday, 7 p.m. -- Don't let the South Hills Huskies' mediocre 2-2 record fool you. They've been in every game, losing to Ontario Colony by one and defending Southeast Division champ West Covina by two. Workhorse Jamel Hart is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Los Osos is also 2-2, but its two losses came against a couple of undefeated teams, Orange Lutheran and Vista Murrieta.

Rio Ruiz
Blair Angulo/For ESPNLA.comQuarterback Rio Ruiz will lead Bishop Amat into its Thursday road game at Venice.
No. 8 Bishop Amat at Venice, Thursday, 7 p.m. -- A final hurdle for the Bishop Amat Lancers (4-1) before they begin what promises to be a grueling Serra League slate. Matching up against Venice (1-3) might not be a day at the beach, though. The Gondoliers have lost three straight but, after facing the likes of Chaminade, St. Francis and La Mesa Helix, they won't be wide eyed when a Pac-5 squad lines up across from them.

Diamond Ranch at Diamond Bar, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Childhood friends (turned enemies) will face off when these rival schools meet for just the second time ever. Diamond Ranch (2-3), which sits in Pomona near the Chino Hills and Diamond Bar borders, won the inaugural game last year, 41-0. The stakes have been raised this season, with the winner set to capture the newly introduced Mayor's Cup trophy. The Diamond Bar Brahmas (2-3) have lost two straight.

Narbonne at Culver City, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Battle tested Narbonne (2-2) continues its preseason gauntlet of tough opponents. Junior quarterback Troy Williams carried the Gauchos to a victory against Gardena Serra last week and, like always, figures to be the focal point of that uptempo attack. Culver City (4-0), which has allowed only 14.5 points per game, will be well aware.

Roosevelt at South East, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Undefeated South East (5-0) has one of the area's most electrifying players, Robert Lewis. The Southern Methodist commit already has 12 rushing touchdowns and four performances of more than 150 yards. The Jaguars are one of only three undefeated City Section Division II teams and, if they win Friday, gain control of the Eastern League.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.

LA South: Top returning rushers

August, 19, 2011
8/19/11
6:10
PM PT
With the start of the high school football season less than two weeks away, we give you a list of the top 15 returning rushers in south Los Angeles County, sorted by last year’s totals. Robert Lewis, a senior at South East, is ranked No. 12 on this list but is more than just a ball carrier. Lewis, the top-rated senior running back in the area according to ESPNU recruiting, is committed to Southern Methodist. He's a dynamic playmaker that should build on a solid junior season. West Covina's Chris Solomon ranks second on this list, even though he's projected as a safety at the next level.

Rank / Name (Year, School) / Yards / Touchdowns

1. Giovanni Rivera (Senior, Sierra Vista): 2,304 yards - 14 TD
2. Chris Solomon (Senior, West Covina): 1,790 yards - 20 TD
3. Jalen Moore (Senior, Bishop Amat): 1,634 yards - 23 TD
4. Jamel Hart (Senior, South Hills): 1,318 yards - 17 TD
5. Marquise McGuire (Junior, Long Beach Jordan): 1,200 yards - 3 TD

6. Michael Ortega (Senior, St. Paul): 1,196 yards - 7 TD
7. Walter Moctezuma (Senior, Marshall): 1,190 yards - 15 TD
8. Tony Botello (Senior, Pioneer): 1,189 yards -- 12 TD
9. Michael Wimberly (Senior, West Adams Prep): 1,026 yards - 9 TD
10. Darrell Santiago (Junior, San Pedro): 965 yards - 15 TD

11. Thomas Brown (Senior, Serra): 960 yards - 6 TD
12. Robert Lewis (Senior, South East): 901 yards - 11 TD
13. Kori Garcia (Senior, Santa Monica): 856 yards - 9 TD
14. Tairen Owens (Senior, Muir): 822 yards - 10 TD
15. Anterio Bateman (Junior, Serra): 783 yards - 5 TD

Softball championships begin today in Irvine

June, 3, 2011
6/03/11
7:24
AM PT
Top-seeded Oaks Christian, in the finals for the first time since 2005, will face off against South Hills tonight for the Division 3 softball title in the Southern Section Championships at Barber Park in Irvine.

It's the last of three games, with four games scheduled for Saturday including the marquee Anaheim Canyon-Corona Santiago matchup in Division 1.

Oaks Christian had a remarkable run from 2001-2005 in which it won two titles and was runner-up three times. In facing South Hills, the Lions will be facing a team that was beaten in last year's championship game. The Huskies are trying to win their third title, too; they won titles in 1982 and 1997.

Here's a look at today's schedule:

Friday at Barber Park in Irvine

Division 3: South Hills (21-7) vs. No. 1 Oaks Christian (29-5), 7:30 p.m.
Oaks Christian has allowed only one run in the playoffs, a 2-1 victory over fourth-seeded Chino Hills in the semifinals that required freshman reliever Kristin Cullen (8-2) to pitch out of a seventh inning jam and then have her teammates score twice in the bottom of the inning. Kiana Quolas (17-3, 0.42 ERA) handles most of the pitching duties, and she will likely be the the choice to stop the Huskies, who are brimming with confidence; they scored perhaps the most impressive victory of the playoffs, a 16-1 drubbing of second-seeded Bishop Amat. Pitcher Sydney La Follette (17-6, 3.50 ERA; .405, 31 RBIs) has been hot in the playoffs; she's batting .643 with eight RBIs and three homers in the postseason, a healthy complement to junior catcher Britney Rodriguez (.461, 33 RBIs) and school valedictorian Samantha Nieves (.432, 20 RBIs).

Division 5: No. 1 La Canada (25-3) vs. No. 2 Beaumont (25-4), 5:15 p.m.

La Canada carries a 22-game winning streak into the title game as it hopes to win its first title since 1991. The Spartans are led by Georgetown-bound pitcher Lauren O’Leary (24-2, 0.40 ERA). Northwestern-bound Anna Edwards (.465, 30 RBIs) has 11 homers for La Canada, which has outscored opponents 32-3 in the playoffs. Beaumont counters with Alyssa Fuimaono (24-4, 1.74 ERA) as the Cougars seek their first championship.

Division 7: No. 2 Bell-Jeff (22-5) vs. No. 1 Pomona Catholic (23-5), 3 p.m.

Since a 2-1 loss to West Covina on April 6, Pomona Catholic has won 14 in a row (two by forfeit) by a combined score of 234-0 -- including 81-0 in the playoffs. Amber Padilla (18-4, 0.31) has pitched back-to-back perfect games.

Saturday at Barber Park in Irvine
Division 6: Downey Calvary Chapel vs. Perris Citrus Valley, 10 a.m.
Division 4: Fontana Kaiser vs. Goleta Dos Pueblos, 12:30 p.m.
Division 2: Camarillo vs. La Mirada, 3:30 p.m.
Division 1: Anaheim Canyon vs. Corona Santiago, 6 p.m.

LA South: Baseball playoffs preview

May, 17, 2011
5/17/11
4:43
PM PT
SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

The seeded teams in south Los Angeles County:

Div. 1: None
Div. 2: No. 2 Arcadia
Div. 3: No. 1 Bonita, No. 3 Alhambra
Div. 4: No. 2 Bishop Amat, No. 3 Torrance
Div. 5: No. 2 L.A. Cathedral
Div. 6: No. 2 Pasadena Poly
Div. 7: No. 1 Santa Monica New Roads, No. 2 Rolling Hills Prep, No. 3 Lynwood Firebaugh

The best wild-card games in south Los Angeles County on Tuesday:

Division 1: Capistrano Valley (19-11) at Long Beach Poly (23-7). This has the potential to get wild, depending on which way the wind is blowing Tuesday. Capistrano Valley has eight regulars hitting over .330, led by junior Cristian Salina's .453. The Jackrabbits reached double figures in runs six times this season. Poly finished the regular season by winning 13 of 15. Winner of this one plays at Esperanza on Friday.

Division 2: Rancho Verde (13-13-1) at South Hills (20-4). The big objective for the Huskies: Forget about not receiving a bye into the first round. South Hills finished tied atop the Sierra League standings, won 20 of its 24 games and, somehow, has a wild-card game to play. Luis Inzunza (6-5, 2.14) figures to get the nod for Rancho Verde. Winner of this one plays at Arroyo Grande on Thursday.

Division 3: Ocean View (16-10) at Diamond Bar (15-11). Ocean View's triple threat of Timmy Robinson (.462), Blake Walker (.410) and Robert Fogarty (.392) will likely have the difficult task of facing Diamond Bar lefty Kenny Mathews (5-4, 1.24), who is committed to Cal State Fullerton. Winner of this one plays at Colton on Friday.

Division 4: Grace Brethren (11-15-1) at Northview (12-13). The Vikings won their last two games to secure third place in the Valle Vista League. Grace Brethren has lost seven of its last 11. Winner of this one plays at Sorona on Thursday.

Division 5: El Monte (9-10) at Gladstone (16-6). The Gladiators' late, furious charge wasn't enough to bag them the Montview League crown, but a six-game winning streak heading into the postseason is a bright side. Casey Lopez (.380) and Daniel Farfan (4-3, 2.35) are El Monte's top hitter and pitcher, respectively. Winner of this one plays at Nipomo on Friday.

On Wednesday, we'll preview of the top first-round games.

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

Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

November, 8, 2010
11/08/10
3:58
PM PT
1. The most exciting finish occurred in the Citrus Belt League. Redlands took a 7-3 lead with just over two minutes remaining Friday night against A.B. Miller of Fontana, but the Rebels took it back on a five-yard touchdown run by quarterback Eric Shufford with 33 ticks left. Down three points again, the Terriers returned the ensuing kickoff to the Miller 11-yard line. With 11 seconds remaining, Redlands quarterback Mike Stallone rolled out looking to throw the ball, but instead ran and was tackled on the one-yard line as time expired. With the 10-7 win, Miller (5-4, 3-1) takes over sole possession of second place and can claim a share of the league title with a victory Thursday against visiting Redlands East Valley (7-2, 4-0).

2. Palm Springs put itself in good position to win its second Desert Valley League title in the last three years with a 16-7 victory against visiting La Quinta. The Indians (8-1, 4-0) just need to beat winless Cathedral City in its final regular season game Friday at Palm Springs High. Nephi Garcia continues to be primary cause of the Indians’ success. He scored both touchdowns against La Quinta and kicked a 34-yard field goal, finishing with 101 rushing yards in 15 carries.

3. How tight is the Mountain Pass League race? Four teams begin the final week of the regular season with 3-1 records. The four-way tie was created Friday night when host Perris Citrus Hill knocked off first-place Hemet West Valley, 15-13. Beaumont and San Jacinto also won their games to move into a tie for first. The league race will be settled Friday night when Beaumont plays West Valley at San Gorgonio Middle School and Citrus Hill travels to San Jacinto. One of the losers will likely miss the playoffs.

(Read full post)

LA South: The Top 10

September, 21, 2010
9/21/10
9:14
AM PT
No major changes in this week's rankings, as the top six teams took care of business. South Hills dropped out after losing to rival West Covina and Carson fell three spots after a weak showing against Santa Margarita.

1. (1) Lakewood (3-0)
The Lancers had their hands full with Mayfair's Dominique Small, but did enough in other areas to claim the Milk Bucket trophy. Last week: Beat Mayfair, 24-14. Next: at Leuzinger, Friday.

2. (2) Serra (3-0)
Anything but an undefeated season would be a major disappointment for this talented squad. There may be too much balance for it not to happen. Last week: Beat Mira Costa, 35-13. Next: at Peninsula, Friday.

3. (3) Bishop Amat (3-0)
No one has questioned Amat's non-league strength of schedule. More challenges await the Lancers as they prepare for Serra League play. Last week: Beat Muir, 34-14. Next: vs. Damien, Friday.

4. (4) Long Beach Poly (2-1)
A gritty effort by the defense and strong special teams play helped the Jackrabbits avoid a losing streak. Quarterback Chaiyse Hales can air it out, but needs to be more consistent. Last week: Beat Narbonne, 23-20. Next: vs. Mission Viejo, Friday at Veterans Stadium.

5. (5) Crenshaw (1-2)
It took three weeks, but the Cougars finally managed to tally one up in the win column. It should be smooth sailing from here on out. Last week: Beat Banning, 46-0. Next: vs. Riverside North, Friday.

(Read full post)

LA South: West Covina 42, South Hills 27

September, 16, 2010
9/16/10
11:46
PM PT


COVINA -- The night began with South Hills bursting through a banner that read, "Huskies run this town."

As it turns out, West Covina tailback Beejay Lee does.

The junior tore through South Hills' defense as if it were made of paper, despite only carrying the ball six times while splitting duties with three other backs. But Lee was effective when called upon, contributing three scores on 126 yards rushing to pace West Covina to a 42-27 win at Covina District Stadium.

Lee's legs secured the city's bragging rights for the next year. Less than two miles and exactly three stop lights separate South Hills and West Covina on Cameron Avenue.

"They're always favored," Lee said regarding rival South Hills. "We always come out ready to work and ready to win. We feel like we work harder than them at practice and we showed it."

The Bulldogs (2-1) ran away with it, the Huskies adding two late touchdowns that made the outcome more respectable. This was domination by West Covina's offensive line, which not only paved the way for Lee but also helped sophomore Jimmy Frazier reach the end zone twice on close to 100 yards rushing.

(Read full post)

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