Los Angeles Preps: St. Mary's

Harvard-Westlake grad a projected NFL first-rounder

April, 26, 2012
A Harvard-Westlake grad will probably hear his name called on the first day of the NFL draft.

Jonathan Martin, who prepped at Harvard-Westlake in North Hollywood before playing for Stanford, could go to the San Diego Chargers with the 18th pick in the first round. He is projected as first-round pick. Other teams that need and might select an offensive lineman in the first round are the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 24 and the Baltimore Ravens at No. 29.

A couple other players from California are expected to be first-round picks. Here is a look at who could be selected in the first round:

Matt Kalil, USC, Servite High in Anaheim. The 6-7, 295-pound offensive lineman was one of the ESPN 150 and a USA Today All-USA selection in his senior year of high school.

Martin, Stanford, Harvard-Westlake. The 6-5, 312 pounder was an All CIF Southern Section and Del Rey League selection in his senior year of high school. Harvard-Westlake was 8-4 and reached the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs in 2007, Martin’s senior season.

Doug Martin, Boise State, St. Mary’s in Stockton. The 5-9, 223-pound running back averaged 123.4 yards per game in his senior season at St. Mary’s in Stockton. He gained 1,234 yards and scored 14 touchdowns for St. Mary’s in the 2007 season.

Damien's Chris Reyes is Mr. Motivation

January, 24, 2012
Chris ReyesCourtesy of Justin RadDamien's Chris Reyes is accustomed to teams taken him lightly, and he's just fine with that.

LA VERNE -- When discussions take place about some of the Southland's premier post players, the name Chris Reyes is not always included in the conversation.

The lack of recognition, however, does not bother the 6-foot-6, 205-pound senior from Damien. The perceived snub has served as plenty of motivation this season. Accordingly, Reyes is playing as well, if not better than most his peers in the greater Los Angeles area.

“Chris may not be ranked as high as the other guys, but he is just as good in my book,'' Damien coach Matt Dunn said. “He affects the game in so many ways, on both ends of the floor. Honestly, I think when people underestimate him, it's a mistake. I've seen Chris make opponents pay for taking him lightly in the past. He plays with this uncanny fire.''

As Reyes has gone, so have the Spartans (18-1 overall), No. 17 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 rankings. They have a test Wednesday in a showdown with visiting Chino Hills Ayala. The winner will be in the driver's seat in the Sierra League standings.

The St. Mary's-bound Reyes is shooting 62 percent from the field and is averaging a double-double per game with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Never one to back down from a challenge, he has also blocked an average of five shots on a nightly basis.

“I'd like to be be compared to the best big guys around. Do I think about it all the time? No, not really,'' Reyes said. “Honestly, I kind of like being unknown.''

He is far from an unknown, rest assured. Thing is: La Verne Lutheran's Grant Jerrett, North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake's Zena Edosomwan, Woodland Hills Taft's Anthony January and Gardena Serra's Daddy Ugbede typically grab most of the headlines.

(Read full post)

Harrell prefers substance over style

January, 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- Julian Harrell is not one of those flashy type of basketball players. Fundamentally sound more accurately describes his repertoire on the hardwood, a rare trait in this day and age when most individuals are trying to become the next Internet sensation.

[+] EnlargeHarrell
Courtesy of Nick KozaJulian Harrell has Loyola off to a 14-2 start and already has committed to the University of Pennsylvania.
The senior from Los Angeles Loyola understands the nuances of the game and does the little things that don't necessarily show up in the box score. Hustling and diving for loose balls comes naturally. Another redeeming quality is a no-nonsense approach to playing defense.

Rest assured, Harrell can also stuff the stat sheet. One need not look any further than his team highs in number of different categories this season for proof. Whenever the Cubs need a big bucket, someone to crash the boards or a timely assist, they typically turn to him.

Considering everything that Harrell brings to the table, you begin to understand why the University of Pennsylvania commit is regarded as one of the Southland's premier players and why Loyola is thought to be one the premier programs in the greater Los Angeles area.

“Julian, we like to call him Ju Ju, has done some extraordinary things in his time here with us, that's no exaggeration either,'' Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “He's not going to end up on some And1 mix-tape or anything like that. His highlight film is done differently, and if you ask me or any other hoops fan, his moves are just as entertaining as anyone else out there.

“He's a throwback in a lot of ways. Ju Ju is well-rounded and can do just about anything asked of him. He's played all five positions on the floor for me. He's versatile. I love his game. He's efficient. There's not a lot of wasted movement. All of the intangibles are there. He's a coach's dream. We are going to miss him once he graduates and moves on the next level.''

In the meantime, its business as usual for Harrell & Co.

Loyola (14-2 overall) got off to somewhat of a slow start this season with a couple of surprising losses in the traditionally tough Mission League. The setbacks are nothing more than a distant memory for the Cubs, No. 5 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 rankings.

Next up: Two important league games, the first on Saturday night at La Canada St. Francis. Thereafter, a showdown at home against Encino Crespi, No. 4 in the recent ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings, looms large on Jan. 23. Harrell will be expected to carry the load for the Cubs, of course, similar to how the 6-foot-5 shooting guard has done so many times in the recent past.

(Read full post)

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

March, 24, 2011

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.

LA South: Harvard-Westlake girls' basketball team adds to school's legacy

March, 30, 2010

On one wall of the Harvard-Westlake gymnasium hangs the banners of the league championships won by the teams at the school.

On another hangs the CIF Southern Section championship banners.

On a third wall hangs the CIF state championship teams. The names of all the players on those teams hang with the championship banners.

Harvard-Westlake girls basketball coach Melissa Hearlihy said her team wanted to be on the third wall. Her players wanted to be part of the legacy, not just the history, of Harvard-Westlake athletics.

The Harvard-Westlake girls basketball team of 2009-10 will hang a CIF state championship banner in the school’s gymnasium. With a convincing 58-44 win over St. Mary’s of Berkeley in the championship game of the CIF Division IV state playoffs, the Harvard-Westlake girls reached that rare level of excellence achieved by few in sports.

St. Mary’s center Danielle Mauldin said after the game the Harvard-Westlake girls had a greater desire.

“The key to this game was they wanted it more than us,” Mauldin said.

Desire was part of it. Hearlihy said her team has been focused for more than a year on winning a state championship. But it takes more than desire to achieve the kind of success the Harvard-Westlake girls did. Unity, loyalty and trust in each other were all factors in Harvard-Westlake’s championship run.

“I feel like this year, we were more like a family than a team,” said Harvard-Westlake senior Nicole Hung, “and that really helped.”

If the Harvard-Westlake girls basketball team was a family, Hung was the mother. She was the leader, statistically and emotionally. She made sure her teammates encouraged each other, supported each other, picked each other up when they were down.

But like a good mother, she let her kids shine. She had no problem stepping out of the spotlight to let another player bask in success.

For example, in the CIF Division IV playoffs against Bell-Jeff, Skylar Tsutsui made two clutch free throws at the end of the game to seal a 61-59 win. Hung had no doubt Tsutsui, a junior, would make those shots. Tsutsui needed to take some big deep breaths and convince herself she could make those shots. Hung had the confidence, Tsutsui had the ability, and the Harvard-Westlake girls moved on.

In the CIF Division IV Southern California regional final against Bishop Montgomery, it was Sydney Haydel’s turn to shine. Haydel scored 15 first-half points as Harvard-Westlake rolled into the state championship game against St. Mary’s.

Hung, who scored a game-high 23 points in the game against Bishop Montgomery, was Haydel’s biggest fan in the first half of that game and the proudest teammate after the game.

Haydel got off to hot start again in the game against St. Mary’s, scoring another 15 first-half points. Only this time, Haydel was the leading scorer with 20. Hung scored 16, but the win and the state championship trumped anything in the box score.

St. Mary’s coach Alan Koch said after the game that Haydel is the most important player on Harvard-Westlake’s team. He said she does a lot of the little things that make her teammates better.

“I think we all do those little things,” Haydel said.

It was the little things, not necessarily the picks, the screens, the charges and the passes that made the Harvard-Westlake girls state champions. It was the heart, the desire, the pursuit of excellence that made them champions. Maybe those things aren’t so little after all.

For Haydel, it might have been something as simple as desire that made her and her teammates reach the vaulted level few have reached.

“I wanted that banner,” Haydel said. “We decided we were going to do anything to get that state title.”
BAKERSFIELD – The Harvard-Westlake girls' basketball team jumped out to an 11-point first-half lead and poured it on in the second half en route to a 58-44 victory over St. Mary’s of Berkeley in the championship game of the CIF Division IV state playoffs at Rabobank Arena on Friday.

Sydney Haydel scored 20 points, 15 in the first half, and was the catalyst for Harvard-Westlake for the second game in a row. She scored 15 points in the first half of the Southern California Division IV regional championship game against Bishop Montgomery.

St. Mary’s coach Alan Koch called Haydel the “most important” player on Harvard-Westlake’s team, adding she might not be the best player, but she does the little things that make her teammates better.

Haydel was instrumental in turning a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter into an 11-point lead in the second quarter. She provided the offense, but the Harvard-Westlake defense turned it up a notch as well, holding St. Mary’s to 10 second-quarter points and three-for-11 shooting from the field.

“I think we did a really good job of playing pressure defense,” Haydel said. “[St. Mary's] got tired.”

Koch said his team started rushing and made some bad decisions with the ball in the second quarter.

“They made a good defensive adjustment and got us out of doing what we wanted to do,” Koch said.

Three Harvad-Westlake players scored in double figures. Princeton-bound senior Nicole Hung scored 16 points and had nine rebounds. Fellow senior Nicole Nesbit had 15 points and was eight for eight from the free-throw line.

Danielle Mauldin led St. Mary’s with 14 points and seven rebounds. She fouled out with 3:16 left to play and her team down 53-38.

“I’ve been told to watch my fouls all season,” Mauldin said. “It happens.”

Cody Sims had nine points and Jade Rowland scored six points off the bench for St. Mary’s.

LA North: Haydel hot again
for Harvard-Westlake girls

March, 26, 2010
BAKERSFIELD – The CIF Division IV girls' basketball state championship game is turning into Sydney Haydel, the sequel.

Harvard-Westlake has a 33-22 lead over St. Mary’s of Berkeley at halftime behind 15 first-half points from Haydel at Rabobank Arena.

Haydel sparked the Harvard-Westlake offense with 15 points against Bishop Montgomery in the Southern California regional championship game at Colony High School in Ontario last Saturday.

Haydel is six for nine from the field and has made three of six free throws.

Nicole Hung has 11 points for Harvard-Westlake, which led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter.

Danielle Mauldin has 10 points for St. Mary’s. She made a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the second quarter to cut Harvard-Westlake’s lead to 11.

LA South: Price doesn't let up in
Division IV state championship game

March, 26, 2010
BAKERSFIELD – Led by Allen Crabbe’s 25 points, Price of Los Angeles beat St. Mary’s of Berkeley, 69-51, to win the CIF Division IV boys' basketball state championship at Rabobank Arena on Friday.

Crabbe scored 10 points in the third quarter and helped his team turn a nine-point halftime lead into a 15-point third-quarter lead.

Price’s Richard Solomon fouled out with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter and his team up by 18 points. Even at that point, Solomon said he didn’t want his team to let up.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” said Solomon, who scored 22 points on nine-for-11 shooting. “It’s not over until the buzzer sounds. I was just happy for my team.”

Solomon, the California-bound senior, was one of three players to score in double figures for Price. Crabbe, who’s also going to California in the fall, made eight of 15 shots and was eight for nine from the free-throw line. Skylar Spencer scored 10 points and had 10 rebounds.

In addition to scoring some easy baskets in the paint, Price outrebounded St. Mary’s, 43-21. Price pulled down 13 offensive rebounds to St. Mary’s five.

Price coach Michael Lynch said he wanted to play to his team’s strength, shot-blocking and rebounding. He wanted St. Mary’s to challenge Solomon and Spencer in the paint, and not take too many outside shots.

“Our hope was that they really wouldn’t torch us from the outside,” Lynch said.

Justin Pollard led St. Mary’s with 18 points, but was only four-of-14 from the field. He did make 10-of-11 free throws.

Baral Glen scored 13 points, eight in the first half, and had six rebounds.

LA South: Price boys up by nine
at halftime in CIF Division IV final

March, 26, 2010
BAKERSFIELD – Price has a 30-21 halftime lead over St. Mary’s of Berkeley in the CIF Division IV state championship game at Rabobank Arena.

Price’s Richard Solomon leads all scorers with 13 points. He is five of six from the field. Teammate Allen Crabbe has seven points and seven rebounds.

Glenn Baral has eight points to lead St. Mary’s at halftime.

Price led 12-11 after the first quarter and opened up a nine-point lead early in the second quarter.

Part of St. Mary’s strategy was to keep Price out of the paint and deny the players any easy looks at the basket. Price penetrated on several occasions, throwing down some impressive dunks on three of those trips down the court.

Price is outrebounding St. Mary’s 25-9 in the first half. Solomon and Skylar Spencer each have four rebounds for Price.

LA South: Price boys to rely on depth
in CIF Division IV championship

March, 26, 2010
BAKERSFIELD – Michael Lynch, the Price boys basketball coach, has been relying on a deep bench throughout the playoffs.

He wants to see his reserves step up again against St. Mary’s of Berkeley in the CIF Division IV state championship game at Rabobank Arena.

In the CIF Southern California regional final against Francis Parker, Price didn’t start pulling away until the second half. That’s been the pattern for most of the season.

Lynch said he likes to rotate 10 players throughout the game. His team wears out opponents, but the benefits of that rotation don’t surface until the second half starts.

“The third quarter’s been when we’ve been stepping it up,” Lynch said. “If I had it my way, I’d like to go in three groups.”

St. Mary’s coach Manny Nodar said he thinks he has a way to counter Price’s deep bench. Keep them out of the paint and don’t let them score any easy baskets.

“The less we have to help, the better we’ll be,” Nodar said.

St. Mary’s is coming off a tough, 54-50, overtime win over Salesian in the Northern California regional championship game. Salesian and St. Mary’s play in Bay Shore League and meet several times during the regular season.

“Every game is a physical, grind-it-out game,” Nodar said.

This is Price’s seventh appearance in the CIF state championship game. They are 5-1.

St. Mary’s has played in three CIF state championship games. They are 1-2.