Los Angeles Preps: Verdugo Hills

Palisades wins City Section boys volleyball title

May, 21, 2012
The Palisades boys volleyball team swept Granada Hills in three close games, 25-19, 26-24, 25-23, to win the City Section Division I championship at Venice High School on Saturday night.

Palisades won its first boys volleyball title since 2008 after reaching the championship match the past two years. The Dolphins lost to Woodland Hills Taft and Granada Hills in consecutive years. It was the 12th City Section championship for Palisades.

Connor Nasch had 10 kills to lead Palisades. Nick Wittbrodt recorded 37 assists and Matt Comisar had 15 digs.

Billy De La Espriella and Jino Labao each had 10 kills for Granada Hills.

Los Angeles Jordan swept Verdugo Hills in the City Section Division II championship match at Venice High School. Verdugo Hills had a 19-match winning streak snapped.

C.J. Suarez set the Verdugo Hills record for kills. He had 25 kills against Jordan and set the school mark with 748 kills over his career.

Jordan won the Division II championship for the second year in a row.

Northridge Academy won the small schools championship in four games over Elizabeth Learning Center. Justin Bates had 22 kills for Northridge Academy, which won its third title in the past six seasons.

Volleyball playoffs update

May, 16, 2012
The Granada Hills boys volleyball team swept Woodland Hills Taft in three games and will play for the City Section Division I championship on Saturday.

Palisades had a bit tougher time with West Adams, but still swept its way to the championship match.

Granada Hills and Palisades will play at Venice High School on Saturday at 5.

Los Angeles Jordan plays Verdugo Hills in the Division II championship match at Venice High School. Northridge plays Elizabeth in the small schools championship at noon.

In the CIF Southern Section boys volleyball playoffs, top-seeded Loyola plays third-seeded Mira Costa in the Division I championship match at Cypress College on Saturday.

Top-seeded Oak Park plays second-seeded Corona del Mar in the Division II championship match at Cypress College.

No. 1 seed Warren plays No. 2 South Torrance in the Division III championship match.

No. 1 Cathedral plays No. 3 Santa Monica in the Division IV championship match. No. 4 Viewpoint plays No. 1 Chadwick in the Division V championship match.

San Fernando baseball Vegas bound

March, 30, 2012
The San Fernando baseball team is off to Las Vegas next week for the annual Durango Classic. Awaiting the reigning CIF City Section champions will be Sierra Vista, a team many consider the second best in the state of Nevada behind Bishop Gorman.

San Fernando coach Armando Gomez plans on starting Alonzo Garcia against Sierra Vista. Garcia, a sophomore, has emerged as the ace of the staff. Gomez doesn’t exactly have a designated No. 2 starter yet. Rather, he has been using a pitching staff by committee to fill in the gaps between Garcia’s starts.

Three pitchers combined to shut out Van Nuys Grant, 11-0, on Friday. Carlos Robles started the game and went three innings. Ruben Armenta came in for the next two and Miguel Hernandez pitched the seventh inning.

Isaac Dominguez provided the offense going 3-for-5 with two triples and drove in four runs. Garcia, who also plays the outfield, had a two-run double in his only at-bat.

Gomez says he hopes his team plays Chatsworth at some point during the Durango Classic. Monroe, Verdugo Hills and Sun Valley Poly are teams from the San Fernando Valley that are also entered in the tournament.

San Fernando (11-3) has won all four of its Valley Mission League games. Gomez said his team could easily be 13-1 overall.

“The three losses we’ve had, we probably should have won two of them,” Gomez said. The Tigers lost to Paraclete, 6-5, in the second game of the season. They lost 2-1 to Agoura on March 24. The only blowout was a 9-0 loss to Buena on Feb. 29.

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Granada Hills, Verdugo Hills and Sylmar made it through the wild-card of the City Section Division 1 playoffs. All the games were tight and decided by one run.

Verdugo Hills needed extra innings to eliminate Garfeild, 4-3. Ray Carranza knocked in Austin Obregon with a bases-loaded, two-out single in the eighth inning.

Sylmar shut out Bell, 1-0, behind a one-hitter from starter Juvenal Terrazas. He also drove in the game’s only run with a sacrifice fly in the first inning.

Granada Hills beat LA Marshall, 3-2. Ricky Hernandez drove in the game-winning run with a single in the bottom of the seventh.

Sylmar gets the toughest match-up in the first round on Tuesday. Second-seeded El Camino Real awaits Sylmar.

Verdugo Hills plays third-seeded Kennedy of Granada Hills.

Granada Hills plays fourth-seeded Wilmington Banning.

Here’s a look at the City Section wild-card game results and first round games:

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  1. The Harvard-Westlake girls track and field team won the CIF Southern Section Division III championship behind a school-record performance in the 4 x 400 relay. The team of Lauren Hansson, Cami Chapus, KC Cord and Amy Weissenbach won the 4 x 400 relay in 3 minutes 48.14 seconds. Chapus won the Division III 1,600 and 3,200 races. Weissenbach, the reigning state champion in the 800, won the Division III 800 race in 2:08.61. She was also third in the 1,600. Hansson was second in the Division III 400 race. The Harvard-Westlake girls scored 66 points. San Luis Obispo was second with 52.
  2. Agoura’s Jonathan Cabral broke the CIF Southern Section Division III record in the 110 hurdles and won two events at the Division III track and field meet at Cerritos College. He won the 110 hurdles in 13.54 seconds, breaking the mark set by Steve Kerho of Mission Viejo in 1982. Cabral also won the 300 hurdles in 37.17 seconds. The Sherman Oaks Notre Dame boys track and field team showed off its depth and won the Southern Section Division III championship. The Notre Dame boys didn’t win a single event, but Khalfani Muhammad was second in the 100 and 200 behind Covina’s Remontay McClain. Notre Dame had three runners place in the top five in the 100. Eric McDaniel was fourth and Jon Simon was fifth.
  3. The Saugus girls track and field field finished second in the CIF Southern Section Division II meet at Cerritos College. Senior Kaylin Mahoney won her second Southern Section championship, taking the Division II 3,200 race in 10 minutes 38.03 seconds. It was her second CIF Southern Section championship. She won the 3,200 as a sophomore two years ago. Mahoney was one of three runners from Saugus to finish in the top five in the 3,200. Stephanie Bulder was third and Karis Frankian was fourth. Bulder won the Division II 1,600 race in 4:53.51. It was her first CIF Southern Section championship. Jenna Vincej, the reigning Division II 400 champion from Saugus, finished second in this year’s race in 56.60 seconds. She was also on the 4 x 400 relay team with Nicole Penick, Jessica Gill and Emily Orr that finished fourth in the Division II race in 3:55.59. Vincej also finished sixth in the Division II 200 race.
  4. The Granada Hills High School boys volleyball team won the CIF City Section Division I championship, sweeping Palisades at Venice High. Granada Hills won its fourth CIF championship in the past six years. It was the eighth CIF City Section championship in school history and the fifth in Division I. Granada Hills won the match, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19. The Highlanders lost only one game in the playoffs. All-City setter Jose Juarez guided a balanced offense with 25 assists. Robert Nguyen had 15 digs.
  5. The Verdugo Hills boys volleyball team lost the Southern Section Division II championship match in four games to LA Jordan. Verdugo Hills was playing for its first CIF championship in boys volleyball. CJ Suarez had 13 kills and Michael Sanders recorded 35 assists for Verdugo Hills. The Burroughs of Burbank boys volleyball team lost the Southern Section Division III championship match in four games to Valley Christian of Cerritos. Burroughs came in to the final match as the top-seeded team in the Division III bracket. Valley Christian was No. 2. Sophomore Daniel Jacobs led Burroughs with 11 kills.
The L.A. North region is well-represented in the CIF Division III state boys basketball championships.

Verdugo Hills opens against Hoover of Fresno in the first round. Verdugo Hills in the fifth-seeded team in the Southern California bracket and is 24-7. The Dons won the City Section Division III championship game, 60-50, over El Camino Real.

Hoover (20-10) lost to Ridgeview in the championship game of the Central Section Division III playoffs.

El Camino Real of Woodland Hills (16-14) plays Centennial, the No. 3-seeded team in the Southern California bracket.

Alemany of Mission Hills (11-17) is in the state playoffs after reaching the championship game of the Southern Section Division 4A playoffs.

Alemany lost to Crespi, 50-43, in the Division 4A championship game. It won’t get any easier in state. Alemany plays Orange Lutheran (23-8), which lost to Price in the championship game of the Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs.

LA North: Verdugo Hills completes remarkable comeback

March, 6, 2010
LOS ANGELES — What a game this one was.

The Verdugo Hills Dons, fresh off their first East Valley League Title in 50 years, trailed El Camino Real for most of Saturday's City Section Boys Division III championship game at Roybal LC.

But they didn't trail at the end.

Verdugo was behind 7-0 after the first two minutes of play, 30-10 midway through the second quarter, and 48-33 at the end of the third quarter — but the Dons outscored the Conquistadores 27-4 in the fourth quarter to capture a remarkable 60-52 victory.

"Only in movies do you see something like that," Dons coach Jared Gibson said. "And it sounds pretty cliche, but we watched Hoosiers yesterday and it came to fruition today. Our kids did everything we asked of them."

Verdugo Hills got 13 points and four assists from senior point guard Aragad Abramian and 20 points and 16 rebounds from junior center Chris Dees, who started the game on the bench because of missed practices this week.

Abramian played all 32 minutes — despite shooting just four for 17 from the field — and was in control from start to finish. He said afterward the key to the game was in a simple choice.

"We started playing our game," Abramian said. "We started playing our game and stopped playing their game."

El Camino funneled the ball through its two talented wings — Temjae Singleton and Tre Holden — on almost every possession. Singleton and Holden were effective for the better part of the game but collapsed in the second half.

They combined to shoot 13 of 40 from the field for the game.

"We just weren't executing," said a dejected Holden, who committed nine turnovers in 28 minutes.

For the Dons, the run continues in next week's state tournament.

"We're not done," Gibson said. "But from this point forward, everything that happens to us is just gravy. We have nothing to lose. We're the ultimate underdogs in every game we're going to play for the rest of the year."