Tustin girls basketball coach Claire Gocke designs own play to honor graduating seniors


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Coach Claire Gocke designed numerous plays in guiding Tustin’s girls basketball team to the outright Empire League title in the winter.

Now, she has called perhaps the most important play for her graduating seniors.

Gocke will host Ahzira Faletoi, Lisbeth Cabrera, Savannah Thorn and Kylie Pulsifer, along with the Tillers’ game announcer and school principal, outside her house on Tuesday, May 26 to celebrate the players’ original graduation date.

The eighth-year coach will be following social distancing rules and also call upon teammates and families to line her street in support of the graduates.

Think of it as one coach’s plan to counter the coronavirus pandemic, which has delayed and drastically altered graduation ceremonies across the nation for the class of 2020.

“This is just a tricky time and it’s affecting everyone in a number of different ways so I wanted to make their graduation something memorable and not just another day in quarantine,” Gocke said.

The coach has arranged for veteran Tustin basketball announcer Keith Martyn to call the player’s name and Principal Jon Tuin to attend the event.

She also is planning for pictures of the players in their caps and gowns with their diplomas and showing senior reflections on a projector.

Tustin’s graduation has been pushed back to August 5-6 because of the coronavirus but Gocke drew up another play for her senior.

“It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate all their accomplishments and accolades at Tustin as they move onto the next chapter of their lives,” she said.

Faletoi (Golden West College), Cabrera (Chapman), Thorn (UCLA) and Pulsifer (Orange Coast College) are each headed to college after graduation.

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Orange Lutheran girls basketball coach Tom Howard resigns after 11 seasons, four CIF titles

Orange Lutheran girls basketball coach Tom Howard, who carried on the legacy of his late friend and led the Lancers to four CIF-SS championships, has resigned after 11 seasons, the Trinity League school announced Thursday.

Howard served as the longtime assistant to Tony Matson before the Orange Lutheran girls coach died of a sudden heart attack after the 2008-09 season.

Howard’s most recent title came in 2019 with an inspiring run to the Division 2-AA crown.

The Lancers stormed to the title after finishing last in the tough Trinity League and bonding as a team that didn’t feature a future collegiate player. They upset Rolling Hills Prep 51-50 in the final, improving Howard’s record in the finals to 4-0.

“It’s been a true joy and honor to be a coach in the girls basketball program for the past 22 years,” said Howard, known for his strong command of the fundamentals.

“Although those years have brought me tremendous joy and pride, the unfortunate reality is that those years have taken a collective toll on me. …The bottom line is that I just don’t have anything left in the tank to continue in this role, and the girls deserve way better.”

Orange Lutheran advanced to the playoffs all 11 seasons under Howard, winning section titles in 2011 (Division 3A), 2015 (Division 3A) and 2016 (Division 3AA).

He was The Register’s coach of the year in 2015.

With an inexperienced squad this past season, the Lancers went 14-14 and lost to Rolling Hills Prep in a difficult, first-round matchup in the Division 1 playoffs.

Howard won 234 games in a post that he took to carry on Matson’s legacy and help his alma mater through a challenging time.

“(I) would have been (Matson’s) assistant indefinitely,” Howard said. “Those first few season (as head coach) were really tough. I felt everything, the highs and lows, to a greater degree than normal. … Those experiences aged me from a coaching perspective quicker than normal.”

 

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Preview and prediction for Rosary vs. Cathedral Catholic in Tuesday’s girls basketball regional final


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Preview and prediction for Tuesday’s CIF State Southern California Regional final:

DIVISION 1

ROSARY (22-12) VS. CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC OF SAN DIEGO (21-11)

Where, when: Cathedral Catholic High, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: It’s a clash of styles for a trip to the state championship game Friday at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center at 6 p.m.

The guard-dominated, No. 2 seeded Royals and their dynamic trio of Asia Avinger, Nicole Rodriguez and Kaylee Byon meet the top-seeded Dons and 6-foot-4 sophomore Isuneh “Ice” Brady. The San Diego State-bound Avinger and sophomore Byon excel at penetrating while the Loyola Marymount-bound Rodriguez is a sharp-shooter from beyond the arc. Byon also is a dangerous 3-point shooter as is senior guard Caylee Santos.

Avinger has improved her outside shooting and is capable of catching fire as well. The Connecticut-committed Brady scored 23 points in Cathedral Catholic’s 61-48 victory against the Rosary at the Troy Classic on Dec. 6. But Rosary played without 6-foot center Bryn Boznanski, its tallest player.

But the left-handed Brady is a matchup nightmare because she can shoot the 3-pointer and attack the basket. She averages about 20 points and 13 rebounds. She scored 16 points in a showdown with Harvard-Westlake junior center Kiki Iriafen in the regional semifinals.

Mazatlan Harris, a 6-foot-2 center, is Cathedral’s second-leading scorer with an average of about 11 points. But don’t dismiss Rosary because of its size.

“Rosary is under-rated in how physical they are,” said Orangewood Academy coach Leslie Aragon. “Avinger and Rodriguez are tough as nails.”

There are a few other factors to consider.

“Cathedral’s supporting cast is playing better,” said Aragon, whose team lost to the Dons 63-47 in the second round of regionals. “The last two games, that’s the reason they have won.”

Rosary’s big-game experience under coach Richard Yoon in another factor. Rosary is the defending Division 1 state champion and also won a Division 3 state title in 2017.

“Yoon knows how to coach state,” Aragon said.

Cathedral Catholic is seeking its first trip to the state finals. The Dons should be supported by a large, home crowd. They are hosting a doubleheader with the Open Division regional final between La Jolla Country Day and Windward at 5 p.m.

Rosary shouldn’t be spooked because it played such a challenging schedule. But so did Cathedral Catholic. The Royals and Dons each played the toughest schedules in their respective divisions, according to MaxPreps.

The winner takes on Salesian College Prep or Bishop O’Dowd, seeded first and second in the NorCal regional, in the finals.

Prediction: Rosary

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Preview and prediction for Tuesday’s regional girls basketball game between Rosary, Cathedral Catholic


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Preview and prediction for Tuesday’s CIF State Southern California Regional final:

DIVISION 1

ROSARY (22-12) VS. CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC OF SAN DIEGO (21-11)

Where, when: Cathedral Catholic High, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: It’s a clash of styles for a trip to the state championship game Friday at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center at 6 p.m. The guard-dominated, No. 2 seeded Royals and their dynamic trio of Asia Avinger, Nicole Rodriguez and Kaylee Byon meet the top-seeded Dons and 6-foot-4 sophomore Isuneh “Ice” Brady. The San Diego State-bound Avinger and sophomore Byon excel at penetrating while the Loyola Marymount-bound Rodriguez is a sharp-shooter from beyond the arc. Byon also is a dangerous 3-point shooter as is senior guard Caylee Santos. Avinger has improved her outside shooting and capable of catching fire as well. The Connecticut-committed Brady scored 23 points in Cathedral Catholic’s 61-48 victory against the Rosary at the Troy Classic on Dec. 6. But Rosary played without 6-foot center Bryn Boznanski, their tallest player. But the left-handed Brady is a matchup nightmare because she can shoot the 3-pointer and attack the basket. She averages about 20 points and 13 rebounds. She scored 16 points in a showdown with Harvard-Westlake junior center Kiki Iriafen in the regional semifinals. Mazatlan Harris, a 6-foot-2 center, is Cathedral’s second-leading scorer with an average of about 11 points. But don’t dismiss Rosary because of its size. “Rosary is under-rated in how physical they are,” said Orangewood Academy coach Leslie Aragon. “Avinger and Rodriguez are tough as nails.”

There are a few other factors to consider. “Cathedral’s supporting cast is playing better,” said Aragon, whose team lost to the Dons 63-47 in the second round of regionals. “The last two games, that’s the reason they have won.” Rosary’s big-game experience under coach Richard Yoon in another factor. Rosary is the defending Division 1 state champion and also won a Division 3 state title in 2017. “Yoon knows how to coach state,” Aragon said. Cathedral Catholic is seeking its first trip to the state finals. The Dons should be supported by a large, home crowd. They are hosting a doubleheader with the Open Division regional final between La Jolla Country Day and Windward at 5 p.m. Rosary shouldn’t be spooked because it played such a challenging schedule. But so did Cathedral Catholic. The Royals and Dons each played the toughest schedules in their respective divisions, according to MaxPreps.

The winner takes on either Salesian College Prep or Bishop O’Dowd, seeded first and second in the NorCal regional, in the finals.

Prediction: Rosary

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CIF-SS girls basketball playoffs: Saturday’s scores, updated matchups for the championship games


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Scores from Saturday’s CIF-SS girls basketball playoff games and the matchups for the championship games.

CIF-SS GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

OPEN DIVISION

Pool play, Saturday

Pool A

Mater Dei 61, Sierra Canyon 60 (OT)

Etiwanda 57, Lynwood 52

Pool B

Windward 52, Long Beach Poly 41

Corona Centennial 58, Rosary 47

DIVISION 1

Semifinals, Saturday

Harvard-Westlake 64, West Torrance 49

Troy 59, King 52

DIVISION 2AA

Semifinals, Saturday

Orangewood Academy 58, North Torrance 47

Fairmont Prep 47, Marlborough 46

DIVISION 2A

Semifinals, Saturday

San Clemente 42, Burbank Burroughs 29

Bishop Amat 66, Peninsula 52

DIVISION 3AA

Semifinals, Saturday

Santa Monica 53, Lancaster 27

Crean Lutheran 51, Mira Costa 45

DIVISION 3A

Semifinals, Saturday

Long Beach Wilson 67, West Covina 50

Eisenhower 66, Viewpoint 57

DIVISION 4AA

Semifinals, Saturday

Paloma Valley 60, La Salle 49

Ontario Christian 57, Xavier Prep 44

DIVISION 4A

Semifinals, Saturday

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 69, Campbell Hall 68

Paramount 52, Pasadena Marshall 45

DIVISION 5AA

Semifinals, Saturday

San Jacinto Valley Academy 52, Rubidoux 47

Artesia 72, San Bernardino 55

DIVISION 5A

Semifinals, Saturday

Ganesha 61, Vista del Lago 17

Bishop Diego 42, Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 36

Championship games

Open Division

Friday, Feb. 28, at Long Beach State

Mater Dei vs. Windward, 5 p.m.

(Times and locations for Divisions 1-5A are TBD)

Saturday, Feb. 29

Division 1: Harvard-Westlake vs. Troy

Division 2AA: Orangewood Academy vs. Fairmont Prep

Division 2A: San Clemente vs. Bishop Amat

Division 3AA: Santa Monica vs. Crean Lutheran

Division 3A: Long Beach Wilson vs. Eisenhower

Division 4AA: Paloma Valley vs. Ontario Christian

Division 4A: Sherman Oaks Notre Dame vs. Paramount

Division 5AA: San Jacinto Valley Academy vs. Artesia

Division 5A: Ganesha vs. Bishop Diego

 

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Girls basketball highlights: Troy edges Roosevelt on last-second basket by Hannah Stines in overtime

Sophomore Hannah Stines made a contested layup with 1.1 seconds left in overtime to lift Troy’s No. 3 girls basketball team past host Roosevelt 67-66 in the CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinals Wednesday night.

Stines finished with 23 points to lead the second-seeded Warriors (22-8), who advanced to Saturday’s semifinals against visiting No. 3 M.L. King of Riverside.

King beat Chaminade 53-43 in another semifinal Wednesday,

Troy’s Anaiyah Tu’ua adde 16 points for the Warriors.

More story to come

 

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CIF-SS girls basketball playoffs: Saturday’s scores, updated schedule


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Scores from Saturday’s CIF-SS girls basketball playoffs and updated schedule.

CIF-SS GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

OPEN DIVISION

Pool play, Saturday

Pool A

Sierra Canyon 60, Lynwood 53

Mater Dei 54, Etiwanda 50

Pool B

Windward 67, Corona Centennial 65

Long Beach Poly 56, Rosary 42

Pool play, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Pool A

Etiwanda (0-1) at Sierra Canyon (1-0)

Lynwood (0-1) at Mater Dei (1-0)

Pool B

Rosary (0-1) at Windward (1-0)

Corona Centennial (0-1) at Long Beach Poly (1-0)

DIVISION 1

Second round, Saturday

Harvard-Westlake 67, Huntington Beach 37

Rolling Hills Prep 65, Esperanza 53

West Torrance 63, Brentwood 22

Bishop Montgomery 54, Glendora 43

King 67, JSerra 41

Chaminade 103, Redondo 100 (2OT)

Eastvale Roosevelt 63, Camarillo 49

Troy 68, Keppel 39

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Harvard-Westlake at Rolling Hills Prep

West Torrance at Bishop Montgomery

Chaminade at King

Troy at Eastvale Roosevelt

DIVISION 2AA

Second round, Saturday

Orangewood Academy 57, Valencia 35

Flintridge Prep 61, Los Altos 42

North Torrance 50, St. Paul 45

Pasadena 68, Millikan 63

Saugus 70, St. Anthony 65

Fairmont Prep 41, Ventura 38

Valley View 60, Bonita 44

Marlborough 66, Village Christian 49

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Flintridge Prep at Orangewood Academy

Pasadena at North Torrance

Fairmont Prep at Saugus

Valley View at Marlborough

DIVISION 2A

Second round, Saturday

San Clemente 80, Culver City 47

Summit 76, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 71

Whittier Christian 38, Tustin 34

Burbank Burroughs 67, Arroyo Valley 50

Peninsula 56, Tesoro 46

Yucaipa 61, Mayfair 46

Bishop Amat 54, El Rancho 47

Oaks Christian 61, Oak Hills 30

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

San Clemente at Summit

Burbank Burroughs at Whittier Christian

Yucaipa at Peninsula

Oaks Christian at Bishop Amat

DIVISION 3AA

Second round, Saturday

Santa Monica 44, Ridgecrest Burroughs 18

Villa Park 37, Twentynine Palms 33

Lancaster 43, San Juan Hills 36

Corona del Mar 48, South Torrance 42

Crean Lutheran 70, Covina 52

Laguna Hills 49, El Segundo 47

Santa Fe 46, Murrieta Mesa 44

Mira Costa 44, Sage Hill 42

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Santa Monica at Villa Park

Lancaster at Corona del Mar

Laguna Hills at Crean Lutheran

Santa Fe at Mira Costa

DIVISION 3A

Second round, Saturday

Long Beach Wilson 70, Bell Gardens 30

La Quinta 61, Royal 49

West Covina 56, Pioneer 50

Yucca Valley 59, Torrance 54

Viewpoint 53, Riverside Poly 26

Anaheim 63, Grace Brethren 55

Hemet 55, Chino 41

Eisenhower 52, Hesperia 48

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

La Quinta at Long Beach Wilson

West Covina at Yucca Valley

Anaheim at Viewpoint

Hemet at Eisenhower

DIVISION 4AA

Second round, Saturday

Paloma Valley 68, Citrus Valley 27

Whitney 43, Highland 31

Westlake 49, Barstow 41

La Salle 53, Santa Clara 38

Xavier Prep 48, Portola 41

Orange Vista 43, Holy Martyrs 34

Riverside Notre Dame 49, Montclair 37

Ontario Christian 57, Pasadena Poly 43

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Paloma Valley at Whitney

Westlake at La Salle

Xavier Prep at Orange Vista

Ontario Christian at Riverside Notre Dame

DIVISION 4A

Second round, Saturday

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 63, Western Christian 34

Silverado 53, Shadow Hills 52

Campbell Hall 52, Jurupa Hills 42

Paramount 64, Quartz Hill 54

Immaculate Heart 50, Aquinas 32

Cate 41, Capistrano Valley 38

Pasadena Marshall 65, Milken 27

Second round, Monday, 7 p.m.

Mary Star at Shalhevet

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame at Silverado

Shalhevet vs. TBD

Immaculate Heart at Paramount

Pasadena Marshall at Cate

DIVISION 5AA

Second round, Saturday

San Jacinto Valley Academy 58, La Puente 45

Santa Paula 52, Webb 44

Faith Baptist 45, CSDR 36

Rubidoux 52, Fillmore 31

Artesia 67, Santa Monica Pacifica Christian 31

Academy of Careers & Exploration 46, Hesperia Christian 28

Trinity Classical 60, Moreno Valley Riverside County Education Academy 33

San Bernardino 50, Wildwood 35

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Santa Paula at San Jacinto Valley Academy

Faith Baptist at Rubidoux

Artesia at Academy of Careers & Exploration

San Bernardino at Trinity Classical

DIVISION 5A

Second round, Saturday

Ganesha 71, Da Vinci 27

La Reina 45, Century 33

Lucerne Valley 32, Coastal Christian 30

Vista del Lago 45, Santa Clarita Christian 43

Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 63, Connelly 23

Magnolia 64, University Prep 47

Woodcrest Christian 53, Redlands Adventist 26

Bishop Diego 72, Downey Calvary Chapel 26

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

La Reina at Ganesha

Lucerne Valley at Vista del Lago

Santa Ana Calvary Chapel at Magnolia

Bishop Diego at Woodcrest Christian

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CIF-SS girls basketball playoffs: Thursday’s scores, updated schedule


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Scores from Thursday’s CIF-SS girls basketball playoff games and the updated playoff schedule.

CIF-SS GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

DIVISION 1

First round, Thursday

Huntington Beach 53, Aliso Niguel 48

Rolling Hills Prep 64, Orange Lutheran 40

Brentwood 53, La Canada 49

Glendora 61, Rancho Verde 35

King 70, Sonora 17

JSerra 45, Downey 44

Redondo 73, Gardena Serra 58

Chaminade 60, St. Mary’s Academy 47

Eastvale Roosevelt 61, Riverside North 39

Camarillo 72, Alemany 40

Keppel 66, Chino Hills 41

Second round, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Huntington Beach at Harvard-Westlake

Rolling Hills Prep at Esperanza

Brentwood at West Torrance

Glendora at Bishop Montgomery

King at JSerra

Chaminade at Redondo

Camarillo at Eastvale Roosevelt

Keppel at Troy

DIVISION 2AA

First round, Thursday

Valencia 52, El Dorado 19

Los Altos 71, Foothill 53

Flintridge Prep 50, Arcadia 44

North Torrance 59, Oxnard 54

St. Paul 68, Crossroads 49

Pasadena 48, Canyon Country Canyon 38

Millikan 64, Vista Murrieta 36

St. Anthony 74, Cajon 40

Ventura 42, Crescenta Valley 37

Fairmont Prep 71, Anaheim Canyon 42

Bonita 67, Corona Santiago 60

Village Christian 60, Buena 49

Marlborough 49, Santa Barbara 33

Second round, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Valencia at Orangewood Academy

Flintridge Prep at Los Altos

St. Paul at North Torrance

Millikan at Pasadena

St. Anthony at Saugus

Ventura at Fairmont Prep

Bonita at Valley View

Village Christian at Marlborough

DIVISION 2A

First round, Thursday

Culver City 69, Walnut 45

Cantwell-Sacred Heart 47, Irvine University 40

Summit 74, Leuzinger 72

Whittier Christian 59, Segerstrom 43

Arroyo Valley 65, Lakewood 56

Burbank Burroughs 51, St. Bonaventure 48

Tesoro 42, Sunny Hills 32

Bishop Amat 60, Northview 47

Oak Hills 60, Rancho Cucamonga 52

Second round, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Culver City at San Clemente

Summit at Cantwell-Sacred Heart

Whittier Christian at Tustin

Arroyo Valley at Burbank Burroughs

Tesoro at Peninsula

Mayfair at Yucaipa

Bishop Amat at El Rancho

Oak Hills at Oaks Christian

DIVISION 3AA

First round, Thursday

Santa Monica 58, Ayala 48

Villa Park 55, Woodbridge 26

Twentynine Palms 50, Lompoc Cabrillo 33

San Juan Hills 59, Chaparral 49

Lancaster 59, Thousand Oaks 51

Corona del Mar 58, Cerritos 43

South Torrance 40, Victor Valley 32

Crean Lutheran 67, Knight 43

Covina 68, Lompoc 54

Laguna Hills 82, Oak Park 60

El Segundo 46, La Serna 34

Santa Fe 44, Hueneme 43

Murrieta Mesa 72, San Jacinto 37

Sage Hill 61, Don Lugo 55

Mira Costa 45, Ribet Academy 19

Second round, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Santa Monica at Ridgecrest Burroughs

Villa Park at Twentynine Palms

San Juan Hills at Lancaster

South Torrance at Corona del Mar

Crean Lutheran at Covina

Laguna Hills at El Segundo

Murrieta Mesa at Santa Fe

Mira Costa at Sage Hill

DIVISION 3A

First round, Thursday

Long Beach Wilson 62, Marina 19

Bell Gardens 48, San Dimas 32

La Quinta 59, Beaumont 35

Royal 76, South Pasadena 48

West Covina 61, Hart 51

Pioneer 61, Burbank Providence 50

Torrance 46, Garden Grove 45

Yucca Valley 60, Temple City 43

Viewpoint 47, Fountain Valley 32

Riverside Poly 57, Rosemead 47

Anaheim 65, Beckman 47

Grace Brethren 68, Chadwick 43

Chino 79, Gabrielino 43

Hemet 42, Dominguez 33

Hesperia 51, Hillcrest 42

Second round, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Bell Gardens at Long Beach Wilson

Royal at La Quinta

Pioneer at West Covina

Yucca Valley at Torrance

Riverside Poly at Viewpoint

Anaheim at Grace Brethren

Chino at Hemet

TBD at Hesperia

DIVISION 4AA

First round, Thursday

Paloma Valley 73, Schurr 42

Citrus Valley 48, Garden Grove Santiago 42

Highland 47, Pilibos 31

Whitney 32, Bassett 29

Westlake 65, Norwalk 51

Barstow 55, Moreno Valley 54

Santa Clara 61, Godinez 32

La Salle 48, St. Pius X-St. Matthias 35

Xavier Prep 48, Coachella Valley 35

Portola 40, Arroyo 24

Orange Vista 60, Duarte 40

Holy Martyrs 54, Westminster La Quinta 39

Montclair 69, Bloomington Christian 45

Riverside Notre Dame 74, Big Bear 27

Pasadena Poly 47, Rancho Alamitos 32

Ontario Christian 67, Garey 47

Second round, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Paloma Valley at Citrus Valley

Highland at Whitney

Westlake at Barstow

Santa Clara at La Salle

Xavier Prep at Portola

Holy Martyrs at Orange Vista

Montclair at Riverside Notre Dame

Pasadena Poly at Ontario Christian

DIVISION 4A

First round, Thursday

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 71, Kaiser 30

Western Christian 64, Saddleback 59

Silverado 54, Sherman Indian 35

Shadow Hills 56, Mesa Grande Academy 33

Shalhevet 64, California Lutheran 28

Mary Star 40, Sacred Heart 30

Jurupa Hills 60, St. Monica Academy 47

Campbell Hall 65, Oakwood 50

Paramount 46, Bishop Conaty-Loretto 38

Quartz Hill 71, Newbury Park Adventist 32

Aquinas 44, St. Genevieve 43

Immaculate Heart 54, Grand Terrace 49

Cate 62, Costa Mesa 29

Capistrano Valley 50, CAMS 36

Milken 33, Cobalt 27

Pasadena Marshall 50, Sierra Vista 28

Second round, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame at Western Christian

Shadow Hills at Silverado

Mary Star at Shalhevet

Jurupa Hills at Campbell Hall

Quartz Hill at Paramount

Immaculate Heart at Aquinas

Cate at Capistrano Valley

Milken at Pasadena Marshall

DIVISION 5AA

First round, Thursday, 7 p.m.

La Puente 59, Pasadena AGBU 24

Santa Paula 56, San Gorgonio 43

Faith Baptist 53, Indio 52

Fillmore 52, Coast Union 22

Artesia 59, Nuview Bridge 36

Santa Monica Pacifica Christian 54, Pacifica Christian/NB 34

San Bernardino 56, Samueli 35

Second round, Saturday, 7 p.m.

La Puente at San Jacinto Valley Academy

Santa Paula at Webb

Faith Baptist at CSDR

Fillmore at Rubidoux

Santa Monica Pacifica Christian at Artesia

Academy of Careers & Exploration at Hesperia Christian

Trinity Classical at Moreno Valley Riverside County Education Academy

San Bernardino at Wildwood

DIVISION 5A

First round, Thursday

Ganesha 84, Shandon 15

Da Vinci 59, Sequoyah 11

Century 41, San Gabriel Academy 37

La Reina 53, Yeshiva 40

Coastal Christian 36, Gladstone 31

Lucerne Valley 33, Packinghouse Christian 11

Vista del Lago 62, Dunn 12

Santa Clarita Christian 44, La Verne Lutheran 32

Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 57, Santa Maria Valley Christian 22

Connelly 40, Victor Valley Christian 24

University Prep 38, Cornerstone Christian 27

Magnolia 72, Mesrobian 15

Woodcrest Christian 46, Ramona Convent 25

Redlands Adventist 53, Hemet River Springs 34

Downey Calvary Chapel 39, Judson 27

Bishop Diego 51, Garden Street Academy 16

Second round, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Ganesha at Da Vinci

Century at La Reina

Coastal Christian at Lucerne Valley

Santa Clarita Christian at Vista del Lago

Connelly at Santa Ana Calvary Chapel

Magnolia at University Prep

Woodcrest Christian at Redlands Adventist

Bishop Diego at Downey Calvary Chapel

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Sage Hill, St. Margaret’s bond to honor victims of Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

NEWPORT COAST Players and coaches from the Sage Hill and St. Margaret’s girls basketball teams stood in the middle of the court, locked arms and bowed their heads. The San Joaquin League schools were no longer rivals.

They were were brothers and sisters.

Sage Hill and St. Margaret’s, two Orange County high schools rocked to the core by the Calabasas helicopter crash on Jan. 26, leaned on each other Tuesday night.

“It was really emotional,” Sage Hill forward Emily Elliott said. “For today especially, it was really important that we went out and played our hearts out. Not only playing hard but also having fun — to honor them.”

“Them”, of course, meant the nine victims of the helicopter crash that struck the Mambas youth girls basketball team and its families, coaches and a pilot.

All the victims were remembered Tuesday. Lakers great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13. Payton Chester, 13, and her mother Sarah. Alyssa Altobelli, 14, and her parents John (Orange Coast College baseball coach) and Keri. Mambas assistant coach Christina Mauser (Edison). Pilot Ara Zobayan.

Sage Hill lost plenty in the accident. Bryant’s oldest daughter Natalia is a junior student-athlete at Sage Hill. Classmates have written cards for Natalia and stayed in touch with text messages.

Bryant often brought his Mambas team to Sage Hill to practice. The Mambas were there so often, the Lightning players had been watching Gianna, Alyssa and Payton grow up.

St. Margaret’s lost plenty. Payton was an eighth grader at St. Margaret’s, where her brothers Hayden and Riley attend high school

“It’s definitely really emotional for everyone,” said Sage Hill guard Isabel Gomez, who wears No. 24 for Bryant and Sixers legend Bobby Jones. “Just all the layers of sadness there built up.”

But the teams helped each other through the pain.

In warm-ups, players from both squads wore black T-shirts that read on the front: “MAMBA. FOREVER”

The teams held a 45-second moment of silence for the victims, picking the 45 in a nod to the jerseys of Gianna (No. 2), Alyssa (No. 5), Payton (No. 14) and Bryant (No. 24) added to together.

After the moment of silence, the two teams gathered for a combined break on “Family.”

At the start the game, both teams took shot-clock violations to honor the victims. Gomez placed the ball on the floor with 24 seconds left. St. Margaret’s placed the ball on the court with 14 seconds left.

“This our community and we just felt like this was the right thing for our community,” Sage Hill coach Kerwin Walters said. “We’re two communities that are very similar that just want to make sure our kids are taken care of.”

Sage Hill won the game 51-34. Gomez scored 18 points and Elliott added 13 points, seven steals and two blocks for the playoff-bound Lightning (15-7, 3-2).

Gomez, a sophomore, also had six rebounds and four steals. She played for Mauser at Harbor Day School, a feeder for Sage Hill, and was her student.

“She was intense. She was happy. And she always just wanted the best for you,” Gomez said of Mauser. “She a wonderful, wonderful person. … It’s really hard (now).”

Mandy Taylor scored 15 for the Tartans (10-15, 2-6) in their season-finale.

“They girls played hard and put their heart into the game,” St. Margaret’s coach Nicole Riscica said.

But Tuesday wasn’t about the final score.

As the back of those Mambas T-shirts read, it was about moving forward any way possible no matter the circumstances.

“we don’t quit, we don’t cower, we don’t run. We endure and conquer.” – Kobe Bryant

 

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Mater Dei girls basketball delivers Coach Kevin Kiernan a special 800th career victory

  • Mater Dei guard Camryn Kiernan, center, holds on to the rebound as Bishop Gorman guard Aaliyah Bey, left, and guard Asya Bey, right, try to wrestle the ball away during the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei guard Alyssa Frescas, right, puts up a shot by Bishop Gorman forward Adrianna Salgado, left, a the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Mater Dei guard Caia Elisaldez drives past Bishop Gorman guard Bentleigh Hoskins to score a basket in the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei guard Soleil Montrose, left, takes a shot over Bishop Gorman forward Adrianna Salgado, left, at the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan directs this team against Bishop Gorman at the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cutline goes here in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei forward Jamie Mackay, right, puts pressure on Bishop Gorman guard Asya Bey, left, near the baseline during the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei guard Brooke Demetre, left, grabs the rebound in front of Bishop Gorman guard Asya Bey, right, at the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei guard Lani White, center, blocks a shot back into the hand of Bishop Gorman guard Bentleigh Hoskins, left, at the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei guard Brooke Demetre, left, makes a move past Bishop Gorman forward Adrianna Salgado, right, to score a basket at the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei guard Brooke Demetre grabs the loose ball as she falls to the floor and looks to pass to a teammate during the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei guard Camryn Kiernan, right, gets a hand on the ball forcing Bishop Gorman guard Jordan Kruljac to lose control at the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana on Friday, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

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SANTA ANA A collection of frustrating obstacles stood in the way of Mater Dei’s girls basketball team and a historical victory at the Nike Extravaganza on Friday night. Illness, turnovers and a young Bishop Gorman squad were wreaking havoc in the spotlight game.

The top-ranked Monarchs needed some steady play if they wanted to earn Coach Kevin Kiernan his 800th career victory as a girls basketball coach.

His carpool buddy for the past four years arrived right on cue.

Kiernan’s senior daughter Camryn Kiernan made two key 3-pointers in the first half and a steal in the third quarter to offer stability in her complimentary role.

A burst to open the fourth quarter took care of the rest.

Mater Dei scored the first 11 points of the final period and finally dispatched Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman 61-46 to give Kiernan another coaching milestone,

The  60-year-old became the first girls coach in California history to reach 800 victories.

“It means a lot (to him), especially having a daughter on the team,” Camryn Kiernan said of her father. “I’m glad I got to do that with him.”

The Concordia-bound Kiernan played almost 20 minutes and mostly avoided the turnovers that plagued both teams. Both she also made her share of plays en route to  eight points.

She opened the game with a 3-pointer and sank another with about 20 seconds in the half to tie the score at 21.

In the third, she made a steal that led to a breakaway and two made free throws. Mater Dei’s combination of Kiernan, Alyssa Durazo-Frescas (12 points, three 3-pointers), Brooke Demetre (14 points, eight rebounds) and Anaya Johnson combined to go 8 for 8 from the foul line in the period.

“Cam’s strength is her steadiness,” Kiernan said. “She’s not going to blow you away with speed or quickness but she does everything pretty good. Shoots the ball good. Plays good defense. Is a great teammate. She’s steady.”

And on a night in which Bishop Gorman forced 25 turnovers and the Monarchs played through illness, that steadiness was a big part of the winning equation.

Mater Dei (25-2), ranked 18th in the nation, led 39-34 entering the final period but tightened its full-course press to spark the burst.

The Monarchs got two baskets off quick turnovers under the Gaels’ basket and capped the 11-0 run with a 3-pointer by Anna Bradley, who made it 50-34.

Mater Dei forced 29 turnovers and got six fourth-period points from Soleil Montrose.

“They knew that they had to play better,” Coach Kiernan said. “Instead of playing great for 32 minutes, they had to at least get eight. … We know we have to be better Wednesday (against JSerra).”

But for Mater Dei’s father and daughter duo, that day will be special no matter the outcome. They’ll again carpool to and from Mater Dei, their cherished tradition for four years.

“It’s been a great experience,” said Coach Kiernan, whose wife Christine will coach Camryn at Concordia. “As a father, I’ll look back at that forever. It’s irreplaceable.”

Mater Dei counted its blessings Friday. The Monarchs prayed for Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the other victims of Sunday’s helicopter crash.

Kiernan also expressed his gratitude after reaching No. 800. He thanked his assistant coaches and credited his past and present players. But he seemed a bit irreplaceable himself.

He and his wife have an eighth-grader daughter Devyn who will be a freshman basketball player at Mater Dei next year. She wears size 11 shoes and is feisty, according to Camryn.

And there’s fifth-grader daughter Kaidyn, who also plays basketball. Dad already calls her “fierce”.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Coach Kiernan said with a laugh. “Where can I go? No where to go — as long as they’ll have me (here).”

The carpool is covered.

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