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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW-JAN. 16, 2015:Artesia boys basketball blown out by Mayfair in first quarter, lose first Suburban League game

By Loren Kopff

Two minutes had not elapsed and already the Artesia boys basketball team was off and running against Mayfair in a pivotal first round Suburban League contest this past Wednesday. But the Monsoons, no pun intended, stormed back from a 7-0 deficit to score the next 21 points and went on to rout the host Pioneers 63-37.

Both teams entered the game as the last two without a league loss. But turnovers plagued the Pioneers throughout the game following the fast start.

“We turned the ball over and you can’t turn the ball over [to Mayfair],” said Artesia head coach Ray Walker. “They’re too athletic, too good, and too quick to get easy baskets. We had a plan and we didn’t stick to the plan.”

After senior guard Akil Williams, senior post Dontae Smith and junior guard Semaje Chatman opened the game with baskets on successive attempts, the Pioneers missed their next nine attempts from the field and didn’t score until a Smith basket less than a minute into the second quarter.

Artesia would get its deficit down to nine points when Smith scored the first basket of the second half. But the Monsoons went on a 7-0 run and held Artesia to five more points the rest of the third quarter. Smith paced Artesia with 14 points and five rebounds while Williams added eight points and three boards.

“I thought we had an opportunity,” Walker said. “We got it to 11 at half after they got out to a big lead and even in the third quarter, it was marginal. We were in the game, at least. But there were just too many turnovers. We told them when you play somebody good, you have to make all of your free throws or all of your easy shots or you can’t turn the ball over.

“There’s such a small margin for error,” he continued. “When you play somebody who is not as good or talented, you can get away with a mistake here and there. But when you play somebody as good as [Mayfair]…we’re not at the level where we can afford not playing really well.”

Artesia will visit La Mirada today before hosting Cerritos on Wednesday. Elsewhere in boys basketball action, John Glenn was nearly doubled up by host Bellflower 64-33 this past Monday to fall to 1-16 overall and 0-3 in the Suburban League. The Eagles will host Cerritos today and Mayfair on Wednesday. Whitney fell to St. Margaret’s 65-49 last Friday to stumble to 5-9 overall and 0-2 in the Academy League. The Wildcats hosted Sage Hill on Jan. 15 and will be home to Crean Lutheran on Saturday before travelling to Brethren Christian on Wednesday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

After losing to John Glenn by five points last Friday, Artesia was no match for Mayfair and was dominated by the Monsoons 62-22 this past Wednesday. The game was actually close for the first 2:48 when the Pioneers (4-13, 0-3) trailed by four points. But Mayfair went on a 14-4 run the remainder of the quarter and continued to pour it on the rest of the way.

Senior forward Keina Harris led Artesia with nine points while junior guard Zharia Simmons added seven points and five rebounds.

In other girls basketball action, John Glenn managed just two points in the third quarter against Bellflower this past Monday and lost to the Buccaneers 56-27. The Lady Eagles (6-11, 1-2) were trailing 24-16 at the break bit Bellflower went on an 18-0 run to begin the third quarter. Senior Amanda Lopez, who came off the bench, and junior Natalie Cardenas each scored seven points and pulled down five rebounds while sophomore Vanessa Rouse led Glenn with seven rebounds.

BOYS SOCCER

Artesia picked up its first Suburban League victory after edging host Mayfair 2-1 this past Wednesday. The Pioneers are 5-6-4 overall, 1-1-1 in league action as they host La Mirada today before travelling to Cerritos on Wednesday.

Cerritos remained winless on the field this season after a loss to host La Mirada this past Wednesday. The Dons have scored three goals in 12 games played with their lone win coming in the form of a forfeit against Laguna Hills on Dec. 5. Cerritos will host John Glenn today.

Gahr was blanked by Warren 6-0 this past Tuesday in its San Gabriel Valley League opener to fall to 3-4 overall. The Gladiators hosted Paramount on Jan. 15 and will visit Downey on Tuesday before welcoming Dominguez on Thursday.

Valley Christian blanked Whittier Christian 5-0 last Thursday in its Olympic League opener to improve to 3-7 overall. The Crusaders hosted Heritage Christian on Jan. 15 and will travel to Village Christian on Tuesday.

GIRLS SOCCER

Artesia was blanked by Mayfair 2-0 this past Wednesday to fall to 6-3-4 overall, 1-1-1 in the Suburban League while Cerritos had lost four straight games entering its home meeting with Bellflower this past Wednesday. The Lady Dons began the season at 8-0-1 but has scored two goals during their four-game skid.

Gahr remained winless in five games thus far after a 13-0 loss to Warren this past Tuesday. The Gladiators, who have scored just two goals all season, travelled to Paramount on Jan. 15 and will be home to Downey on Tuesday before going to Dominguez on Thursday.

John Glenn (4-9, 0-3) was blanked by Bellflower 6-0 this past Monday and has not scored in four straight games while Norwalk (5-6-3, 0-2-2) has lost two straight after tying Artesia 1-1 and Cerritos 0-0 last Wednesday and Friday respectively.

Valley Christian knocked off St. Anthony 3-1 this past Tuesday behind two goals from junior Chloe Garris, who now leads the team with seven goals. The Lady Crusaders, who have gone 5-1-2 since beginning the season with seven straight losses, visited heritage Christian on Jan. 15 and will host Village Christian on Tuesday.