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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Gahr boys basketball seize first place at midway point of San Gabriel Valley League action

By Loren Kopff

The Gahr boys basketball team accomplished something it had done only one other time this century when it hosted Lynwood this past Wednesday night. The Gladiators wrapped up the first round of San Gabriel Valley League action at 5-0 following a 72-53 win that saw the hosts take a barrage of three-point shots and make nearly half of them.

The last time Gahr began the league season at 5-0 was 2007 and it went on to share the league championship with Dominguez. Since then, the Gladiators have won only one other league title.

Gahr connected on 16 of 34 shots from downtown and began the second quarter on a 13-0 run to turn a close game early on into another smooth league win. All five league victories have come by an average of over 28 points.

The Gladiators, 17-4 overall and ranked third in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division III-AA poll as selected by its advisory committee, led 18-12 after the first quarter with all five field goals going for three-pointers. Long range baskets from sophomore Marvin Bragg and senior Jeremy Carlyle to open the second quarter extended that streak to seven straight before senior Darrell Harris scored after getting an offensive rebound to make it 26-12.

Gahr would nail down four more baskets from beyond the arc in the third quarter including another from Carlyle to begin the stanza which gave Gahr its biggest lead of the night at 39-18. Carlyle led everyone with 22 points and was seven of 13 from the field, all baskets being three-pointers. He also pulled down seven rebounds and had three steals.

Senior Malik Smith and junior Evan Anderson each came off the bench to score 10 points and grab four boards while junior Justin Smith added nine points off the bench. Harris had 10 rebounds as Gahr hosts Warren tonight and squares off with Etiwanda on Saturday. The Gladiators will travel to Paramount on Wednesday.

Prior to the game, the Gahr girls had upset on their minds when they led the queens of the league for nearly the past two decades 23-14 at the half. But Lynwood scored the first 19 points of the second half and Gahr managed just one basket after halftime as it fell for the fourth time in five league contests this season, 56-25.

Lynwood led for just 17 seconds in the first half as three straight three-pointers from junior Angelica Soltis gave Gahr (10-11 overall) a surprising 12-5 lead early on. A three-pointer from sophomore Lauren Magano with 1:17 left in the half were the last points from either side before the break. The Gladiators wouldn’t score again until 31.1 seconds remained in the third quarter, the lone basket coming from junior Sara Awada.

Gahr, which has now lost 32 straight games to Lynwood, was led by Soltis (nine points, three steals, two rebounds) and senior Leah Grigsby (11 rebounds).

BOYS BASKETBALL

The three-way tie in the Suburban League between Cerritos, La Mirada and Mayfair is now a two-team race following La Mirada’s 55-24 win over visiting Cerritos and Mayfair’s 50-29 victory over Norwalk this past Wednesday. Cerritos (11-11 overall, 5-2 in league) will visit Norwalk today before hosting Mayfair on Monday and Artesia on Wednesday while Norwalk (7-14, 2-5) travels to Artesia on Monday.

Valley Christian fell to Saddleback Valley Christian 71-64 last Saturday night to drop to 16-7 overall. The Crusaders begin the second round of Olympic League action today with a home game against Heritage Christian.

Whitney has won three in a row after knocking off Oxford Academy 58-49 this past Tuesday night at home. The Wildcats improved to 8-11 overall and 3-4 in the Academy League as they travel to St. Margaret’s today and host Brethren Christian on Tuesday. Whitney will then visit Sage Hill on Thursday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Norwalk edged Mayfair 56-53 this past Wednesday to move into a tie for second place in the Suburban League with the Monsoons. The Lady Lancers improved to 12-9 overall, 5-2 in league.

Valley Christian evened its record at 11-11 after defeating St. Margaret’s 50-40 last Saturday while Whitney had no problems with Oxford Academy, 54-32, this past Tuesday. The Lady Wildcats saw its record go to 9-8 overall and 5-2 in the Academy League.

SOCCER

One of the hottest boys area team continues to be Norwalk, which defeated Mayfair 4-1 this past Wednesday to stay right on the heels of first place and undefeated La Mirada. The Lancers improved to 11-3-1 overall, 6-1 in the Suburban League. The Valley Christian boys, who last played on Jan. 23, will travel to Heritage Christian as the second round of Olympic League begins. The Crusaders are 6-7 overall but lead the league with a 4-0 mark.

On the girls side, Cerritos was blanked by league powerhouse La Mirada 3-0 this past Wednesday to drop to 10-4-4 overall, 2-3-2 in league. The Lady Dons will have another tough test today when they visit Norwalk, which began the week at 2-2-2 in league play. Norwalk will then visit Artesia on Monday. The Pioneers also began this past week at 2-2-2.