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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW Cerritos girls soccer holds off Gahr to remain dominant against city rival

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter

Before this past football season when they did not play each other, Gahr High had pretty much owned the city rivalry against Cerritos High on the gridiron. But in the winter, and on the soccer pitch, it’s a completely different story in girls soccer.

Visiting Cerritos scored twice in the first 18 minutes, then held off a late Gahr rally to come away with a 2-1 victory this past Tuesday night at Hanford Rants Stadium. The Lady Dons have now won five straight against the Lady Gladiators and eight out of the last nine meetings (the 2013 contest was a 1-1 tie). Since 1997, Cerritos owns a 12-3-1 mark against Gahr, outscoring the Lady Gladiators 55-16 in the process with seven shutouts.

But all wasn’t happy with Cerritos head coach Rob Adams, despite his team improving to 5-1-2. The Lady Dons had eight shots in each half and eight corner kicks in the game but still came away with two goals.

“I’m not really discouraged by that,” said Cerritos head coach Rob Adams. “I’m a little disappointed that…we would like to make better progress in finishing off games like this. We have to figure out a way to get a little distance going. We have to mature more.”

Four minutes into the contest, sophomore midfielder Marisa Couto fed a pass to junior midfielder Maya Tydor who scored her first goal of the season. Then in the 18thminute, senior defender Julia Couto assisted on a goal from junior forward Shamara Barsana, who snuck in her third goal just past Gahr senior goalkeeper Ashley Correia at the near post.

Cerritos held Gahr without a shot in the first half and seemed to have a handle on Gahr’s best player, sophomore forward Nicholette Palomo, who has scored four of the five goals for the Lady Gladiators.

Ten minutes into the second half, Palomo spoiled the shutout bid, then the hosts proceeded to take three more shots at Cerritos junior netminder Shelby Dykes. The Lady Dons had a chance to ice the game with 11 minutes remaining, but Barsana couldn’t get off shot after she broke loose from the defense and raced all by herself towards Correia.

“Gahr had a one-dimensional attack and yet we gave them opportunities in the one dimension,” Adams said. “That’s the part we need to mature about. We have some young players at certain spots [and] our goal is to work to a deeper bench if we can, certainly by the time we start going into league so we can protect ourselves.”

Cerritos, which is ranked fourth in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 poll, travelled to Cypress High on Dec. 13 and will face Tustin High on Saturday in the first of two games in the Best in the West Tournament. The Lady Dons will then face either St. Joseph High or Valley Christian High in the second game. Cerritos will also host Lynwood High on Tuesday.

Gahr dropped to 1-4-1 and faced Marina High on Dec. 13 before playing St. Pius-St, Matthias High on Saturday in the first game of the Best in the West Tournament. Gahr will also play either Leuzinger High or Gahr High later in the day.

In other girls soccer action, after three straight ties, followed by two consecutive losses, Artesia High picked up its first win of the season, a 2-0 decision over Whittier High this past Tuesday. The Lady Pioneers will face Estancia High on Saturday in the first game of the Best in the West Tournament, then either San Gabriel Mission High or Rialto High later in the day. Artesia will also host St. Joseph on Tuesday and Norwalk High on Thursday.

Valley Christian lost to Mayfair High 4-0 this past Tuesday and will take a 3-2 mark into its Best in the West Tournament game against St. Joseph on Saturday. The Defenders will then play either Tustin or Cerritos to wrap up the two-weekend event.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Artesia was 2-7 entering this week after having to forfeit an earlier victory against Horace Mann UCLA Community High. The Pioneers will visit Bosco Tech High tonight, then host Western High on Monday and Kennedy High on Wednesday.

Cerritos dropped the last four games in the North Orange County Tournament to fall to 4-6. The Dons will visit Canyon High today before hosting Cypress on Tuesday. The Dons will also meet with Downey High on Thursday at the Staples Center.

Gahr defeated Wilson High 66-53 in pool play action of its co-hosted tournament with St. John Bosco High. That tournament will conclude on Saturday.

Glenn has not played since Dec. 4 and is eager to get back to the win column as it hosted Calvary Chapel Downey High on Dec. 13. The Eagles (1-10) will visit Estancia High on Tuesday and Norwalk on Thursday.

Valley Christian snapped a four-game losing streak with a 58-41 win over Bell Gardens High last Saturday. The Defenders (3-5) will host Whittier today.

Whitney dropped a 48-33 decision to San Marino High this past Tuesday to fall to 3-9. The Wildcats will travel to Pacifica on Thursday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Artesia is off to its best starts in over a decade as it improved to 10-1 following a 34-26 win against La Puente High this past Tuesday in pool play action of the Artesia Tournament. The Lady Pioneers, who haven’t had double digit victories since going 13-14 during the 2007-2008 season, will wrap up its tournament tonight, then host Desert Hot Springs High on Saturday and host Calvary Chapel Downey on Thursday.

Cerritos went 3-1 in the recent Whittier Christian Tournament to improve to 6-2 as it will host North Torrance High on Saturday. The Saxons are coached by former Cerritos standout Lauren Kamiyama. The Lady Dons will also visit Peninsula High on Tuesday.

Valley Christian began the season with two straight wins but has since lost nine of its last 10 including a 66-25 setback to Los Alamitos High this past Wednesday in pool play action of the Orangewood Academy Tournament. The Defenders were shutout in the first quarter and didn’t score their first point until junior Kira Smith sank a pair of free throws with 5:30 remaining in the first half. Junior McKenna Bushong led V.C. with 12 points, all coming in the second half. The Defenders hosted San Juan Hills High on Dec. 13 and will finish the tournament today before hosting Lakewood High on Thursday.

BOYS SOCCER

Artesia blanked Bishop Amat High 3-0 this past Wednesday to improve to 5-1. The Pioneers, ranked third in the Division 3 poll, will go to Kennedy today before hosting Cypress High on Wednesday.

Cerritos fell to North Torrance 6-3 this past Wednesday and is 1-4 as the Dons will go to Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High today and Gahr on Tuesday. Cerritos will then host Samueli Academy on Thursday.

The best team in the area is Norwalk, which blanked Sonora High 5-0 this past Monday to move to 7-0-1. The Lancers, ranked sixth in Division 4, have shutout their last three opponents and five for the season. Norwalk visited Gahr on Dec. 13 and will go to Bell Gardens High on Monday and Anaheim High on Wednesday.

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