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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Quartet of area girls basketball teams fall in opening games of Glenn-Norwalk Varsity Classic

By Loren Kopff• @LorenKopff on Twitter

It wasn’t a good day for the co-hosts plus two other area girls basketball teams in the annual Glenn-Norwalk Varsity Classic as all four dropped to the loser’s bracket after the first day of competition. Gahr High, John Glenn High and Whitney High played their games at Glenn while Norwalk High stayed home but could go to Glenn for today’s game before ending back at Norwalk for Saturday’s finale.

The tournament kicked off with Whitney falling to Inglewood High 58-42 this past Wednesday. The Lady Wildcats (1-5) never led and after junior Julianna Lee scored the second of her consecutive baskets with 2:31 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 6-6, the Sentinels went on a 14-2 run to put the game out of reach. Whitney would trail by as many as 22 points before scoring back to back baskets in the middle of the fourth quarter, marking the first time since it had done so since the first quarter. 

Junior Kimberly Hosada led the Lady Wildcats with 16 points, 10 rebounds and six steals while freshman Layla Lacorte added seven points, three rebounds and two assists.

Following the game, Gahr dropped a 53-39 decision to Orange Lutheran High. The Lady Gladiators (2-5) played the Lancers tough throughout most of the first half, trailing 17-13 after the first quarter, 21-17 with 6:24 left in the first half after a basket from freshman Brya Arroyo and 30-23 at the half.

However, Orange Lutheran began the second half with three free throws from Talia Sonsma within the first 38 seconds of the half and outscored Gahr 18-4 in the third quarter, Arroyo led Gahr with 18 points while senior Kayla Miyake added nine points, all in the first half. Gahr and Whitney would face each other in the first of four games to be played at Glenn on Dec. 5.

The third game at Glenn this past Wednesday would see the host school lose to Lakewood High 62-41. Glenn (4-1) bolted out to a 6-0 lead on three baskets from junior Cynthia Almanzar. After the Lancers scored the next 10 points, the Lady Eagles ended the first quarter on an 8-2 run with all eight points coming from senior Dominique Harrison. Almanzar would put Glenn up 16-13 with 5:51 left in the first half before Lakewood went on a 13-2 run to put the game away. Lakewood would outscore Glenn 15-5 in the third quarter to lead by 19 points after the end of the stanza.

Almanzar led the Lady Eagles with 19 points, seven rebounds and four steals while Harrison added 16 points 12 rebounds. Glenn faced either Whittier High or St. Joseph High on Dec. 5. Norwalk would fall to South Torrance High 52-25 and played Fountain Valley High on Dec. 5.

In other girls basketball action, Artesia High has won all six of its games to begin the season, including a 43-34 win against Hawthorne High this past Monday. Sophomore Sydney McKee scored 15 points and has led the Lady Pioneers in scoring in five of the six games. 

Cerritos High blasted Orange High 61-16 this past Wednesday in the opener of the Orange Tournament, which concludes on Saturday. The Lady Dons (3-3) will also host Peninsula High on Thursday.

Valley Christian High lost the first two games of its own tournament to begin the week, first two North Torrance High 64-35 this past Monday, then 60-41 to Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High the next night. The Lady Defenders (3-3) wrap up the tournament on Saturday before moving on to the Artesia Tournament next week. 

BOYS BASKETBALL

Artesia split its two pool play games of the Artesia Varsity Winter Classic, knocking off USC Hybrid High 58-19 this past Tuesday before losing to Palos Verdes High 66-36 the next night. The tournament will wrap up on Saturday, then the Pioneers will participate in the Calvary Chapel Downey Tournament, beginning on Monday.

Cerritos lost its first two pool play games of the North Orange County Championships, 64-48 to Fairmont Prep this past Monday and 55-40 to Capistrano Valley High this past Tuesday. The Dons (1-2) faced Esperanza High on Dec. 5 and will have games tonight and Saturday in the tournament. Cerritos will begin action in the Gahr-St. John Bosco Tournament next week.

After going 3-1 in the Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary Cardinal Classic to begin the season, Gahr went 3-1 in the El Monte Tournament last week, claiming the consolation championship. The Gladiators were off this past week in preparation for their co-hosted event with St. John Bosco High.

Glenn dropped a 48-24 decision to Kennedy High this past Tuesday to fall to 2-3. The Eagles will host Brethren Christian High on Monday and Hawthorne on Wednesday before going to Bosco Tech on Thursday.

Norwalk easily defeated Whitney 52-32 this past Monday to improve to 2-4 as it will visit El Modena High tonight before participating in the Bellflower Tournament, which begins on Monday.

Whitney’s loss to Norwalk dropped the Wildcats to 1-5 as they will be home to Rosemead High today before participating in the Calvary Chapel Downey Tournament beginning on Monday.

BOYS SOCCER

Artesia rallied from a 2-1 halftime deficit to edge Gahr 3-2 this past Monday, then blanked Culver City High 3-0 for its first games of the season. The Pioneers faced Animo Leadership High on Dec. 5 and will host the California Military Institute on Saturday and Rancho Alamitos High on Monday before facing Long Beach Jordan High on Tuesday and Southeast High on Thursday.

Cerritos has started the season with a pair of 2-0 losses to Long Beach Poly High and La Mirada High and will travel to North Torrance on Tuesday while Gahr dropped to 0-4 after its loss to Artesia. The Gladiators will visit Servite High today and host Compton Centennial High on Monday. 

Glenn (0-2-1) has not played since Nov. 26 but will travel to Ellen Ochoa Prep on Monday while Norwalk blanked Santa Fe High 1-0 this past Tuesday to improve to 4-1. The Lancers visited Schurr High on Dec. 5 and will go to Anaheim High on Wednesday.

V.C. tied Sage Hill High 0-0 this past Tuesday and faced Troy High on Dec. 5 in the first game of the Troy Tournament. The Defenders (2-0-1) will play Orange Lutheran today and wrap up the tournament on Saturday before hosting Mayfair High and Firebaugh on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

Whitney (2-2) blanked Whittier Christian High 2-0 this past Tuesday and will host Webb High today before travelling to Mary Star of the Sea High on Tuesday.

GIRLS SOCCER

Artesia lost its season opener to Whittier 3-0 this past Tuesday and hosted Santa Fe on Dec. 5. The Lady Pioneers will entertain CMI on Saturday and Gahr on Tuesday before travelling to Lynwood High on Thursday.

Cerritos begins its season today at Pacifica High and will host North Torrance on Tuesday before going to Bellflower High on Thursday while Gahr was blanked by Marina High 5-0 this past Tuesday to go to 1-1. The Lady Gladiators hosted Whittier on Dec. 5 and will participate in the Best In The West Tournament on Saturday, the travel to Artesia, Calvary Chapel Downey High and Whitney next week.

Glenn has been outscored 27-0 in its first two games as it hosted Bassett High on Dec. 5. The Lady Eagles will also entertain Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary on Tuesday while Norwalk tied Lynwood 2-2 to see its mark go to 2-3-1. The Lady Lancers will host Bassett on Tuesday before travelling to Bell Gardens High on Thursday.

V.C. began the season with a 6-0 win at Sage Hill this past Tuesday and hosted St. Pius X-St. Matthias High on Dec. 5. The Lady Defenders will participate in the Best In The West Tournament on Saturday before hosting Mayfair on Wednesday.

Whitney fell to Savanna High 6-1 this past Tuesday and will visit Long Beach Cabrillo High today before welcoming Ellen Ochoa Prep on Tuesday and Gahr on Thursday.

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