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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW : John Glenn girls basketball holds on to beat Whitney, boys lose big lead in second half

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

John Glenn High was looking for its first basketball sweep of a 605 League opponent when it hosted Whitney High this past Tuesday. But the way both games went, it could have been a sweep for the Whitney.

The Glenn girls nearly squandered a 24-point late in the third quarter but pulled out a 46-38 victory to improve to 11-9 overall and 1-2 in league action. The Lady Wildcats outscored Glenn 24-8 over the last 9:27 of the game and got to within five points with 1:40 remaining in the contest.

“Just composure,” said Glenn head coach Ruben Guerrero of the near loss. “Our girls, I think, have a tendency of getting comfortable and then when things start really going, their composure and the experience kind of showed its taste. I think they learned a lot today because of the way they finished.”

Glenn scored the first 13 points of the game until Whitney junior Julianna Lee hit a free throw with 4:06 left in the opening quarter. The Lady Eagles would hold a 24-12 halftime lead with senior Dominique Harrison having a stellar start, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the first 16 minutes.

Meanwhile, it was the complete opposite for Whitney freshman Layla Lacorte, who was held without a point in seven first half attempts. Lacorte was coming off a career-high 29-point performance at Artesia High last Friday and finished the Glenn game with just three points.

“We didn’t really set anything up specifically for her,” Guerrero said. “We knew she had a good game against Artesia. We just wanted our girls to be aware of where she was and to basically talk on defense every time she moved to know where she was on the court at all times.”

Glenn would add to its lead by scoring the first seven points of the third quarter. But with the score 38-14, the Lady Wildcats (7-11, 2-1) began to chip away. They went on a 9-0 run from late in the third quarter to early in the fourth quarter before Guerrero called a timeout. After that, Whitney scored another nine consecutive points before Harrison scored off an offensive rebound to end the 18-0 run.

Lacorte’s lone basket made it 40-35, but Glenn iced the game with free throws down the stretch. Harrison and junior Cynthia Almanzar each scored 15 points while senior Perla Santana and junior Kei’ana Hood each added seven points. Harrison also finished with 20 rebounds while Hood and Santana each pitched in with seven boards. Whitney was led by Lee (12 points) and junior Kimberly Hosoda (nine points, nine rebounds, six steals and four assists).

“We’re just focused on each game as it comes, each practice as it comes,” Guerrero said. “I know that’s a cliché, but we don’t want to get too far ahead, especially the fact that we’re trying to make a run at the playoffs.”

Following the game, the Glenn boys had a strong first quarter and led 18-5 with 6:49 in the first half. But Whitney went on a tear in the second half and outscored the Eagles 34-14 in the second half to rally for a 52-43 win. 

Guerrero cited the lack of experience as to Glenn’s second half collapse and added that his team lacks that killer instinct.

“We had it in the first half,” he said. “But when the second half started, I think everybody was comfortable thinking that it was going to be easy and obviously it wasn’t. I kept on telling them that they’re just as hungry as we are, and they want to win just as bad as we do. But it’s going to come down to the team that really wants it, and the team that really wanted it won.”

The Eagles (3-16, 0-3) was up 29-18 at the break with junior Chanmarafine Som getting all 15 points he would score on six of eight shooting from the field and five rebounds. Glenn was still up by 10 points before the Wildcats went on an 11-0 run and took its first lead of the game since early in the game following a steal and basket from freshman Ethan Wong. Glenn would retake the lead with 5:34 left in the game on a pair of free throws from sophomore Richard Ramos. But shortly after that, Whitney (8-11, 2-1) went on a 10-0 run to go up 47-41.

Wong led everyone with 26 points and had five steals while senior Victor Ufondu added 13 points and had eight rebounds and four steals. Senior Pedro Miranda chipped in with nine points and 12 rebounds for Glenn.

Both Glenn teams will visit Artesia tonight and at Oxford Academy on Wednesday while both Whitney teams will host Pioneer High tonight and Cerritos High on Wednesday.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Cerritos moved to 14-6 overall and 3-0 in the 605 League after defeating Pioneer 55-39 this past Tuesday. The Dons, who are ranked fifth in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA poll, host Oxford Academy tonight, will face Laguna Beach High on Monday and entertain Whitney on Wednesday.

Gahr High dropped a 66-55 decision to Lynwood High this past Wednesday and will take a 12-9 overall mark, 1-2 in the San Gabriel Valley League, into tonight’s home game with Warren High. The Gladiators, who dropped to 13thin Division 3AA, will also visit Paramount High on Wednesday.

Norwalk High’s winning streak went to nine games following a 64-55 win at South Hills High this past Monday. The Lancers (13-7) stay on the road to face El Segundo High on Monday, Mayfair High on Wednesday and La Mirada High on Thursday.

Valley Christian High has dropped three straight games, all in Olympic League action, after getting blown out by Village Christian High 95-53 this past Tuesday. The Defenders (17-4) will travel to Whittier Christian High tonight. 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Just like the boys, Cerritos is also undefeated in three league games after knocking off Pioneer 73-37 this past Tuesday. The Lady Dons (10-9 overall) will host Oxford Academy and Whitney tonight and Wednesday respectively. They will also face Norwalk on Monday at Whitney. The Lady Lancers are 9-9 and haven’t played since Jan. 7. Norwalk will also visit Mayfair on Wednesday and La Mirada on Thursday.

Valley Christian lost to Village Christian 66-52 this past Tuesday to tumble to 9-11 overall and 2-1 in the Olympic League. The Lady Defenders will face CAMS on Monday at Whitney, and host Buena Park High on Wednesday.

BOYS SOCCER

Artesia routed Oxford Academy 10-0 this past Tuesday to remain undefeated in 605 League action. The Pioneers improved to 8-3-3 overall and 2-0-1 in the circuit and will visit Glenn today before hosting Pioneer on Tuesday.

After defeating Dominguez High 5-4 last Thursday, Gahr was blanked by Lynwood 4-0 this past Tuesday to fall to 3-11-0 overall, 1-2 in the SGVL. The Gladiators hosted Warren High on Jan. 16 and will travel to Paramount on Tuesday and Downey High on Thursday.

GIRLS SOCCER

Artesia remained winless in 13 games and has scored five goals after a 3-1 setback to Oxford Academy. The Lady Pioneers will host Glenn today and travel to Pioneer on Tuesday.

Cerritos posted its third straight shutout, a 5-0 win at Pioneer, to improve to 5-4-3 overall and 3-0 in league. The Lady Dons host Oxford Academy today and Whitney on Tuesday.

Gahr picked up a 5-2 win against Lynwood this past Tuesday to improve to 10-4-2 overall, 2-1 in the SGVL. The Lady Gladiators visited Warren on Jan. 16 and will host Paramount and Downey on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

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