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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Norwalk boys basketball goes in opposite direction in second half, falls to Anaheim

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

ANAHEIM-Despite two regular starters beginning the game on the bench due to team violations, Norwalk High’s boys basketball team was looking okay early on in its pool play game against Anaheim High this past Tuesday. However, the Lancers, who led by seven points late in the first half and by three points entering the fourth quarter, were shutdown offensively in the fourth quarter.

Norwalk was two of 16 from the field in the final eight minutes and the Colonists outscored the Lancers 12-5 in that time to come away with a 49-45 win in the Colony Classic. The Lancers have dropped their first two pool play games after entering the tournament winners in three of their previous four games.

Norwalk would trail by either two or four points in the first quarter and didn’t take its first lead until senior Vincent Hernandez had a steal, then fed a pass to sophomore Andrew Castellanos who gave Norwalk a 12-10 lead with 1:56 remaining in the stanza. The purple and gold would quickly lose the lead and was trailing 20-17 a minute into the second quarter when it went on an 11-6 run the remainder of the half, including a 28-21 lead with 3:11 left in the half after a basket from senior Jesus Gomez.

Norwalk would have leads of three points four times in the fourth quarter and the lead would change hands four times in the final 4:25 of the quarter. Hernandez scored on a putback with 57.4 seconds left in the stanza and senior James McGarrah gave the Lancers a 40-37 lead with 5.6 ticks left. After that, Norwalk would be held scoreless for the next 7:03 as the Colonists regained the lead at 46-40 with 70 seconds remaining in the game.

Junior Jakhari Ramey led all scorers with 15 points and had four steals, Hernandez added 12 points, 12 rebounds and three steals and Gomez would have seven of the 19 steals the Lancers would pick up. Norwalk (7-9) would face Orangewood Academy, which had won its first two pool play games, on Dec. 19 and will wrap up tournament play on Friday. The Lancers will then begin Mid-Cities League action on Wednesday at Gahr High.

In other boys basketball action, with all preseason tournaments ending on Friday and league play beginning on Tuesday or Wednesday, Artesia High, which went 2-2 in the Tarkanian Classic from Dec. 19-22, is 7-7 as it hosts Cerritos High on Wednesday in the 605 League opener. The Dons picked up a 44-33 win over Boulder City (NV) High this past Tuesday in the Orange Tournament to improve to 3-13 and would face Orange High on Dec. 28.

Gahr is in the Nogales Tournament where it lost to Crenshaw High 63-31 this past Monday before defeating Nogales High (83-28) and Gardena High (62-53) the next two days while John Glenn High, co-hosting the Showcase on Shoemaker Tournament with Whitney High, dropped a 62-34 decision to Norte Vista High this past Monday and fell to Compton Early College High 51-47 this past Wednesday to drop to 5-8. The Eagles will host Whitney on Wednesday. 

La Mirada High, sporting a 12-5 record, has won three straight games, including the first two of the Damien Classic with victories over Riverside Poly High (66-53) this past Monday and Orange Lutheran High (76-53) the next day. The Matadores will visit Paramount High on Wednesday to kickoff action in the Gateway League.

Valley Christian High, also in the Orange Tournament, is another hot team in the area as the Defenders have won three in a row to improve to 10-5. V.C. slammed Ambassador High 77-34 this past Monday and Environmental Charter 76-34 the next day in pool play action. It faced Twentynine Palms High this past Wednesday and will host Heritage Christian High in the Olympic League opener on Tuesday.

Whitney advanced to the semifinals of the Showcase on Shoemaker Tournament with a 58-34 win over Montebello High this past Tuesday. The Wildcats (12-2) faced Katella on Dec. 29 and will finish no worse than fourth place in the 16-team event.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Artesia, winless on the season, lost to Palos Verdes High 37-24 this past Monday and Gahr 53-28 the next day in pool play action of the San Pedro Tournament. The Pioneers will host Cerritos on Wednesday. The Dons are 6-6 as they visited Bishop Amat High this past Wednesday and will go to North Torrance High tonight.

Up and coming Gahr has won six straight games to move to 11-5 after winning all three pool play game in the San Pedro Tournament. The Gladiators played for the championship on Dec. 29 and will host Norwalk on Wednesday in the Mid-Cities League opener. Norwalk has played the most games of any area girls team and is 10-7. Last time out, on Dec. 22, the Lancers lost to Godinez High 54-29.

Glenn, which hasn’t played since Dec. 14, will sport a 5-8 record as it hosts Whitney on Wednesday. The Wildcats (7-7) are currently in Boise, ID participating in the Timberline Classic, where it faced the host school this past Wednesday.

V.C. has lost five in a row, including an 80-21 decision to Brea Olinda High and a 48-31 setback to Marina High to begin the week in the Larry Doyle Classic at Marina. The Defenders played West Ranch High on Dec. 29 and will host Heritage Christian on Tuesday.

BOYS SOCCER

Artesia (4-4-1) hosts Cerritos (1-7-2) and Glenn (4-3-2) entertains Whitney (0-7-1) on Tuesday in the 605 League opener while Gahr (3-4-0) hosts Bellflower on Wednesday to begin the Mid-Cities League and La Mirada (2-2-2) visits Mayfair High, also on Wednesday. Norwalk (3-3-2) travels to Paramount High in its first Gateway League game while in Olympic League action, V.C. (4-6-3) goes to Heritage Christian on Tuesday.

GIRLS SOCCER

Artesia (5-4-2) visits Cerritos (10-1-0) on Tuesday to begin 605 League action while in opening games of the Mid-Cities League on Wednesday, Gahr (0-8-0) travels to Dominguez High while Norwalk (3-6-1) welcomes Bellflower. In Gateway League action, La Mirada (5-3-3) welcomes Paramount and in the Olympic League, V.C. (9-3-1) is home to Heritage Christian on Tuesday.

In non-league action, Glenn (0-7-1) goes to Whittier Christian High on Tuesday.

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