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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Artesia boys basketball holds off Norwalk in Suburban League opener

By Loren Kopff

The Norwalk boys basketball team owned the first half of its Suburban League opener against visiting Artesia this past Wednesday night. But the Pioneers ended the half on a 9-3 run and never trailed in the second half en route to a 47-42 victory to improve to 9-6 overall.

The game was still in question until senior guard Akil Williams sank a pair of free throws with three seconds left to put the Pioneers up by five points. Artesia had trailed by as many as eight points late in the first quarter but the defense limited the Lancers to just two field goals in 10 attempts in the second quarter.

Although the Pioneers outscored the Lancers by just two points in the second half, they led 36-29 with 43 seconds remaining in the third quarter before Norwalk (5-10) cut that lead to two points twice in the early moments of the fourth quarter.

Norwalk junior guard David Suarez connected on a three-pointer with 1:47 left in the game to make it a 43-39 contest. Then with 37 seconds remaining, junior guard Keno Valdenor’s trifecta brought Norwalk to within three points.

Sophomore forward Jordan Volpei led Norwalk with 11 points and eight rebounds while junior guard Greg Deed added 10 points. Artesia was led by senior post player Chris Pendley (11 points) and freshman post player Greg Williams (10 points). The win snapped a five-game losing streak on Norwalk’s court. Artesia will host John Glenn tonight and Mayfair on Wednesday while Norwalk visits Cerritos tonight, Mayfair on Monday and La Mirada on Wednesday.

In other boys basketball action, Gahr dropped an 80-71 decision to Price this past Tuesday for just its third loss in 15 games. The Gladiators will travel to Lawndale on Saturday and visit Warren on Wednesday in the San Gabriel Valley League opener.

John Glenn was no match for Suburban League favorite La Mirada in an 89-37 setback this past Wednesday. The Eagles, winless this season, will visit Bellflower on Monday.

Valley Christian lost to Paramount 53-52 this past Tuesday night and hosted Whittier Christian on Jan. 8 in the Olympic League opener. The Crusaders (12-4) will entertain Ontario Christian on Saturday before visiting Fairmont Prep on Tuesday and Heritage Christian on Thursday.

Whitney opened up Academy League action with a 58-47 loss to Oxford Academy this past Tuesday night to drop to 5-8 overall. The Wildcats will host St. Margaret’s tonight and Sage Hill on Thursday.


The Norwalk Lady Lancers barely broke a sweat against Artesia in a 67-26 victory this past Wednesday evening. Norwalk (8-7) received a big game from senior J’nae Harrison, who scored a career-high 20 points and had five steals. Junior Danielle Tate came off the bench to add a career-high 15 points as well as pulling down six rebounds and have three steals.

The Pioneers (4-11) were led by senior forward Keina Harris (nine points) and junior guard Zharia Simmons (six points).

Elsewhere, Whitney won its Academy League opener over Oxford Academy, 36-25, this past Tuesday to improve to 5-6 overall.


If you showed up late to Valley Christian’s home game against California this past Tuesday night, you missed the majority of the scoring. The visiting Condors erupted for three goals in the first eight minutes, built a 5-1 halftime lead and went on to crush the Crusaders 8-3. The eight goals were the most allowed by any V.C. team since Dec. 9, 2011 when the Crusaders were blanked by Artesia 6-0. V.C. got goals from junior forward Roger Ramos in the 13th minute, sophomore midfielder Jack Montoya in the 61st minute and sophomore forward Clay D’Amico in the 68th minute. The Crusaders (2-7) visited Whittier Christian on Jan. 8 and will host Heritage Christian on Thursday.

In Suburban League action, Mayfair blanked Cerritos 2-0 while Norwalk edged Artesia 2-1 this past Wednesday on goals from senior defender Patrick Perez and senior forward Julio Ponce.


Artesia and Norwalk were fit to be tied in their Suburban League opener this past Wednesday as the game ended in a 1-1 tie. The visiting Pioneers (5-2-4) scored on its only shot in the first half when junior forward Alondra Acosta found the back of the net in the 23rd minute with the assist going to freshman forward Brittany Llanes. The Lady Lancers (5-3-2) tied the game seven minutes into the second half on a goal from freshman Misty Diaz.

Valley Christian blanked Marlborough 4-0 this past Tuesday to improve to 3-8. The Lady Crusaders hosted Whittier Christian on Jan. 8 and will travel to Downey today before hosting St. Anthony on Tuesday.


Former Gahr softball standout Jennifer Willig and her fiancée, former John Glenn boys and girls volleyball coach Davion Jackson rang in 2015 with their second child. Carson Anthony Jackson was born at 10:40 p.m. on New Year’s Day. Their daughter, Rylee Nicole Jackson, was born in Jan., 2011.