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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: League play to begin late next week as tournaments wrap up

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter


The area basketball and soccer teams have spent the majority of December playing in two or three preseason tournaments to prepare themselves for what will begin the end of next week-league action. Now that the new calendar year is upon us, here’s a brief look at how all of the schools are doing in the aforementioned sports.


The boys basketball team will enter Suburban League action with a solid 9-5 mark and winners of its last three games, including a 61-58 triumph over Ganesha High last Thursday. The Pioneers are one win away from matching last season’s total and has had a winning non league schedule in four straight seasons. The girls basketball team last played on Dec. 21 and fell to Buena Park 44-38. At 5-5, the Pioneers are the only league school that does not have a losing record. The five wins are one more than the team had all of last season. Artesia visited Newport Harbor High on Dec. 29 and will travel to Ganesha on Tuesday night. Both basketball teams will then host Cerritos High on Friday.

The boys soccer team came up with an uncontested 8-0 win over the California Military Institute for its fourth straight win this past Wednesday to move to 5-7-0. During that time, the Pioneers have outscored their opponents 18-1. Artesia will host Garey High on Monday before visiting Cerritos on Friday. The girls soccer team has been off since Dec. 20 when it blanked Paramount High 2-0. The Pioneers will bring a 4-4-2 record into their league opener against Cerritos on Friday.


After narrowly falling to Downey High 47-44 at Staples Center last Friday afternoon, the Dons have won the first two games of the Mt. Carmel Tournament and have won three of their last four games. Cerritos knocked off Mira Mesa high 76-55 this past Tuesday before getting revenge on Downey, 65-63, this past Wednesday. Cerritos (4-9) faced West Torrance in a semifinal game on Dec. 29. And will conclude the tournament tonight.

The girls basketball team recorded one of its biggest routs in years when it blasted Hawthorne High 85-9 this past Tuesday morning in the Larry Doyle/Dan Wiley Orange County Tournament of Champions. The Lady Dons, who began the tournament with a 53-36 loss to Warren High the day before, scored the first 39 points of the game and led Hawthorne 59-1 at the break. All but one player scored as senior Cailey Vitug and junior Kalea Trias each scored 12 points while sophomore Lindsay Fujihiro and junior Allyson Hayakawa pitched in with 11 and 10 points respectively. Vitug also had six steals in the first quarter alone and had nine in the game while senior Ifeoma Okoli grabbed 10 rebounds in the first and third quarters combined.

The Lady Dons (5-7) would knock off Marina High 61-28 this past Wednesday to move on to the consolation championship game against Edison High on Dec. 29.

The boys soccer team participated in the Marina Tournament and was blanked by Kennedy High 1-0 this past Wednesday while the girls soccer team has been idle since winning its group of the Best in the West Tournament on Dec. 17. The Lady Dons outscored their four tournament foes 6-2 and end their preseason slate at 7-1-1.


One of the best team in the area record-wise is in north San Diego County for the popular Under Armour Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. The Gladiators defeated Wasilla (Alaska) High 76-52 this past Tuesday in the American Division and Iolani (Hawai’i) High 45-39 this past Wednesday. Gahr (8-5) faced St. Joseph Notre Dame High out of Alameda on Dec. 29 in the semifinals. After finishing in the tournament tonight, the Gladiators will face Santa Monica High on Jan. 7 in the Westchester Challenge.

The girls basketball team went 2-2 in the Gahr Christmas Classic after beating Peninsula High 44-32 on Dec. 23. The Lady Gladiators (7-5) will visit Santa Fe High on Tuesday.

The boys soccer team hasn’t played since falling to Artesia 5-1 back on Dec. 20 to fall to 3-2-1 while the girls began the season with eight shutout losses before blanking San Gabriel High 5-0 on Dec. 17. While the boys will be off until their San Gabriel Valley League opener against Lynwood High on Jan. 10, the girls will host Savanna High on Wednesday.


The basketball woes continue for both the boys and girls as they have combined for one win through this past Wednesday. The boys lone victory came on Dec. 2 and since then, the Eagles have dropped seven straight with the latest loss coming to Calvary Chapel Santa Ana High, 46-39, this past Wednesday in the Estancia Coast Classic. Glenn squared off against Calvary Chapel Downey High on Dec. 29.

The girls are competing in the Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary Cardinal Classic and played Whittier High on Dec. 29. Today, the Lady Eagles, who have not scored more than 36 points through their first seven games, will play Palisades High. Both the boys and girls will be off all of next week before visiting La Mirada High on Jan. 9 in their Suburban League opener.

The boys soccer team, searching for its first victory, has scored two goals all season as it host Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High on Wednesday while the girls, who have been off since Dec. 15, are also winless and have scored three goals.


The boys basketball team is in the Whittier Christian Tournament where the Lancers have dropped two straight games. Norwalk (6-7), defeated Ontario High 59-44 this past Monday before falling to Hawai’i Baptist Academy 48-35 this past Tuesday and Whittier Christian High 61-35 the next night.

The Lady Lancers have been participating in the Garden Grove Tournament where they have split their last two games, beating the host school 48-43 this past Tuesday before losing to California High 50-38 this past Wednesday. Both Norwalk hoops teams will open Suburban League action at Mayfair High on Friday.

The boys soccer team was shutout by Pioneer High 8-0 last Thursday to fall to 4-2-1 as the Lancers will make up a game with Garden Grove High on Wednesday while the girls haven’t played since tying Whitney High 0-0 on Dec. 20. The Lady Lancers have a record of 6-1-3 and will visit Mayfair on Friday while the boys will host the Monsoons.


While the boys basketball team wraps up play in the Orange Holiday Classic (see story), the girls are the hottest team in the area. The Lady Crusaders won the Villa Park Tournament following a 60-50 win over Pacifica High on Dec. 23 to improve to 11-3. V.C. will visit Mary Star of the Sea High on Tuesday before opening Olympic League action against Heritage Christian High on Thursday.

The last time the boys soccer team has been in action was on Dec. 16, a 2-1 loss to St. Margaret’s High. The Crusaders are 4-6-1 and will host La Quinta High Tuesday before travelling to St. Anthony High on Wednesday.

The girls are competing in the Ontario Christian Christmas Classic where they have advanced to the championship game following victories over Palm Springs High (6-0) and St. Anthony High (1-0) this past Tuesday and Don Lugo High (1-1, but 3-1 in penalty kicks) this past Wednesday. The Lady Crusaders (7-4-2) faced Ontario Christian High on Dec. 29 and will host St. Anthony Wednesday.


The boys basketball team dropped a 79-60 decision to South East High in the Rancho Alamitos Tournament this past Wednesday to even its record at 7-7. The girls haven’t played since they were in the Valley Christian Tournament which ended on Dec. 17. Both teams will host Brethren Christian High on Friday in the Academy League opener.