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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Regular season approaching the end as area teams get ready for playoffs

Cerritos High senior Melody Fu (#45) attempts a fourth quarter shot as Artesia High senior Kimberly Servin puts pressure on Fu in last Friday night’s contest at Artesia. The Lady Dons easily won, 61-34, to remain undefeated in Suburban League action. Overall, Cerritos is 19-4 while Artesia dropped to 8-13. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer.


By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

With one week left to go in the regular season for the area basketball and soccer teams, several teams are still vying for league championships as well as playoff spots. At the same time, the rest of the teams are just playing out the season with the obligatory ‘wait until nest season’ thought in their heads.


Even with an 83-62 loss to Cerritos High last Friday, the Artesia High boys basketball team is still in position to lock down fourth place and the Suburban League’s final automatic berth in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section playoffs. The Pioneers trailed by two points after the first quarter but were outscored 22-12 in the second quarter as the Dons led 41-29 at the half and never looked back. Junior Heder Gladden led all scorers with 21 points and grabbed six rebounds along with four steals. Gladden has led Artesia (14-9 overall, 4-5 in league) in scoring in 17 of the 23 games. Sophomore Princeton Hoang added nine points. The Pioneers are battling with Norwalk High for fourth place.

The girls basketball team saw Cerritos score the first 18 points of the game, all in the first quarter, and lost 61-34 to remain winless in all nine league contests. Artesia (8-13 overall) has now lost nine straight games. Senior Cassidy Valle-Marinas led Artesia with 13 points and senior Jessica Tibayan pulled down seven rebounds.

Both basketball teams will visit John Glenn High tonight, host Mayfair High on Tuesday and visit La Mirada High on Thursday.

The boys soccer team posted a 5-1 win over Cerritos last Friday to improve to 15-6-1 overall, 7-2 in league and six points behind first place La Mirada. However, the Pioneers are tied with Norwalk for second place and can finish anywhere from first to fourth in league. Artesia will be at the opposite site of the basketball teams on the same days.


Any chances of the boys basketball team winning, or at least sharing a piece of the league title took a major hit as the Dons were edged by La Mirada 68-67 this past Wednesday. Cerritos (17-6, 7-2) led virtually the entire game and had a 47-28 lead in the third quarter. The Dons are still in second place but now two games behind Mayfair with three games remaining.

The girls won their 12th straight game following a 56-26 win against La Mirada this past Wednesday. The Lady Dons improved to 19-4 overall and are undefeated in nine league games, thus setting up what plans to be an epic contest at Mayfair on Thursday, which will also be the last game of the regular season. Before that, Cerritos will visit Norwalk tonight and host Glenn on Tuesday.

Against Artesia, all but two players scored in the 27-point win and all but one player attempted at least one shot and had at least one rebound. Sophomore Minh-Thy Vo led the Lady Dons with 11 points while junior Lindsay Fujihiro added eight points.

The boys soccer team was shutout by La Mirada 8-0 this past Wednesday and have lost eight straight games. The Dons (2-18, 0-9) will host Norwalk today, travel to Glenn on Tuesday and entertain Mayfair on Thursday.


The boys basketball team stayed alive for the playoffs by blasting Lynwood High 77-50 this past Wednesday to improve to 10-12 overall and 3-4 in the San Gabriel Valley League. The Gladiators, who have not missed the playoffs since 1997, are in fourth place and need to win their remaining three games to make sure they make it 21 straight trips to the playoffs.

The girls lost to Lynwood 67-52 and are 10-11, 3-4 and in fourth place. Both basketball teams will visit Warren High tonight, host Paramount High on Tuesday and travel to Downey High on Thursday.

The two soccer teams will sit home once again for the playoffs as the boys are 0-8 overall while the girls have an overall mark of 6-10-3, 2-4-1 in league. The boys host Paramount on Monday and go to Downey on Wednesday while the girls are at the opposite sites on the same days.


The boys basketball team was blocked of any chances of sweeping arch rival Norwalk as the Eagles fell 68-51 this past Wednesday. Glenn (5-16, 1-8) has now lost seven straight league contests. Senior Peter Punsalan scored 16 points and has led the Eagles in scoring in 14 of the 21 games. Senior Chris Murray added 11 points.

The girls basketball squad also lost to Norwalk, this one a 54-48 contest. Senior Dalilah Mendoza paced the Lady Eagles (11-14, 2-7) with 18 points. The only chance of Glenn making the playoffs is if they win their final three games, beginning tonight against Artesia. Glenn will also visit Cerritos on Tuesday and host Bellflower on Thursday.

The girls soccer team lost its 14th straight contest after an opening-season tie and has been blanked 13 times following a 4-0 setback to Norwalk. The boys lost its third consecutive 1-0 decision to drop to 5-11-1 overall, 1-8 in league and will be at Bellflower on Thursday.


Sophomore Christopher Herrera led the Lancers with 16 points while seniors Justin Schulthuis and Richard Lozano added 15 and 12 points respectively in the win over Glenn. Norwalk improved to 9-15, 4-6 and enters tonight contest with Cerritos a half game behind Artesia for fourth place.

Senior Bjanka Torres scored a career-high 21 points in the narrow win over Glenn. The Lady Lancers (12-10, 6-4) are in third place, one game ahead of La Mirada. Both basketball teams will visit Bellflower on Tuesday.

Just like the Glenn boys soccer team has lost three straight 1-0 decision, the Norwalk boys have won three straight 1-0 contests to improve to 12-6, 7-3. The Lancers will host Bellflower on Tuesday in their regular season finals while the girls (6-14, 3-7) are at Bellflower on Tuesday which may decide fourth place and the final automatic playoff berth.


The boys basketball team has won three straight games to improve to 16-7, 3-2 in the Olympic League following a 77-60 win at Village Christian High last Friday. Senior Julio Martinez scored 17 points while senior Chris Woodard added 11 points. The team is in third place, a game out of first place and can finish anywhere from first to fourth.

The Valley Christian girls, who have struggled all season, dropped a 59-48 decision to Village Christian to fall to 7-14, 2-3. Both Valley Christian teams will visit Maranatha High tonight before hosting Whittier Christian High and Heritage Christian High on Tuesday and Thursday respectively. The girls are currently tied with Maranatha for third place.

The boys soccer team blanked Village Christian 2-0 last Friday to improve to 7-7-2, 3-1-1 and have a key game with first place Maranatha tonight at home. The girls haven’t played since Jan. 23 but have won nine straight games. The Lady Crusaders enter tonight’s contest at Maranatha at 16-3-1, 3-0 and will host Whitter Christian and Heritage Christian on Tuesday and Thursday respectively while the boys will be on the road against those teams.


The boys basketball team picked up a 60-27 win against Brethren Christian High this past Monday to improve to 6-17, 3-5 in the Academy League. Senior Heaven Flores paced the Wildcats with 13 points while junior Jonan Baladjay grabbed 10 rebounds and junior Adi Jahic had six steals. Whitney yielded five points in the second quarter and three in the fourth quarter.

Earlier in day, the Lady Wildcats crushed Brethren Christian 56-20 behind 16 points and six steals from junior Christine Hamakawa and 13 points from freshman Julianna Lee. Whitney improved to 15-8, 6-2. Both Whitney teams will visit Oxford Academy tonight before travelling to Calvary Chapel Downey High on Tuesday and hosting St. Margaret’s High on Thursday. The boys will need to win at least two of those games and get some help to claim fourth place while the girls can do no worse than third place.

The boys soccer team (4-13, 4-5) was blanked by Crean Lutheran High 3-0 this past Wednesday and will be at the opposite sites of the basketball teams. It will need to pull off two upsets to advance to the playoffs.

The girls soccer team was all but knocked out of playoff contention after a 3-1 loss to Crean Lutheran this past Wednesday. The Lady Wildcats dropped to 8-7-1, 4-5 and fifth place in league with Crean Lutheran and Sage Hill High tied for third place at 6-3-1. The Lady Wildcats host Oxford Academy today and Calvary Chapel Downey on Tuesday before going to St. Margaret’s on Thursday.