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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW : Area teams prepare for upcoming league seasons with final December tournaments

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

Hundreds of high school basketball and soccer players opened presents this past Tuesday on Christmas and they hope to bring home another present on Saturday in the form of a tournament championship. Beginning this past Wednesday, most of the area basketball teams will play four more tournament games (three for the Artesia High girls) before getting set for their respective league seasons which begin as early as Wednesday while some soccer teams will either play single games or be in tournament themselves.


A trio of teams are participating in the Rancho Alamitos Tournament which kicked off with Artesia falling to Garden Grove High 65-59. The Pioneers (8-7) played Hueneme High on Dec. 27 and will visit Oxford Academy on Thursday in the 605 League opener.

Cerritos High knocked off White River (WA) High 68-59 in the first round of the Orange Tournament. The Dons (6-8) faced Paramount High on Dec. 27 and will host Whitney High on Thursday to begin 605 League competition.

Gahr High went to San Diego to participate in the Governors Division of the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. The Gladiators (8-7) were nipped by Saugus High 48-47 and faced Cienega High out of Vail, AZ on Dec. 27.

John Glenn High is the second team playing in the Rancho Alamitos Tournament and lost to Irvine High 56-36 to see its record fall to 2-13. After leading 7-6 late in the first quarter following a basket from sophomore Chanmarafine Som, Irvine went on a 12-0 run and never looked back. The Eagles would not score consecutive baskets until the third quarter and trailed by as many as 25 points, which came early in the fourth quarter. Senior Joseph Angulo led the Eagles with nine points while junior Chris Saucedo added seven points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Glenn faced Magnolia High on Dec. 27 and will meet the host school today in pool play action (both opponents lost their bracket games this past Wednesday). Glenn will also host Pioneer High on Thursday.

The third team in the Rancho Alamitos Tournament is Norwalk High, which knocked off Anaheim High 50-27 in first round action. The Lancers (9-7) gave up the game’s first basket, then reeled off 11 straight points and were barely challenged the rest of the way. The Lancers led 26-9 at the half, then opened the third quarter with 12 straight points. Sophomore Jayden Williams had a monster game, scoring 14 points and pulling down 20 rebounds while assisting on four other baskets. Junior Christopher Herrera added eight points. Three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Norwalk faced South El Monte High on Dec 27.

Valley Christian High crushed Larchmont Charter High 93-27 in the first game of its tournament at Cathedral High. The Defenders improved to 5-6 and after the tournament, will open Olympic League action against Village Christian High on Thursday.

Whitney High dropped to 3-11 after losing to Long Beach Jordan High 93-39 in the first round of the Orange Tournament and faced Saddleback Valley Christian High on Dec. 27.


Artesia went up north again to play in the West Coast Jamboree, which began on Dec. 27. The Lady Pioneers (12-3) faced Casa Grande High and will travel to Oxford Academy on Thursday.

Cerritos, playing in the Ayala Tournament, dropped a 56-51 decision to Oak Hills High in the first of three pool play games. The Lady Dons (7-4) faced Hillcrest High on Dec. 27 and will play Rancho Cucamonga High today and will also entertain Whitney on Thursday.

Gahr (4-8) lost to Claremont High 68-53 in the first game of the Savanna/Buena Park Christmas Classic while Glenn fell to Edison High 41-25 in the first round of the Larry Doyle/Dan Wiley Orange County Tournament of Champions. Glenn would face Long Beach Wilson High on Dec. 27 and upon completion of the tournament, the Lady Eagles (5-10) will be home to Pioneer on Thursday.

Norwalk fell to Roosevelt High 63-50 in pool play action of the 2ndAnnual Bertha Mata Memorial Tournament. The Lady Lancers (7-6) faced Pioneer on Dec. 27 and will tangle with Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High today.

V.C. defeated Long Beach Wilson High in the first round of the Larry Doyle/Dan Wiley Orange County Tournament of Champions and squared off against Edison High on Dec. 27. The Lady Defenders will also host Village Christian on Thursday.


Artesia, ranked second in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 poll, visited Gahr on Dec. 27 and will host Oxford Academy on Thursday. The Pioneers entered the Gahr contest at 6-1-2.

Cerritos was blanked by Marina High 3-0 and tied Dominguez 1-1 this past Wednesday in the Marina Tournament. The Dons (4-5-1) played Savanna High on Dec. 27 and will travel to Whitney on Thursday.

After its game with Artesia, Gahr (0-3-1) will host Dominguez on Tuesday while Glenn, winless in eight games, will visit Pioneer on Thursday.

Norwalk remained the hottest team in the area, moving up to third in the CIF-SS Division 4 poll. The Lancers (10-0-1) will travel to Artesia today.


Artesia (4-3-4), which hasn’t played since Dec. 20 and has three straight 2-1 victories, will visit Oxford Academy on Thursday while Cerritos (6-2-4), which hasn’t played since Dec. 18, will host Whitney on Thursday.

Gahr (3-5-2) has not played since Dec. 20 and will visit Dominguez on Tuesday while Glenn, which has scored twice in four games played, all losses, will host Pioneer on Thursday.