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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: AREA’S TOP GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAMS TO COMPETE IN FINAL REGULAR SEASON TOURNAMENT

BY LOREN KOPFF@LORENKOPFF ON TWITTER

Of the seven area girls volleyball teams, three have consistently moved on to the CIF-Southern Section divisional playoffs over the past two decades. Ironically, all three will be among 20 teams participating in the Bellflower-Valley Christian Girls Varsity Volleyball Classic today and Saturday at Bellflower High and Gahr High.

Cerritos wrapped up a five-match road trip with a sweep over Artesia High this past Tuesday to move to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in the 605 League. The Lady Dons have posted seven sweeps this season including four out of the last five matches. They hosted John Glenn High on Sept. 19 and will face Bellflower, Trinity Classical and Valley Christian High today in pool play action of the tournament. Cerritos will also host Pioneer High on Tuesday in the first of four straight home matches and is knocking on the door of the Division 4 top 10 poll.

Gahr has been on a roll and following a sweep over Bellflower last Friday, has won four in a row to improve to 6-2. Included in the winning streak were sweeps over Downey High last Thursday and Dominguez to begin San Gabriel Valley League action. Gahr will have pool play matches against CAMS, Peninsula High and St. Joseph High today. In addition, the Lady Gladiators visited Lynwood High on Sept. 19 and will visit Paramount High on Thursday.

Valley Christian, the ninth-ranked team in Division 4 breezed past Maranatha High this past Tuesday in the Olympic League opener, yielding 31 points in the process. The Lady Defenders then were swept by Village Christian High this past Wednesday and will take a 10-6 overall mark into today’s pool play matches against Bellflower, Cerritos and Trinity Classical. V.C. will also host Heritage Christian High on Tuesday and travel to Whittier Christian High on Thursday.

In other volleyball action, Artesia High saw its brief two-match winning streak end against Cerritos and fell to 6-12 overall, 1-1 in the 605 League. The Lady Pioneers will host Whitney High today and visit Glenn on Tuesday.

Glenn scored 26 points in a three-set loss to Whitney last Friday and faced Oxford Academy this past Tuesday while Norwalk High lost all three of its pool play matches in the Whittier Tournament last weekend. The Lady Lancers (4-13) began Suburban League action on Sept. 19 at Mayfair High and will entertain La Mirada High on Tuesday and Bellflower on Thursday.

Whitney remained tied for first place in the 605 League with Cerritos following back to back sweeps against Glenn and Pioneer. The Lady Wildcats (8-4 overall) will host Oxford Academy on Tuesday in preparation for a first-place showdown at Cerritos on Sept. 27.

FOOTBALL

Beverly Hills High (1-2) @ Cerritos (2-1)-After falling to Portola High 46-24 on the road last Friday, Cerritos hopes to rebound against a more favorable opponent in Beverly Hills. Last season, the Dons defeated the Normans 42-6, the last of their three wins they would get in 2018. Beverly Hills is riding a two-game losing streak in which it has scored 14 points. 

This will be the fourth straight road game for the Normans, who racked up 436 yards on the ground in an opening-season win at Sotomayor High. Cerritos counters with junior running back Moises Vargas, who leads the team with 335 yards on 39 carries and junior quarterback Nick Lightell, who has passed for 555 yards and 11 touchdowns and has gained 113 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.

Gahr (2-1) @ Sunny Hills High (2-1)-The schedule won’t get easier for Gahr, which was blasted by North Torrance High 41-7 last Friday. The Gladiators face a team that has won two in a row and defeated Brea Olinda High 17-10 last Friday. Sunny Hills does most of its damage on the ground as Jun Ahn has rushed for 466 yards on 70 carries with three touchdowns, and Vince Silva has gained 184 yards on 16 touches with four touchdowns. But the Lancers can also show it can be powerful through the air as Luke Duxbury has passed for 503 yards with five touchdowns.

Glenn (2-2) @ Western High (3-1)-The Eagles have been alternating wins and losses through the first four weeks and dropped a 66-14 setback to Bell Gardens High last Friday. Now, Glenn faces another huge test when they face the fourth-ranked team in Division 10. Western has not allowed a point in its last three games, but offensively, has already accumulated over 1,400 yards. Isiah Del Toro has completed over 64 percent of his passes for 936 yards and eight touchdowns while also leading the ground attack with 215 yards on 32 carries and a touchdown. 

Glenn junior quarterback Matthew Huxtable has completed 44 passes in 86 attempts for 890 yards and seven touchdowns. However, senior running back Edwin Udengwu, who came close to 2,000 yards last season, did not play in the Bell Gardens game and has 328 yards on 50 carries with four touchdowns.

California High (4-0) @ Norwalk (2-2)-This game was played on Sept. 19 and after an 18-point loss to Pacifica High in its first game followed by a 26-point shutout win, Norwalk has been involved in one-score contests the last two weeks. The Lancers fell to Long Beach Jordan High 20-13 last Friday and will have their hands full with the sixth-ranked team in Division 11. The Condors have allowed 16 points and blanked three opponents. In contrast, Norwalk has allowed 20 points in the first half this season. California has rushed for 741 yards with 11 different players having at least one carry while Giovanni Miranda and Noah Castillo have combined to throw for 570 yards and seven touchdowns. But, two other players have completed two passes for 86 yards and one touchdown. In addition, the Condors have sacked opposing signal callers 14 times.

Senior Sergio Martinez is Norwalk’s big yardage gainer with 430 yards on 73 rushes and four touchdowns while senior Daniel Onopa has added 187 yards on 42 carries and a touchdown.

Ontario Christian High (3-1) @ Valley Christian (2-2)-It’s rivalry time for V.C. and its defense will get tested as the Knights have won two straight contests by a combined score of 95-14. Ontario Christian is led by Alexander Terriquez (352 yards, 64 carries, four touchdowns). However, three other running backs are all within 23 yards of 200 yards and have combined for nine touchdowns. The Knights are pretty much one-dimensional as two quarterbacks have completed 10 passed for 150 yards.

The Defenders blasted Van Nuys High 49-6 last Friday night and are seeking their first two-game winning streak. Against the Los Angeles City Section school, senior Brayden Garner rushed for 207 yards on nine touches and scored four touchdowns.

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