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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Fourth quarter rally comes up short for improving John Glenn boys basketball team


loren kopff cerritos sports

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter


It’s been a slow process for the John Glenn High boys basketball team in its attempt to become relevant and for the second time this season the Eagles had a chance to move two games above .500, a rarity for anyone close to the program. When the Eagles were sitting at 5-4 on Dec. 7, they had a chance to win four straight games, but lost to West Covina High in overtime.

This past Tuesday, Glenn was hoping to make it two straight wins, and was leading visiting Sierra Vista High 33-32 with nearly six minutes left in the game. But the team was held to one of seven field goals the rest of the way and lost 42-36, falling to 6-6.

“I think that being my first year here, there’s been a culture [of taking] the easy way out,” said head coach Sam Abebe. “We’re trying to instill a new culture where even if you’re down 10 points in a game, just battle. They played hard and they gave it all they got. It was just missed open shots, a couple of breakdowns and a couple of missed assignments. They’ll get better.”

Glenn was leading 11-8 after the first quarter as senior Natanael Jacobo, junior Michael Saucedo and sophomore Seyharmony Som all hit three-pointers. But in the second quarter, Glenn could only get another three-pointer from Saucedo and trailed 18-14 at the half.

Early in the third quarter, the teams would trade baskets until William Pacis scored five straight points to put his team up 27-20 with 1:28 left in the stanza. Pacis would have all 12 points for Sierra Vista in the third quarter.

But Glenn rallied early in the fourth quarter as senior Richard Ramos completed a three-point play with 6:56 left to play, followed by a three-pointer from Som and a trifecta from Saucedo within the next minute to put the hosts up 33-32. After Sierra Vista regained the lead behind four points from Hector Vizcarra, Saucedo’s basket with 2:16 remaining made it a 36-35 contest. After that, Glenn was stymied and was unable to foul in the hopes of stopping the clock and getting more chances to attempt more shots.

Saucedo led the Eagles with 15 points and four rebounds while Som added 13 points as the Eagles have pretty much been led by four players this season on a team of seven, which will increase by one next month.

“Scoring for us is difficult,” Abebe said. “We’re a great scoring [team] man to man, but zone-wise…today we did a lot better job; we have to get better at that because our shooting wasn’t on today. It’s tough; it’s tough to win games [with seven players]. We got very fortunate to win those six games playing six guys. But it will get better in the coming weeks.”

Glenn has not won six games since the 2017-2018 season when that team went 6-18 and the Eagles haven’t made the playoffs since the 2013-2014 season when they went 7-20. On top of that, the last time the program won 10 games was the 2006-2007 campaign, which ended at 10-17.

The Eagles hosted Baldwin Park High on Dec. 23 for their final game of the month. The next action for Glenn will be the 605 League opener on Jan. 4 at Artesia High.

In other boys basketball action, Cerritos High had its home game with Price High last Saturday cancelled and entertained city rival Gahr High on Dec. 23. The Dons (2-9) will then face Orange High on Monday, Crespi High on Tuesday and La Habra High on Wednesday in pool play action of the Orange Tournament.

Gahr is 8-5 and following the tilt against Cerritos, will participate in the Nogales Tournament next week while La Mirada High (6-9) will face Oak Hills High on Monday in the Damien Classic.

Norwalk High (4-10) begins the Anaheim Tournament on Monday against Garden Grove High while Valley Christian High (7-5) defeated Chaminade High 55-44 this past Wednesday and will play Costa Mesa High on Monday, Boulder City High on Tuesday and Loyola High on Wednesday in the Orange Tournament.

Whitney defeated Samueli Academy 63-17 last Friday to improve to 2-11 and will face Kennedy High on Monday and Santa Ana High on Tuesday in opening action of the Bolsa Grande Tournament.


Artesia (9-4), ranked eighth in Division 4AA, will host University High on Thursday to wrap up the month while Gahr continues to struggle, falling to Alhambra High 31-20 this past Tuesday in an Arroyo/La Salle Tournament contest. The Gladiators are 1-11 and have not scored more than 31 points in any of their losses. Gahr faced Arroyo High on Dec. 23 and will play Notre Vista High on Monday, Los Amigos High on Tuesday and Savanna High on Wednesday in the Savanna Tournament while La Mirada has Glendora High on Monday in the Glendora Tournament.

V.C. picked up its first win in 12 tries with a 50-28 victory over Fullerton High last Friday and will participate in the Garden Grove Tournament where the Defenders will face Los Alamitos High on Monday while Whitney defeated Santiago High 45-33 this past Tuesday to improve to 12-2. Junior Layla Lacorte set a school record by hitting nine three-pointers as part of her 32 points.


Artesia improved to 6-1-1 after knocking off Santa Fe High 4-1 on Dec. 17 and will entertain Marquez High on Tuesday. The Pioneers are ranked sixth in Division 5 while Cerritos has been shutout five times while posting a pair of 1-1 ties as the Dons face Cypress High on Tuesday and Godinez High on Wednesday in the Marina Winter Classic.

La Mirada lost for the first time, a 2-1 decision to Aliso Niguel High, this past Monday in the Valencia Tournament and ends the month with a 6-1-2 mark. The Matadores have posted six shutouts and have allowed six goals.

Norwalk, ranked second in Division 2, improved to 6-3-2 after blanking Schurr High 2-0 last Friday while V.C. (7-2-1) is ranked fourth in Division 5 but is not scheduled to play until Jan. 4 when it hosts California.


Artesia is not scheduled to play any more games this month and will take an 0-11-1 into its 605 League opener against Glenn on Jan. 4 while Cerritos (6-1-3), ranked seventh in Division 5, is off until Jan. 4 when it hosts Oxford Academy.

La Mirada won a pair of games in the Best in the West Soccer Classic last Saturday to improve to 5-1-3 as it will face Downey High and La Habra on Tuesday and Tesoro High on Wednesday.

V.C. split a pair of games last Saturday in the Best in the West Tournament to fall to 5-4. The Defenders will face Ramona Convent High on Monday in the first round of the Ontario Christian Tournament.