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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Cerritos, Whitney basketball teams hit hard with Covid protocols

December 30, 2021

By Loren Kopff• @LorenKopff on Twitter


Middle to late December every season is a time for high school basketball and soccer teams to wrap up the preseason tournament part of their schedules. However, some area schools have either had to play with a limited team or been forced to back out of a tournament because of the ongoing saga that is Covid-19 and all the protocols that athletes and personnel have to go through day to day.

The regular season for the winter sports is slated to end on Feb. 5 with league play beginning as early as Tuesday for the 605 League for basketball and soccer and the San Gabriel Valley League for soccer. Listed below is a look at where the eight area schools stand with their basketball and soccer teams and their upcoming schedules. Note that because of Covid, games are subject to postponement or cancellation at any time.


The boys basketball team dropped the first two games of The Holiday Classic in San Diego County before getting past Oceanside High 49-45 this past Wednesday to improve to 12-4. The Pioneers faced Ramona High on Dec. 30.

After a strong start to the season, the girls basketball team has lost four straight games to fall to 9-6. Last time out, the Pioneers dropped a 49-33 decision to Bell Gardens High and were scheduled to host University High on Dec. 30. Both basketball teams will host John Glenn on Tuesday.

The boys soccer team has gotten off to a 6-1-1 start, yielding eight goals in the process with three shutouts while the girls are 0-11-1, having scored five goals and shutout nine times. Both teams will also face Glenn on Tuesday with the girls at home.


When the boys basketball team hosted Gahr on Dec. 23, it suited up seven players. When the Dons fell to Orange High 50-40 this past Monday to open the Orange Tournament, they had eight players. That number dropped to six the next day and with two games left to play in the tournament, the Dons (2-11) had to drop out as five more varsity players tested positive.

The girls basketball team, which is 7-4 and last played on Dec. 18 against Norwalk, never got the chance to compete in the North Torrance Tournament this past week. Both teams are slated to host Oxford Academy on Tuesday.

The boys soccer team (0-5-2) was scheduled to take part in the Marina Winter Classic this past Tuesday and Wednesday but had to back out while the girls team (5-1-3) last played on Dec. 18 in the Best in the West Winter Classic. Both teams will also play Oxford Academy on Tuesday with the girls at home.


The boys basketball team knocked off Upland High 86-83 this past Monday to open the Nogales Tournament, however its game with La Serna High the next day was cancelled. The Gladiators are 10-5 while the girls team is in the Savanna Tournament and went 1-2 in pool play action. Gahr fell to Norte Vista High 34-24 this past Monday, defeated Los Amigos High 29-15 this past Tuesday, then lost to Savanna High 36-15 the next day. Junior Kim Gutierrez led the Gladiators (3-14) with six points off the bench while senior Cha’nai Richard grabbed seven rebounds. Gahr was outscored 25-5 in the second half and was true on two of 20 shots from the field as it faced Apple Valley High on Dec. 30. Both teams will visit Downey High on Wednesday.

The boys soccer team hasn’t played since Dec. 16 and is 1-6-0, having been blanked four times while the girls haven’t played since Dec. 18 and are 3-8-0. The teams will begin San Gabriel Valley League action on Tuesday against Downey with the boys on the road.


While the boys basketball team was not scheduled to be in a tournament the last week of the month, a pair of games have been rescheduled. The Eagles (6-6) were to have visited Norwalk on Dec. 16, but that has been moved to Jan. 12, and a home game against Baldwin Park High on Dec. 23 is now slated for Jan. 8.

The Glenn girls are winless through 10 games and are averaging 10.4 points a game as the team was scheduled to visit South El Monte High this past Wednesday.

Both soccer teams are struggling as the boys are 1-8-0 and have been shutout seven times while the girls are 1-10-0 and have been whitewashed eight times.


The boys basketball team wraps up the month with its fourth tournament of the season but has lost the first three games of the Damien Classic. The Matadores (6-12) fell to Oak Hills High 75-72 this past Monday, Dana Hills High 69-61 this past Tuesday and Rancho Verde High 53-50 this past Wednesday. The team will host St. Anthony High on Wednesday.

The girls basketball team, with a pair of wins through its first eight games, was scheduled to play Summit High, Glendora High, Rancho Cucamonga High and Don Lugo High this past week in the Glendora Tournament.

The boys soccer team (6-1-2) has been off since Dec. 20 when it lost for the first time, a 2-1 decision to Aliso Niguel High in the Valencia Tournament while the girls (5-2-5) have been involved in the North Orange County Classic, tying Downey 0-0 and La Habra High 1-1 this past Tuesday before falling to Tesoro High 2-1 this past Wednesday. Both soccer teams will face Norwalk on Tuesday with the boys at home.


The boys basketball team defeated Norte Vista 60-41 this past Wednesday in the Colony Classic at Anaheim High to move its mark to 4-12. Sophomores Yahir Martinez and Zack Powell each scored 14 points while sophomore Robert Salazar added 11 points. The Lancers faced Loara High on Dec. 30

The girls dropped the first three games it played in the Larry Doyle Tournament at Marina High and will begin January with am 11-6 mark. Both teams will face California High on Wednesday with the girls being the host.

The boys soccer team is 6-1-2 but has not played since shutting out Schurr High on Dec. 17 while the girls (2-9-1) last played on Dec. 20 but was scheduled to travel to Alhambra High on Dec. 22.


The boys basketball team entered the Orange Tournament this past Monday on a three-game winning streak and extended that by knocking off Costa Mesa High 59-30, Boulder City High 60-38 this past Tuesday and La Habra 66-33 this past Wednesday. The Defenders, who improved to 10-5, will be off until Jan. 7 when they travel to Maranatha High for the Olympic League opener.

The girls team lost to Brea Olinda High 68-24 this past Monday to open the Garden Grove Tournament, then defeated the host school 48-22 the next night and Temecula Valley High 42-22 this past Wednesday to improve to 3-12, The Defenders played Capistrano Valley High on Dec. 30 and will host Calvary Chapel Downey High and Westminster High on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

The boys soccer team (7-2-1) hasn’t played since losing to Crean Lutheran High 4-2 on Dec. 17 and won’t be in action until Tuesday when it hosts California High. The girls were to have played in the Ontario Christian Christmas Classic but instead, won’t play until Tuesday’s road game at California. The Defenders are 5-4-1.


Just like the Cerritos basketball programs, the same has happened to boys and girls programs at Whitney. The boys had to withdraw from this past week’s Bolsa Grande Tournament as all but three players in the entire program tested positive. The Wildcats are 3-11 and haven’t played since defeating Fairmont Prep 81-34 on Dec. 21.

The girls, who have been one of the hottest teams around, especially with eight players, are 12-2 and have not played since knocking off Santiago High 45-33 on Dec. 21. All members of the team have tested positive. Both varsity teams are scheduled to host Pioneer High on Tuesday.

The boys soccer team, holding a 1-6-1 record, last played on Dec. 17 when it tied Samueli Academy and is not scheduled to play again until Tuesday when the Wildcats visit Pioneer.


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