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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Cerritos girls basketball empties the bench, shows no mercy against Artesia

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on X

When a high school basketball team can nearly empty its bench in the first quarter, you know the game most likely will finish with the running clock utilized in the fourth quarter. That was the case when the Cerritos High girls basketball team hosted Artesia High last Friday. 

Cerritos outscored the Pioneers 17-4 in the first quarter, then went on a 21-0 run over the final 6:25 of the second quarter and cruised to a 69-18 victory. It was the 24th straight win for the Dons over Artesia with the last four decided by at least 50 points.

“I think, most teams…when you get the opportunity to have multiple players play, you never know what’s going to happen in the future, playoff-wise, or even in league,” said Cerritos head coach Marcus Chinen. “You have to have someone that can step up and fill that spot. Just because we [have] 16 girls, we don’t want to say, ‘X amount get to play and the others don’t’. We want everyone to get that experience because we never know. At any time, their number may be called.”

Held to two points in the opening quarter, senior Oneyka Nwanze scored 11 in the second quarter and six more in the third quarter. She was the game’s leading scorer and the only one to score in double figures. She also had a team-high six rebounds, along with senior Mia Rivera, who was one of four Cerritos players to score seven points. Rivera’s points came in the second quarter, and she also had six of the team’s 20 assists.

“She’s the one that’s going to get our motor going,” said Chinen. “She’s the one who is going to have to facilitate the court. She’s got to survey the court; she’s going to have to play tough defense. We’re going to expect a lot from her moving forward. We have [some] big games coming up where we’re going to rely on her to play smart, both offensively and defensively.”

Of the 16 players on the team, two are freshmen-Kalana Nguyen and Jordin Pulley. The former was another one who scored seven points, all coming in the opening stanza, including a three-pointer.

“The key is being patient,” said Chinen. “We have that cycle, so the girls will sit, and they’ll watch and learn and then we start plugging them in as the season goes along. When that happens, we want them to be ready for the playoffs.”

Cerritos was up 45-7 and after Artesia senior Maya Reamer began the second half with a steal and basket before the Dons went on a 12-0 run. Not once did the Pioneers score consecutive points. They were led by Reamer (eight points, four rebounds), freshman Kimberly Ixta (eight rebounds, three steals), senior Arianne Delgado (five rebounds) and freshman Jasmine Ramirez (four rebounds). Artesia fell to Whitney High 87-21 this past Tuesday to drop to 9-8 overall, 1-2 in the 605 League. Ixta again led the way with eight points, 13 rebounds and two assists. Artesia will host Pioneer High and Oxford Academy on Wednesday. 

Junior Kishan Saberon and sophomore Cameron Lacorte also scored seven points each and senior Mailee Dizon had four steals against the Pioneers as Cerritos (11-8, 3-0) then defeated Pioneer 68-52 this past Tuesday and will travel to John Glenn High on Friday, face Sonora High on Saturday in the third of four games in the Matson Classic at Orange Lutheran High before hosting Whitney on Wednesday. At one point, the Dons were 5-1, then 6-3 before losing to North Torrance High and all three pool play games of the Southern California Holiday Prep Classic in San Diego.

“I think we learned a lot,” said Chinen. “I believe team bonding-wise, the team bonded well. They learned from each other, and they learned from what each and every one can do on the court and why they bring to the team off the court.”


Girls soccer plays at the opposite site as boys and girls basketball and boys soccer. Whitney does not field a girls soccer team.

The Artesia boys soccer team, which has allowed three goals and has posted 10 straight shutouts, blanked Whitney 5-0 this past Tuesday to move to 12-0-2, 3-0-0. It will host Pioneer on Friday and Oxford Academy on Tuesday.

The Artesia girls soccer team (9-2-2, 0-1-0) fell to Cerritos 5-0 last Friday and will travel to Pioneer and Oxford Academy on Friday and Tuesday, respectively.

The Cerritos boys soccer team got past Pioneer 2-1 this past Tuesday to move to 3-8-1, 1-1-1 as it will visit Glenn on Friday and host Whitney on Tuesday while the girls team (6-4-1, 1-0-0) will host Glenn on Friday.

The Glenn boys basketball team lost to Oxford Academy 78-18 this past Tuesday to go to 9-8, 0-3 while the girls basketball team lost to Oxford Academy 64-7 this past Tuesday and is 2-12, 0-3. The Glenn boys soccer team (6-8-1, 1-2-0) was blanked by Oxford Academy 2-0 this past Tuesday as was the girls team, 1-0, to fall to 2-7-1, 0-1-0. The Eagles will face Pioneer on Tuesday. 

The Whitney boys basketball team lost a defensive battle to Artesia 31-27 this past Tuesday, falling to 11-7, 2-1. Junior Morgan Marks led the Wildcats with 11 points and had four rebounds and four steals while junior Christian Carreon added six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Whitney’s boys soccer team is 0-15-0, 0-3-0 as the Wildcats will visit Oxford Academy on Friday. 


The Gahr High girls basketball team lost to Lynwood High 56-8 last Friday in its league opener and dropped its overall mark to 16-3. The Gladiators went to Warren High this past Wednesday, will host Downey High on Friday before travelling to Paramount High on Wednesday. The Gahr girls soccer team was blanked by La Mirada High 1-0 this past Tuesday to fall to 6-8-1, 0-2-0 as it travelled to Downey on Jan. 11 and will entertain Mayfair High on Tuesday.

La Mirada High’s boys basketball team got past Rancho Cucamonga High 76-70 in double overtime last Saturday to improve to 14-7. The Matadores hosted Dominguez High this past Wednesday, hoping to go to 3-0 in league action, and will also face St. Paul High on Monday before going to Downey on Wednesday.

The La Mirada boys soccer team defeated Lynwood 2-1 this past Tuesday to improve to 5-7-1, 1-2-0 as it will go to Downey on Tuesday and Warren on Thursday while the girls went to 3-7-4, 1-1-1 with the win over Gahr and will host Downey and Warren on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.


The Norwalk High basketball teams will be on the road the entire season while their new gymnasium is being built.

The Gahr boys basketball team (11-7, 1-1) visited Warren this past Wednesday, will host Bellflower High on Friday and go to Paramount on Wednesday while the Gahr boys soccer team lost to Dominguez 3-1 this past Tuesday to go to 4-9-3, 1-1-1. The Gladiators hosted Bellflower on Jan. 11 and will visit Mayfair on Tuesday and Norwalk on Thursday.

The La Mirada girls basketball team (11-4, 1-1) lost to Mayfair 65-59 last Friday and entertained Dominguez this past Wednesday. The Matadores will host Norwalk on Friday and go to Bellflower on Wednesday.

The Norwalk boys basketball team dropped a 53-42 decision to Bellflower last Friday and began the week at 9-11, 0-2 as the Lancers went to Paramount this past Wednesday. They will visit Warren on Friday and Firebaugh High on Wednesday. The girls basketball team defeated Bellflower 53-45 last Friday to improve to 8-11, 2-0. After visiting Mayfair this past Wednesday, the Lancers will go to La Mirada on Friday and Firebaugh on Wednesday.

The Norwalk boys soccer team (1-9-2, 1-2-0) picked up its first win of the season, blanking Mayfair 3-0 this past Tuesday. The Lancers went to Dominguez on Jan. 11 and will host Firebaugh on Tuesday while the girls soccer team was blasted by Paramount 8-0 this past Tuesday. Norwalk (1-9-1, 0-3-0) hosted Dominguez on Jan. 11 and will travel to Firebaugh and Lynwood on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.


The Valley Christian High boys soccer plays at the opposite site as the boys and girls basketball and girls soccer teams.

The V.C. boys basketball team is 12-9, 1-2 after a 55-37 win over Whittier Christian High this past Tuesday. The girls basketball team is 8-13, 1-2 after a 69-36 loss to Whittier Christian while the boys soccer team (3-10-3, 1-1-1) lost to Whittier Christian 2-1 and the girls soccer team (7-5-2, 2-0-1) tied Whittier Christian. The Defenders will travel to Village Christian High on Friday with the boys team also hosting Ramona High on Saturday and the girls team going to Pacifica Christian High/Santa Monica on Saturday.