The Chaffey men's basketball team is back in the thick of the Foothill Conference - thanks to some unexpected help. The Panthers were one of five teams picking up wins when Los Angeles Southwest forfeited five nonconference wins.
Then, College of the Desert, which was second to Antelope Valley, forfeited 14 wins, seven of those in league play. So the Panthers not only go from 13-10 to 15-8 but that makes one fewer team Chaffey has to get past in the standings.
Chaffey is now fourth behind Antelope Valley (21-6, 7-0), Mt. San Jacinto (22-3, 6-1) and San Bernardino Valley (10-11, 5-2).
"There were a lot of teams that benefited and we're one of them," Chaffey coach Jeff Klein said. "It changes the whole complexion of things."
The conference traditionally gets four teams in the playoff draw but Klein said the third- and fourth-place teams will need a strong finish to avoid getting stuck with a play-in game in the 20-team draw.
"There are still a lot of big games left to be played that will make a difference, too," he said.
Chaffey travels to Barstow on Saturday.
LA VERNE WOMEN FIRST
The University of La Verne women won a showdown with University of Redlands 71-61 and are alone in first place in the SCIAC.
The Leopards (13-4, 6-0) got 22 points and 10 rebounds from junior Trenecca Jones. Leading scorer Marissa Raya was held to 10 but freshman Ashley Paul picked up the slack with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Despite the big win, coach Julie Kline is not totally satisfied.
"We still haven't put together 40 minutes of basketball. We have played well in spurts," she said. "If we can eliminate some of those lulls I would be happier."
While Jones and Raya have led the charge, the veteran coach has been pleased with the showing of Paul.
"I knew she was athletic and mentally tough," Kline said. "But then she came in here and she has been like a sponge since day one, working hard and soaking everything in."
MOUNTIES KEEP CRUISING
So much for close games.
The top-ranked and defending state champion Mt. SAC women's basketball team expected a fight from rival Pasadena, which entered ranked No. 6. But that game turned out like all the same - a rout.
The Mounties (25-1) beat the Lancers 88-69 for their 25th straight win. Unlike other games, it was close for a half as Pasadena led 39-36 only to be outscored 52-30 in the second half.
Sophomore guard Jazlyn Davis tallied 32 points and Carmen Deal added 22 points and 19 rebounds.
DIVISION II POLLS OUT TODAY
The first Division II regional basketball polls of the season are due out today. It is the regional polls that determine the playoff qualifiers and who will host.
The Cal Poly Pomona men (8-7) may not make the first poll because of their poor start but the Broncos should eventually work their way into the top eight.
Wins over two nationally ranked teams - Cal State San Bernardino and Humboldt State - should speak volumes.
GORDON HONORED AGAIN
Junior forward Larry Gordon of Cal Poly Pomona has been named CCAA Player of the week for the second time in five weeks, this time for his efforts in leading the Broncos past Sonoma State and Humboldt State.
Gordon scored a career-high 26 points and snagged 13 rebounds against the Lumberjacks and followed it up with 16 points and nine rebounds against the Seawolves. On the season he leads the conference in scoring (18.1 ppg) and is second in rebounding (10.6 rpg).
MILLER GRAD SALUTED
Cal State Fullerton junior forward Toni Thomas (Miller HS) was named the Big West Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Thomas leads the conference in scoring (18.3 ppg) and rebounds (7.1 rpg) after helping Fullerton to wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Bakersfield. She had 36 points and 15 rebounds on the week.
CMS SWIMMERS BEAT RIVAL
The swimming teams from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps posted wins over rival Pomona-Pitzer Saturday at Axelrood Pool. The women chalked up a 171-68 win while the Stags topped the Sagehens 154.5-88.5.
The Athenas won 12 of the 13 events. Jenni Rinker led off the pool-record setting 400 yard medley relay and also won the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke. Sophomore Monica Brazelton swam the anchor leg of the 400 medley relay, led off the 400 free relay and won the 100 free.
Freshman Annie Perizzolo set a pool record with in the 200 breast with an NCAA qualifying time with a 2:22.61.
On the men's side, the Stags won eight events. Freshman Ryan Kristensen swam a personal best in the 50 yard free (21.63) and anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay. Junior Matt Gannon and freshman Andrew Cosentino were also double winners.
Offensive lineman Ryan Henry of Riverside Community College has signed with Idaho State. The Upland High graduate was a two-year starter for the Tigers who earned second-team All-Conference honors the past season.