2. Campbell Hall (21-5)
3. Simi Valley (24-1)
4. Renaissance Academy (21-2)
5. Harvard-Westlake (20-7)
6. Crespi (19-8)
7. Valencia (18-7)
8. Saugus (20-4)
9. Thousand Oaks (18-7)
10. Knight (18-7)
Oak Park (19-6)
Oaks Christian (20-6)
Golden Valley (12-13, 0-9) would finish winless in league tonight with a loss to West Ranch - but can still make the playoffs based on the minimum 12 overall wins for at-large entries. The playoff brackets are scheduled to be posted on the Southern Section Web site (cifss.org) beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Eight days ago, Lancaster was sitting pretty with 10 consecutive league victories and a two-game lead with four to play. The Eagles have since lost three in a row - all by 12 points or more - and must win tonight against Palmdale or risk finishing no better than third.
Crespi is on break until the first round of the playoffs next week. It's a good time for a nine-day break for standout Joseph Fauria, who was limited to six points Wednesday in a 14-point loss to fourth-place Verbum Dei of Los Angeles that snapped Crespi's six-game winning streak. ... As if National Signing Day for football players on game day Wednesday wasn't enough to tax Fauria's concentration - he signed with Notre Dame - the 6-foot-8 post player is also sick. "Yeah, I'm under the weather," said Fauria, who stayed home from school Thursday. "It's been kind of difficult to balance everything together, but I'm dealing with it pretty well." Fauria has decided not to play volleyball this spring because his future is in football. "I'm just going to go crazy running and lifting," he said. Loyola of Los Angeles (19-7, 12-2) won the league title, followed by Harvard-Westlake (20-7, 11-3) and Crespi (19-8, 10-4). Chaminade of West Hills (13-14, 7-7) finished fifth, but is eligible an at-large playoff berth.
Since a one-point loss in December to Dominguez of Compton, Simi Valley has won 10 in a row - eight by 14 points or more. Leading scorer Lorne Jackson, who is averaging 22.8 points per game, was in attendance Tuesday at Campbell Hall in North Hollywood to watch his friend, Jrue Holiday, who scored 38 points in a victory over Montclair Prep of Panorama City. Jackson, a former football player, has proven he doesn't mind getting physical: He leads Simi Valley with 18 charges taken.
If only Eagle Rock could play every game at home, the Eagles (9-6) would be in good shape. They're 5-1 in their own gym but 4-5 on the road.
To celebrate senior night Tuesday at Campbell Hall, reserve guard Max Rose wore custom multi-colored sneakers autographed by every player on the team. "Jrue helped me pick these shoes out," Rose said. "I wanted to save them just for the last home game, and that's why I had the team sign them."
What a tough season it's been for winless Canoga Park, which has lost all of its 15 games by 14 points or more. The Hunters, who have lost 26 in a row over two seasons, have a last chance to break the skid tonight in the season finale at Grant of Van Nuys.
Ian Francis has been dominating for Disovery Prep of Pacoima, a City Section small school. Francis, a 6-foot-8 senior, is averaging 30.5 points, and get this: He's a point guard. "Oh my God, he's unbelievable," said coach Shawn Bankhead, a former Cleveland of Reseda standout in the early 1990s. "I think he's going to be real special. I let him run the point." Francis, a fifth-year senior, is a hardship transfer from Granada Hills, where he averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds last season in limited minutes. Anthony Orendorff of Sherman Oaks CES scored 27 points or more three times over a four-game span last week. He is averaging 16.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists.
Sylmar is among the City Section's hottest teams, winning nine of its past 10 after starting just 6-7. Gary Ricks (15.3 ppg), Darren Rosborough (14.1 ppg) and Derrell Powers (12.5 ppg) are among four Spartans scoring in double figures.
- Gerry Gittelson
1. Chatsworth (20-5)
2. Hart (17-8)
3. Royal (21-4)
4. Saugus (20-6)
5. Harvard-Westlake (16-9)
6. Bell Jeff (20-5)
7. Valencia (17-8)
8. Notre Dame (18-8)
9. Chaminade (17-8)
10. Knight (19-4)
Canyon (14-12), Taft (15-6), Newbury Park (11-14), Grant (19-5), Montclair Prep (20-5), Moorpark (15-10), Thousand Oaks (13-11)
Tiny Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth lost Wednesday to Crossroads of Santa Monica to finish in second place. The Trail Blazers are hoping to play the Roadrunners a third time in the Southern Section Div. V-A championship game in March. Junior Brenda Kramer scored 30 points and freshman Jasmine Sneed had 19, but it wasn't enough. Both teams have been ranked Nos. 1 and 2 all season. Defending section champion L.A Baptist of North Hills entered Thursday tied for third place with California Academy of Math and Sciences of Carson. The two teams met Thursday, with the winner securing the final playoff berth.
Saugus knocked off Canyon 58-56 on Tuesday to keep its hopes alive for a share of the title. Saugus plays at Hart of Newhall tonight. ... Valencia can finish in a second-place tie with Saugus or a third-place tie with Canyon. Valencia plays today at Canyon, which looks to rebound following a one-point loss to Hart and Tuesday's setback to Saugus. There is still lots at stake in this league. Saugus' Lauren Labat, Valencia's Chelsey Hastigan and Hart's Megan Ford have been the most polished seniors this season. Junior Gabby Conn of Saugus, sophomore Lindsey Hill of Valencia and Canyon sophomore Angelica Sahagun should come to the forefront next season.
La Reina of Thousand Oaks secured second place behind undefeated Villanova Prep of Ojai. Malibu needed a win at Carpinteria on Thursday night to qualify for the playoffs. A win would give the Sharks a tie for third place with the Warriors, but Malibu would get the nod by virtue of two head-to-head wins. Carpinteria would still advance to the playoffs with more than the 12 regular-season wins needed to qualify. Cheyenne Weekley, Dominique Magee and freshman Danielle Bush all return next year for Malibu, making the Sharks the team to beat in 2008-09.
Knight of Palmdale holds a two-game lead and has the championship wrapped up. Knight is ranked No. 6 in Div. II-A, but has to battle state powers Ayala of Chino Hills and Cajon of San Bernardino in the playoffs. Quartz Hill and Palmdale are in a battle for second place. Lancaster and Antelope Valley of Lancaster are in a tight race for the final playoff spot, awarded to the league's fourth-place finisher. Tijera Matthews of Palmdale is having a nice senior campaign, averaging 17.7 points. It is interesting to imagine how good Palmdale might have been had sisters Kimberly and Gennifer Brandon had not left and transferred to Chatsworth.
Buckley of Sherman Oaks, Viewpoint of Calabasas, Oakwood of North Hollywood and Holy Martyrs of Encino are all going to the Southern Section Div. V-AA playoffs. Viewpoint knocked off Buckley 40-38 on Tuesday and forced a tie for first place that will be decided by a coin flip. The Patriots also snapped Buckley's six-game winning streak in the process. The four teams will have to battle the likes of top-ranked Maranatha of Pasadena, No. 2 Whittier Christian of La Habra and No. 3 Village Christian of Sun Valley for the championship
Erika Ward had a big second half Wednesday against Newbury Park to help Royal of Simi Valley capture the championship. Royal trailed by as many as 13 points and led by as many as 15 in the topsy-turvy game. Moorpark and Thousand Oaks are in a battle for third place, but both teams will be going to the playoffs. Agoura, Westlake, Simi Valley and Calabasas will finish in the bottom half and none has the required 12 wins to gain an at-large berth for the playoffs.If there was an award for best seniors from a local league, the Marmonte would probably win it with Ward, Moorpark's Lauren Carter, Westlake's Mhiah Vickers and Agoura's Taylor Lord. All are averaging better than 17 points per game.
Chaminade of West Hills upset Harvard-Westlake of Studio City 45-39 on Tuesday to finish in third place and secure the final playoff berth. ... Harvard-Westlake needed a win Thursday night against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks for a share of the title. All three teams will join Oaks Christian of Westlake Village and Oak Park in the Div. II-AA playoffs but will be hard pressed against AB Miller of Fontana, Edison of Huntington Beach and Santa Monica. The league has a bright future as most of the top players are only sophomores. Harvard-Westlake has four of them and could be the area's preseason No. 1 ranked team next year.
Montclair Prep of Panorama City picked up its 20th win Tuesday in a victory against Valley Christian of Cerritos. The Mounties will finish in third place behind Pacific Hills of West Los Angeles and Windward of Los Angeles in one of the toughest small school leagues in California. "Every game is a dog fight," Montclair Prep coach Bob Webb said. "I am not upset with third place because the girls gave it their all in every game and I think we are really prepared for the playoffs."
Flintridge Prep of La Canada Flintridge secured its seventh straight championship with a 48-40 victory Tuesday against Chadwick of Palos Verdes Estates. It was the 42nd straight league victory for the Rebels. Flintridge Prep has won 12 in a row and played Thursday at Pasadena Poly going for another undefeated league record. The Rebels are ranked No. 4 in Div. IV-A. Sophomore Megan Musashi and senior Courtney Robinson have been the catalysts all season, averaging 16.1 and 13.1 points.
Grant of Van Nuys and Poly of Sun Valley likely will need a coin flip to decide which team receives the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs. Both teams should finish 9-1 after victories tonight. Grant is hoping to challenge area powers Chatsworth and Taft of Woodland Hills after losing to Taft in last year's City Section semifinals. The Lancers might be one year away but will return three key players next year in juniors Blue Sanders and Amanda Corona and sophomore Vanessa Aguilar (19.3 points).
Oaks Christian of Westlake Village beat rival Oak Park on Saturday and became its biggest fan Thursday, hoping the Eagles would knock off Fillmore, resulting in the Lions moving into a first-place tie. "It would be great to win a league championship in my first year," Oaks Christian coach Andre Chevalier said. "More importantly for the team is to get a good draw. I know we can make a run, especially after we beat Fillmore without our top scorer." Oak Park finished fourth and could be shipped to play one of the top four seeds in Div. II-AA when the playoff draw is revealed Sunday. Despite finishing in last place, having won just one league game, Bishop Diego of Santa Barbara could qualify for an at-large berth meeting the criteria of 12 regular-season wins.
Monroe of North Hills, which has already wrapped up the league title, goes for an undefeated league season today at San Fernando. The Vikings have won 14 of 15 games and have only one loss since Dec. 7. Porcha Davis averages 16.3 points and junior Chriselle Taloma averages 13.9 for the Vikings.
Defending City Section champion Taft of Woodland Hills is looking to spoil Chatsworth's bid for an undefeated league season tonight at Chatsworth. Taft will have to play better after an 18-point loss in the first meeting. Chatsworth is going for 12 wins in 13 games heading into the playoffs.
- Jacob H. Pollon