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Archive for High School Sports

Austin Graham Sacks Up, Knocks it Down to Capture SCGA Title

Pride of the SC Muni.

Pride of the Pacific Golf Club, er, I mean, Bella Collina Towne & Golf Club.

You may remember a few years back when former San Clemente Triton golfer Austin Graham made mince meat of the South Coast League and was a serious CIF threat. Let’s just say he didn’t peak in high school.

Coming off a highly successful sophomore campaign at UC Davis, Graham is continuing his winning ways this summer, nabbing the Long Beach City Championship — including a career-best round of 62 — and on Sunday the prestigious 110th SCGA title. Yeah, the same trophy won by a certain young Mr. Woods several years ago.

After bogeying 16 in final round, he rolled in a clutch 30-foot birdie on 17 at the Wilshire Country Club to give him a one-shot lead. He finished with a 6-under 278, going 69-69-70-70.

Read more here.

Tritons Not Good Sharers

Hells yeah.

Hells yeah.

What can they say, they don’t like to share. And who can blame them?

The San Clemente High girls’ soccer team brought the CIF-Southern Section hardware back to Thalassa Stadium for the third year in a row. But instead of having to share the title, as the Tritons did last year, it’s theirs alone with a decisive 2-0 win over Los Alamitos over the weekend. Shelby Chambers-Garcia and Frannie Coxe provided the goals.

Last night, San Clemente blanked Chatsworth 2-0 in the SoCal Regionals to set up a rematch with Los Al, which took down Torrey Pines. In the one-sided home game against Chatsworth, Lauren Fryer put the Tritons ahead just two minutes into the match, and Alexis Mahoney backed it with second goal later in the half.

Despite the scoring spree, the clean sheets on the other side are even more impressive.  The defense has been downright stifling.

Misery may love company, but dynasties don’t usually share the spotlight with anyone. Keep rollin’.

Locked and loaded for Los Al.

Locked and re-loaded for Los Al.

King’s Reign Begins as Wolves Topple No. 1 Monarchs

King's Tony Snell and Mater Dei spectator.

King's Tony Snell and Mater Dei spectator.

And when I say No. 1, I don’t mean in the Trinity League, the OC Register’s hinky polls, all of CIF Southern Section or even No. 1 in the Golden State. The Riverside Martin Luther King Wolves straight prowled on Mater Dei,  undefeated and No. 1 from sea to fuggin sea.

And they didn’t steal it at the buzzer or otherwise fluke into it.  Twas a straight-up double-digit mauling, the Wolf Pack leaving no questions unanswered in the 71-56 win at the Honda Center.

I like the LA Times coverage better than the Press Enterprise story. You be the judge. And if you were there, chime in on the comments with a first-hand account.

The Wolves went on a 15-0 run deep in the third — 15-0 against the best team in the nation? — and never looked back. Tony Snell and Taylor Cunningham led the Wolves with 16 points each, and Kawhi Leonard had a solid overall game with 11 points, 20 boards (yes, 20), and six blocks.

Much RESPECT to the Wolves, who are following up last’s years fairytale run with a filthy sequel.  May the run continue…

Congrats, Dietzer!

Zot Got Hot

I had predicted a statement game, and the UC Riverside Highlanders were one rim-out away from just that — a heart-breaking defeat of UC Irvine on the Anteaters’s homecoming night. Instead, the raucous crowd of 3,600+ at the Bren Events Center went home happy when the Anteaters were able to tie it up, 62-62, with less than 30 seconds left in the game with a clutch 3 by Michael Hunter in the corner. Riverside played for — and missed — the last shot in regulation. There’s your rim out.

Patrick Rembert then caught fire, scoring eight of his 11 points in the extra period. And the Zots, who kept turning up the heat throughout the game — shooting about 40% from the floor in the first period and 50% in the second half –stoked the furnace one more time and converted 60% in overtime. It was just too much for Riverside to contend with. So instead of statement game,  we got another tough road loss.

The second half was nip and tuck, featuring really exciting basketball that got the crowd wound up. The “Westside” marketing clown who always shows up at the Bren was geeking extra hard.

Kyle Austin quietly racked up a game-high 24 points for UCR.

UCI’s freshman big-man Eric Wise, who obviously absorbed much under the tutelage of post guru Jeff Dietz, assistant coach at Riverside King High (he learned some stuff from the  rest of the staff too, natch). He was shakin’ and bakin’, unpredictable and just on the edge of control at times, generally creating defensive headaches for Rivi.  He led five Eaters in double figures with 20.

Two conference games remain for UCR. Two roadies against UCSB and Cal Poly. If the Highlanders can break through for wins in both games, no one can take fourth place, and the attendent first-round bye, from them. It will be a tough challenge for the Highlanders, especially in Isla Vista. Unlike mathmatically hopeless Cal Poly, the Gauchos have much left to play for. If they manage to run their last two games, they could swing from as low as 8th up to 4th with help from others, so they will be hungry for the home win.

Pub Wisdom reckons the Highlanders may win one of two, still giving them a shot at the first-round  bye in certain scenarios. All the parity in the league provides the makings for a fascinating Big West tournament. The bid to the big dance is literally up for grabs for the team who can put  a couple-three — hopefully four — wins together. It’s on like Tron.

The 63-60 home win against Fullerton was sweet, by the way. I hooked up with Q-Tip for some SubStation action before tip-off and watched the Highlanders grit out a home win without the injured senior Aaron Scott. 

Josh Akognon, top ten nationally in scoring, drained the equalizing 3 right in front of his bench with 4 ticks remaining, but had stepped out of bounds just prior to launching it, negating the basket and sealing the win for Rivi. Schwing.

King Tops Nationally Ranked Taft

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Riverside King toppled No. 1 seed and nationally ranked Woodland Hills Taft in OT last night! The Wolves  now face Compton Dominguez in the Regional Final on Saturday Night for the right to play in the State Championship at Arco Arena.

Full coverage here: “We couldn’t stop them,” Taft coach Derrick Taylor said. “They were just too quick.”

Wolves Still Prowlin’

Riverside King went into the vaunted house of fabled Westchester and shot the Comets down. Down 16-6 early, the Wolves roared back to close the first half with momentum, then held off the inevitable home-team surge down the stretch for the tuff 77-75 victory. Whew…

Full coverage, including props from Westchester’s Coach Azzam, here.

Up next: The giant-hunting continues as MLK tries to creep Taft of Woodland Hills in the semi-fuggin-finals.

San Clemente Outguns El Camino

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The San Clemente High girls soccer team has defied the odds so many times that all that “underdog” garbage is really out the window.

After the alleged underdogs battled their way to a CIF-SS co-championship when they earned a draw against top-seed Long Beach Wilson, the Tritons laid to rest any doubt of this team’s talent and determination on Tuesday when they outscored visiting El Camino High (Woodland Hills), 3-2, in the first round of the CIF So Cal Regionals.

Barret Bestard, Kristine Atkinson, and freshman Frannie Coxe all scored. It was Coxe’s fourth post-season goal. Read full coverage and check out a slide show here.

 The Tritons next face Thousand Oaks in the semis.