The Hart High boys’ basketball team has won four of its past five games against Alhambra, including a 41-34 victory at Hart two weeks ago, despite the Moors’ slowdown tactics.
Nevertheless, Hart Coach Greg Herrick is leery of playing at Alhambra tonight in a game that could put the Indians in the driver’s seat for the Foothill League title. Hart is 5-0 in league play; Alhambra is 3-2.
“I’ve taken Cleveland teams to Crenshaw and Mater Dei, but it’s nothing like going to Alhambra,” said Herrick, who formerly coached at Cleveland.
“It’s like going to the Twilight Zone. It’s the Homer Dome. You get hammered there and weird things happen. Schurr is farther and they have a better band. I’d rather go there.”
In an 82-63 loss at Alhambra last season, Hart was whistled for five technical fouls and two players were ejected. Mild-mannered Andrew Lorraine, now a freshman on a baseball scholarship at Stanford, was one of the Indians who received a technical.
“We’ll give anybody the sphinx of Egypt if you can tell me how Andrew Lorraine got a technical,” said Herrick, who was a recipient of one of the technicals and passed time during the second half playing a hand-held electronic basketball game.
Herrick isn’t expecting a hero’s welcome on his visit this time, either.
“I’m public enemy No. 1 down there,” he said.
Perspective: Canyon basketball Coach Greg Hayes and his players have made a pact. In each of the team’s remaining games, every player will be given court time.
Since the outbreak of war in the Persian Gulf and the possibility that some players’ brothers will be called to action, Hayes said that his team has adjusted its priorities.
Therefore, the team is less worried about its two-game losing streak than might be expected.
“It’s just a game and what we’re doing is so trivial in the whole scheme of things,” Hayes said.
Slow start or sandbagging?: Little has gone awry for Santa Clara (17-4) this season, which breezed through the first round of Frontier League play with a 4-0 record.
But Lou Cvijanovich would not be such a successful coach after 32 years were he not demanding. Although Cvijanovich finds much to like about this team, one area irks him.
“I just can’t get them to listen to me in the first quarter,” Cvijanovich said. “They like to do it the hard way.”
After the first quarter of their league games, the Saints held a slim 16-14 lead over Santa Paula, a 22-21 edge over Fillmore, a 16-10 margin over Calabasas and were tied, 13-13, with Nordhoff.
Of course, the story ends happily. In order, Santa Clara won those games: 70-49 over Santa Paula, 74-45 over Fillmore, 54-36 over Calabasas and 67-43 over Nordhoff.
Even Cvijanovich concedes that this bunch is wearing the mantle of two-time defending state Division IV champions well.
“We’re getting nasty,” he said. “It’s an all-together ballclub.”
Cvijanovich might have even less to pick on next season: Four of the five starters are juniors.
Nostradamus lives: Quartz Hill Coach Don Moore proved he might have a career after coaching as a seer by predicting the outcome of all Golden League games but one during the first half of the league season.
Moore showed prescience with some of his choices. He picked Burroughs Ridgecrest to upset Palmdale, and Saugus to upset Canyon in Canyon’s gym.
But Moore was just shy of perfect in his picking. “Hell, I didn’t have us losing one game,” he said.
Moore cannot complain. Quartz Hill has lost only to Palmdale and sits atop the league standings at 4-1.
Add Golden League: After his team wound up the first half of Golden League play with a big win at Canyon, Saugus Coach John Clark concluded that his league will excel when the Southern Section playoffs begin.
“I think in the first round of the playoffs, these Golden League teams are going to shine,” Clark said. “You know, we kind of get lost in the shuffle playing in the outer parts of L. A. County, and Orange County basketball gets all the recognition.
“But come playoff time, people are gonna look at the scores and say, ‘Wow.’ ”
Just in time: Saugus might well be the team to watch in the second half of Golden League play and, in turn, post player Greg Yumbar might be the player to watch.
The 6-foot-5 Yumbar scored 28 points in a close loss to Antelope Valley last week, then scored 25 in a win over Canyon. He is becoming more dominant in the key and seems to be more involved in Saugus’ offense.
“We’ve made a few adjustments in our man-to-man offense to get him the ball more,” Clark said, “so that he gets the next pass more than he used to. Whereas before if he got the ball 30% of the time, he now gets it 45% of the time.”
Add Saugus: Clark was singled out by Yumbar after the Canyon win as “the best coach in the Valley.” He might have been saying that just to get an extra helping of chicken tacos.
Clark entertained his team at home with a special chicken taco meal prepared by the coach himself. Clark has his reasons for going out of his way. He figures the kids deserve it.
“I try to give them a little perk sometimes,” Clark said. “I kind of look at it like this: I’m really kind of a jerk sometimes and they don’t whine and they look me in the eye and they don’t retreat. So there have got to be some times that I’m nice to them.”
Home improvements: St. Genevieve Coach Scott Smith found no place for his team’s trophy after winning the championship of the Mojave basketball tournament in December, the team’s first tournament title in more than five seasons.
Reason: The Valiants play their home games at Woodbury College in Burbank and have no trophy case.
Now, at least one problem has been solved.
St. Genevieve administrators purchased a trophy case last week from Our Lady of Loretto High, an all-girls school in Los Angeles. The school is remodeling and sent a letter to other Catholic schools in the area about the sale of its discarded items.
“It was a complete surprise,” Smith said. "(The school) never said a word to me about buying a trophy case.”
The school also bought chairs and an item that Smith hopes is a sign of things to come.
“They bought a scoreboard,” Smith said. “We paid 30 bucks for it. It works and it’s worth hundreds of dollars. It was a great deal. We don’t have a gym, but I guess we’re starting to build from within.”
Five guys in a corner: Channel Islands’ four-corner offense, which two weeks ago was shaky at best, finally might be scrapped after the team struggled again during an 89-87 loss to Agoura last Friday.
Coach Don Salado said the up-tempo Raiders, leading by eight points in the third quarter, went to their four-corner offense in an effort to take time from the clock.
Unfortunately, the plan backfired, much like it did in earlier games against Thousand Oaks and Royal. Channel Islands (14-4, 6-2) escaped with victories in those contests but was cornered against Agoura. The Raiders missed two layins and committed two turnovers.
“We tried to go into our famous four corners and it again did not work,” Salado said with a chuckle. “You might not be seeing it for a while.”
Injury report: Harvard forward Andres Carlo had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first half of the Saracens’ 79-76 victory over St. Francis on Saturday night.
However, the 6-4 forward suffered a sprained ankle early in the third quarter and could not return.
“It swelled up a little and it wasn’t a severe sprain,” Coach Greg Hilliard said.
Hilliard said Carlo is expected to miss tonight’s game against St. Genevieve but should be ready to play Tuesday against Bell-Jeff.
Offensive goalkeeper: Stephanie McAnally is about as permanent a fixture as the goal posts on the La Reina soccer field.
The Regent senior has nine shutouts and has allowed only six goals in 14 matches this season.
And to top it off, McAnally recorded an assist last week.
A goalkeeper with an assist ?
McAnally booted the ball downfield to Jamie Armstrong, who pumped it into the Bishop Diego net from 25 yards during La Reina’s 11-0 romp.
Add La Reina: The Regents boast a three-match lead with four to play in the Tri-Valley League, but Coach Joe Laraneta is holding his breath until La Reina finishes league play because he does not want a repeat of last season.
The Regents were tied for first in the bottlenecked league standings with one match remaining in 1990. La Reina managed only a tie in its final league match and dropped to fourth and out of the playoff picture.
La Reina, which has never qualified for the playoffs, currently is 14-0 (8-0 in league play) and ranked first in the Southern Section 1-A Division poll.
“Hopefully, we’ll enter the playoffs as the first-place team. I hope we would with a three-game lead and four games to play,” said Laraneta, who is in his 12th season.
Logjam: The big question among Northwest Valley Conference soccer coaches is not who will win the conference championship but rather who will advance to the City Section playoffs.
With two matches remaining, only two points separate San Fernando, Reseda, Kennedy and Chatsworth in the conference standings. Only three will make the playoffs, however.
San Fernando currently is in first place with a 5-1-1 (11 points) conference record. Reseda and Kennedy, last year’s City runner-up, are tied for second at 4-1-2 (10). Chatsworth is 3-1-3 (nine).
Multiple duties: Greg Patterson, the junior-varsity basketball coach at Oak Park for the past five seasons, also was given the varsity job after Nate Sims resigned two weeks ago.
“It hasn’t been too hard for the players to adjust to me because I’ve been here,” Patterson said.
Patterson, however, is having a little difficulty adjusting to his revised away game-day schedule.
He leaves with the freshman and the junior-varsity teams at 1:30 p.m., helps coach the freshman team and then takes over for the junior-varsity and varsity games.
Athletic Director Fred Yamano transports the varsity later in the afternoon for its 7:30 contest. “It gets a little tough,” Patterson said.
Mike Glaze and staff writers Steve Elling, Kirby Lee, Brian Murphy and Jeff Riley contributed to this notebook.