For the second time in 12 years, all of Van Nuys Montclair Prep's athletic teams have been banned from postseason play for a violation of the Southern Section's undue influence rule.
Athletic Director Ken Smith said Saturday the school accepts the decision and will not appeal. The punishment is effective immediately and lasts for one year.
A Montclair Prep coach allegedly told one of his athletes to leave school if the athlete wasn't interested in playing sports. The athlete filed a complaint with the Southern Section, which ruled the coach had violated Rule 510, undue influence.
Smith said the coach was only trying to motivate the athlete with a bluff.
"It's a different time and you can't say certain things," he said. "There was something wrong said and we're trying to be upfront and accept it."
In 1991, all of Montclair Prep's teams were banned from the playoffs because of rules violations involving the football team.
The Mounties' boys' and girls' basketball teams were expected to contend for Division IV-A championships.
Once again, Brea Olinda used its stellar defense to turn away a top-ranked opponent, this time winning Saturday at third-ranked San Clemente, 55-46.
Brea (17-3), ranked seventh by The Times, opened a 26-11 halftime lead while limiting Lindsey Pluimer and Sara Brown to a combined one-for-six from the field for San Clemente (18-3).
"I think we're as good defensively as any team I've had," Brea Coach Jeff Sink said, "but we're not as good offensively."
San Clemente shot only 27.3% from the field. Pluimer eventually finished with a game-high 19 points but made only three of nine field goals against the defense of Carrie Noyes. Brown, averaging 11.6 points this season, finished with seven points on 2-of-10 shooting against Natalie Thune.
Brea got a more balanced effort as Lauren Pedersen had 15 points and six steals, C.J. Jones had 12 points and Noyes had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
San Clemente trailed, 33-13, before scoring the final 11 points of the third quarter. The Tritons got no closer than seven points in the fourth quarter.
Reshuffling the defense has gone a long way toward rejuvenating the Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley girls' soccer team.
The Cougars (13-4-1, 3-2-0), last year's Southern Section Division I runner-up and currently No. 3 in The Times' Southland rankings, began South Coast League play with a 1-2 record. They beat Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills in their opener then dropped matches against defending Division I champion San Clemente and Mission Viejo.
The losses prompted first-year Coach Aguinaldo Ferreira to make several defensive switches. The most prominent included moving senior midfielder Ali Vislay to sweeper, sophomore Brandi Johannsen from sweeper to right fullback and moving Nicole Landers from junior varsity into the starting lineup as a defensive midfielder.
"She's added a spark," Ferreira said of Landers, a junior. "Everybody was taking things for granted, and we weren't reaching our potential. Now it's more competitive, and they're playing better."
Capistrano Valley trailed, 1-0, before beating No. 8 Lake Forest El Toro (7-5-1, 3-1-0), 2-1, Jan. 16. The Cougars followed that victory with a 4-1 rout of No. 2 Dana Point Dana Hills (12-3-3, 1-2-2) on Thursday.
"I think we turned a corner against El Toro," Ferreira said. "We're more competitive, and everyone's doing better now."
-- Lauren Peterson
The California Interscholastic Federation's Southern Section council previewed several items at its meeting Thursday in Long Beach that will be discussed at the state federated council meeting Feb. 7-8 in San Diego. Among them is a federal law that offers students the opportunity to transfer from academically underachieving schools to better ones within the same district.
Southern Section Commissioner Jim Staunton said the law does not conflict with the state's new transfer policy, which requires athletes who change schools without moving to sit out a year, because the federal government has given states broad powers regarding athletic eligibility issues.
The state council also will discuss a proposal that would prohibit CIF member schools from accepting "monies, equipment or apparel" distributed to individual athletes as opposed to athletic programs. If the proposal took effect, for example, Nike could supply a basketball team with shoes but they would become property of the program and not the players.
Gabe Halcovich, who played baseball at Granada Hills, College of the Canyons and Cal State Fullerton, has taken over as baseball coach at Verdugo Hills. He replaces James Mulcahy, who stepped down after a dispute with the administration over his decision to cut a player for disciplinary reasons.
Brothers Jesse and Albert Carrillo have been selected co-coaches for football at Los Angeles Lincoln, replacing Gabriel Cotero, who was not rehired after three years as coach. The Carrillos will be walk-on coaches. They once served as assistant coaches at Lincoln.
Brian Shields, a wide receiver from North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, has committed to Princeton.
Other football commitments include:
Quincy Lever, a wide receiver from Santa Ana Foothill, to Boise State.
Niam Adams, a linebacker from L.A. Fairfax, to New Mexico.
Victor Vasquez, an offensive lineman from Fairfax, to San Jose State.
Brandon Myles, a running back at Carson, to California.
Kirstie Kenton, a right-handed pitcher who was 14-3 last season for Royal, has committed to attend Colgate.
-- Martin Henderson