The Glendora boys' basketball team came into its Sierra League game Wednesday against host Chino Hills Ayala without a defeat, but the Tartans didn't leave that way.
Andrew Hatch converted a three-point play with 30 seconds left to give Ayala a 54-52 victory over Glendora, ranked No. 18 in the Southland by The Times. Glendora is 24-1 overall and 6-1 in league; Ayala is 18-6 and 6-1.
Hatch finished with 12 points and Stephan Gilling had18 points for Ayala.
San Fernando Academy (9-0) is the only remaining undefeated boys' team in the Southern and City sections.
Judith Smith had 19 points, 10 assists and three steals Wednesday, and Long Beach Poly all but clinched its fourth consecutive Moore League title with a 68-46 victory over visiting Long Beach Wilson.
Poly (20-1, 9-0 in league), ranked No. 2 in the Southland by The Times, is two games ahead of No. 4 Wilson (21-7, 7-2) with three games to play. Only one remaining league opponent, No. 13 Long Beach Millikan, has a legitimate chance of beating the Jackrabbits, ranked No. 2 in the state.
Poly plays at Millikan on Friday, then on Saturday travels to Piedmont to take on the state's third-ranked team.
"We don't even talk about the Moore League," Poly Coach Carl Buggs said.
Irvine had better watch out for Allison Scurich of Aliso Viejo Aliso Niguel today in girls' basketball and soccer.
Scurich, a senior, scored both goals Tuesday afternoon in the Wolverines' 2-0 Sea View League victory over Foothill in soccer, then scored 24 points in her team's 45-31 basketball victory -- also over Foothill -- that night.
-- Martin Henderson
Girls' Water Polo
With an eye toward improving their seedings in the postseason, most of the Southland's best squads will compete in the 32-team Irvine Southern California Championships today through Saturday at Corona del Mar, Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley, Lake Forest El Toro and Newport Harbor highs.
"The team has always looked at it like a warm-up for the playoffs," said Dave Mikesell, coach of defending tournament champion Santa Ana Foothill (18-2), seeded third behind Santa Barbara (18-2) and Newport Harbor (16-2). "You don't want to peak for this moment, but you want to be playing well."
Competition begins with pool play today and continues on Friday, with the championship game set for 3 p.m. Saturday at Corona del Mar.
Upland, ranked No. 1 in Southern Section Division V, will try for its third consecutive championship of the La Verne Bonita-Whittier tournament, today through Saturday at Bonita, Whittier, Downey and La Verne Damien highs.
The championship game will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Whittier.
-- Lauren Peterson
Forward Candice Byler was the center of attention after practice on Wednesday, when she signed a letter of intent with Oklahoma.
Byler is one of five senior starters for Dana Point Dana Hills. Coach Cyndie Snow said Byler, the team's leading scorer with 12 goals, had other things on her mind.
"She has a lot to prove against Mission Viejo," Snow said. "She'll have a fire lit under her."
Dana Hills (11-6-4, 3-2-2 in league), currently in third place in the competitive South Coast League, plays host to the Diablos (6-9-2, 2-3), last season's Southern Section Division I co-champions, today at 5 p.m.
-- Elia Powers
Despite moderate increases in revenues from minor sports last year, the Southern Section has no choice but to charge its 541 member schools more money or cut back the number of playoff divisions it will offer.
That was the grim consensus Wednesday among members of the Executive Committee after receiving the 2004-05 preliminary budget from Commissioner Jim Staunton. He cited several factors in his decision to propose a $10 per sport surcharge for each school.
Schools have been charged 23 cents per student since 1986. A school with 21 sports would be assessed an additional $210 under Staunton's proposal.
A final budget is due by June 30.
The looming state budget crisis, a downturn in attendance at football playoff events, a 100-fold increase in the cost of state retirement benefits and anticipated spikes in medical insurance premiums swelled the new budget about $80,000 over that of the current fiscal year.
In the last several years the section has added a total of nine playoff divisions in five sports without a noticeable increase in revenue, according to Assistant Commissioner Rob Wigod. But expenses have risen as much as 20% with each expansion, he said.
Although football figures are not yet available, Staunton said that attendance has been flat for several years and that as far as revenue increases are concerned "we can't ask any more out of football."
Revenue increases in girls' volleyball ($4,000), boys' water polo ($5,800) and cross-country ($5,300) last fall were due largely to a $1 per ticket increase, not bigger crowds.
-- Paul McLeod