Semifinals Have Moore League Look
The Moore League, which had three girls’ basketball teams in The Times top 25, will have three of the four teams in the Southern Section Division I-AA semifinals on Tuesday.
In addition to top-seeded Long Beach Poly defeating Fontana Miller, 70-47, and third-seeded Long Beach Wilson defeating Palmdale, 60-45, unseeded Long Beach Millikan upset fourth-seeded Temecula Valley, 55-41.
Millikan (21-8) will play Poly (26-2), and Wilson (26-4) will play second-seeded Lynwood (24-2), a 70-34 winner over Rialto Eisenhower.
No. 13 Millikan, which held a 32-26 lead going into the fourth quarter, was led by Brittany Dove’s 22 points, and avenged a 51-46 loss to No. 12 Temecula Valley in December. The Rams were 20 for 31 from the free-throw line, compared to Temecula Valley’s nine for 13.
Temecula Valley was led by Jessica Thompson, who scored 18 despite sitting out more than 10 minutes because of foul trouble. She was one of three Golden Bears to foul out, including Amanda Afaese, who left with 3:33 left in the third quarter after picking up four fouls in a span of 68 seconds. The Rams didn’t have anyone with more than three fouls.
It is Millikan’s first trip to the semifinals since 1994, and denied Temecula Valley its first trip past the quarterfinals; the Golden Bears have lost in the quarterfinals three years in a row.
-- Martin Henderson
Six Chatsworth High wrestlers won individual titles Saturday at Chatsworth and the Chancellors claimed their first City Section championship since 1974, the inaugural year of the City finals meet.
Chatsworth finished with 185 points. San Fernando placed second with 165, and Bell was third with 164 1/2
Chatsworth’s Robert Johnson (215 pounds), Jon Vargas (189), John Lawes (140), Oscar Garcia (119), Paul Medina (112) and Edwin Martinez (103) will lead a contingent of 14 City champions to the state finals next weekend at Bakersfield. San Fernando had four champions, including Raphael Reynolds (152), who was selected the meet’s most valuable wrestler. Bell had two champions.
-- Vince Kowalick
Girls’ Water Polo
All six defending champions in Southern Section girls’ water polo have returned to attempt encore showings in their respective divisions Monday and Tuesday at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach.
“The programs that put in the time are the ones that are going to be successful,” said Bill Barnett, the veteran coach at Newport Harbor (26-3), which will challenge the reign of perennial Southern Section Division I powerhouse Santa Ana Foothill (27-3) in Tuesday’s featured match at 8:15 p.m..
Foothill has won the last four Division I titles and will try for a fifth behind senior Jillian Kraus, sophomore Grace Reynolds and senior goalkeeper Katy Krumpholz.
“They’re four-time [section] champions. They’re going to come in there and expect to be champions. They’ve got that edge of experience at the big dance,” Barnett said.
Santa Barbara (28-2), the defending Division IV champion, has a section-high five division titles, including four in Division II in 1998-2000 and in 2002.
Defending champions looking to make it two consecutive titles are Corona del Mar (21-9) in Division II, Temple City (24-6) in Division III, Upland (28-3) in Division V and Rowland Heights Rowland (24-1) in Division VI.
“This year, it’s kind of like a challenge to the girls to maintain it,” said Rowland Coach Kenny Clements.
-- Lauren Peterson
Goalkeeper Scott Loveless of La Palma Kennedy (14-8-2) is playing like his old self heading into a semifinal game of the Southern Section Division III playoffs at Artesia (18-4-4) on Tuesday.
Loveless was selected as the Division III defensive player of the year last season after leading Kennedy to a share of the title with Pico Rivera El Rancho. But he sat out nine games after dislocating his left knee in a season opener against Santa Ana Century in December.
He returned just before the start of Empire League play, but it took him six or seven games before he regained full mobility.
“He really was only about 75% when he first came back,” Kennedy Coach Tom Link said. “But he started to come around in the second half of league. He started to make the kind of spectacular saves that he made for us last year.”
-- John Ortega