Sports Roundup: Tim Tucker leaves Pasadena for Maranatha, Jared Papazian revives MMA career and Angel Villagran tosses perfect game for Burbank

It might be baseball season in Southern California, but there was no shortage of big basketball news this week, as the coach of one of the area's winningest programs switched schools to join a nearby program.

Maranatha announced the hiring of Pasadena High School's longtime head coach Tim Tucker on Tuesday, the same day that Minutemen coach Tim Godley announced his resignation. Tucker led the Bulldogs to nine straight Pacific League championships and collected four CIF Southern Section titles both as a player and a coach, most recently in 2011-2012.

Tucker is one of several successful public school coaches to switch to private schools, according to Eric Sondheimer, drawn by big paydays and the chance to recruit without attendance boundaries. Maranatha has never reached a CIF championship game, but Tucker is already predicting a quick turnaround for his new program: "If you don't know about Maranatha, you will soon."

Burbank-trained fighter Jared Papazian is looking to rebound as well. Papazian was released from his UFC contract after three straight—but memorable—losses in the octagon, the latest to Tim Elliott in December.

But Papazian took a big step toward making his way back to the Ultimate Fighting Championship with a unanimous decision win over Terrion Ware at BAMMA USA "Badbeat 8" at the Commerce Casino. Though he admitted the sting of his release had affected his preparation, Papazian expressed confidence that he was back on the right track: "I'm improving. I'm getting better...This is my road back to the UFC."

Finally, we'd like to recognize a few of the local athletes who received end-of-the-season league honors or achieved major milestones last week:

In a 10-0 blowout win over Hoover, Burbank High School's Angel Villagran threw a perfect game, striking out seven in the process, to improve the Bulldogs' record to 3-3.

Former Glendale High School cross-country runner Ariel Drachenberg participated in his 28th consecutive Los Angeles Marathon on Saturday, making him one of 185 L.A. Marathon Legacy Runners who have completed each year's race since its inception in 1986.

Glendale Community College inducted its twelfth class, "one of the best groups we've ever had," according to GCC athletic director John Cicuto, into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 9.

Flintridge Prep soccer grabbed each of the Prep League's Most Valuable Offensive Player awards, with senior midfielder Manny Perez selected for the boys and senior forward Kaelin King selected for the girls.

Burroughs boys' soccer was highly decorated by the Pacific League as senior midfielder Brian Arzate earned Player of the Year honors, Coach Mike Kodoma was named Coach of the Year and eight more Burroughs players receieved all-league selections.

A week after their girls' soccer team won the SoCal Regional Division III Championship, Pasadena Poly's girls' water polo team picked up six all-league selections in addition to sophomore driver Lindsey Kelleher being named the Prep League's co-Player of the Year.

South Pasadena wrapped up its winter sports season nicely, as players from the Tigers' boys' soccer team, girls' soccer team and girls' water polo team all received major Rio Hondo League accolades.

Finally, despite a disappointing third place finish this season, the La Canada girls' soccer team can boast three Rio Hondo League first-team selections and Player of the Year honors for the Spartans' lone senior Kara Lankey.

--Peter Madden

Follow me on Twitter @pamadden.

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