Etiwanda is back playing defense and showing off promising young players

Etiwanda coach Dave Kleckner.
Etiwanda coach Dave Kleckner, known for his defensive-minded teams, saw the Eagles open the season with a 64-32 win over Corona Santiago on Friday.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

When last seen roaming the basketball sideline, Dave Kleckner was celebrating Etiwanda’s victories over Chatsworth Sierra Canyon and Torrey Pines to win the CIF Open Division Southern California Regional championship last June. After spending the summer with family in Chicago, Kleckner is back teaching his hard-nosed defense to a new group of players.

The Eagles opened their season Friday in the Battle Zone tournament at Corona Centennial, cruising to a 64-32 win over Corona Santiago. It was vintage Etiwanda. Players took two charging fouls and and forced a 35-second clock violation. Meanwhile, 6-foot-6 junior Curtis Williams scored 19 points and senior guard Jacob Barcelo made four threes and finished with 18 points.

Corona Centennial 72, Sheldon 51: Jared McCain scored 18 points for the defending Southern Section Open Division champions.

Fairfax 84, Verbum Dei 28: The Lions opened with an easy victory at St. Monica. David Mack scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds, nine assists and nine steals. Tyler Bey added 18 points.


Taft 71, St. Paul 68: Isaiah Lewis had 17 points and Nick Ramos netted 16 for Taft.

Loyola 63, Oak Park 50: Jalen Cox finished with 23 points for Loyola in the Providence tournament.

Sierra Canyon 84, San Ysidro 70: Kijani Wright had 21 points for the Trailblazers, who received good news with transfer guard Mike Price being granted immediate eligibility from the Southern Section.

JSerra 74, Cosumnes Oaks 52: Rob Diaz made eight threes and finished with 35 points for JSerra.

Village Christian 53, St. Francis 52: The Crusaders pulled off the upset behind Thomas Luczak, who had 14 points.

Santa Clarita Christian 90, Saugus 89: It took double overtime to decide this one. Davis White scored 39 points for Saugus.

Los Altos 93, Gahr 72: CJ Bellamy finished with 35 points for Los Altos. Teammate Jazz Gardner had 21 points and 17 rebounds.

Brentwood 65, Valley Christian 60: Parker Turner had 19 points and MJ Coleman added 17 points and seven assists for Brentwood.

La Salle 56, Aquinas 52: Sophomore Derek Peterson scored `19 points for La Salle.

Venice 60, Santa Monica 56: Joshua Hecht had 16 points for Santa Monica.

Damien 74, Orange Lutheran 61: Spivey Word had 21 points.

Girls’ basketball

Camarillo 54, Westchester 44: The Scorpions might as well claim the City Section championship after consecutive wins over City favorites Palisades and Westchester. As usual, UCLA-bound Gabriella Jaquez led the way with 29 points.

Marlborough 59, Palisades 44: Sydney Meskin made five threes and finished with 15 points for Palisades.