Here's an item that would spark some debate:
What's the best sport in the Pacific View League?
The boys' soccer coach maintain it is, well, boys soccer.
"We're so competitive at every school," says Rio Mesa coach Brandon Fuchs. "There's not an easy game on the schedule, and all of us are capable of doing well in the playoffs."
Rio Mesa finished fourth in league last season, and won the CIF-SS Division IV championship. Channel Islands was a finalist, while Pacifica was a semifinalist.
The prognosis is for more of the same this season. Oxnard, Hueneme and Camarillo are all in the hunt for the playoffs, if not a league championship.
Kylie Cunningham had 20 points and seven assists, Brittany Oster had 17
points and 12 rebounds, and Camille Mahlknecht had 12 points and five
blocks as the Agoura High girls' basketball team opened the Nike
Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Ariz. with a 67-51 win over
Hamilton (Ariz.) Friday.
Sasha Bornstein also had 13 points for
the Chargers (7-0), who face Jordan/Pinewood in the quarterfinals of
the John Anderson Division today at 3:30 p.m..
"We just played a tough game," said Agoura coach Steve Scifres. "We were able to not allow them to do what they wanted to do."
ranked No. 5 in Arizona's Division 5A-I by the Arizona Republic, used a
half-court trap to pull within six points midway through the fourth
quarter, but Cunningham and Bornstein responded with consectutive
3-pointers to salt the game away.
Highlands Ranch (Colo.) 51, Buena 37
At Nike Tournament of Champions, Phoenix, Ariz.
Mike Desper Division, first round
Kacie Sowell had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Keani Albanez added 12
points. Buena led Highlands Park, Colorado state champion in six of the
past eight years, 24-15 at the half, but was outscored 23-4 in the
third quarter. Buena faces Sacramento, ranked No. 31 nationally by
ESPN, today at 11 a.m.
Records: Buena 5-4, Highland Park 6-2.
Less than a month after reaching the semifinals of the CIF-SS East Valley Division playoffs, the Grace Brehren High football team is searching for a new head coach.
Terry Gourley has announced that he is leaving the program to become an assistant coach at College of the Canyons. He calls the new job a longtime dream.
Grace Brethren finished 7-5, including wins in the first round and quarterfinals of the CIF-SS playoffs. The Lancers lost to Ontario Christian, 45-0, in the semifinals.
Grace Brethren is hoping to announce its new head coach in the next few weeks.
The Westlake High football team was bypassed Sunday in the selections for this week's CIF-State High School Championship Bowl Games, a victim of an excess of Southern California candidates in the Division II enrollment group (1,101 to 2,399 students).
Getting the nod over Westlake were Servite (13-1) and Crenshaw (14-0), which becomes the first team from the L.A. City Section to play in a state bowl game. Crenshaw will play De La Salle of Concord (12-2) in the Open Division game Saturday at 8 p.m.; Servite faces Rocklin (14-0) in the Division II game at 4 p.m.
"Westlake sits there 14-0, Mission Bay (San Diego Section) sits there 13-0, and Kingsburg (Central Section) sits there 13-0," said Ken Gunn, event director for the bowl games. "That is just an unbelievable division. When's the last time you saw a division with four undefeated teams and a 13-1 team?
"That division was loaded, and obviously, all of those were discussed. In my mind ... it came down to Crenshaw and Servite."
Those teams were deemed to have the edge in strength of schedule.
For more, see Monday's edition of The Star.
The full lineup of bowl games at the Home Depot Center, with the South entrant listed first:
Small Schools, at 4 p.m.: San Diego Francis Parker (11-2) vs. Modesto Christian (14-0)
Division I, at 8 p.m.: Oceanside (13-0) vs. Bellarmine Prep (11-1-1)
Division III, at noon: Serra (14-0) vs. Marin Catholic (13-1)
Division II, at 4 p.m.: Servite (13-1) vs. Rocklin (14-0)
Open Division, at 8 p.m.: Crenshaw (14-0) vs. De La Salle (12-2).
This is the last year on the current bowl-game contract with the Home Depot Center. The facility has bid to continue to host the games, as have the L.A. Coliseum, Bakersfield, Clovis, Stanford and San Jose State.
The Ventura County Fusion men's soccer team, the reigning USL Premier Development League champion, is holding a two-day tryout this weekend in Ventura.
Saturday's session is at Ventura College. Sunday's session is at St. Bonaventure High. Registration is at 9 a.m. Cost is $50.
Call 805-256-0925 for more information.
In front of Fox Soccer Channel's cameras, the Fusion defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 in the USL PDL Final on August 8 at Buena High.
Five Moorpark High football players have earned nominations to U.S. service academies, athletic director Rob Dearborn announced.
The Fab Five are James Dearborn (Army, Navy, Merchant Marines); Joe Frank (Air Force); Corey McCourt (Merchant Marines); Stephen Picchini (Army, Navy) and Pat Stewart (Army, Air Force).
An overlooked factor in Friday's matchup between Westlake and Moorpark for the CIF-SS Northern Division football championship, could be the play of the kickers.
Both the Musketeers and Warriors have outstanding kickers.
Westlake's Alex Ball has set a program record with 96 points this season, including eight field goals. He notched a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter of last week's 17-7 victory over St. Bonaventure.
Most significantly, few kickoffs have been returned this season by opponents.
Moorpark senior Stephen Picchini is considered one of the top kickers in the Southland.
On a cold, wintry night at Valencia High last week, he blasted field goals of 48- and 45-yards in the 40-14 win over Valencia.
"I wish we had a kicker like him," a Valencia supporter said in the press box.
Because Saturday's Oaks Christian-Cathedral playoff game ended so late -- 10:35 p.m., well after The Star's scheduled East County edition deadline -- I was unable to get any postgame comments into the story on Oaks' 38-11 win.
And because it was one of those Murphy's Law kind of nights --with a long game, unexpected rain and other less than ideal working conditions -- it figures that I had a tape-recorder malfunction and lost some of the comments I did get. My apologies to Malcolm Jones and Blair Holliday.
One point Jones made was that defensively, the Lions didn't have to adjust schematically to Cathedral's passing game -- a short, possession-minded attack that (particularly in the early going) primarily featured throws to the sidelines -- as they had to just get use to the style and tempo. Coach Bill Redell agreed.
"Clay (Matthews) and Mark (Bates) I'm sure did a couple of little things," said Redell, referring to his primary defensive assistants, "but nothing major. We just got after them a little bit, got used to what they were doing."
On the game's first possession, the Phantoms went 75 yards in 16 plays, driving from their own 9 to the Oaks 16 before settling for a field goal. Those 16 plays consumed just four minutes, 48 seconds. By the time the quarter was over, Cathedral had run 30 plays to Oaks Christian's 5, and held the ball for 10:03 of the 12-minute period.
And yet Oaks led 7-3, having cashed in a short drive after Cathedral failed to get a first down on fourth-and-a-long-one at their own 36. Two plays later, the Lions were in front.
"They were doing a good job of keeping us off the field," said Oaks quarterback Nick Montana, who threw for three TDs. "They were completing a lot balls and moving the ball down the field. We just had to take advantage of our chances, and they weren't coming right away. But we stuck with it, and that's why we ended up with 38."
Holliday -- who had five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown -- said the offense didn't get frustrated during that early period of Cathedral possession because it had faith that the defense would perform. And in time, it did. It pressured Cathedral quarterback Trevor Olson relentlessly, sacking him five times. And after Olson was 16 of 31 for 157 yards in the first half, he was just 8 of 20 for 117 yards in the second half, and was intercepted three times, with most of the yardage coming on a late drive against Oaks reserves when he was 3 for 3 for 78 yards and the lone Cathedral touchdown.
"It was definitely an adjustment," said defensive lineman Dillon Van Der Wal, "coming from the last six weeks and stepping up to a high-caliber team and fast pace. We had to adjust in the first couple series. We were slow, and then we picked it up."
Once the defense had a grasp of Cathedral's offense, it started getting stops -- getting its first three-and-out stand late in the first half, along with five more in the second -- and then the offense started rolling, as well. Beginning with Malcolm Jones' 61-yard touchdown run with 55 seconds left in the first half (which followed the first of those three-and-out defensive series), the Lions scored on four of five possessions to go from a 7-3 lead to a 31-3 advantage.
"I think that kind of took the wind out of their sails a little bit," Redell said of Jones' long run.
Van Der Wal also had a couple of key catches at tight end, stepping in to a void created when Alani Fua was injured in the first half. No immediate report was available on his condition, although Redell said he thinks the senior will miss the title game with Serra.
Too late for Sunday's paper, though it will appear on Monday, here's the box score from Saturday's Oaks Christian playoff game:
Oaks Christian 38, Cathedral 11
CIF-SS Northwest Division semifinal
Oaks Christian 7 7 17 7--38
Cathedral 3 0 0 8-- 11
Cat -- FG Leiva 34, 7:12.
OC -- Payton 24 pass from Montana (Davis kick), 1:55.
OC -- Jones 61 run (Calix kick), 0:55.
OC -- Holliday 3 pass from Montana (Calix kick), 0:55.
OC -- Jones 1 run (Calix kick), 4:29.
OC -- FG Calix 32, 0:00.
OC -- Van Der Wal 30 pass from Montana (Calix kick), 6:31.
Cat -- Jefferson 35 pass from Olson (Merrill pass from Olson), 3:12.
First downs 15 17
Rushes-yards 36-155 19-9
Passing yards 199 274
Comp-Att-Int 11-23-0 24-51-3
Sacked-yards lost 4-33 5-30
Punts-avg. 4-40.8 5-42.4
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 5-50 5-30
RUSHING -- Oaks Christian: Jones 20-167, Payton 1-22, Mendoza 4-20, Gretzky 1-3, Camacho 4-(--13), Montana 5-(--30), team 2-(--14). Cathedral: Ivory 8-34, Olson 11-(--25).
PASSING -- Oaks Christian: Montana 11-23-0-199. Cathedral: Olson 24-51-3-274.
RECEIVING -- Oaks Christian: Holliday 5-101, Van Der Wal 2-55, Payton 2-26, Fua 2-17. Cathedral: Merrill 8-89, Jefferson 6-95, Hasson 6-48, Ivory 3-34, Porchia 1-8.
MISSED FIELD GOALS -- Oaks Christian: Davis 42.
TEAM RECORDS -- Oaks Christian 13-0, Cathedral 11-2.