Thursday, September 29, 2022
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UCLA’s Tierra Henderson suspended indefinitely from team

Bruin senior guard Tierra Henderson has been suspended indefinitely from the team, according to Steve Rourke, associated sports information director for UCLA.

Henderson, who had started all seven of the team’s games prior to last Sunday’s contest against San Diego, was suspended for a violation of team rules, Rourke said. He declined to specify what rule was broken, but he acknowledged that Henderson could possibly re-join the team at some point.

Henderson was fifth on the team in scoring, second in rebounding, third in assists, and lead the Bruins in steals. She had averaged 28 minutes per game before her suspension.

During Sunday’s game, Henderson was in street clothes in the stands, cheering on her team. A relative of Henderson told a fan that Henderson was having trouble academically, and asked the fan to pray for her.

The Bruins are currently in Houston, where they will play Rice University tonight.

The basketball world continues to tilt on its axis

New rankings today:

On the heels of their loss yesterday, Tennessee drops out of the top 10 for the first time in 255 weeks. Cal falls to 12. And Georgia Tech jumps in at 25!

So here’s my question…..given the current Pac-10 standings:


Team Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.

Stanford 0-0 – 7-1 .875
UCLA 0-0 – 7-1 .875
Oregon State 0-0 – 5-1 .833
California 0-0 – 8-2 .800
Arizona State 0-0 – 7-2 .778
Washington State 0-0 – 6-2 .750
USC 0-0 – 5-3 .625
Arizona 0-0 – 5-4 .556
Washington 0-0 – 3-3 .500
Oregon 0-0 – 3-4 .429

Should UCLA and Oregon State be ranked since they have a better record than Cal?

And should Mississippi State and Florida be ranked since they have better records than Tennessee?

Just wonderin.

UCLA rolls out the red carpet for season ticket holders

Got a letter from the Bruins today. They’re offering discount tickets for upcoming games for the friends of us season ticket holders, because Nikki Caldwell is a fan-gettin pimp. They’re also opening up a “hospitality room” for us.

Before the Kansas, USC, Arizona State, Stanford and Cal games, the Chancellor’s Room in Pauley Pavilion will be opened for season ticket holders, and at halftime. Light refreshments will be provided, and one of the assistant coaches will visit at 30 minutes before tipoff to give us a scouting report of the opponent. Enclosed in the letter was a pretty laminated hospitality pass for myself and a guest.

Pretty cool, huh? I can’t wait to schmooze, although I’ll have to wait until the USC game Jan. 11, as I’m going to miss the Kansas game this Sunday. Going home to see my people Saturday, but I’ll watch the game on TV.

UCLA 95, University of San Diego, 58

It looked like it was going to be a game for a few minutes.

The San Diego Torreadors came out strong and beat UCLA to the basket and to the ball, over and over. Their bigs moved well for being bigs, and for a little while it was looking like USD players had lived with their strength and conditioning coaches all summer long. They put the first five points on the board, lead 13-6 for a while, and then 17-12 at 15:46. But then, thanks to buckets by three of their four star players for the day, the Bruins began a comeback.

Doreena Campbell hit a jumper, and on the next play Nina Earl went in to the basket for two. Right after that, forward Christina Nzekwe had a pretty move under the hoop and got fouled for the and-one. Another Nzekwe play for two was followed by an Earl layup and a Campbell jumpshot. Ahead 29-23 at 9:20, the Bruins never looked back.

Campbell ended up with 18 points, eight assists, one block and two steals. Earl poured in 17 points and Nzekwe, 11. Guard Darxia Morris added 15 points and five assists.

“All in all, it was a good performance even though we started out shaky,” Coach Nikki Caldwell said. “We went back to our defensive principles, and taking pride in our defense leads to scoring in transition.”

With a 7-1 record, UCLA is off to its best start in 28 years.

Today’s scoring was a bit less balanced than usual, and the Bruins pulled down a season-low 36 rebounds. But they also committed a season-low 14 turnovers – something Caldwell mentioned in her post-game interview. UCLA also shot 59.6 percent for the game, which I don’t recall them doing this season yet either.

Is Caldwell trying to get Pac-10 coach of the year or something? She’s making a good case so far.

Apparently she kicked off her shoes in the second half and was pacing the sidelines in her bare feet – something we can’t see because we sit behind the bench. But shoes or not she is working on her glare, and it’s coming along nicely. At one timeout she leaned over all five seated players and admonished them sternly to box out better and go up for boards.

“Ya got me? Quit playing so soft!” she said, voice slightly raised.

We giggled. It’s really cool to see a real coach in action.

Only one Bruin didn’t score today in Candice Brown, who was limping in the first half. All of Allison Taka’s nine minutes were in the last portion of the second half, and she made the most of them, putting up nine points that included a beautiful three-shot from the corner in front of her own bench. As she released the ball, a man sitting in the end zone seats yelled, “Taka!” The rock sailed through the net to screams.

Every game brings more people, and today was no exception. In addition, the end zone was filled with cheerleaders there to perform at halftime. I bet someday soon those seats will be filled with more fans.

The player whose name is most fun to say is Antonye Nyingifa (Ning-gi-fuh). Fortunately she scored seven points, made three assists and stole the ball three times today, which gave me lots of opportunities to repeat her name after the announcer did.

Bring it on, Kansas. We ready.

Calpreps does have rankings, but…….

I’m learning many new things tonight. This great thread is from

If you go directly to the calpreps website, you need to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and find the link that says other sports (since the website is in full football mode).

It will take you to the following site:

or you can just go directly to that address above.

On that site, click on the 2008-2009 Girls Basketball National link (it also still has the rankings up from last year under that season, so choose the correct season).

Once you get to that page, you can choose a variety of things to look at, state rankings, section rankings, divisional rankings, etc. compare leagues, compare divisions.

Then, another post was made by someone calling themselves, only as good as the information that people give it. Many scores of games have yet to be reported and like I said earlier I did not notice very many Friday or Saturday results in the rankings, so maybe from Thursday. If a team has not played 3 games, it would be a combination of their preseason ranking and first couple of games. Once you get to 3 games it is based on the season at hand.

Very early so a lot of movement still to be expected as things sort themselves out, but you may notice the computer has already dropped Narbonne out of the top 10 in the City Section compared to the preseason rankings. Los Osos dropped from a preseason #4 in Div IAA to #15. Ventura dropped from a preseason #1 in Div IA to #15.

Here is the list:

Top 25 in State (before Poly beat Sacred Heart, I think it was last updated after Thursday’s games)

Rank School State League Division Rating Schedule Strength
1 Cajon (San Bernardino, CA) Southern San Andreas 1AA 52.6 36
2 Brea Olinda (Brea, CA) Southern Century 2AA 50 38
3 Poly (Long Beach, CA) Southern Moore 1AA 47.4 26.9
4 Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco, CA) Central Coast West Catholic 3 46.2 25.3
5 Hanford (CA) Central West Yosemite 2 45.8 26.3
6 Carondelet (Concord, CA) North Coast East Bay 2 43.6 28.3
7 Inglewood (CA) Southern Ocean 3A 42.1 24.9
8 St. Mary’s (Stockton, CA) Sac-Joaquin Tri-City 3 40.8 23.4
9 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) Southern Trinity 2A 40.7 11.8
10 Troy (Fullerton, CA) Southern Freeway 1AA 40.3 27.2
11 Foothill (Santa Ana, CA) Southern Sea View 3A 38.9 11.9
12 Colony (Ontario, CA) Southern Mt. Baldy 1A 38.4 17
13 Clovis West (Fresno, CA) Central Tri-Rivers 1 37.8 24.5
14 St. Ignatius (San Francisco, CA) Central Coast West Catholic 3 37.6 21.3
15 Eastlake (Chula Vista, CA) San Diego Mesa 1 37 34.2
16 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) Southern Trinity 3AA 36.3 0.1
17 St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs, CA) Southern Del Rey 4A 35 33.4
18 Muir (Pasadena, CA) Southern Pacific 3A 34.9 28.5
19 Santa Monica (CA) Southern Ocean 1A 34 21.5
20 Etiwanda (CA) Southern Baseline 1AA 33.8 15.8
21 Mitty (San Jose, CA) Central Coast West Catholic 2 33.6 35.9
22 Edison (Huntington Beach, CA) Southern Sunset 2AA 33.6 4.6
23 Millikan (Long Beach, CA) Southern Moore 1AA 33.2 25.4
24 Marlborough (Los Angeles, CA) Southern Sunshine 3AA 32.9 26.5
25 Summit (Fontana, CA) Southern Sunkist 2A 32.7 32.2

Top Division in the State
Southern Section, Division IAA

Top League in the State
West Catholic (of the Central Coast League)
Sacred Heart Cathedral
St. Ignatius
Archbishop Mitty
Valley Christian
Notre Dame
St. Francis

LA City Section Top 10
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Chatsworth (CA) West Valley 30.9 14.9
2 View Park Prep (Los Angeles, CA) Coliseum 28.4 19
3 Washington (Los Angeles, CA) Marine 19.2 15.5
4 Fairfax (Los Angeles, CA) Western 18.8 16.2
5 El Camino Real (Woodland Hills, CA) West Valley 16.3 5.5
6 Taft (Woodland Hills, CA) West Valley 15.2 15.1
7 LACES (Los Angeles, CA) Western 14.9 19.3
8 Wilson (Los Angeles, CA) Northern 14.8 0.1
9 Carson (CA) Marine 12.1 6
10 Granada Hills (CA) West Valley 11.5 -6.3

Top Leagues in LA City Section
1. West Valley
2. Western
3. Eastern

Top 10 San Diego Section
Rank School League Division Rating Schedule Strength
1 Eastlake (Chula Vista, CA) Mesa 1 37 34.2
2 Bishop’s (La Jolla, CA) Coastal – South 4 31.6 8.2
3 Mater Dei (Chula Vista, CA) Mesa 4 31.4 17.1
4 La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla, CA) Coastal – South 4 29.9 23.1
5 Mount Miguel (Spring Valley, CA) Grossmont – South 2 28.4 5.2
6 Poway (CA) Palomar 1 26.8 4.7
7 West Hills (Santee, CA) Grossmont – North 2 20.6 -3.2
8 Cathedral (San Diego, CA) Western 3 16.9 10.8
9 Our Lady of Peace (San Diego, CA) Western 3 13.6 -0.4
10 Westview (San Diego, CA) Valley 2 13.4 1.9

Top leagues in San Diego Section
1. Coastal – South
2. Grossmont – North
3. Mesa

Top leagues in the Southern Section
1. Trinity
2. Ocean
3. Century
4. Sea View
5. Moore
6. Del Rey
7. Big 8
8. Southwestern
9. Olympic
10. Baseline

Division IAA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Cajon (San Bernardino, CA) San Andreas 52.6 36
2 Poly (Long Beach, CA) Moore 47.4 26.9
3 Troy (Fullerton, CA) Freeway 40.3 27.2
4 Etiwanda (CA) Baseline 33.8 15.8
5 Millikan (Long Beach, CA) Moore 33.2 25.4
6 Santiago (Corona, CA) Big 8 28.7 24.5
7 Lynwood (CA) San Gabriel Valley 28.4 0.1
8 Knight (Palmdale, CA) Golden 26.6 22.5
9 Miller (Fontana, CA) Citrus Belt 25.4 0.1
10 Perris (CA) Sunbelt 25 27.8
11 San Clemente (CA) South Coast 24.7 17.5
12 Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, CA) Southwestern 21.3 23.8
13 Pacifica (Oxnard, CA) Pacific View 15.7 6.9
14 Jordan (Long Beach, CA) Moore 15 9.2
15 Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) Baseline 14.6 29
16 Cabrillo (Long Beach, CA) Moore 14.5 0.1

Division IA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Colony (Ontario, CA) Mt. Baldy 38.4 17
2 Santa Monica (CA) Ocean 34 21.5
3 Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley, CA) Inland Valley 30.6 24.4
4 Chaparral (Temecula, CA) Southwestern 25 3.1
5 Marina (Huntington Beach, CA) Sunset 23 14.9
6 Rancho Cucamonga (CA) Baseline 22.9 9.1
7 Ayala (Chino Hills, CA) Sierra 22.2 12.4
8 Chino Hills (CA) Sierra 21.4 -2.5
9 Great Oak (Temecula, CA) Southwestern 20.2 17.2
10 Mission Viejo (CA) South Coast 18.9 11.7
11 King (Riverside, CA) Big 8 18.5 15.8
12 Poly (Riverside, CA) Big 8 17.9 17.2
13 Esperanza (Anaheim, CA) Sunset 17.8 20.5
14 Murrieta Valley (Murrieta, CA) Southwestern 17.1 4.9
15 Ventura (CA) Channel 16.9 11.5
16 North (Riverside, CA) Big 8 16.2 0.1

Division IIAA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Brea Olinda (Brea, CA) Century 50 38
2 Edison (Huntington Beach, CA) Sunset 33.6 4.6
3 Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach, CA) Bay 30.8 16.7
4 Vista del Lago (Moreno Valley, CA) Inland Valley 30.8 29.4
5 Huntington Beach (CA) Sea View 25.4 -1.6
6 Canyon (Canyon Country, CA) Foothill 24.7 22.2
7 Thousand Oaks (CA) Marmonte 24.6 13.7
8 Burbank (CA) Pacific 21.6 8.3
9 Buena (Ventura, CA) Channel 21.4 15.6
10 Valencia (CA) Foothill 21 4.6
11 Centennial (Corona, CA) Big 8 20.5 8.6
12 Royal (Simi Valley, CA) Marmonte 19.7 6.5
13 Valencia (Placentia, CA) Empire 19.6 12.5
14 El Dorado (Placentia, CA) Century 19.5 7.3
15 El Toro (Lake Forest, CA) Sea View 13.5 5.1
16 Sultana (Hesperia, CA) Mojave River 13.2 -1.1

Division IIA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) Trinity 40.7 11.8
2 Summit (Fontana, CA) Sunkist 32.7 32.2
3 Bishop Amat (La Puente, CA) Del Rey 31.5 1.2
4 Norco (CA) Big 8 28.5 14.3
5 Villa Park (CA) Century 24.7 12.6
6 Laguna Hills (CA) Pacific Coast 24.7 16.6
7 Newbury Park (CA) Marmonte 23.7 3.2
8 Rio Mesa (Oxnard, CA) Pacific View 22.8 7.9
9 Beverly Hills (CA) Ocean 22.6 16.3
10 Don Lugo (Chino, CA) Mt. Baldy 14.6 3.9
11 South (Torrance, CA) Pioneer 14 17.1
12 Saugus (CA) Foothill 12.3 13
13 Keppel (Alhambra, CA) Almont 11.9 22.5
14 Jurupa Valley (Mira Loma, CA) Sunkist 9.4 -8.1
15 Cypress (CA) Empire 9.1 -0.9
16 Alta Loma (CA) Baseline 8.3 -1.9

Division IIIAA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) Trinity 36.3 0.1
2 Marlborough (Los Angeles, CA) Sunshine 32.9 26.5
3 Woodbridge (Irvine, CA) Sea View 31.3 6.8
4 Arroyo Grande (CA) Pac-7 22.3 -1.5
5 Northwood (Irvine, CA) Sea View 20.8 6.8
6 Agoura (CA) Marmonte 20.4 2
7 Magnolia (Anaheim, CA) Orange 20.1 32.4
8 Canyon (Anaheim, CA) Century 17.3 9.9
9 Arlington (Riverside, CA) Inland Valley 17 0
10 Diamond Ranch (Pomona, CA) Miramonte 16 1.8
11 Fullerton (CA) Freeway 14.7 11.4
12 Culver City (CA) Ocean 12.4 11.7
13 San Bernardino (CA) San Andreas 11.8 4.2
14 North (Torrance, CA) Pioneer 11 11.4
15 Torrance (CA) Pioneer 10.4 17
16 El Modena (Orange, CA) Century 7.5 2

Division IIIA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Inglewood (CA) Ocean 42.1 24.9
2 Foothill (Santa Ana, CA) Sea View 38.9 11.9
3 Muir (Pasadena, CA) Pacific 34.9 28.5
4 St. Mary’s Academy (Inglewood, CA) Santa Cruz 23.5 23.6
5 Palos Verdes (Palos Verdes Estates, CA) Bay 19.9 23.1
6 Barstow (CA) Desert Sky 18.9 0.2
7 Sonora (La Habra, CA) Freeway 16.5 -0.6
8 Monrovia (CA) Rio Hondo 11.9 -6.4
9 Cerritos (CA) Suburban 10.7 2
10 Bonita (La Verne, CA) Miramonte 9.5 4.2
11 Temescal Canyon (Lake Elsinore, CA) Southwestern 7.6 -2
12 Bellflower (CA) Suburban 7.1 -6.4
13 Tustin (CA) Century 4.5 0.1
14 Irvine (CA) Pacific Coast 2.2 0.4
15 Heritage (Menifee, CA) Mountain Pass 2 -2.2
16 Temple City (CA) Rio Hondo 1.2 -5.8

Division IVAA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, CA) Del Rey 26.9 17.9
2 Lutheran (Orange, CA) Trinity 24.5 4.2
3 Atascadero (CA) Pac-7 24.4 2.6
4 Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, CA) Mission 20.7 13.9
5 Rosary (Fullerton, CA) Trinity 18.1 8.1
6 Whittier Christian (La Habra, CA) Olympic 16 -0.3
7 Alemany (Mission Hills, CA) Mission 13.8 18.2
8 San Luis Obispo (CA) Pac-7 13.7 10.6
9 Yucca Valley (CA) De Anza 13.3 0
10 La Canada (CA) Rio Hondo 13.1 4.5
11 Centennial (Compton, CA) Pioneer 11.5 -1.6
12 Calabasas (CA) Marmonte 8.5 -3
13 Northview (Covina, CA) Valle Vista 3 3.2
14 Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, CA) Pacific Coast 2.7 -17.7
15 Citrus Hill (Perris, CA) Mountain Pass 2.6 4
16 South Pasadena (CA) Rio Hondo 2.4 -2.1

Division IVA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs, CA) Del Rey 35 33.4
2 Pacific Hills (Los Angeles, CA) Olympic 30.4 30
3 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, CA) Mission 28.9 21.7
4 Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) Tri-Valley 20.5 10.3
5 JSerra (San Juan Capistrano, CA) Trinity 17.6 9.6
6 Lawndale (CA) Pioneer 15.1 10.8
7 Windward (Los Angeles, CA) Olympic 13.3 21.1
8 Fillmore (CA) Tri-Valley 10.3 -10.8
9 Twentynine Palms (CA) De Anza 8.3 1.1
10 Morro Bay (CA) Los Padres 6.5 2.9
11 Village Christian (Sun Valley, CA) Alpha 3.9 -14.1
12 Notre Dame Academy (Los Angeles, CA) Sunshine 2.1 3
13 Chaminade (West Hills, CA) Mission 1.5 7.3
14 Marymount (Los Angeles, CA) Sunshine 0.6 -7.6
15 Los Angeles Baptist (North Hills, CA) Delphic 0.4 -8.2
16 Blair (Pasadena, CA) Rio Hondo -0.2 2.4

Division VAA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 St. Joseph (Santa Maria, CA) Los Padres 30.8 8.9
2 Serra (Gardena, CA) Del Rey 18.4 15
3 Notre Dame (Riverside, CA) Mountain Pass 6.2 -4.2
4 Cantwell-Sacred Heart (Montebello, CA) Camino Real 5.9 3.5
5 St. Monica (Santa Monica, CA) Camino Real 5.5 -0.3
6 Flintridge Prep (La Canada, CA) Prep 5.2 -0.8
7 Valley Christian (Cerritos, CA) Olympic 3 0.1
8 St. Bonaventure (Ventura, CA) Tri-Valley 1.7 -1.6
9 La Salle (Pasadena, CA) Camino Real 1.5 0
10 Campbell Hall (North Hollywood, CA) Alpha -1.6 -17
11 Mary Star of the Sea (San Pedro, CA) Camino Real -2.6 -8.3
12 Calvary Chapel (Santa Ana, CA) Orange Coast -4.6 0.1
13 Calvary Murrieta (Murrieta, CA) Big Sky -5.3 -6.9
14 Providence (Burbank, CA) Liberty -6 -14.9
15 Sage Hill (Newport Beach, CA) Academy -6.1 -17.4
16 Fairmont Prep (Anaheim, CA) San Joaquin -6.6 -16.6

Division VA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Montclair Prep (Van Nuys, CA) Olympic 32.4 15.7
2 Bellarmine-Jefferson (Burbank, CA) Santa Cruz 32.1 24.5
3 Chadwick (Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA) Prep 12.9 5.4
4 Santa Clara (Oxnard, CA) Frontier 8.7 -4.9
5 St. Anthony (Long Beach, CA) Santa Cruz 5.6 6.4
6 Rancho Alamitos (Garden Grove, CA) Garden Grove -2.2 -19.9
7 Poly (Pasadena, CA) Prep -3.3 -11.2
8 California City (CA) Freelance -4.6 0.1
9 Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro, CA) Harbor -4.6 0.1
10 Buckley (Sherman Oaks, CA) Liberty -4.6 -17.3
11 Aquinas (San Bernardino, CA) Christian -7.8 -17.5
12 Holy Martyrs Armenian (Encino, CA) Liberty -10.6 0.1
13 Bishop Diego (Santa Barbara, CA) Frontier -10.7 -15.2
14 Desert (Edwards AFB, CA) High Desert -10.9 0.1
15 Brethren Christian (Huntington Beach, CA) Academy -12 -10.3
16 St. Margaret’s (San Juan Capistrano, CA) Academy -12 -27.8

Division VIAA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, CA) Delphic 10 -5.9
2 Hesperia Christian (Hesperia, CA) Agape -3.3 -15.3
3 Riverside Prep (Oro Grande, CA) Freelance -4.6 0.1
4 Le Lycee (Los Angeles, CA) Freelance -4.6 0.1
5 California Military Institute (Perris, CA) Majestic -4.6 0.1
6 AGBU (Pasadena, CA) Freelance -7.7 -33.5
7 Liberty Christian (Huntington Beach, CA) San Joaquin -7.8 0.1
8 Saddleback Valley Christian (San Juan Capistrano, CA) San Joaquin -10.1 -38
9 Rio Hondo Prep (Arcadia, CA) Prep -13.9 -19.5
10 Upland Christian (Upland, CA) Arrowhead -16.9 -13.4
11 Calvary Chapel (Moreno Valley, CA) Victory -17.1 0.1
12 Crean Lutheran South (Irvine, CA) Freelance -17.5 -26.8
13 Hillcrest Christian (Granada Hills, CA) Heritage -18 -15
14 AGBU (Canoga Park, CA) Westside -18.4 0.1
15 Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, CA) Harbor -18.9 -30.4
16 Desert Christian (Bermuda Dunes, CA) Victory -18.9 -20.7

Division VIA
Rank School League Rating Schedule Strength
1 Summit View (Valley Glen, CA) Mulholland -4.6 0.1
2 Ojai Valley (Ojai, CA) Condor -4.6 0.1
3 Westmark (Encino, CA) Freelance -4.6 0.1
4 Vistamar (El Segundo, CA) Freelance -4.6 0.1
5 Public Safety Academy (San Bernardino, CA) Freelance -4.6 0.1
6 First Lutheran (Sylmar, CA) Omega -4.6 0.1
7 Packinghouse Christian Academy (Redlands, CA) Majestic -7.3 -27.1
8 South Bay Lutheran (Inglewood, CA) Freelance -12.8 0.1
9 Immanuel Christian (Ridgecrest, CA) Hi-Lo -20.6 -28.8
10 Avalon (CA) San Joaquin -28.6 0.1
11 Price (Los Angeles, CA) Harbor -30.8 -8.8
12 Pacifica Christian (Santa Monica, CA) Mulholland -31.2 0.1
13 Bloomington Christian (Bloomington, CA) Victory -32.2 0.1
14 Tarbut V’torah (Irvine, CA) Express -32.3 -32.6
15 North County Christian (Atascadero, CA) Coast Valley -32.9 0.1
16 Desert Chapel (Palm Springs, CA) Victory -33.3 0.1

So if the info is based on team records, and the records are based on what the coaches report to (as the next post says), then I guess we’re back to square one. In other words, I’ll get an idea where teams are at, and I’ll go see them for myself.

My next step is to get a Southern Section schedule of games, which is harder to do as they don’t have a link online.

One week, two teams, four losses

Apparently St. Mary’s of Stockton lost again last night – to Clovis West, in the championship game of the latter team’s tournament. St. Mary’s had played four hours earlier, beating Hanford. That’s two losses in a week for the (formerly) number one-ranked high school team.

Tonight, also for the second time in a week, Cal lost. Theirs was at the hands of Oklahoma, who had been down by 26 at the half and rallied to come back. Ouch! When the ratings come out Monday, I won’t expect to see Cal in the top 10 anymore. Double ouch.

It makes you wonder about the momentum of a loss. Sometimes a team can let that first loss get in their heads, and they start thinking negatively. Obviously I don’t know what’s up in the St. Mary’s or Cal locker rooms, but we’ll see if they can each put their respective losses behind them sooner, or later.

Dorsey 74, Crenshaw 63

It appears that Dorsey basketball is back in the building.

A 21-7 record that left them one game shy of the city championship in 2006-2007 was followed by a dismal 10-15 season last year. But now, the Donns are off to a 3-1 start (maybe more if they’d post their results from a tourney last week on, including a “take no prisoners” win over Crenshaw last night.

If Stevie Wonder had come to the game, he would have had no problem figuring out what was going on, as the “THUMP!” of a Crenshaw body hitting the floor was heard almost as much as the catcalls from the Dorsey JV team sitting in the stands. I hadn’t seen that many kids on the floor since third period, when I had my PE class perform sit-ups.

The first couple times it happened, a Dorsey player tripped a Crenshaw Cougar, sending her careening toward the ground. But in general, Crenshaw players seemed to have a hard time staying on their feet. They would simply slip, fall to the floor chasing a loose ball, or lose their balance after contact with an athletic Donn player – which was seemingly every player they had.

The result was a convincing 74-63 Dorsey win, which puts them at the top of the Coliseum League with View Park Prep (4-1). I predict those two will fight mightily for the league title this year.

Dorsey began the game strong, despite a turnover-fest on the part of both teams. Crenshaw didn’t score a bucket until the 6:10 mark in the first quarter. Then both teams started with the dueling steals, multiple bad passes and bad shots a piece. This isn’t uncommon at the start of high school games, to have both teams playing sloppily. The score was still 14-4 Dorsey with 2:33 to go.

The second quarter began with four girls from both teams diving for the ball and wrestling for possession; I’m glad no one knocked heads. It was Dorsey up 23-13 for a few minutes, and then Crenshaw went on a little run. They hit a three, then made another bucket on the next possession. They had cut Dorsey’s lead to two, 25-23, before the Donns made their own run, including a full-court pass play. The Cougars were only able to make three more baskets during the period, while the Donns reeled off seven more buckets to end the half up 39-29.

The third quarter was the best for both teams. Crenshaw came out on fire, cutting Dorsey’s lead to 41-37 at the 5:32 mark. Dorsey responded with three straight shots, and the dueling steal-fest began again. As I had felt at the game I was at a few hours before, I thought both teams would have done well to slow down.

The Donns kept their lead by eight until two minutes to go, when the Cougars went on another run. A shot, some free throws, some hustlin, repeat. Dorsey lead 56-52 at the end of the third. Both teams scored almost as much in the third has they had in all the first half.

In the last quarter, Dorsey turned it on and never looked back. Their marquee play came on a full court-length pass for a layup which wowed even the Crenshaw fans I was sitting next to. It was 66-53 at the 4:40 mark. The Cougars got one little bit of last momentum at 2:38, when they’d cut Dorsey’s lead to 70-60. But the Donns hit two more baskets, and the possibility of a comeback went out the window.

I really liked Crenshaw’s never-say-die fighting spirit. They never gave up, and played all the way until the final buzzer. They need to work on their free throw shots, but they have a lot of potential that I hope their coach can bring out of them.

Dorsey players who were impressive were sophomore guard Yolanda Kennard, sophomore guard Kyndal Charleston, and freshman guard/forward Destiny King. Kennard is a hustler, and really moves the ball and makes things happen. Charleston has a sweet outside shot that almost always falls. And King is a good three-shooter.

The Donns have only 10 girls on their roster this year, but I guess that isn’t unusual for them. Last year they had 14, including five seniors, and the year before that -the almost-city championship year – only seven were on the roster. This year’s squad includes only one senior and two juniors. The rest are freshmen (4) and sophomores (3).

If Dorsey needed some fresh blood to jump-start their program, so far it looks like they’re succeeding. I must make sure to catch them again when they play View Park Prep.

Non-play highlight: Dorsey JV players chanting to free throw shooters from their varsity team, “make it, homegirl!”

Taft 48, Washington Prep 46

Ah, it’s back, thank goodness. I hadn’t realized how I’d missed it – the gut-churning excitement of a good high school basketball game. It’s been since last March that I’ve felt the way I did today watching Washington Prep and Taft go at it. That’s a lot of moons ago in basketball time.

It was a good-old fashioned slugfest between two top-rated teams that looked more like a February playoff game than a season-opening debut. In a contest full of bad passes, missed free throws and beautiful plays, visiting Taft hung on for dear life in the second half to pull one out over Washington, 48-46.

The moment of the game that exemplified the grit both teams brought came at the very end of the third quarter. Prep’s Kejuana Gardner and a Taft player collided, throwing Gardner off-balance, and she looked like she was going to lose control of the ball. As the Taft player grabbed her, Gardner spun around and landed on the ground, but she was still dribbling the ball. She kept dribbling it as she stood up, and then broke free from her defender, running towards the basket.

The shot Gardner put up was too late, as the buzzer was already sounding when the ball left her hands. But it didn’t seem to matter to the awestruck crowd; it sure didn’t matter to me. I caught eyes with the man sitting to the right of me with his daughter, and I said “wow!” shaking my head. His eyes were big too and he laughed.

The game began with a quick Taft foul. I guess that should have been our first indication how the thing would be played. That, and the fact that both teams began with a blistering full-court press defense. Taft’s shots weren’t falling and Prep’s rebounds weren’t happening. Then the first steal-mania began: both sides taking turns stealing the ball from one another, whether it was off a bad pass or just grabbing a ball out of another girl’s hands.

Washington kept throwing the ball away on bad passes, and their defense and boxing out were lacking. Taft made two shots in a row and built a small lead, 14-10, towards the end of the first quarter. But Gardner stepped up to make two big buckets right at the end of the period, which took Taft’s lead down 17-16.

In the second quarter, Prep’s Reshanda Gray jumped in with Gardner and made some big plays. She began tearing down the rebounds, and got fouled for two shots. Then Gardner did the same thing. But bad Washington passes continued to result in turnovers, and Taft scored twice in a row. Prep stepped up their defense, and the score seemed like it was 22-17 Taft for the longest time.

Finally, Gardner made good with a fast break and laid it up and in. Taft answered, and the two teams went back and forth with scoring for the last 3:20. Gardner hoisted a 3 just before the buzzer, ending the half 26-25 Taft.

While their teams were warming up for the second half, the referees took aside a team captain from each side and talked with them for a moment. I presume it was to tell them to settle down and stop playing each other so rough. Like that would really happen.

In the second half, just like the first, players continued to dive for balls 3-4 at once; they tried to wrench the ball out of each other’s hands 2-3 people at a time; and they continued to push each other away or down to the ground. Typical game in girl’s basketball.

Prep stepped up its rebounding game in the third quarter and began grabbing them – largely due to Gray. After a series of alternating turnovers, Gardner pulled off a big play underneath the basket. It was 31-30 Taft at the 3:47 mark.

It was especially in the third quarter that the game seemed out of control at times. It was a run and gun game, as neither team would stop long enough to set up a play or run an offense. The athleticism of both squads put pressure on all the players. It seemed like everyone was afraid that if they slowed down long enough, someone would pluck the ball out of their hands or bean them on the head. (And these fears were legitimate, as those things happened regularly….)

The fourth quarter began with a Gray assist to Gardner, again cutting Taft’s lead to 35-34. Then it was Gardner’s assist that lead to the next bucket, and Washington was ahead by a point. Taft poured in a couple shots, then Gardner assisted Gray for a shot. After that, Gardner made a bucket. It was 43-40 Taft for a long time, but a big Prep shot, two Taft turnovers and another Gardner play under the basket tied them up at 44 with about two minutes to go.

Washington missed a wide-open layup, then fouled Taft’s Joy Hubbard. Hubbard missed both free throw shots, sending the loud crowd into hysterics on both sides. Taft did score on their next possession, and the score was 46-44 Taft with 45 seconds left.

No one could score, and with two girls fighting for the ball, possession was given to Taft with 26 seconds to go. Taft inbounded and was fouled, but again, the shooter missed both shots. Gardner then hit a 3, sending the Washington side of the gym into screaming fits. 47-46, Prep.

Taft inbounded and was fouled by Gardner. The Taft player made one free throw; Taft 48, Prep 46. Then Gardner was fouled, and Prep fans started dancing in the stands. But with 2.7 seconds on the clock, Gardner missed both shots. Washington tried an inbounds play after a timeout, but a Taft player got her hands on it and time ran out.

The free throws were the story of the game for both sides, because each team really needs to hit the charity stripe in practice. The turnover numbers were way too high, as well. Prep Coach Ricky Blackmon lamented both statistics after the game. But the bright spots outweighed those issues for me.

For one thing, Washington looked light years away from the way they played Monday at the Redondo Union tournament. Today they were hungry and determined. They look like a team who wants to take the league title badly, not to mention fighting for the city championship.

Taft also has some work to do, but they’ve got ferocious defense and some fine outside shooters. If Chatsworth is ahead of these two teams, as some have predicted, I’d like to see them.

Gardner, who had an off-year last year, was great Monday but was especially impressive today. Her tenacity was palpable; it oozed from her. And she was everywhere doing everything: rebounding, spinning, shooting and dishing assists. I really enjoy watching her play.

Gray, who is only a sophomore, has a lot of skill. She and Gardner should make a good tandem combo.

I talked with one of the Prep player’s mothers after the game. Felicia was waiting for her daughter, who had twisted an ankle in the first half. Felicia is apparently the team mom, and gave each player a hug as they emerged from the locker room, and told her to keep her head up. Then she carried her daughter off, piggy-back style.

I’m not worried about Washington Prep anymore this year. They’ll do fine.

I’m not worried about myself, either. I stayed really calm throughout the game, though I rolled to the side twice, late in the fourth quarter. It made the people next to me laugh, but I had to do it to keep myself from screaming.

I can take these types of games so much better than I used to.

After that I went to another game, but I’ll write about that one tomorrow. I’ve been up for almost 19 hours and need to call it a day.

It’s just Candace now

From my friend Larry in an email today. Ya gotta love it:

I guess Candace has fully arrived on the sporting scene. When a person is referred only by one of their names, such as Jordan everyone knows that is Michael Jordan. So now that ESPN has referred to Candace Parker as just Candace I guess that means everyone is suppose to know who that is. I was watching the show ‘Pardon my Interruption’ with Kornheiser and his sidekick. They were at the point in the show where they have a list of topics and/or personalities to discuss. The list is shown on the right side of the screen. The day I was watching, the name Candace appeared on the list. Sure enough it was CP they were discussing. The sidekick was suppose to give Candace some tips on marriage.

What’s up with Rutgers? (And transfers who can play)

They barely pulled it out against Prarie View A&M tonight, 58-56. They had a nine-point lead in the first half and had to hang on for dear life to win in the second. They are really struggling so far this season. I wonder why.

Box score:

On one message board, someone posted that a rumor is flying around that Nikki Speed is about to join Jasmine Dixon in transferring. Do people just look at the box score, see that Speed was the only Scarlet Knight not to play tonight, and make stuff up?

Speaking of transfers. I was reading on another message board that former USC forward Morghan Medlock, who mysteriously transferred to Baylor last spring, is playing for her new team rather than sitting out the season, as most transfers do. Check the stats – she’s played in all nine games so far this season:

How is this possible? Basketball guru Clay Kallam said there is a “hardship rule” in the NCAA. That opens up a whole other can of worms. USC never officially acknowledged Medlock’s departure from the program, and Baylor never said anything on their end except, “she’s here.” What kind of hardship could she have incurred at USC?

Finally, I wonder when Jasmine Dixon will announce the school she is transferring to.