Fryer: Trinity League loaded with top girls teams
The Trinity League is known for being great in many sports. The sport in which it might most excel this school year is girls basketball.
All five of the league’s teams – JSerra, Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran, Rosary and Santa Margarita – reached the CIF-Southern Section semifinals or better: JSerra was Division 4A runnerup; Mater Dei was runnerup in the Open Division; Orange Lutheran beat Santa Margarita in the Division 3A championship game; and Rosary advanced to the 4AA semifinals.
The league has four teams playing in the CIF Southern California Regionals. Three of them won first-round games Wednesday, with Mater Dei to play its first-round game today. On Wednesday, Orange Lutheran beat Poly of Sun Valley (and plays host to Corona del Mar on Saturday), Santa Margarita beat Rancho Bernardo (and plays at El Dorado on Saturday) and Jserra beat El Capitan of Lakeside (and plays at top-seeded Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth on Saturday).
Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:
• If Mater Dei’s girls basketball team beats Palisades in the Open Division regionals first round today, it would play the winner of today’s Mission Hills of San Marcos-Long Beach Poly game. Mater Dei is ranked No. 3 and Poly is No. 4 in the CalHiSports.com California top 20.
• Mater Dei girls basketball’s only two losses this season are to Chaminade of West Hills, a one-point loss in November and a one-point loss Saturday in the CIF-SS Open Division final. The Monarchs’ Katie Lou Samuelson, who collected two national player of the year awards this week, scored 27 points in the November game and 31 on Saturday.
• If Mater Dei’s boys basketball team beats Westchester in the Open Division regionals first round Friday, the Monarchs would play the winner of today’s St. Augustine-Bishop Montgomery of Torrance game Tuesday. Bishop Montgomery, CIF-SS Open Division champion, is No. 2 in the state top 20 behind CIF-North Coast Section Division 3 champion Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland.
• All Saturday regionals games begin at 6 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for students with valid student identification and for children 13 and younger.
• Only four of the state’s 10 sections have an Open Division – Central Coast, Los Angeles City, San Diego and Southern. And, of course, there is an Open Division at the state tournament level.
• The first thing Josh Rodriguez said after his Sonora basketball team beat Gahr in a CIF final Saturday: “I know that feeling Gahr has right now.” Sonora lost in a CIF-Southern Section championship game last year. That kid has a good heart.
• Canyon’s boys basketball starting guard Kaleb Phillips’ brother is Gary Franklin, who was on a state championship team at Mater Dei and played at Cal and Baylor.
• Canyon and Orangewood Academy went into the boys basketball playoffs as at-large teams – teams that did not finish high enough in their league’s standings to receive automatic berths – but won CIF-SS titles.
• Orangewood’s boys basketball team beat Caruthers in a regionals Division V first-round game Wednesday. The Spartans’ next assignment: Saturday at Sierra Canyon, which is No. 6 in the state top 20 and played in the Open Division in the CIF-SS playoffs. Some CIF-SS Open Division teams are selected to play in the state Open Division, those that are not are sent to the state’s I-V enrollment-based divisions.
• Tesoro’s boys basketball team was eliminated in the Division II regionals on Wednesday by La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad. The Titans have qualified for three state tournaments in the past seven seasons. Tesoro should be good next season, too, with the return of 6-foot-6 sophomore Adrease Jackson and several other non-seniors who played significant minutes.
• Tesoro basketball senior Nick Pallas, 6-foot-8 and 245 pounds, has offers from Portland State and the University of Texas-Arlington. A recruiting visit to Miami of Ohio is in the works for Pallas.
• That was a good team that beat Foothill’s boys basketball team in the Division I regionals Wednesday. Torrey Pines is 30-3.
• An Orange County boys basketball all-star game, organized and managed by Open Gym Premier, will be played at Irvine Valley College on March 21. Tipoff is 7 p.m. More information, including rosters, is on the blog at ocvarsity.com.
• Championship game information for the Newport Elks baseball tournament: Franker Lerner Division, Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco, Hart Park in Orange, today at 7 p.m.; Foothill Division, Corona del Mar vs. Trabuco Hills, Foothill High, Saturday at 3 p.m.; Costa Mesa Division: Hemet at Laguna Hills, today at 3 p.m.; Orange County Division, Whittier at Rancho Alamitos, today at 3 p.m.
• Baseball’s Loara Tournament has its championship game at Dee Fee Field on Saturday at 7 p.m. Dee Fee Field is the baseball part of the sports complex that includes Glover Stadium at La Palma Park in Anaheim. The price of admission, which has not changed in 10 years, is $5 for adults and $1 for students with valid student identification and for children 13 and younger.
• The National Football Foundation’s Orange County Chapter had its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Monday at Anaheim Convention Center. Seventy football players from county high schools, junior colleges and Chapman University were honored for making all-league or all-conference first-team while maintaining a grade-point average of 3.6 or higher. The chapter distributed $23,000 in scholarship funds at the event. (The list of honorees is on the blog at ocvarsity.com.)
• That scholarship money comes from several sources, including membership in the National Football Foundation’s county chapter. It is $40 a year. Go to nationalfootballfoundation-occhapter.com for information. National Football Foundation membership benefits include the opportunity to vote for candidates for the College Football Hall of Fame.
• Philadelphia Eagles, and ex-USC, quarterback Mark Sanchez was the keynote speaker at the NFF banquet. He was a Scholar-Athlete honoree his senior year at Mission Viejo.
• Corona del Mar had the most honorees, with nine. JSerra and Mission Viejo had four honorees each.
• He is not the CdM football coach anymore, having taken the job at Servite, but Scott Meyer was there to support the Sea Kings players. Several other coaches were there, too.
• Organizations like the NFF’s county chapter and the recent Women In Sports Day are supported by a group of people who are behind the scenes for many efforts that benefit high school and other youth sports in the county. This list can’t be complete and there are others who deserve mention, too, but these people are omnipresent: Phil Anton; Larry Arason; Ed Arnold; Speed Castillo; Bryan Crow; Tom Danley; Joe Kozak; Steve McKay; Sally Reclusado; and Paul Salata. CIF-Southern Section officers seem to be everywhere, too.
• Western today will retire football jersey No. 78 that was worn by Mike Iupati. Iupati was an All-County lineman at Western before going on to star at Idaho and in the NFL, and he just signed a big contract with the Arizona Cardinals. The ceremony is at 2:45 p.m. in the Pio Dome at Western.
• Santa Margarita junior quarterback KJ Costello has whittled his college choices to these three: Michigan, Stanford and USC. That’s alphabetical order, so don’t get too excited all of you Wolverines alumni reading this.
• Tesoro junior quarterback Devon Modster’s list of offers grows. These are the Pac-12 schools that have offered: Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, UCLA and Washington State.
• Servite sophomore receiver Terrell Bynum has offers from Nebraska and USC. Although he resigned as Servite’s coach and is getting ready to move to Bakersfield, where he will coach Garces Memoral, AJ Gass continues to help with the college recruiting of Servite players.
• The CIF State Wrestling Championships will continue to be held at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield through 2020. It’s a good arena. The personnel there and the town roll out the red carpet for the state tournament.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org