High school sports

Lots of nail-biting as league play opens

GARDEN GROVE built a big lead, then had to hang on to defeat Westminster 66-60 on Friday in the Golden West League opener for both teams (Orange County Tribune photo).

It was a night of upsets and near-upsets last Friday when a lot of area high school basketball teams opened league play or otherwise began the 2019 part of the 2018-19 season.

The Marina High boys’ team snapped a 20-game losing streak to cross-town rival Edison, beating the Chargers (top-ranked in our High 5 of teams in the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Stanton-Westminster area) 56-55 on a last-second shot by freshman Eric Hodgkins.

Pacifica High School’s boys’ team built an 18-point lead Friday against Crean Lutheran, but couldn’t hang on and lost 67-61 to the Saints in the Empire League opener for both teams.

Things got a little worse in the EL race on Monday as Mariners (14-6) lost to Cypress (18-2) 71-49 in the Cent gym, dropping the M’s to 0-2 in league. They were second last year.

Garden Grove High’s boys’ hoops team had a 10-point lead at halftime over Westminster Friday and extended it to 15 at one point. But the Lions rallied and closed to within two points late in the fourth quarter before falling 66-60 in the Golden West League opener for both teams.

Our High Five for this week – despite the upsets and such – is the same as last week, with Edison still on top, followed by Garden Grove, Pacifica, Marina and Ocean View. The only change is that Orangewood Academy replaces Santiago as the “on the bubble” team.

On the girls’ side, the biggest game this week looks to be Santiago (14-3) at La Quinta (12-5) on Wednesday in a battle for the Garden Grove League lead. The Cavaliers are hot now, having won seven straight. Both teams are 2-0 in early going.

Bolsa Grande (12-7, 1-1) can stay in the race if it can beat Rancho Alamitos (8-9, 1-1) in the Vaquero gymnasium, also on Wednesday.

Our High 5 for girls’ hoops also looks pretty familiar, compared to last week. Huntington Beach, Orangewood and Santiago are the top three, with Marina again in fourth. But Westminster has bumped Garden Grove out of fifth and the bubble team is again Western.

Football heroes, part two

Football is gone, but not forgotten. Here’s a listing of the league honors handed out recently to local teams and players.

Big Four League

MVP:Mike Carrillo (Garden Grove)

Co-offensive player of the year: Jacob Zazueta (Garden Grove)

Co-defensive player of the year:Kevin Feliuai (Garden Grove).

Lineman of the year:Tafisi Gauta (Garden Grove).


Empire League

First team offense:Anthony Lopez and Rai Sagatume, Pacifica.

First team defense:Isaiah Blevens and Sam Henderson, Pacifica.


Orange League

First team:Chris Jimenez and Tommy Tran (Magnolia).


Orange Coast League

Co-lineman of the Year:Anthony Garcia (Orange).


Pac 4 League

Co-MVPs: Noah Hickman (Ocean View) and Anthony Munoz (Western).

Co-Offensive Player of the Year:Caine Savage (Western).

Co-Defensive Players of the Year:Kermel Anwell (Ocean View) and Jacob Domino (Western).

Co-Special Team Player of the Year:Bobby Palacious (Western).


Sunset League

Co-Defensive Player of the Year:Luke Hoggard (Edison).

Co-Offensive Back of the Year:Kobe Lopez (Edison).

Offensive Lineman of the Year:Grant Conway (Edison).

Linebacker of the Year:John Gosney (Huntington Beach)

Kicker of the Year:Kieren Spradlin (Edison).

Winter Sports Polls

The CIF-SS is back after the holiday break with its rankings for winter sports. Here is how local teams were recognized.

Boys’ basketball

  • Division 3A: Pacifica is ninth.
  • Division 4AA: Garden Grove is 15th.

Girls’ basketball

  • Division 2AA: Huntington Beach fourth, Orangewood Academy sixth.
  • Division 3A: Marina is 13th.
  • Division 4A: Santiago is seventh.

Girls’ water polo

  • Divisions 1 & 2: Huntington Beach is 11th.
  • Division 6: Los Amigos sixth, Pacifica 10th.

Boys’ soccer

  • Division 1: Edison, received votes).
  • Division 2: Santiago is fourth
  • Division 5: Los Amigos is sixth.

Girls’ soccer

  • Division 2: Pacifica is fourth
  • Division 5: Los Amigos is third, Garden Grove and Santiago received votes.

Prep Sport Spotlight appears (on most) Tuesdays during the high school athletic year.






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