Archive | January, 2013

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Warrior offense too much for Lady Raiders

Posted on 31 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jeremiah Guirard
La Habra Journal
FULLERTON — Troy was unstoppable early and jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the first quarter on the way to drop the Sonora Lady Raiders 14-6,Thursday at Troy.

Mina Mattis and Grace Schade both had two goals in the first for the Warriors. Schade would add one more later, to tie her for the game high with three goals.

The Raiders (3-15, 1-6) were able to calm down and settle in a little bit after the first quarter. Sonora switched to a 2-3 zone defense to try to settle down the inside attack that accounted for the majority of Troy’s goals in the first quarter.

“They do have a strong set player,” said Sonora Head Coach Lauren Benson. “So we dropped back and forced them to take more outside shots, which are always tougher.”

Sonora Captain Briana Sussoev led the Raiders offensively with three goals, and one in each of the last three periods.
“We started to have fun and work together more,” Sussoev said. “And from there everything fell into place.”

At the end of the day, the Warriors, (19-8, 9-0), had too big of a lead early, and their balanced offensive attack was too much for the Sonora defense.

Along with Schade, Alison Lany and Christyne Eck had three goals each. Mattis and Alicia Tully added two goals apiece.

For Sonora, Colleen Jacobson, Emily Sonny, and Joyce Won had a goal each to bring the team total to 6.

Sonora still has two games left in the season. They face Sunny Hills next week and then crosstown rival La Habra.

“For the rest of the year, I just want us to work our hardest and have fun,” Sussoev said.

“We are definitely improving. The last time we played Troy the margin was a lot worse,” Benson added. “So I want to play competitively against Sunny Hills, and beat La Habra.”

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Troy beats Lady Raiders with strong second half

Posted on 31 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
After battling Troy to a scoreless draw at halftime, the Sonora girls soccer team gave up a goal early in the second half and never recovered, falling 2-0 at Troy High, Thursday afternoon.

The Lady Warriors scored goals in the 43rd minute and in stoppage time in the second half and never allowed Sonora any major chances to score.

“We came out slow in the second half and conceded a goal in the first three minutes after we specifically talked about girls not diving in and being strong in the first 10 minutes,” said Alex Bengard, Sonora head coach. “When you go down 1-0 against a good team, that’s tough.”

Overcoming two injuries in the first half, Troy wasted little time in the second half as Caitlin Haugen centered a pass to Rachel Wix right in front of the goal.

Wix tapped it to the right of goalkeeper Cortney Coyle, who played the pass, giving Troy the 1-0 lead.

Troy’s second goal was scored one minute into stoppage time as the Lady Warriors crossed twice and missed a shot, but Morgan Zuker was there to put in the rebound as Coyle had no chance of recovering.

The win was bittersweet for Troy, which lost two forwards to injury in the first half to add to an already sizable list of sidelined players.

In the 13th minute, forward Bella Diaz was racing against Coyle to get to a loose ball. The two collided as Coyle went down to cover up, while Diaz stayed upright.

She had to be helped off the field with a right knee injury.

Later in the half, Coyle stepped in front of another ball as forward Kaycee Hoover was sliding in hopes of tapping in behind the keeper.

As she slid, her cleat got caught in the ground and she was helped off with an ankle injury.

In the second half, play was also delayed by three assessed yellow cards, two to Sonora and one to Troy.

Once again, the Lady Raiders defense turned away pressure throughout the first half as Coyle continued to play aggressive.

“We’ve seemed to be able to do that a lot this year,” Bengard said. “We’re good defensively, we just have trouble scoring goals. I’m not surprised, but we’re leaving empty-handed again.”

For Troy’s first goal, that aggressiveness came back to haunt the keeper, as it left Wix wide open.

Of Sonora’s few chances, a first-half free kick by Kristy Wickham was saved and a close range shot in the second half sailed over the crossbar.

The Lady Raiders will now have to pick up the offense against the toughest portion of its schedule if it wants a shot at the playoffs.

Sonora’s next opportunity to do that will be Tuesday at Sunny Hills.

“We have to pull out some wins if we want to see any action in the postseason,” Bengard said. “Hopefully the Sunny Hills game is better this time and we get the win we deserve and then we battle La Habra and they’re the only ones who really kicked our butts in the first half. It’s going to be a grind, but we’re up for the task.”

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Lady Raiders shut down Coyotes

Posted on 31 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal
The Lady Raiders dismantled the Buena Park Coyotes 66-13, on Wednesday, at Sonora, on Senior Night. Sonora’s offense really clicked and they put up their second highest point total of the season.

“The offense is really starting to click,” said coach Melissa Barajas, “We are really understanding what we need to do, and passing the ball really well.

“There was a lot of ball movement tonight,” said senior Margo Campos, “We made sure that we played inside then out.”

It was fitting that the Sonora offense was led by three seniors. Campos had 22 points, including two three pointers, Kylie Rodriguez added 17 points and Avalon James added 12 points.

“It feels great to have a game like this on Senior Night,” Campos added, “It really shows the work from Freshman year until now coming together.”

Buena Park’s game plan seemed to be to take Rodriguez out of the game. She was often double teamed, and there was even a triple team in there. It was obviously not enough.

In a game like tonight, where the Lady Raiders were dominating from the get go, coach Barajas wanted to make sure that her girls did not get complacent.

“We are constantly coaching them about staying disciplined,” Barajas said. “We are always our biggest opponent, we can never let up.”
The Sonora defense played exactly as Barajas expected, giving up only 13 points. They had the full court press going all game, and Buena Park had no answer. The Coyotes were forced to turn the ball over a countless amount of times throughout the game.

Dominique Neal was the one bright spot for Buena Park. She had 9 of the team’s 13 points.

With the loss, Buena Park falls to 1-13 (0-7). They will take on Troy Friday night at home.

Sonora improves to 17-3 (6-1). The Lady Raiders will take on Fullerton on Friday, at Fullerton, before playing Troy next Wednesday, in what very well could be the game that decides the Freeway League champion.

“I am really proud of our seniors,” Barajas said. “It is really easy to let our emotions get the best of us tonight, but they still went out and played really well.”

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Lady Highlanders no match for Lancers

Posted on 29 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
A day after surprising Troy on the road, the La Habra girls soccer team could not match that energy in a 3-0 loss to Sunny Hills at home, Tuesday afternoon.

The fatigued Lady Highlanders gave up a penalty kick goal and an own goal in the first half and had only a few good chances at scoring throughout.

“We were just physically and emotionally exhausted,” said Matt Sanger, La Habra head coach. “It’s always tough to come in after an emotional win. Today we never really showed up and going back-to-back against Troy and Sunny Hills is probably the toughest thing to do in this league.”

Mirabell Morales scored the penalty kick goal for Sunny Hills in the 17th minute and tallied an assist on the Lady Lancers’ lone second half goal.

Before the penalty kick, La Habra was called for a handball in the box during a Sunny Hills corner kick.

Ten minutes later, Sunny Hills doubled the lead when a throw in by Bethany Hanson bounced off the head of forward Katelyn Rogers and past La Habra goalkeeper Avery Barboza.

The Lady Highlanders continued to fight, but rarely saw the ball on Sunny Hills’ half of the field in the first half.

Inspired by a halftime talk, La Habra came out with more energy to start the second half.

The Lady Highlanders spent the first 10 minutes of the half pressuring the Sunny Hills defense.

Brooke Mays tried to lead Rogers early on, but the forward was flagged offside.

Shortly after, Rogers sent a shot between two defenders, but it sailed over the crossbar.

Those two opportunities would prove to be the Lady Highlanders best chances at scoring, as Sunny Hills went back to putting the pressure for the remainder of the half.

In the 55th minute, Morales stole the ball from Teyana Franklin, dribbled down the middle and dumped a pass to Sarah Fajnor on the right.

Fajnor bumped a short-range shot past Barboza, leading to the game’s final score.

“They hadn’t lost the will to fight, but when you start the game with a call in the box and an own goal, it’s tough to fight back from,” Sanger said. “They did well to keep their heads up, any time you get your head down against a team like Sunny Hills, it could easily turn into five or six goals.”

La Habra defeated Troy 3-1 on the road, Monday, a game that was postponed from last Thursday due to weather.

Down 1-0 at half, the Lady Highlanders fought their way back with three second half goals.

The Lady Highlanders will host Fullerton, Friday at 3pm La Habra High.

“We just want to forget about this one quickly and move on, we won yesterday, so I wasn’t as concerned about the result today,” Sanger said. “Our ultimate goal is to make CIF again and the win over Troy really helped us with that.”

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Kylie Rodriguez: A force on the court for the Lady Raiders

Posted on 29 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal


Down by three points in the gym of it’s biggest rival, the Sonora basketball team knew it needed to make an adjustment if it was going to maintain its second place standing in the Freeway League.

That adjustment was feeding the team’s senior center in the post, a move that led to a dominant 17-point effort from Kylie and a 10-point win over La Habra last Friday.

But Kylie’s contributions don’t stop there. After a tough home loss to Troy, the senior has put up consecutive double-doubles in two important road games against Sunny Hills and La Habra as the Lady Raiders now have a stronghold behind Troy in the league standings.

“We put in a lot of hard work in practice,” she said. “I’ve been practicing for about an hour and a half on post moves each practice and we’ve been doing drills to get the ball inside more, so it’s been a team effort.”

Those drills came into play against La Habra last Friday. After the Lady Highlanders limited her to just two points in the first half, she dominated the second half, putting up 17 points as Sonora outscored its rival 27-14.

Kylie finished that game with 10 rebounds.

“The first half, I just felt like I wasn’t really there,” she said. “Rebounding wise it was decent, but it wasn’t my best. Once we talked at halftime, my teammates encouraged me and told me that if I posted up, they would keep getting me the ball. Once I got that first basket in the second half, I knew this was my game, I was going to take it.”

The performance was exactly what Sonora Head Coach Melissa Barajas was hoping to see, saying that she wanted her senior center to utilize the skills she developed in practice.

“When she goes strong she’s so tough to guard for post players because she’s so athletic,” Barajas said. “She struggled in the first half, but she kept at it, she didn’t give up and we were so proud of her, she was very successful in the second half.”

While Kylie has provided an important inside presence, she also credits the other seniors, Margo Campos and Avalon James, with their contributions as the trio continues to lead the team down the stretch.

Ultimately, for a team that is even in terms of class representation, the main goal for all three is to keep the team together and make sure everyone stays involved.

“Margo is a really good captain, she talks a lot, so I’m really happy to have her as one of my partners,” Kylie said. “Avalon works her butt off on defense and that’s a plus, she knows how to shut people down. In practice we want everyone to give their all and the three of us work really well together, I think our coaches did a great job in making that choice.”

While Kylie plays tough on the basketball court, her hobbies outside of the gym lead a bit to the contrary.

A senior, Kylie’s favorite subjects in school include English and Agricultural Economics because she loves to work with animals.

“I’ve had lambs and turkeys that I’ve sold in the past and not a lot of students can say that,” she said “I enjoy it a lot.”

Even more so, when she has free time, Kylie also enjoys baking and says she’ll bring cookies and other treats for her teammates at practices.

But the senior also enjoys having free time to either hang out with friends or stay in and watch a little television.

“I’m a typical teenager,” she said. “Sometimes I just like to turn on the TV and have something to eat and I’m set.”

However, opponents had better not let that ‘typical teenager’ tag fool them, because on the court, Kylie is as tough as they come and she has a great support system to help keep it that way.

“My [older] sister pushes me, she goes to a Division 1 school, so she’s always giving me advice on what to do if I want to get to the next level,” she said. “My parents are always getting on me about school, which is good and I have a good group of friends who encourage me to do my best.”

That support system has been crucial to Kylie’s success, which includes a handful of double-double performances and a post game that the rest of the league should be watching out for.

While Kylie has been a huge factor for her team so far, Barajas knows that if these types of games continue for her senior center, the team’s chances of winning are greater.

“Even when she’s not scoring, her rebounding and defensive presence are huge,” Barajas said. “It’s tough to score against her, she’s long, athletic and has great timing. She’s averaging over 10 rebounds per game and defensively, if we get beat, she’s there to protect the basket.”

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Raiders rout Highlanders in Freeway League win

Posted on 25 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Coming in off its first Freeway League loss last week against Sunny Hills, the Sonora boys basketball team wasted little time getting back on top on the scoreboard in a 69-34 trouncing of La Habra, Friday night at La Habra High.

Without leading scorer Jimmy Golden, out with the flu and a sprained ankle, the Raiders got 26 points from guard Josh Rodriguez and 14 points from forward Andrew Talley.

Using its formula for quick starts, the Raiders established a 28-7 lead after the first quarter thanks to one touch passing and movement without the ball. Sonora put it in cruise control from there.

Talley put up seven points in the first quarter and forwards Travis Ryal and Steven Murphy added six points each.

Sonora (19-3, 5-1) led 41-15 at halftime, led by Rodriguez and Talley with 11 points each.

In contrast, the Highlanders struggled without the ball-handling of Justin Jaimez, who suffered a concussion and a nose fracture against Buena Park one week prior.

Zach Gray, who led the Highlanders in scoring in La Habra’s previous two league contests, managed just two points and struggled driving the ball inside against Sonora’s size.

Michael Banks scored 10 points to lead La Habra, while Adam Cooley added eight points and six rebounds.

Turnovers haunted La Habra (8-13, 2-4) in the early going as the Highlanders lost eight possessions in the first quarter.

Steven Murphy hauled in 11 rebounds for the visiting Raiders, who host Buena Park next Wednesday.

La Habra continues the rough stretch of its league schedule with a road game at Troy High, Wednesday night.

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Strong second half leads Lady Raiders past La Habra

Posted on 25 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Led by Kylie Rodriguez’ second half surge, the Sonora girls basketball team kept a firm hold on the second spot in league play with a 43-33 come-from-behind win over La Habra, Friday night at La Habra High.

The senior center scored 17 of her 19 points in the second half in helping her team turn a small three-point deficit into a 10-point victory.

Margo Campos provided support with 15 points, 11 of which were scored in the first half while La Habra handled Rodriguez down low.

Early in the ball game, it was La Habra building the first half lead with a push to begin the second quarter.

After a slow-moving first quarter in which both teams worked the half-court offense, the Lady Highlanders turned to their quickness to pull away.

Allyson O’Brien scored five of her 11 points in the second quarter and Amy Wilbourn’s steal and fastbreak layup gave La Habra a 12-6 lead.

However, later in the quarter, Campos and Isela Hernandez would close the gap with 3-point shooting, closing it to a 19-16 score at halftime.

Early in the second half, Hernandez hit another 3-pointer and Rodriguez made two drives to the basket to tie the score at 23-23.

From that point on, Sonora (17-5, 5-1) would gain the advantage on rebounding and Rodriguez continued to stay aggressive on offense as the Lady Raiders stayed a game behind Troy in the Freeway League.

Wilbourn led the Lady Highlanders (14-7, 3-3) with 16 points, 10 of which came in the second half as Sonora keyed in on O’Brien, who was held to just two second-half points.

The Lady Highlanders will head to Troy on Wednesday night while Sonora hosts Buena Park.

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Maranatha shuts down Heralds

Posted on 23 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

WCHS_BBall__Boys_WebAfter being shutout in the third quarter, the Whittier Christian boys basketball team dropped a much needed Olympic League game against Maranatha, 46-41, Tuesday night at Whittier Christian High.

With a deficit as high as eight points against the Minutemen in the second quarter, Whittier Christian ended the first half on a 12-0 run to take a four-point halftime lead.

However, the momentum did not carry over and the Heralds tried to up the tempo in the third quarter, which led to a handful of missed shots.

“We were feeling good about the way we ended the half, I liked the heart that the boys played with down by eight,” said Sherwin Durham, Whittier Christian head coach. “Unfortunately it didn’t continue in the third quarter and our guys have to find other ways of scoring.”

The points came back in the fourth quarter, but with the Heralds in foul trouble, Maranatha iced the game on free throws.

Pepperdine-bound guard Jeremy Major led all scorers with 14 points for the Minutemen. Caylan Swinnie added 13 points for the visitors.

Ryan Esslinger led the Heralds with nine points and three assists, while center Stephen Nolin accumulated eight points and seven rebounds.

The Heralds will head north on Friday night for a tilt against Heritage Christian, which beat the Heralds 54-52 in the teams’ first meeting at Whittier Christian.

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Lady Heralds get past Maranatha in home win

Posted on 23 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy

Sydney Lopez had 28 points and 15 rebounds, recording a double-double for the second consecutive game against Maranatha Tuesday at home.

Sydney Lopez had 28 points and 15 rebounds, recording a double-double for the second consecutive game against Maranatha Tuesday at home.

La Habra Journal

With a fast start and a strong finish, the Whittier Christian girls basketball team claimed at least second place through the first round of Olympic League play with a 45-33 home win over Maranatha.

Sydney Lopez was dominant with 28 points and 15 rebounds, recording a double-double for the second consecutive game.

However, it was the supporting cast that made Head Coach Richard Villeza smile after Tuesday night’s win.

“It takes her other teammates to set screens, get her open and make passes, we have to have that ability to initiate the offense,” Villeza said. “They did a really good job of finding her tonight and the greatest thing was she was able to get started early which picked up the confidence level of everyone.”

The junior was strong all around, going 9-for-11 from the floor and 10-of-13 from the free throw line.

Lopez scored nine points in the first quarter as the Lady Heralds jumped to an early lead and held a seven-point advantage at halftime.

Victoria Chang and Kei Lani Ando kept Maranatha close with seven first half points each.

Both team struggled early in the third quarter as turnovers played a role, but after a 5-0 run from Maranatha, Lopez scored six consecutive points to maintain a 32-24 lead heading into the final quarter.

With the lead, Whittier Christian seized the opportunity to take second place and ran away as again Lopez converted shots from the line and guards Priscilla Zamarano and Lauren Macias chipped in with big shots.

On the defensive side, the Lady Heralds made Maranatha’s 6-foot-2 center Fola Adesina a non-factor, limiting her to two points and three total rebounds in limited play.

Chang led Maranatha with 17 points with support from Ando, who scored 10 points.

The Lady Heralds now have a huge opportunity on the road to even up a score as they take on Heritage Christian for an opportunity at a share of the league lead on Friday.

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La Habra’s 300 Bowl hosts punk show for charity

Posted on 20 January 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Sarah Negrete
La Habra Journal

By Nicole Anderson/La Habra Journal

Dirty Hammer performs at the 300 Bowl.

The La Habra community was able to rock for a cause Saturday night. Students of Help for Brain Injured Children Foundation (HBIC) benefited by the Punk N’ Bowl charity concert held at La Habra 300 Bowling alley.

Hundreds of people came to the bowling alley to donate $15 to the HBIC in exchange for an unlimited round of bowling and to watch all 6 punk bands performing in the bowling alley’s very own bar. General Manager Andrea Werren organizes a generous donation show once a month at the alley, and punk music is her genre choice to bring in the large attendance.

“Local punk bands always bring big groups of people. With this many people coming to see the bands play, combined with our efforts to donate to non-profit organizations is a great way to give back to the community of La Habra,” Werren said.

Gag and the staff members of the bowling alley reached out to the coordinators of HBIC about a year ago, informing them that they were willing to use their annual Punk N’ Bowl charity show to benefit their members this year. Since the members of the HBIC are frequently in and out of the bowling alley, staff members agreed that they were great candidates to receive the donation from this show.

Behavior Specialist for the HBIC’s Cleta Harder Developmental School (CHDS) Juan Benavides came to the punk show, excited about the generosity of the bowling alley, and eager to promote awareness about the HBIC.

“Always being able to bring members to the alley allows them to practicing community skills, and helps them with interacting with people in public,” Benavides said. “We want our kids not to be secluded, we want them to be integrated into the community.”

Many people were gathering outside, anticipating an exciting night with the unlimited bowling and punk performances. Punk band member and lead vocalist Spencer Gilpatrick of Dirty Hammer expressed great appreciation for the benefit show.

“Although this is our first time performing at this bowling alley, we have played benefit shows before. Playing in benefit for the HBIC feels great, and we would do this again, any time, any place,” Gilpatrick said.

The benefit show brought many people of all ages, and some even traveled from far to watch a good show and partake in the great deal of unlimited bowling for only the $15 donation. High school students from Huntington Beach Ian Pulsifer, and Duncan Boysinau drove all the way to La Habra last Saturday for the show.

“We are here for simply the music and bowling,” Boysinau said. “I brought money for the donation, which is cool because we can all bowl and listen to the band Radioactive Chicken Heads,” Pulsifer added.

In addition to the band members and the audience, some staff members felt it was nice to work at the only place in La Habra that brings punk music into the community for a good cause. “It’s an interesting show, with a good crowd,” said employee Anthony Valdivia. “Many kids are coming out to donate and to watch the bands we booked to perform in the back of our bar.”

The whole bowling alley was filled with fans of punk music and bowling, with each lane completely reserved for those who donated to the HBIC. The show was an all ages show, and surprisingly the alley comfortably accommodated the large groups who came to support the event. La Habra’s Punk N’ Bowl charity concert was definitely a creative and generous effort to give.

For more information on the Help for Brain Injured Children Foundation, visit their Facebook page or its website at For additional information of upcoming events at La Habra 300 Bowling Alley, visit

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