Archive | February, 2014

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Raiders win in comeback fashion against Arlington in quarterfinals

Posted on 28 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Ben Rico hit a clutch 3-pointer to give the Raiders a 49-44 lead with 19.1 seconds remaining, leading to a 49-46 road win over Arlington in the CIF-SS Division 2A quarterfinals, Friday night.

Ben Rico hit a clutch 3-pointer to give the Raiders a 49-44 lead with 19.1 seconds remaining, leading to a 49-46 road win over Arlington in the CIF-SS Division 2A quarterfinals, Friday night.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

RIVERSIDE – Traveling for the second time in four days, the Sonora boys’ basketball team persevered in a tough environment, leading to a narrow 49-46 victory against Arlington in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, Friday night at Arlington High.

After scoring the game’s first bucket, the Raiders found themselves trailing the Lions throughout the contest until a 3-pointer by Adam Marlow gave Sonora the lead back at 42-40 with 5:12 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The lead would remain slim until junior Ben Rico hit a crucial 3-pointer from the corner to give Sonora a 49-44 lead with 19.1 seconds remaining.

“It was a big shot, Josh [Rodriguez] found me in the corner, I’ve been cold the past couple games, but I wasn’t missing that one,” Rico said. “We knew [long road games] could be the case coming into the playoffs, we don’t let the drives faze us, we just come out ready to play our game. Today we came out a little flat, but we worked hard and got the win.”

Both teams exploited their opponents’ defenses. Early on, center Steven Murphy’s movement down low led to easy layups and he scored six points in the first quarter.

Arlington countered with sophomore guard Kayn Calhoun, who used his quickness to gain separation for a pair of 3-pointers and a driving layup.

However, the Lions had to alter their gameplan when Calhoun went down with a right leg injury late in the first quarter.

“It changed our gameplan quite a bit,” said Arlington Head Coach John Seydel of the injury. “The nice thing about Kayn is that he has nice speed with the ball to penetrate, but if he backs off, he can hit 3s, but that’s the game, things happen, it definitely changed the gameplan. I give [Sonora] all the credit for the comeback, I thought we played pretty well too.”

Still, Arlington fed off the home crowd and kept itself two steps ahead of the Raiders in a low-scoring second quarter. The Lions led 26-21 at halftime behind Kenshael Airrington’s 13 first-half points.

Sonora came out ready to play in the third quarter, starting with a rebound putback by Rico, which led to a three-point play.

“Tonight, I was trying to be really calm [at halftime] because it seemed like they were frazzled,” Mike Murphy said. “I thought we came out and did a good job in the second half, but I liked our sets tonight, we kept getting layups early and that kept us in the game in the first half.”

However, Seydel would use Airrington to shield Murphy away from the ball-handler, forcing Sonora to make a choice to double -team him, or leave him in a favorable position in the post. Ultimately, it led to uncontested 3-pointers, of which Arlington made four in the quarter.

However, Sonora countered by driving in and finding Murphy who fought for five points in the quarter. The Raiders also hit clutch shots, including 3-pointers by Josh Rodriguez and Rico to tie up the ballgame at 37-37.

But the Lions shielded Murphy one more time, leading to a buzzer-beating shot by Brandon Jackson to take a 40-37 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“They’re very solid and have good quickness and we don’t have much size,” Seydel said. “Because of that, we try to make our opponents’ big men move, but I thought he did a pretty good job tonight. We try to make their bigs defend our pick-and-roll and it worked pretty well tonight.”

But as the Raiders have done before in tough environments, they pulled through late. Rhodes started the fourth quarter with a jump shot, followed by Marlow’s 3-pointer as Sonora regained the lead.

Josh Rodriguez followed with a jumper and Murphy put in a layup, but Airrington and Robert Garcia drove in for layups to decrease the deficit to two points, leading to an Arlington timeout.

After the break, Rodriguez found Rico in the corner, who buried the 3-pointer and all but sealed the come-from-behind victory for the Raiders.

“This was a tough team, a lot like a Sunny Hills or a Canyon,” Mike Murphy said. “Our schedule played a big part in this, we played those guys four times and that really prepared us for tonight. We’ve had a lot of ugly wins this year and as long as we have one more point in the end, we’re all right.”

Murphy and Rico led the Raiders with 13 points each, while Rodriguez added 12 points and Marlow led with eight rebounds.

Airrington led the Lions with 15 points, 13 of which came in the first half. Calhoun, who re-entered the game toward the end of the second quarter, scored eight of his 13 points in the first quarter.

Arlington finishes its season with a 19-10 record and has three starters returning next season.

“We had 10 losses, but when I look at those, I don’t see any bad losses, they were all against quality teams,” Seydel said. “That’s a credit to our kids for showing up and working together.”

Sonora (27-3) will host a semifinal game for the first time in Mike Murphy’s career at the school. The Raiders, who haven’t lost at home in two years, will face off against Oak Hills of Hesperia, Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

“We haven’t lost their in two years, so I think we’re looking good,” Rico said. “We’re really tough to beat at home, so it should be a fun game.”

Comments Off on Raiders win in comeback fashion against Arlington in quarterfinals

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sonora goes the distance, gets past Righetti in second round

Posted on 26 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Ben Rico (pictured against Troy) scored 20 points and secured 11 rebounds in the Raiders' 67-48 road victory at Righetti in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, Tuesday night.

Ben Rico (pictured against Troy) scored 20 points and secured 11 rebounds in the Raiders’ 67-48 road victory at Righetti in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, Tuesday night.

SANTA MARIA – Not even a 180-mile one way trip could slow down the top-seeded Sonora boys’ basketball team in a 67-48 victory over Righetti in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs.

Despite being on the road for over three hours before the game, the Raiders sprinted out to an early lead and held it throughout to move on to the quarterfinal round, which surpasses the team’s finish from a season ago.

Josh Rodriguez led the Raiders with 22 points and seven assists, while Ben Rico posted a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Adam Marlow also scored in double digits with 13 points and Christian Rhodes supplied support with five assists and five steals.

Sonora (26-3) started strong, scoring 21 points in the first quarter, which led to a 32-24 halftime lead. In the third quarter, the Raiders gained separation by outscoring the Warriors 16-7.

Righetti (16-11) was led by junior forward Cameron Walker’s 19 points.

The Raiders will play a second consecutive road contest on Friday when they battle Arlington of Riverside in the quarterinals, Friday at 7 p.m.

The Lions defeated Redlands East Valley in the second round, 71-70.

Comments Off on Sonora goes the distance, gets past Righetti in second round

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Highlanders struggle to keep pace with Canyon, fall in second round

Posted on 25 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Adam Cooley (pictured) and Zach Gray led the Highlanders with 15 points each, but La Habra lost to Canyon of Canyon Country 67-50, ending its season at 16-12.

Adam Cooley (pictured) and Zach Gray led the Highlanders with 15 points each, but La Habra lost to Canyon of Canyon Country 67-50, ending its season at 16-12.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

SANTA CLARITA – After picking up its upset win in the first round, the La Habra boys’ basketball team couldn’t match a quick tempo by Canyon of Canyon Country in a 67-50 loss in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2AA playoffs, Tuesday night at Canyon High.

The Highlanders fell into a double-digit deficit twice in the first half, but responded well both times and went into halftime down by six points.

However, in the third quarter, Canyon’s quick zone defense caused problems for the Highlanders, who rushed shots and missed second chance opportunities down low.

“They do an extended zone, so we were really trying to get the ball down low to Adam [Cooley], but it was hard,” said Dave Ploog, La Habra head coach. “Their pressure was forcing us to take bad shots and we really couldn’t get into rhythm. I thought we had some really good looks on 3-pointers, but against a team like this you have to hit your shots and we shot a really low 3-point percentage tonight.”

Canyon switched between full-court press and half court zone defensive schemes. During full-court presses, La Habra struggled to find breathing room in the backcourt.

The Cowboys turned some of those turnovers into fastbreak points and Canyon did most of its damage by slashing through defenders to get to the basket and hitting timely 3-pointers.

“I think we were just surprised by their tempo, because we didn’t see a lot of teams that play this way,” Ploog said. “We just weren’t able to get into a groove.”

Canyon guard Mark Cabrera scored 12 of his 16 points by consistently driving through the interior of La Habra’s defense.

Cabrera was only outdone by guard Ben Taufahema, who scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Cowboys ran away into the quarterfinals.

“In the second half, [their pace] had a major impact because we were also in foul trouble,” Ploog said. “We weren’t really getting into rhythm, we weren’t getting any good looks. In the fourth quarter, we were scoring, but they kept getting them back.”

The Highlanders tried to slow down and stick to their offensive gameplan, but found themselves getting forced into Canyon’s tempo by an aggressive Cowboys’ zone defense.

If La Habra broke through the defense for a score, Canyon would try to run the floor, forcing La Habra to be aware and quick in transition, which wasn’t always easy.

However, in the first half, La Habra was resilient and battled back. In the second quarter, the Highlanders adjusted defensively to hold Canyon to 12 points..

After falling behind 16-4 midway in the first quarter, Zach Gray hit a jumper and a 3-pointer to lead a 10-2 run by La Habra to end the opening frame.

The Highlanders again fell behind by double digits at 26-16 in the second quarter, but the team responded with aggressive offensive play, which may not have resulted in baskets from the floor, but it did lead to six made free throws.

But after a half of trying to keep pace, the Highlanders struggled to find good shots against Canyon’s aggressive zone, scoring just five points in the third quarter.

Canyon (23-6) ran away, scoring 27 points in the fourth quarter. La Habra’s season ends at 16-12.

Gray and Adam Cooley led the Highlanders with 15 points each, while David Desatoff and Michael Banks added seven points.

Cooley led the team with eight rebounds, while Desatoff came away with seven rebounds.

“Our seniors were able to bond, knowing that this was their last chance,” Ploog said. “I thought we came together well at the end of the season. As a coach, it’s great to have kids that like to work hard and like to play together and that’s what I’ll take away from this season. Not the wins and losses, but the fact that this team was always ready to work hard and play together.”

The Highlanders will lose 10 seniors to graduation, which means Ploog and his staff may have to alter their offensive gameplan moving forward for next year.

One thing that will remain constant will be the emphasis on defense, which showed progress this year in comparison to his debut season as head coach last year.

“We just need to keep focusing on our keys and work on becoming more of an offensive team,” Ploog said. “We want to work on some more sets. This year, we were able to spread the floor and let our athletes work, but we may need to change that moving forward. We always work hard and take pride in our defense, but we have a lot of guards coming up, so we may need to play a faster game.

Comments Off on Highlanders struggle to keep pace with Canyon, fall in second round

Tags: , , , , , , ,

City looks for new Depot tenant

Posted on 24 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

It has been nearly a year since the lights faded on the last production at the La Habra Depot Theater. Since then, Whittier Christian students have cleaned, painted and organized the city-owned facility, but it has remained empty.
However, the city is looking to find an occupant for the city’s iconic theater. LH-Depot-Thrater__P1
“We’d like to get someone in there who will work with the community and offer the community some great  shows,” said David De Leon, La Habra’s Recreation Manager.
DeLeon explained that the city is currently accepting applications and proposals from local theater groups to operate the historic, 135-capacity venue and produce quality shows on a regular basis.
Interested groups are encouraged to submit a proposal to the Recreation Department by Thursday, March 6, at 4 p.m.
Application packets can be picked up by contacting David De Leon at (562) 384-4306.
As for what they are looking for in a future tenant, aside from professionalism and ability to manage and run shows from beginning to end, De Leon said he is hoping that the new people look to incorporate the community more, such as having children’s theater programs and working with the three local high schools.
The previous, all-volunteer group that operated the theater, had difficulty raising money and were unable to pay its bills, so the city terminated its contract with the group last March. City officials are hopeful that the next group that comes in will be more successful.
The historic building was built in 1908 as the Pacific Electric Depot to haul citrus fruit as well as the walnuts growing in the southern part of the valley. The railroad was also used to haul equipment to the newly-developed oil lands in this area. It was renovated into a Community Performing Arts Facility in 1909 and moved across Euclid to Portola Park.

Comments Off on City looks for new Depot tenant

Tags: , , , ,

Heights hires Republic as new trash hauler

Posted on 24 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Daniel Hernandez
La Habra Journal

La Habra Heights Council members selected a new, larger trash hauler, Republic Services, to manage the city’s waste last Thursday at the February council meeting.

A worker prepares: Republic Services’ blue trucks line up and prepare for service. The La Habra Heights City Council approved the contract to make Republic the city’s new trash service provider.

A worker prepares: Republic Services’ blue trucks line up and prepare for service. The La Habra Heights City Council approved the contract to make Republic the city’s new trash service provider.

After debating between three trash companies, Republic Services, ETCO and Athens, every member of the council concluded that the company offering the cheapest price met the city’s needs.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to service the Heights community,” Republic Services Municipal Relationship Manager Mark McGee said in an email statement.
Republic’s $17.75 fee for three 96-gallon carts, one which includes green waste, captured the attention of all elected officials. The low fee initially won council member Brian Bergman over after he stated that in previous meetings he promised community members to seek lower fees for trash services.
“There are a lot of things to consider, and I’m leaning toward obviously reducing the cost,” Bergman said.
Republic maintains contracts in 36 cities with a significant presence in Orange County. Republic’s low proposed rate is about 58 percent lower than what the Heights current trash servicer offered at $29.50.
“Republic is a national hauler,” said LH Heights Councilman Kyle Miller. “To me, on the surface, it seems like they are taking advantage of economies of scale, which is kind of what we were looking for.”
Because of an ordinance passed by the Heights council during the summer, trash services in the community are now mandatory. In the past, some members of the city opted out of trash services completely and preferred to haul trash out on their own.
“There are about 300 residential premises that are not being billed by Haul-Away for refuse services,” said consultant David L. Davis said at last week’s meeting.
The second-lowest bidder for the job was EDCO Disposal, who is also the council’s second choice and the next in line for the job if contract negotiations are not settled with Republic in the next 60 days.
Some evaluation categories in the selection process were experience, financial capability, safety record and an interview. Ninety percent of the selection process was determined by a scoring matrix, while 10 percent was determined by the interview, this is where Haul-Away scored low, Davis said.

Getting charged: Republic Service’s environmentally friendly trucks fuel up. Republic is the new trash service provider for La Habra Heights after approval by city council.

Getting charged: Republic Service’s environmentally friendly trucks fuel up. Republic is the new trash service provider for La Habra Heights after approval by city council.

In the evaluation presented by Davis, the raw scores indicated that Republic and EDCO scored the highest, 30, in the interview, while Haul-Away scored one of the lowest, 15.
“Sometimes cheaper isn’t always better,” Heights Mayor Roy Francis said during the meeting.
The incumbent trash hauler also scored the second-lowest with experience, 19, and the lowest, 10, at financial capability, according to the report provided by Davis.
Republic and EDCO scored the highest, 24, at financial capability.
Morrie Beliakoff, president of Haul-Away, spoke at the podium in his allotted three minutes given to all community members, asking for a re-evaluation. Beliakoff asked for council to consider hearing oral presentations from the top four firms.
“I do not feel that the findings fairly represent our proposal to you,” Beliakoff said. “We were graded as not being as financially capable as most of our competitors.” He then conceded to this assessment. “We’re a 20-truck operation versus 600, 500, 900 trucks.”
Council did not discuss his request for more discussion. Haul-Away has been in long negotiations in the past with the city. These extended talks are what led to the city seeking outside bids from other vendors.
“We believe the difference is the result of Republic having securing long term contracts for dump sites and economies of scale,” City Manager Shauna Clark said in an email. “Republic is a larger company than what we have now, but I am assured by our consultant and the review panel that Republic is more than willing to adjust to our needs.”
Clark hopes to bring the franchise agreement upon council at the next meeting on March 13, and she said a transition between Haul-Away and Republic could take up to 60 days.
Francis expressed some sadness after the meeting when asked about losing Haul-Away, who serviced the Heights for about 20 years.
But after much debate by the council, he agrees with the decision and feels the city seems poised to save residents money on its trash services.

Comments Off on Heights hires Republic as new trash hauler

Tags: , , , , , ,

Lady Highlanders surprise one special LHHS supporter

Posted on 24 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

La Habra High School’s number one fan, Aurielle Karr, got the surprise of a lifetime at her basketball game on Sunday that she will cherish forever.

Highlander support: Members of the Lady Highlanders basketball team hold up signs behind LHHS alumna Aurielle Karr at her basketball game Sunday at First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton.

Highlander support: Members of the Lady Highlanders basketball team hold up signs behind LHHS alumna Aurielle Karr at her basketball game Sunday at First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton.

Aurielle graduated through the Special Education Department at La Habra High School in 2012 and still attends all of the school’s games with homemade posters to support and cheer on all of the athletes.
The La Habra High School girls’ basketball team appreciated all of the support they received from her over the years, so they decided to return the support in a very similar way.
“Her senior year the girls’ basketball team made her kind of like a team mascot and she got to lead the team in every home game, she got to go in the team room, she would lead the cheers, and that kind of started our bond with the girls’ basketball team,” said Krista Karr, Aurielle’s mom.
The Lady Highlanders’ basketball team, coaches, and parents went to Aurielle’s basketball game at The First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton on Sunday with posters that they made for their number one fan. After the initial shock of seeing the team, a huge smile emerged as tears of joy rolled down Aurielle’s face.
“It was amazing and exciting,” said Aurielle Karr about the surprise. “Basketball is one of my favorite sports of all time. My dad taught me how to play so I grew up with it. It’s great to have them come out here and surprise me with all of the posters. When I first saw them I was like oh my gosh and my heart started melting and I had a great game. I was very excited and it was amazing.”
The Lady Highlanders sat on the sidelines and cheered on Aurielle as her team, the Bearcats, took on the Pirates.
“It always feels good to give back to her,” said Megan Chancellor, a senior on the La Habra basketball team. “She’s not only a support to us, but she’s a support to all of the other sports and it’s great to be able to support her. She always makes posters for us, so we made posters for her and obviously she was very happy. She cried when we first saw her, so it was awesome. It warms my heart and I love her to death.”
Aurielle’s support not only affects the athletes, but impacts the parents and coaches as well.
“I’ve been here four years now and she’s been to all of our games for the four years supporting us,” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head coach. “It’s fantastic to come out here and give our support to her. It was touching for her and touching for us to see the reaction when we were here and I think it’s something that we want to continue doing more of.”
“It’s nice to be able to give back,” said Jennifer Zener, a Lady Highlander parent. “She’s been dedicated the entire year, they traveled to our away games, and they’ve been to almost every league game so to see her shed a tear when she saw the girls was really rewarding.”
Aurielle’s parents were very appreciative of not only the surprise she received at the game, but also the support and love she has received over the years.
“It’s amazing the character that these girls and all of La Habra High School have shown,” said Krista Karr. “It’s more than just winning a game, it’s about being quality people. They see the good and they see past whatever special need she has into her heart and it’s amazing.”
“It kind of chokes you up a little bit,” added Aurielle’s Dad. “Watching Coach Bohn with all of the girls, they’re just great kids. We love watching them, we love going to their games and watching Aurielle support them. To have them come out here and support Aurielle is truly just amazing.”

Driving the lane: LHHS alumna and Highlander team supporter Aurielle Karr dribbles down the court at her basketball game Sunday afternoon at First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton.

Driving the lane: LHHS alumna and Highlander team supporter Aurielle Karr dribbles down the court at her basketball game Sunday afternoon at First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton.

While Aurielle makes poster of her own and cheers on various teams at games, none of it would be possible without the support and encouragement she gets from her parents who take her to the games and cheer for the teams and their daughter.
“We hope she gets friendships out of this,” said Krista Karr. “The support, the caring, the being able to see how other people support each other, and the encouragement to do her best.”
Aurielle’s basketball team is part of a program called Hoops and Stars, also known as HoopStars. The program is a volunteer organization that gives developmentally disabled individuals the chance to play basketball.
“She loves sports,” said Krista Karr. “This whole league is amazing and the fact that she can play basketball and fit in and feel like she’s a team participant is a great thing. When they shoot a basket, even if you don’t see any other emotion, you can see their face light up, so what more could you ask for. It brings happiness to them.”
Robin Preston founded the program in 1997. It started with five players, including her son, and has grown over the past 17 years to 400 players in three cities: Fullerton, Anaheim, and La Verne.
“I believe they gain more than just athletic involvement,” said Robin Preston. “I think a big plus for them is that they have some social interaction with individuals that they trust, that they feel at home with, and that they’re accepted by. I think it’s wonderful for them to be around the families of other young adults in their situation.”
HoopStars’ mission is to instill a sense of accomplishment, teamwork, and competition while providing physical activity and enhancing self-esteem.
“It’s amazing to see the joy they get out of playing,” Preston added. “When they make a basket and all of the crowd cheers for them, it’s very, very heartwarming and it allows them to be successful. This is where they’re accepted and celebrated.”
Although Aurielle’s team lost, the joy and excitement from all of the players was enough to light up the gym and the hearts of everyone watching.

Comments Off on Lady Highlanders surprise one special LHHS supporter

Tags: , ,

Local author shares experiences for children

Posted on 24 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Heather Pape
La Habra Journal

After stockpiling ideas for children’s books for years, retired pastor and professor Ron Kernaghan finally decided to publish his first children’s book, “The Town Without Underwear.”

Children’s book author Ron Kernaghan has been a resident of La Habra for the last 22 years. His book, “The Town Without Underwear”, was released this past December.

Children’s book author Ron Kernaghan has been a resident of La Habra for the last 22 years. His book, “The Town Without Underwear”, was released this past December.

As a resident of La Habra since 1992, Kernaghan has been invested in the community since his kids were in junior high. For his first five years here, he was a pastor at La Habra Hills Presbyterian Church. After that, he taught at Fuller Theological Seminary until his retirement last September. Kernaghan wanted to use his newfound free time to pursue the things he has always had a passion for—woodworking and children’s literature.
“I’ve always enjoyed writing,” said Kernaghan. “I had been thinking about retirement for a couple years, and I wanted to do some things in retirement that had always been on my mind. One of [those things] was writing.”
“The Town Without Underwear” is the story of young Carl who takes a trip to the beach with his grandma and his dog, Gavin. After a fun day rolling around in the sand, Carl and his grandma try to get rid of the uncomfortable sand and they find themselves in some weird circumstances on the road trip home. It is a tale recommended for 5-9 year olds and it is full of life lessons, funny situations and light-hearted humor.
“I know that not everything that happens for children is enjoyable, but even for those kids who suffer hard things, I want to remind them that there is such a thing as happiness and joy, and that is part of my commitment to children’s literature,” Kernaghan said.
The story was inspired by a real-life scenario that Kernaghan went through with his own children when they were younger. One day, they all went to the beach with their grandmother and got sand in places where it did not belong, but could not find anywhere that sold underwear on the way home. Kernaghan felt like this was a great story to tell that would also help his children remember their grandma fondly. He had held onto this story all these years, and now he finally had the time to see his story come to fruition.
Not only did Kernaghan decide to do something new with his life, he also decided to have it presented in a new way. As of now, the book is only available digitally on Amazon, and there’s a reason for that. Kernaghan chose to do that because he wants to revamp the way children’s books are read. He envisions a day when teachers will not have to read and then turn the book for all the kids to see the pictures. Instead, he dreams of a time when books can be shown on a large screen so all the children can see the illustrations at the same time and read along with their teachers. Book cover_
“If I’ve got a copy on my computer, then I can connect that to a large screen TV,” said Kernaghan. “So if I’ve got a group of five or six kids that I’m reading to, we can all sit around family style and everybody can see the pictures—and I think even more importantly they can see the words. The reading aloud experience reinforces what they are learning about reading on their own.”
While the book has not yet gained widespread popularity, Kernaghan plans on “The Town Without Underwear” being the first book in a three-part series. Now that Kernaghan is retired, he has time to write and publish all the story ideas he has been cooking over the years, and that is something he is very excited about.
“I want there to be an element of joy in what I do, in children’s literature in particular,” he said.

Comments Off on Local author shares experiences for children

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Lady Highlanders can’t hold off second-half rally by Yucaipa

Posted on 22 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Megan Chancellor scored 15 points in La Habra's first round loss to Yucaipa, Saturday night at home.

Megan Chancellor scored 15 points in La Habra’s first round loss to Yucaipa, Saturday night at home.

by Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

After a hard fought game, the La Habra High School girls’ basketball team lost to Yucaipa, 58-55, in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2AA playoffs , at home on Saturday.

“We studied them a lot,” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head coach. “We saw some video on them and were able to watch their game and their scheme that they have.”

The Highlanders (15-11) had the lead until the end of the fourth quarter when the Thunderbirds scored six consecutive points to put them in the lead, 54-49.

“I thought we played them very well in the first half,” Bohn said. “We held their shooters in check and moved the ball well as a team. In the second half we had some bad rotations and 12 free throws that we missed that made a difference too.”

La Habra started strong in the first quarter, holding Yucaipa (12-11) to only 2 points.

Megan Chancellor scored the first points of the game with a drive through defenders for a layup, assisted by Ashleigh Bessler. La Habra led, 9-2, going into the second quarter.

The Highlanders scored quickly in the beginning of the second quarter with a baseline jump shot by Emma Zener.

The Thunderbirds responded by scoring four points, but Zener fired back with another jump shot assisted by Bessler.

The Highlanders led, 25-14, going into halftime.

“I told them you have to come out and own the first three minutes of that game and we didn’t do that,” Bohn said. “When we don’t do that, that’s usually what happens. We had a tight game, we didn’t rotate, their guards got free, we didn’t step up in the lane when we should have and that hurt us. They’re a good team and they deserved to win tonight.”

Yucaipa came back strong on offense in the second half and scored four consecutive points at the beginning of the third quarter.

Bessler responded with two points off an offensive rebound and Amanda Cuervo followed with a jump shot.

The Thunderbirds came back in the middle of the quarter with a 10-0 run, which put them in the lead, 31-29.

La Habra pushed the ball on offense and scored two 3-pointers, by Zener and Chancellor, and a jump shot by Lizette Martinez, with less than a minute left in the quarter.

“I think the turnovers, the free throws, and the rotations hurt us,” Bohn said. “In the third quarter we didn’t have our hands up and were just standing like statues and they beat us in the backdoor. We made some adjustments and it’s unfortunate that players didn’t step up during that time.”

La Habra led, 42-40, going into the final quarter.

Both teams fought hard in the final quarter, but Yucaipa clinched the win by making a free throw with a few seconds left in the game.

Zener led the team in scoring with five 3-pointers and a total of 20 points and Chancellor followed with 15 points.

“They fought and it’s a great experience for the young ones,” Bohn said. “It’s unfortunate for Kaili and Megan to go out that way, but looking at the big picture, they did more than we expected this year.”

Comments Off on Lady Highlanders can’t hold off second-half rally by Yucaipa

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lady Heralds struggle with ball pressure, fall in second round

Posted on 22 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

IMG_7559by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

A relentless full court press left the Whittier Christian girls’ basketball team scrambling to protect the ball in its second round matchup against St. Joseph of Santa Maria.

St. Joseph’s furious defensive effort led to easy baskets in transition and a lopsided 70-32 victory in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 4A playoffs, Saturday night at Whittier Christian High.

The Lady Knights jumped out to a commanding lead, up 17-5 with two minutes left in the first quarter and never looked back.

“They were just making layup after layup,” head coach Grace Ricafranca said.

With starting point guard Priscilla Zamorano out with a knee injury, St. Joseph capitalized on the Lady Herald’s ball-handling struggles.

“We had a difficult time bringing the ball down and setting up into our offense,” Ricafranca said. “We were very uncomfortable as far as ball handling wise today and we just lost control.”

Without their primary ball handler, the Lady Heralds relied on Sydney Lopez not only to rebound and defend the paint, but also set up her teammates.

“She plays our 1 through 5 and she’s able to do it all,” Ricafranca said.

Unfortunately for the Lady Heralds, St. Joseph (17-9) came prepared to prevent her from taking over.

“I thought we did a good job taking (Lopez) out of her game, making her have to work,” said Ed Torres, St. Joseph head coach. “We that knew we had to stop her, their leading scorer, leading everything. We knew we had to try and neutralize her.”

From there the Lady Knights were able to individually stop their matchups. St. Joseph junior, Syenna Ramirez shut down Hannah Yoshihara, limiting her to just six points and led her team in scoring with 31 points.

Senior Kaitlyn Flowers scored 23 points as well as teamed up with Kaitlyn Jarrett to shut down the Lady Herald’s inside presence.

With the loss, the Lady Heralds finish their season 15-12. Seven of their 13 players will return next year, including Christa Evans who battled for 11 points, to lead her team, including five points in the fourth quarter.

“A lot of these girls have not only grown as basketball players but as young women,” Ricafranca said. “I think that the suffering has allowed us to develop our character and also learn how to persevere.”

Comments Off on Lady Heralds struggle with ball pressure, fall in second round

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Size disadvantage dooms Lady Raiders in first round against Patriot

Posted on 22 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Senior Lauren Nakahara scored nine points in her final game at Sonora High. The Lady Raiders fell to Patriot in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, 52-39 at Patriot High, Saturday night.

Senior Lauren Nakahara scored nine points in her final game at Sonora High. The Lady Raiders fell to Patriot in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, 52-39 at Patriot High, Saturday night.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

RIVERSIDE – After earning a spot in the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs as an at-large team, the Sonora girls’ basketball team couldn’t overcome a size disadvantage against Patriot, falling 52-39 in the first round, Saturday night at Patriot High.

The Lady Warriors dominated in the paint on both sides of the ball, blocking shots on the defensive end, while backing in Sonora’s interior defenders and knocking down layups on the offensive end.

“We struggled attacking the zone, at times we did what we wanted,” Barajas said. “We got a little flustered in the beginning and we weren’t really disciplined about setting picks or reading the right gaps. When we did, I thought we got some good looks, but we needed to do that consistently.”

Patriot’s Tamia Hewitt led all scorers with 16 points and did all of her damage in the paint. Sabrina Avery added 12 points for the Lady Warriors.

Defensively, Sonora tried using a full-court press to speed up Patriot’s offense with the hopes that it led to turnovers.

However, when Patriot got the ball across midcourt, it found success by getting the ball into the interior.

“We knew that once they got to half court, their size and strength would be imposing on us,” Barajas said. “We needed to get our double teams a little bit quicker off the block. Once they got inside, there wasn’t much we could do.”

Offensively, Patriot’s size and zone defense prevented the Lady Raiders from attempting to push shots inside.

Instead, Sonora had to settle for outside jumpers, but they weren’t falling early on as Patriot led 29-8 after the first half.

After the Lady Warriors (23-3) pushed the lead to its highest point at 34-11, the Lady Raiders found some success in the fourth quarter.

Megan Matsumoto hit two 3-pointers, while Andrea Agramon and Lauren Nakahara added five points each in the final quarter, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

“I thought we gave great effort today, but we really needed to turn them over a bit more,” Barajas said.

Marissa Dunn led the Lady Raiders with 10 points, while Matsumoto and Nakahara added nine points each.

In addition to her point total, Hewitt added 10 rebounds, while Avery secured nine rebounds for Patriot.

The loss ends Sonora’s season at 11-16 overall, but the playoff experience should provide a benefit for the future.

“This is extremely valuable, we were so excited for all these opportunities because it sort of gets the fear out,” Barajas said. “They know what to expect in the coming years, they know how to prepare, they know what the top teams are going to look like. Our future looks bright and we know that the kids are going to put in the work to get to the next level.”

Barajas will be losing two seniors to graduation, one being starting point guard Nakahara, who had been a varsity starter for three years.

“Both are really great kids,” Barajas said. “Lauren has been a major part of our success. This year was obviously tough…but she’s a tough kid, she’s never missed a practice, she’s there every day working hard. I’m so proud of her and I know she’s going to have a bright future with whatever she does because she’s such a great kid and has a great work ethic.”

Comments Off on Size disadvantage dooms Lady Raiders in first round against Patriot

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here

Current Issue: