Archive | February, 2015

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LHHS Theater guild opens ‘Les Miserables’ this weekend

Posted on 27 February 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Rahel Ramos
La Habra Journal

Just a week after closing their latest show, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, La Habra High School is already back in the swing of things and ready to do it again as they prepare for arguably their toughest show yet. “Les Misérables” is an emotionally packed show based on Victor Hugo’s classic tale that takes place during the French Revolution.

LHHS Guild logo

La Habra High School’s Theater Guild is known for having a wide variety of talented students, yet they are all able to come together to showcase their skills and tell this remarkable story about grace and forgiveness.


“Our rehearsal period was really quick. [I watched students] navigate all the different things going on in their lives, like sports and [other shows],” said choreographer, Annie Lavin, who has been choreographing the LHHS Theater Guild’s productions for nine seasons.


The things these students are learning throughout the process of rehearsing for a show helps prepare students for college and beyond.  Many of these students are involved in various other campus activities including sports, AP classes, volunteer-work, and part-time jobs.


”It’s about time management and being responsible,” said Senior Kymberlin Martin,


Learning to balance the preparation of a show with everything else that the students have going on is a skill they will take with them for the rest of their lives, whether they continue with theater or not.


Rather than altering the musical, the Guild followed the strict structure of the storyline. They want the audience to walk away with “a profound understanding of what a grace-oriented-and-forgiveness-offering-life looks like,” said director, Brian Johnson.


“The goal for this show is to be true to the story and to tell it simplistically,” Lavin added. There are no surprises here, but instead a true tribute to the classic tale.


Audiences can take away more than just melodies in this musical. The LHHS Theater Guild stresses acting and believability of character and relationships.


“I’m hoping that the audience will understand that this isn’t just a singing show. There’s a lot of character development,” Martin said.


One of the things that make La Habra High School’s show aesthetically pleasing is their impressive understanding of performing space. A balcony was built above the stage for performers to complete the show’s centralized and beautifully executed artistic vision. In the big chorus numbers, the stage is filled and the harmonious voices permeate throughout the auditorium.


The classic musical opens at Plummer Auditorium February 26 and runs through March 8. For show dates, times and tickets, visit


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Lady Raiders edge surging Highlanders

Posted on 16 February 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

The Sonora Lady Raiders basketball team held on against the Highlanders despite a second half surge to win 44-41.LHJ Sonora at La Habra basketball Jan 28, 2015

The Raiders held a commanding nine point lead coming out of halftime, but Amanda Cuervo and Ashley Bessler capitalized inside the paint to trim the lead and bring the Highlanders back into contention.

The Raiders balanced attack and tight pressure defense held the Highlanders in check, but in the second half the Highlanders forwards dominated the boards creating easy buckets for Bessler and Cuervo.

Out of halftime, Cuervo had only two points, but scored nine in the third and four points in the fourth to finish with 15.

Ashleigh Bessler was the Highlanders primary source of offense in the second and fourth quarters scoring six in both but was scoreless in the first and third quarters.

Marissa Dunn led the Raiders scoring nine points in the first half and playing lockdown defense on Highlander sharpshooter Emma Zener.

With seconds left on the clock, Meghann Henderson hit one of two free throws to give the Raiders a three point lead.

The Highlanders were able to get the ball down the court, but did not get a clean look for Zener who had the ball stripped from her as she went up for a three pointer.

The Raiders have been dangerous from behind the arc and knocked down five, compared to only 1 from the Highlanders

Henderson hit two threes in the second half, despite struggling to shoot for most of the game.LHJ LHHS vs SHHS Girls Basketball 2015

“We always tell her, you miss 100 shots, that just means you’re going to make the next 100. She never lost confidence, hit a big shot, we got a good steal, made a nice play in transition, it was kind of again that defense which led us to be able to score on offense,” said Sonora head coach Melissa Barajas.

The Raiders offensive attack was balanced between the entire starting lineup, with no points scored from the bench.

Marissa Dunn scored 13, Henderson had 9, Angela Rodriguez scored 10, Jazz Shedd scored 9 and Andrea Agramon had 3.

“It’s huge, because we had a lot of people make big plays today,” Barajas said.

Down the stretch Rodriguez was able to score inside despite spending most of the second half on the bench with foul trouble.

The Highlanders defensive pressure and rebounding allowed them to keep pace and put the Raiders in uncomfortable situations.

“Today we had a lot of turnovers, (which) puts you at a real disadvantage, we’ve got to do a real good job of taking care of that ball, while continuing to pressure teams and board,” Barajas said about things they can take from today.

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Lady Highlanders beat Raiders, advance to CIF

Posted on 14 February 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

In a back and forth battle between the Lady Raiders and Lady Highlanders, it was the Highlanders girls’ soccer team who came out victorious, winning 3-2.Print_LHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0934_

Throughout the game both teams carried momentum, but the Highlanders offensive firepower became too much for the Raider defense.

“We don’t win many 1-0’s, it’s often like this,” head coach Matt Sanger said.

“Welcome to reality, we have a good team, but you know what, today the girls didn’t play, defense they weren’t flawless, they weren’t covering, they were slow, so they weren’t ready, mentally they weren’t ready,” head coach Jorge Montalvo said.

The Raiders evened the score at two when Tatsiana Loscutoff capitalized on a penalty kick.

The Highlanders quickly countered, scoring on a header from Jocelyn Mosqueda.

With time working against the Raiders, they created one final chance.

Highlander goalkeeper Katelyn Phinney, was there to salvage the victory for her Highlanders and secure the La Habra cleat for another year.

The Raiders got on the board first, with a goal from Ashley Bordy.

With Bordy dribbling towards the Highlander goal, she chipped a shot high over Phinney’s head and into the goal.

Sonora scoring early, helped us wake up, and realize we have a game to play, and I’m proud of them, they worked hard,” Sanger said.

While the Raiders have been successful in multiple close games this season playing defensive, Raiders plan backfired as Darriell Franklin nearly took on the defense on her own.LHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0699_

“They just stayed watching, we didn’t do what we were supposed to do, and that’s how they capitalized. We can score goal, but if we keep giving mistakes away, it’s not going to happen, it’s not going to matter,” Montalvo said.

She was taking players on, she does that a lot, but when it’s on, she’s deadly,” Sanger said, “it wasn’t just beating one player, she’d beat three, four, five players.”

Franklin swiftly countered with an equalizer before halftime, and followed that with her second in the 47th minute.

With momentum fully at the hands of the Highlanders, Franklin nearly dished off an assist to Chloe Cooksey, however the goal was waived off for offsides with Sara Weiland impeding the keeper.

It could have been four, five, six goals just on chances she created,” Sanger said.

The offsides call ended up being the shift in momentum, with the Raiders getting their second goal minutes after the offsides call.

The resilience of the Highlanders however brought them back as they secured a berth into CIF with the third spot in Freeway League.

“I was proud of them to come back, and then even after we got the pk scored against us, we were able to come back and get the win and not let it go to overtimeLHJ LHHS vs BHHS Gsoc_0518_

There were a few storylines heading into the game. The ultimate prize for the two teams was third place, with the teams separated by only a half game.The two teams were in pursuit of city supremacy and this was the second matchup between two sisters, in Sonora forward Sarah and La Habra keeper Katelyn Phinney.

The Highlanders advance on to CIF where they will travel to Mira Costa Thursday February 19.

“I look forward to it, I feel like we play better with better competition, so I’m excited for it,” Franklin said.

“We need to be on our toes, physically. Last year and the goal that was scored today, I wasn’t on my toes. All those goals, I was flat footed, that’s what I want to change for CIF,” Phinney said.

The Highlanders have been able to experiment with moving Weiland from the back line to the forward position. They intend to use her as a forward which will put the pressure on their young defensive line.

“A lot of teams are going to overlook us, because our record isn’t the best, but we are dangerous,” Sanger said, “even though we haven’t beaten the teams that we wanted too, we can play with them.”

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Raiders bounce Indians

Posted on 09 February 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

The Sonora Raiders battled with the Fullerton Indians before finally breaking through in the second half to secure a victory, winning 73-58.LHJ LHHS vs SHHS Girls Basketball 2015

The two teams were neck and neck after two quarters, with the Raiders leading 32-31.

The referees called an unusually tight game which forced both teams to spend more time shooting free throws than anything else.

“Those guys were calling a foul every possession, I thought it was the tightest of any game we’ve played in a couple of years, every touch was a foul, on both teams,” head coach Mike Murphy said.

Of the Raiders 32 first half points, half of them came from free throws, making 16-21. Fullerton meanwhile took 18 free throw shots and made 14 of them.

The Raiders struggled to shoot the ball, which made the free throws an ally for them to weather through their shooting slump.

“We haven’t been shooting the ball, I mean we can’t make shots, we finally started making shots in the second half and we were able to pull away,” Murphy said.

While the free throws kept the two teams close in terms of the scoreboard, there was a significant difference in bench depth. The Raiders carry 14 players compared to Fullerton’s 10.LHJ LHHS vs SHHS Girls Basketball 2015

The Raiders depth helped them survive foul trouble, while the Indians bench struggled as the game went longer.

Ben Rico had the hottest hand scoring 14 of his 24 points in the second half.

“He played his best defense that he’s played in a while, and he was really going after the ball, Murphy said, “I think that just got him fired up and the defense and the rebounding carried over into his offense and he had a nice game,” Murphy said.

Before the game, Rico was concerned with how his ankle would respond, but the it never appeared to be a factor.

“Once I got in the game, I think the adrenaline kicked in, I was feeling okay and totally forgot about it,” Rico said.

The third quarter was the best for the Raiders who outscored the Indians 26-12 to create an insurmountable gap.

“Some we come out as a team defending a little harder than others, but today I really made it my priority to play defense and guard my guy,” Rico said.

Josh Rodriguez finished the night with 20 points and 12-14 from the free throw line.LHJ LHHS vs SHHS Girls Basketball 2015

The Indians had a balanced scoring effort led by David Sandoval’s 11 points and 10 points from Gerritt Beetstra and Jacob Wirtzer.

Similar to the first game between Fullerton and Sonora, the game became very physical by the end.

Ashaad Womack left the first meeting with a dislocated knee, but played in his second game since returning from the injury.

“I told our guys, they do some things that shouldn’t be done, when you’re going to the basket and they’re pushing guys in the back, I just told our guys to keep their poise and just play through all of that,” Murphy said.

The Raiders will travel to Buena Park for their next game before finishing on Thursday against La Habra at home.

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