Archive | February, 2016

Raider grapplers pillage Freeway League Finals

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Raider grapplers pillage Freeway League Finals

Posted on 13 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The Sonora wrestling team hit the mats with high expectations and delivered champions in seven different weight classes at the Freeway League tournament Friday night, but it was a firstyear wrestler that stole the show.Lions Pasta Fest 2016

Sonora 285-pound champion Jorge Bernabe was named MVP of the heavier weights after notching his second fall in the title match against Juan Lopez of Troy. Sonora Head Coach David Carrizosa was especially impressed with Bernabe, a former football player who never wrestled prior to this, his senior, year.

“I had been trying to get him out for four years to wrestle,” Carrizosa said. “He finally came out, but it’s funny because he had this promise, he said, ‘coach I’ll come out if you make me league champion,’ and I said ‘sure.’”

Sonora's Chucky Chavez puts Buena Park's Josh Vargas in an awkward position on his way to win the 152-pound title.

Sonora’s Chucky Chavez puts Buena Park’s Josh Vargas in an awkward position on his way to win the 152-pound title.

Carrizosa made good on his promise, now he feels that Bernabe has a good chance at CIF and possibly further. He is hoping that Bernabe’s success will, “trigger more football players to come out for wrestling.”

“He barely started wrestling in January,” Carrizosa said. “He was late to the party, but his only losses were to top ranked guys in the state and he held his own with them.”

The Raiders hope to have at least one wrestler enter the CIF tournament as a No. 1 seed next week at Citrus Hill High School in Moreno Valley. Josh Kawaguchi won the 160-pound weight class, marking his second Freeway League title.

“Josh should be seeded first, he’s a returning CIF Champion,” Carrizosa said. “He is up three weight classes at 160, but based on the criteria he should be first–he was and State qualifier [in 2015].”

Carrizosa pointed out that Bernabe could earn a top seed in the CIF Tournament as well. He said that his record is (15-2) this season, adding that, “his only losses came against top-ranked guys in the state.”

 Sonora's Nate Avila takes control over Troy's Jacob Alderson in the 138-pound weight class.

Sonora’s Nate Avila takes control over Troy’s Jacob Alderson in the 138-pound weight class.

Sonora’s Isaiah Perez (113), Hiwad Stanekzai (120), Nate Avila (138), Jacob Pelayo (145) and Chucky Chavez (152) were all crowned Freeway League Champions as well.

In addition to the seven league champs, the Raiders also had two additional league placers, giving the team a total of nine CIF qualifiers, the same number they had last year. Carlos Castilla (195) and Sebastian Perez (220) both finished third.

La Habra High School qualified four wrestlers for the tournament next week. La Habra’s Edward Medina (132)  took third after beating Solomon Than of Sonora. Brandon Murry (145) took third after beating Luke Boyd of Buena Park. Carlos Castilla (195) pulled off a second-period fall

La Habra's Wayne Nicholson Worksto turn Sonora's Hiwad Stanekzai in the 120-pount championship match.

La Habra’s Wayne Nicholson Worksto turn Sonora’s Hiwad Stanekzai in the 120-pount championship match.

against Eddie Estrada to take third and qualify for the CIF tournament.  Wayne Nicholson (120), lead the Highlanders with his second-place finish in the tournament.

Adrian Diaz (132) of Troy High School was named MVP of the lighter weights.

Freeway League qualifiers have a long bus ride in their future. The CIF tournament will be next Friday at Citrus Hill High School, located 45 miles away in Perris.

Click here for more photos from the tournament.

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Lady Highlanders fall in championship, still chasing Troy

Lady Highlanders fall in championship, still chasing Troy

Posted on 12 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

Bearing a striking resemblance to their defeat just eight days prior, the Lady Highlanders water polo team fell short in its quest to win the Freeway League Finals tournament, dropping the championship game to Troy 9-6 on Thursday night at Sonora High School.Lions Pasta Fest 2016

Last week the two teams faced off at Buena Park High School to determine who would enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed, and although it was a much higher scoring contest, Troy pulled out a 3-goal victory in overtime.

Down 8-3 with under a minute to play in the third, it appeared the Lady Warriors had pulled away for good. La Habra refused to quit though and finally began to turn the tides in the pool.

With :38 to go in the period they scored a goal that awoke the La Habra-heavy crowd and sparked a momentous final surge that carried over into the final period.

The Lady Highlanders continued to close the gap in the fourth with goals from Roni Ramirez on a penalty shot from 5 meters out at 6:38 and a skip shot from Natasha Velez at 3:49, cutting the deficit to 8-6. A minute later Celeste Solis found an opening from 4 meters out and fired a shot past the outstretched arms of La Habra goalkeeper Maddi Garcia, putting an end to the Lions Pasta Fest 2016comeback. Troy strategically played keep away the final two minutes to seal the victory.

Perhaps feeling the pressure of the big game, La Habra came out sluggish early and it was the difference in the game. Trailing 3-0 after the first period, the Lady Highlanders steadily chipped away at the lead the rest of the way, but couldn’t quite overcome the lackluster beginning.

Head Coach Courtney Robertson chalked up the Lady Highlanders’ early woes to nerves.

“It was just that pre-game nervousness and they just caught off-guard basically, but once they got their heads under control and got themselves calmed down they played a great game,” Robertson said.Lions Pasta Fest 2016

The girls snapped out of the funk and found the back of the net for three goals in the second, but could only keep pace, as Troy matched their total in the period.

“We came out slow, but got the momentum back,” Robertson said. “I think it shows that the girls have a lot of heart and a lot of talent.”

Robertson was pleased with the way the girls fought their way back into the game, especially considering this was their eighth game in as many days she said.

She was also very encouraged with the defensive effort, pointing out that they held Troy’s top two scorers, Ava Mattis and Claire Schade to just three goals combined.

“Natasha, Danielle and Roni all played a great game defensively,” Robertson said. “I was really proud of all of them, they all played with heart and they played with the talent they were given.”Lions Pasta Fest 2016

The Lady Highlanders will get some well deserved and much needed rest this weekend, before beginning CIF next week. Robertson said that she is hoping for a home game on Wednesday, but they won’t find out who and where they play until Saturday when CIF pairings are announced.

“We are going to relax this weekend, take a little bit of time and get some sleep you know– we are tired, all of us are,” Robertson said. “If we can get some rest, we will be perfectly planned and ready for CIF next week.”

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La Habra named a Fit City

Posted on 11 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Ashley Pellegrini
La Habra Journal

Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control.
There are many factors that play into obesity such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise, just to name a few. Many cities in and around the Orange County area have decided to take action and do something about the growing problem of obesity in America.
As of January 2014, the city of La Habra was named one of the most “Fit”  cities in Orange County through its “Move More Eat Healthy Initiative.”  The initiative was first created to increase awareness to the growing problem of obesity and to take action through better meal choices and exercise in schools as well as local businesses.
Vice Chairman Rebecca French of the La Habra Collaborative, and a team of individuals, who believe in healthy lifestyles for La Habra residents, promoted the idea of a “Move More Eat Healthy Initiative ”.
French, and members of the Collaborative worked hard to educate the city, school district and entire community on the importance of eating healthy and having a more active lifestyle.
The idea was met with much support and the city worked to meet the specific HEAL Cities criteria for an Active City like building and improving areas for increased opportunity for physical activity.  Another area is that the city and chamber worked to foster healthy environments for employees. Further they worked to create greater access to healthy food choices by residents.
According to The Healthy Eating Active City Campaign, “ The   purpose of the campaign is to provide training and technical assistance to city officials adopt policies that improve their communities’ physical activity and retail food environments.”
See FIT Page 4
(From Page 1)
HEAL is a partnership of The League of California Cities and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.
They have established three specific designations for cities that include: eager, active, and fit.
In order to be considered an Eager City, a city has to want to join the campaign to bring focus to a resolution in order for their city to improve.
An Active City has adopted and already implemented at least two of the policies in each of the criteria listed above. A Fit City, adopts and implements one policy in each area.
Currently, there are 18 active HEAL cities in the Orange County area. La Habra is one of only three Fit Cities, which include: San Clemente, and Santa Ana. Each city must submit their own policies for a healthy city, along with a resolution as to how they are going to implement these changes throughout their city.
For La Habra, this included collaboration by the city and the school district. The creation of  bicycle-friendly paths, emphasis on walking or biking to school, providing healthier lunch alternatives, developing hydration stations and fit kid centers are some examples of the developments created as part of the MMEH campaign.
The city has also included these elements within its General Plan 2035. Like most initiatives or changes, results are not always immediate and take time.
However, the idea has taken off with positive feedback and the outlook on the future of the program seems bright.
French believes there are three things that will continue to  encourage change.
“Support, desire and interest in identifying there is a problem and then taking the initiative to make it better,”  she stated. “Over the course of the next five years, through the strategic plan that was set in place, the numbers drop in obesity.”

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Heights works to fill committee

Heights works to fill committee

Posted on 11 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

The city of La Habra Heights is struggling to build a committee to look at the city’s roads.

By Daniel Hernandez
La Habra Journal

Efforts by La Habra Heights city officials to gather applicants for a proposed roads committee are so far falling short.Seal_La Habra Heights
La Habra Heights officials at the January 14 city council meeting voted unanimously to form a 10-12 person roads committee to oversee financing and other discussions about possible roads assessments.
And so far, according to LH Heights City Manager Shauna Clark, only six people have applied for the committee.
“I anticipate that by [the] March meeting we will have the 10-12 [applicants], however, Council may also choose to lower the number if response isn’t what they thought it would be,” Clark said in an email.
The needs for a roads committee aligns with the city’s attempt at structuring a roads assessment. The city is on the clock, and it needs to vote by March or April to include a roads assessment on the June Ballot.
This assessment, if approved by public voters, could be on the December 2016 tax assessments, a deadline La Habra Heights Mayor Michael Higgins said he wanted to meet.
Details about the roads committee’s role were discussed at the regular January 14 city council meeting, ranging from the amount of people to the level of expertise required to join.
“I think we do need to have a roads committee,” LH Heights City Councilman Brian Bergman said. “But I think we need a lot more than just the technical expertise.”
Bergman noted that the roads committee should have members with financial and marketing expertise.
“I want the engineers to do the engineering and the residents to talk about what they’re willing to put up with,” said LH Heights Councilwoman Jane Williams. “So that somebody besides the council will take responsibility for the roads fund management.”
She stressed that she wants a committee to continue after the roads assessment passes in order to quarterly review the expenses.
Officials at the meeting noted that because the council will be selecting the members for the committee, they will be subject to the state’s open meeting law or the Brown Act.
The law requires, among other things, that city council meetings be open to the public.
“One of the things that will help make this successful […] that you have a standing committee that goes on as long as this assessment district lasts,” Clark said at the January 14 meeting.
This would be appointed by the council and it would be subject to the Brown Act, Clark said.
In an effort to further communicate with the residents, the meeting will be televised, and there will be a chance for the public to participate with comments.
The downside of the need to adhere to the open meeting law is that it limits the committees opportunities to speak about its business. This would require them to only speak about committee issues at committee meetings that are open to the public.
“And over the period of five years for the district this could actually amount to a lot of expense,” Higgins said.
The cost was noted to be $125,000, according to Clark at the meeting.
“It needs to be Brown Act. Yes there are some costs involved, but once we get the project going […] there shouldn’t be a whole lot of meetings,” Bergman said.
The applicant must be a resident, property owner and a registered voter, according to city officials at the meeting.
And the committee chair will be selected by the committee, rather than the city council choosing who will run the meetings.
There is no limit on the number of applicants to be accepted by the city.
The committee will hold meetings at the city chambers and sit normally where the city council sits.
As officials began to prepare for the unanimous vote to form a roads committee, some council members reminisced on what happened during the last attempt at passing a roads assessment.
“People were in a bad mood. Nobody was working. People were losing their homes. Everything was going wrong,” Higgins said.
However, he went on to explain, now that the bond is paid off, it is a much more reasonable time to ask for a road assessment.

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Lions serve up pasta for charity

Lions serve up pasta for charity

Posted on 11 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Leon Rome
La Habra Journal

Hundreds of people enjoyed a pasta dinner as the La Habra Host Lions Club held its Sixth Annual Pasta Fest on Saturday at the La Habra Community Center. Lions Pasta Fest 2016
This event is aimed to help fund the City of La Habra’s Senior Programs, which are  administered by the Community Services Department. They do this by donating all of the proceeds to the city’s program.
Throughout the night guests enjoyed a traditional Italian meal with ice cream for desert donated by Frankie’s Frozen Treats, and the opportunity to participate in a silent auction and raffle.
According to La Habra Social Services Manager and chair for Pasta Fest Josie Anderson, the event had been in production since last October.
“This event will benefit all our seniors in the community. It will help purchase lunches five days a week, will help purchase entertainment, and any activities that the seniors have,” said Anderson.
With over 30 silent auction items present, the guests had several options to place a higher bid on. The numerous items ranged widely from adult wine baskets to children baskets filled with coloring books and plush toys, as well as a special ride along and lunch experience with La Habra Police Chief Jerry Price. PastaFest_1_C
The auction items were displayed without cellophane wrapping so that the bidders could actually see the items within the assembled baskets.
Raffle tickets were sold throughout the night by the Miss La Habra court. The largest raffle prize up for grabs that night was a $500 gift card tree with gift cards for several restaurants and department stores hanging from the trees branches.
La Habra Mayor James Gomez, had nothing but high praise for the events successful turnout.
“Seniors are very dear to the heart of the community. They call La Habra a caring community, and it’s clearly demonstrated today by all the people that have donated to this event,” said Gomez.
Some of the  men of the Lions Club acted as chefs for the night, having started earlier that afternoon to cook in the community center’s large professional kitchen for the expected guests.
According to the La Habra Leo’s Club President, Tiffany Maese, the Leo’s Club members were the servers and clean up crew throughout the night’s festivities. PastaFest 2_C
The Leo’s Club also provided popcorn and beverages to the guests as appetizers before the main course.
Ofelia Hanson, president of the La Habra Host Lion’s Club, was glad to see how smooth the night turned out and showed great admiration for her Pasta Fest committee’s diligent work.
“They did a great job. There’s no empty seat here, it’s a full house,” said Hanson.
With live music entertainment provided by DJ Ross Creations and a dance floor located at the center of the large room, guests made sure to dance the night away after applauding the raffle and auction winners and eating their delicious pasta dishes.
Based off of the success of this year’s event, there is no doubt that plans for the seventh annual even twill soon be underway.

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Harrington brings new attitude to Lady Highlanders

Harrington brings new attitude to Lady Highlanders

Posted on 11 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

After a frustrating end to a highly successful run as head coach at El Modena High School,  Steve Harrington feels reinvigorated and ready to take the La Habra softball team to the next level.

    Under new management: Newly-named La Habra Head Coach Steve Harrington takes no time in starting to prepare the members of the Lady Highlanders’ softball team for their upcoming season.

Under new management: Newly-named La Habra Head Coach Steve Harrington takes no time in starting to prepare the members of the Lady Highlanders’ softball team for their upcoming season.

The Lady Highlanders new coach is wasting no time getting the team prepared and the girls are just as eager to get started.
“You’ve gotta believe, and it starts now with the very first drill,” Harrington said before the first official team practice.
The intensity, discipline and accountability that Harrington demands of his team fell out of favor at El Modena, but for La Habra, it was exactly what they were looking for.
Harrington stands behind his coaching philosophy of training the girls like elite athletes and preparing them for college softball.
Harrington describes his departure from El Modena like a relationship where two people just grow apart and want different things.
“When I first started there the support was incredible, but the last few years there was basically zero,” Harrington said.
Make no mistake about it, Steve Harrington runs a tight ship and demands accountability from his players. His power-lifter build and tattooed arms foreshadow the intense demeanor by which he operates, but coming from a football background that is par for the course. POLA9809
What makes him so unique, is that he has devised a way to successfully translate the preparation and coaching techniques of football into softball.
Harrington’s approach includes strength building techniques that you might see at the CrossFit Games. Another facet he borrowed from football is advanced scouting. Harington breaks down the competition with detailed scouting reports on every opposing player.
Harrington first got into coaching softball back at Chaminade High School in 1990. At the time, he was coaching football for the school, when the athletic director coaxed him to try it out.  He took the JV team all the way to a league title his first season and became intrigued by the strategy involved.
After the season, he absorbed as many softball books and videos as he could and transitioned up to varsity. He also began coaching a travel ball team in Orange County called the BatBusters. Harrington’s BatBuster team sent seven players to the United States Olympic Team.
In 2000 he took the job opening at El Modena, where several of his BatBuster players attended high school at the time. While at El Modena, Harrington became one of the winningest softball coaches in Orange County, compiling an unprecedented winning percentage of nearly 80-percent. Harrington led El Modena to the CIF Playoffs every year, including a State Championship in 2008.
When it comes to in-game coaching, Harrington prides his teams on playing a unique brand of softball.
“I coach a different style of play, defensively you are going to see a lot of shifts,” Harrington said.
Offensively he prides his teams on putting pressure on the defense with aggressive base running and taking what the defense gives him at the plate.
After leaving El Modena, Harrington took a year off of high school ball. He said that he evaluated all of the factors when deciding to coach high school again, but what sealed the deal for him was the talent of the team at La Habra.
“We had a whole infield of freshman the other day, it’s incredible the talent we have here,” Harrington said.
He also raved about the community and school support he has felt from La Habra, which is something that he said was lacking the last couple years at El Modena.
“I’m telling you it has just been a very welcoming experience,” Harrington said. “Oh my god the support here has been incredible.”
Harrington said that he made it a point not to come in and change everything.
“You don’t want to come in and clean house, because their house is already built and its got a good foundation,” he said.
Part of that foundation are assistant coaches Gina Doublin, Richard Flores and Andy Garcia. Flores has been with the program for 16 years and Garcia has been on board for five years.
“We are ecstatic,” Flores said. “We are in love with his presence here and everything about his style of softball.”
Garcia echoed Flores’ sentiments and pointed out that Harrington has brought discipline and accountability to the team.
“The last few seasons the girls kind of did what they wanted, but this season the girls are jelling and starting to play together as a team,” Flores said.
The two assistants also talked about how Harrington has brought a college style approach to the team.
“He has intertwined the [the high school game] with college style, so that when the girls leave here they will be ready,” Flores said. “I believe he is going to uplift our program to heights we’ve never seen.”
Most importantly the players have taken to his methods right away. All of the coaches have noticed a big difference in the girls already.
“He is showing them the big picture and they are drooling over it, we have been waiting for a coach like him for so long,” Doublin said.
Harrington has wasted no time implementing his philosophy with the team. A firm believer in “iron sharpening iron,” Harrington has already set up preseason games and tournaments for the Lady Highlanders to play some of the toughest teams in Southern California.
For the Lady Highlanders the future looks bright. The team has finished Freeway League Champions three out of the last four seasons, but Harrington now has the girls aiming higher. He stopped short of making any predictions about the season, but it’s safe to say they believe big things are coming.
“I’ve been there [CIF Championships],” Harrington said to his team before their first official practice. “I’ve seen it and I am telling you right now, we have the talent to make it there, but you gotta believe.”

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Olita Elementary reaches academic milestone

Posted on 10 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

Olita Elementary School is celebrating a huge accomplishment that few schools have achieved. In fact, Olita is the only elementary school in La Habra to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress goals two years in a row.
All schools are held accountable for meeting progress goals. These are the challenging state standards and annual statewide progress objectives that are in place to ensure that all groups of students reach proficiency.
In 2010, after state testing scores were released, Olita Elementary fell in to Program Improvement (PI) for not meeting the required goals for subgroups two consecutive years.
The staff continued to review data to find where teaching improvements could be made and focused on better strategies to meet their students’ needs.
After taking the corrective action measures that all PI schools must adhere, the teachers and staff were determined to make a difference in their students’ learning.
In 2013, the staff was encouraged that their efforts were paying off.
All subgroups at Olita Elementary had met the required goals on the California State Test (CST).
Unfortunately, that was the final year California students would be taking the CST and schools’ PI status would freeze until new requirements could be established from the new Smarter Balanced state assessment.
As the new Smarter Balanced test scores and requirements were released, it was determined that Olita had met its AYP goals for the required two consecutive years and removing them from being in Program Improvement status.
“We will continue to focus on our students’ needs to make sure ALL students achieve to their potential,” stated principal, Krista Van Hoogmoed. “The staff and teachers at Olita are very proud of the hard work to which they committed and it is so rewarding to see their efforts had paid off. They are an amazing staff that shows dedication and persistence.”

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Heralds roll past Knights with  stifling defense

Heralds roll past Knights with stifling defense

Posted on 09 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Bryant Freese
La Habra Journal

Whittier Christian controlled the game from start to finish against Ontario Christian Saturday night, winning 67-29 in a home game at Whittier Christian High School.logo-heralds
The Heralds played like they had a lot to prove after a disappointing 21-point loss Tuesday night against Heritage Christian.
“They had a little redemption in themselves tonight” said Sherwin Durham, head coach of the Heralds.
The Heralds started off slow, scoring only seven points in the first four minutes of the basketball game. They kept themselves in the game with their man-to-man, intense defense.
Ontario Christian took their only lead of the game midway through the first quarter with a three-point field goal from Grayson Kline.
Prompting Shane Dean of the Heralds to match him with a three-point field goal of his own. Deans’ shot got the teams energy up on both sides of the ball.
Moments later Christian Alvis-labadie made a driving lay-up around a Knights defenseman while being fouled giving the Heralds a two point lead before they went on a 6-0 run to end the first quarter, they led Ontario Christian 18-10 after one quarter.
The energy from the Heralds carried into the second quarter. The defensive intensity of Whittier Christian played an important role in building a big lead. “The defense is what makes us  go,” said Durham.
The defense did make them go. Whittier Christians defense held the Knights to seven points in the second quarter, outscoring Ontario Christian 22-7.
Shane Dean also played a key role in the dominant second quarter, scoring seven points. He finished the game leading the Heralds with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Dean looked to be the biggest, fastest and strongest player on the court Saturday night. Durham noted, “he really had it going tonight.”
The Knights didn’t have an answer for him defensively. Dean was quick to credit his teammates for getting him great opportunities during the game after being asked about his commanding performance. “When we have a hot hand we keep feeding them,” said Durham.
Deans’ offensive spark and Whittier Christians tough defense gave them a 40-17 lead going into halftime.
The Heralds started off the second half with a 23-point lead, but the intensity didn’t let up on either side of the court.
The Whittier offense moved the basketball around side-to-side to get the best open shot, “we always move the ball well,” said Dean “It’s a staple of our team.” The defense stood strong stifling the Ontario Christian offense once again, holding them to only three points in the third quarter.
The Whittier Christian offense got more help from junior Justin Turner, who benefited from the great offensive ball movement. Turner scored nine points in the second half and 14 points in the game.
Turner was lethal from behind the three-point line, hitting three shots on 50% shooting. Taking the Heralds into the final quarter of the game leading 57-20.
With a seemingly insurmountable lead going into the 4th quarter the Heralds worked on their ball movement even more. Passing the ball as many times as possible while winding down the clock as long as the shot clock would allow them too.
The Heralds defense gave up only 12 points in the second half of the basketball game, leading them to a 67-29 win over Ontario Christian.
Whittier Christian will play Maranatha at Whittier Christian High School Tuesday night.

Lady Heralds overpower Ontario Christian
Whittier Christian girls basketball overmatched Ontario Christian with their size in the paint, winning 44-20 Saturday afternoon at Whittier Christian High School.
The Lady Heralds had problems turning the ball over early and often. But their defense started playing tough, causing six turnovers in the first quarter.
Freshman point guard Justine Nieto started the second quarter strong for the Heralds with a three-point field goal to make the score 11-3. Even with the offense starting to pick up, the defense continued to play aggressively, holding Ontario Christian to under 30 percent shooting from the field.
The Heralds defense forced a total of 16 turnovers, holding the Knights to 20 points, eight points below their season average.

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Troy snatches league’s top spot from La Habra in OT

Troy snatches league’s top spot from La Habra in OT

Posted on 08 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

La Habra and the No. 3 team in CIF Division 3, Troy battled through six tightly contested periods before the Lady Warriors came away with a 15-12 victory to decide the top spot in Freeway League girl’s water polo last Wednesday night at Buena Park High School.

Nothing gets by: La Habra goaltender Maddi Garcia looks to pass the ball to a teammate during a recent game. Garcia made 20 saves against Troy in the overtime battle last Wednesday, where the warriors won 15-12.

Nothing gets by: La Habra goaltender Maddi Garcia looks to pass the ball to a teammate during a recent game. Garcia made 20 saves against Troy in the overtime battle last Wednesday, where the warriors won 15-12.

Maddi Garcia came up with four of her record 20 total saves in the first overtime, but after Troy forced three turnovers in the final 2:25, a rebound put-back finally got past the Lady Highlanders goalkeeper with just :02 to play in the first overtime.
Troy’s aggressive length of the pool defense coupled with the mounting pressure of the situation forced La Habra into a few bad passes that led to three breakaway scoring opportunities.
“I think we rushed in a couple key spots, which led to bad passing which led to steals,” said La Habra Head Coach Courtney Robertson. “I think that is what led to two or three of their goals at the end.”
Garcia elevated and blocked all three potential scores, however the third save ricocheted back to a Troy player, who lobbed in the go ahead score from two meters out to make it 12-11 going into the final overtime frame.
With their backs against the wall and fatigue setting in, La Habra added one more goal in the second overtime, but was ultimately outscored 3-1 to give Troy the victory.
Robertson was happy with the way her team battled back and believes the one thing they need to do is play more calmly down the stretch when they meet Troy again in the Freeway League tournament next week.
Natasha Velez and Lindsey Potter led the way for La Habra offensively with four goals apiece.
“I felt like we came out so strong, at the end we did get a little tired, but we gave it our best,” Potter said.
The Lady Highlanders held the lead nearly the entire first half and went into the break with a 6-5 advantage.
After four lead changes in the second half, La Habra scored the final two goals of regulation to send the game into overtime. Garcia’s five saves in the fourth period kept La Habra.
Velez, Potter and Garcia all made it clear that they still have complete confidence that they can turn the table next week against Troy when they face off in the Freeway League Finals.
The Freeway League tournament begins on Monday, but start times and pairings will not be announced until Thursday evening.

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Marlow leads Raiders in second-half surge

Marlow leads Raiders in second-half surge

Posted on 08 February 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

The Raiders rallied in the second half to upset the Troy Warriors on Friday night, winning 68-64.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal Taking it: Sonora’s Kevin Marlow takes the ball to the basket in last week’s win against Troy. Marlow’s pull-up jumper (two of his 22 points) late in the game helped seal the 68-64 win for the Raiders.

Taking it: Sonora’s Kevin Marlow takes the ball to the basket in last week’s win against Troy. Marlow’s pull-up jumper (two of his 22 points) late in the game helped seal the 68-64 win for the Raiders.

With just a minute to play, Kevin Marlow took a shot from the baseline, fading out of bounds.
“That’s kind of my go-to move, the pull up jumper. It was feeling good tonight. When it came down to it, I went with what was most comfortable,” Marlow said.
Marlow’s shot fell, hitting nothing but net, and giving the Raiders a one point lead.
“The most courageous player on the court was Kevin Marlow tonight,” head coach Mike Murphy said.
“Those are moments that I live for. I love when the pressure’s on me,” Marlow said.
Marlow’s heroics led the Raiders (16-9, 6-2), but started in the first quarter. Marlow scored 11 of his 22 points in the first quarter, as he paced the Raiders through the Warriors (14-11, 5-3) first quarter blitz.
The hot shooting Warriors started the game where they left off last time these two teams met, shooting the lights out.
“I kept telling us at every time out, to hang in there, we’re fine, we’re playing good defense,” Murphy said, “We just emphasize, we got to run them off the three point line.”
The Raiders stayed close after the first quarter, and chipped away as the game wore on.
“It was amazing that they held it together,” Murphy said.
Defense was the key for the Raiders, who went from giving up 41 points in the first half, to only 23 in the second half.Lions Pasta Fest 2016
“We did a really good job in the second half. They scored 80 points on us last time. 41 in the first half (today) and I just said guys if we’re going to win, we’re going to have to defend,” Murphy said.
As the Warriors adjusted to Marlow’s shooting, Austin Carter went to work dominating the boards and putbacks.
“Austin’s a double double machine. We’ve played eight league games, and in every game, he’s had a double double,” Murphy said.
Carter’s presence on the inside limited Troy’s Samir Shafi as well as provided a reliable option when the were in need of a bucket.
There were multiple times where coach Murphy would yell to his guards to get the ball in to Austin.
“We put a lot of plays in where we would set double screens, and then the second guy would slip, and we were getting Austin on that,” Murphy said.
That effort proved successful, with Carter scoring 13 of his 17 in the second half.Lions Pasta Fest 2016
The X factor in this game for the Raiders was Colin Lopez who hit a buzzer beater at the end of the second quarter, and was a spark plug off the bench playing in crunch time.
“Probably one of the most underrated players in this league. The kid’s a freak athlete and nights like tonight, he steps up big time,” Marlow said.
Lopez has been sitting on the bench all season as one of the guards blocked by Marlow.
“I told him yesterday, to be ready, because I know he’s a really good player, and he came out tonight and he played great,” Murphy said.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment this whole season. It finally happened,” Lopez said.
However, Lopez was able to knock down shots, energize his team, as well as play defense on one of the toughest players in the league.
Aaron Yoo torched the Raiders in their last meeting because of his speed and strength. Lopez however pestered him and made him work for all seven of his points.
“I’ve been playing with that guy for a long time, and I just had to stay in front of him,” Lopez said.
The Raiders win came while the Buena Park Coyotes fell to the Lancers. With wins against the Lancers and Warriors this week, and four in a row, the Raiders move into a first place tie with the Buena Park, with two games left on the schedule.
The Raiders finish the regular season on Thursday night at home against the Coyotes.

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