Tag Archive | "Coyotes"

Coyotes bring Highlanders streak to halt with big second half

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Coyotes bring Highlanders streak to halt with big second half

Posted on 22 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The Buena Park High School football team had been steadily climbing the ranks the past six seasons under Head Coach Anthony White, but one task had still bedeviled the Coyotes—unseating La Habra as the team to beat in the Freeway League, until Friday night.

By Miguel Pola/La Habra Journal La Habra's Senior Eli Anderson scores from 2 yards out with 3 min left in the first half. La Habra HS leads 13-0 at the half.

By Miguel Pola/La Habra Journal
La Habra’s Senior Eli Anderson scores from 2 yards out with 3 min left in the first half. La Habra HS leads 13-0 at the half.

Heading to the locker room down 13-0 at the half, it appeared the Coyotes were once again going to be disappointed. However, Buena Park exploded for four unanswered scores in the second half to end the Highlanders league winning streak at 47 with a 27-13 victory at home.

“I got them fired up [at halftime] and told them to believe in the program, believe in the system and do your job,” White said. “I think everyone was trying to do too much wanting to make us win, so I told them to be accountable and just do your 1-of-11.”

The tides began to turn early in the third quarter.

Much like the first half, La Habra stuffed the Coyotes opening drive.

On the ensuing punt, returner Madison Wheeler got caught in between a couple Coyotes and the ball grazed his leg, allowing the coverage team to pounce on it.

“We made a mistake that was costly, we were beating them around and we stopped them at the half, it was our best player, what are you going to do, sometimes your best player does something that is uncharacteristic,” said Highlander Head Coach Frank Mazzotta. “I don’t know that there is any such thing as momentum though, good teams make more plays than the ones that lose and they made more plays than we did.”

After Wheeler broke up three consecutive passes near the goal line, Buena Park quarterback James Rafkin finally connected with A.J. Allen on a crucial fourth-and-long play to put the ball inside the 5 yard line. A couple plays later sophomore running back Jamiel Henning punched it in from a yard out to cut the lead in half.

The Coyotes took their first lead on the next possession when Allen made a picture perfect over the shoulder grab in the back of the end zone just before the end of the quarter.

By Miguel Pola/ La Habra Journal La Habra's senior Derrick Corso's interception sets up La Habra's 2nd and of the first half. — at Buena Park High School Football.

By Miguel Pola/ La Habra Journal La Habra’s senior Derrick Corso’s interception sets up La Habra’s 2nd and of the first half. — at Buena Park High School Football.

The dagger came early in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard catch-and-run by Henning, who caught the ball in the flat near the Highlander sideline, made a couple La Habra defenders miss, then accelerated and completely ran over the safety en route to his second score of the night.

Neither team moved the ball particularly well throughout most of the game.

La Habra got on the board in the second quarter on perhaps the catch of the night. Quarterback Zach Fogel lofted the ball to his favorite target, Prince Ross, who laid out to make the diving grab across the goal line for a 35-yard touchdown. Fogel’s only other completion to that point was a 36-yard pass to Eli Anderson, which set up the score

Anderson carried it in from the 1-yard-line to give the Highlanders a two score lead heading into the break. The touchdown was set up by cornerback Derrick Corso’s 42-yard interception return, that gave the Highlander offense the ball inside the 5.

Anderson showed off his hands late in the fourth, catching a pair of passes out of the backfield to set up a red zone opportunity for the Highlanders with about two minutes to play. However, Devon Cooley picked Fogel off in the end zone to dash any hopes of a late Highlander comeback.

The Coyote defense was stifling all night long. Their leading tackler, safety Niguy Simms was once again all over the field and came up with an interception in the fourth quarter that set up Buena Park’s final score.

“Defense is our motto, it’s what we live by,” White said. “I’m a defensive coach, the defensive coordinator and we have a great defensive staff, everyone takes accountability for their own positions, their own guys and everyone did their jobs tonight.”

Cedric Dashiell III entered the evening as one of the leading pass-rushers in Orange County with 11.5 sacks. Dashiell brought down Fogel five times on the night to add to his total.

Dashiell gave credit to his coaches and fellow defensive lineman for calling and executing stunts late in the game to free him up to closeout with three sacks on the Highlanders final drive.

The Highlanders (4-4, 2-1) will try to bounce back against Fullerton at home next Friday. The Coyotes (7-1, 3-0) will look to remain perfect in league when they take on Sunny Hills Friday at Spalding Stadium, although it will technically be an away game for them.

“We go back to work tomorrow, that’s 100 percent, we have to finish what we started,” White said.

Mazzotta added, “Nothing goes on forever, streaks were meant to be broken.”

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Heralds top Coyotes in tournament championship

Posted on 01 January 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Luke Wilson
La Habra Journal

Champions of the Leon Davis Holiday Classic were crowned Wednesday night, as the Whittier Christian Heralds defeated the Buena Park Coyotes 57-50. The third time proved to be the charm for the Heralds as it was their third straight appearance in the Leon Davis Classic Finals, but their first tournament victory.Leon Davis Champs Web

 

“We’ve hosted this tournament every year now for I can’t remember how many years,” said Whittier Christian Athletic Director Rolland Esslinger, “It’s a tough tournament to win. We’ve got close a few times over the last couple of years, and we had to beat a really good team to pull it off this year. It was a great game.”

 

The game was electric from the very beginning with both teams not taking long to establish their style of play. Buena Park immediately battered their way into the paint, earning offensive rebounds and early free throw attempts thanks in no small part to Forward Deontae Beckham who had six of the team’s eight free throw attempts in the first half.

 

“We kind of got exposed tonight with our defensive rebounding,” said Heralds Head Coach Sherwin Durham, “there are some athletic teams in this league, so we’re going to have to put a body on them.”

 

While rebounding wasn’t a strength for the Heralds in this matchup, they were able to put their own stamp on the game and show why they’re called the “Runnin’ Heralds.”

 

“We’re really good at running the floor,” said Heralds Forward Justin Osborn, who earned an All-Tournament mention, “that’s probably our biggest strength.”WCHS basketball vs Western Leon Davis Semifial 2014

 

Every time Whittier Christian yanked down a rebound, there were options streaking down the floor, usually led by Osborn who had 11 points with a 50 percent field goal percentage. Between fast break points, and effective 3-point shooting, the Heralds were able to make up for their rebounding.

 

The Heralds were raining down 3’s seemingly all match whenever there was an opening in the Coyotes zone defense, and it worked thanks to Guards Kaipo Villeza and Christian Alvis-Labadie who respectively shot 50 percent from behind the arc on a combined 12 3-point attempts.

 

“We don’t see a lot of zone defense, “ Durham explained. “We see a lot of man typically. We feel like we have some good perimeter shooters, and when these kids get open looks they tend to knock ’em down.”WCHS basketball vs Western Leon Davis Semifial 2014

 

Alvis-Labadie earned MVP honors for the Tournament after leading his team in scoring in the Finals with 16 points.

“It’s an honor. Hopefully I’ll be able to get another one soon,” Alvis-Labadiec said. Otherwise every comment was all team, team, team. “It feels real good to get Coach a tournament win. That means a lot to us.”

 

The game came down to the wire after a hectic fourth quarter. Frequent fouls, including a technical by the Coyotes, tipped things in the Heralds favor late. As the clock winded down, the Coyotes forced the Heralds to make free throws down the stretch, but a couple clutch shots from the line by Villeza were able to seal the deal and earn the eleventh win of the season for Whittier Christian.

 

The Heralds season rolls on Saturday, January 3 when they take on the La Serna Lancers at home at 6:30 p.m. This will be the last game for Whittier Christian before they begin their run through the difficult Olympic League.

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Lady Raiders rejoin top ranks in Freeway League with big win over Buena Park

Posted on 09 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Sam Casanas threw three shutout innings before earning a rest after pitching nine innings against Fullerton on Tuesday. Sonora defeated Buena Park 11-0 in six innings, Thursday afternoon.

Sonora’s Sam Casanas threw three shutout innings before earning a rest after pitching nine innings against Fullerton on Tuesday. Sonora defeated Buena Park 11-0 in six innings, Thursday afternoon.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora softball team kept their hopes of a Freeway League championship alive with an 11-0 victory over Buena Park, Thursday afternoon at Sonora High.

The Raiders’ (13-10, 5-3) bats woke up in a big way as they clubbed four home runs in the game.

“I really liked our approach at the plate,” said Michelle Rodriguez, Sonora head coach. “I really wanted the girls to focus on sitting back on pitches and getting something to drive. They did a really good job of that today.”

Due to the ten-run mercy rule, the Lady Raiders finished off the Coyotes on Mekenzie Lombardo’s two-run home run to center field. Lombardo was 2-2 with two runs and two RBI.

The Coyotes kept the Raiders quiet for the first two innings but the floodgates opened starting in the third inning. Leandra Jew started things off with a walk. She then stole second and came home on a single by Zoe Juarez. Shortly thereafter, Juarez stole second and came home on another single by Katie Amaral.

Chelsea Purcell launched a two-run bomb to left field to make the lead 4-0.

Sonora added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a leadoff home run by Madison Gimpl.

The Raiders expanded on their 5-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth with three more runs. Taylor Clark, Emily Hauke and Mena Aguilar all picked up a RBI hit in the inning.

Sonora headed into the bottom of the sixth needing two runs for the mercy, and they got three runs on three pitches. Amaral led off the inning with a home run to center field, Purcell followed her with an infield single before Lombardo’s home run, which acted as a walkoff hit.

The Raiders got two solid pitching performances. Samantha Casanas started the game and went three innings while only giving up two hits and striking out two batters. Cristina Garcia came in and pitched the last three with three hits and two strikeouts.

“Sam looked a little tired today and that is why we took her out,” Rodriguez said. “She pitched nine innings in our last game so we did not want to get her sore. Garcia came in and closed the door for us.”

Sonora now sits in a four-way tie atop the Freeway League standings with Sunny Hills, Fullerton and La Habra. All four are 5-3.

“We are not too worried about the standings,” Rodriguez said. “All we are focusing on now is beating La Habra on Tuesday. They are our big rivals. We have said from the beginning that our goals this year were to beat La Habra and to make the playoffs.”

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Raiders run cold late, fall in Division 2A Championship game

Posted on 08 March 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Adam Marlow works with the ball in the backcourt against Calabasas guard Larry Bush during the second half of Sonora's  66-47 loss to Calabasas at Honda Center, Saturday afternoon.

Sonora’s Adam Marlow works with the ball in the backcourt against Calabasas guard Larry Bush during the second half of Sonora’s 66-47 loss to Calabasas at Honda Center, Saturday afternoon. Photos by Alex Avina, La Habra Journal

Scroll down to view more photos from this game.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

ANAHEIM – Undersized in comparison to its opponent, the Sonora boys’ basketball team fought hard, but went cold from the floor late in falling to Calabasas 66-47 in the CIF-SS Division 2A Championship game, Saturday afternoon at Honda Center.

The Raiders hung tough through three quarters and shrunk their deficit to 44-41 early in the fourth quarter, but missed their next 14 shots and the Coyotes pulled away using their size inside on the other end.

“Against their size, it was really hard to get good shots,” said Ben Rico, who scored 12 points. “They played tough defense, it was definitely a factor today.”

Calabasas center Austin Smith scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while guard Conner Longmire scored 17 points and made two layups in the fourth quarter to counteract Sonora’s early-quarter comeback attempt.

The Coyotes (27-5) closed out the game with free throws, denying Sonora its first title in 30 years.

“We hadn’t seen them live, they’re more athletic than I thought,” Murphy said. “They’re extremely physical, really well coached, they’re probably the toughest team we faced this year.”

After falling behind early, Sonora (28-4) used the second and third quarters to march back.

In the third quarter, Josh Rodriguez led the Raiders and scored their first seven points of the quarter.

However, each time Sonora pulled close, Calabasas broke loose again. Smith scored seven points in the third quarter and Larry Bush added six of his 12 points as the Coyotes took a 42-35 lead into the fourth quarter. Bush also contributed with seven rebounds.

Sonora's Steven Murphy defends against Calabasas guard Conner Longmire during the second half of Sonora's 66-47 loss against Calabasas, Saturday afternoon at Honda Center.

Sonora’s Steven Murphy defends against Calabasas guard Conner Longmire during the second half of Sonora’s 66-47 loss against Calabasas, Saturday afternoon at Honda Center.

Rico began the fourth quarter with a pair of tough jump shots and a pair of free throws to pull Sonora within three points, but that was the closest Sonora would get.

“We just couldn’t score,” Murphy said of the drought. “When you can’t score, you try to extend the defense and create some baskets with our defense. Their guards are really good and they made us foul them at the end.”

In the first quarter, the combination of size and quickness helped Calabasas take an early lead.

While Justin Bessard battled inside for six points, Longmire hit a 3-pointer and completed another three-point play as the Coyotes led 20-12 after the first quarter.

“I thought our team did a tremendous job in this game,” said Jon Palarz, Calabasas head coach. “Our whole team did great in preparation and we played really well on defense, I couldn’t ask for anything more from our guys. Sonora’s a fantastic team and I feel very fortunate to [come away with the win].”

The Raiders quickly erased most of that deficit to start the second quarter, using Steven Murphy for tough baskets inside, the junior scored twice and was fouled on both plays, but made only one of his two free throws.

Halfway through the second quarter, a basket by Rodriguez shrunk the deficit to 24-22. Both defenses took over, altering shots as both teams struggled from the floor.

“I thought we were hurting them early with our drive-and-kick offense, we got some good looks,” Murphy said. “I thought Josh and Adam [Marlow] were able to get to the basket, but we couldn’t finish. We had a tough time finishing.”

A late basket by center Austin Smith gave Calabasas a 26-22 lead at halftime.

Rodriguez led Sonora with 14 points and five assists, while Rico added 12 points and 10 rebounds, but the Raiders shot 16-of-56 from the floor and 4-of-22 on 3-pointers.

Steven Murphy finished with seven points, while Marlow added five points.

Calabasas earned its second title in the last three years. The Coyotes won the CIF-SS 3AA Championship in 2012.

Despite the loss, the Raiders still qualified for the Division 2 South Regional playoffs with the No. 8 seed. Sonora will host Monache High of Porterville, Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Sonora High.

“We’re just ecstatic about getting a chance to play in State, we’ve never been to the State playoffs,” Murphy said. “We definitely didn’t want to end after this game, so we’ll see where we’re at in the bracket tomorrow and we’ll practice on Monday.”

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Highlanders fall flat against Buena Park, Lady Highlanders cruise into playoffs

Posted on 14 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Adam Cooley (seen here) and Zach Gray led the Highlanders with 13 points each, but La Habra fell to Buena Park 45-42, Thursday night at Buena Park High.

Adam Cooley (seen here) and Zach Gray led the Highlanders with 13 points each, but La Habra fell to Buena Park 45-42, Thursday night at Buena Park High.

by Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

The La Habra’s boys’ basketball team lost to Buena Park, 45-42, in the final seconds of the game on Thursday at Buena Park High School.

La Habra (15-11, 4-6) played hard offensively and defensively, but their efforts came up short.

The Highlanders were up, 37-36, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Buena Park (10-17, 2-8) scored quickly to regain the lead.

Adam Cooley drove through defenders for a layup, putting La Habra up by one point, but Buena Park reestablished the lead by scoring four points.

Cooley came back with another basket at the end of the quarter as La Habra trailed, 42-41.

After a free throw made by Buena Park, Cooley was fouled with less than 30 seconds in the game and added one more point for La Habra. The Coyotes led, 43-42.

With less than ten seconds remaining in the game, Buena Park made two free throws to secure the win.

La Habra moved the ball around well on offense, but lacked points due to the absence of leading scorer, David Desatoff.

Buena Park was first to score in the first quarter, but the Highlanders were quick to retaliate.

Down by two points at the end of the quarter, Michael Banks drove down the court and dunked the ball to tie the game, 14-14.

The Highlanders continued to play hard in the second quarter, but Buena Park took the lead, 31-20, going into halftime.

“Pressure them defensively and get steals,” said David Ploog, La Habra head coach about their strategy for the second half.

La Habra came back fighting in the third quarter and outscored Buena Park by 12 points. Buena Park played physical, which made it hard for La Habra to gain a big lead.

“No not totally,” said Coach Ploog on matching Buena Park’s physicality level. “We only did it for a quarter and because of that we lost. We had to do it for four quarters and we only did it one.”

Cooley and Zachary Gray led La Habra in scoring with 13 points each.

Kaili Peko led the Lady Highlanders with 13 points as La Habra defeated Buena Park 42-18, Thursday night at Buena Park High.

Kaili Peko led the Lady Highlanders with 13 points as La Habra defeated Buena Park 42-18, Thursday night at Buena Park High.

GIRLS VARSITY

The La Habra girls’ basketball team clinched second place in the Freeway League as they beat Buena Park, 42-18, at Buena Park High School on Thursday.

“We took a night off last night and it kind of showed today,” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head Coach. “We were able to get some of the other players in, but we were flat.”

The Highlanders (15-10, 8-2) dominated on offense in the first quarter. Lizette Martinez stole the ball late in the quarter and drove it down the court for a layup.

La Habra didn’t allow Buena Park (4-17, 0-10) to score until the last few minutes of the quarter. The Highlanders led, 11-5, going into the second quarter.

Buena Park was first to score in the second quarter, but La Habra fought back and scored nine consecutive points.

Halfway through the quarter, Kaili Peko stole the ball and passed it down the court to Megan Chancellor, who finished the play with a shot under the basket.

Amanda Newby ended the quarter by scoring a three-pointer. La Habra kept the lead, 23-12, going into halftime.

“I got into them a little bit and made sure they got out and spread out the score so we could get other players in,” said Coach Bohn. “That really didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but at the end I had to get my players prepared for next week.”

La Habra continued its dominance on offense and defense in the second half. At the end of the third quarter, Hannah McArthur stole the ball and drove down the court for a layup.

The Highlanders didn’t allow Buena Park to score until the final seconds of the quarter.  La Habra led, 36-14, going into the final quarter.

Buena Park was first to score in the fourth quarter, but La Habra stayed strong on defense, which secured the win.

Kaili Peko led La Habra in scoring with 13 points.

“It was good because everyone worked together as a team,” Peko said. “We kind of slacked off in the beginning, but it was good to have a team win for the last game. Going into the playoffs it will help us a lot.”

The Lady Highlanders will find out on Sunday who they will play in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2AA playoffs.

“We have a lot of practice,” said Coach Bohn, “We’re taking the night off tomorrow, we’re having Saturday practice, we find out on Sunday, and then we’re practicing all the way up until the game.”

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Lady Highlanders win sets up city rivalry showdown for playoff spot

Posted on 14 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra's Maya Langarica controls the ball while working against a Buena Park midfielder during La Habra's 3-0 win, Thursday afternoon.

La Habra’s Maya Langarica controls the ball while working against a Buena Park midfielder during La Habra’s 3-0 win, Thursday afternoon.

Story and photos by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

Slow to start but finishing strong, the Lady Highlanders are still alive for a guaranteed playoff spot. After learning about a potential play-in game Friday between La Habra and Sonora, the Lady Highlanders handled their business against Buena Park, winning 3-0.

With the win today and Sonora’s 4-0 loss to Sunny Hills, the two city rivals will meet up Friday afternoon at La Habra High to determine which will take the No. 3 spot out of the Freeway League.

“To me it seems a little bit sketchy that all of a sudden now they find out, after we beat Sonora, now something miraculous comes up,” head coach Matt Sanger said after the win.

The scenario was set up after it was determined that Fullerton would forfeit both of its results against Sonora, which turned Sonora’s lone tie into a win. Both teams finished 5-5-0 in league play.

The Lady Highlanders learned the news right before kickoff. The news appeared to impact the Lady Highlanders aggressiveness early.

“We had a lot of wind knocked out of our sails, [because] we have to play Sonora again tomorrow,’” Head coach Matt Sanger said.

The Lady Highlanders started out hesitantly squandering chances with light defending and space, but in the 21st minute they struck for their first goal.

Kayla Delgado scored in the 21st minute on a feed from Brooke Mays. The Lady Highlanders were able to dribble the ball all the way up to the net, before finally creating the open look for Delgado.

La Habra was able to carry a 1-0 lead into halftime and it was smooth sailing from then on. Cortney Gonzalez sent a rocket to the back of the net for the Lady Highlanders to give them a 2-0 lead.

Mays collided with the Buena Park keeper in the air fighting for a ball. On the play, the Buena Park keeper was left on the ground, while the ball that Mays hit rolled into the net.

The Buena Park keeper did not return to the game and was replaced with a substitute.

La Habra rested many of their starters in order to prepare for a game Friday.

“Three games in a week is tough, so whichever team can manage that best should come out focused tomorrow,” Sanger said. “Tomorrow we know that they are going to come out hard, that they are going to come out excited. When we played them on Tuesday, I think we played them at their best. That was the best Sonora game I’ve seen in a couple of years.”

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Sonora one win away from league title after win, Lady Raiders throttle Buena Park

Posted on 08 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Josh Rodriguez scored 22 points for the Raiders as they defeated Buena Park 77-64 at home, Friday night.

Josh Rodriguez scored 22 points for the Raiders as they defeated Buena Park 77-64 at home, Friday night.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora boys’ basketball team continued their undefeated league season with a 77-64 win over Buena Park, Friday at home.

It was senior night for Sonora so they started all seniors, but Buena Park jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and head coach Mike Murphy had seen enough. Even though it was Senior Night, it was the work of three juniors that helped lead Sonora to the win.

Forward Steven Murphy put up 23 points and 8 rebounds and Buena Park had no answer for him inside.

“My teammates found me [and] got me the ball in good spots,” Steven Murphy said. “I felt really good tonight, and the whole team played really well.”

Josh Rodriguez had 22 points including three 3-pointers. He also added three steals and five assists.

Ben Rico had 20 points including a 7-for-7 night from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Outside of the three juniors, only two other Raiders scored a combined 13 points. Adam Marlow had 10 of them, and fellow senior Nathan Mendrin scored three points.

“I knew it was senior night so I wanted us to go out and put on a show,” Marlow said. “I am glad that we came out with the win too and we are still undefeated in league.”

Buena Park (8-17, 0-8) was led by 20 points from Deven Boston. Junn Rodriguez added 16 points in the loss.

The Raiders (22-3, 8-0) will take on La Habra, Wednesday at La Habra. With two games to go, the Raiders have a two-game lead in the Freeway League. One more win would clinch the league championship.

“We have put ourselves in a good position,” Steven Murphy said. “We are taking it one game at a time and want to come out and play hard on both sides of the ball against La Habra.”

Even though Sonora can clinch with one win, they want to win both of them.

“We want to go 10-0 in league,” Marlow said. “We still have to play La Habra and Sunny Hills but it would be cool to win both of those. It hasn’t been done by Sonora in a long time and would really show how good this team is.”

Marissa Dunn led the Lady Raiders with 16 points in a dominant 54-15 win over Buena Park at home, Friday night.

Marissa Dunn led the Lady Raiders with 16 points in a dominant 54-15 win over Buena Park at home, Friday night.

GIRLS VARSITY

The Sonora girls’ basketball team sent their seniors off with a much-needed win against Buena Park, 54-15, Friday, at home.

“We only have two seniors but it was important for me to give them their time,” said Melissa Barajas, Sonora head coach. “Lauren [Nakahara] is one of our starters and plays a lot but we got to get Leah Cole some playing time and it was great to see her make a basket.”

The Lady Raiders dominated from the opening whistle. They managed to jump out to a 21-1 in the first quarter.

Marissa Dunn scored seven points in the first quarter alone. She was 4-for-5 from the free-throw line and made a 3-pointer in the period.

“Our defense played really well tonight, but the offense was what I was most impressed with,” Barajas said. “We attacked their defense from the beginning and the girls really got the ball moving.”

Buena Park (4-15, 0-8) did not even make a field goal until there was under a minute left in the first half. At half time Sonora led 36-4. Angela Rodriguez had five points in the second quarter.

The second half was more of the same. Dunn added five points in the third quarter and brought her total to a game-high 16 points. Nakahara continued her hot shooting from the Fullerton game and knocked down two more 3-pointers. Sonora took a 52-8 lead into the final quarter.

Sonora (10-13, 3-5) had most of their starters out for the fourth quarter and only scored two points.

The Lady Raiders will take on La Habra at La Habra High Tuesday, at 6 p.m.

“We have two more tough games to go before the season ends,” Barajas said. “We want to come out and play hard on both of them and try to win them both.”

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Highlanders earn first league win on overtime goal by Salinas

Posted on 30 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The La Habra boys’ soccer team avoided going winless in the first round of Freeway League games, with a 2-1 overtime win over Buena Park, Wednesday afternoon at home.

La Habra had opportunities to put it away without the overtime period. Towards the end of regulation, the Highlanders put themselves in good positions to score but could not convert on a few good opportunities, including a shot off of the goal post in the 78th minute.

When overtime came around, the Highlanders came out with a huge amount of energy and scored just over a minute into the period. Kolby McInally took a free kick near midfield and put a pass into the box. The ball was kicked around before it came to Joe Salinas, who put it in for the eventual game-winning goal.

“I was just trying to get the ball into the box,” said the Senior captain McInally, “We knew that they have had some trouble with set pieces and that we had a good chance to take advantage of those. I just put the ball in the box and it bounced right to Joe.”

The Highlanders (7-7-3, 1-3-1) needed the win after starting league play 0-3-1. The win leaves the team with a chance to claw back into playoff contention. Things should be easier with guys coming back from injury, most notably, senior captain Robert Coronado and midfielder Ray Flores.

Coronado has missed the entire season after suffering a leg fracture in the team’s season opener.

“It is looking like Ray will be in there for us against Fullerton,” McInally said. “That will be huge for us. He is really strong in the middle and a great player on both sides of the ball.”

“Our other captain, Robert Coronado has a doctor appointment a week from today,” added head coach Earvin Aleman. “If all goes well he will be available by the end of next week. We have gotten off to a bad start but this win will give us some confidence and it will only be easier as guys start to come back from injury.”

Along with the pass that led to the game-winning goal for La Habra, McInally also had the first goal for the Highlanders early in the first half.

The Highlanders had a corner kick, but the Coyotes won the ball originally. The ball was then cleared out and Israel Alvarez got a hold of it. He crossed the ball back in right to McInally and picked up the assist on the goal.

The Coyotes (5-8-2, 1-3-1) and Highlanders are now tied at the bottom of the Freeway League standings. La Habra will play a big game against Fullerton on Friday and will have a chance to make a statement.

The Indians will be without talented forward Yazi Hernandez, who suffered a knee injury two weeks ago in a game against Sonora.

“It was great for our guys to pick up a win today,” Aleman said. “Just not having to see a zero in the win column is huge for our guys. If guys can get healthy and we can put the ball in the net, the team will be okay.”

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Early leads lift La Habra basketball teams to sweep of Buena Park

Posted on 30 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

Highlanders guard David Desatoff takes a shot over Buena Park's Zarvontay David during the first half of La Habra's 64-49 home win, Wednesday night.

Highlanders guard David Desatoff takes a shot over Buena Park’s Zarvontay David during the first half of La Habra’s 64-49 home win, Wednesday night. Desatoff led La Habra with 26 points. Photos by Jay Seidel, La Habra Journal

by Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

The La Habra boys’ basketball team defeated Buena Park, 64-49, at home on Wednesday.

“We worked hard on offense,” said David Ploog, La Habra head coach. “Against Sonora we didn’t score a lot so we did a lot of shooting and did a few plays and I think that helped us out.”

The Highlanders (13-8, 2-3) came out strong on defense against Buena Park and held the Coyotes to 6 points. La Habra led 15-6 going into the second quarter.

La Habra pushed the ball on offense in the second quarter and scored 25 points against Buena Park (8-14, 0-5).

David Desatoff got a defensive rebound early in the quarter and passed the ball down the court to Adam Cooley, who finished the play with a shot under the basket.

The Highlanders led 40-27 going into halftime.

“We wanted to make sure that we stayed in front and make them shoot jump shots because they were able to get a lot of layups,” Ploog said. “We knew if we took away their layups and made them take jump shots, we had a good chance. We talked a lot about defense, forcing harder shots.”

La Habra kept the pressure on Buena Park in the third quarter both on offense and defense.

Defensively, Buena Park focused on shutting down Desatoff in the second half after he scored 26 points in the first half.

Adam Cooley puts in a reverse layup over Buena Park's Joe Galvan during the first half of La Habra's 64-49 home win, Wednesday night. Cooley scored 20 points.

Adam Cooley puts in a reverse layup over Buena Park’s Joe Galvan during the first half of La Habra’s 64-49 home win, Wednesday night. Cooley scored 20 points.

The Coyotes tried to penetrate the gaps on offense, but the Highlanders’ defense kept them from scoring. La Habra led, 50-38, going into the final quarter.

La Habra tightened up on defense in the fourth quarter, making it hard for Buena Park to make its shots.

David Desatoff led the team in scoring with five three-pointers and a total of 26 points, all of which were scored in the first half. Adam Cooley followed with 20 points.

“I was ready to shoot, I thought it was going to go in, and it went in,” Desatoff sad. “I wanted to get my other teammates open and pass the ball to our open guys.”

La Habra’s next game will be against Fullerton at home on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“They’re a very aggressive team,” Ploog said. “We have to beat that aggressiveness and practice a lot in dealing with aggressive defenses so that we’re prepared for pressure and we’ll work on our offense again to counter that pressure, work on our screening, and work on our offensive press.”

La Habra's Amanda Cuervo works with the basketball against Buena Park's Lorena Chavez during the fourth quarter of La Habra's 62-19 home win, Wednesday night.

La Habra’s Amanda Cuervo works with the basketball against Buena Park’s Lorena Chavez during the fourth quarter of La Habra’s 62-19 home win, Wednesday night.

GIRLS VARSITY

The La Habra girls’ basketball team annihilated Buena Park High School, 62-19, at home on Wednesday.

The Highlanders (11-9, 4-1) moved the ball well in the first quarter allowing Emma Zener to sink a 3-pointer less than thirty seconds into the game.

“Coming off a win on Friday, it was a big win for us and I tried to keep them focused for this game,” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head coach. “I think we came out a little flat in the beginning of the game, but after a few words of wisdom they decided to step up and start playing.”

La Habra played strong on defense, which forced multiple turnovers by the Coyotes (4-8, 0-3).

Megan Chancellor stole the ball early in the first quarter and drove the ball down the court for a layup. La Habra led 12-7 going into the second quarter.

The Highlanders pushed the ball on offense in the second quarter and scored 32 points, advancing the score to 44-18 going into halftime.

“I wanted them to continue to work on their offense,” Bohn said. “I told them that we want to control our opportunity on offense also. We have to practice for other games that are coming up too and what it allowed us to do was to run some of that half court offense that we need. The main thing is to stay focused and keep that intensity so we could have a bigger lead, which allows everyone else to get involved in the game.”

La Habra came out strong on defense in the third quarter and shut down the Coyote’s offense, preventing them from scoring. La Habra led Buena Park, 58-18, going into the final quarter.

Both teams continued to fight in the fourth quarter, but La Habra didn’t let down its guard on defense and held the Coyotes to only one point.

The Highlanders controlled their turnovers in the game, allowing them to be more aggressive on offense.

“That’s one of the things we’ve been working on,” Bohn said. “At practice yesterday, all of it was just on press break and it paid off tonight. We still have a few areas we need to tweak. We have to get ready for Fullerton on Friday, which will be another good game. We’re at home so we’re happy with decreasing some of those turnovers.”

Freshman Emma Zener led the team in scoring with four 3-pointers and a total of 17 points, all of which were scored in the first half. Megan Chancellor followed with 14 points.

“It’s more of like a relief because I feel like I’ve been trying to prove myself as a freshman on varsity,” Zener said. “I’m just really relieved that I actually made those shots and it feels really great.”

La Habra’s next game will be against Fullerton at home on Friday at 6 p.m.

“We’re going to prepare in a few ways,” Bohn said. “We have to work to make sure again that we control turnovers. In the first game against Fullerton, the ball and the point scoring were spread very well. That’s what we have to do and get everybody involved. It’s the second half of the league and, like I told them, the first half is over and we have to prove ourselves in the second. I’m sure Fullerton will come in ready to play and we have to be ready too.”

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Raiders lack effort despite win, Sonora girls hoops dominate Buena Park

Posted on 23 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

Ben Rico led the Raiders with 21 points in a narrow 56-52 win over Buena Park, Wednesday night at Buena Park High.

Ben Rico led the Raiders with 21 points in a narrow 56-52 win over Buena Park, Wednesday night at Buena Park High.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Coming off the excitement of earning Mike Murphy his milestone win, the Sonora boys’ basketball team was lucky to escape with a 56-52 victory over Buena Park, Wednesday night on the road.

The Raiders struggled to find any offensive consistency against Buena Park’s quick and athletic interior and trailed for most of the second quarter before taking the lead for good on a run just before halftime.

Ben Rico was Sonora’s saving grace, scoring 21 points, which included two free throws with two seconds left to seal a win that was in jeopardy through most of the fourth quarter. Rico also hauled in eight rebounds.

“I told our guys that in the 24 years I’ve been coaching here, I’ve never had a team come out and give that little effort in a game,” Murphy said. “I thought it was the worst game we’ve played in 24 years, I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t know what was going on.”

Josh Rodriguez hit two free throws to give the Raiders their largest lead at seven points in the third quarter, but Buena Park’s Deven Boston and June Rodriguez led a Buena Park charge that put pressure on Sonora throughout the second half.

Every time the Raiders found a two-possession lead in the fourth quarter, Coyotes’ guard Joe Galvan cut it with a timely 3-pointer. June Rodriguez added seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter.

“Give them a lot of credit, they were tougher, quicker, they played way harder than we did and they beat us to every rebound,” Murphy said. “That played a huge part of it. We just couldn’t keep up with the game.”

Steven Murphy countered with two inside baskets, while Rico and Adam Marlow combined for seven free throws to preserve the slim margin of victory.

The Raiders went 5-for-26 from 3-point range, Marlow went 1-for-10 from the floor and Steven Murphy struggled to hit layups in the second quarter.

In addition, Josh Rodriguez went 2-for-11 from the floor and 1-for-8 from long range. He fouled out with 1:50 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“It’s tough to beat anyone like that, luckily we made free throws at the end,” Mike Murphy said. “We’ve been looking to try and find a positive and we just can’t find one.”

The struggles started immediately for the Raiders (17-3, 3-0), who scored their first four points on Rico free throws and committed three early turnovers.

Frustrated with his team’s inability to run plays, Mike Murphy cleared his bench to replace every starter except for Rico in an attempt to send a message.

However, after surviving the quarter with an 8-8 tie, the team still couldn’t put it together in the second quarter and fell behind.

Boston scored six of his team-high 17 points in the second quarter as the Coyotes (8-12, 0-3) led with less than two minutes remaining in the first half.

However, Josh Rodriguez hit a go-ahead layup and Jason McClung hit a buzzer-beating layup to give the Raiders a 25-21 halftime lead.

Mike Murphy believes that the lack of effort could have been the result of the team’s tendencies in practice.

“We haven’t had a good practice in two weeks,” Mike Murphy said. “When you have success, they think they don’t have to practice, they’ll come and they’ll win and it doesn’t work that way.”

The Raiders will try to improve upon Wednesday night’s performance when they host city rival La Habra, Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

“We need to come to practice ready to go,” Murphy said. “We just have to start practicing again.”

Marissa Dunn led Sonora with 20 points and scored the first nine points of the game in the Lady Raiders' 52-12 win over Buena Park, Wednesday night.

Marissa Dunn led Sonora with 20 points and scored the first nine points of the game in the Lady Raiders’ 52-12 win over Buena Park, Wednesday night.

GIRLS VARSITY

Continuing its theme of full-court pressure defense, the Sonora girls’ basketball team effectively bullied host Buena Park in the first quarter, which led to a 52-12 league win, Wednesday night.

The Lady Raiders forced 22 turnovers in the first quarter alone, while sophomore Marissa Dunn sparked the offense early and Sonora led 22-0.

In addition to the forced turnovers, Sonora allowed just one shot attempt by Buena Park (4-8, 0-3) in the first quarter.

“We really liked the way they pressured the ball and they did it without fouling,” said Melissa Barajas, Sonora head coach. “We’ve been working on a couple things to add to our defensive scheme and the girls stuck to that today, so we’re really happy.”

Dunn led the Lady Raiders with 20 points and scored Sonora’s first nine points of the contest. Angela Rodriguez added six points late in the quarter.

Meghann Henderson added 14 points, distributing them evenly with seven points in each half.

“It was great to see her come out and be aggressive,” Barajas said. “As a sophomore, she has some breakout games and there are times where she isn’t as aggressive or it doesn’t come early in games. We know she has it in her, it’s just a matter of being consistent and being offensive minded.”

The Lady Raiders (9-9, 2-1) kept up the pressure throughout, allowing no more than six points in any quarter.

Offensively, Sonora was aggressive, scoring most of their points inside or at the free throw line. Sonora attempted just eight 3-pointers and hit two of them.

Valeria Ortiz scored four points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Lady Coyotes.

After back-to-back big wins, the Lady Raiders may have a boost of confidence heading into their rivalry matchup with La Habra, Friday night at Sonora.

“I thought our last two games helped with our confidence,” Barajas said. “Even early on, when we were doing well defensively, we couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. Being able to finish in these last couple games definitely gives us more confidence.”

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