Tag Archive | "sunny hills"

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Late inning rally leads Sunny Hills past host Lady Highlanders

Posted on 07 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

Janelle Rodriguez pitches against Sunny Hills, Tuesday afternoon. Sunny Hills scored two runs in the seventh inning, dropping the Lady Highlanders 2-0 at La Habra High.

Janelle Rodriguez pitches against Sunny Hills, Tuesday afternoon. Sunny Hills scored two runs in the seventh inning, dropping the Lady Highlanders 2-0 at La Habra High.

Story and photo by Daniel Hargis
La Habra Journal

Both teams threatened to score throughout the game, but two late runs propelled the Sunny Hills High softball team to a 2-0 win over defending Freeway League champion La Habra at La Habra High School on Tuesday.

The visiting Lady Lancers (10-11, 4-3) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning, leaving the Lady Highlanders’ (15-10, 4-3) league-best offense with one chance to earn extra innings or a win.

“It takes that one person to get a hit and get it going,” La Habra head coach Frank McCarroll said. “We get people on base, we get them over, but we can’t get them in.”

Sunny Hills’ successful scoring inning got started when junior shortstop Marshaylee Knighten reached first base and advanced to second on a fielding error by La Habra junior first baseman Amanda Akles.

A base hit to left field forced a throw home to stop Knighten from scoring, allowing the batter Amber Elliot to reach second.

However the next batter drove Knighten home on an RBI single, and an RBI ground out plated Elliot for the second run.

“I was pretty confident with the defense I had playing behind me. I was relaxed, and I kind of got pressured,” Rodriguez said. “But I stuck through it, I think my team did amazing today.”

In the bottom of the inning, senior left fielder Taylor Pierce was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.

A fly out to third base almost precluded the game ending out to Lady Lancers pitcher Riley Nahrwold, but a fielding error on Nahrwold’s part put the game-tying run on base.

Another hit batter loaded the bases, but Nahrwold handled the next ground ball hit to her and safely put the game away.

Things got off to a fast start as Sunny Hills found itself with runners at second and third base with only one out in the top of the first inning.

But Lady Highlanders’ pitcher Janelle Rodriguez ended the inning herself with a strikeout followed by a ground ball straight into her grasp for the final out.

La Habra, who leads the Freeway League with 147 runs scored, had its best chances to score in the second and sixth innings.

In the second inning the Lady Highlanders had runners at second and third base, but could not get a runner across. In the sixth inning they had runners at first and second base, but again failed to bring the runs home.

“We need to hit the ball,” McCarroll said. “When it matters it hasn’t happened the last few games, and it’s cost us.”

La Habra, eyeing a fifth straight league championship, falls back into a four-way tie for second place in the Freeway league with Sonora, Troy and Sunny Hills at 4-3. Fullerton stands at the top of the league with a 5-2 record after a 5-4 nine-inning victory over Sonora. All four teams have three games to go.

“We need to have a lot of heart and keep our heads up and keep pushing,” Rodriguez said. “Just keep being the team we know we can be.”

The Lady Highlanders next play at 3:15 p.m. Thursday at fifth-placed Troy High School.

Comments Off on Late inning rally leads Sunny Hills past host Lady Highlanders

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Butler’s blast helps to lift Lady Highlanders over Sunny Hills

Posted on 17 April 2014 by La Habra Journal

Nikki Butler high-fives head coach Frank McCarroll as she rounds third base after hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning of La Habra's 8-4 win over Sunny Hills, Thursday on the road.

Nikki Butler high-fives head coach Frank McCarroll as she rounds third base after hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning of La Habra’s 8-4 win over Sunny Hills, Thursday on the road.

Story and photos by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

Nikki Butler took three pitches to her knee before she finally responded with a home run to propel the La Habra girls’ softball team to an 8-4 win over Sunny Hills, Thursday afternoon on the road.

The three-run shot was part of a five-run rally for the Lady Highlanders, who took the lead late in the ball game.

The Lady Highlanders had no trouble putting runners on base, however through four innings, they led by just one run.

“Early on we put pressure on them, couldn’t get that big hit, then eventually one of our stars took care of business,” said Frank McCarroll, La Habra head coach.

In the fifth inning, the big hits came. With the bases loaded Racquel Manzo hit a line drive to left field. The ball was moving so fast that the left fielder only clipped it with her glove before she turned to chase it. Two runs scored on the play, and the Lady Highlanders were in business.

Two batters later, Nikki Butler came up ready to break the game open. Butler had visited first base three straight times after being hit by pitches.

“After three hit-by-pitches, I knew she wasn’t going to come at me with anything fat but when she left it over the plate and up in my zone I knew I needed to take advantage of it,” Butler said.

Butler crushed the pitch and sent it to deep centerfield.

Nikki Butler connects and sends a pitch over the center field fence for a three-run home run in the fifth inning, Thursday afternoon.

Nikki Butler connects and sends a pitch over the center field fence for a three-run home run in the fifth inning, Thursday afternoon.

“She’s a stud, she’s legit she’s going to go off to college and be D1 somewhere and play big time college softball, you’re going to see her on TV and more importantly she’s a great kid,” McCarroll said about his sophomore catcher.

The Lady Highlanders had been drilled six times total on the day, however coach McCarroll had no doubt they were unintentional.

“That’s not what they’re about, they’re a quality program,” McCarroll said, “What crossed my mind is they’re pretty smart not pitching to her, because look what happens when you do.”

The game was indicative of the rivalry between two teams who shared the league title last year. With the road victory, the Highlanders position themselves early for a strong run, however Butler intends to stay focused and prepared against the Lady Lancers.

“They will come back at our house even stronger wanting to beat us,” Butler said.

The Lady Highlanders played with energy and chanted the entire game to get in the heads of their opponent.

“The energy, the enthusiasm, the camaraderie, working together, we talked about being a team and in a team sport, not everyone gets to play,” McCarroll said, “we’ve got some good players, we’ve got kids that could play probably wherever but they’re up here working their butts off to be part of it.”

In addition to complimenting his whole team’s effort, he especially highlighted Butler’s hot streak.

“She’s a leader, she’s enthusiastic, the kids respect her, she plays hard, she plays tough, and she always has a smile, what better than that.” McCarroll said.

The three run shot gave the Highlanders a commanding 8-2 lead and plenty of support for Taylor Pierce who completed her second game in league play. With the win they move to 2-0 in Freeway League play and will welcome Troy High School on Tuesday.

Comments Off on Butler’s blast helps to lift Lady Highlanders over Sunny Hills

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

Sonora completes first undefeated league season since 2001, Lady Raiders force one-game playoff

Posted on 14 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Josh Rodriguez led the Raiders with26 points as Sonora defeated Sunny Hills 83-73, Thursday night at Sonora.

Josh Rodriguez led the Raiders with26 points as Sonora defeated Sunny Hills 83-73, Thursday night at Sonora.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora boys basketball team finished off their undefeated run through the Freeway League with an 83-73 victory over Sunny Hills, Friday, at Sonora.  They are the first team to go undefeated in Freeway League play since 2001.

“This is a special team,” said senior Roy Saucedo. “We came into the year and this was our goal. To be able to do it shows a lot about our team.”

Josh Rodriguez led the offensive attack for Sonora. Rodriguez had 26 points and also added nine rebounds and three assists. Of the 26 points, 12 came in the second quarter alone.

“My shots started falling and I felt like I could make anything,” Rodriguez said. “I can’t even describe how we feel right now.”

Besides Rodriguez, four other Raiders scored in double figures.

Adam Marlow had 15 points. Ben Rico had 13 points. Steven Murphy had 11 and Christian Rhodes had 10.

Rico was held scoreless until he got a steal and nailed a buzzer-beating three-point shot from well beyond the arc at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Rico erupted for 10 points and began to attack the basket more.

“Ben was huge for us tonight,” head coach Mike Murphy said. “He made that three and got the confidence back. He did a really good job adjusting his game.”

Along with the balanced effort in points, the Raiders also had four guys with at least nine rebounds. Rico led the team with 10, and picked up his second consecutive double double.  Murphy, Rodriguez and Saucedo had nine each.

Sonora did not start the senior Saucedo and elected to go with Christian Rhodes due to his 10-point performance against the Lancers earlier this season. As soon as Saucedo came in he took over the game with some big rebounds.

“We didn’t start Roy today and it seemed like he played that much harder,” Mike Murphy said. “He is an energy guy for sure and he came in and just played harder than anybody else on the court. His rebounds late were huge and he got us some extra possessions to help run some clock off.”

Now that the regular season is over, the Raiders will turn their attention to the CIF playoffs. They are going in as one of the favorites in Division 2A and look to make a deep run.

“We are through the roof right now after finishing undefeated,” Marlow said. “But, we need to get back at it and play some basketball. We can’t let it get to out heads.”

Mike Murphy is in his 29th year as a high school head coach and knows that this team may be one of his best chances for an elusive CIF championship.

“I am 0-29 in CIF,” Mike Murphy said. “This is a special team. This team has as good of a chance as any team I have had in a long time.”

GIRLS VARSITY

The Sonora girls’ basketball team finished its 2014 campaign on a strong note with a 59-45 victory over visiting Sunny Hills, Thursday night.

Meghann Henderson led a Lady Raiders’ charge with 17 points, while Lauren Nakahara scored 13 points and Marissa Dunn added 12 points.

Sonora got off to a quick start and held a 38-24 lead at halftime.

After a slow third quarter, the Lady Raiders outscored the Lady Lancers 16-9 in the final quarter to take the win.

The win by Sonora created a three-way tie for third place in the Freeway League.

The Lady Raiders will face Sunny Hills again, Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Sonora High.

Comments Off on Sonora completes first undefeated league season since 2001, Lady Raiders force one-game playoff

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

Highlanders collect big win over Sunny Hills, Lady Highlanders extend win streak

Posted on 06 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

David Desatoff scored 12 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and La Habra upset Sunny Hills 72-69, Wednesday night at home.

David Desatoff scored 12 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and La Habra upset Sunny Hills 72-69, Wednesday night at home.

by Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

The La Habra boys’ basketball team kept the sun from shining as they beat Sunny Hills, 72-69, at home on Friday.

Although the score was close, La Habra (15-8, 4-3) led the Lancers throughout the game. Both teams battled until the end, but the Highlanders got their revenge after losing to Sunny Hills in the teams’ first Freeway League matchup earlier in the season.

“Last time they did a really good job pushing fast and they still did it tonight too, they’re very fast,” said David Ploog, La Habra head coach. “We just had to remind ourselves to get back on defense. We did a lot of defensive transitioning to get back with our players.”

La Habra started strong in the first quarter with a block by Adam Cooley less than a minute into the game that allowed the Highlanders to gain control of the ball, which landed in the hands of Justin Jaimez who sank a three-pointer.

La Habra led Sunny Hills (15-9, 5-2), 14-13, going into the second quarter.

Tension and aggression between the two teams escalated in the second quarter. The players became more physical and the crowd started to get rowdy.

“We did a good job keeping them on the three-point line and rotating defensively,” Ploog said. “A team like that, you always have to get on them close. We also stressed pressing the ball hard so that they weren’t able to get their drives.”

David Desatoff stole the ball from the Lancers early in the quarter and drove down the court for a layup, advancing their score to 18-13.

Sunny Hills continued to push the pace, but La Habra kept the lead, 37-30, going into halftime.

“I basically just drew on the board, keep them on the three-point line, and attack the basket,” Ploog said. “As long as we kept attacking the basket we’re going to get baskets. Because of our size we kept saying that they’re going to push you, but we just have to keep going to the basket.”

Sunny Hills came back fighting after halftime and Elijah Kim sank a three pointer at the beginning of the quarter.

La Habra fought back and Adam Cooley drove the ball down the baseline, twisted to get through defenders, and made the layup, which advanced their lead to its highest point at 43-33.

Both teams went back and forth with scoring, but La Habra kept the lead over Sunny Hills, 53-44, going into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was dominated by offense for both teams and the ball was constantly ricocheting back and forward between baskets.

La Habra was up by only one point with less than a minute left in the game, but Jaimez was fouled and made both free throws, advancing the score to 66-63. Zachary Gray quickly sank a shot and Desatoff followed by adding two more baskets to end the game.

David Desatoff led the team in scoring with a season high of 27 points and Adam Cooley followed with 13 points.

“I was just on fire today, I guess, and my team was playing extremely well,” Desatoff said. “Going into tonight’s game we needed to shut down Max Thurman and I think we did a pretty good job of that. There was a lot of shoving and holding, but we had to get through it.”

La Habra’s next game will be against Troy on Friday at Troy High School.

“We know that Troy has a lot of different options, they have a lot of good shooters and we’re going to have to press their shooters again just like before,” Ploog said. “We’re going to work in practice at getting out on shooters quickly, Offensively, I think if we continue to move things like we did tonight and work on getting it low towards that basket, it’s going to help us out.”

Lizette Martinez (right) led the Lady Highlanders with 13 points in a dominant 44-24 win over Sunny Hills, Wednesday night at home.

Lizette Martinez (right) led the Lady Highlanders with 13 points in a dominant 44-24 win over Sunny Hills, Wednesday night at home.

GIRLS VARSITY

The La Habra girls’ basketball team extended their win streak to four games as they beat Sunny Hills, 44-24, at home on Wednesday.

La Habra (13-9, 6-1) started the game strong and controlled the ball, eliminated turnovers, and forced turnovers out of the Lady Lancers. The Lady Highlanders held the Sunny Hills to only three points in the first quarter.

“I think we had some time to prepare,” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head coach. “Our shooting has been pretty good the last few games, which helps, and our defense was great. I thought Larissa [Maehara] did a great job on Justis [Simpson] and held her to four points and Lizette [Martinez] also held [Lauren] Fruto, their other scorer, to two points. They played great defense and played the zone very well.”

Sunny Hills (13-10, 3-4) had a hard time stopping La Habra on defense and the Lady Highlanders took advantage of opportunities. La Habra led 19-3 going into the second quarter.

“We figured we would go with speed this time,” Bohn said. “We moved Larissa on Justis to get that speed because Kaili is rehabbing from a few little injuries and we figured to go to a speed game and Megan [Chancellor] played big again. We moved the ball well offensively and we eliminated turnovers from what we normally do. It’s a big win for us. [Sunny Hills Head Coach] Craig Weinreich has a great team and they play hard, but I’m excited we held the team and played with them.”

The Lady Highlanders’ momentum carried into the second quarter as Ashleigh Bessler scored off of a layup under the basket less than thirty seconds into the start of the quarter.

La Habra played hard on defense and kept Sunny Hills in single digits. The Lady Highlanders continued to lead, 25-7 going into halftime.

“I told them that when we came back out I wanted them to continue focusing on playing, you held them for the first half and continue it for the second,” Bohn said “I told them to look at the scoreboard as if it were reversed, so we were playing going uphill rather than from the top. I think that kept them aggressive for the second half.”

The Lady Highlanders came back fighting in the second half and continued to push the ball on offense.

Martinez gained possession of the ball halfway through the quarter and drove it down the middle for a layup, made the basket, and was fouled. Martinez made her free throw to complete the three-point play.

La Habra’s defense did not let up and held the Lady Lancers to only two points in the quarter. The Lady Highlanders led 36-9 going into the final quarter.

The Lady Lancers tried to come back in the fourth quarter by scoring 15 points, but the attempt wasn’t enough to take the lead and win the game.

Martinez led the team in scoring with 13 points and Chancellor followed with 10 points.

“I just wanted to make my baskets and try to get the team pumped up,” Martinez said. “I wanted to win tonight’s game and hopefully do better than what we did last time, to reduce the turnovers that we had last game, and to beat them.”

La Habra’s next game will be against Troy on Friday at Troy High School.

“We are going to go out and be competitive, be aggressive, and play our game,” Bohn said. “Troy is a great team, they have a lot of great players, and when you have a team that’s in the top five in the county, our goal is to try to eliminate turnovers, play aggressive, play our game, and give our best effort.”

Comments Off on Highlanders collect big win over Sunny Hills, Lady Highlanders extend win streak

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

Sonora suffers tough road loss, La Habra evens series with Sunny Hills

Posted on 05 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

IMG_6681by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

For nearly 70 minutes, the Sonora boys’ soccer team made league-leading Fullerton look like just another league opponent.

The Raiders dominated the midfield, which led to an increased number of scoring opportunities, but Fullerton goalkeeper Cesar Herrera was up to the challenge in shutting out Sonora’s potent offense.

After weathering Sonora’s storm, the Indians finished on a flurry, scoring three goals in the final 11 minutes for a 3-0 win at Fullerton, Wednesday afternoon.

“These games are really hard because, for all intents and purposes, we dominated them,” said Cory Witt, Sonora head coach. “We didn’t give up 10 minutes, but after that [first] goal, it was very deflating. We must have had seven quality chances, maybe eight today.”

Fullerton (15-3-3, 5-1-1) tallied its first score in the 69th minute off a corner kick to the head of defender Sammy McKay, who was up in the box to redirect the kick to the far side of the net.

One minute later, Sonora midfielder Juan Villalobos got a through ball up to forward Giancarlo Oros, but the forward’s shot went directly to Herrera who bumped it over the cross bar.

The Raiders’ ensuing corner kick was cleared. Four minutes later, Fullerton bumped a long throw-in to forward Josh Pilvosky on the far side for an easy score.

Defender Clayton Mohler finished the scoring in the 79th minute when his penalty kick got past a diving Luis Gonzalez.

“I have to give them a lot of credit, they withstood the pressure,” Witt said. “Defensively, they held their ground. I thought they made some big mistakes that we couldn’t capitalize on. I give their keeper a ton of credit, he’s their MVP today, he made some great saves.”

To get to that point, Fullerton had to persevere through a relentless Sonora attack. The Raiders kept constant pressure on Fullerton in the first half to the point where Indians’ defenders scrambled just to clear a ball out of the defensive third rather than start a possession.

The Raiders (5-6-3, 2-4-1) started a string of attacks in the 21st minute when Jose Murillo baited Herrera to come out of the net, but missed solid contact on a cross from Eli Rico-Torres.

The next time Murillo touched the ball, he rifled a shot that was tipped by Herrera and bounced off the cross bar.

The Raiders continued to attack thanks to some extra help in the midfield.

“Our three-midfielder set causes teams fits,” Witt said. “If you don’t adjust your lineup to match it, you’re going to be in trouble. That’s our strength, we have three of the best midfielders in the league.”

Rico-Torres collected a through ball on the left side in the 29th minute, but Herrera came up with the stop.

Early in the second half, a shot by Murillo bounced off a Fullerton defender to the right foot of Rico-Torres, who missed a bit high on the near corner.

Forward Andy Araiza missed an opportunity in the 48th minute after failing to get solid contact on another great cross by Rico-Torres.

In the 56th minute, a header by Rico-Torres off a free kick by Villalobos was saved by a diving Herrera.

The Raiders fall into a fourth place tie with La Habra after the loss. Sonora will attempt to bounce back at home against Buena Park, Friday afternoon.

“We‘re going to get back to work tomorrow and we have to keep our heads straight,” Witt said. “I just told our guys that we just took it to the No. 1 team in our league and the No. 7 team in Orange County. They’re very good and we made them look mediocre and I don’t know what it was, we seemed to get up for this game, which was good. It’s a tough loss.”

IMG_6154LA HABRA

It was a day of redemption for the La Habra boys’ soccer team in a 2-1 victory over Sunny Hills, Wednesday afternoon at home.

For the second time in as many games against the Lancers, the Highlanders took a lead in the first half.

After receiving two yellow cards in the first matchup, forward Joe Salinas got his own personal redemption against the Lancers by scoring La Habra’s first goal.

Ray Flores added a score and the Highlanders led 2-0 at halftime.

La Habra (8-8-3, 2-4-1) shifted its attention to defense in the second half in order to hold on for the win.

“We were able to use the width of the field, when our wings got the ball out wide, they would go at them, which led to us getting balls in the box,” said Earvin Aleman, La Habra head coach. “Their goalie wasn’t coming out as much, which helped with creating our chances.”

In the 20th minute, Israel Alvarez put a solid touch on a corner kick to the near post, which Salinas redirected for a goal.

Later in the half in the 35th minute, Austin Nazer bumped a long throw-in to Flores on the far side for an easy tap-in goal.

“We told the guys that it’s not so much whether we win or lose, but how we come out and play,” Aleman said. “We’re at home, so we’re expected to play our game. I think that was a big thing for us from the very beginning and it carried throughout the game.”

In the second half, La Habra focused its efforts on defense, preventing Sunny Hills (10-5-5, 3-2-2) from executing its offensive gameplan.

“We knew they were a long ball team, so when we had a sense that they were going to send it, we had them drop,” Aleman said. “That’s what they did, they were teeing the ball up, but we were there every time. Ray and Israel really picked it up with second balls.”

The Highlanders will hope to keep the momentum when they battle Troy on the road, Friday afternoon.

“This win boosts us up big time,” Aleman said. “We haven’t been playing bad, but considering the results and the fact that we’re still in it, we still need to take it one game at a time.”

Comments Off on Sonora suffers tough road loss, La Habra evens series with Sunny Hills

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lady Highlanders can’t contain Sunny Hills in second half

Posted on 04 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra goalkeeper Katelyn Phinney dives and protects a ball to thwart a Sunny Hills attack during the second half of the Lady Highlanders' 3-0 loss, Tuesday afternoon at Sunny Hills High.

La Habra goalkeeper Katelyn Phinney dives and protects a ball to thwart a Sunny Hills attack during the second half of the Lady Highlanders’ 3-0 loss, Tuesday afternoon at Sunny Hills High.

Story and photos by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

After defending well in the first half, the La Habra girls’ soccer team couldn’t hold down a potent Sunny Hills offense in the second half, falling 3-0 on the road, Tuesday afternoon.

Scoreless at halftime, La Habra looked confident with just 40 minutes to play. However the Lady Lancers offense was just waiting to break out.

Sunny Hills (23-1-2, 7-0-0) has dominated the Freeway League, going undefeated while averaging 4.3 goals per game, but failed to capitalize on its opportunities against a young Lady Highlanders’ defense.

La Habra (9-8-2, 3-4-0) looked prepared to capitalize with odds in its favor.

Goalkeeper Katelyn Phinney was on fire and stopped everything in sight, and Sunny Hills faced the sun in the second half. Unfortunately for the Lady Highlanders, the clouds fell over the sun and so did their hopes of victory, as they surrendered their first of three goals in the 47th minute.

Controlling possession deep into the La Habra territory, Maribell Morales ripped a shot just under Phinney’s arm for the Lady Lancers’ first goal.

Sunny Hills’ constant pressure wore down the Lady Highlanders, which allowed Morales to eventually break through.

La Habra's Catalina Norris slide tackles to prevent a cross during the second half of La Habra's 3-0 loss at Sunny Hills, Tuesday afternoon.

La Habra’s Catalina Norris slide tackles to prevent a cross during the second half of La Habra’s 3-0 loss at Sunny Hills, Tuesday afternoon.

“As we got tired we gave them more space, then Maribel Morales took over,” said Matt Sanger, La Habra head coach. “The first goal she beat three of our girls, got a clean shot. She took the corner for the second goal, and the third goal again she took three of our defenders and got a clean shot. So it was a combination of us being tired and their best player taking over the game.”

Although the Lady Highlanders took the loss, Sanger was happy with the majority of his girls’ defense. The Lady Highlanders started Freshman Jessica Garcia and Sophomore Rebecca Hernandez. “(They’ve) shown that they’re the best two center backs that we have,” Sanger said. “They are starting to get more time together and they’re starting to get more comfortable together and that’s something we’ve been missing all season.”

Sanger has begun to develop a core of young contributors lead by their first year starting keeper Phinney.

“Katelyn did the best she could, none of the goals were her fault, we kind of left her hung out to dry a few times … she’s becoming a future leader,” Sanger said.

The Lady Highlanders welcome Troy next Thursday where they will look to even a score. The Lady Warriors dropped La Habra 5-0 earlier this season.

“We need to continue to be defensively disciplined,” Sanger said, “But the biggest thing we need to do is we need to be a little bit more free to attack.”

Comments Off on Lady Highlanders can’t contain Sunny Hills in second half

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Raiders fall behind early in loss to Sunny Hills

Posted on 30 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

A shot by Sonora's Juan Villalobos gets past Sunny Hills goalkeeper Niko Pedroza in the 73rd minute of Sonora's 2-1 loss, Wednesday afternoon.

A shot by Sonora’s Juan Villalobos gets past Sunny Hills goalkeeper Niko Pedroza in the 74th minute of Sonora’s 2-1 loss, Wednesday afternoon.

Story and photos by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

After a rather lopsided win last Friday, the Sonora boys’ soccer team dug itself into a hole, falling 2-1 against Sunny Hills on the road.

The Raiders were shut down through the first 70 minutes, but by then the Lancers were in cruise control.

Sonora’s offense sputtered throughout most of the game, but in the 74th minute midfielder Juan Villalobos scored to cut a 2-0 deficit in half.

With time quickly racing off the clock, the Raiders were desperate to even the score.

“We started cheating a bit, not marking our guys on the wing,” said Cory Witt, Sonora head coach. “You can’t play 15 minutes of that style and expect to win.”

In the 65th minute with a 1-0 lead, Lancers’ forward Nick Vazquez tapped in a perfect cross to give his team their eventual winning goal.

“Our plan is to become a little more offensive minded, possession with a purpose,” Witt said. “You can play east to west, but if you’re not moving the ball north to south from goal to goal, you’re not being effective.”

The Raiders (5-4-3, 2-2-1) wanted to build off an impressive performance from Eli Rico-Torres who put in five goals in two games last week. Unfortunately for the Raiders, the Sunny Hills defenders contained Rico-Torres and controlled the pace of the game.

Sonora senior Erik Oliva corrals a loose ball during the first half of Sonora's 2-1 loss at Sunny Hills, Wednesday afternoon.

Sonora senior Erik Oliva corrals a loose ball during the first half of Sonora’s 2-1 loss at Sunny Hills, Wednesday afternoon.

“We came in with a gameplan and we only played that gameplan for 45-50 minutes of the game,” Witt said.

The Lancers (9-4-5, 2-1-2) played a competitive first half coming into the half up 1-0 with a goal on a set piece by defender Miguel Tapia.

With the lead, the Lancers turned up their defense and silenced the Raiders offense until it was too late.

“We lacked enthusiasm, we lacked energy, we put some good subs in there, they brought some life into our midfield,” Witt said.

With the loss, the Raiders fall to 2-2-1 in league play. The Lancers jumped over the Raiders with the victory and have moved into a tie for second place in the Freeway League.

The Raiders return to action at 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon at Troy High School.

Comments Off on Raiders fall behind early in loss to Sunny Hills

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

Sonora holds off Sunny Hills on the road, Lady Raiders fall

Posted on 29 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Adam Marlow drives in for a layup while Sunny Hills' Elijah Kim attempts to block from behind during the first half of Sonora's 62-60 win at Sunny Hills, Wednesday night.

Sonora’s Adam Marlow drives in for a layup while Sunny Hills’ Elijah Kim attempts to block from behind during the first half of Sonora’s 62-60 win at Sunny Hills, Wednesday night.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

In his first two seasons as a starter on the varsity basketball team, Sonora senior guard Adam Marlow had not been able to celebrate a Raiders victory at Sunny Hills High.

On Wednesday night, with the score tied 56-56 and 1:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, the senior took matters into his own hands by driving the lane and dropping in two tough layups to lead to a 62-60 victory over the Lancers.

“This was huge, I’ve never won here, it feels pretty good,” Marlow said. “[Coach] Murphy told me to step up, be the senior on the team and make a big shot and see what I had inside. It was open, so I just took it and made it count.”

Marlow finished with 12 points, saving his two best shots until the team needed them in the fourth quarter.

Josh Rodriguez and Ben Rico led the Raiders with 17 points each and Christian Rhodes provided a huge boost off the bench with 10 points.

The trio combined to score 23 of Sonora’s 27 points in a second quarter that saw the Raiders turn a four-point deficit into a 42-30 halftime lead.

“Last year, they got up early on us and we couldn’t get it back, so this year we talked about that in practice,” Marlow said. “We knew they would make a run and that we would have to get it back. It shows how tough we are as a team and how much we’ve grown over the past year that we can take a punch like that and keep fighting.”

Sonora's Christian Rhodes drives the lane against Sunny Hills' Martin Kim during the first half of Sonora's 62-60 win. Rhodes provided 10 big points off the bench.

Sonora’s Christian Rhodes drives the lane against Sunny Hills’ Martin Kim during the first half of Sonora’s 62-60 win. Rhodes provided 10 big points off the bench.

The Raiders struggled against Sunny Hills’ aggressive defense in the second half, but Sonora’s zone defense also slowed down the Lancers’ fast-paced offense.

That was, until Max Thurman took over. The senior guard scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and single-handedly led the charge to tie the score late in the fourth quarter.

He also made four of the Lancers’ eight 3-pointers.

“They were tough, we practiced a lot for them and we were pretty ready,” Marlow said. “They’re quick and they shoot 3s, so you know what you’re going to get, but it’s still tough to stop.”

Added Murphy, “I’m glad there wasn’t another minute left in that fourth quarter, because they were charging.”

The Raiders (19-3, 5-0) had to overcome a lightning fast Sunny Hills start. The Lancers made their first seven shots of the game, taking a 15-5 lead and forcing Murphy to call two timeouts.

After the second timeout, the Raiders switched to the zone defense and the offense found its rhythm.

The Raiders took the lead immediately in the second quarter thanks to a 7-0 run. Rhodes and Rico each scored eight points in the quarter and Rico’s slick no-look pass to Steven Murphy for an easy layup increased Sonora’s lead to seven points with 2:15 remaining in the half.

Sonora's Josh Rodriguez works with the basketball against Sunny Hills' Elijah Kim during the first half of the Raiders' 62-60 win, Wednesday night.

Sonora’s Josh Rodriguez works with the basketball against Sunny Hills’ Elijah Kim during the first half of the Raiders’ 62-60 win, Wednesday night.

While the Raiders were flowing, Sunny Hills (14-8, 4-1) went cold from the floor in the second quarter, making just 3-of-16 shots from the floor and only 1-of-9 3-pointers.

Murphy prevented any second chance opportunities by grabbing seven rebounds in the quarter. He finished with 10 rebounds and four points.

“I wish we could have given him the ball a little bit more tonight,” Murphy said. “We don’t win the game without Steven tonight.”

Rodriguez added seven points in the quarter and the Raiders pushed the lead to 42-30 at the break. Sonora outscored the Lancers 27-11 in the quarter.

Thurman scored nine points in the second quarter and made 4-of-6 free throws after he was fouled on two 3-point shots.

The Lancers’ Ryan Tan and Tim Ahn combined for three 3-pointers in the third quarter to help Sunny Hills claw back before the wild finish.

Both teams came into the contest tied undefeated in the Freeway League. The Raiders will start the second round of league play on the road against Troy, Friday.

“This is the biggest win we’ve had all year,” Murphy said. “Now we get Troy on Friday with just one day of preparation, that’s going to be a difficult challenge.”

Sonora's Megan Matsumoto attempts a shot against Sunny Hills' Jennifer Vinh during the second half of the Lady Raiders' 46-34 loss, Wednesday night.

Sonora’s Megan Matsumoto attempts a shot against Sunny Hills’ Jennifer Vinh during the second half of the Lady Raiders’ 46-34 loss, Wednesday night.

GIRLS VARSITY

With a chance to keep sole possession of third place in the Freeway League, the Sonora girls’ basketball team struggled to hit shots and grab rebounds in a 46-34 loss to Sunny Hills, Wednesday night at Sunny Hills High.

After fighting for an early lead, the Lady Raiders struggled against Sunny Hills’ quick defense in the second and fourth quarters.

Marissa Dunn led the Lady Raiders with 11 points and eight rebounds, but no other Sonora player scored more than five points.

After having a couple breakout performances, Meghann Henderson managed just four points, all on free throws.

“We tried to run some stuff to get her the ball, but at the same time we really need some other girls to step up and help with the offensive load,” said Melissa Barajas, Sonora head coach. “Everybody in the league knows to try to stop her, so we need other kids who are willing to step up, make free throws and finish layups.”

On the defensive side, Sonora (9-11, 2-3) struggled to contain Sunny Hills’ Justis Simpson, who scored a game-high 21 points.

Simpson scored six of those points in the second quarter as the Lady Lancers turned a three-point deficit into a 20-14 halftime lead.

Guard Jennifer Vinh crippled the Lady Raiders with back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter as Sunny Hills opened up a double-digit lead.

Sunny Hills (12-9, 2-3) cruised to victory in the fourth quarter.

Sonora's Meghann Henderson forces a turnover and rushes down the court on a fastbreak opportunity against Sunny Hills, Wednesday night.

Sonora’s Meghann Henderson forces a turnover and rushes down the court on a fastbreak opportunity against Sunny Hills, Wednesday night.

Lauren Fruto led Sunny Hills with eight rebounds, while Simpson and forward Victoria Vo added seven rebounds each.

“I just think that we aren’t very tough yet,” Barajas said. “Even though they’re a little faster, we felt like we were able to make them take shots and speed up the game, but in order to do that we had to rebound. We let them get every offensive rebound they wanted and that completely defeats our style of play.”

The Lady Raiders have lost back-to-back league games and it won’t get any easier with a road game against Troy coming up on Friday.

Sonora finished the first round of league play tied with Sunny Hills for third place at 2-3.

“We just have to pick up our intensity, I just don’t feel like we’re competing at a varsity level,” Barajas said. “We don’t win loose balls, we don’t play with the toughness that it takes to compete at this level. We need to get that from them in practice.”

Comments Off on Sonora holds off Sunny Hills on the road, Lady Raiders fall

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

La Habra boys hoops can’t keep pace with Sunny Hills, Zener’s late shot wins it for girls hoops

Posted on 18 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

Adam Cooley led La Habra with 23 points in the team's loss to Sunny Hills, Friday night at Sunny Hills High.

Adam Cooley led La Habra with 23 points in the team’s loss to Sunny Hills, Friday night at Sunny Hills High.

by Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

The La Habra boy’s basketball team had a tough time keeping up with Sunny Hills’ fast pace and three-point shots in its loss against the Lancers, 69-58, Thursday night at Sunny Hills High School.

La Habra (12-6, 1-1) played hard on the outside offensively, but had a difficult time driving the ball through the middle in the first quarter.

Seven of the eleven points scored by the Highlanders were from free throws in the first quarter while the Lancers scored most of their points off of layups and jump shots.

Sunny Hills (12-7, 2-0) stayed solid on defense, but La Habra’s Michael Banks forced his way through their defenders and had two strong drives down the middle for layups in the second quarter.

The Lancers continued to push the ball on offense, but La Habra’s Josh Garcia sank a three-pointer at the buzzer. Sunny Hills led La Habra 50-27 going into halftime.

“We were talking about taking it play by play,” said David Ploog, La Habra head coach, about his strategy going into the second half. “We were trying to go as deep as we could to the basket because we weren’t shooting the ball well.”

La Habra gained control of the pace in the third quarter and created gaps in Sunny Hills’ defense, which allowed the Highlanders to drive the ball down the middle for layups.

The Highlanders carried their momentum into the fourth quarter. They pushed the ball on offense and tightened up their defense allowing Sunny Hills to score only 2 points for the majority of the quarter.

The crowd got louder as the game went on and even had to be held back at certain points to keep them from interfering with the game.

“Defensively we had a good plan, but we weren’t doing what we wanted to do,” said Coach Ploog. “In the second half we spread our offense and we were able to attack the basket better. We probably could have done that in the fist half, but we knew that they were fast and we didn’t want to play to that speed.”

The Highlanders were on a comeback, making the game as close as six points in the last few minutes, but it wasn’t enough to take the lead. La Habra scored 19 points in the fourth quarter and held Sunny Hills to only nine points.

“I think we lost our composure,” said Coach Ploog. “I think we kind of played to the crowd and we rushed ourselves. If we didn’t rush ourselves I think we would have had a better chance.”

Adam Cooley scored 23 points and Zach Gray added 13 points to lead La Habra.

Max Thurman led the Lancers with 21 points and Tim Ahn scored 16 points.

The Highlanders have another tough game against Troy at La Habra High School on Wednesday.

“Troy does a lot of pressing and they have a very high pressure defense,” Ploog said. “We have to get ready and get used to that.”

Megan Chancellor led the Lady Highlanders with 20 points in their win over Sunny Hills, Friday night at Sunny Hills High.

Megan Chancellor led the Lady Highlanders with 20 points in their win over Sunny Hills, Friday night at Sunny Hills High.

GIRLS VARSITY

The La Habra girls’ basketball team won a close game against Sunny Hills, 45-42, at Sunny Hills High School Thursday night.

“Sunny Hills is going to push the tempo a little more than we played the first game,” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head coach. “The strategy going into tonight’s game is to control and keep possession, eliminate turnovers and play solid defense.”

Sunny Hills (11-7, 1-1) played at a fast pace from the start of the game, but both teams had a hard time making shots. The Highlanders were aggressive on defense and held the Lancers to only three points in the first quarter.

The Lancers scored quickly in the second quarter, but La Habra (9-8, 2-0) kept composure and fought back. At the end of the second quarter Megan Chancellor drove the ball down the court and scored with a jump shot from the elbow.

The crowd was rowdy and both teams were aggressive, but the Highlanders kept the lead, 17-14, going into halftime.

“I had to keep them under control,” said Coach Bohn. “We’re playing at a hostile environment which is great for league and ultimately I told them ‘you’re in control, you just need to win those last few minutes.’”

La Habra started strong in the third quarter with two consecutive steals by Lizette Martinez that she drove down the court for layups.

Sunny Hills came back fighting at the end of the third quarter when Justis Simpson scored six consecutive points. The Highlanders led 30-29 going into the fourth quarter.

The game remained close throughout the fourth quarter, but the Highlanders pulled off the win with some help from La Habra’s leading scorer Megan Chancellor, who contributed 20 points, and a big play by freshman Emma Zener, who made a three pointer in the last 40 seconds of the game to take the lead.

The Highlanders have another tough game against Troy at La Habra High School on Wednesday.

“Our next game is against Troy and that is going to be a tough task,” Bohn said. “We’ll be at home so we may be a little more comfortable, but we’re young and we know we’re going to have our ups and downs. We want to play the best in order to be the best and we’re going to go on with that mind set and see what comes out of it.”

Comments Off on La Habra boys hoops can’t keep pace with Sunny Hills, Zener’s late shot wins it for girls hoops

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Shorthanded Highlanders fall after late surge by Sunny Hills

Posted on 17 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

LHHSSoccerby Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

A man down, and running on fumes, the La Habra boys’ soccer team fell to Sunny Hills 3-1, in an overtime game, Friday afternoon at Sunny Hills High.

The Highlanders took a lead midway through the first half and held it through most of the second half.

However, forward Joe Salinas was issued a second yellow card on a soft foul in the 71st minute, which forced the Highlanders to play with 10 men the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, fouls by the Lancers that caused injuries to Charlie Aleman and Eric Sandoval went uncalled.

“I think the refs played a part in this, in my opinion they weren’t being too consistent, but soccer is like that, you have to learn to work around the refs,” said Earvin Aleman, La Habra co-coach. “Having to play down a man for 30 minutes, it takes a toll.”

Sunny Hills capitalized on the man advantage in the 75th minute when forward Osiris Garfias knocked in a header to the far side off a free kick. The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation.

The Lancers held momentum and in the 87th minute, Garfias tallied the game-winner when he redirected a throw-in to the far side of the net.

Sunny Hills tacked on one more goal in the second overtime period when a shot deflected off a defender and skipped into the near side.

“I thought we showed toughness throughout the game, but when Joe got the red, it was a big blow to the team,” Aleman said. “But they played, they hustled, I’m proud of them. Compared to the Fullerton game, I thought this was a different team.”

The surge by Sunny Hills negated a well-played first half by the Highlanders, who connected passes and worked together to push the ball into the offensive third.

In the 27th minute, Israel Alvarez took a free kick that hooked and hit the near-side post, but Kolby McInally was there for the rebound and put in an easy header.

“We hadn’t really tested the goalie, so we wanted to just get a shot,” Aleman said. “We found a chance and we put it away.”

Defensively, goalkeeper Richie Ruiz put the Highlanders in some dicey situations by attempting to come out of position to grab a loose ball, but La Habra’s defenders recognized and put themselves in positions to protect the goal.

Aleman was there in the 25th minute to clear a header in one such situation.

Sunny Hills pushed harder in the second half, but the Highlanders weathered the storm until Salinas’ second yellow card.

The Highlanders will continue league play with a home game against Troy, next Wednesday at 3 p.m.

“We’re going to come out and play the same style, I thought we defended well, we just have to work on defending set pieces,” Aleman said. “If we can improve upon that, we should do well.”

Comments Off on Shorthanded Highlanders fall after late surge by Sunny Hills

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here

Current Issue: