Whittier, La Serna fall in quarterfinals
WHITTIER – It was a double whammy for the Del Rio League for boys basketball as both La Serna and Whittier high schools ended their runs in the CIF-Southern Section basketball playoffs Wednesday.
La Serna, the DRL champion, took it on the chin as Division 3AA top seed Providence (Burbank) sent the Lancers home with a 71-37 victory. The Lancers had big wins over Ventura, 46-39 and Bishop Amat, 48-45.
Meanwhile, Whittier (16-12), which was on a deep run through the playoffs in Division 4A, fell to top-seeded Oakwood (North Hollywood), 67-52. The Cardinals had quality wins over Nogales, 66-49 and South Pasadena, 61-35.
In the La Serna (20-11) game, the Lancers fell in a hole quickly as Providence (25-6) raced out to a 23-5 first-quarter lead. The Pioneers started the game with an 11-2 run and never let up.
The Lancers didn’t have any players in double figures in scoring, but Axel Mendoza and MJ Aristegue had seven points each, while Courtlan Armstrong and Peter De Guzman added six and five points, respectively.
Providence was led by a game-high 25 points from Jordan Shelley.
The Lancers nearly matched Providence in the second quarter, 14-12, and remained in a big hole at the half, 37-17.
“Providence is a No. 1 seed for a reason,” La Serna coach Marino Angulo said. “They are always faster and bigger than they appear on film. They came out hot and we turned the ball over. Their speed and height hurt us and every shot we took was contested.
“I told my boys I couldn’t be more proud of them considering we started the season 1-6. We won 20 games and took the league for the fourth straight year.”
Providence kept the pressure up through the end of the game, outscoring the Lancers, 34-20.
Oakwood 67, Whittier 52
Oakwood came out on fire in the first quarter, outscoring the Cardinals, 26-14
Whittier (16-12) kept up with Oakwood the remainder of the game, falling by 15 to end its season.
Leading the way for the Cardinals was junior Josh Mendez with 16 points, followed by Danny Calvillo with 11 points. Sophomore Vicent Rizo (2nd Team), a sophomore, connected for 10 points, which included three, 3-pointers.
“Our game plan was to try to contain their big guy (Aidan Oliver – 14 points),” Whittier coach Ralph Rivera said. “Watching film on them, he is their offense and a great post player and can shoot the ball well.
“I felt we did a great job on him but they had other guys step up for them.”
Rivera just finished his first year at Whittier and had great things to say about his team.
“This being my first season as head varsity coach at Whittier, I feel we had a great season with third place in league and making it to the quarterfinals.”
Calvillo was named the league MVP, Mendez was named to the first team, Rizo to the second team and Jeremiah Villescas and Angelo Gomez named to the second team and honorable mention, respectively.
“I’m very proud of my boys the way they played all season,” Rivera added. “The future’s looking bright for us!.”
El Rancho (20-8), Co-Champions of the DRL with La Serna, lost in the second round to Bishop Amat, 54-47. The Dons had a first-round bye.
Cal High baseball is currently playing in the South Hills Pizza Chalet Classic and defeated the host Huskies Wednesday, 6-2.
Starting pitcher Noah Castillo threw four innings of two-hit baseball, allowing only an unearned run. At the plate he was 2 for 4, with a double and two runs scored.
“This is a great tournament because there are a lot of quality ball clubs that are going to challenge us,” Cal second-year coach Kyle Pine said.
Pine was also excited to get the Del Rio League started.
“The rivalries within the schools in our district, the kids are awesome and they get after it,” Pine added.