Flowers, Fletcher key Serra girls at Arcadia Invitational

Serra High pitcher Kelvin Martinez throws to a Banning batter during last week's non-league baseball game. The Cavaliers fell short of the Pilots 2-1. Serra hosts Bishop Amat Friday at 3 p.m. (Photo by Joe Snyder)

By Joe Snyder

With superstars Roderick Pleasant and Brazil Neal having moved on to University of Oregon, Serra High’s boys’ and girls’ track teams are mostly in a rebuilding year as none of the Cavaliers competed in higher divisions, such as the prestigious Invitational Division of the Arcadia National Invitational.

Serra, though, continued to have strong showings in the Open Division last Saturday. Senior Mia Flowers swept the 100- and 200-meter dashes with times of 11.7 and 24.31, in order. Flowers, along with Jaiya Fletcher, Saielle Howard and anchor Isabella Samuels, also won the 4×100 relay at 47.96 to nose out second place Las Vegas (Nevada) Centennial (47.99) and third place Redondo (48.17).

In the 800 sprint medley (100, 100, 200, 400), Fletcher, Howard, Samuels, and Mecca Muhammed teamed for a fifth-place finish clocking 1:53.47. Steele Canyon of the San Diego area won the race in 1:48.29.

One of the premiere prep track and field meets in the country showed that even the lower divisions were very rigid. Despite a good time of 15.33, Fletcher settled for a 22nd place overall finish in the 100-meter hurdles in the Open Division.

For the boys, freshman Wesley Ace placed ninth in the Open Division 100 timing 10.79. Ace ran in the second leg of the Cavaliers’ 4×100 relay which took 14th in 42.77. Other runners included juniors Camron Harris-Wilcot, Christian Rojas and Otis “Tre” Harrison.

Competing in the seeded division 100 was Torrance sophomore Nicholas Obingba as he was ninth clocking 10.86. Carson junior Sawyer Macy ran a 9:15.71 in the boys’ 3,200-meter run.


Mistakes cost Serra in Banning loss

Offensive and defensive mistakes proved costly as Serra High’s baseball team lost a non-league game to Banning 2-1 on April 3 in Wilmington.

The Pilots scored their first run when Robert Guerrero came home on a passed ball in the bottom of the second inning. Banning took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth as Jacob Casteneda scored on a throwing error.

Offensively, the Cavaliers, who fell to 6-8 overall and are 1-5 in the Del Rey League, had Charles Hughes thrown out at home plate when he tried to score from second base on a hit by Amari Hackett to close out the game in the top of the seventh inning. Henry Sorman was also thrown out at first base on a pick off in the fifth inning.

Serra scored its only run in the top of the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly out hit by Sorman scoring Terrance Sullivan.

Losing pitcher Kelvin Martinez pitched five innings, allowing two unearned runs on four hits.

The Cavaliers had their home non-league game against Warren High from Downey rained out last Friday. Sources are the two teams will have a make-up game this week.

Serra resumed league at Bishop Amat High in La Puente last Tuesday and will host the Lancers Friday at 3 p.m. The Cavaliers host rival Torrance Bishop Montgomery next Tuesday and visit the Knights next Thursday in 3 p.m. Del Rey games.

In other games involving local teams during the spring break, North Torrance lost to host Loyola 8-1 last Saturday in L.A. and Gardena had its only game in the San Fernando Tournament against San Fernando Vaughn canceled as Vaughn forfeited due to the team not showing up last Saturday. The Panthers improved to 4-11 overall.

Despite the loss to the Cubs, the Saxons had a fine game by Colin Anderson who went 2-for-3 with one run batted in, including a double.

After hosting Torrance on Wednesday, North visits the Tartars at Torrance Park Friday at 6 p.m. in Pioneer League play. The Saxons (6-14 overall and 2-4 in league) host Lawndale next Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Gardena visited Banning in Wilmington last Monday and hosts the Pilots today at 3 p.m. in Marine League games. Gardena hosts Bravo in the San Fernando Tiger Classic Saturday at 10 a.m. before resuming league at home against last year’s CIF-L.A. City Section Division I runner-up Carson next Monday at 3 p.m.


Top area hoops stars make local, regional all-star teams

Bishop Montgomery High, which won the CIF-State Division I girls’ basketball championship on March 8 in Sacramento, swept the top honors in the Daily Breeze all-South Bay team named last week.

Junior Jordin Blackmon was Player of the Year and head coach Rheina Ale was top coach.

Blackmon already has more than 1,000 points during her three seasons with the Knight varsity squad, which finished 23-5 overall after winning the Del Rey League crown and the state Division I championship with a 52-40 win over Bishop O’ Dowd from Oakland. The Lady Knights entered the CIF-Southern Section Open Division where they were 1-2 but won the Southern California Division I title with a 51-48 win over Brentwood on March 4 at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance.

Ale, who starred for Bishop Montgomery where she graduated in 2008, guided the Knights to  their fifth state crown but first since 2003.

Prior to defeating O’ Dowd for the state crown at Golden One Arena in Sacramento, Bishop Montgomery recorded regional wins over CIF-Southern Section Division I runner-up Corona Santiago, La Jolla Country Day and Brentwood.

Blackmon hopes to see the Knights play in the prestigious California State Open Division playoffs, led by this year’s champion Etiwanda, along with Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, Ontario Christian, and Santa Ana Mater Dei.

Bishop Montgomery also had senior Cyriah Coleman make first team, and freshman Armanye Reed and Sophia Dignadice land on second team.

North Torrance, Southern Section Division I quarterfinalist, had senior Reese Noa and junior Keimi Sattingo land on first team and senior Leyna Mujake make second team.

The Lady Saxons were undefeated 12-0 Pioneer League champions before falling to Santiago 71-64 in the quarterfinals at home on Feb. 16.

Junior Lauren Tober-Williams, who keyed Gardena to the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division IV championship with a 54-12 rout of South L.A. Fremont on Feb. 23 at El Camino College, made second team.

Also making second-team all-area were Leah Richard (South Torrance) and Madison Wheeler (Carson).

The CIF-L.A. City Section also announced their teams.

Gardena’s Promise Madubugwu made the all-City Section Division I in keying the Panthers to the Marine League title. The Panthers were eliminated in the L.A. City Section Division I quarterfinals by host Fairfax 58-46.

Carson, which won the CIF-L.A. City Section Division III crown, had Carson Ezekiel and Jacob Ortega as co-Players of the Year as the Colts won their first City title since 1982. Justin Cooper also made the team and head coach Kevin Shaw was Coach of the Year.

In the girls’ Division IV, Tober-Williams was Player of the Year and head coach Tracey McNeil was Coach of the Year. India Session and India Cage also made the Division IV team. Gardena lost in the first round of the CIF-Southern California Regional Division V playoffs to host La Mirada 55-35.

With all their starters back, the Lady Panthers are seeking another title in a higher division.

Carson’s Madison Wheeler made the all-City Section Division II team.