Gardena High falls in tennis final; other sports for May 15

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Gardena High’s boys’ tennis team had one of its best seasons in recent years by advancing to the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Invitational championship game only to fall to Taft High from Woodland Hills, 19-10.5, last Friday at Balboa Tennis Club in Encino.

The Panthers’ No. 2 doubles team of sophomores Jie Ong and Kristopher Puga were the bright spots of winning two of three games.

“We played very well for the amount of experience we had,” Gardena High head coach Ed Kumayama said. “I’m real happy with the kids.”

Gardena High’s boys’ tennis team had one of its best seasons in recent years by advancing to the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Invitational championship game only to fall to Taft High from Woodland Hills, 19-10.5, last Friday at Balboa Tennis Club in Encino.

The Panthers’ No. 2 doubles team of sophomores Jie Ong and Kristopher Puga were the bright spots of winning two of three games.

“We played very well for the amount of experience we had,” Gardena High head coach Ed Kumayama said. “I’m real happy with the kids.”

No. 2 singles player Thai Luu also won two matches for the Panthers, who ended up 14-4 overall.

Luu also won all four of his matches in Gardena’s 19-10.5 victory over Marine League rival Narbonne on in a five-hour match in gusty winds on May 6 at Gardena High.

No. 3 junior Eddie Nguyen won three of four matches.

In the doubles, it was the No. 1 team of junior Robin Malimban and senior Edwin Rivas that won all three of their matches.

Ong and Puga won two of three matches.

Kumayama hopes for better things for next season as he loses just two seniors in Rivas and Dean Malimban.

Palisades nipped Woodland Hills El Camino Real, 15-14.5, for the L.A. City Division I crown.

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Serra High tracksters dominate Del Rey finals

By Joe Snyder

GVN Correspondent

Over the past two seasons, Serra High’s track and field program, then under head coach Lori Thompson-Smith, captured the California State championship with its girls in 2012 and boys last season.

The Cavalier boys won the state crown in 2013 and will look to repeat, again, despite having some injuries. Serra is under first year head mentor Chris Faulknor.

Adoree Jackson was seeking to become the first high school long jumper to go 27 feet but a foot injury, after his Arcadia Invitational winning 25 feet, one-half jump on April 12, made him stall some.

Jackson is back and managed to win the Del Rey long jump title with a leap of 24-4.25 in the Del Rey Championships on May 7 at Monrovia High.

Jackson also captured the 200-meter dash at 21.86 seconds and helped Serra’s 4×400-meter relay squad to victory clocking 3:21.99.

Senior Jordan Lasley, who will be heading to UCLA on a football scholarship in the fall, had a pair of wins in the 100 (11.2) and 300-meter intermediate hurdles (39.73).

The Cavaliers, in fact, swept the 300 hurdles as juniors Akinyele Turner (41.39) and Zinovine Cannady (43.68) were second and third, in order.

Cannady won the 110 high hurdles timing 16.37.

Also winning two events for Serra was Jeremy Franklin in the shot put (51-5) and discus (169-3).

Turner took second at the shot put with a toss of 43-5.5.

Ronald Hall topped the 400 in 48.74 and placed second in the 200 clocking 22.27.

Sophomore Stefon Goudeau took second in the 400 at 49.16.

For the girls, Serra has a young team but managed a pair of individual wins by freshman Jasmin Reed and sophomore Jeanette Paul. Reed was victorious in the 100 (12.41) and 200 (25.32), and Paul won the 100 and 300 hurdles clocking 15.74 and 46.1, respectively.

The Lady Cavaliers swept the top three spots in the 200 with sophomores Madison Golden (26.12) and Kayla Pickens (26.31) finishing second and third, in order.

Senior Gertrude Martin took the 400 in 57.61.

The Cavaliers won the 4×100 relay (47.95) and were second in the 4×400 (4:02.48).

Keying Serra’s field events was junior Tamia Bates who was second in the long jump (16 feet) and third at the triple jump (32-11.25).

All will advance to Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Division IV Prelims at Carpinteria High in South Santa Barbara County in quest for the Divisional Championships at Cerritos College on May 24.

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Cavalier baseball team remains in first despite upset loss

By Joe Snyder

GVN Correspondent

Serra High’s baseball team split its two games against Del Rey League rival Bishop Montgomery last week.

The Cavaliers began the week on May 6 with an 8-4 win at Bishop Montgomery. Last Friday at Serra, however, five errors led to five unearned runs in a 5-4 upset loss to the Knights.

In Serra’s win in Torrance, the Knights held a 2-1 lead before the Cavaliers, who improved to 6-2 in league and 11-11 overall, scored six runs in the top of the fourth inning for a 7-2 lead. Serra continued to have a safe lead from there.

Denz’l Chapman sparked Serra by going 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and one run scored. Hector Ramos and Cardinal Fernandezees were each 2-for-4 and scored two runs.

Fernandezees went the distance allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits. He struck out three batters.

For Bishop Montgomery, which improved to 3-5 in Del Rey action and has some chance at pulling out a playoff berth in the CIF-Southern Section Division III, Mitch Pruitt was 2-for-3 and scored a run.

Last Friday was not Serra’s day as its defense gave up all five Knight runs. Bishop Montgomery started with three runs in the top of the first, before the Cavaliers rallied for two in the bottom of the inning.

Bishop Montgomery led 4-2 through four innings but Serra came back with one run each in the bottom of the fifth and seventh to tie the game, sending it into extra innings.

The Knights pushed over a run in the top of the ninth, then held the Cavaliers scoreless in the bottom of the inning.

Mateo Brambila sparked Serra by going 1-for-4 with three RBI’s. Morgan Lomax was 2-for-4 with two runs and Chapman went 1-for-4 and scored twice.

Pruitt, again, led Bishop Montgomery by going 2-for-5 and scoring twice.

Senior pitcher Eric Robinson went 7 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits. He struck out six and walked four.

The Cavaliers closed league with two key games against St. Paul from Santa Fe Springs. After visiting the Swordsmen, who are one game behind Serra at 5-3 in Del Rey action, last Monday, the Cavaliers closed league at home against St. Paul on Wednesday.

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Panthers sweep Washington for first two league victories

By Joe Snyder

GVN Correspondent

Gardena High’s baseball team has struggled throughout this season but picked up two wins over lowly Washington in Marine League action last week.

At Gardena on May 6, the Panthers topped the Generals, 5-1. At Washington last Friday, Gardena downed the Generals, 10-3.

On May 6, winning sophomore pitcher Tony Yanez went the distance with a two-hitter.

Robert Chavez had a run-scoring base hit in the first inning.

The Panthers, who are 2-7 in league after a 6-0 loss at San Pedro on Monday, added two runs in the bottom of the second on a bases loaded walk and hit by pitch.

Chavez added another run batted in when he sacrificed home Angel Gomez on a sacrifice fly. Jose Silva, later, scored on an error.

The contest was plagued by gusty winds.

“It wasn’t comfortable,” Gardena head coach Robert Romero said. “The wind always makes just routine plays difficult.”

The Panthers closed league at home against San Pedro on Wednesday.

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Panther ladies explode for 28 runs in win over Washington

By Joe Snyder

GVN Correspondent

Over the past several seasons, Gardena High’s softball program had it tough going in the rugged Marine League but managed to get a pair of wins over Washington.

On May 6 at Gardena, the Panthers scored their second victory over the Generals at 28-12.

Melinda Guerrera and Nohela Murillo each had two hits and drove in a run for the Panthers, in a contest plagued with errors. Washington, in fact, committed 14 miscues to help the cause.

Yoshi Lopez had a hit, a run batted in and five stolen bases.

Gardena even had two stolen homes from Diana Hurt and two from Gabby Ortiz.

After that, though, it was on to reality for the Panthers in five-inning mercy rule losses to visiting Carson, 22-0, last Friday and to host San Pedro, 18-0, last Monday. The Colts are the defending CIF-Los Angeles City Division I champions and should be strong contenders to repeat this season.

Gardena closed league at Narbonne on Wednesday.

Gardena High falls in tennis final; other sports for May 15