Serra nips Cantwell after falling to Bishop Montgomery; all sports for Jan. 21

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After getting routed by nationally ranked Bishop Montgomery in its Del Rey League opener on Jan. 13 at Serra, the Cavaliers’ boys’ basketball team came back and slipped past Cantwell-Sacred Heart 53-52 to even its league record to 1-1 last Friday at Serra.

After getting routed by nationally ranked Bishop Montgomery in its Del Rey League opener on Jan. 13 at Serra, the Cavaliers’ boys’ basketball team came back and slipped past Cantwell-Sacred Heart 53-52 to even its league record to 1-1 last Friday at Serra.

On Jan. 13, Serra was unable to keep up with the Knights, who are nationally ranked in most polls including 15th by USA Today and 18th by the Maxpreps Composite 25 in a 76-48 loss. Bishop Montgomery, which improved to 17-0 after a 70-57 win at St. Bernard in Playa del Rey last Friday, led 19-14 after the first quarter but steadily pulled away from there. The Knights grabbed a 36-22 lead at halftime. Leading 62-31 after three periods, Bishop Montgomery scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter for its biggest lead at 39 points (70-31) before clearing the bench.

“Bishop Montgomery was well oiled,” Serra head coach Dwan Hurt said. “They know what to do. They pass the ball around and play very well together. They look for the back doors. We’re a young team. They are at a different level over us.”

Like the Cavaliers, who start two freshmen in E.J. Jackson and Doctor Bradley, the Knights have no senior starters as they start three juniors and two sophomores. It was junior forward Jordan Schakel, a returning all-CIF Southern Section player, who led all scorers with 23 points, including three three-point baskets. Sophomore David Singleton added 18 points and junior Gianni Hunt chipped in 10.

“It was a close game for a long time,” Bishop Montgomery head coach Doug Mitchell said. “We kind of wore them down a bit. We did have some foul trouble early. In the third quarter, we played real well. We defended well and got good shots.” The Knights outscored the Cavaliers 26-9 in the third period.

Serra, which is 8-9 overall after the win over the Cardinals on Friday, was led by Micah Dykes with 17 points. Sophomore guard Kobe Smith finished with 10 points.

Statistics in the Cavaliers’ win over Cantwell were unavailable.

Serra played Calabasas in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Showcase last Monday at Los Angeles Center of Enriched Studies (LACES).  Serra visits St. Bernard Friday at 7 p.m. The Vikings, who were CIF-Southern Section Division VA champions after placing last in the brutal Del Rey League last year, gave Bishop Montgomery a tough contest before falling by 13 points. The Cavaliers host Cathedral from L.A. next Wednesday at the same time.

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Serra begins Del Rey with easy win over St. Paul

By Joe Snyder

Sports Editor

Serra High’s girls’ basketball team began the Del Rey on the right note by pulling away from St. Paul from Santa Fe Springs 63-30 on Jan. 12 at Serra.

The Cavaliers led by eight (25-17) at halftime but turned the game into a rout by outscoring the Swordsmen 38-13 in the second half.

Sophomore Delauna Thomas led Serra’s balanced attack with 13 points and six rebounds. Briana Johnson added nine points. Alexis Tucker contributed eight points and eight rebounds. Cheyenne Givens also chipped in eight points.

In the War on the Floor Showcase last Saturday at St. Genevieve High in Panorama City, the Cavaliers rolled over Coronado High from Henderson, Nev. 64-18.

Serra, which improved to 13-6 overall and 1-0 in Del Rey action, wasted no time on Coronado. The Cavaliers raced to a 44-5 halftime lead in their easy non-league victory.

Johnson led Serra with 15 points and three assists. Thomas finished with eight points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Rachel Dura had eight points and nine rebounds, and Thomas put in eight points.

After visiting Bishop Amat in La Puente in Del Rey play last Tuesday, the Cavaliers will show down with league rival Bishop Montgomery today at 5 p.m. The Knights have been on a hot streak and they display a 2-0 Del Rey record after defeating Bishop Amat last Thursday. Bishop Montgomery, which won the CIF-Southern Section Division IVAA championship last season, has quality non-league wins over two other defending Southern Section champions in North Torrance (Division IIIAA) and Redondo (Division IIAA).  Serra faces Long Beach Millikan in the Narbonne Extravaganza Saturday at 7:30 p.m. before resuming league at St. Anthony in Long Beach next Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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Gardena High tops Carson, King-Drew

By Joe Snyder

Sports Editor

After the holiday break playing in tournaments, Gardena High’s boys’ basketball team resumed the Marine League with wins over Carson and King-Drew Medical Magnet from Willowbrook last week.

At Carson on Jan. 13, the Panthers used a stifling defense to defeat the Colts 49-34. At Gardena last Friday, the Panthers pulled away from the Golden Eagles 64-49.

Against King-Drew, which fell to 1-13 overall, Gardena trailed the Eagles 23-22 at halftime before outscoring King-Drew 21-9 in the third quarter to grab the lead for good. The Panthers continued to pull away in the fourth.

Issac Green led Gardena, which is 13-8 overall after losing a Martin Luther King, Jr. Showcase non-league game to Victorville Serrano 59-52 on Monday at Los Osos High in Rancho Cucamonga, with 17 points, followed by Curtis Jones with 14.

The Panther defense had a fine game against Carson, holding the Colts to single figure scoring in three of the four quarters. Leading 22-19 at halftime, Gardena finished off Carson by outscoring the Colts 27-15 in the second half.

Dwayne Moore led the Panthers with 17 points. Isaiah Mitchell led Carson with 13 points.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Gardena traveled more than 50 miles to Los Osos in Rancho Cucamonga to take on Silverado. The Panthers fell behind by 13 points at halftime before cutting their deficit to four points (51-47) with 3:49 left in the game behind back-to-back three-point baskets by Moore. Gardena, however, was unable to get any closer as Silverado was able to put the game away.

Jones led Gardena with 11 points, followed by Moore with 10.

The Panthers visited Narbonne in a league showdown on Wednesday before coming home to face San Pedro Friday at 7 p.m. Gardena hosts Banning in league next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

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Sports Scoop

At last! The NFL finally comes back to L.A.

By Joe Snyder

Sports Editor

It was 21 years ago when the Los Angeles area lost both of its National Football League teams.

It started when the late owner Georgia Frontier decided to move the Rams, who spent 49 seasons in the L.A. area including 35 at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and 14 at Anaheim (now Angel) Stadium, to St. Louis shortly after the end of the 1994 season. Moments later, the Raiders’ owner Al Davis decided to bring the team back to their original place, Oakland, early in 1995.

During the early 1990’s, football rooting for the L.A. teams was at a low as most opted for out of area teams, including the San Francisco 49’ers who were the powers of the 1980’s with five Super Bowl champions.

Leftover L.A. football fans had to settle rooting for the local major Division I college teams, University of Southern California and UCLA. Some would continue to pull for the Rams and Raiders, even though they left town, or, for the past 21 seasons, the closest squad, the San Diego Chargers.

Since 1995, L.A. managed to have some lower scale professional football teams that included the L.A. Extreme from the unique Extreme Football League that were held in the late winter and spring of 2001 and 2002. The Xtreme won the league title over San Francisco in 2001. It was midway, a year later that the league folded.

There were also some Arena Football League teams in L.A., including the KISS that has not enjoyed much success after some three of four years playing at the Staples Center. It includes a 50-yard turf where it is played seven-on-seven. Earlier there were the L.A. Avengers who folded in 2009.

The Rams are expected to return to their old home, the now 93-year-old Coliseum (completed in 1923) for three seasons before finally getting their new permanent home in Inglewood, on the site of the former Hollywood Park Horse Racing Track, that was demolished in late May. That will give the Rams a modern state-of-the-art stadium that is, without doubt, a major necessity for any professional sports team in today’s world.

It was a disappointment for the City of Carson that their stadium plan was disapproved by the NFL that would have housed the Chargers and Raiders. The Chargers, though, will be given a year to either leave San Diego for L.A. or, possibly, elsewhere, or stay in San Diego as city officials look to demolish the 48-year-old Qualcom Stadium and build a new one for the Chargers or, possibly the Raiders if they decide to take over the Chargers there. Sources are that if that happens where the Chargers stay in San Diego, they would, while waiting for their new facility to be completed, play at up to three different sites that includes San Diego State University, Petco Park (Major League Baseball park for the Padres) and, in one of two games, travel south of the United States-Mexico border to play at a soccer stadium, Estadio Caliente in Tijuana.

If the Chargers opt for L.A., they might, temporarily, play at either the Coliseum or the Rose Bowl in Pasadena before the Inglewood Stadium is completed. However, Carson officials may make another effort at their stadium there for the Chargers and/or, maybe, the Raiders, who played at the Coliseum from 1982-94. The Raiders played in Oakland since their founding in the former American Football League (now merged in the NFL as the American Football Conference) in 1960 through 1981 and from 1995-current. The Raiders are playing in the Oakland Coliseum, completed in 1966 and now an out-of-date facility like Qualcom Stadium.

If the Chargers come to L.A., where they played one season in the AFL’s initial season in 1960 before moving to San Diego’s Balboa Stadium a year later, sources are that San Diego may be looking at the Raiders. The Raiders also may move to Orange County, Riverside, San Diego, San Antonio, Texas, Oklahoma City or St. Louis. The Chargers played at Balboa Stadium, located on the campus of San Diego City College, from 1961-66 before Qualcom Stadium (then San Diego Stadium) was completed in 1967. The Padres played there from 1969-2006.

St. Louis, Orange County, Riverside, San Antonio and St. Louis are also considering the Chargers, if they choose to opt for any of those places over L.A.

Sources, though, look like the Chargers will come to L.A. as both them and the Rams plan a series of meetings together.

There is still a chance that the Raiders could return to L.A. if the Chargers to either stay in San Diego or move to another city.

Brief History of L.A. Pro Football: The National Football League was founded in 1920 and L.A. had the Yellowjackets for two seasons in 1925 and 1926.

The Yellowjackets were expected to play at the new Coliseum, mostly built with the 1932 Olympics in mind, but, according to historical sources, college football, dominated by USC, seemed to rule the L.A. area and the Yellowjackets never had a home game. They folded after the 1926 season. Of course, that was the time of the leather football helmets with no chin guards nor knee pads. That lasted until the early 1950’s when the more modern hard plastic helmets and other safety equipments were introduced.

In the late 1930’s and 1940’s, L.A. had a minor league professional football team that played Hollywood’s Gilmore Stadium called the Bulldogs. They left when the Rams moved to L.A. from Cleveland in 1946. Gilmore Stadium was on the site on what is one of the CBS television studio buildings today and was built in 1938, along with Gilmore Field, where the Minor Baseball Pacific Coast League Hollywood Stars played from 1938 until the Major League Dodgers arrived in L.A. from Brooklyn in 1958. Both smaller stadiums were demolished in the 1950’s.

From 1946-49, the NFL had a competing league called the All-American Football Conference that included the L.A. Dons. The NFL, however, proved too much for the AAFC which went under after the 1949 season. One of the teams in the AAFC was the San Francisco 49’ers who were one of the squads annexed into the NFL.

L.A. would win its first NFL championship (equivalent to today’s Super Bowl) in 1951 with a 24-17 win over the Cleveland Browns, now the Baltimore Ravens with the new Browns that were formed in Cleveland in the late 1990’s. That squad was led by quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, Tom Fears, Elroy Hirsch and “Deacon” Dan Towler.

The L.A. Rams went through the rest of the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and early 1990’s without any title, except for winning their Western Division and making the playoffs several times, then finally win Super Bowl XXXIV as the St. Louis Rams over the Tennessee Titans in the 1999-2000 season. Meanwhile, the Titans began as the Houston Oilers before moving to Memphis in the late 1990’s. A few years later, the Oilers were replaced in Houston by the Texans. In the 1979-80 season, the Rams, playing their last season at the Coliseum before moving to Anaheim Stadium the following season, made Super Bowl XIV but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a dynasty during the mid to late 1970’s, 31-19.

The Rams moved from the Coliseum to Anaheim Stadium, which had been expanded by about 20,000 seats for them. They played there until moving to St. Louis following the 1994 season.

While in L.A., the Raiders, led by ex-USC star running back Marcus Allen, won Super Bowl XVII with a 38-9 rout of the Washington Redskins, during the 1983-84 season.

The Chargers played at the Coliseum in 1960, then moved to San Diego in the following year after San Diego City College’s Balboa Stadium was enlarged to accommodate them and the fans.

After the Rams and Raiders left L.A. in 1995, there have been several efforts for a new team in L.A. that included expansion teams. In that span from 1995-2016, L.A. lost to Cleveland, then to Houston.

Ram fans are excited. For many fans, however, costs could be very high. It depends on how many fans they will get. Of course, the first game in the late summer will be expected to be quickly sold out. Season ticket applications are already being taken. We could find out about the Chargers as early as later this week. Serra High’s Kobe Smith gets past Bishop Montgomery’s TWO POINTS—Gianai Hunt goes for a layup during last week’s Del Rey League opening boys’ basketball rivalry. The nationally ranked Knights rolled over the Cavaliers 76-48. Serra visits rival St. Bernard in league play Friday at 7 p.m.