After successful regular seasons, all the local basketball teams quickly found themselves on the outside looking in as they were ousted in the early rounds of the post-season.
The Diamond Ranch girls’ basketball team was the only team who was able to win a playoff game to advance while league winner Walnut, league runner up Diamond Bar boys’ basketball teams, and third-place finisher Diamond Bar girls’ basketball team all fell in their first round matchups.
The Lady Panthers were CIF semi-finalists three of the past four seasons, and look to find similar success this season despite having a new coach after the previous coach was released of his duties last season and then losing key players due to conflict of interest. Diamond Ranch was still able to be league runner up behind perennial league power Bonita Bearcats.
Kristen Sheriff led the way for Diamond Ranch, tallying 12 points and three assists. Tianna Eaton and Tara Kretschmar added 8 points each, while Kayla Freeman and Lauren Graves pitched in six points each in the one-sided 53-15 victory over Saddleback who was held under 10 points in each quarter .
The second round was not as easy, as the fourth-seeded Panthers fell to 13th-seeded Palos Verdes 45-43.
Diamond Ranch trailed the entire game, and closed the gap to 41-37 with two minutes to go, but it was the Sea Kings who were able to hold on and escape with the 45-43 win, ending the Panthers’ season at 21-8.
LOS OSOS SQUEAKS PAST WALNUT 75-73
The Hacienda League champions Walnut Mustangs faced a tough Los Osos squad, falling to the Grizzlies 75-73 In the first round of CIF Division 1A play.
“It’s tough when you step up a division and play a really quality team,” Mustangs coach Josh Cameron said. “They were three points away from Etiwanda and Rancho (Cucamonga) in their league. I thought we went punch for punch with them but had a couple of defensive letdowns.”
Zuri Williams led the way for the Mustangs with 21 points while Jeff Huang added 15. Richard Rycraw tallied 10 but was in deep foul trouble which caused him to miss most of the second half when he picked up his third and fourth foul early in the half.
“Richard is our constant back line of defense,” Cameron said. “Without him in there in hurt us, but these guys can be proud of their season.”
Walnut ends its season at 22-6.
HEMSLEY, DAMIEN RUNS PAST DIAMOND BAR 71-33.
The Diamond Bar Brahmas were no match for hosts Damien, as the Spartans held the Brahmas to only four field goals en route to a 36-11 halftime lead.
Leo Li led the Brahmas with eight points, while Christian Manolo added seven points for the Brahmas who finished 11-17.
Jeremy Hemsley led the way for the Spartans with 16, while Mikial Fitts added 12 who lost to Great Oak 71-65 Tuesday night.