Tag Archives: western league
When trying to figure out a recipe for a successful team, hiring a head coach just weeks before the start of the season is not among your standard ingredients.
For the Venice High softball team and first-year head coach Daniel Soto, the mixture could not have been a better match.
After finishing fourth in the Western League a year ago, the Gondoliers (17-3-1) need one more victory to win their first conference title in six years and will likely earn the top-seed when the Division II playoffs are announced in a couple of weeks.
The change from a middle of the road team to a city contender that is undefeated in league play is not lost on the players.
“It’s a different mentality. We are not just shooting for a win, but for playoffs and winning everything,” said captain and senior third baseman Bernadette Moran.
Sometimes when you recieve a generous gift, your immediate response to return the gesture in kind.
That what University nearly did in picking up a big Western League victory on the road in wild seventh inning of an 10-5 win over Westchester.
Leading 6-3, University seemed to break the game open when Miguel Solis single to right field cleared the bases on an error by Westchester’s JT Taylor and was able to score on a throwing error by catcher Aaron Greenfield to give the Wildcats a seven-run lead.
Instead of cruising to an easy three outs, University relief pitcher Isaac Yoshinaga decided to make things a little more interesting.
It seemed like deja vu for Beverly Hills.
That was the feeling in the Swim Gym when Normans had the ball and trailing by one to Santa Monica.
Unlike their heartbreaking loss earlier this month to the Vikings, this time Brandon Neman made sure that the game would not slip away.
The junior guard’s only shot was a successful three-pointer in the final seconds to give the Normans a stunning 52-50 victory over Santa Monica.
Neman, who hadn’t been played for most of the night, stepped up when it mattered the most.
University’s Brittany Martin missed a front-end of a one-and-one with a second left in overtime as Venice hangs on to a 56-54 home victory over the Wildcats.
It is the second time this season that a errant free throw has doomed University. Martin’s missed attempt against Fairfax in the final seconds allowed the Lions to rally for a 53-52 win earlier this month.
Sarah Schemerhorn had 25 points for Venice (11-14, 4-6) and Jenny Aceret added 14.
Before the game, Westchester head coach Ed Azzam joked with James Paleno, his counterpart at Palisades about which Dolphins team would show up. Was it the one that beat Fairfax by 25 on earlier this week or the squad that struggle to get by Venice.
It only took a couple of minutes to figure out it was the later.
Westchester scored the first 16 points of the game and held Palisades to only four first quarter points in a dominating 65-42 victory to remain undefeated in Western League play.
Guard Matthew Grant had 13 points as 12 different Comets scored in the game, but it was the defensive effort that most impressed their head coach.
Even before entering the gym in their contest against Palisades, Fairfax’s Marguerite Effa sensed that she was going to have a good game.
That premonition came true as the sophomore had 21 points and 17 rebounds in Fairfax’s 48-33 victory against Palisades to take over first place in the Western League.
“I did not feel like I played well last time. We should not have lost to them,” said Effa. “All I wanted to do is get rebounds and make baskets.”
With leading scorer John’ea Thompson suffering form the effects of the flu, the Lions need another player to rise to the occasion. Angelica Laury took up the challenge.
Beverly Hills was playing without three of their key players and Culver City took advantage with hard-nosed defense in a 62-42 victory over their Ocean League rival.
Jessica Melamed, Dorsa Mehrannia, and Megan Yee all sat out due to injuries leaving a huge void as the trio accounted for nearly 26 of the of the Normans’ 61 points.
Without the ball handlers, Culver City’s full-court pressure poked, prodded and ultimately suffocated the Beverly Hills offense by grabbing 27 steals including turnovers on five consecutive possessions in the second quarter. That aggressive play spark a 22-3 run to turn a five-point deficit into a double-digit lead.