2014-15: Give Morse Some Respect

Where have I gone wrong?

I voted for Morse as No. 5 in the UT-San Diego basketball poll this week.

I assigned No. 10 to Army-Navy.

The poll of 11 voters released today shows Army-Navy No. 5 and Morse No. 9.  No change from last week for either team.

Morse defeated Riverside John North, 96-88, in double overtime and Serra, 81-70, last week.

Army-Navy beat Francis Parker, 63-54, and lost to Foothills Christian, 76-59.

North has an 18-1 record and Serra is 13-7.  Francis Parker is 12-5 and Foothills Christian 16-5 on the floor but 14-7 because of two forfeits.

Army-Navy is 17-3  and Morse 18-4, although the Tigers’ record had been a mystery since the coach or student manager waited weeks before reporting several scores to the San Diego Section..

Morse’s schedule includes an 81-70 loss to Los Angeles Cathedral, the ninth-ranked team in the state.

The Tigers also have losses of 69-53 to Burbank Bellarmine-Jefferson, 59-45 to Beverly Hills, and 62-55 to Francis Parker.

Army-Navy’s two additional defeats were to St. Augustine, 60-43, and to La Costa Canyon, 59-45.

Morse’s loss to Parker was in December.   Army-Navy beat Parker last week.

The CIF’s “power ratings”  lists El Camino (a 54-46 loser to Army-Navy and which has played a mostly local schedule) as the top team in Division 1, with Army-Navy fourth, and Morse 10th.

I give Morse a slight edge, based on strength of schedule, over the Carlsbad boarding school and El Camino.

I give Army-Navy an edge in perceived North county brain lock by some poll voting members.

But maybe it’s me with brain lock.

UT-San Diego poll #6:

# Team (1st place votes) W-L Points* Previous
1 Torrey Pines (7) 19-2 104 3
2 Foothills Christian (4) 14-7* 102 T1
3 La Costa Canyon 13-6 83 T1
4 San Marcos 18-1 79 4
5 Army-Navy 17-3 59 5
6 El Camino 15-4 54 6
7 Mission Bay 15-1 38 8
8 Francis Parker 12-5 28 10
9 Morse 18-4 26 9
10 St. Augustine 16-5 24 7

*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. NR–Not ranked. *Includes two forfeits.

Others receiving votes: Vista,  (17-4), 5; Kearny, (14-6), 3;  Escondido (11-7), 2.

Eleven San Diego County sportswriters and broadcasters, and a CIF San Diego Section representative vote each week. The panel includes John Maffei and Kirk Kenney (UT-San Diego), Terry Monahan (UT-San Diego correspondent), Bill Dickens (eastcountysports.com), Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section), Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com), Aaron Burgin (fulltimeshoops.com), Rick Willis (KUSI Chl. 51), Rick Smith (partletonsports.com), Drew Willis (sdcoastalsports.com).

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2014-15: No Poll Today But Lots of Action

We’re going to hold off on publishing the weekly Union-Tribune basketball poll, because games Monday night would dramatically alter the Top 10, the deadline of which for voters is 10 a.m. on Monday.

The poll’s timeliness often is in question at this time of year, because clubs are involved in the annual series of one-night stands and specially promoted events on various dates before league play permanently locks in.

Torrey Pines hosted a Martin Luther King doubleheader  and the No. 3-ranked Falcons defeated La Costa Canyon, tied for No. 1 with Foothills Christian, 68-42.  Francis Parker, No. 10, topped St. Augustine, No. 7, 65-55, on the undercard.

Most impressive, at first glance, was Morse’s 96-88, double-overtime victory over Riverside John North in the MLK Classic at La Salle High in Pasadena.

Justin Davis had 42 points and 13 rebounds and 6-foot, 11-inch sophomore Brandon Davis added 27 points for the 16-5 Tigers, who dealt the North Huskies their first loss in a 16-1 season.

Two of North’s starters did not play, according to Cal-Hi Sports.

FOOTHILLS UP AND DOWN

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2014-15: Poll Remains Same, 1-10

The order of  the Union-Tribune Top 10 was unchanged after the fourth vote of the season, but there will be changes next week.

No. 1 Foothills Christian was beaten, 48-42, by The Bishop’s at Cuyamaca College last night in what is evolving into a tough Coastal Division race.

Foothills’ 6-foot, 11-inch T.J. Leaf did not play as the Patriots fell to 10-7, while The Bishop’s improved to 10-4.

UT-San Diego poll #4:

# Team (1st place votes) W-L Points* Previous
1 Foothills Christian (7) 10-6 105 2
2 La Costa Canyon (1) 11-5 97 1
3 Torrey Pines (2) 15-2 89 3
4 San Marcos (1) 14-1 70 4
5 El Camino (1) 12-3 58 5
6 Army-Navy 14-2 57 8
7 St. Augustine 13-4 41 7
8 Mission Bay 11-1 25 NR
9 Morse 14-4 24 6
10 Francis Parker 8-3 14 10

*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. NR–Not ranked.

Others receiving votes: Kearny, (11-6) and Grossmont (11-2), 8 each; Escondido (7-5), 5; Vista,  (13-4), 3; Steele Canyon (12-4), 1.

Eleven San Diego County sportswriters and broadcasters, and a CIF San Diego Section representative vote each week. The panel includes John Maffei and Kirk Kenney (UT-San Diego), Terry Monahan (UT-San Diego correspondent), Bill Dickens (eastcountysports.com), Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section), Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com), Aaron Burgin (fulltimeshoops.com), Rick Willis (KUSI Chl. 51), Rick Smith (partletonsports.com), Drew Willis (sdcoastalsports.com).

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2015: John Kovac, Started Mesa College Football Program

John Kovac, the first head  football coach at Mesa College and coach of Coronado’s 1955-56 Southern California basketball championship team, passed away at age 89.

Services for Kovac, who moved from San Diego to Palm Springs in October, will be Jan. 20 at St. Brigit’s Parish, Pacific Beach, on Jan. 20 at 11 a.m.

Kovac opened the Mesa program in 1964 and posted a 30-14-2 record until he stepped down to become the college’s athletic director after the 1968 season.

Kovac (right) and track coach Dick Coxe (left) honored track's Sterling Jenkins and football's Richard (Prime) McClendon at San Diego Junior College's 1963 fall sports awards banquet.

Kovac (right) and track coach Dick Coxe (left) honored track’s Sterling Jenkins and football’s Richard (Prime) McClendon at San Diego Junior College’s 1963 fall sports awards banquet.

The 1966 Olympians squad posted a 9-1 record and scored a 12-0 victory over San Bernardino Valley in the Elks Bowl game in the Northern city.

Kovac succeeded George Schutte as head coach at San Diego Junior College and his teams were 11-15-1 from 1961-63.

Kovac was a graduate of Penn State University and was the freshman coach at Penn State for future NFL Hall of Famer Lennie Moore and future Pro Bowl defensive lineman Roosevelt Grier.

Kovac’s first coaching position was as  basketball coach at Coronado High.  From 1953-56 his teams posted a record of 63 wins and 15 losses, going 15-8, 21-4, and 27-1, respectively.

The Islanders were the first County team to score at least 100 points in a game when they routed Rancho del Campo, 103-34, in 1953.

Coronado reached the Southern California small schools finals in 1954-55 but was beaten, by Azusa Citrus, 63-58, in front of more than 2,000 persons at Point Loma High.

Kovac’s small, quick Islanders won a championship rematch, 60-54, before another turnaway crowd of 2,300 at Azusa in the 1955-56 season.

Coronado, whose tallest player was 6-foot, 1-inch Roger Nix,  held Citrus star Billy Kilmer to 19 points, several points below his school-record average, and outplayed the Cougars’ starting five, which averaged 6-foot-3.

The Islanders’ only defeat that season was an early December decision, 49-45, to Hoover, which posted a 25-5 record and was the third-place finisher in the Southern California large-school playoffs.

CHULA VISTA STAR

Bob Lusky, who played on Chula Vista’s 1953 and ’54 Southern California small schools champions that had a combined, 23-1 record.

Lusky was all-Metropolitan League in football and baseball for the Spartans and pitched for San Diego State’s 1958 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship squad.

Lusky taught and coached many years in the South Bay and at Palomar College in San Marcos.

SET CARLSBAD SCORING RECORD

Bob Wueste held the Carlsbad High single-game scoring record of 40 points for several years and was a standout on coach Dimitri Poradowski’s 1961-62 squad that posted a 15-4 record and tied for first in the Palomar League.

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2015: Carberry Makes 40, 100-Game Winners

An error in compilation of our list of coaches with at least 100 career victories omitted a 40th member of that club.

Monte Vista’s Ed Carberry posted a 100-59-3 record in 14 seasons, with a .626 winning percentage.

Carberry became the Monarchs’ coach in 1989 and was 72-51-2 through 1999.  Page Culver coached the Spring Valley team in 2000. Carberry returned in 2001 and closed with a 28-8-1 mark through 2003 and then moved on to Southwestern College.

Carberry’s teams won seven league championships and two San Diego Section titles in three appearances.  He is the fifth coach from the East County to win 100 games.

Helix’ Jim Arnaiz was 213-77-11 (.726) from 1973-99,  Steve Sutton, 131-91-1 (.587) from 1989-2010 at West Hills and Valhalla, Matt Oliver, 128-56-3 (.693) from 1999-02 and 2004-14 at Christian, and Ladimir (Jack) Mashin, 125-66-19 (.640) from 1923-47 at Grossmont.

Oliver is the only coach from the East County group still active.

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2015: Rory Trup, Section 880 Champ in 1970

Rory Trup, the San Diego Section 880-yard run champion in 1970 at Mission Bay, passed away.

Trup, 62, of Encinitas ran 1:55.3 to win the Section title at Balboa Stadium and posted a career best 1:55.1 in the State trials at Edwards Stadium on the University of California campus in Berkeley.

Trup ranked 24th all-time among County half-milers at conclusion of his high school career.

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2014-15, Week 3: Knights Hope to Turnover New Leaf

Foothills Christian is No. 1 in the UT-San Diego poll, but the Knights  got there wondering what if.

Foothills is 8-6 and has a “woulda-coulda” lament.

The Knights forfeited two early, blowout victories because of the ubiquitous and dreaded administrative glitch involving player eligibility and they’ve dropped two of their last three following the loss of their star.

Coach Troy Leaf’s team has not been the same since Leaf’s 6-foot, 10-inch son, T.J., went down with a sprained ankle with two minutes remaining in the first round of the Under-Armour tournament at Torrey Pines.

Leaf had scored 22 points with 13 rebounds, and seven assists in the 67-49 victory over Los Angeles Westchester, then was unavailable as the Knights were mauled by Corona Centennial, 73-51, and Brooklyn Thomas Jefferson, 77-47.

With Leaf still out, Foothills then scored an unexpected, 49-47 win over La Costa Canyon.

But the  10-4 and second-ranked Mavericks had some injury problems of their own.  They played  without 6-8 Travis Fuller, who is averaging 17 points.

Foothills Christian’s other losses were 84-75 to state ninth-ranked Chino Hills and 66-59 to state third-ranked Long Beach Poly.

The El Cajon school will take another shot at a California powerhouse when it meets No. 5 Redondo Beach Redondo Jan. 17 at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

The Knights open Coastal League play this evening at home against 9-5 Santa Fe Christian. Leaf, averaging 28 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists, will be welcomed back.

La Costa Canyon has a nonleague game Wednesday night versus Escondido, 7-5.

Late December tournaments and intersectional games shook up the Top 10.  Five teams changed positions since the last vote.

UT-San Diego poll #3:

# Team (1st place votes) W-L Points* Previous
1 Foothills Christian (7) 8-6 101 2
2 La Costa Canyon (1) 10-4 94 1
3 Torrey Pines (2) 13-2 86 3
4 San Marcos (1) 13-1 77 4
5 El Camino (1) 11-2 62 5
6 Army-Navy 12-2 58 8
7 St. Augustine 11-4 46 7
8 Mission Bay 10-0 27 NR
9 Morse 6-3 22 6
10 Francis Parker 6-3 17 10

*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. NR–Not ranked.

Others receiving votes: Kearny, 9 (9-5); Grossmont  (11-2), Escondido (7-5), Cathedral (7-5), 3 each; Vista, 2 (11-4); Mission Hills, 1 (8-4).

Eleven San Diego County sportswriters and broadcasters, and a CIF San Diego Section representative vote each week. The panel includes John Maffei and Kirk Kenney (UT-San Diego), Terry Monahan (UT-San Diego correspondent), Bill Dickens (eastcountysports.com), Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section), Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com), Aaron Burgin (fulltimeshoops.com), Rick Willis (KUSI Chl. 51), Rick Smith (partletonsports.com), Drew Willis (sdcoastalsports.com).

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1997: Gender Doesn’t Matter

Jason Bott of the Union-Tribune said it best: “Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman.”

Her name is Andy Wharton and she hammered a 19-yard field goal with nine seconds left in the game to give West Hills a 31-28 victory over Serra.

Andy Wharton's kick saved the Wolfpack.

Andy Wharton’s kick made difference for  Wolfpack.

“I thought the play was stopped,” said Wharton, “but when I saw it wasn’t I just hoped it went through.”

Wharton split the uprights.  No surprise to Wolf Pack coach Steve Sutton.

“She’s a pressure player and has been in situations like this before (in other sports), but not like this with a football game on the line,” said Sutton.

Quarterback Lon Sheriff also helped, throwing for 311 yards and two touchdowns.

UNHAPPY DEADLOCK

The 21-21 Division I title tie did not sit well with Torrey Pines coach Ed Burke or Vista’s Steve Silberman. “I feel bad for the kids,” Burke said to writer Steve Brand, “because this hasn’t been resolved.”

“Nobody likes a tie–they don’t and we don’t,” said Silberman.

San Diego Section rules are that ties cannot be broken in championship games.  Overtime tie-breakers are only for elimination purposes in the earlier rounds.

Point Loma and El Camino tied, 6-6, in 1982 and no one was happy with that either.

EL NINO BOWL

Rain-soaked fields turned to mush in the playoff semifinals, highlighted by driving rainstors in various County locales.

Desert visitor Imperial couldn’t handle the conditions in a 41-14, D-IV loss to Marian Catholic, whose Mike Davies returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score, rushed for touchdowns of 66, and 70 yards, and accounted for more than 300 yards.

The mud also was just fine for Vista, which defeated Chula Vista, 25-0, as the Panthers’ Pisa Tinoisamoa rushed for 208 yards and sidekick Adrian Waddy added 85.

Chula Vista defenders struggled to bring down Vista's hard-knocking Pisa Tinoisamoa.

Chula Vista defenders struggled to bring down Vista’s hard-knocking Pisa Tinoisamoa.

LOUSY SPORTSMANSHIP

Running up the Score.  A.k.a, piling on.

It’s unpleasant and old as the game itself, from peewees to the pros.

What happened this season was remindful of a San Diego Chargers game against Denver in 1963.

The Chargers led, 56-20, after scoring a touchdown in the game’s final minutes.

Instead of maintaining and kicking for the extra point, Chargers coach Sid Gillman instructed quarterback John Hadl to pursue a two-point conversion.

Hadl passed complete to Earl Faison, a defensive end lined up as a blocker and eligible receiver on the special teams unit.

FAULKNER VENTS

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2014: Hamamoto (200), Jackson (100) Hit Milestones

Like mile markers on the interstate, coaching victories progress at their own pace and gradually add up.

Monte Vista’s Ron Hamamoto became the eighth  to win 200 games this season and Madison’s Rick Jackson was the 39th to reach 100.

Hamamoto (201-127-4), a 30-year veteran of San Diego high school wars, was at University (Cathedral), Rancho Bernardo, and Lincoln before moving to Monte Vista in 2012.

Jackson (100-31-3) has averaged 9.2 wins in 11 seasons at Madison and his .761 winning percentage is second only to John Carroll’s .765.  The late Birt Slater of Kearny had a .753 percentage for third.

Carroll moved past Bennie Edens this season and now has 248 victories, 91 less than all-time leader Herb Meyers.  Carroll could catch Meyers in nine seasons if he continued to average 9.5 victories a year as he has done in the 26 he’s been at Oceanside.,

See the complete “Coach 100 Club” list under the “Football” menu item.

CAL-HI  RANKINGS

Oceanside’s loss to Folsom in the State D-I championship resulted in the Pirates’ dropping from fifth to 10th in the final Cal-Hi Sports list of the state’s top 25 teams.

El Capitan fell from 16th to 22nd, Helix from 22nd to 23rd, and Cathedral remained 25th.

Concord De La Salle, which defeated Corona Centennial, 63-42, in the Open Division championship, was first and Folsom second.

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2014-15: Hoops Hot in Foothills

Foothills Christian is second in UT-San Diego‘s basketball poll, but the Knights are 18th in the Cal-Hi Sports state vote, ahead of San Diego Section rankings leader La Costa Canyon.

La Costa received all 11 first-place votes in the local balloting, but the Mavericks  received on-the-bubble status and are out of the top 20 in the state-wide publication’s weekly ratings.

The UT-San Diego poll  is inclusive of games through last Saturday.

Action has been hot and heavy for the  first three weeks of the season and local clubs have been active in tournaments here, out of the area, and out of state.

All attention shifts  this week to the Under-Armour tournament at Torrey Pines and other North County venues.  The four-day event brings together outstanding teams from throughout the U.S.

Foothills (6-4) tips at 7 p.m. on Friday at Torrey Pines against Los Angeles Westchester (6-4), for decades a state and national leader.  La Costa Canyon (9-1) will be on its home court at 7 Friday against Santa Monica (3-5).

Coach Brad Leaf’s Foothills Knights are 8-2 competitively but 6-4 legislatively. The ubiquitous and dreaded administrative glitch resulted in forfeiture of a 89-59 win over San Ysidro and 83-33 rout of Rancho Buena Vista. Player eligibility, as usual, was the problem.

The Knights’ two losses on the court were 66-59 to Long Beach Poly (Cal-Hi 6) and 84-73 to Chino Hills (16).  They also own victories over Constitution of Philadelphia, 88-60, and 71-66 over Lone Peak of  Montana.

UT-San Diego poll #2:

# Team (1st place votes) W-L Points* Previous
1 La Costa Canyon (11) 9-1 110 1
2 Foothills Christian 6-4 93 2
3 Torrey Pines 10-0 91 3
4 San Marcos 8-1 62 6
5 El Camino 8-1 57 4
6 Morse 3-1 52 5
7 St. Augustine 8-2 39 8
8 Army-Navy 9-1 23 NR
9 Kearny 7-3 21 7
10 Francis Parker 3-0 19 9

*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. NR–Not ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Grossmont, 15; Mater Dei, 11; Cathedral, Poway, 10 each; Army-Navy, Steele Canyon, 7 each; Mission Baay, 54; Sweetwater, 3; Eastlake, 2.

Eleven San Diego County sportswriters and broadcasters, and a CIF San Diego Section representative vote each week. The panel includes John Maffei and Kirk Kenney (UT-San Diego), Terry Monahan (UT-San Diego correspondent), Bill Dickens (eastcountysports.com), Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section), Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com), Aaron Burgin (fulltimeshoops.com), Rick Willis (KUSI Chl. 51), Rick Smith (partletonsports.com), Drew Willis (sdcoastalsports.com).

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