2016-17 Week 9: Saints Figure to be Wary in First Round

St Augustine finished No. 1 in the Union-Tribune regular-season poll, is the San Diego Section’s No. 1 seed in the Open Division playoffs, and is 11th in the state, according to Cal-Hi Sports as the Saints await No. 8 seed La Costa Canyon in a first-round game Saturday night in perhaps the last game ever at Dougherty Gym.

The tiny arena, erected in 1952, will remain standing and will serve other purposes on the Nutmeg Street campus, but the Saints will be playing in a new, 1,500-seat edifice in 2017-18.

The Saints (24-4) of coach Mike Haupt figure to dismiss  the 19-8 Mavericks of coach Dave Cassaw, but one look at results in the Southern Section first round last week shows that anything can happen in the postseason.

St. Augustine moved up one spot in the Cal-Hi ratings because seventh-ranked Mission Hills Alemany was upset by bubble team Long Beach Poly, 66-48.

The 18-point loss was enough to catch one’s attention, but Poly’s victory was achieved despite setbacks from the moment the Jackrabbits got on the bus.

A normal, 45-mile, hour-and-a-half ride to the San Fernando campus of Alemany turned into a 4 1/2-hour journey through torrential rain, wind, road closures, and a unscheduled stop when the charter broke down.

For Long Beach it was all’s well that ends well.

Second-seeded Torrey Pines (26-3) plays host to No. 7,  20-8 La Jolla Country Day at the other end of the San Diego Section Open bracket.

Looming in the quarterfinals for St. Augustine or La Costa Canyon is either 5 Mater Dei Catholic (22-4) or 4 Foothills Christian (23-5).

The winner at Torrey Pines will get No. 3 Vista (23-3) or No. 6 Mission Hills (20-7).


The Girls’ Open tournament favors Mission Hills, 26-2 and Cal-Hi’s state No. 4. The top-seed Grizzlies take on 8 seed Serra (20-8) Friday night.

The Bishop’s is seeded second in the Open Division, but was knocked out of the Cal-High Top 20 when upset last week, 44-42,  by charging La Jolla Country Day, 16-10, winner of six of its last seven, and seeded No. 3.

Union-Tribune Boys’ poll through Monday, Feb. 20:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 St. Augustine (8) 24-4 97 1
2 Torrey Pines (2) 26-3 90 2
3 Foothills Christian 23-5 81 3
4 Vista 25-3 68 4
5 Helix 23-5 54 5
6 Mater Dei 22-4 48 6
7 Mission Hills 20-7 33 7
8 La Jolla Country Day 20-8 31 8
9 Rancho Bernardo 21-6 10 NR
10 Poway 22-6 9 10

Others receiving votes: Olympian (25-2, 8 points) Canyon Crest (20-7,  7), Serra (24-4, 5), Granite Hills (22-6, 4), La Costa Canyon (20-7, 3), Coronado (27-3, 3).

Poll participants include John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Union-Tribune correspondent),  Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Chris Davis, freelance;  Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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2016-17 Week 8: Playoffs Next as Leagues Finish

The regular season ends on Friday night and power ratings to determine divisional playoff appointments will follow on Saturday.

St. Augustine lost another first-place vote to Torrey Pines in the weekly Union-Tribune poll,  but is number one in the present power ratings, with Torrey Pines third.  Vista, which hasn’t played the marquee schedules of the Saints or Torrey Pines, is second in the power ratings.

The eight teams selected for the San Diego Section Open Division playoffs will have first-round byes, while divisions 1-5 will tee it up next week.

St. Augustine remained  12th in the Cal-Hi Sports weekly top 20 and Torrey Pines nudged up one notch to 19th.

Mission Hills remained fourth in the Cal-Hi  girls’ ratings, while the Bishop’s anchored at No. 20 for weeks, now is 18th.

Game of the week will be Thursday  night at La Jolla Country Day, where the state bubble team Torreys, 15-10, and winners of 5 in a row, will attempt to reverse a 62-53 loss to The Bishop’s, 27-1 and winner of 16 straight, early in the season.

The other girls bubble team is Eastlake (20-6).  Foothills Christian (20-5) and Vista (23-3) remain on the bubble in boys’ play.

Union-Tribune Boys’ poll through Monday, Feb. 13:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 St. Augustine (8) 23-4 98 1
2 Torrey Pines (2) 24-3 92 2
3 Foothills Christian 20-5 80 3
4 Vista 23-3 69 4
5 Helix 22-5 54 6
6 Mater Dei 20-4 42 7
7 Mission Hills 18-7 38 5
8 La Jolla Country Day 18-8 29 8
9 Poway 21-5 17 9
10 Serra 23-3 9 10

Others receiving votes: La Costa Canyon (19-6, 5 points), Olympian (21-2, 5), Rancho Bernardo (19-6, 4), Canyon Crest (18-7, 3), Orange Glen (17-7, 2), Granite Hills (20-6, 2).

Poll participants include John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Union-Tribune correspondent),  Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Chris Davis, freelance;  Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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1946-47: Cardinals, Hillers Busy

The CIF Southern Section was flourishing with competition.

Wartime travel restrictions were a thing of the past.  There were games and more games, multiple tournaments, and big crowds.

Hoover, 13-6 in 19 games in the 1945-46 season, jumped to 33, with a 24-9 record.  San Diego High, 19-5 in 24 outings, played 34 and was 28-6.

Teams in the new Basketball Association of America, which became the NBA, played 60 games.

Hoover and San Diego, meeting the shorter high school schedule, competed almost as often as the pros in December and January.

Hoover won the Coast League race, but San Diego won the Beverly Hills Invitational.  Hoover claimed the Chino tournament title, San Diego the Consolation trophy.

Hoover suffered in the Western States Tournament. San Diego finished third.

San Diego beat Hoover in their first meeting, but Hoover won the last two, tied the Hillers with a 9-3 league record, and won the invitation to the Southern Section playoffs.

Don Larsen, with 94 points in five league games, won the Metropolitan League scoring title (Grossmont’s Ken Tennison was next with 86 in 7), despite graduating from school in January.

Larsen was center of attention at Point Loma.


St. Augustine traveled a weird path, on cinder, asphalt, and hardwood.

Without a gymnasium, the Saints practiced outside and played a few “home” games at Horace Mann Junior High, visited Metro facilities, plus San Diego State, San Diego High, Kearny, and Hoover, and probably others not reported.

The Saints were a member of the Southland Catholic League in football, but played an independent schedule in basketball that included several Southland Catholic opponents.

Welcome guests in their own league, the Saints won one of three games in Southland Catholic Invitational.


The first major exercise of the season, on the court of Compton College, attracted 16 teams. At least one, Las Vegas, was from beyond the California border.

Bill Curtis’s 20th point was a free throw with five seconds remaining and pushed San Diego past Whittier, 37-36, after the Hillers trailed, 27-16, in the third quarter.

The Cavers ran into trouble the next day, ousted by Los Angeles Mt. Carmel, 46-31, but claimed third place, 36-29, over Beverly Hills.

Hoover topped Montebello, 32-25, but ran afoul of Long Beach Poly, 35-30.  L.A. Loyola then sent the Cardinals home with a 35-33 victory in the consolation round.


Hoover aggressively moved forward, defeating Azusa Citrus, 43-19, and Bonita, 44-16, to qualify for a semifinal game against top-seeded Burbank.

The Cardinals moved on with a 49-38 victory over the Bulldogs and then dismissed South Pasadena, 38-25, in the finals.

San Diego was chased by Riverside Poly, 41-24, but rebounded to run the Consolation table with victories of 56-32 over Fillmore, 61-30 over Pasadena, and 43-31 over Colton.


Hoover was bounced early, losing to Santa Ana, 37-36.

San Diego, with Jerry Dahms replacing the graduated Bill Curtis at center, defeated Inglewood, 46-25.

San Diego moved into the semifinals with a 38-32 win over Grossmont, which had won its opening game, 31-28 over El Segundo.

The Hillers concluded their season with a 39-36, semifinal victory over Anaheim and a 26-19 championship win over Coast League rival Compton.


Only league champions were invited.  San Diego was out.

Coast League titlist Hoover and Metropolitan champ Grossmont won first-round games at home, but quarterfinals play the next day would be at Whittier College.

The Cardinals quickly ushered out Southern League champ Army-Navy, 53-9, and Grossmont eliminated Imperial Valley titlist El Centro Central, 34-24, avenging a loss to the Spartans in the small schools football championship several weeks before.

The early Saturday morning trip to Whittier didn’t agree with the two San Diego teams.  Whittier thumped Grossmont, 61-41, and Mt. Carmel beat Hoover, 41-29, despite 19 points by McColl.

Mt. Carmel topped Whittier, 68-57, for the championship.


Bill McColl, Hoover’s 6-foot, 3-inch junior center, was on the all-Southern California first team. San Diego’s Ben Cendali, Point Loma’s Don Larsen, and Grossmont’s Dick Baker earned third-team honors.


Pasadena’s Dick Williams, future manager of the San Diego Padres, was the only non-San Diego athlete on one all-Coast League team, which included Bill McColl and Don Caldwell of Hoover and Sandy Borofsky and Ben Cendali of San Diego.

San Diego newspaper’s choices.


The five-team Coast League of San Diego, Hoover, Compton, Pasadena and Pasadena Muir, played a 12-game schedule, meaning three games each against opponents.

The Cardinals, Hillers, Tarbabes, Bullpups, and Mustangs logged miles and miles on U.S. 101.

Most trips were of two days: travel Friday, play a game that night, bus to the next opponent city, find a place to sleep, play the next day, and then bus back home.

Compton came South for a Friday night game at Hoover and returned to a home contest the next evening against San Diego, which played on Friday at Muir.  Hoover completed the circle by visiting Muir on Saturday.


The task of moving 850,000 cubic feet of soil from the bottom of Mission Bay and piling it up at Santa Clara Point to form part of the $15 million Mission Bay Aquatic Park was completed.


Twenty persons were arrested in a raid on an alleged bookmaking operation at 200 Market Street, blocks from the West Market location of the Police Station.

Bail was set at $250 for Claude Hodge of North 30th Street, who ran the establishment, and $10 for the 19 who were placing a bet.


Point Loma’s Don Larsen scored 28 points on 14 baskets in a 49-25 win over Kearny…Kearny had perhaps the most points ever by a San  Diego County team when it defeated Vista, 82-50…San Diego’s Ben Cendali scored 37 points, including 26 in the first half, as the Hillers routed Pasadena Muir, 62-22…Cendali fell short of Ivan Robinson’s school-record 38, set in the 1943-44 season…Don Larsen had 110 points in 8 games in January and was the Breitbard Athletic Foundation Star of the Month…McColl won the award for February, after leading the Coast League with 164 points (13.6 average) and finishing as the County’s leading scorer with 369 and 10.8 average …it was a banner year for new coaches: Point Loma’s Don Giddings won the Metropolitan League football championship; Jim Ahler led Hoover to the Coast League basketball title, as did Grossmont’s Ralph Chaplin in the Metro…future coaches John (Duke) Early and Jesse Thompson were standouts for St. Augustine…Grossmont fell behind Escondido, 16-11, and then outscored the Cougars, 40-4, for a 51-20 victory…more than 1,500 were in attendance for the Metropolitan League showdown  at Grossmont, which defeated Point Loma, 37-29, and closed out with a 7-0 loop record and 16-2 overall…visiting Hoover’s 43-32 win over San Diego in front of a full house  was the difference in the Coast title race despite the teams’ finishing with the same record….

San Diego’s Sandy Borofsky hits the floor as ball is loose in Hoover-San Diego battle. Others are Cardinals’ Don Caldwell (54) and Bill McColl, and San Diego’s Bob Spaeth (foreground.) Hoover won, 43-32, clinched Coast League title.

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2016-17 Week 7: Here Come the Power Ratings

The invitationals and shootouts are  complete, league play is winding down, and the CIF Power Ratings are coming to the forefront.

As happened last season and will  again, the eight leading teams in the power ratings  in the San Diego Section will make for competitive Open Division playoffs.

The team that wins the Open Division here likely then will be pitted against superior Open Division teams from the Los Angeles area, the “NBA” high school teams of the state.

The San Diego Section Open Division participant figures to  be eliminated  in the Southern California regionals and miss the opportunity to compete for a state championship.

The San Diego team that loses in the Section Open  finals probably will be slotted into a lower division bracket in the extended postseason and have a better chance for success.

That’s what the Power Ratings have wrought.

As of today’s power ratings, San Diego’s best team is St. Augustine, which trailed by 19 points last week in the Nike Extravaganza and was outrebounded, 46-31 in a 74-62 loss to Santa Ana Mater Dei.

Mater Dei has  7-foot, 1-inch Bol Bol, the  son of former NBA player Manute Bol, plus assorted other standouts from farflung locations.


St. Augustine’s loss dropped the Saints from 10th to 12th in the weekly Cal-Hi Sports state top 20 ratings.  Torrey Pines got off the bubble and is 20th.  Foothills Christian and Vista are on the bubble.

Mission Hills (22-2) moved from fifth to fourth in the girls’ top 20.  The Bishop’s (24-1) climbed to 18th.

The Knights’ Destiny Littleton flew past the 4,000-career-points mark and led the nation with a 48.1 average before last night’s game, a 92-60 win over Horizon  in which Littleton blew up for 61 points.

Mikayla Boykin of Clinton, North Carolina, is second to Littleton  with a 40.1 average.

Union-Tribune Boys’ poll through Monday, Feb. 6:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 St. Augustine 9) 21-4 99 1
2 Torrey Pines 21-3 89 2
3 Foothills Christian 18-5 79 3
4 Vista 21-3 66 5
5 Mission Hills 17-6 49 4
6 Helix 20-5 43 6
7 Mater Dei 18-4 41 7
8 La Jolla Country Day 17-7 30 9
9 Poway 19-5 11 10
10 Serra 21-3 9 NR

NR–Not rated.

Others receiving votes: Olympian (21-2, 8 points), Orange Glen (15-7, 8), Coronado (24-2, 6), Rancho Bernardo (17-5, 4), Canyon Crest (17-6, 4), La Cota Canyon (17-6, 3, Granite Hills 918-6, 1).

Poll participants include John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Union-Tribune correspondent),  Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Chris Davis, freelance;  Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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2017: George Taylor, 80, Cavers’ Hoop Standout

No one scored more than 10 points in a game against George Taylor, whose defensive commitment  and offensive playmaking earned the 6-foot San Diego High guard City Prep League player-of-the-year honors in the 1953-54 season.

Taylor taught many years at Los Angeles’ Locke High.

Taylor, who passed in San Diego on Jan. 27 at age 80, was the primary player on the 22-5 team that reached the quarterfinals of CIF Southern Section major playoffs.

Taylor scored 273 points in 27 games, leading the Cavers to a 12-2 league record and an upset, 68-56 victory over favored Alhambra in the playoffs’ first round.

Taylor went on to star in basketball and earn a degree at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. He was an educator for many years in the Los Angeles area and later earned his PHD at Claremont College.

Taylor eventually returned to San Diego and became a board member at the William J. Oakes Boys’ Club in Logan Heights, where Taylor first took up basketball, under the guidance of legendary coach Augie Escamilla.

San Diego coach Merrill Douglas prepped for playoffs with Alfred Hudson and George Taylor (from left).

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2016-17 Week 6: St. Augustine Alone at Top

The speed bump Foothills  Christian hit against Orange Glen last week was followed by a chassis-rattling pothole in a 20-point blowout by Woodland Hills Taft.

The Knights (17-4) need  a front-end alignment.

They vacated their status as the No. 2 team in the Union-Tribune weekly sportswriters- broadcasters poll after losses of 61-60 and 76-56 to the above-mentioned squads and now are looking up at St. Augustine and Torrey Pines.

A greater indignity for Brad Leaf’s team was banishment from the Cal-Hi Sports  state top 20.  Foothills fell from No. 7 to  on-the-bubble status.

It doesn’t  get easier.

The Knights face mighty Oak Hill Prep of Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, Friday night in the Nike Extravaganza at Santa Ana Mater Dei.

Promoters figure the Knights are a warmup for Oak Hill, which, with a victory, will ease into a Saturday night contest with U.S. No. 1 Chino Hills.

After sharing the top spot with Foothills Christian in the U.T.  poll’s first four weeks,  St.  Augustine (19-3)  sits in first place by its ownself.

But, following Western League games with Morse (80-48 victory last night) and  likely pushover Mira Mesa Friday, the Saints then jump into hot water in the Nike Extravaganza Saturday evening.

St. Augustine gets a rematch against the  host Monarchs, who  defeated the Saints, 86-62, in December.


The Bishop’s Destiny Littleton figures to pass the 4,000-point career scoring mark pretty soon.

Littleton broke Charde Houston’s  record of 3,837 a couple weeks ago and is scoring with the swiftness of a rocket eating up miles in the stratosphere.

Marlin Wells’ Knights are 22-1 and stayed 20th in the Cal-Hi girls’ state top 20 while 20-2 Mission Hills moved from fifth to fourth.

Union-Tribune Boys’ poll through Monday, Jan. 30:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 St. Augustine 10) 19-3 100 2
2 Torrey Pines 19-3 88 3
3 Foothills Christian 17-4 81 1
4 Mission Hills 16-5 57 4
5 Vista 19-3 56 6
6 Helix 18-5 43 5
7 Mater Dei 17-4 32 7
8 Orange Glen 15-5 26 NR
9 La Jolla Country Day 15-7 25 8
10 Poway 18-4 24 10

NR–Not rated.

Others receiving votes: Coronado (22-2, 6 points), Serra (19-4, 4), Rancho Bernardo (15-5, 4), Canyon Crest (16-5, 2), Olympian (19-2, 2).

Poll participants include John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan,  Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Chris Davis, freelance;  Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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2017: La Jolla Vikings Great Dan Berry

Dan Berry passed recently at age 72, leaving a historic legacy at La Jolla High and of significant achievements at San Diego City College and the University of California at Berkeley.

When La Jolla met San Diego High at  Scripps Field in 1961, the Vikings had not beaten the Cavemen since 1951 and were reeling from 57-0 and 59-0 knockouts in the two most recent meetings.

Berry, an all-San Diego Section first-team selection,  rushed for 153 yards in 20 carries, scored a touchdown and passed for two, and charged a three-touchdown, fourth-quarter rally as the Vikings, trailing, 19-7, defeated the Cavers, 27-19.

Lefty Berry ran, passed, and drove La Jolla to big win and niche among all-time Vikings.

The seaside team’s victory should have created some sports world buzz, but the game was played on Thursday night, a day earlier than usual.

Friday night was when the media spotlight was on the high schools.

The Evening Tribune did not send a reporter to the game and The San Diego Union‘s coverage of the contest was consigned to back pages of the sports section.

La Jollans were outraged.

Many of the  beach community’s residents flooded the nearby office of publisher James Copley with telephone calls expressing anger that Copley’s newspapers had given their team short shrift.

Copley got the message.

An order soon came down from the fourth floor at the Union-Tribune building on Second Avenue in downtown San Diego.

Henceforth the Tribune would carry a full page of prep photo coverage plus a full page of stories and reports each Saturday on games  throughout the County.


Dan Berry and the Vikings had a lot to do with that emphasis on the exploits of the area’s prepsters.

Berry later led San Diego City College to a best-ever 9-1 record and come-from-behind, 28-24 victory over Orange Coast College in the 1964 San Bernardino Elks Bowl.

The 6-foot, 1-inch, 200-pounder was described by Orange Coast coach Dick Tucker as “the best junior college player in Southern California.”


Berry went on to letter at quarterback and running back for two seasons at Berkeley, and was a fifth round draft selection of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles in 1967.  His career was short-circuited by injuries.

Berry’s wife, Kathy, said that on Feb. 18 a celebration of Dan’s life will be held at the family residence.



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1944-45: Hoover Rules Southern California Basketball

 It’s a footnote in area history that has almost been lost in the mists of time.

San Diego’s rare basketball parlay.

The Hoover Cardinals were champions of Southern California and center Dick Barnes was player of the year. One had been accomplished, but not two, and not in the same season.

Barnes, a 6-foot, 5-inch center, and his teammates won the third annual Beverly Hills Invitational, the premier prep hoops event in Southern California during World War II.

It wasn’t the Southern Section playoffs, on hiatus in 1944 and ’45, but probably was better.

Barnes (57) averaged 16 points a game for championship Cardinals squad.

Sixteen of the best teams in the Southland were included in a killer bracket in which the winner would have to play four games in two days at Beverly Hills High.


Hoover opened at 4:15 p.m. on Friday, February 24, 1945, against Bay League power Santa Monica.

Barnes stunned the Vikings with 36 points as the Cardinals eased to a 54-44 victory.

With a couple hours to relax and maybe get a bite to eat, coach Rickey Wilson and players watched Santa Barbara score a 45-27 victory over Redondo Beach Redondo, the Southern Section champion in 1942-43.

Hoover took on Santa Barbara at 9:15 that night.  Barnes scored 12 points and the Redbirds won again, 46-36.

The Cardinals were back at it at 2 the next afternoon and Barnes, virtually unstoppable around the basket from his pivot position, scored 18 points in a 46-44, overtime triumph against South Pasadena.

No time for a sit-down, Saturday evening dinner.

The boys tipped off again versus Whittier in the championship game at 7 p.m.

Barnes led the way with 21 points for a four-game total of 87 and Hoover earned a 47-36, title-clinching win.

All in a day’s work, or about 30 hours.

Ten days later the Helms Athletic Foundation not surprisingly announced that Barnes was the Southern California player of the year.

Barnes was the only major division player to capture the individual honor during San Diego’s Southern Section association, which ended in 1960.

Coed Vivian Denniston liked Barnes’ moves, on the court.

San Diego, in 1935-36, was the only team other than the Cardinals to win the major championship.

Hoover also had won the first Beverly Hills tournament in 1943.

Head coach Rickey Wilson stuck around for one more season and then began a long career as the head coach at Amherst College in Massachusetts.


Hoover finished with a 16-2 record, including an 8-0 run through the Victory League.

The only losses were 40-36 to an alumni squad and 26-25 to San Diego in the Victory League preseason  tournament.

The Cardinals had lost four of the previous five to San Diego but swept the Hilltoppers in league play, 39-28 (Bob Kuykendall scored 20), and 29-24.

The second game at Hoover was played before a turnaway crowd of 2,000 persons, according to Bob Lantz, The San Diego Union correspondent.


Hoover’s victory over San Diego brought to light a simmering issue at San Diego High, where coach John Brose, faced with a “strike” by five players, didn’t blink.

“We’ll carry on with a better spirit and healthier attitude than before,” said Brose after five players who did not practice on Monday, had met secretly, and turned in their gear.

The players included Tom Powell, the Victory League’s leading scorer in football and a starting center for Brose; Mario Lopez, Jack Harshman, a future major league outfielder-pitcher; John Herman, and Fontelle Kennerly.

Capt. Tom Powell was one of San Diego’s unhappy Hillers. Forward Gene Deverraux
(inset) was happy Cardinal.

All of the players either were starters or saw regular playing time, according to The San Diego Union.

Trouble apparently had been brewing all season and came to a head after the loss to Hoover.

Brose had criticized his team for its “indifferent attitude and listless play” and then announced before the Hoover game that he was benching all of his starters, except team captain Powell.

Brose inserted the rest of the regulars in the second quarter, but played his reserves most of the second half as Barnes scored 19 points and kept the Cardinals in command.

None of the San Diego players returned.  Brose promoted second stringers and the Hillers still won seven of their last nine games, including 5 out 6 in the league to finish in  a tie for second with Coronado at 6-2.


Wartime travel restrictions forced cancelation of an early December game at Hoover against Redondo.

The Seahawks would have had to travel 120 miles.  A CIF travel limit of 25 miles apparently still was in effect, although CIF schools had been slowly loosening the travel edict.

Long Beach Poly, Los Angeles Mt. Carmel, and Fallbrook had come south for games during the football season and Hoover had visited Redondo.

Victory in Europe was achieved on May 8, 1945, and in Japan on Aug. 15, 1945.


Dick Jackson’s set shot drained in overtime, giving San Diego a 17-15 victory over Sweetwater.  The San Diego Union declared that Jackson’s set shot was launched from 20 feet.

The perhaps more partisan San Diego High Russ said Jackson’s shot, with three seconds remaining in the extra session, was a 30-footer.


Basketball was a Hoover thing.

Cardinals principal Floyd Johnson, with some urging from coach Rickey Wilson, reached an agreement with the recreation department to open the Hoover gymnasium on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights from 6:30 to 9:30.

The facility, largest in the city, with bleachers and a balcony on the east side of the building, and bleachers on the opposite side, would be open to all “junior and senior high boys throughout the city.”

Basketball edifices in the city were not plentiful.  Gymnasiums existed at Hoover, San Diego, and at the municipal facility in Balboa Park.

La Jolla, San Diego Vocational, and Point Loma played their homes games on outdoor courts and had to reschedule “rained-out” contests in February.


The Hillcrest-Five Points “Little Freeway” on Washington Street opened in February.

The four-lane thoroughfare between Mission Hills  and the bayfront areas included a bus route for defense workers coming from the northern and eastern sectors of the  city.

The part-time route would be in effect when shifts were changing at Consolidated, Ryan, and Solar aircraft plants.


Traffic signals were to be put in place on Washington Street at Hawk and Ibis, Harbor Drive at 32nd Street, Boundary and Maple, Laurel and Commonwealth, Covington Road at Boundary, and at 32nd and Commercial.

The lights were part of  a “catching up” program that had been delayed by war

production board restrictions.

Kearny was building for the future with its Class C (Cees) team.


Kearny’s young teams were beaten in all varsity sports, but the Komets’ Class C squad won the Coronado lightweight tournament…Hoover’s player of the year was the same Dick Barnes who was the first player from San Diego drafted by a National Basketball Association team, in the fifth round by the New York Knickerbockers in 1950…Barnes played at San Diego State following Hoover  but did not play in the NBA…Peggy Brose, the daughter of San Diego coach John Brose, was an honored, longtime coach of girls’ high school basketball a generation later in San Diego…an up and comer at Point Loma was sophomore Don Larson (sic), better known later as Don Larsen, who pitched the first perfect game in the World Series for the New York Yankees in 1956…Kearny principal Edward Taylor, the man behind the creation of the annual City football carnival in 1939, spoke of Victory League schools forming their own section, apart from commissioner Seth Van Patten’s Southern Section…Taylor was quoted in The San Diego Union of Jan. 10, 1945, about an upcoming  meeting of league bosses at which the idea would be discussed…no information came out of the meeting to indicate the idea was just that, an idea…Coronado coach Hal Niedermeyer thought that the 13 points George Masek scored against Vocational represented the highest point total ever for a Coronado player at the guard position in Niedermeyer’s 16 seasons….

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2016-17 Week 5: Movement at the Top

Idleness apparently breeds contempt among voters in the weekly Union-Tribune poll.

St. Augustine, tied for first with Foothills Christian last week, played one game and defeated Lincoln, 68-62.

Foothills played two, winning 84-45 over West Hills and defeating Coastal League rival Santa Fe Christian, 68-61.

Two Knights victories over the Saints’ one  apparently was enough for one voter, who broke the seasonal tie for first between Foothills and the Saints.

Foothills, with 6 first-place votes to St. Augustine’s 4,  this week is the No. 1 team in the San Diego Section.

The teams’ position in the weekly Cal-Hi Sports‘ top 20 didn’t change, Foothills remaining seven in the state and the Saints’ 11th.  Torrey Pines is on the bubble.

Foothills should get a passable test Saturday in the “Greatest Show on Earth”  Shootout against Woodland Hills Taft at Los Angeles Cathedral.

Other San Diego voting saw Mission Hills jump from seventh to fourth,  Vista drop from fourth to sixth, Mater Dei climb from 10th to seventh, and La Jolla fall from sixth to ninth.

A 62-60 victory over No. 4 Chatsworth Sierra Canyon moved Mission Hills (18-2) from eighth to fifth in the girls’ Top 20.  A 65-52 win over Capistrano JSerra helped The Bishop’s (20-1)  remain 20th.  La Jolla Country Day (10-10) is on the bubble.

Union-Tribune boys’ poll through Tuesday, Jan. 17:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 Foothills Christian (6) 16-2 95 1T
2 St. Augustine (4) 17-3 94 1T
3 Torrey Pines 15-3 80 3
4 Mission Hills 14-5 59 7
5 Helix 16-5 49 5
6 Vista 17-3 46 4
7 Mater Dei 15-4 28 10
8 La Jolla Country Day 14-7 26 9
9 La Jolla 14-3 19 6
10 Poway 16-4 10 NR

NR–Not rated.

Others receiving votes: Orange Glen (13-5, 8 points), Serra (18-3, 8), Coronado (21-2, 5), Mission Bay (15-6, 5), Canyon Crest (14-5, 4), Olympian (18-2, 2), Rancho Bernardo (14-4, 2), Valhalla (17-4, 1).

Poll participants include John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan,  Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Chris Davis, freelance;  Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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2016-17 Week 4: Littleton Sets Record, Gets Big Mac Invite

The Bishop’s Destiny Littleton sailed past Charde Houston to set the girls’ career scoring record in California and the status quo remained on the boys’ front in San Diego Section basketball last week.

Equally significant news was off the court.

Littleton was named to play in the 16th annual McDonald’s All-America game in Chicago on March 29,  while Foothills Christian’s Jaylen Hands  and Brandon McCoy of Cathedral were selected to play in the 40th annual  McDonald’s boys’ game.

Littleton scored 30 points in a 72-47 victory over Ramona to break Houston’s record of 3,837.  At that point, with six minutes remaining in the third quarter, the game was stopped.

Littleton’s point total stood at 3,838.

Houston  was in attendance, congratulated Littleton, and presented her a bouquet of flowers at midcourt, according to Mark Tennis of Cal-Hi Sports.

The Bishop’s coach Marlon Wells, who also mentored Houston at San Diego High from 2001-04, then pulled Little and sat her for the rest of the game, reported Tennis.

It was a classy move by Wells and classy of Houston to be there, part of a Martin Luther King event at Mount Miguel.

Charde Houston (left) was a gracious former recordholder when The Bishop’s Destiny Littleton set state career scoring record. Photo by Marlon Wells.



Littleton was preceded in the girls’ McDonald’s event by Houston and La Jolla Country Day’s Candice Wiggins in 2004, Day’s Kelsey Plum (2013), and Horizon’s DiJonai Carrington (2016).

Wiggins is eighth in career scoring in California with 3,252 points.  Terri Mann of Point Loma (1987)  is ninth with 3,188,  according to Cal-Hi Sports.

Jelani McCoy of St. Augustine (1994) and Chase Budinger of La Costa Canyon (2006) are the only previous McDonald’s boys invitees from the area.

Foothills Christian improved from eighth to seventh and St.  Augustine from 15th to 11th in the weekly Cal-Hi  boys’ top 20.  Torrey Pines and Vista are on the bubble.

The Union-Tribune boys poll remained static in  the top three positions, Foothills and St. Augustine tied for No. 1, followed by Torrey Pines and Vista.  Helix moved to No. 5.

Union-Tribune  poll through Tuesday, Jan. 17:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 Foothills Christian (5) 14-2 95 1T
2 St. Augustine (5) 16-3 95 1T
3 Torrey Pines 15-3 80 3
4 Vista 17-2 68 4
5 Helix 14-5 43 6
6 La Jolla 13-2 35 9
7 Mission Hills 12-5 32 NR
8 Serra 17-1 28 5
9 La Jolla Country Day 11-7 26 7
10 Mater Dei 12-4 18 NR

NR–Not rated.

Others receiving votes: La Costa Canyon (14-4, 14 points), Poway (14-4, 7), Canyon Crest (13-4, 2),  Coronado (19-2, 2), Santa Fe Christian (10-5, 1).

Poll participants include John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan,  Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Chris Davis, freelance;  Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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