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Articles by Ted Apodaca

The Los Alamitos High boys basketball team had a solid start but eventually faded in a 56-39 loss to Long Beach Poly in the CIF State Division II Regional Semifinals, last week at Los Alamitos High. The Griffins led 28-26 at halftime and trailed just 39-36 at the end of the third quarter. But the run the Jackrabbits began in the third quarter continued into the fourth, as the Griffins went cold from the outside. Trying to drive the ball and work from the inside played right into the size of the Poly defense, as they disrupted any inside attempt by the Griffins.

After a grueling early tournament schedule, the Los Alamitos had one last tough challenge before heading into a spring break and needed rest before the Carew Classic Tournament in April. The Griffins hosted Cypress, in a matchup of two top 10 teams in the CIF-SS Division 1 rankings. Los Alamitos was ranked No. 2 in the division, with Cypress at No. 6, the two highest ranked Orange County teams. As expected, defense was the anchor for both team, but it was the Griffins who were able to plate single runs in the late innings to take a 3-1 win over the Centurions.

The Cypress High girls basketball team tried double teams, zone defenses and basically threw the kitchen sink at Chino Hills star Janessa Thropay. It wasn’t enough. Thropay had 26 points to lead the Huskies to a 61-39 win over Cypress in the CIF-SS Division 1A quarterfinals last week at Cypress High.

When the Centurions were able to contain Thropay, Ally Seebalac picked up the slack for the Huskies.

The Los Alamitos High girls basketball team rolled past JSerra in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1AA playoffs, but came up short in the second round against Lynwood.

The Griffins jumped out to a 21-11 lead after the first quarter and then cruised to a 68-34 win over JSerra on Thursday at Los Alamitos High. The Griffin defense clamped down even more in the second quarter, holding the Lions to just three points, as the Griffins took a 40-14 lead at halftime.

Leads were hard to come by in the Sunset League basketball showdown between Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach. The Oilers were able to erase a six point lead in the final four minutes, but their last second shot fell short and the Griffins held on for a 64-63 win on Friday at Huntington Beach High. The win kept the Griffins (4-0 in league) atop the league, ahead of Edison and Newport Harbor, both 3-1. The Griffins struggled to get things going and Head Coach Eddie Courtemarche said the Oiler defense forced them to make some adjustments.

The Cypress High girls soccer team opened Empire League play with two wins, topping Tustin and Western High with consecutive shutouts. The Centurions had a second-half goal from Tatum Gee to get past Tustin, 1-0, at Tustin High. On Friday, the Centurions travelled to Western High and shutout the Pioneers, 4-0, to improve to 2-0 in Empire League play. Against Western, Cypress had two goals from Jenna Dages and one each from Chloe Gallegos and Rachel McClure. The Centurions improved to 8-5-4 overall.

Kevin Herring scored two late goals to help the Los Alamitos boys soccer team to a 4-2 win over Fountain Valley, at Fountain Valley High on Jan. 13. The win, combined with a win over Newport Harbor on Friday, put the Griffins into a tie with the Barons for second place, both at 3-1. The Griffins had taken a 2-1 lead at halftime on goals by senior Anthony Mejia and freshman Brian Chung. But Fountain Valley was able to tie the game at 2-2 on a penalty kick with 26:00 left in the game.

The Los Alamitos High girls soccer team had been on a roll heading into Sunset League play. They had won the Mater Dei Invitational and defeated the No. 1 ranked team in the county, in Santa Margarita. However, the road through the Sunset League is rarely without bumps and Edison provided an early bump for the Griffins as the Chargers held off the Griffins 1-0, in the league opener for both teams on Thursday at Edison.

With Sunset League play arriving quickly, the Los Alamitos boys basketball team certainly looked ready last week, in a win over Orange Lutheran. The Griffins pulled away in the final minutes for a 72-61 win over the Lancers in the Orange County North/South Challenge last week at El Toro High. Senior guard EyassuWorku led the Griffins win 35 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Senior guard Pepe Garcia had 21 points, including five three-pointers and also added four rebounds. Orange Lutheran had opened at No. 3 in the Orange County rankings, while the Griffins were No. 4.

The Los Alamitos High girls basketball team made a solid run in the South Coast Tournament, reaching the championship game before falling short to Mater Dei for the title, 58-41, on Saturday at University High. Just getting to the title game is such a high-quality field of teams shows a lot of potential for a Griffin team that head coach Rich Alvarez admits is still trying to find an offensive rhythm. The Griffins reached the title game by holding opponents to no more than 37 points. “We’ve been focusing on defense first,” Alvarez said.