Wednesday, February 27, 2008


From staff reports Thursday, December 13, 2007
Postseason honors for the 2007 Ventura County Football Coaches Association's Large Schools football team.

Chosen to the first-team offense were: Backs — Adam Barry, Moorpark; Colby Cameron, Newbury Park; Langston Jackson, Simi Valley;

ESPN Top 150 in the Country
Congrats Lorne, Simi Valley and the Marmonte League that you represent!
3 Jrue Holiday SG CA 92 UCLA
7 Demar DeRozan SF CA 92 USC
19 Drew Gordon PF CA 91 UCLA
24 Larry Drew PG CA 91 North Carolina
27 Malcolm Lee PG CA 91 UCLA
71 D.J. Seeley SG CA 88 California
99 Renaldo Woolridge SF CA 86 Tennessee
143 Tyreese Breshers PF CA 82 Washington
149 Lorne Jackson PG CA 82 None
Sidney, Drew on collision course
By Joel Francisco Scouts Inc.
Standout players
Friday, February 29, 2008

Lorne Jackson,
a 6-1 point guard out of Simi Valley, Calif., had his impressive senior season come to a close in a recent second round playoff loss to host Long Beach (Wilson) 78-76.
Jackson played a solid game pouring in 26 points and had a number of nifty assists, but on far too many occasions he tried to do too much off the bounce (struggled a bit with Wilson's quick athletes) and became turnover prone.
Jackson has solid Division I point guard skills (jump shot and handle) but what most stands out to me is his savvy, toughness and stoic demeanor at all times. When his team went down by 12 (70-58) with 3:31 remaining in the fourth, he never got rattled and continued to play with an even keel -- an attribute hard to come by in most point guards.
Joel Francisco has been a high school basketball scout for 15 years. He has written for Hoopscoop Magazine and Basketball Times and organized "So-Cal's Finest," his own scouting service.

Guys from Simi Valley missing in action, for the most part
Got to admit, the phones were driving me crazy tonight. Seemingly every coach in the Southland called the office to report his, or her, boys' basketball score from the Southern Section playoffs that took place earlier in the evening. Oddly enough, there was one coach who I didn't speak with, Christian Aurand of Simi Valley.
Guess that's what happens when you lose. Yes, the third-seeded Pioneers were upset by host Long Beach Wilson, 78-76, in a Division I-AA second-round game. Suppose I could have looked up his number on my cell and checked in with him after the disappointing setback, but really, there was no need. I'm sure Aurand was busy attempting to boost the morale of his players, and rightfully so.
Besides, who wants to talk to a reporter after a heart-breaking two point loss. I wouldn't. Must give a shout out to Aurand's assistant, Ryan Moore, though. He ended up sending me a text message about the outcome, a cool gesture given the circumstances. Anyways, better wrap up this blog. Got a funny feeling the phone is going to start ringing off the hook again...
--Sean Ceglinsky

Long Beach

'Big Lew' NCAA's best, it says here

Article Launched: 02/27/2008 03:14:13 AM PST

High school stuff
While the CIF Southern Section holds six divisional title games in the Honda Center over a 13-hour stretch of Saturday, the L.A. City championship game will be played in the L.A. Sports Arena.
And the Taft vs. Fairfax clash should be a humdinger, with the eventual City Player of the Year award also hanging in the balance, with either Taft point guard Larry Drew or the Lions' junior Renardo Sidney likely to bag that honor in large part depending upon how each plays in this game.
Both are assured of playing in the State Southern California Division I regionals, which begin Monday night and will also include City semifinal losers Westchester and Fremont, along with two teams each from the San Diego and Central Sections, and four from the Southern Section.
Six-six forward Eugene Phelps, who figures to play major minutes as a Long Beach State freshman next season, has scored 29 points in each of Taft's past two playoff games (vs. Dorsey and Fremont).
There was quite the gathering of college coaches during the Simi Valley at Wilson playoff game last week: LBSU head coach Dan Monson and assistants Rod Palmer and Eric Brown; Cal State Northridge head guy Bobby Braswell; Portland head coach Eric Reveno; and University of San Diego assistant Bill Carr.
Each is recruiting Simi Valley guard Lorne Jackson. February 29, 2008

All-Ventura County Teams Announced

Dave Keefer and Quetzalcoatlus Staff 2007-08 All-Ventura County TeamsThese All-County teams were compiled during February 2008 by the CaliforniaPreps staff with the assistance of coaches, media, and other knowlegeable gurus from around the county. Most of the players named to the First Team were consensus choices, as they appeared on most of the ballots received.
Players on teams located in Santa Barbara County are not included in this list (they will be honored by the Coaches Association in their own county and CaliforniaPreps will cover that announcement). However, players on Agoura, Calabasas, and Malibu have been included because their leagues are comprised primarily of Ventura County teams. Approximate 30 teams were considered in selecting the All-County player lists.Players on the teams are listed in alphabetical order.

Ventura County Most Valuable Player

Senior – Simi Valley: Leading scorer in the County; leader in steals; second in assists; among the Marmonte leaders in 3-pt goals. Jackson led his team to a 26-2 record (14-0 in league) and a national ranking. Lorne is also an outstanding student and citizen who will have his choice from among many top-quality Div-I schools to attend next year.

Simi Valley out -- The Pioneers' 78-76 loss to Long Beach Wilson was a complete shock. In fact, earlier in the day while blogging from the Crespi soccer game, I told Crespi senior forward Joseph Fauria that Simi Valley "would wipe the floor with Wilson," and he agreed. Obviously, I don't get out to Long Beach much other than for the Champ Car race every year. Still, I can take some solace in realizing I wasn't the only media man to get this one wrong.

By Jahmal Corner Special to the Daily News
Article Last Updated: 02/19/2008 10:45:36 PM PST
Simi Valley falls into trap, ultimately gets upset by Long Beach Wilson

LONG BEACH - The underdog Wilson of Long Beach team took the best shot of mighty Simi Valley.
And then, in the final seconds of the Southern Section Division I-AA quarterfinals, they prevented the Pioneers from getting one off.
Trailing by two with five seconds remaining, Simi Valley drew up a play for the tie but saw it botched as the Pioneers faced a trap in the corner as time expired.
Simi Valley (26-2) was forced to accept the 78-76 upset at Wilson despite a nearly impeccable season.
"It almost seems unfair, but we came up a little short," Simi Valley coach Christian Aurand. "They beat us on the glass and ran around us. I thought that was the difference."
The Pioneers battled back from a 70-58 deficit with three minutes remaining.
Two quick 3-pointers by Brad Lewis gave them hope, and later when Lorne Jackson split two free throws and Wilson was called for traveling Simi Valley had a last ditch effort at the improbable comeback.
Jackson finished with a game-high 26 points and Lewis added 21, but the balance and determination of the Bruins proved a little too much.
Wilson coach Ted Hollister had promised entering the contest that his team wouldn't shy away from Simi Valley's fullcourt defensive pressure, but would match it.
The coach proved a prophet, as his team handled the defense brilliantly, with sharp passing and movement.
As a result of all the trapping, the Pioneers were vulnerable on the inside.
Wilson post Holsey Johnson made them pay with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while guards Michael Wilder and Steven Richard scored 19 apiece. Proving Wilson's balance is the fact that the team has recorded six game-winners throughout the year - all by different players.
The Bruins trailed 39-35 at the half, but took control in the third quarter with an early 6-0 run. From there, Wilson's crowd got into it and the Bruins never let up.
"They're game is built on forcing turnovers, so we thought we could get some buckets against them," Hollister said. "We felt we matched up well against them."

Pioneers will have their hands full in postseason
There's no more easy games for the Simi Valley boys' basketball team, not with the Southern Section playoffs set to begin this week. In fact, the Pioneers have the unenviable task of competing against an absolutely loaded field in Division I-AA, arguably the toughest division in the state. It's win or go home from here on out.
"This division is nails. I've said it before and it still holds true, this division is murderer's row,'' said Coach Christian Aurand, whose third-seeded team plays the Servite/Lawndale wild-card winner in Friday's first round. "This is the playoffs, you can't take anyone lightly, regardless of who they are. We're ready. Let the chips fall where they may.''
A trip to the second round is likely, but the big boys will be waiting thereafter. Top-seeded Compton Dominguez and No. 2 Mater Dei appear to have the easiest route to the finals. And make no mistake, No. 4 Compton and No. 5 Santa Margarita are capable of beating anyone at anytime. Simi Valley had better be prepared for a battle, a battle to the end because this division is no joke.
-- Sean Ceglinsky
Long Beach Wilson wins and a word sums it up
Michael Wilder gave me one word: "Pandemonium."
And that's all he needed to say -- I understood.
In the Southern Section Division I-AA boys' basketball playoffs, Wilder and his fellow Long Beach Wilson Bruins cranked out a colossal upset in stunning the sizzling Simi Valley Pioneers.
Yes, those Pioneers who entered the evening with one loss in 27 games. Yes, those Pioneers who laid the smackdown on Compton earlier this season with a 24-point win. And, yes, those Pioneers who finished the regular season as the No. 8-ranked squad in the Southland by The Times.
With a 78-76 score and five seconds remaining, the Pioneers failed to sink a shot, then the Bruins' faithful did its thing. "People stormed the court," he said. "It was crazy."
In other words ... it was pandemonium.
Wilson will now play Mayfair in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Simi Valley gets a hold of some bulletin board material

Can't imagine the Simi Valley boys' basketball team needs any added motivation for tonight's Southern Section Division I-AA second-round playoff game against Long Beach Wilson. But if the Pioneers did, well, all they have to do is sneak a peek at these quotes, right here.
Mind you, Bruins Coach Tedd Hollister didn't exactly call out Lorne Jackson, Michael Meza & Co. Then again, it's not going to take much to fire up Simi Valley, a group already eager to prove they were worthy of being awarded the third seeding. Suppose it won't be long until we find out if the Pioneers were provoked too much.
-- Sean Ceglinsky

Long Beach Press-Telegram
Prep Sports

Simi Valley hasn't won 26 games this season by accident and tonight at 7:30, the third-seeded Pioneers will look to make it 27 when they play at Wilson (18-9) in a Division I-AA second-round game.
Of course, Bruins coach Ted Hollister has studied them and on Sunday, he said he has a simple yet effective game plan in store for them. He plans to beat them at their own game.
"They like to pressure teams for the entire 32 minutes and my philosophy is attack pressure with pressure," Hollister said. "We can't be on our heals tonight. We have great guards and we're going to go after them."

Simi Valley (26-1) at Wilson (18-9)
The third-seeded Pioneers have only lost one game this season and that was to Dominguez.

Luckily for the Bruins, they have played well this year against good competition and they'll need big games from Michael Wilder and Steven Richard to have any hopes of pulling off the upset. In Friday's 66-59 win over Crespi in the first round, Wilder scored 25 points and Richard had 22. They'll need that type of production again because Simi Valley is loaded. The Pioneers crushed Servite 95-58 on Friday with Lorne Jackson, Michael Meza and Brad Lewis each scoring 18 points or more.

Perfect plan keeps Wilson alive
Bruins stun No. 3 seed Simi Valley.

By Frank Burlison, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 02/19/2008 10:33:35 PM PST

LONG BEACH - Wilson High boys basketball coach Ted Hollister was beaming while talking about his squad just minutes before his team's CIF Southern Section Division I-AA second-round playoff game against 26-1 and No. 3-seed Simi Valley.
"We've had a great a season," he said of the Bruins, who took an 18-9 record into the game in their gymnasium.
"I'm just not ready for it to end yet."
It didn't.
That's because the Bruins held on for a 78-76 victory over a team whose only previous loss had come on a follow shot at the buzzer against No. 1 Dominguez, four days after Christmas.
A game plan executed nearly to perfection offensively, and an aggressive defense that did a solid job of keeping Simi Valley guard Lorne Jackson out of the lane and of not losing sight of the Pioneers' 3-point shooting threats put Hollister's team into a quarterfinal against Mayfair Friday night.
A coin flip at the Southern Section offices in Los Alamitos this morning will determine if the Monsoons or Bruins will play host.
Steven Richard and Mike Wilder scored 19 points for the Bruins, who also got 18 points from center Holsey Johnson - eight of those on fourth-quarter layups after his teammates had attacked and beaten Simi Valley's half-court trapping pressure.
And Wilder's man-to-man defense against Jackson helped keep the point guard somewhat under control after he led the visitors to a 39-35 advantage with 18 first-half points.
But the Bruins came out aggressively after intermission and went ahead to stay (at 49-46) on Wilder's layup and ensuing free throw after being fouled by Jackson with 3:51 left.
A follow shot by Johnson pushed the advantage to 70-58 and forced Simi Valley coach Christian Aurand to call time out with 3:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Brad Lewis got the Pioneers to within six before Johnson added two more layups to push the lead back to 10 points with 1:19 to play.
But the visitors still weren't through, as Lewis (two of them) and Michael Meza dropped in three more 3's and Wilson missed four of five free throws.
With his team trailing, 78-75, with 7.3 seconds to go, Jackson made the front end of a 1-and-1 but missed the second. Johnson grabbed the rebound but was called for traveling with 5.2 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing inbounds situation, the Pioneers made two quick passes with the ball going into the right corner for an apparent attempt for a 3-pointer and the win. But he was sandwiched by Wilder and Johnson and lost control of the ball as the buzzer sounded.

Simi Valley 95, Servite 58

Lorne Jackson had 28 points and nine assists for third seed Simi Valley (26-1), while Michael Meza contributed 26 points and six rebounds, and Brad Lewis 18 points. Servite ends its season 14-14.

Daily News

Simi Valley 95, Servite 58:
Lorne Jackson and Michael Meza combined for 54 points for third-seed Simi Valley (26-1), ranked No. 9 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports. Brad Lewis added 18 points for the Pioneers.

Playoff push in effect

Across town, Simi Valley High is making noise with its boys' basketball team. The Pioneers may have had a perfect season in the Marmonte League by going 14-0, but they know they're still five wins away from their ultimate goal, a CIF title. SVHS, who gained the Division IAA No. 3 ranking with an overall record of 25-1, will host Servite, who beat Lawndale in a wild-card game Wednesday.
The Pioneers are fueled by senior guard Lorne Jackson, the Marmonte League's leading scorer with 22.6 points per game. Jackson also led the Pioneers in assists (171), rebounds (176) and steals (112).
Simi Valley has received major scoring contributions from Michael Meza (19.9 ppg) and Brad Lewis (17.8 ppg) as well. If there's one thing the Pioneers have going for them, it's experience, as the team has nine seniors. "Right now, we're just playing for the seniors," SVHS head coach Christian Aurand said. "Although there's been a lot of pressure on them, I don't sense they feel it, which is good. I know I feel it." Although the Pioneers have won 12 games in a row, Aurand said there are still some things the team must improve on in the postseason.
"We need to keep the bigger teams off the glass," Aurand said. "We also can't have anymore stupid fouls. We'll get an opponent trapped in a corner, and instead of stealing the ball, we foul them. We can't do that anymore."

Great-grandfather knows best
Simi Valley forward Tyler Trapani has gotten advice on basketball, and life, from his great-granddad, John WoodenBy Sean CeglinskySpecial to The Times February 20, 2008Tyler Trapani couldn't have been more than 6 when his great-grandfather, John Wooden, decided to begin teaching him a thing or two about the game of basketball.The legendary coach was patient with his great-grandson, initially going over the fundamentals while being careful not to discourage the impressionable youngster. More than 11 years later, Trapani, a senior at Simi Valley High, doesn't remember much about those early lessons. One thing is certain: His great-grandfather was there for him then and has been the families' source of inspiration, both on and off the court, ever since.

"Tyler's great-grandpa, we call him Papa, has always been supportive," said Trapani's mother, Cathleen, one of Wooden's seven grandchildren. "In fact, I remember when he would come and watch Tyler's youth games. Afterward, back at the house, he would pull Tyler to the side and show him how to improve his free-throw shooting, using the proper form and follow through."Once, Tyler told him, 'Papa, I know how to shoot,' and proceeded to do it his own way.

"Big mistake. Then again, there was no way Trapani could have understood about his famous bloodlines at that stage of his life."My husband, Paul, overheard the conversation, ran outside, told Tyler not to talk to his great-grandfather that way and sent him up to his room immediately," Cathleen added. "Tyler had no idea who John Wooden was. He didn't know what he had just said to one of the greatest coaches ever. He was just speaking to his Papa. We still laugh about that one from time to time."Basketball is in the family genes. But there's never been added pressure on any of Wooden's kin to be something they're not. Following in his footsteps was never a prerequisite. Trapani, for example, is comfortable with being a role player. He has often been the first player off the bench for the Pioneers, who lost to Long Beach Wilson, 78-76, in Tuesday's second round of the Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs.The loss ended a high school career in which Trapani was always comfortable deferring to Simi Valley's senior stars, point guard Lorne Jackson and forward Michael Meza. Trapani is comfortable in his own skin."I'm particularly proud of Tyler," Wooden said. "He's smart, always has been. He's grown into quite a fine young man. He's got a good head on his shoulders. He has a bright future ahead of him."I've been blessed, truly blessed, with a wonderful family. It's been a joy watching everyone grow up and mature. I've always encouraged my kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to find their own paths in life."Wooden is known by most as one of the greatest coaches in the history of sports, having coached UCLA to 10 national championships in men's basketball.But at home in Encino, it's a different story. There, Wooden is the patriarch, someone who has always provided an attentive ear and sound advice."Honestly, I know how lucky I've been to grow up with John Wooden as my great-grandpa," Trapani said. "I'm sure there's people out there that think it would be cool to have someone famous for a relative. Don't get me wrong, I understand that."But there's another side to Papa, a side not many people see. A great-grandfather side. He's been a tremendous influence in that sense. He's always been there for me and for everyone in our family."Trapani is one of 13 great-grandchildren. John Impelman, his distant cousin, is a senior at Occidental College. Impelman's younger brother, Kyle, attends Huntington Beach Ocean View High. Cori Nicholson is a graduate student at UC Riverside."Sure, everyone knows Papa as one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, but I think he'd rather be known as a good family man," said great-grandson Eric Bernstein, a senior on the Simi Valley baseball team. "Family comes first."I don't think it's ever mattered what sport we've played, basketball, baseball, football. I don't think it's ever mattered if we played a sport at all. All Papa has ever wanted was for us to do our best in whatever it was we chose to do."As for Trapani, his playing days could be numbered. He averaged two points this season for Simi Valley (26-2), ranked No. 8 in the Southland by The Times. One thing he has learned from his great-grandfather is, there's life after basketball. Trapani carries a 4.3 grade-point average, has applied to seven colleges and been accepted to three so far. His goal is to stay close to home, close to his 14-year-old brother, Cameron, and the rest of the family. The plan is to continue his education and attain a degree in teaching, perhaps from his dream school -- the one in Westwood, of course."When I filled out my application to UCLA, one of the questions they asked was if I knew any Bruin alumni," Trapani said. "I didn't feel the need to mention who my great-grandfather was. Actually, I don't think many people know I'm related to John Wooden."Papa always taught me to be my own person. If I'm going to be accepted at UCLA, or in life down the road, I want it to be based solely on who I am and the things I've accomplished."