Category Archives: Sports

Sports: Bosco Basketball CIF Preview

By Caleb Wiley

The St. John Bosco basketball team now has made the CIF Southern Section Open Division for two years in a row, and they are even more prepared and ready to make a long run and hopefully bring home the trophy.

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Along with making Open Division, the team also are Trinity League champions for the first time in school history. Bosco is proud of what the team has done, and bringing a league title back is no small accomplishment.

“I couldn’t be more proud of that, this is the year where everybody said that the Trinity League was as deep as its ever been,” said varsity head coach Matt Dunn.

The players are excited and ready to take on their second try at Open. Last year, Bosco took a first-round exit against Bishop Montgomery and the players have been looking forward to getting back ever since.

However, this can be their biggest asset coming into playoffs. The experience that comes with just being in Open along with the amount of returning seniors will serve this team well.

“We have a lot of guys who have done this before. I think senior leadership is really important,” said coach Dunn.

This team has had a lot of good times this year but were plagued with injuries that the team had to overcome. Jonathon Salazar became their starting center but was ruled out for the year with a knee injury.

Not long after, Chris Estrada – who filled in the starting center role – was sidelined as well with a gruesome knee injury. Bosco now has lost their starting center twice, but remain strong.

When key players go down, someone who can rally and lead a team to persevere becomes imperative. Good thing leaders aren’t something that Bosco lacks.

“Chris James has been a big part of this team. He’s a great leader. As well as Jalen Manson, he’s a great leader too,” said sophomore forward Scotty Washington

As the team is looking forward to Open, they train and work hard every day striving to get better. Bosco knows it will be a tough next three games but are feeling confident no matter who they get matched up against.

“I am feeling confident in my team. We’ve been prepping and perfecting our stuff. We’re going to be ready,” said Washington

St. John Bosco comes in at the 6th seed, which is a two-spot improvement from last year. Here are the rest of the teams in Open.

 

Pool 1

2. Sierra Canyon

Sierras Canyon looks to go back to the CIF Open Division State Championship game after losing to Mater Dei there. The main reason this star-studded team is not at the top spot is that they couldn’t end the season with a win against Rancho Christian.

3. Corona Centennial

With a record of 25-3 and the only teams they have lost to is the top two teams in Rancho Christian and Sierra Canyon, Centennial is looking like a tough out. The first game Centennial plays is St. John Bosco as it should be a good showing of who is the real deal.

7. Mater Dei

The reigning CIF Open Division State Champions come into playoffs with the 7th seed. More importantly, they get a rematch against rival school St. John Bosco and prove to everybody that they are still the team to beat.

 

Pool 2

1. Rancho Christian

This year the Open Division basketball playoffs are moving to a pool format. At the number one seed we have Rancho Christian coming in with a 24-4 record. Rancho Christian had a convincing 61-58 win against top-ranked Sierra Canyon that locked up the top spot for them.

4. Rancho Verde

Rancho Verde comes in at the number 4 seed with a 15 game winning streak and an overall record of 24-4. During this winning streak the team has beaten top-ranked opponents such as St. John Bosco and Long Beach Poly as well beating 47th in state Notre Dame High twice. It seems like nobody can beat the Mustangs as of late.

5. Etiwanda

At the 5th seed, we have the 24-3 Etiwanda basketball team. With such a good record and good wins throughout their schedule such as Rancho Verde and St. John Bosco, Etiwanda gets a bottom 4 seed due to their last 52- 60 loss against Chino Hills where they were down 9-16 in the first and were never able to get the lead.

8. Bishop Montgomery

The former first seed now gets the last spot in Open, in a season that has been a clear result of a team suffering from a loss of star seniors. The Knights look to complete the run they couldn’t after their loss to Sierra Canyon last season.

 

 

Sports: What’s Wrong With The Lakers?

by Caleb Wiley

After picking up LeBron James in the off-season, the Lakers look to be back and better after record lows in 4 consecutive years. However, things have not gone exactly as planned.

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When LeBron James – who is widely regarded as the best player on the planet – chose to come to LA to play with the Lakers over teams who have better talent such as the 76ers, it became the story of the year. For someone who is as great as LeBron to go to the Lakers who through the years have had many legends walk on the court with the purple and gold, it seemed like it was fate.

This decision received many different types of reactions from all fan bases. Many people believed that he made the wrong choice and he’ll never make it to the NBA Finals again. Most Laker fans were thrilled to have him while some were not as happy. Many mixed emotions were involved when it comes to LeBron’s shocking choice to play in the city of legends.

Besides LeBron, the Lakers were unable to acquire another All-Star, but did become successful in picking up key role players such as former All-Star Rajon Rondo and champion big man Javale Mcgee. Also, picking up streaky Lance Stephenson and resigning Three-and-D SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one year deal.

To start off the season, the Lakers played the Portland Trail Blazers and the Lakers come into the game losing 15 straight to the Blazers. It was time for LeBron to show why he is the best player in the world and end this drought along with a win to start the season. Also, lasts year’s second overall pick Lonzo Ball came of the bench to start the season because of an injury he suffered in the off-season and he was just getting back on his feet.

Despite a 26 point triple-double from LeBron, the Lakers took the loss and the streak went to 16. This was a preview of how the season would be like for the most part.

They started the season off 0-3, but after a 20 point win to the Suns the Lakeshow started showing potential of what they can do. They went 16-7 in their next 23 games and started showing a groove that would only be breif.

During this stretch, LeBron had the same usage rate as he had in Cleveland last season but in less minutes. So the fans wonder if he would be able to do this any longer without wearing out his body. 

On Christmas day against the Warriors, LeBron injured his groin that has him currently sidelined. For a player as durable as he is, a whole month is a long time for him and it’s apparent that this young Lakers team surely misses him.

Since LeBron’s injury, the Lakers are 6-11 have quickly fallen towards the bottom of the playoff picture and its becoming more clear every game LeBron misses that they need help.

Lonzo ball has been a nice surprise becoming one of the best defenders in his position and having a good all-around game, but lacks aggressiveness to takeover a game. Kyle Kuzma has been their leading scorer since LeBron has been out but it seems that scoring is the only thing in his game.

Brandon Ingram has been the most disappointing out of their young core as he doesn’t seem to do anything extraordinarily well and looks like he’s just a big body out there. Therefore, if the Lakers want to compete with teams like the Warriors and the Thunder in the west, then getting an all-star to have alongside LeBron is imperative and it could be as soon as this trade deadline.

Superstar Anthony Davis has requested a trade from the Pelicans and is expected to announce that he intends to sign with the Lakers when he is a free agent in 2020. So if any other team trades for him then he’ll essentially be a rental. This can be a huge opportunity for Magic Johnson and the Lakers to trade for not only an all-star, but a top 5 player in the NBA to pair up with LeBron.

However, in doing so the Lakers are probably going to have to goodbye to 2 of their 3 young top players. A combination of Kuzma and Ingram with young three-and-D player Josh Hart and big men Ivica Zubac and a couple picks might get the job done.

If the Lakers can find a way to acquire Anthony Davis, it would make them an instant championship contender and a team who can make it hard for a star-studded Warrior team to three-peat.

Some fans; however, would like to keep their young core and see if they can grow to their potential to win now with LeBron or when he’s is gone.

Now with all that being said, Laker fans better appreciate what LeBron has brought to his team. Not only his play on the court and being the reason why your in playoff contention, but with attracting star players such as Anthony Davis and Klay Thompson.

So far if this season has proved anything, it’s that signing LeBron has been the best thing this Lakers organization has done in a long time.

 

Sports: Super Bowl Recap​

by Lucas Garrison

The Super Bowl is over, which means yet another NFL season has come to a close. However, the game was nothing short of a big disappointment screaming for something exciting to happen.

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Everything from the game itself to the commercials was just straight up underwhelming. To start off with the commercials, they don’t grab your attention like they used to due to the simple fact that they are not entertaining anymore. Not to mention they killed off everyone’vorite knight, the Bud Knight.

The Super Bowl halftime show was a straight up dumpster fire. Maroon 5 – who hasn’t been relevant in years – was chosen this year off of a very short list of talent to perform. The NFL made a sad attempt to stay relevant into today’s modern music by adding in Travis Scott for a short time only preforming one song. Big Boi also came on he scene, but for a qucik second as well.

The best part of the Halftime show was Spongebob and his introduction to Travis Scott, but that was only on the screen for a few seconds. Then it went back to the sub-par performance.  

The Game Itself

The game itself was one of the slowest games I’ve ever seen if the 13-3 score didn’t speak for itself. Tom Brady not only showed his age but somehow was able to once again take a ragtag group of misfits to the promised land. He does it time and time again which is why you can not argue his greatness.

This year’s Super Bowl MVP went to former college quarterback turned NFL wide receiver Julian Edelman. He would’ve been the highlight of the game if it was not for Johnny Hekker setting a new Super Bowl record for the longest punt. Yes, the longest punt was your highlight for the 2019 Super Bowl.

Bill Belichick showed again why is one of the best coaches of all time. He simply out-coached Sean Mcvay in every fashion of the game. Wade Phillips did an excellent job at stopping Brady and the Patriots offense for most of the game, but Mcvay couldn’t get his high-powered offense to get rolling.

One thing we learned coming out of this year’s Super Bowl is there are still alot of unanswered questions. If one thing is for certain, is we all as fans have to look forward to this off-season’s upcoming free agency with stars Le’veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Tevin Coleman, and Demarcus Lawrence headlining free agency.

Plus, arguably the biggest question to this years offseason, what will Kyler Murray choose. Will it be Baseball or Football? If he chooses Football where will he go? Get ready NFL fans, this season may have come to a close but we still have a lot to look forward to.

 

Sports: James Harden On Insane Tear

by Nnamdi Chugbo

Over the month of January, Houston Rockets guard and reigning NBA MVP James Harden has been on an insane run of elite scoring.

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Harden is averaging a whopping 43.6 points per game and has led the Rockets to an 8-6 record, even though their roster was torn apart by multiple injuries. Scoring numbers similar to this haven’t been seen since March of 1963, when legendary big man Wilt Chamberlain averaged 45.8 points per game.

The Rockets guard did not go a single game in January without scoring over 30 points. Harden is currently on a 24-game streak of 30+ scoring numbers, which began back in early December. Again, the only player who has ever touched records above these is Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 30 or more points for 25 games straight, 31 games straight, and 65 games straight. Currently, Harden is doing what nobody thought was possible in the modern NBA by going at records that have only been touched by Chamberlain.

The recent surge of scoring averages for James Harden may be due to the absence of his fellow star guard, Chris Paul, who had sat out 17 games which lasted for almost the whole of January due to a strained left hamstring.

Harden stepped up his scoring averages to carry his team to maintain a positive winning record during the month. Paul’s return to the hardwood may average out Harden’s numbers and spread the wealth throughout the team. In his first game back – on January 27th – Paul scored 12 points in 25 minutes, but his scoring numbers are due to rise as he gets back into the motions of the game.

James Harden is the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player and is surely the leading candidate to win this year’s award again. He is making a strong campaign towards this with the way he is leading the Rockets in scoring while also making some important plays on the defensive end, even though he is often criticized and painted to be terrible defender.

His main competitor for the title is currently Paul George, who arguably is a better two-way player than Harden. However, it is clear to see that Harden is currently the only player on the Rockets who has consistent playmaking abilities and can create opportunities not just for himself, but for his teammates too.

The winner of the 2018-19 NBA MVP will be settled depending on if Harden can continue to keep scoring and leading his team, alone, at this elite level.

 

Sports: 2019 Super Bowl Preview

by Lucas Garrison

Why, why, why? Well, it’s the time of the year that people across the world have been dreading.

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The NFL season is coming to a close, but don’t worry because we have two of the best teams squaring off in the Super Bowl. It’s Sean McVay and Jared Goff against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The ultimate battle of the young generation versus the old generation.

Not only is this a rematch of the teams when Brady and Belichick won their first Super Bowl, starting arguably the greatest dynasty in sports, but the big question surrounding this Super Bowl is Tom Brady and when will he decide to finally put up the pads and cleats.

AFC Representative: New England Patriots

The Patriots are heading to their ninth Super Bowl since drafting Tom Brady. Even though they may not have the same high-powered roster as they have had in years past, they still have arguably the greatest quarterback of all time in Brady.

You can never count out the Pats, especially when you have Brady and the great mind that Bill Belichick is. New England does certain things that give them better opportunities to win and it should be key in this game. Brady is known for controlling the clock and having possession of the ball for long periods of time.

Expect to watch Brady hand the ball off to his power runners Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead more often then not. Once the Patriots establish the running game, expect Josh McDaniels to shift the play calling to more short staggered pass plays. Look for Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman to be the main receiving targets for Brady as they have been his go-to players all season long, including the playoffs. 

NFC Representative: Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams are in their first Super Bowl since 2001 – when they were still in St. Louis – behind the brilliant mind of Sean McVay. Third-year quarterback Jared Goff and All-Pro running back Todd Gurley have been key as well.

McVay, in just his second year as head coach has taken this team to the promised land. The Rams have an All-Star lineup and have big names up and down the roster that should make it tough for the Patriots to match-up against.

This all started when they made trades for Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Brandin Cooks who are all big names in the football world this past offseason. Then, the Rams came out and gave All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald a huge extension, signed Ndamukong Suh as a free agent, and signed Todd Gurley to a contract extension.

The Rams defense hasn’t been great all year but has stepped it up big time in the playoffs, They have an even better offense. The best part is they have all these pieces in place and have a leader that everyone needs in Sean McVay.

The Rams are going to try and catch the Pats off-guard and put up points fast and early. Constant pressure on Tom Brady will make the unathletic QB feel uncomfortable. This Rams team is going to be a tough out, even for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

Prediction: 45-42, Rams

 

Sports: Bosco Basketball Continues Win Streak

by Ethan Piechota

After facing clear mid-season adversity as a result of injuries and close losses, Bosco basketball has rebounded and re-established themselves as clear contenders in Southern California.

When star big man Jonathan Salazar went down with an unfortunate season-ending injury, everyone began to count Bosco basketball out.

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Photo // LB Press Telegram

“St. John Bosco is just not the same team without injured Jonathan Salazar,” said LA Times writer Eric Sondheimer on Twitter.

Losing Salazar was a big blow, with the 6-foot-7 senior acting as his team’s primary scorer and inside presence, headed to the University of the Pacific next year on a Division 1 basketball scholarship.

However, the Braves’ squad – stacked with veteran players – has rallied amongst themselves and reasserted Bosco as a force to be reckoned with once again.

This past week, the Braves have beaten three state-ranked teams, beginning with two Trinity League wins over Orange Lutheran and Mater Dei. They also defeated Modesto Christian 68-65 over MLK weekend in San Francisco.

“Losing Jonathan was a hard hit for our team. We had to learn how to adjust without him being on the court, and unfortunately we had to lose some games in the process. [Jonathan] still contributes to the team in any way he can, whether it’s him cheering on the sidelines or trying to help us on the court,” said senior standout guard Christian James.

For the second straight year, Bosco defeated Mater Dei at home, this time with a 77-74 win over the Monarchs to take over first place in the Trinity League.

Christian James lead the way with 25 points, proving himself on a premier stage as one of the best guards in the state. Joshua Adoh and Josh Camper hit four three’s a piece and the Bosco faithful rushed the court after the win.

James has stepped up in a big way during Salazar’s absence, but gives credit to his teammates for stepping up with him.

“To be honest, it’s not really one person leading – we have several. All the little things that the team has been doing has contributed to our success in league,” said James.

The Braves can clinch a Trinity League title with a win over Servite on January 31st.

“Everyone is locked in and focused on completing one of our main goals, to win league,” said James.

The game is an away game, and the team will need the support of its fans to get the job done and claim their title.

 

 

 

Sports: Bosco Soccer Mid-Season Update

by Enrique Gutierrez

The St. John Bosco soccer team continues to have a productive season with many more achievements compared to previous years, even though they are not looking so hot mid-season.

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@BoscoSoccer on Twitter

Through the heat and rain, the Bosco soccer team grinds day-in and day-out working hard to prepare themselves for tough competition. Coming into their 2019 season, the Braves knew their competition was nothing to sleep on as many of their match ups are unpredictable.

Currently, the Braves are in progress of competing in their Trinity League games against rival teams. The team’s record during the preseason was 9-6-1. During League, the Braves are 2-2, as they beat JSerra and Orange Lutheran, but fell short against Mater Dei and Santa Margarita.  

“This has been the most talented team that we’ve had in the past couple years. Our roster is stacked but not everyone gets playing time. This brings intensity and passion to work hard everyday,” said senior defensive midfielder Xavier Aviles. 

Aviles is a four-year varsity player for the Braves.

After a rough start against rival league schools, the Braves kept their heads up and will continue to have to face tough competition to earn a playoff berth.

“Our lack of experience can cause some trouble when playing some of the stronger teams – since we’re a young team. The majority of the team are juniors and sophomores. But we adapt to the struggle otherwise,” said senior goalkeeper Rufino Rodriguez.

For many of the players, this is their first taste of the varsity level and getting to know their opponents well. With the young core of the Bosco soccer team, the school will be looking forward to many returning faces and hopefully the players will get a taste of these rivalries in the varsity level for the future.

“Relating back to the topic about our younger players, the pressure of competing in a tough division may worry some players in certain scenarios. Also the addition of injures to many key players only adds onto the pressure for the younger players to perform,” said Rodriguez.

The Braves are now 2-2 in their league games and will host their home conference game against Servite at St. John Bosco High School on Friday, January 18th at 3:15 pm. Be there and support our Braves!

 

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