Muir High School had to scratch and claw to defeat Glendale (65-54) in the first round of Pacific League play. That could mean that the Mustangs will be in for a difficult game when they visit Glendale at 7:30 tonight. Muir is ranked No. 3 in the CIF 4-A Division with an 18-2 record (5-0 in league) and unranked Glendale is 11-6 (3-2 in league).
Glendale has an excellent shooter, 5-9 guard Mike McDowell, and a strong inside player, 6-5 center Geoff Foote, who could cause problems for the Mustangs. But Muir has a distinct size advantage with 6-8 forward Stacey Augmon, 6-7 forward Wayne Womack and 6-7 center Kirk Wagner. Augmon had 25 points and 13 rebounds--mostly in the second half--in Muir's victory over Glendale. A Muir victory would all but end Glendale's hope of defending as league champion.
Blair vs. South Pasadena
With the first half of the Rio Hondo League season over, Blair is the clear-cut favorite to win the title. About the only team that has a chance to unseat the Vikings is South Pasadena, which hosts Blair in a crucial matchup at 8 p.m. Friday. Blair is 18-2 overall and 5-0 in league play and South Pasadena 13-6 and 4-1.
Blair struggled to defeat South Pasadena, 62-55, in their meeting but has looked sharp since then, including an impressive 71-36 victory over La Canada last week. The Vikings are led by 6-6 center Teddy Jones, 6-4 forwards Dion Smith and Marcus Abrams and 6-1 guard Alcus McCullough. Jones scored 32 points against La Canada.
South Pasadena, which has won four straight games since its loss to Blair, matches up well with Blair on the front line with Ken Boldt (6-6) and Robert Story (6-3) at forward and Eric McArthur (6-5) at center.
Nogales vs. Los Altos
Nogales had a relatively easy time in defeating Los Altos, 75-60, in its Sierra League opener Jan. 10. The score figures to be a lot closer when the teams meet at 7:30 tonight at Los Altos in Hacienda Heights. Los Altos is a so-so 9-9 overall and 3-2 in the Sierra League but scored one of the biggest upsets in the San Gabriel Valley with a 67-64 triumph last week over Wilson, which was ranked No. 1 in the CIF 3-A Division. Los Altos is led by hot-shooting guards Jeff Lucas and Mark Smith, who combined for 33 points against Wilson, and 6-3 forward Will Harris.
Nogales, 15-5 overall and tied for first with a 4-1 mark in league play, caused problems for Los Altos with its outstanding quickness and that could happen again in the rematch. Los Altos must contend with Nogales forwards Paul Seeley (6-5) and Tim Wells (6-2) and guard Faris Manning (5-10). They combined for 53 points in the earlier game against Los Altos.
Pomona vs. Glendora
If you listen to Baseline League coaches, they will tell you that their league is the strongest in the San Gabriel Valley, and it would be difficult to find a league that has four teams better than Pomona, Claremont, Damien and Glendora. Two of those, Pomona and Glendora, collide at 8 p.m. Friday at Glendora.