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Muir Sparkled in So-So Year for Usually Powerful Valley Teams : Mustangs Triumphed on Gridiron and in Basketball

June 12, 1986|MITCH POLIN | Times Staff Writer

The 1985-86 season will not go down as the greatest year in the history of prep sports for San Gabriel Valley teams.

Not that valley teams did not have some success.

Most notable was Muir High of Pasadena, which won CIF Southern Section championships in football and boys basketball, finished second in girls basketball and third in boys track.

But on the whole, the valley did not fare as well as in recent years.

For example, in the 1984-85 school year Diamond Bar won three CIF Southern Section titles and Claremont and Ganesha two each, and in the 1983-84 season San Marino won four championships and Ganesha three.

Muir Sparkled

This year, Muir was the only valley team to take more than one championship.

Of course, as far as the Mustangs were concerned, it was a great year.

In winning boys Southern Section titles in football and basketball, Muir joined select company.

The Mustangs became the first team to accomplish that feat since Long Beach Poly captured the CIF Coastal Conference football title and the CIF 4-A basketball championship in the 1980-81 season.

Muir won its championships in the same divisions.

Muir's memorable sports year started last fall with the football team, which won its first Southern Section title behind running back Ricky Ervins, all-state defensive back John Hardy, wide receiver Cary Grant and quarterback James Dunn.

Won 10 Straight

The Mustangs rolled to a 28-14 win over Hart in the Coastal Conference championship game in December, their 10th win in a row under Coach Jim Brownfield. It was the crowning glory in a brilliant career for Brownfield, who has an 80-22-3 record in nine years at the school.

Then it was the boys basketball team's turn for its first title ever, which came in a 58-55 victory over Simi Valley in the 4-A final in March at the L. A. Sports Arena.

Leading the way for Muir was All-American forward Stacey Augmon (6-8), who scored 15 points and grabbed 9 rebounds despite playing with a 100-degree fever. The Mustangs, under third-year Coach Mike O'Connor, finished with a 29-3 record after losing to Poway in the first round of the state Southern California Division I regionals.

Muir came within a basket of winning three major titles, only to see the girls basketball team drop a heartbreaking 54-52 double-overtime loss to Lynwood in the 4-A final.

3rd Time No Charm

It marked the third straight year that the Mustangs had lost in the championship game and was a bitter ending to a brilliant prep career for Muir's Geannine (6-2) and Pauline (6-3) Jordan, the sisters who led their team to a remarkable 102-6 record in four years.

It also was a disappointing ending for Muir, ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today with a 29-0 record entering the game.

Another school that had a year to remember was Charter Oak, which merged with cross-town rival Royal Oak before the season and emerged as one of the premier powers in the valley.

Leading the way was the football team, which captured the Covina school's only championship with a 36-5 victory over defending champion Diamond Bar in the CIF Southeastern Conference final in December.

Charter Oak, the highest-scoring team in the Southern Section, used the offensive talents of 6-2, 230-pound running back Jeff Obert to roll over its four playoff opponents by a combined 154-35 margin.

Chargers Were 14-0

The Chargers, who won their first title ever under Coach Lou Farrar, finished with a 14-0 record.

Two other Charter Oak teams also had outstanding seasons. They finished second in girls volleyball, falling in four games to Southern California Christian in the 1-A final last November, and dropped a 47-29 decision to Daniel Murphy in the 2-A boys basketball title game in March.

Wilson of Hacienda Heights won only one title during the 1985-86 sports year, but it was a big one. The Wildcats were the only team in the valley to win a state title, taking the Division II boys basketball championship with a 72-46 victory over Aptos at the Oakland Coliseum in March.

Leading the way was All-American center Scott Williams, 6-11, who scored 22 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and had 6 blocked shots in the title game. That gave the Wildcats, coached by Mike Lowe, a record of 31-3 and marked only the second time since 1981 that a Southern Section boys team has won a state title (Long Beach Poly won the Division I title in 1984).

The Wildcats also won their first Southern Section title with a 54-53 victory over another valley team, Ganesha, in the 3-A final.

Other Victors

Arroyo, Rosemead, Mayfield and Webb also registered first championships.

Arroyo's 2-1 victory over El Toro in the girls 2-A softball title game was a first for the school but not for Coach Dick Barnes.

He was the assistant for El Monte's 2-A championship team a year ago. Besides having the championship expertise of Barnes to turn to, Arroyo relied on the pitching of sophomore sensation Laura Lewis.

She finished with a 20-1 record and a 0.67 earned-run average, tossing a three-hitter in the championship game.

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