The Hoover High football team finished an otherwise disappointing season on a high note with a 20-14 victory over rival Glendale last week in the season finale for both teams.
The Tornadoes' victory knocked Glendale out of playoff contention and pulled Hoover to within 32-27-2 in the series, which began in 1930.
"We played well," Hoover Coach Dennis Hughes said, "and we got lucky, which we haven't been too much this year."
Hoover (1-9 overall, 1-4 in the Pacific League), which had to forfeit its only two previous victories this season for using an ineligible player, intercepted four passes by Glendale quarterback Erik Kiesau.
The key play came with 39 seconds to play when Robert Clarizio picked off a Kiesau attempt after Glendale had scored on a 40-yard pass play, then recovered an onside kick.
"It just seemed the way the season was going, Glendale was going to take it in and score," Hughes said. "But finally things just came together for us."
Looking up: With its loss to Arcadia last week, Crescenta Valley finished the regular season with three consecutive defeats.
The Falcons (6-4, 2-3), however, are primed to begin the Southern Section Division II playoffs Friday against third-seeded Santa Barbara (9-1), Crescenta Valley Coach Jim Beckenhauer said.
"You've got to look at it in its proper perspective," Beckenhauer said of his team's recent misfortune. "Although they're losses, we were playing some pretty high-caliber teams."
Indeed, other than an upset loss to Glendale and traditionally powerful Los Altos early in the season, Crescenta Valley's losses were to Muir and Arcadia, which are seeded second and fourth, respectively, in Division II.
La Canada also opens the playoffs Friday. The Spartans (7-3, 3-2) travel to Arroyo Grande.
On the fast track: Occidental College cross-country runners Laurie Schuster and Jose Garcia qualified for Saturday's NCAA Division III national championships at Rock Island, Ill., with strong performances last weekend at the West regional in Santa Cruz.
Schuster finished third overall, covering the 5,000-meter course in 19 minutes, 4 seconds.
Garcia finished ninth in the men's race, covering the five-mile course in 28:07.
Super sophomore: Pater Noster cross-country runner Oscar Perez finished second last week at the Southern Section 1-A Division prelims at Mt. San Antonio College, qualifying for Saturday's finals, which will be held at the same course.
Perez covered the Mt. SAC course in 16:44 to finish behind Jorge Borajas (16:41) of Fillmore.
Net gains: The Occidental College women's volleyball team completed its season last week, beating Mt. St. Mary's in a nonconference match, 15-0, 16-18, 15-3, 15-8.
The Tigers finished 12-12 overall and 4-6 in the Southern California Collegiate Athletic Conference under first-year Coach Alec Peters.
Occidental will lose senior middle blocker Heather Beach, who was named first-team all conference, but Peters says he's encouraged by the nucleus of talent that will return next season.
Setter Cathy Clark and outside hitter Jay Elias will be seniors and outside hitters Mashairi Dunn and Kathy Lobel will be juniors next season.
"Obviously, I need to be recruiting middle blockers," Peters said.
Honor roll: The Occidental women's soccer team, which finished 6-7-2 overall and 6-4 in the SCIAC, had two players named first-team all conference and four players selected to the second team.
Senior defender Hillary Johns and junior forward Jos Bergmann were first-team picks while sophomore defender Shelly Tibbitts, junior midfielder Marti Anderson, freshman midfielder Suzanne Oppenheimer and freshman goalkeeper Stacy Roles earned second-team honors.