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scene in the Southland | NOTEBOOK

Big Rematches Grab the Spotlight

November 30, 2000|GARY KLEIN and LANCE PUGMIRE and BRIAN ROBIN

The City and Southern Section football semifinals feature the usual intriguing matchups, but two games that will be played Friday night stand out.

In a rematch of last year's City Championship game, top-seeded Crenshaw (13-0) plays defending champion Carson (10-3) at Fremont High.

The winner will play San Pedro (10-3) or Wilmington Banning (7-6) in the championship game Dec. 8 at the Coliseum.

"I told the kids, 'This is our championship game,' " Carson Coach John Aguirre said. "We'll let next week take care of itself."

Upland's football team has been waiting all season for its matchup against Diamond Bar in a Southern Section Division II game at Cal State Fullerton.

Diamond Bar defeated Upland, 17-14, in the division championship game last season with an assist from a fourth-quarter, fifth-down play during the game-winning drive.

"Yes, it is Diamond Bar and yes, there is that history," Upland Coach Tim Salter said. "That sour taste is still there. I guess it's put-up or shut-up time now."

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The Chino Valley Unified School District decided last week to settle a lawsuit that charged Chino Hills Ayala High with fostering a racially hostile environment within its basketball program, the second such case to be settled before it went to court.

Chino Valley Unified will pay $75,000 to former Ayala basketball player Henry Frierson and his mother, Sherelle Johnson.

Ron Vera, the general counsel for the district, said the district would pursue the settlement based on nuisance value: it would cost less to settle than to pay for legal fees.

The plaintiffs were said to be seeking an award near $500,000 as their case headed to court, but after the first day of proceedings at federal court in Los Angeles, the district offered to settle the case for a reduced figure of $75,000.

Previously, the district settled a case with Gloria Gulliford, the mother of another former Ayala basketball player, for $40,000.

Several coaches and staff members from Ayala pleaded with board members not to repeat that decision, an agreement in which the district admits no liability.

"I think that's going to start the line; get in line and sue the school if you want," former Ayala athletic director Laing Stevens said. "It's setting a precedent that, nowadays, people who don't like what's going on with their team can sue. Coaching's tough enough."

Another former Ayala basketball player's parent, Leslie Humphrey, already has filed an intent to sue on grounds similar to the Frierson-Johnson and Gulliford suits.

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Marymount, North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake and La Habra are Southland teams that will compete in the girls' volleyball state championships Saturday at Cypress College.

The schedule:

Division I: Chula Vista Bonita Vista (39-0) vs. Stockton St. Mary's (34-3), 7 p.m.

Division II: La Habra (25-5) vs. Mountain View St. Francis (34-1), 5 p.m.

Division III: Harvard-Westlake (21-2) vs. Los Gatos (24-9), 1:30 p.m.

Division IV: Marymount (24-4) vs. Atherton Menlo (31-7), 11 a.m.

Division V: San Diego Francis Parker (26-8) vs. Portola Valley Woodside Priory (32-3), 9 a.m.

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