Senior Noreen Cruz from West Covina defeated Santa Monica freshman Jazzy Green, 8-6, to win the 98-pound division of the Southern Regional girls' state qualifying wrestling tournament Saturday at El Cajon Valhalla.
Both wrestlers qualified for the state meet Friday and Saturday at Vallejo.
"Jazzy is getting better at figuring out Cruz's moves and this [most recent] loss is indicative of that," said Santa Monica Coach Mark Black, noting that Cruz pinned Green at the Thousand Oaks tournament on Jan. 10.
Cruz and Green have faced each other three times this season, with Cruz winning every match.
"Each time it's gotten closer between these two," West Covina Coach Shirley Stephens said. "The way the state seedings are, there is no way these two will see each other until the finals. I won't be surprised if that's the final matchup."
San Marino's Elizabeth Tran (110) went 4-0 with four pins Saturday and was named tournament MVP of the lower weights.
-- Rafer Weigel
Justin Thomas, who was expected to be the starting point guard for Los Angeles Loyola this season until breaking his ankle in October, made his season debut Friday against Encino Crespi. His return should be a boost for the Cubs, who are battling for the Mission League championship.
-- Eric Sondheimer
Thousand Oaks Coach Mark Tietjen was openly disdainful that Calabasas scored all of its goals off set pieces in a 3-3 tie at Thousand Oaks on Friday. But Calabasas Coach John Reich made no apologies for his team's ability to score off of throw-ins, corner kicks and free kicks.
"You have to go with what you do best," said Reich, whose 13-3-4 team has scored more than 70% of its goals off set pieces. "I would like to see us score more while pushing forward. But, hey, for us set pieces are working very well."
Coach Kevin Corley of Simi Valley Royal, whose team has a two-point lead over Calabasas and Thousand Oaks in the Marmonte League standings, said a goal is a goal.
"They all count the same," he said.
-- John Ortega
Before this season, Santa Ana Mater Dei Coach Matty West said his team had two clear goals: Win the Serra League and defeat Santa Margarita.
The Monarchs have the chance to do both today when the top two Serra League teams play at Mater Dei.
The Monarchs (14-4-2, 4-0-2) can clinch a share of the league title with a win over Santa Margarita (15-4-4, 3-1-1), the reigning league champion. The title would be Mater Dei's first in its five years in the Serra League.
In the teams' first meeting on Jan. 15, the game ended in a 1-1 tie at Santa Margarita. Forward Katy Dowling scored Mater Dei's goal. She had an assist to forward Andrea Pagnanelli in the 52nd minute in Monday's 1-0 victory over Torrance Bishop Montgomery, the only team to defeat Santa Margarita in league play.
-- Elia Powers