GRIFFIN SPORTS: Girls Soccer and Boys Basketball kick off CIF playoff season tonight with home games at Los Al

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The Los Al Girls Soccer team and Boys basketball teams open their quests for CIF championships with contests tonight at Los Al HS.  Both matches are against Trinity league teams.

The girls go first, taking on long-time CIF rival Mater Dei at 5pm.  Los Al earned a No. 5 seed in the Division I bracket, thanks to a first place finish in the Surf League.  Mater Dei was No. 2 in the Trinity League, and ranked No 10 in Division I.

The Lady Griffins entered their final regular season match tied with Huntington Beach atop the standings, after the two teams played to a 1-1 tie on January 30.  In their final game a few days later, the Griffins downed Edison in their Senior Night finale while Huntington Beach played Newport Harbor to a draw to give the Griffins their fifth straight Surf league title.

The win cemented their No. 5 ranking in the CIF Division I which now has only 16 teams instead of 32 as in past years.  The winner of the Los Al-MD will advance to a quarter-final match on Feb. 14 against the winner of the No. 4 Temecula Valley-Mira Costa match.  Santiago of Corona is ranked No. 1 , Santa Margarita is No. 2, and Villa Park is at No. 3. 

The CIF championship game will be played on Feb. 25 at Vets Stadium in Long Beach. 

Boys Basketball hosts Santa Margarita

Just about the time the soccer game ends, the Griffins Boys will be tipping off against Santa Margarita in a match billed by the OC Register as the “best of the bunch” for tonight’s first round games.  Santa Margarita is No. 5 in the Orange County Top 25 and Los Alamitos is No. 11 and normally such highly-ranked teams do  not meet in a first-round game.

Santa Margarita (20-8) finished in a tie with JSerra and Orange Lutheran for third in the Trinity League. The Eagles beat Mater Dei this season for the first time since 2005.

The Eagles feature a tall lineup led by 6-foot-8 senior forward Rockwell Reynolds, a strong candidate for first team All-Orange County. Freshman guard Brayden Kyman (6-6) and sophomore Dallas Washington (6-9) add scoring and rebounding power.

The Griffins (22-6), co-champs in the Surf League, are led by sophomore forward Trent Minter (MVP of the Tustin Classic). Sophomore guards Liam Gray and Wes Trevino have had strong seasons and played key roles in last week’s crucial win over Edison.

The winner will play on Friday against the survivor of the Village Christian-St. Paul game.

Girls Water Polo, Boys Soccer and Girls Basketball tomorrow

Tomorrow night will see a CIF triple-header at Los Al – and another “match of the day” when the Griffin Girls Water Polo (21-7,  team (seeded No 3 in the 8-team Open Division) hosting league rival Newport Harbor (No. 5, 20-7) in the Los Al pool at 5pm. The Griffin Boys Soccer team hosts Chino Hills in a Division III match at 5pm, and the Los Al Girls basketball squad hosting California High of Whittier in a Division IIIA contest at 7pm.


10 wrestlers advance to CIF Individuals

10 Los Al wrestlers – two girls, and eight boys — finished in the top four places in their respective weight classes at last weekend’s Sunset League Individuals and qualified to participate in this weekend’s CIF Individual Wrestling competition. 

Leading the way was Ren Gonzalez who took first place in the Girls 106 pound division.  Her teammate Dallas Tinoco finished in second place in the 101-pound bracket. The pair will travel to Shadow Hills High in Indio for their CIF competition. 

The eight boys will only have to travel to Fountain Valley for their CIF matches.  Four earned their trip by taking second place trophies.  They were Dylann Ruiz (120 pound), Gabriel Lorenzo (138), Jacob Moreo (160) and Andrew Canales (170).  Earning a trip via third place finishes were Etha Carey (103) and Samuel Yokoyama (126).  Mekhi Yanthis finished fourth in the 113-pound class, and earning an alternate spot with his fifth place showing was Jaylen Day (145).

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