Los Alamitos Griffins sports teams went two-for-two with Boys Basketball and Girls Soccer notching wins on their first day of CIF Playoff action and Girls Water Polo, Boys Soccer and Girls basketball are looking to complete the quinella on the Griffin campus this evening.
Getting contributions from many players, the Los Alamitos Boys basketball team outlasted Santa Margarita to pull off a 55-50 upset win in an opening round CIF Playoff Division I on Wednesday night at Los Al
The Griffins (23-6) will now advance to play St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs (18-11) in the second round of the Division I playoffs on Friday. St. Paul upset Village Christian 51-49 in their first-round match.
The win, which was very reminiscent of a 2016 upset over Santa Margarita (and led by Griffins great Eyassu Worku) was also sweet revenge for the Griffins which fell to the Eagles in last year’s opening round. Santa Margarita came into this year’s playoffs ranked No. 9 in the final CIF Division I poll and No. 5 in the OC Register’s OC Top 25. Los Al was not ranked in the CIF, but was No. 11 in OC.
The Griffins were again led by 6-5 sophomore forward Trent Minter who scored 21 points.
The OC Register’s Steve Fryer has the complete story and lots of good photos as well.
Lobo’s late Goal Advances Los Al into 2nd Round
The action was just as exciting on the Griffins soccer pitch as it took a goal by sophomore Natalie Lobo in the final minutes of regulation to give the Griffins a 1-0 victory Wednesday over the visiting Mater Dei Monarchs.
Los Al, ranked No. 5 in Division 1, improved its record to 17-6-5 and now travels to Manhattan Beach next Tuesday to play Mira Costa in a quarter-final match. The Mustangs knocked off No. 4 Temecula Valley 2-1 in their first-round contest Wednesday. The winner of that match will have to play the victor of the No. Santiago- Oaks Christian contest.
Los Al and Mater Dei have played a number of memorable CIF Playoff matches over the years (including the 2005 CIF title match won by Los Al) and this was just another thriller to add to the list.
The Griffins had the majority of chances but good saves by the Mater Dei keeper kept them scoreless until the 78th minute when Los Alamitos’ Katie Piburn dribbled down the middle of the field and sent a cross to Sanaa Guyness on the left of the goal. Guyness, who had two near misses earlier, shot for the left side of the net but into a crowd of legs. Lobo got to it first and volleyed it passed the keeper for the game-winner.
The Griffin defense fended off six corner kicks by the Monarchs, and led by Freshman Goalie Avarie Gonzales notched its 11th shutout of the season. Gonzales has been especially valuable in the closing weeks of the season. She made 15 saves in a 1-1 draw against Huntington Beach, and seven saves in the 1-0 win against Edison that sealed the Griffins’ sixth consecutive league title.
Los Al started the season a bit slow for them, but has gone 10-1-2 in 2023.
SOFTBALL: Griffins picked at No 3 in OC Register preview
We’re not even halfway through February but under the new school calendars, Spring sports are already underway and the OC Register Softball preview has the Griffins ranked No. 3. Coach Rob Weil’s team is always competitive and returns a lot of strong talent, and made even stronger with the addition of defensive standout Kalie Matsuno (a transfer from Cerritos) at shortstop.