Boys varsity soccer loses league opener, still 4-3 overall

During the halftime break, Coach Fred Bruce-Oliver told the boys soccer team not to think about the score but to focus instead on playing the game. With the New Year approaching, this seemed like excellent advice in general, as well as for a sporting event.

Unfortunately for the Pack, they were not able to overcome an early deficit and ended up losing their Palomares League opener, 2-0, to visiting Alta Loma on Wednesday at CHS.

The Braves got on the board early when senior Gio Molina connected with senior Keith Carter directly in front of Claremont’s net for the first goal. Actually, “got on the board” is a bit of a falsehood because the CHS scoreboard was inexplicably dark all night, which may have been a bigger inconvenience for the COURIER reporter than for anyone on the field.

A handful of minutes later Alta Loma scored again when junior Patrycio Acosta found himself in a one-on-one, and tricked Claremont keeper sophomore Will Ouellette with a solid boot to the right side.

To his credit, Ouellette was spot on for the rest of the game, but the damage had been done. The Braves keeper, senior Freddy Padilla, by contrast was red hot all night, stopping several hard kicks from the Wolfpack offense.

The key difference may have been the level of experience each team brought to the game. Braves Coach Ryan McConnell has 12 seniors, five of whom are starters who have been playing together for three years. He also has a solid core of juniors with nearly as much playing time.

Claremont, on the other hand, is in the midst of a rebuild, with six sophomores including both goalkeepers. Coach Bruce-Oliver said the inexperience was a major factor in the early defeat, but it was also an opportunity to learn and improve as the season progresses.

“Don’t focus on the result. We made a couple of mistakes and they scored,” he told his team during halftime.

Claremont did contribute some highlights, such as when they successfully broke up a direct kick following a handball call. The boys also had a few good combinations that easily could have turned into goals.

Coach Bruce-Oliver told his team beforehand that the Braves were very fast, but as he said after the game, “it doesn’t matter what you tell them, they have to experience it.”

Claremont won’t have much time to work out the kinks before their next match on Friday night against Glendora at home. The Tartans opened their season with a 3-0 loss to Ayala on Monday.

The boys will spend the Christmas break in the San Gorgonio tournament and then return to league play on January 9, with an away match against Colony.

Claremont is now 4-3 overall and 0-1 in league.


Boys Basketball

Claremont High got a fairly easy win over Alta Loma on Tuesday in the Pack’s Palomares League opener. Claremont never trailed throughout the game building up a 29-17 lead at the half which increased to 41-24 after three quarters. With the big lead it appears that Coach Stan Tolliver cycled his starters out as the Braves out scored the Pack in the final quarter, but Claremont still sailed to the 55-41 final.

With the win Claremont is now 6-6 overall and 1-0 in league.

The boys basketball program helped House of Ruth prepare for its annual holiday store on Sunday The boys assembled 125 food bags and sorted toy and other donations. The varsity, JV and freshman teams, along with their coaches and booster board members were all involved in the annual service project.


Girls Basketball

Claremont opened Palomares League play on Tuesday with a solid 62-21 win over Alta Loma, in Alta Loma. The Pack had a 16 point advantage in the first quarter and just kept stretching their lead stacking up double digit quarters while limiting the Braves to single digits.

To open league with a win is huge for the girls who in recent years have struggled in league. Their record now stands at 9-2, overall and 1-0 in League.


Girls water polo

Claremont opened league on Tuesday with a decisive 18-7 win over Alta Loma at home. With the win the girls extend their winning season to 9-1 overall 1-0 in league.

The Pack’s only loss was marathon showdown with Los Osos last Thursday that the Grizzlies finally won, 16-15, after three overtime periods.


Pomona College to update, expand Rains Center athletic facility

Pomona College has unveiled plans for a new athletic center.

The new center, which is not yet named, will enhance the Rains Center, adding 15,000 square feet for a grand total of 94,000 square foot facility, according to a release from Pomona College. Around 50 percent of the facility will be new construction.

The new plans call for new and larger recreational and fitness areas, as well as additional spaces for cardio workouts and fitness classes.

The new building will include expansive use of glass throughout, with multiple outdoor patios, the College said.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $55 million, with construction set to begin in 2020.

Construction will be made possible by two principal gifts of $10 million each. The remaining will be paid for through a $29 million fundraising campaign.

—Steven Felschundneff


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