Boys soccer readies for CIF play; sports roundup
In the low-scoring world of soccer, one might be tempted to think the Claremont and South Hills boys varsity teams were playing baseball last Friday.
But they were, in fact, playing soccer, as the Wolfpack ran over the Huskies 7-1, clinching the Palomares League championship.
It seemed like everyone on the field scored a goal, led by Justin Munevar who had two. Other players who contributed a goal were: Nick Kim, Jack Kolodge, Nick Loeffler, Steven Mancia and Tomas Negritto.
On Wednesday night, it might have been understandable if the Pack took a breather, as they met Bonita for the final home game of the season. But once the whistle blew, they came out with the kind of energy that has led to an almost perfect league record, winning 2-1 over the Bearcats.
The Pack kept constant pressure on Bonita, dominating the offense with several solid shots on goal until, at 6:30 minutes of play, senior Nick Kim kicked a clean shot from the right after being fed the ball by fellow senior Austin Antillon. But that was where the team’s luck changed.
Bad luck came in the form of a beautiful breakaway goal by senior Digby Strogen, called back by an offside call.
Then at 30 minutes, Bonita got some good luck when senior goalkeeper Kyle Del Campo caught a corner kick but stumbled back into the net and it was ruled a goal. Even though Claremont outplayed Bonita, the teams went into halftime tied at one.
Not much changed in the second half except the Bearcats seemed to have a renewed energy, possibly sensing they could pull off an upset. The game became more aggressive with numerous fouls, shouting from all over the field and ultimately yellow cards.
Wednesday was the last home game for graduating seniors so, at 55 minutes, Coach Fred Bruce-Oliver put in all of his seniors in one mass substitution. This had a calming affect on the aggressive player and the teams got back to the game.
At 65 minutes, standout forward Jack Kolodge kicked in an unbelievably long shot after getting a pass from Alex Alvarado, which was all CHS needed to secure a victory.
With the nearly perfect season, 16-1-4 overall and 9-0-1 in league, Claremont passes into CIF in a very strong position. This is familiar ground for Bruce-Oliver, who has been Claremont’s coach since 1986 and led the team to the CIF championship in 2011.
“I was nervous going into CIF last year, but feel more comfortable this year,” said Kolodge after the game. He noted that his teammates played together on club teams, which helped when encountering tough competition.
Claremont will play its first CIF tournament game next Friday. The location and opponent are unknown as of press time.
The boys varsity basketball team was on a roll after their surprise upset over Glendora last week, followed by a solid win over South Hills on Friday, 75-51. However, a disastrous first quarter ended the streak Wednesday, when they lost to Bonita 62-57.
The South Hills game was close at halftime, with the Wolfpack up 33-30. But the second half was a different ball game. Claremont outscored South Hills by 11 points in the third quarter and by 10 points in the fourth to seal the deal. Scoring was evenly spread out, with five players over 10 points. Top was Quincy Hailes with 13, followed by Noah Daniel and Davis Haley with 12 and Tyler Fraser and Kyle Scalmanini with 11. Daniel, Fraser and Scalmanini were also perfect from the line. Also noteworthy were the team’s 26 rebounds and 11 steals.
Aside from the first quarter, the Bonita game really showed what Claremont is capable of doing. Frustratingly, the team has played well all season but has been plagued by a lack of consistency, costing them numerous victories.
Their record stands at 13-15 overall, 5-5 in league.
Claremont girls soccer had a split week, winning Wednesday’s conference game against Bonita 2-1 but falling to South Hills last Friday 2-0.
In the South Hills matchup, the score was tied 0-0 at the half, but the Huskies made the most of the second half. Both teams had nine shots on goal, but the Pack was never able to find the net.
No stats were available for Wednesday’s victory over Bonita, but the girls’ record is now 13-9-4 overall, 4-4-2 in league.
GIRLS WATER POLO
Claremont girls water polo lost a conference game to Bonita Wednesday in La Verne by a score of 15-3. Ranked number-two in the league, Bonita also defeated the Pack the previous time they met. The girls record is now 10-14 overall and 4-4 in league.