CORONA – The chorus of voices grew, the sound bouncing from wall to wall in Corona Santiago’s gym like a pingpong game. Photo Gallery: Norco defeats Diamond Ranch One side had the momentum. Then the other side grabbed it. Finally, the voices on one side of the gym exploded in one massive cheer; the other side fell silent. The Norco girls basketball team won a heartstopping 69-68 overtime thriller against Diamond Ranch on Tuesday night, advancing to the CIF-SS Division II-AA championship game at the Pyramid in Long Beach. “In order to be a coach, you have to have CPR (training),” Norco coach Rick Thompson said. “I just never thought I’d have to use it on myself.” With 6.6 seconds remaining in overtime, Diamond Ranch inbounded the ball at the far end of the court, down one point. The No. 2 seed Panthers (27-2) put the ball in the hands of their most reliable ballhandler, senior Eliza Dy, who streaked down the court and tried to toss up an off-balance layup. But the shot wasn’t close, and the buzzer sounded to end Diamond Ranch’s CIF title defense as No. 3 seed Norco (27-2) celebrated. The game was highlighted by two exceptional performances. Norco won in large part because spunky sharpshooter Tyler Howard hit nine 3-pointers and scored a total of 30 points. That helped the Cougars survive a phenomenal performance from UCLA-bound star Nina Earl, who poured in 39 points on 16-of-24 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. She hit all eight of her shots in the second half. Dy tied the game at 65 on a pair of free throws with 50.5 seconds remaining in regulation. Neither team scored the rest of the way, and the Panthers tried an inbounds play with one second left, but Dy missed a tough layup. In overtime, Norco’s Cierra Windham (26 points) scored the first four points, but Earl cut the lead to 69-67 with a pair of free throws. The Cougars committed an offensive foul on their next possession to give Earl a one-and-one with 39 seconds left, but she missed the second shot. Dy got her last-chance run following a Norco turnover, but the Cougars survived. “One point doesn’t make us the better team,” Thompson said. “It just lets us play next week.” Diamond Ranch could still make the CIF-State tournament, but coach Vince Spirlin wasn’t sure. “It just didn’t fall our way,” he said. “In a game that close, funny things are gonna happen. We put ourselves in that predicament.” Said Howard: “We came here with one goal and that was to get to the Pyramid. We were determined to win and we wanted it more.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Former Reggae Boyz striker and captain Luton Shelton is trying to get his career back on track, but is being stalled by a series of injuries.After spending a decade as a professional player overseas, Shelton returned to Harbour View FC in an effort to recover from injuries after his contract with Volga Nizhny Nougorod in Russia ended last year.Shelton is registered with local club Harbour View, where he started as a youth player, and made the transition to the senior team. He left Harbour View in 2006 and joined Helsingborg in Sweden on contract.Harbour View’s general manager Clyde Jureidini confirmed the move in a recent chat with The Gleaner.”He (Shelton) is registered to play for Harbour View, but is not playing due to injuries,” Jureidini said. “He is out of contract. That is why he is here to play in the Red Stripe Premier League.””Luton has been trying to recover from injuries. We are trying to get his career back on track,” Jureidini further stated.Shelton is Jamaica’s all-time record goalscorer, with 35 strikes in 75 games. He also played at international clubs such as Sheffield United, Valerenga and Karabukspor.
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AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “This is not the Navy. He doesn’t get people to automatically salute.” While Brewer said he’ll continue to work with the union, he called it time to step away from business as usual if the district wants real reform. “We have a legal and moral imperative here. … Previous initiatives have failed because of a lack of commitment to sustain it and a lack of political will. Right now, if you want change, you have to be bold. You can’t half-step it.” But Brewer has been under attack by members of a key task force on the plan over concepts such as carving out a separate district of 44 low-performing schools. Under pressure, Brewer reduced the number of schools by 10 and scrapped the idea of putting the schools under separate governance. One San Fernando Valley school, Sylmar High, remains on the list. Brewer also emphasized that the plan is “evolving and fluid,” and he expects changes before its 2008-09 implementation. The plan includes a curriculum aligned with state standards, focused professional development, safe schools and performance accountability and incentives. Reassignment fight From December to January, the local district superintendent will examine each school’s staff and determine whether there needs to be a change in principals or teachers. But Duffy decried that plan. “Somebody needs to whisper into the superintendent’s ear that he can’t just reassign teachers. There’s a contract, and he better follow the rules,” he said. Still, Brewer said the state gives more latitude in reassigning teachers because the schools need corrective actions to improve student achievement. “Some of these schools are failing for a reason, based on the leadership going on,” Brewer said. “The bottom line is we reserve the right to go in and make the changes necessary.” Duffy said bringing scripted-program teaching to secondary schools will have a “devastating effect on comprehension and problem-solving for elementary schools kids who then go to middle school … and can read but don’t know what they’re reading.” And he said studies show merit pay does little to boost student achievement and creates unhealthy competition among teachers. Board member Julie Korenstein agreed, saying a better plan would give a bonus reward to an entire school if it improves. Brewer argues that performance pay will provide incentives to retain highly qualified teachers in areas of need. Korenstein said she’s also frustrated that Brewer has not created the plan with board input. “He tends to come up with a grandiose plan, then backs down because it doesn’t make sense,” Korenstein said, referring to Brewer’s original proposal to create a separate mini-district of low-performing schools. “You usually have seven board members and a superintendent who work together to develop policy. You don’t have a superintendent developing policy and shoving it down people’s throats. That’s how you get into trouble.” Board member Richard Vladovic said he hopes both sides come to an agreement. “There should be a dialogue and if he hasn’t reached out to the union, I’m concerned. If I feel there hasn’t been sufficient dialogue, I’m going to make sure that at least all sides are heard,” he said. Raphael Sonenshein, a political science professor at California State University, Fullerton, said Brewer faces a key political test. “The union isn’t unbeatable, but I don’t know if you can do it on your own. It takes political strategy, some coalition building, consulting as much as you can and knowing where to draw the line,” he said. “This re-emphasizes the need of the superintendent to have a true political strategy that can give him the leverage he needs to get the reforms he wants.” Transforming schools Janelle Erickson, a spokeswoman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has tried to take a more active role in running the district, said the mayor will continue to work with everyone. “Only through partnership and collaboration will we truly transform our public schools,” Erickson said. And after a challenging year of dealing with the powerful teachers union, Sonenshein said the superintendent may be overreaching. “He has a lot of ground to make up, and the problem is you can’t make it up all at once, and it may be that what he’ll like to do is make a big, bold step that makes up a lot of ground,” he said. “But in reality, it’s a series of small steps he’s going to need to reground his superintendentship that is sustainable over a long period of time. “This may be a little bit of a long pass to recoup a lot of ground. If it can’t be backed up with political strength, it actually ends up being costly than helpful.” For the latest school news, go to www.insidesocal.com/education. email@example.com 818-713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Defying opposition from the teachers union, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent David Brewer III on Wednesday released a final plan to reform nearly three dozen schools that includes key elements vehemently decried by the union. Despite union-leadership opposition to proposals including reassignment of teachers, merit pay and scripted teaching at middle and high schools, Brewer kept all of the concepts in his final plan. The move sets up a critical showdown with the union, which now will target Los Angeles Unified School District board members, expected to vote on Brewer’s plan later this month. “He’s … declaring war. He’s got to get this by the board of education and we’re going to weigh into it very heavily,” A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said.
“We would prefer to see the PCT itself remain open during the study and believe that hikers and equestrians who remain on the trail are not a threat either to wildlife or the study,” said J.L. “Pete” Fish, the trail association’s regional trail coordinator. Fish said the highway route is acceptable as long as it remains closed to vehicle traffic, which Forest Service officials said will last through summer because of winter storm damage that Caltrans is still repairing. The closed area includes the popular Cooper Canyon trail camp, one of Southern California’s rare waterfalls – known as Zig Zag Falls – and the Eagles Roost picnic area, which will be accessible only by a 4-mile walk. To help protect the area, Caltrans will lock a gate to block traffic on a segment of Angeles Crest Highway, already closed farther east by last winter’s storms. The highway will be closed east of Buckhorn campground. The closure follows a 2004 lawsuit by an environmental group, the Center for Biological Diversity, over the Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to designate “critical” habitat for the frog, which was declared endangered in 2002. The proposed critical habitat, released in September, covers about 4,500 acres of the Angeles National Forest, as well as about 3,000 acres in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains. What has eliminated the frogs from 99 percent of their former San Gabriel Mountain habitat is not known, but it could include diseases, human activity and non-native predators such as the rainbow trout, researchers said. People playing in creeks disturbs and damages egg masses and stirs up sediment that can settle on eggs, killing the embryos, researchers say. People also might step on tadpoles, or chase them and frogs to where they are seen by predators. The frogs could also be particularly susceptible to rainbow trout, which were stocked for decades in Little Rock Reservoir and made their way upstream into the mountains. One researcher conducted tests that indicated yellow-legged frog tadpoles avoid native garter snakes, but not non-native rainbow trout. Since 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey has pulled hundreds of trout out of the upper reaches of Little Rock Creek in an experiment into whether removing trout would let the frogs spread. The results are still inconclusive because researchers believe trout remain in the stream. Frogs to repopulate streams are being bred at the Los Angeles Zoo, as endangered California condors have been. The zoo’s breeding stock comes from young frogs pulled from a San Bernardino Mountains creek to protect them from mudslides and flooding expected to follow 2003 wildfires. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Two or three inches long, its top side mottled with blotches that are usually yellow and brown, the mountain yellow-legged frog before 1970 was the most common in the San Gabriel Mountains. Now, researchers believe it is limited to fewer than 200 frogs in the upper reaches of eight Southern California streams. Among those is shallow, rocky upper Little Rock Creek, which is paralleled and crossed by hikers along the popular Pacific Crest Trail. The other San Gabriel Mountain streams where the frog survives are all in remote wilderness areas, Morgan said, but the Pacific Crest Trail draws hundreds of hikers. An unofficial trail created by climbers also follows the creek on the way to Williamson Rock. Forest Service officials said they are working on a solution that will let climbing continue eventually on Williamson Rock. The Pacific Crest Trail Association, which is a partner with the Forest Service for the administration and maintenance of the trail running from Canada to Mexico, is concerned that the highway route will be safe for both hikers and equestrians with pack stock, a member said. ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – The U.S. Forest Service has closed a six-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail and about 1,000 acres around it for a study of how hikers, climbers and campers affect an endangered frog. The closure of the mountain yellow-legged frog’s habitat is described as temporary, but its duration depends on the completion of Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service studies in four Southern California forests. “We are anticipating it’s going be through this coming summer,” said Cid Morgan, ranger for the Angeles National Forest district that includes the closure. The closure will detour hikers onto Angeles Crest Highway for about 4 miles and also will bar climbers from a granite outcropping known as Williamson Rock, among the most popular rock-climbing spots in the San Gabriel Mountains.