By Bill Dickens
It’s been so long since El Cajon Valley has beaten Helix in basketball that none of the players in a last weekend’s Grossmont North-South Tournament basketball game seemed to realize the magnitude of the Braves’ 57-41 romp over the visiting Highlanders.
“Our kids weren’t happy that we lost, but it was just another game in their eyes,” Helix coach John Singer said. “What’s it been – 25 years since they last beat us?”
It was a nice guess by Singer, the Highlanders’ 29-year head coach who was at the helm when El Cajon Valley last edged Helix 39-36 in December, 1986. That was the first of two meetings that season. The Highlanders registered a 45-42 win in the rematch in January, 1987.
Helix had posted 26 consecutive wins in 22 years over El Cajon Valley before stumbling on Friday (Jan. 9) of this season. This streak might have been longer had the two Grossmont Conference rivals played in the same league, which they haven’t since 1985.
Although El Cajon Valley coach Jim Gleboff has been coaching for more than 40 years – including a stint as Egypt’s National team mentor – this is his first year at El Cajon Valley. Yet, he could feel the history of the Braves’ latest victory.
“It’s been a good week for us,” Gleboff said. “We won three in a row that nobody would have thought we would win. Of course, any time you beat Helix it’s special.”
Rising star at El Cajon Christian
Brazilian guard Luiz (CQ) Bidart is a big hit at Christian (10-5) this season. The stocky 6-foot-2 junior plays the point for the Patriots, but he is not your prototype front man.
Bidart, who averages 26.6 points per game, is not one who stations himself on the perimeter lofting three-point shots. He attacks the basket and creates fouls. He’s netted more than 82 percent of his 90 free throws, while picking up an abundant number of offensive fouls.
Double dose of Duffy
El Capitan senior guard Ashley Duffy scored 79 points in her last two games, raising her CIF-San Diego Section-leading scoring average to 24.6. The 5-foot-10 San Diego State-bound Duffy has tallied 442 points in 18 games for the 17-1 Vaqueros. Duffy, who opened the season with a career-best 42 points against Mission Hills, rang up 41 points against Valhalla and 38 against El Cajon Granite Hills.
Mavericks rustle up seven champions
La Costa Canyon senior Tim Randall was selected the best wrestler in the Champion of Champions Berdsford Invitational at Rim of the World High in Lake Arrowhead. Randall won the 152-pound weight class where the Mavericks crowned seven champions and placed first out of 23 teams.
Mount Miguel ticketed to continue title string
Since Robbie Sandoval took over as coach of the Mount Miguel girls’ basketball team his Matadors have won eight-straight Grossmont South League championships. They’ve done so in dominating style, posting a 75-1 league record – a winning percentage of .987. More of the same is predicted this season.
Other Top Performances
— Senior Henry Yorba of Poway won all four matches by pin, including in the final of the 135-pound division to be named the top lightweight wrestler at the Spring Valley Monte Vista Invitational.
— Poway’s Ian Daube, a senior, won four matches at 189 pounds to be named the top heavyweight wrestler at the Monte Vista Invitational.
— Troy Leaf of El Cajon’s Foothills Christian is closing in on the 2,000 point career scoring mark with 1,976. The basketball record for career scoring in the CIFSDS is 2,962 set by Tyrone Shelley (Christian-Crawford 2004-07).
— Junior goalkeeper Monica Baldrich of San Diego Southwest recorded two shutouts and totaled a dozen saves in victories over Castle Park and Montgomery.
The Martin Luther King Classic at San Diego Hoover High on Monday (Jan. 19) features seven of the top 10-ranked boy’s basketball teams in the CIFSDS according to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s ratings. Here’s the lineup:
Rancho Bernardo vs. No. 7 Maranatha Christian, 2:30 p.m.
No. 8 University City vs. No. 2 El Camino, 4 p.m.
No. 9 La Costa Canyon vs. No. 1 Hoover, 5:30 p.m.
No. 4 Torrey Pines vs. No. 5 Foothills Christian, 7 p.m.
Nowadays it seems as though there are continuous eligibility battles between the CIFSDS administration and various coaches and athletes. These mini-battles came to light in this region when now veteran major league baseball player Tony Clark transferred from public school Valhalla High to private school El Cajon Christian in 1989.
The second player selected in the 1990 major league baseball draft, the 6-foot-8 switch-hitting Clark made his high school change for the betterment of his basketball career. The case went all the way to the state level before Clark was granted clearance.
The eligibility hubbub is very much front page news in these parts.
San Diego High has three college basketball prospects attempting to gain a ticket to play, but, as yet are locked up in a stalemate with the CIFSDS. The trio transferred to San Diego High in September and are now caught in a battle that includes allegations of improper transfers concerning, among other things questionable living arrangements for the players and secret cash payments to a player's mother, according to reports by the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Prior to the start of the season CIFSDS officials ruled the players ineligible, pending a scheduled hearing Thursday (Jan. 15) by the CIF's state appeals panel. Like most matters that reach this stage, lawyers routinely ask for continuance. It’s a real chess match.
Meanwhile, an internal CIF document recommends the removal of San Diego High coaches Kenny Roy and Jerome Sherman. Roy, the players and parents have adamantly denied the section's allegations.
What a mess.
Terrence Boyd, Zechariah Smith and LaBradford Franklin were ruled ineligible based on several alleged rules violations involving their transfers. Boyd and Smith came from Oklahoma, Franklin from Temecula.
The rule, rather than the exception in cases such as this that reach the state level, usually sways in the athletes’ favor. If the state loses this case, it may never win one.
If necessary, the players and their parents are expected to continue fighting the ruling in San Diego Superior Court but have been instructed by the judge to wait until the outcome of Thursday’s hearing.
The players contend the section's ruling has hurt their chances for college scholarships and their hope of playing in San Diego High's scheduled appearance in a nationally televised game Jan. 23 on ESPN2.
For what it’s worth, scholarships are hardly awarded on the basis of one game – television or not.