News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

The Peterson Principle

Tim Peterson

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What? Burbank’s Hector Valencia resigned? But he’s still staying on as an assistant? Who’s getting promoted? Who’s taking the Diamond Bar job? What’s going on at Monrovia? I’m hearing plenty of names but still no announcement. Who’s the frontrunner at Baldwin Park?
Looks like La Mirada found a replacement for Kevin Dillman at quarterback. Christian Lara transferred in from Santa Fe. Talk about manna from heaven. Speaking of La Mirada, San Jose State has offered class of 2015 WR/DB Tony Brown.
It’s football of course so we all want to know the scoop, but for this week let’s take a break from the gridiron to talk some hoops.
Last Friday night was high school basketball at its finest. The entire game I kept thinking…this is what it must be like in Indiana. There was a hand-made sign at the entrance saying “sold out.” I’ve never seen that before. The gym at Maranatha High School was indeed sold out for the CIF semi-final matchup between La Canada and St. Francis. Standing room only doesn’t do it justice. Yes there were people standing but also sitting. Kids of maybe 12 years and younger lined the south end of the floor. They were all lined up sitting on the floor just two feet from the baseline beneath the basket. I was surprised that the officials didn’t move them back.
There wasn’t an empty space in the folded down wooden bleachers on either side of the court. Every basket, rebound, turnover or call was met by an explosion of cheers by the Spartan or Golden Knight faithful depending on which way it went. You couldn’t hear yourself think let alone the person sitting next to you. It was the best basketball atmosphere I’ve ever been to and it wasn’t close.
The St. Francis and La Canada chants were very creative especially on the La Canada side. After a Spartan player scored on a driving lay-up they bellowed throughout the arena “He’s a Mormon! He’s a Mormon!” Another time they serenaded “No Tuition! No Tuition!” in reference to St. Francis being a private school. Very creative indeed.
The game was supposed to be played at St. Francis but was moved to Maranatha to accommodate the fans. The proximity of the two schools, a semi-final playoff game and a Friday night all contributed to the perfect storm. It was absolutely crazy. I mean there was one guy- a photographer- dressed completely in camouflage.
St. Francis overcame a fourth quarter deficit with an 11-0 run to ultimately win 56-53. But it wasn’t until the last ten seconds that the game was decided. The Golden Knights proved to be the better team on this night but one other thing was also proven. Fans in the San Gabriel Valley do care about high school basketball. Friday night, semi-final, 7:00 pm. If you schedule it correctly, they will come.

Tim can be reached at or on Twitter @tspeterson 40.

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
The Peterson Principle