By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
Local teams hoisted two CIF section banners and plaques, and claimed second place honors in two others. It took a stunning upset to keep a local team from grabbing a third crown for area athletes.
The fall sports season was not as full of fireworks as in 2009 and 2010 when Garden Grove High’s football team made it to the CIF finals, winning the school’s first section football crown.
Rancho Alamitos took the Garden Grove League crown, defeating Los Amigos 29-17 for the title. Brett Hurley was the standout grid player in the area as the Vaqueros snapped the Argos’ three-year title streak.
It was the winter sports that saw the CIF hardware collection begin. The girls’ water polo team from Los Amigos High (located in Fountain Valley, but part of the Garden Grove Unified School District) reached the CIF Division 7 final, but lost 8-7 to Santa Ana Valley, which won its second straight title.
More successful was the Orangewood Academy girls’ basketball team. The squad from the Seventh Day Adventist school in east Garden Grove won the Division 6 CIF Southern Section title with a 34-31 win over Providence Hall.
The Spartans advanced to the state playoffs, but were knocked out by a different Providence 44-34 in the second round. In that game, OA led by three points going into the final quarter, but were held scoreless for the remaining eight minutes.
Traditionally, local teams are the strongest in the spring sports, and that was true this year as well.
Two Pacifica High teams were considered strong candidates for CIF royalty, and a Garden Grove High softball team was regarded as a powerhouse as well.
Ironically, it was the Mariner softball team that was rated the strongest favorite for a CIF title, and it fell just short. Pacifica, led by ace pitchers Kaylee Carlson and Kaley Winegarten, was nationally-ranked and atop the Division 1 CIF poll.
However, the M’s were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Santiago High of Corona. Pacifica led 3-0 through five innings, but after a pitching change the M’s yielded two singles and two home runs and lost 4-3. The Mariners finished 28-3.
However, with many players underclassmen, the Mariners can be expected to rewrite the script in 2013.
Garden Grove’s softball team made it to the CIF Division 4 finals, losing 1-0 in 10 innings to Kaiser High of Fontana on a wild pitch. It was a rough end to the season for the Argonauts’ star pitcher and batter Jasmine Antunez.
Pacifica won the Division 2 baseball title with a 3-2 win over Aliso Niguel at Dodger Stadium.
The Mariners were led by Kyle Davis, Max Bethell and Trent Chatterton.
Not only did the team win the school’s first CIF baseball crown, it also was ranked tops in the state by MaxPreps.com and best in Southern California by the Los Angeles Times.