Tuesday, December 31, 2013

West Valley Beats Paloma Valley on Final Day of Tournament

Photos and text by Patricia Sanchez

West Valley defenders go flying as Paloma Valley's Demarco Prewitt drives for a layup in Monday's game.
Robert Brooks scored 20 points to lead West Valley High to a 72-67 win over host Paloma Valley in the fifth-place game of the Paloma Valley Winter Shootout on Monday.

Demarco Prewitt led Paloma Valley with 19 points and Chris Owens added 17. The Wildcats next play at Murrieta Valley on Jan 7 before beginning Sunbelt League play at home Jan. 11 against Elsinore.

Tahquitz High won the tournament with a 50-48 win over Elsinore. In the third-place game, Valley View beat Canyon Springs, 70-28. In the seventh-place game, Boulder City beat Carter, 62-59.

Paloma Valley guard Manny Sandoval drives against a defender.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Paloma Valley Comes Up Short Against Canyon Springs

Photos and text by Patricia Sanchez
Paloma Valley forward Chris Owens, who scored 15 points, completes a layup against Canyon Springs.
Demarco Prewitt led his team with 16 points and Chris Owens added 15 Saturday afternoon, but it wasn't enough for the Paloma Valley High School basketball team in a 69-57 loss to Canyon Springs in the Paloma Valley Winter Shootout

Christian Cruz of Canyon Springs led all scorers with 23 points. Tournament play continues Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Wildcats guard Demarco Prewitt drives around a defender in Saturday's game.

Coach Michael Pfeiffer instructs his players during a timeout.

Paloma Players to Compete in All-Star Football Game Monday

Five players from Paloma Valley High School will compete in a senior all-star football game Monday night as part of the National Underclassmen Combine.

Wide receiver and defensive back Michael Valencia (right) will represent Paloma Valley on the West team, which is coached by Paloma Valley's Bert Esposito and his staff. Four other Paloma Valley players will compete for the California team: Qaurterback Brent Boehm, wide receiver RJ Benz, and linemen Kre Webb and Bradley Taylor.

This is the first senior all-star game in connection with the National Underclassmen Combine, which gives high school football prospects the opportunity to showcase their abilities and get early exposure with colleges from Division I to Division III. As part of a partnership with Rivals.com, the NUC showcases top freshmen, sophomores and juniors to get them the type of exposure they need to get recruited at the collegiate level.

The seniors game will begin at 6 p.m. at Greak Oak High School, 32555 Deer Hollow Way in Temecula. A game featuring seventh and eighth graders will be played at 1 p.m. Teams will be practicing twice a day and other combine skills events will take place today until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Birsdall Park, 32380 Deer Hollow Way.

Future Stars Softball Camp Set for Jan. 18 at Paloma Valley

Young softball players learned skills at last year's Menifee Future Stars Softball Camp.
Registration is now being accepted for the second annual Menifee Future Stars Softball Camp, to be held Jan. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at Paloma Valley High School.

The camp will feature players and coaches from Heritage High, Paloma Valley High and the Mt. San Jacinto College softball program. Cost of the instructional camp is $10 per player, which includes a t-shirt.

The Menifee Girls Softball Association will have a table set up to take registrations during the camp for anyone interested in signing up for spring ball. For more information, contact David Drake at Heritage High School, 951-940-5447 ext. 20105, or email david.drake@puhsd.org.

Paloma Valley Loses Tournament Game, in Action Again Today

By Patricia Sanchez

The Paloma Valley High School boys basketball team suffered an 84-48 loss Friday against Tahquitz High School in their second game of the Paloma Valley Winter Shootout tournament.

The loss followed a 69-53 win over Carter High on Thursday. Head coach Michael Pfeiffer said that the team played well in both games, but couldn’t match the physicality of Tahquitz.

"They were a bigger and more physical team," said Pfeiffer. "It’s hard to play through that kind of physicality and our team just couldn’t do much against it."

Led by forward Chris Owens, the Wildcats got several good looks at the basket early in the game but eventually couldn't keep up with Tahquitz.

Center Nicholas Pete led Tahquitz scorers with 15 points and guard Logan Bloomer added 14. Three other players had 12 points each for the winners, Pete scored a slam dunk in the first quarter and continued to have consistent shots throughout the game, including several 3-pointers.

Forward London Hoxie led Paloma Valley scorers with 15 points. Guard DeMarco Prewitt added 10 for the Wildcats.

Pfeiffer said that his players did their best against the Titans and took a lot of shots, but unlike Tahquitz, the Wildcats weren’t able to score consistently. By the end of the second quarter, the Wildcats were down 44-23.

"They [Tahquitz] shot a lot and scored," said Pfeiffer."“We got the shots and chances we wanted. They just didn’t go in."

Along with not putting points on the scoreboard, Pfeiffer noted that he had a lot of young players on the team, but the experience of playing such a physical team was a good experience for his players.

"We were starting three sophomores," said Pfeiffer. "We have a young team and this [the game against Tahquitz] is the kind of experience they need."

The tournament held at Paloma Valley High School will continue today, with the Wildcats playing at 4:30 p.m. against the Canyon Springs High School Cougars.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wildcats Win Opener of Own Tournament, 69-53

The Paloma Valley High School boys basketball team opened play in its own Winter Shootout Tournament today with a 69-53 victory over Carter High of Rialto.

Forward Chris Owens (shown here driving to the basket) and the Wildcats will be in action again Friday at 1:30 p.m. against Tahquitz.

The pool play tournament continues on Saturday and again on Monday.

 (Photo by David Stovall)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Paloma Valley Girls Basketball Team Set for Ramona Tourney

Junior guard Regina Sheffield has attracted college coaches with her shooting and defensive abilities.
The Paloma Valley High School girls basketball team will continue to prepare for the Sunbelt League season when it opens play in the Ramona Tournament Thursday in Riverside.

The Wildcats (5-5) will face Ramona at 3 p.m. In their most recent competition, they beat Don Lugo (53-14) and Campbell Hall (47-43) in the Mustang Classic at Roosevelt High.

"The tournament went well," said coach Romeo Galbreath. "We good to face a good mix of teams. We got to see big post players, some good guards, and we went 3-1 against some good teams."

Paloma Valley's offense is guard-oriented, with Galbreath starting three or four guards at a time. That group is led by 5-foot-2 junior guard Alize Hancock (left) and 5-8 junior guard Regina Sheffield. Hancock is expected to be back for the Ramona Tournament after missing some games with a concussion. Sheffield is expected to average 15 points and 7 steals per game.

"Regina has a couple college coaches interested in her already," Galbreath said. "Her aggressive deefense, her speed and her ability to score are her strengths."

Adding to the team's depth is senior guard Ashlynn Cota (right). For strength on the front line, Galbreath will look to 5-11 freshman Rochelle Wagner.

Paloma Valley Girls Soccer Team Off to Fast Start

Members of the Paloma Valley girls soccer team were all smiles after winning the second-place trophy in the recent Beaumont Tournament.
Completing strong finishes in the Beaumont Tournament and Bellflower Tournament, the Paloma Valley High School girls soccer team takes a 7-2-2 record into the holiday break in preparation for a Jan. 9 nonlegue game against Hemet and the Jan. 15 Sunbelt League opener at Elsinore High.

The Wildcats finished off the Bellflower Tournament with a 2-0 victory, highlighted by goals from Chloe Atkins and Amanda Gomez and assists by Lauren Perez and Bailey Calhoun. Prior to that, the team defeated Santa Monica 1-0 on a goal by Kaitlyn Johnson off an assist by Elizabeth Elisa Huerta.

Goalkeepers Christina Rodriguez and Linday Baca each recorded four saves in the shutout victories. Rodriguez was the league MVP last season, when Paloma Valley finished third despite allowing only three goals in league play.

Earlier last week, the Wildcats beat Murrieta Mesa 2-1 on goals by Gomez and Atkins.

Paloma Valley's defense is anchored by senior Jackie Armijo and juniors Vanessa Banuelos and Jada Brown.

"Defense is our strength," said coach Marie Dillon. "We're trying to be more consistent, though, and improve our attacking game."

Monday, December 23, 2013

Paloma Valley Hosts Boys Basketball Tournament This Week

The Paloma Valley High School boys basketball team will entertain seven other teams from surrounding areas beginning Thursday in the Paloma Valley Winter Shootout.

The schedule for the pool play tournament includes four games Thursday in the Paloma Valley gym. In the day's first game at 1:30 p.m., Paloma Valley will take on Carter High of Rialto. Paloma Valley is 2-7 so far this season with a chance to dramatically improve its record with a good showing in its tournament this week.

Other teams entered in the tournament include Elsinore, Valley View, West Valley, Boulder City, Canyon Springs and Tahquitz. The tournament continues with games Friday and Saturday, with the final day scheduled for next Monday, Dec. 30.

Paloma Valley Boys Soccer Team Aims for Success

RJ Benz has scored nine goals this season and is on pace to break the school record of 17.
By Patricia Sanchez

After a less than perfect season last year, the Paloma Valley High School boys soccer team has managed to improve its game and team attitude -- a feat Coach Ramon Benz and players attribute to hard work, a new mindset and team bonding.

"Last year, we didn’t do so well," said Benz. "But what’s really great about this year is that we’re able to adjust."

The Wildcats finished their season last year in second to last place. This year, the team doing well in the nonleague South West Division play with five wins, three losses and one tie.

Benz said that despite being in a tough division, the Wildcats are doing well and he and the other coaches are doing their best to keep the team humble.

"Our motto is ‘Be selfless, not selfish’" said Benz.

Along with a new mindset, Benz said that a few key players have helped the team improve. Last Thursday night, the Wildcats demonstrated their talent when they beat the Murrieta Valley Nighthawks, 2-1. In one of their last few games of the nonleague season, the Wildcats dominated the field and demonstrated teamwork and determination.

"I think we were pretty confident [tonight]," said forward Jose Sandoval, who scored the second goal to win the game. "We came out to win."

Forward RJ Benz -- the coach's son and also a standout football player -- has played a big role in the Wildcats' success. He has scored nine goals and is on his way to breaking the school record of 17 goals for the season.

“RJ is a great player,” said Ramon Benz. “He is constantly being bombarded with fouls and a lot of the time the referees don’t call them. We don’t get mad at [the refs], though. We don’t complain, we just adjust. Even when RJ doesn’t score, he attracts attention from the defense and that opens up opportunities for other players to get the ball and score.”

RJ Benz said that the players are much more comfortable with each other and have grown closer this season than previous seasons.

“We see each other more often for practice and bond as a team,” said RJ. “I think this year we trust each other a lot more.”

Overall, the Wildcats are optimistic about their season and know that they have a lot of work to finish on a good standing and hopefully make it to the CIF playoffs.

“We know we have no breaks ahead of us,” said Benz. “This year we’re going out to compete and make a name for ourselves.”

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bell Mountain Bobcats Win PONY Middle School Title

The Bobcats were managed by Rob Prendergast. The players are Ryan Christensen, Thomas Bartholomew III, Nolan George, Owen Prendergast, David Toruno, Joseph Romero, Blake Alanis, Daniel Montgomery, Gabriel Talamantes, Henry Proger, Charles James, and Paul Turner.
Congratulations to the Bell Mountain Middle School Bobcats, who recently won the Menifee PONY Baseball 2013 middle-school league championship (Bronco Division) by defeating the Canyon Lake Cougars.

The Bobcats then went on to play in the MPB/TYB World Series, losing 2-games-to-1 against the TYB champion, Day Middle School. This is the second year that the Cougars won the MPB Champions Cup, with the first coming in 2011. The MPB Bronco-Division Champions Cup trophy will be on display in Bell Mountain Middle School's trophy case until the fall 2014 season, when it will be engraved and placed at that season champions' school

This is the third season Menifee PONY Baseball has been involved in the Middle-School Baseball program with TYB. Team tryouts are held each August and the season runs from September into November. Teams consist of players from each middle school, creating a middle school baseball team where there would otherwise be none

Menifee PONY Baseball organizes and supports these school-based teams in an effort to create school pride and unity within our local schools. For more information, visit WWW.MENIFEEBASEBALL.COM.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Palmer, Taoete, Castor Named Athletes of the Month

Three high school athletes who recently completed standout fall sports seasons have been selected by their schools to receive the Menifee 24/7 Athlete of the Month Award, sponsored by RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Football player Matt Palmer and volleyball player Dayanerrah Taoete of Heritage High School and cross country runner Zackery Castor of Paloma Valley High School were recently honored for their accomplishments in November. Each was presented a VISA gift card by Cynthia Nemelka of RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Matt Palmer had one of the best seasons of any defensive football player in Southern California for the Patriots, who posted a 13-1 record and won the CIF-SS Central Division championship. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior defensive back had 10 interceptions this season -- second most in the state. Six of those came in the playoffs, including one in Heritage's 34-33 victory over Rancho Verde in the championship game.

Palmer, who also played wide receiver for the Patriots, is being recruited by several colleges and already has received a scholarship offer from Azusa Pacific University, according to his father.

Dayanerrah Taoete just completed an impressive season as outside hitter for the Patriots girls volleyball team. Under first-year coach Lindsey Sappington, she provided leadership for a team that finished 12-8 and advanced to the CIF playoffs.

Taoete will play club volleyball through the summer in hopes of earning a college scholarship.

Zackery Castor was the top athlete on the Paloma Valley High boys cross country team, even though he spent the entire season dealing with a leg injury suffered during the preseason. He posted a time of 16:19 in the CIF prelims at Mt. San Antonio College, setting the pace for Wildcat runners as usual.

The Menifee 24/7 Athlete of the Week and Athlete of the Month awards will resume in early January.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Paloma Valley Hosts Girls Basketball Tournament This Week

The Paloma Valley High School girls basketball team is hosting a 10-team tournament beginning today and running through Saturday.

The Wildcat Tip-Off tournament begins with four games today. In the featured game beginning at 8 p.m., Paloma Valley plays Citrus Hill.

Elsinore, Rancho Verde, Temecula Valley and Murrieta Valley are other local teams entered in the tournament, which culminates in the championship game Saturday at 6 p.m.

In Tuesday's pool play tournament action, Paloma Valley plays Murrieta Valley at 4:30. Pool play continues the next three days.