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Late CHS rally can't hold off Spartans

In a battle between the top Sierra League teams, the Damien Spartans outlasted the Claremont Wolfpack, 59-54, to remain a perfect 3-0 in conference.

Claremont is now 15-6, 2-1, while Damien sits comfortably atop the league standings at 17-3, 3-0. Despite trailing for the duration of the game, CHS never fell out of striking distance, trailing 17-13 after one quarter of action and 33-25 at the break.

Claremont senior Omar Mahmoud led the Pack in scoring at the break with eight points, which included a nifty step-back jumper and a three pointer pulling the Pack to within eight in the first quarter. Mahmoud finished with a team-high 21 points, shooting seven of 17 from the field.

After an impressive first half, Mahmoud picked up right where he left off in the second half, scoring the first eight points for the Wolfpack to keep Claremont within single digits of the Spartans.

Senior Chris Edward, who finished with 12 points, capped off a three-point play with 1:30 left in the third to give Claremont a spark heading into the final frame of action, trailing 47-37.

Damien opened the fourth quarter on fire, scoring seven points in the first three minutes to stretch its lead to 55-42 with five minutes remaining. With most of the gymnasium assuming to have the game in the bag at this point, Claremont fought back and went on a 12-0 run to pull to within one with thirty seconds remaining.

As the home crowd grew nervous of falling victim to a large comeback victory, Spartan Jeremy Hensley followed through with a layup in traffic to give Damien a 57-54 lead with 15 seconds remaining.

Claremont missed their ensuing opportunity and was forced to foul, but Damien would connect on two free throws to solidify the 59-54 victory.

The Wolfpack accounted for 11 turnovers and was virtually unable to stop the Spartans from driving to the hole and scoring in the paint. Outside of their interior defense, the Wolfpack did a sound job at limiting the Spartans to points outside the paint and from beyond the arc.

Claremont will host Chino Hills Friday at 6:30 p.m. in search of its third conference victory.

 

Boys soccer still undefeated after hard fought tie

The Claremont boys soccer team tied, 1-1, in its lone match this week against Damien on Wednesday.

The Pack now sits at 9-3-3 and 2-0-1 in the Sierra League, tied with the Spartans for the top spot in conference. The tie snaps Claremont’s three-game winning streak and is its first tie since December 10.

As a team this season, the Pack have scored 34 goals and accumulated 20 assists, combining for 88 total points. The Pack will take the field again on Wednesday, January 29 when they travel to Charter Oak to take on the Chargers.

 

Girls soccer unable to hold off strong St. Lucy’s play

The Claremont girls soccer team lost, 2-0, to St. Lucy’s on Wednesday, giving the Pack consecutive losses for the first time since December 7.

Claremont fell to 1-2 in the Sierra League and is now 11-6-2 overall.

The story of the season thus far has been the play of the Wolfpack defense, having only surrendered 18 goals in 19 games this season. Claremont has scored 34 goals.

The Pack will continue Sierra League play Friday at 5:30 p.m., as they will travel to Chino Hills to face the Huskies.

—Bryan Stauffer

sports@claremont-courier.com

  • Baron Franklin drives for the basket past a pair of Damien players on Wednesday during varsity basketball action in La Verne. The Spartans out played the Pack but CHS rallied and got within one point with about two minutes to play but lost 59-54.

    Baron Franklin drives for the basket past a pair of Damien playe...

  • Claremont High School’s Baron Franklin shoots over the outstretched arm of a Damien player on Wednesday during the Pack’s conference game against the Spartans. Claremont had a hard time scoring Wednesday night and ended up losing 59-54.

    Claremont High School’s Baron Franklin shoots over the outstre...

  • Claremont High School senior Omar Mahmoud guards Damien’s Malik Fitts on Wednesday during Sierra League basketball action in La Verne. Mahmoud was named player of the game for his 21 points and 7 rebounds.

    Claremont High School senior Omar Mahmoud guards Damien’s Mali...

  • Claremont High School boys’ basketball coach Stan Tolliver has a few words with one of the referees on Wednesday during the Pack’s conference game against the Damien Spartans in La Verne.

    Claremont High School boys’ basketball coach Stan Tolliver has...

  • The Damien High School cheering section provided noisy and spirited motivation for their team on Wednesday during the Spartans cross town rivalry with the visiting Claremont Wolfpack.

    The Damien High School cheering section provided noisy and spiri...

  • Claremont Wolfpack sophomore Nakia Harris-Neal struggles to regain control of the ball on Wednesday during CHS’ conference game with rival Damien Spartans. The Pack did not play well until the fourth quarter but by that point it was too late and they lost

    Claremont Wolfpack sophomore Nakia Harris-Neal struggles to rega...

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