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Boys soccer shows potential, full sports roundup

Claremont High School boys soccer scored a win Wednesday night in Claremont, defeating Alta Loma, 1-0, but they have a lot of work ahead to secure a championship.

“We were very inconsistent in the things we want to do,” Coach Fred Bruce-Oliver said. “The key is that we need to keep the ball more, and we had too many turnovers.”

“They [Alta Loma] play a type of game that is dangerous. Every time they were on the ball, it went long to their fast forward. So, if you keep the ball away from them, they can’t do that.”

Other areas where he would like to see improvement are passing and making connections that result in goal opportunities.

“It became a very vertical game and we want to play side to side. The purpose of that is to pull the other team out and create space behind them to get forward,” he said.

The game’s lone goal came at four minutes into the second half when junior Jackson Loeffler knocked the ball into the box, where it bounced around a bit, ultimately landing at senior Kevyn Lopez’ feet with an open net.

The Pack also had a number of close calls, including a header from Loeffler that narrowly missed. They got a solid performance from senior goalkeeper Ryaln Opatkiewicz, who made several key saves.

Claremont defeated Chino Hills, 4-1, last week with two goals from Lopez and one each from senior Taylor McNamara and junior Ben Bidwell.

With Wednesday’s win the Pack is now 5-4 in pre-league play, which Coach Bruce-Oliver admitted is, “Not very good.”

“The way we played at Chino Hills was enjoyable to watch,” Coach Bruce-Oliver told his team after the Alta Loma game. “I want to enjoy watching, but tonight we had too many missed touches and missed passes.”

Among the Palomares League teams, Coach Bruce-Oliver has only seen defending champion Glendora play this year, and noted they are not as strong as in years past, but will still pose a challenge. Last year Claremont went 1-1 with the Tartans, including a 2-0 win to finish the season, sealing a 7-3 league record and a second place finish.

Claremont’s roster of 23 includes 18 seniors, which means they have been playing together for many years, but it also means that Claremont will be starting from scratch next year. That puts more pressure to claim a league title this year.

“I think we are getting better as a team, so as we progress slowly, by the time we get there [first league game] we should be ready,” Coach Bruce-Oliver said.

The Pack’s next game will be against Chaffey on Friday.

Girls soccer

The Pack tied Alta Loma, 2-2, on Wednesday in Alta Loma. The girls were behind 1-0 at the half, then took the lead in the second, but strong play from Alta Loma tied the game in the end. Claremont goals came from Elisabeth Chua and Janelle Gutierrez.

Claremont won the first two rounds of the Claremont Girls Soccer Holiday Classic tournament on Saturday at CHS.

In the first round the girls routed Diamond Ranch, 5-0, in a well-rounded effort, with five girls scoring and five getting assists. Sophie Jones and Danielle Gutierrez both notched a goal and assist. Tyler Higurea, Emily Maass and Samantha Palafox got the remaining three goals.

Later that afternoon, Claremont defeated rival St. Lucy’s, 3-0, in the second round. Jones added two more goals to her point count for the day while Hope Hyland scored once, with assists from Maass and Savanna Beans.

Claremont’s record is now 8-0-1.

Girls basketball

The Wolfpack bounced back with a 26-point second half to defeat Diamond Bar, 48-31, last Friday in the San Dimas tournament. Laurel Marchant led the Pack’s balanced attack with 17 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

On Saturday the girls lost a very close game to Gabrielino, 35-33, to take sixth place in the tournament. The girls are now 9-3.

Boys basketball

The Pack defeated Boscoe Tech, 67-51, on Wednesday in Rosemead, advancing their record to 7-4. The boys will play Walnut at home on Friday.

Girls water polo

The Pack defeated Temple City, 9-4, on Wednesday in Claremont. The girls now have a 7-1 record and played their first conference game against Glendora on Thursday after press time.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com