Login to Claremont COURIER

Water polo dunks Glendora, complete sports round-up

When Coach Gary Cheever took over the girls water polo program three years ago, some people told him not to expect too much.

The varsity team had a 10-15 record and the program struggled to keep students interested, with only 20 girls signing up for the 2014-2015 season.

Fast-forward to this season, the Pack is top-ranked in the Palomares League with a 5-0 record, 18-4 overall, and over 40 girls on the team. Additionally, both the JV and the freshman teams are undefeated in league.

Tuesday night was no exception as Claremont easily defeated Glendora, 18-6, at home.

The girls quickly built up a 10-0 lead and looked like they might pull off a shutout when the Tartans found the net in the closing minutes of the half. Both teams scored again before the halftime whistle, resulting in a score of 11-2.

Coach Cheever switched up his personnel in the second half so the play was a bit more even. In the third quarter Claremont added 5 more goals, however, Glendora tacked on 4. The damage was essentially done and the Claremont girls sailed to the finish line, adding a couple more points to the scoreboard.

Claremont’s offense was more polished than it had been earlier in the season and the girls seemed to land more passes. Junior Helena Sandhagen had a great night with multiple goals, as did junior Aurora Sheridan.

Not all of the games have gone this easily, according to Coach Cheever, although the final scores look similar. The girls recently bettered Diamond Bar, 18-6, and Ayala, 15-7.

“Our previous game [at Diamond Bar] we struggled a bit. We ended the first quarter 5-2, and it took us half of the quarter to get the first goal. Diamond Bar has a really good thing going on right now, it was a good game, it wasn’t a pushover,” Coach Cheever said.

Part of the team’s success lies in Coach Cheever’s rigorous regimen of off-season games—78 to be exact. The goal next year is to increase that number to 100 games.

“Things are just clicking right now with all of the off season games and off season workouts things are just going really well,” Coach Cheever said.

“Looking back at the first season compared to now and the progress that we made, I think we surprised a few people. Coming in I wasn’t expected to do well, at least at first. It was a young program, the sophomores led the team,” he said

With just four seniors on his varsity team and a red hot JV squad, it looks like there may be a dynasty brewing for Coach Cheever. But for the present they have to get through the second half of league play, including an away game against defending champion Bonita next Tuesday.

The last time the Pack and the Bearcats met, Claremont came away with a 23-4 win. If they defeat Bonita again they will secure the league title and it will be on to CIF tournament. “I am excited about that [CIF],” Coach Cheever said.

Boys Basketball

Claremont lost a heartbreaker to Diamond Bar, 49-46, on Wednesday in Diamond Bar, ending Claremont’s winning streak and giving the Brahmas the top spot in Palomares League.

The Pack trailed 17-26 at the half and fought back hard, outscoring Diamond Bar in both the third and fourth quarters, but was unable to completely close the gap. Senior Christian Jordan was the top scorer at 16 points, followed by sophomore Kaleb Greene with 10. Senior Jacob Henry and junior Reggie Retzlaff each had 9 rebounds.

It is a very exciting and competitive Palomares league this year with Claremont and Diamond Bar tied at 3-2. Bonita, Glendora and South Hills all have identical 2-2 records, while Ayala is 1-3.

The Pack will travel to Glendora for a league game on Friday.

Wrestling

Claremont defeated Diamond Bar, 47-30, at home on Tuesday, notching the team’s first league victory in recent years. More details in out next edition.

Girls basketball

It may not be the best league record, but Claremont girls basketball must be feeling pretty good anyway racking up one more win, 41-23, over Diamond Bar on Wednesday in Diamond Bar.

Claremont outscored the Brahmas most of the game leading 9-6 after the first quarter, 25-12 at the half and 37-18 after three. The victory is the second league win for Claremont since 2014.

The Pack is now 2-3 in league and is ranked fourth behind Bonita, Ayala and Glendora. They will play the undefeated Tartans on Friday followed by South Hills on Tuesday and Bonita next Friday. If the girls can pull off two more wins, they will move up to third place and a berth in the CIF tournament.

Boys soccer

Claremont defeated first place Glendora, 1-0, on Tuesday at home, bringing the Pack’s Palomares League record to 4-1-1 while handing the Tartans their first league loss. Glendora retains its top spot with a 5-1 record but Claremont is close behind. The game’s lone goal was from senior Jonathan Neyoy.

Claremont played South Hills at District Field in Covina after press time on Thursday.

Girls Soccer

Claremont girls soccer lost an away league game to Glendora, 1-0 on Tuesday. With the loss the Pack’s record is now 3-2-1 dropping them to third place behind Glendora, 4-1-1 and South Hills, 6-0-0.

Claremont hosted the top ranked Huskies at home after press time on Thursday.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com