Royal’s Ward points the way

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “Erika (Ward) is a true point guard,” Selleh said. “She’s always looking to pass, and she’s pretty confident. We (also) have a lot of confidence in her.” Part of the Highlanders’ success is that this group has played basketball together for much of its youth careers. Ward and fellow sophomores Shana Moore and Kris King know each other and played together, while Selleh and Heteniak have competed together since the sixth grade. “We’re an evenly distributing team,” Selleh said. “If someone is having a bad night, we’ll get the ball to them.” Heteniak, a pitcher on Royal’s softball team and key ingredient in the Highlanders Div. I championship last season in softball, will continue to be on the receiving end of Ward’s passes, along with Selleh, the team’s leading scorer. Team concept: Royal’s boys’ basketball team (5-9, 0-2) was set back when they lost their center to ineligibility – but their season was not over. “Coach (Craig Griffin) said, ‘Take a look, this is the 12 guys we have,’ “forward Chris Buckley said. “We (the team) are not based on just one person.” In fact, Royal has found themselves in many games despite lacking star power with their gutsy play and knowledge of the fundamentals. “We’re undersized, but we play really hard,” Buckley said. “We’re a scrappy, hard-nosed team. We don’t have a Kobe Bryant, but we’re playing with a team concept.” Buckley, a 5-9 sophomore forward, has been around the game a long time. His father, Jeff, was coached by Griffin’s father, Rich Griffin, in middle school. “It’s been a great learning experience,” Buckley said of his role on the team as a sophomore. “Coach (Griffin) tell me that I will make mistakes. I just can’t put my head down.” Senior forward Brendon Norton, one of the Highlanders’ leaders on the court, has taken notice. “It’s surprising how well he’s playing right now,” Norton said. “I’ve thought about what I was doing a couple of years ago and I think he’s maturing pretty quickly.” Nate Brown, (818) 713-3607 nate.brown@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “She’s a very intense player,” coach Mike Kohl said. “She’s also the best long-range passer I’ve ever coached.” Ward, the team’s leader in assists, distributes the ball well and makes sure senior forwards Jessi Selleh and DePaul-bound Becca Heteniak get the ball beneath the basket. center_img Royal High point guard Erika Ward is just a sophomore, but she plays like an experienced senior and is a big reason for the success of the Highlanders (9-5). Ward knows competition at high levels and has even competed against boys in Simi Valley’s youth baseball leagues – an endeavor that has helped Ward size up the Marmonte’s most formidable opponents. last_img read more

Slaying spurs angry response

first_imgVALINDA – Community leaders are saddened and furious that two gang members gunned down a man who tried to stop them from tagging. Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina called for beefed-up patrols and promised to “go after these people with a vengeance.” “They think they can so cavalierly shoot an innocent person,” Molina said Friday. “This is tragic for all of us. This was someone who was trying to stop others from violating … his neighbor’s home.” Authorities said Robert Whithead, 44, was coming home from work about about 9 p.m. Thursday when he confronted the male gang members, who were tagging his neighbor’s house on Moccasin Street in Valinda, near Bassett Park just east of the Vineland Drive-In. One or both of the men shot Whitehead, and he died later that night at a hospital, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Tania Plunkett. No one has been arrested and deputies offered no description of suspects. A neighbor who declined to give her name for fear of retribution said the neighborhood is generally safe but graffiti has dramatically increased in the past month or two. “I wondered if something was going on” with the gangs, she said. “I heard the shots. I remember having a bad feeling and saying to my family that the bangs didn’t sound like fireworks.” On Friday morning, the walls along Puente Avenue between the San Bernardino (10) Freeway and Valley Boulevard were covered with graffiti from area street gangs. And a wall on Moccasin Street was also covered. By evening, however, county workers had painted over or removed the graffiti. When reached at their home, members of the Whitehead family declined to comment. Bassett Unified School District board member Paul Solano said he has chased away taggers in his neighborhood. From stopping graffiti to convincing parents not to let their adolescent children out late at night, he said people in the neighborhood must dedicate themselves to stopping gangs from thriving. “We have a lot of good people here, and I don’t think this is indicative of the whole community,” he said. “But this is just tragic. Somebody died trying to do the right thing.” ben.baeder@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more