Softball picks up for Mission League win

The Sierra Canyon softball team finally is off of its lengthy break.

The Trailblazers hadn’t played a game since March 6th in a tough extra innings loss against Burroughs of Burbank.

Not only did Sierra Canyon take the field for the first time in more than two weeks on Friday, the Trailblazers came out on top with an impressive 5-2 victory against Alemany.

The win marked the first ever Mission League win for Sierra Canyon in its first game played in the new league.

Hailey Shuler was remarkable, throwing a 1-hitter with 12 strikeouts, Shuler also doubled.

South Florida-bound Izzy Mertes and freshman Natalie Areliz each had two hits.

Madelaine Debs doubled twice and had three RBi’s.

Sierra Canyon is now 5-2-1 overall.and 1-0 in league.

The Trailblazers have two important league games next week. Sierra Canyon will travel to Louisville on Thursday and host Notre Dame and Oklahoma-bound Ella Parker on Friday.

Baseball coming back to pack

Baseball coming back to pack

The Sierra Canyon baseball team has been humbled the past two weeks.

After starting out 8-0 overall and not losing to Crespi, the last two 3-game series against St. Francis and Notre Dame have been  rough going for the Trailblazers.

Sierra Canyon lost all three games against Notre Dame this week.

The scores were 4-2, 6-1 and 6-2.

The Trailblazers couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead Friday at home. Kheden Hettiger had a sacrifice fly and Ethan Munoz had an RBI single for Sierra Canyon.

However, Notre Dame tied it up and Ryan Limerick’s RBI single scored Adam Shlesinger for a 3-2 lead it would not relinquish.

Greg Pierantoni had a two-run single and Kai Gonzaga added a sacrifice fly to extend the lead in the sixth.

Munoz finished with two hits for the Trailblazers.

In the middle game loss, freshman Mikhal Johnson had the lone RBI for Sierra Canyon. Munoz and Brady Hewitt each had hits.

Munoz was good in the opener with two hits, including a double and RBI. Hettiger had a double and RBI. Omar Cisneros was 1-3 at the plate.

The Trailblazers are now 1-6-1 in their last eight league games after going the first six games unscathed.

Sierra Canyon will welcome a nice two-week Spring Break from the Mission League.

The Trailblazers will face Arcadia and LaCanada in nonleague contests in early April before finishing the season with three-game sets against Harvard-Westlake, Chaminade and Alemany starting April 11th.

Then, the Division 1 playoffs await, maybe.

Baseball drops 2 of 3 against St. Francis

The Sierra Canyon baseball team finally came down to earth last week in a three-game set against St. Francis of La Canada.

After going unscathed in its first 11 games, the Trailblazers finally lost.

Sierra Canyon dropped two games, losing 3-0 in the series opener and 4-1 on Saturday morning.

The lone victory was Friday’s 4-1 win behind two hits each from Omar Cisneros and Ethan Munoz.

Andrew Nelson, Ethan Montes and Brady Hewitt each had hits in the shutout loss.

Oregon-bound Kheden Hettiger had a solo home run in Saturday morning’s setback.

Hewitt had two hits. Cisneros and Grayson Gullage each had a hit.

Sierra Canyon is back at it again this week with a three-game set against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks.

The Tuesday and Friday games will be in Sherman Oaks. The Trailblazers will host the Knights on Wednesday.

Sierra Canyon is 9-2-2 overall and 5-2-2 in Mission League play.

Dream season derailed by Etiwanda

Dream season derailed by Etiwanda

The Sierra Canyon girls basketball team was going for the best season in school history and an undefeated year.

Everything was going great. For the first 31 games. The Trailblazers beat every team in their way. Sierra Canyon traveled across the country and knocked down every challenge in its way.

Sierra Canyon won its first ever Southern Section Open Division championship with a victory against Etiwanda at Honda Center in Anaheim on February 25th.

However, as Sierra Canyon did to Etiwanda last year, Etiwanda returned the favor. Etiwanda came away with a 55-54 regional championship game victory on March 7th to deny Sierra Canyon a trip to Sacrmaento for a second consecutive Open Division state championship and gave the Trailblazers its only loss of the season.

Sierra Canyon finished 31-1, won the section championship and went through the Mission League unblemished.

JuJu Watkins averaged nearly 30 points per game and 15 rebounds. Mckinley Randolph averaged a double-double and Izela Arenas averaged close to 15 points per game. Arenas was superb in the playoffs.

Northwestern-bound Crystal Wang wasa force down low, Sofia Ruelas was a knock-down 3-point shooter and freshman Emilia Krstevski showed the future is bright.

Leia Edwards was another key contributor to a program that won 30 or more games for the second time.

Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Komaki is excited about next year.

Randolph, Arenas and Krstevski will form quite a trio.

Baseball remains unbeaten

Baseball remains unbeaten

Nobody saw this coming from the Sierra Canyon baseball team.

The Trailblazers have started the year 8-0-2, 4-0-2 despite having lost its two best pitchers from a year ago.

Sierra Canyon swept Loyola two weeks ago in its first ever Mission League games and sandwiched two ties around a victory against Crespi last week.

Kheden Hettiger had a two-run home run to give Sierra Canyon a 2-1 lead in the opener against Crespi before the Trailblazers hung on for a 2-2 tie on Tuesday.

Wednesday in Encino, it was the Mikhal Johnson show. Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound freshman crushed a 3-run home run to left field and Sierra Canyon went on to an easy 8-0 victory,

On Thursday, back in Chatsworth, both teams scored a first inning run and that was it in a 1-1 tie. Hettiger had a sacrifice fly for the Trailblazers.

Sierra Canyon had a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh inning but Grayson Gullage was thrown out at home on a beautiful throw from the left fielder. The game was called due to darkness after that.

Sierra Canyon knocked off Buena, Camarillo, San Marcos, Thousand Oaks and Rio Mesa earlier this year and has not lost in 11 games.

The Trailblazers have a 3-game set with St. Francis and new coach Shaun Kort next week. The Tuesday and Friday games are on the road while the middle Wednesday game is at home.

Basketball team on cusp of something special

The Sierra Canyon girls basketball team is right back where it always wants to be.

The Trailblazers are right back where they were last year.

And the opponent is the same as last year and about a week ago.

The only difference is the venue.

Sierra Canyon will host Etiwanda at 7 p.m Tuesday in an Open Division state regional final for the right to go to Sacramento for the state championship.

The Trailblazers knocked off Etiwanda a week ago at Honda Center in Anaheim to claim the Southern Section Open Division championship.

Last year, Sierra Canyon lost to Etiwanda in the Open Division championship game before coming back to knock off the Eagles in the state tournament on its way to its second Open Division state championship.

Sierra now gets a chance for a third state title at the highest level after a 59-47 victory against Mater Dei.

JuJu Watkins scored 26 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had three assists and three blocks to lead Sierra Canyon.

Watkins was named the Naismith national player of the year earlier in the week.

Mackenly Randolph scored 13 points and had eight rebounds.

Izela Arenas chipped in 11 points, two rebounds and two steals.

Sierra Canyon is 31-0 overall. The Trailblazers were 33-1 in 2019.

Basketball back in familiar spot

The Sierra Canyon boys basketball team is back in familiar territory.

For the fifth time in six years, the Trailblazers will play in a game that determines a trip to Sacramento.

Sierra Canyon will play at Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Trailblazers earned their way there with an impressive 64-47 victory against Bishop Montgomery of Torrance in a Div. 1 state regional semifinal Saturday night.

Bronny James scored 16 points, Noah Williams scored 15 points, Osiris Nalls scored 14 points and Ashton Hardaway had 12 points in a balanced attack by the Trailblazers.

Sierra Canyon took an 11-8 lead after one quarter and scored the first eight points of the second quarter to create some separation.

The lead ballooned to 29-10 before a 12-2 Bishop Montgomery run cut the lead to 33-23 at halftime.

However, that was it from the Knights, who beat Sierra Canyon 51-49 in the Southern Section Open Division playoffs a week-or-so earlier.

Sierra Canyon scored the first five points of the third quarter and never looked back.

It was the third victory this week for the Trailblazers after wins against Taft and Etiwanda to reach the regional semifinals.

The Trailblazers improved to 5-2 against Bishop Montgomery since 2018, having knocked off the Knights in the 2018 SS Open Division semifinals at Cal Baptist Univ. in Riverside and again in the 2019 SS Open Division championship game at the same venue.

Sierra Canyon now gets a fourth attempt to try and beat a Notre Dame team it has lost to three times since January 27th.

“Hopefully, something changes this time,” Sierra Canyon coach Andre Chevalier said.

Baseball is 8-0 to open season

Baseball is 8-0 to open season

Well, don’t look now.

But the Sierra Canyon baseball team is 8-0 overall after an impressive three-game sweep against Loyola on consecutive days.

Saturday’s finale had drama as the game was scoreless through eight innings.

Mikhal Johnson, a freshman standout also on the football team, had the key hit in the ninth to break the tie. Johnson had a two-run double and the Trailblazers would go on for a 3-0 shutout victory.

Ethan Montes went seven innings and Johnny Hagopian was credited with the win, throwing the final two innings.

In Friday’s 5-4 win, Ethan Munoz slammed a 3-run home run and had a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to bring home Darrin Yoon.

Brady Hewitt picked up the victory in relief, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Walter Urbina had two hits, including a double to lead Loyola.

Friday’s game was a 6-3 Sierra Canyon win.

Khhden Hettiger hit a home run, had two hits, three RBI’s and scored twice.

Montes and Hewitt combined for three scoreless innings in relief.

Urbina had two hits for the Cubs and Adam Magpoc hit a home run for Loyola.

The Trailblazers beat Buena, Camarillo, San Marcos, Rio Mesa and Thousand Oaks before sweeping Loyola.

Things get tougher this week with a new three-game set against Crespi

Sierra Canyon hosts the Celts on Tuesday and Friday. Crespi hosts Wednesday at Hartunian Field in Encino.

Softball off to solid start

Softball off to solid start

The Sierra Canyon softball team is off to a solid 4-1 overall record.

The Trailblazers played three games in Hawaii and just recently won two games on Saturday against LA City schools Chatsworth and Chavez.

Madelaine Debs and Hailey Shuler were in the circle for the 10-5 come from behind victory against Chatsworth.

Shuler was double-trouble, hitting a home run, smashing a triple and had three RBI.

Izzy Mertes just missed a cycle. She homered, doubled and singled. Mertes had three RBI.

Lianna Lara had two doubles and two RBI.

Shuler was at it again in the game two 4-0 shutout against Chavez

She had two hits but was more impressive in the circle.

Shuler faced 26 batters and had 13 strikeouts.

Mertes was 2-3 with two RBI and homered, again. Natalie Areliz had three hits, Lara had an RBI and Ava Debs had an RBI double.

Sierra Canyon faces Burroughs of Burbank at 3:30 p.m. today at Olive Park in Burbank on field number 3.

Blazers receive 3rd seed

Blazers receive 3rd seed

The Sierra Canyon boys basketball team was awarded the No. 3 seed in the Division 1 state So Cal regional tournament when the bracket was released Sunday.

The Trailblazers will host nearby L.A Unified school Taft of Woodland Hills at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Sierra Canyon lost all three pool-play games it played in the Southern Section Open Division and will not participate in the state Open regional for the first time since 2015.

The Trailblazers lost to Corona Centennial, Bishop Montgomery and Notre Dame. That showing dropped Sierra Canyon from the state’s highest classification.

Sierra Canyon, provided it wins Tuesday, would then face the Etiwanda/San Ysidro winner and on Saturday could have a potential matchup with Bishop Montgomery, again.

Bronny James, Ashton Hardaway and Jimmy Oladokun have been the key seniors leading the way, along with Dylan Metoyer.

The Trailblazers have been plagued by injuries the past month. James, talented junior Isaiah Elohim and Justin Pippen have all been sidelined.

Noah Williams is expected to step up and sophomore Bryce Cofield.

Sierra Canyon won back-to-back Open Division state championships in 2018 and 2019. The Trailblazers were on their way to a third consecutive title but Covid-19 halted that.

The Trailblazers are 3-6 in their last nine playoff games played (section and state).