The winter post-season saw the boys and girls basketball teams from Eagle Rock High competing in playoffs at the City and State levels. The girls water polo team from Eagle Rock also made it to the City playoffs, while both Eagle Rock and Wilson High competed in the finals of the Los Angeles City Section Wrestling Championships. NELA soccer teams had less success.
Here’s the February wrap up:
After winning their league championship with a 9-0 record, the Eagles also won the L.A. City Section Division II Championship. It was the second division title in Eagle Rock High history.
In the fourth and last game of division playoffs, on Feb. 22, the Eagles clinched the title by defeating the Kennedy Cougars in Granada Hills, 56-52 in overtime. The Eagles’ Mitchell Gravino, a senior, had 16 points and 8 rebounds, while his teammate Jordon Purvis, a junior, had 13 points and 21 rebounds.
Christian Dunbar, the Eagles coach, told NELA Sports One: “We’ve been playing close games all year. This year we had the team to do that and they had to persevere to get through the season.” Star players Gravino and Purvis credit the coaching staff for encouraging the hard work and team work needed to win the League and City championships.
Riding high on its City Championship, Eagle Rock won its first game in the Division IV state playoffs, defeating the Crean Lutheran Saints from Irvine, 57-56, in a final-seconds, come-from-behind victory. But in the second state playoff round, the Eagles’ string of 14 straight victories ended with a loss to the Fremont Pathfinders of South Central L.A., 55-38.
After winning their league championship, the undefeated Eagle Rock girls basketball team competed at the Open (top) level in the City Championships – which includes the eight best teams in the City. They made it to the quarterfinals, where they lost to El Camino Real of Woodland Hills, 51-46. By then, they had already qualified for the State playoffs, where they lost in the first round.
For the second time in school history, the Sotomayor Wolves made it to the final round of the Division III City playoffs. They lost in the championship game, 61-27, to Bell High School in Bell.
Girls Water Polo
Defending Eagle Rock champions had won the last six of seven City Championships. This year, a victory, 25-6, over Kennedy was followed by a loss in the quarterfinals to Birmingham Charter (12-7). Palisades High of Pacific Palisades won the playoffs this year.
Boys and Girls Wrestling
Eagle Rock boys and girls and Wilson girls reached the finals in the Los Angeles City Section Wrestling Championships. The best performances among the Eagle Rock boys were by Manuel Laguna and Jose Davila, who each placed 3rd in their weight classes. The best performers among the Eagle Rock girls were Karla Vasquez and Jennifer Arechiga, who each came in 3rd in their weight classes. The top finishers on the Wilson girls team were all in 6th place.
Eagle Rock advanced to the City quarterfinals in Division I before losing to Granada Hills 3-0. Sotomayor earned a spot in the Division I playoffs but lost in the first round to Birmingham 4-2. Defending champion Wilson lost (4-2) to Santee in the quarterfinals (Division IV). Marshall and Franklin suffered first round losses.
Franklin, Sotomayor, Lincoln and Wilson all lost in the first round of the City playoffs. Eagle Rock did not make the playoffs.
Marshall won the Northern League Championship and entered the City Division III playoffs as #1 seed, where they made it to the semi-finals before losing on penalty kicks in overtime, 4-3, to #4 seed Legacy of South Gate.
Photos: Dave Abbott, Splash Art Photography
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