AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “I’m going to Cal next year and they’ve already retired Jason Kidd’s No. 5 jersey,” Christopher said. “So I had to pick another one. Hopefully one day, they’ll retire that one as well.” Artesia has a full schedule this week. The top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division III-AA hosts Cerritos on Wednesday, plays at Mayfair on Friday and then comes back the next night on Saturday to host Taft. “This is a big week for us, the biggest we’ve had since the preseason,” Pioneers coach Scott Pera said. “And Friday’s game at Mayfair is huge. “They’re beating teams by a lot of points just like we are and even though they have a young team, they’re playing well. It’s going to be quite a challenge for us and it’s a great rivalry.” Jordan has another big game at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when it hosts Compton. Last year at Mayfair, Patrick Christopher wore No. 5 but after transferring to Dominguez this season, he’s now wearing No. 23, and the reason is simple. Even though the Jordan High boys basketball team defeated Poly, 66-44, last week to take over sole possession of first place in the Moore League, Panthers coach Ron Massey took the win in stride. “It was a big win but not because it was Poly,” Massey said. “After coaching 25 years, you don’t have any arch-rivals anymore. I’ve coached so many times against all these teams, I’ve lost count. But I do know everybody still wants to beat Massey.” Friday’s game at Mayfair begins at 6:30 p.m. Valley Christian doesn’t play until it travels to Village Christian on Friday and with a day off because of Monday’s holiday, the Crusaders should know by now what they’re in store for all week long. “Practice,” Valley Christian coach Dan Leffler said. “We’ll be practicing a lot, three straight days. Anytime we can get on the court is beneficial.” After Gahr lost to Dominguez last week 93-75, it only restored Gladiators coach Bob Becker’s belief in just how tough the San Gabriel Valley League really is. “Every game in the SGVL is big because all of the teams are so good,” Becker said. “In this league, you either come ready or you get hammered. If you don’t play for a full 32 minutes, you will get beat, it’s as simple as that. “But I like the fact we play Dominguez and Lynwood twice a year in league. We aren’t going to play anybody tougher all year, not even in the playoffs, so we’ll be prepared.” — Ben Villa Girls basketball Other than the playoffs, girls basketball doesn’t get any better than this week. In the Moore League, Poly (12-3, 3-0) and Wilson (12-6, 3-0) bump heads on Wednesday to decide the frontrunner for the league crown. Jasmine Dixon, Candice Nichols, Jameia McDuffie and April Cook lead the Jackrabbits against Tenaya Watson, Leandra Sands, Amber Harden and the Bruins. Watson, a 5-foot-9 post player, is really a No. 2 guard who simply outleaps girls who are four or five inches taller than she is and drives the ball up the gut of defenses on the break for acrobatic layups. Sands and Harden can also finish strong at the basket and hit 3-pointers and running floaters in the paint. But this triple threat faces a Jackrabbit team that’s just as athletic, intense and fast. And the talent level hardly drops when Poly coach Carl Buggs goes to his second unit. The scary thing about Poly is that some of its best players won’t see any action. All-American candidate Taja Edwards has been practicing, but she has yet to hit the floor after tearing her ACL in the summer. Brittany Brumfield, an NCAA Division I prospect, is still hampered by a kneecap she broke in practice before the season started. Freshman Kelli Thompson, who can light it up from 3-point range and who is a strong post player, is doubtful because of an eye infection. And Zajve Woods tore an ACL at a holiday tournament in Wyoming. “It’s going to be a real test for our depth,” Buggs said about this week when the team also faces Millikan and Lynwood. Samantha Marez, Marlene Oeurn, Christina Reeder, Trevonna Cannon and the rest of the Millikan Rams (12-6, 2-1) will try to bounce back from a big loss to Wilson last Tuesday. The Rams face Lakewood (12-6, 2-2) on Wednesday before their big showdown with Poly. Lakewood won’t be a pushover for Millikan. Shawne Raiford, Tonisha Phelps, Tammyka Moser and the rest of the Lancers play well as an unit. If the Rams don’t feed the ball into Marez the entire game and can’t get anyone else to provide perimeter shooting other than Oeurn, the Lancers could send their taller and more athletic rivals into fourth place. “We are going to have our work cut out for us. I am going to put some work in (today),” Lakewood coach Douglas Benjamin said. “It would be great if we can go in there and get one. It’s going to be a tough environment. If we can keep the game close, we can win.” Lakewood’s Shaneis Augustus and Ashley Phillips didn’t play against Compton last Friday because of injuries but are expected to return to the lineup against Millikan. Millikan’s schedule gets even tougher on Friday against the Jackrabbits. Rams coach Lorene Morgan has been experimenting with different rotations to see if she can get her bench more experience and to possibly get more production at both ends of the court. If Marez (6-foot-3) isn’t getting the ball in the post or at the top of the key, Millikan struggles offensively. Against Magnolia at last weekend’s Artesia Shootout, Morgan played four guards and a post player to match the speed of quicker teams. Other times, she had three guards and two post players. Her power lineup is two guards and three post players. Oeurn is the best outside shooter, but she also runs the show. Missy Jackson, Reeder, Ashley Mitchell and Kalena Tutt can shoot the ball, but none pulls the trigger often enough to open up the inside game for Marez. Cannon (6-2) is a solid defender and has recently showed signs that she can finish inside. Mayfair (14-5, 5-0) and Artesia (10-4, 3-0) clash on Friday in a game that will likely decide the champion of the Suburban League. Mayfair’s Dijon Franklin is the best point guard in the league and has a go-to player in Tiffany Wilson, who is being recruited by Boise State. Franklin has sacraficed her outside game to feed the ball to 6-1 post player Erica Smith, whose emergence at both ends of the court has given the Monsoons a triple threat. Guards Tierra Hilliard of Mayfair vs. Macey Nortey of Artesia is going to be a good matchup. Hilliard is a thief for the Monsoons and Nortey is managing the court a lot better than she did against Wilson’s trio of guards at the first Artesia Tournament. Nortey’s teammates, Courtney Clements (6-0) and Mollie Williams (6-0) match up well against Wilson and Smith. Against Wilson at the first Artesia Tournament, the Pioneers didn’t have much of a perimeter game. But they do now. Mayfair will have to get its hands in the faces of Artesia’s Arielle McClellan and Sequoia Crandell or it could be a long night for the Monsoons. Gahr (11-4, 2-0) narrowly escaped with a 76-72 win against Downey on Friday. But the Gladiators are going to face their biggest challenge of the season by far on Friday against Lynwood (6-2, 1-0). Gahr’s Raynal Johnson, Amber Finley and Shannan Austin figure to have a challenge against the Knights. Lenita Sanford and Dymond Morgan are All-American candidates. Ivanna Warren, who returned this season from a serious leg injury, and Jazmine Matthews are Division I-caliber players. — Earl Williams 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!