LONG BEACH – Whitley Brown and Annelise Calzada sparked Whittier Christian High School to a second-half surge that carried the Heralds to a 40-28 victory over Village Christian and the CIF-Southern Section, Division V-AA girls basketball championship on Saturday at The Pyramid. It was the Heralds’ first trip to the title game. They finished the season with a 24-6 record to Village Christian’s 24-7. “I think it was nerves (in the first half),” Crammer said. “We were not very patient. I thought we were extremely rushed in trying to run our offensive scheme.” “We weren’t moving the ball around,” . “We were taking the first open shot. We all were really nervous at the start.” Brown, who was 1 for 10 in the first half, acknowledged the nerves, but said, “We always calm down in the second half.” She said Crammer’s halftime speech was simple. “Coach just told us to work as a team and support each other,” she said. She added she wasn’t going to let her cold first-half shooting touch affect her, and she made 3 of 7 shots and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in the second half. Village Christian came out in the third quarter and went on a 7-2 run to take a 17-16 lead. A Calzada basket returned the advantage to the Heralds, but Becky Quintana’s free throw tied it at 18 with 3:25 left in the period. It was the Crusaders’ last hurrah. Brown drove the lane for a little left-handed scoop layup, Calzada fed Jacko Joseph on the baseline and got a nifty return pass for a layup that made it 22-18 and Brown converted one of two free throws to make it a six-point margin. It was all Whittier Christian when the fourth quarter started. Brown made a steal and fed Calzada for a quick transition basket, Brown scored off Ronquillo’s feed and had a put-back for another score and Joseph’s rebound bucket made it 32-19 with 3:46 to play. Jessie Allen’s second 3-pointer made a minor dent in the Heralds’ run, but free throws from Joseph, Brown and Tara McGinnis and another steal and fast-break basket by Calzada sealed the championship. “We play, seven, eight, nine deep and they’ve basically got only six players they use,” Crammer said. “I think they got a little tired.” He also cited the play of Ronquillo, who helped hold explosive point guard Kris Cotango to 10 points and just two assists. Ronquillo also had six points, three assists and four rebounds. “We are blessed to have someone like Elissa,” Crammer said. “She’s our stopper. She’s big enough to keep (Cotango) from penetrating and quick enough to keep her from getting around her.” Joseph had nine rebounds and Kristen Schaefer had seven to help the Heralds to a 41-34 edge on the boards. Whittier Christian and Village Christian finished one-two, respectively, in the Alpha League, and were the division’s nos. 1- and 2-seeded teams, respectively, for the playoffs. defensive specialist Elissa Ronquillo said email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3046 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Brown scored 12 of her game-high 14 points and had six of her 10 rebounds in the second half. Calzada scored eight of her 10 points after halftime. “They definitely were the difference in the game for us,” Crammer said. “Calzada was the spark in the second half.” For a while, it had appeared neither team might win. Whittier Christian led after one quarter, 8-4, and 14-10 at halftime as both teams struggled with their shooting. The Heralds were 6 for 27 (22 percent) from the field; the Crusaders were 3 for 19 (16 percent). Whittier Christian committed 10 turnovers to Village Christian’s 11. “Elated,” Whittier Christian coach Bill Crammer said of the victory. He had been to the championship final once as an assistant at Cerritos Valley Christian. “We expected it would be difficult because they were no strangers to us. It is the third time we’ve played each other this season.”
“We’re all holding hands and singing `Kumbaya,’ but I doubt that partisanship is over here,” said Assemblyman Bob Huff, a Southern California Republican. Right after Schwarzenegger’s re-election in November, Republicans in the state Assembly dumped their pragmatic leader for cutting deals with the governor and replaced him with a more doctrinaire conservative. Ignoring their distress, Schwarzenegger continued moving to the left. He reversed himself on a campaign pledge to reform health care by cutting costs rather than increasing spending and introduced a $12 billion universal coverage plan. It relies on $4.5 billion in new fees on doctors, hospitals and employers; Republicans say the plan violates his promise not to raise taxes. They also are balking at Schwarzenegger’s budget and a new round of borrowing he has proposed, which require Republican votes to reach the needed two-thirds majority. At the recent statewide GOP convention, Huff joked that it was the influence of medications for a broken leg suffered during a skiing accident that had Schwarzenegger leaning so far to the left. “Some of his close advisers, and you know who they are, we believe they have switched out some of his pain medication,” Huff said. “And when he comes back, we’ll have the governor we once had.” But Huff and the rest of California’s hard-line GOP legislators may have to keep waiting. During the ill-fated 2005 special election, Schwarzenegger learned the perils of leaning too far to the right in a state dominated by Democrats. He failed in an effort to push through a series of measures that, among other things, would have diminished the influence of California’s public employee unions. His approval ratings plummeted. He recovered politically by cutting deals with the Democrats – to curb global warming, provide low-cost prescription drugs and a higher minimum wage – with hardly any Republican votes. Not content to be seen as bipartisan, he crowned himself a “post-partisan,” a phrase he first tried out at his inauguration and repeated on Monday in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington. He lectured politicians inside the Beltway for their partisanship without mentioning the political divisions lingering back home. Schwarzenegger waged a slashing campaign for re-election run by highly partisan operatives from the Bush White House, trashing his Democratic opponent, Phil Angelides, as a compulsive tax-raiser whose ideas were “dead wrong and a recipe for disaster.” But on the national stage, Schwarzenegger styled himself a peacemaker. He dropped names like Mahatma Gandhi, Edmund Burke and John F. Kennedy and said he learned his lesson in 2005 that “dividing people does not work.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made a splash in Washington this week by talking up “post-partisanship” and instructing the president to schmooze his political opponents over cigars. But the happy world of political cooperation he urged is not the one he has created at home. If it is bipartisanship, then it is of a very different sort. In California, Schwarzenegger is single-handedly striking deals with the Democratic majority, often leaving his own party on the sidelines and increasingly dejected. That may cause him serious problems this year as he seeks to pass legislation, notably health care reform, with the help of Republicans.