It’s all in the reflexes

COMMENTARY /// The Next Level

The sports news cycle, like a Kurt Russell wisecrack in “Big Trouble in Little China,” never gets old. Before sipping on six-demon-bag potion that makes everyone feel invincible, take a moment to catch up on Acorn locals thriving in the college and pro ranks. As ol’ Jack Burton would say at a time like this, “May the wings of liberty […]

Rookie of the year

There’s no ceiling for freshman center Omamoke Okah

Omamoke Okah often plays one-on-one basketball against her older brother, Zino, at a court near their home. “Most of the time he beats me,” Okah said with a shrug and a smile, “and I just give up.” Setbacks are rare for the irrepressible Okah, a 6-foot-3 rebounding, shot-blocking dynamo for the Oaks Christian High girls’ basketball team. Okah might struggle […]

Start the bus, Gus

Westlake, Simi Valley boys’ basketball make runs to Elite Eight

The CIF-Southern Section winter playoffs are winding down for many high school teams in Acorn country. For the Westlake and Simi Valley boys’ basketball teams, their magical postseason runs ended in the Elite Eight. Westlake’s boys’ basketball team lost 45-42 to Mark Keppel on Tuesday on the road in the Division 3AA quarterfinals. Will Mazzuca led the Marmonte League champion […]

What’s the altitude

Julia Broms goes from breaking her arm to breaking school records

Julia Broms has broken her left arm five times. In elementary school, her typical day consisted of three movements. “Walking, tripping and falling,” Broms said with a laugh. “I grew out of that.” She sure did. Broms doesn’t have time for broken arms anymore. She’s too busy winning games and breaking records for the Oak Park High girls’ basketball team. […]

A winter wonderland

Local basketball, soccer and water polo teams begin playoffs this week

March Madness is passé. February is the zaniest time of year. Newbury Park High’s boys’ basketball team eliminated rival Thousand Oaks in a play-in game, thanks to Acorn Newcomer of the Year Quincy Bentley draining a game-winning corner 3-pointer in the Panthers’ stupefying 62-59 win on Feb. 9 in Calabasas. Simi Valley thought it was in the playoffs, then the […]

Lions soar to league crown

CIF-SS playoffs tip off Feb. 11

Oaks Christian High’s girls’ basketball team dominates on the hardwood. So does Taylor “The Garden State Gecko” Donaldson. In a brilliant all-around game, Donaldson scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Lions to a 54-43 win against Marmonte League rival Westlake on Jan. 31 on the road. “When we play together as a team and play good […]

Agoura hires football coach

In a flash of a lightning bolt, the Chargers moved in a new direction. Agoura High announced the hiring of Dustin Croick as the school’s varsity football head coach on Jan. 29. The news came as a surprise: The school never communicated to the free press that there was even an opening. Croick replaces Kamran Salem, whose Charger teams captured […]

Remembering Kobe

Local basketball figures share their stories, memories of fallen NBA superstar

Kobe Bryant’s death is the worst moment in basketball history. Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, aka Gigi, and seven other people died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 in Calabasas, on a hillside roughly one mile away from where I grew up. Almost two weeks after we lost Kobe, we are still lost. Typing “Kobe Bryant is dead” doesn’t […]

A resilient group

Bolts battle valiantly despite major injuries to four key players

The Chargers have been decimated by injuries. Paul Bunyan took a look at the roster and decided to swing his ax indiscriminately while whistling mclusky’s epic song “to hell with good intentions.” Four Agoura High girls’ basketball players suffered season-ending injuries before the season or within the first two games. There are seven active players but only two—senior guard Jordan […]

Sprinters’ delight

Agoura, Oaks Christian chase league and CIF titles

The water is perfect. This is the golden age of high school girls’ water polo in Acorn country. Agoura and Oaks Christian are both ranked in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1/2 poll. Moorpark, which is closing in on a school-record for wins in a single season, occupies space in Division 4’s top 10. Rio Mesa, which has already guaranteed itself […]

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