Mats win at Nike TOC The Miramonte High girls basketball team improved to 9-0 with its perfect run at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona. The Matadors won the Mike Desper division with a 73-56 win over Grandview of Aurora, Colo. in the final. They also beat Westview of Arizona 75-66 and Kinkaid of Texas 70-32. Sophomores Sabrina Ionescu (23 points) and Uriah Howard (17 points, 13 rebounds) led the way for Miramonte in the title game.
-- Stephanie Hammon
Carondelet finishes strong Playing in the Blue Bracket at the Nike Tournament of Champions, the Carondelet High girls basketball team earned the consolation championship. The Cougars got 23 points from senior point guard Natalie Romeo to beat St. Anthony's of New York 71-51 in their final game. Carondelet fell into the consolation side of the bracket after losing to Nazareth of Brooklyn, N.Y. 71-64 in its tournament opener. It was the first loss of the season for the Cougars.
-- Stephanie Hammon
More ties for Las Lomas After two weeks of Diablo Foothill Athletic League play, the Las Lomas High girls soccer team still hasn't lost. But they haven't won yet, either. The Knights continued their string of ties against Miramonte and Dougherty Valley during the week of Dec. 16. Junior Spencer Wikander scored the Knights' lone goal of a 1-1 draw with Miramonte while Colleen Donoghue scored in another 1-1 result against the Wildcats. The Knights are 3-0-4 overall.
-- Stephanie Hammon
On deck West Coast Jamboree, girls basketball, Dec. 27-30, times TBA -- One of the biggest girls basketball tournaments in the country returns to Contra Costa County. Carondelet is playing in the premier Platinum Division , which will be held at Las Positas College in Livermore. MaxPreps Holiday Classic, boys basketball, Dec. 26-30, times TBA -- De La Salle will be competing in the prestigious four-day tournament in Palm Springs. Duarte Invitational, boys soccer, Dec. 28-29, times TBA -- Campolindo heads to Southern California to test itself against out-of-area teams. Liberty at College Park, girls soccer, Dec. 30, 3 p.m. -- The Falcons will try to stay sharp during winter break with a nonleague game against the undefeated Lions.
Stars of the week Joe DeMers, College Park boys basketball -- The junior scored 22 points to lead the Falcons past Alameda 79-52 on Dec. 18. Jesus Maldonado, Alhambra boys soccer -- The senior erupted for four goals in the Bulldogs' 5-0 Diablo Foothill Athletic League victory over Miramonte on Dec. 20. Maldonado scored three times in the first half and added another goal just after halftime. Brooke Cilley, Carondelet girls soccer -- Cilley scored two goals as the Cougars beat Foothill 3-2 in East Bay Athletic League play on Dec. 19, handing the Falcons their first loss of the season. Royce Henry, Las Lomas boys basketball -- Henry was on fire during the Knights' 89-45 win over Petaluma in the opening round of the Brett Callan tournament. He hit five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points. Mateen Hirbod, Bentley boys basketball -- Hirbod hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points in Bentley's 45-41 win over Amador-Sutter Creek in the semifinals of the Piedmont Invitational on Dec. 20. Megan Reid and Breanna Alford, Miramonte girls basketball -- In the Matadors' closest game of the Nike TOC, a 75-66 win over Westview-Arizona, Reid had 14 points and six steals while Alford contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. Kayla Taylor, Clayton Valley Charter girls basketball -- Despite a 25-point effort from Taylor, the Eagles fell just short against Heritage in a 58-53 nonleague loss on Dec. 20. She also had 16 points in a 67-61 win over Alameda on Dec. 18. Lauren Valla, Northgate girls soccer -- Valla scored two late goals, one in the 60th minute and another in the 72nd, to help the Broncos salvage a 2-2 tie with Deer Valley at the Tri-Valley Classic on Dec. 20.