The new year got off to a busy start for quite a few high school girls’ basketball teams from around Southern California, including a handful from right here in Southwest Riverside County. The goal was to unite for a common cause, which was saving lives from cancer.

The event was held by Rancho Christian and their girls’ basketball program at the Rancho Christian gymnasium Saturday, Jan. 8. The format of the tournament was just a one-day play format, where teams were given a match-up against a non-league opponent.

Coaches and their teams were encouraged to wear pink during games to raise cancer awareness and portions of the proceeds from this event went to the Rady’s Children’s Hospital Neuro-Oncology program. This allowed student-athletes from the participating schools to be a part of raising funds for clinical trials groups focusing on pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors.
The tournament was for varsity teams with girls in the ninth through 12th grades with the ability to be elite, competitive and developmental. Teams that paid the $100 registration fee included Bishop Gorman, Central, Desert Christian, Great Oak, Hoover, Mira Mesa, Montgomery, Mt. Miguel, Murrieta Valley, Paloma Valley, Ramona, Rancho Christian, Rosary Academy and Vista (San Diego).

Game scores were recorded as follows:

Great Oak 70, Vista 40

Montgomery 44, Desert Christian 23

Ramona 38, Hoover 20

Mira Mesa 61, Central 42

Bishop Gorman 66, Rancho Christian 41

Rosary Academy 66, Mount Miguel 33

Murrieta Valley 51, Paloma Valley 44

Great Oak High School named Bri Thomas (freshman) as their “Player of the Game” for her 16 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists against San Diego’s Vista High School. Junior Payton Curtiss was an astounding 4-6 from the three-point line and sophomore Jozie Nejo had 16 rebounds with 8 points for the Lady Wolfpack squad as well. In the local head-to-head match-up between Murrieta Valley and Paloma Valley, no player stats were updated at the time this story went to print.

All past, present and future event related questions should be directed to Marlon Wells at

JP Raineri can be reached by email at

JP Raineri
JP Raineri

JP is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and head of the Sports Department for the Valley News. Over his time in the Temecula Valley, JP, a former Southwestern League head baseball coach, was also an on-air radio personality at Q103.3, KATY 101.3, Hot 103.9, and was a television host for the Outdoor Channel. When not covering local, or national sports, JP also serves as an Associate Baseball Scout with NSR.