A time to heal

LANCASTER – Going into her senior year, Lancaster High School graduate Emily Moreno went about just like many other high school students. She attended classes, spent time with her friends, watched football games and played libero on the girls volleyball team.

But just weeks after her final year of high school started, Moreno’s life changed. She said problems at home affected her to the point that she chose to move out.

That decision forced her to grow up faster than she would’ve liked, Moreno said.

“I kinda relied on myself,” Moreno said. “I pretty much took care of myself. … I kind of felt like I was pretty much an adult already my senior year. I feel like I’m grown up, so I am pretty independent on my own.”

But the experience of fending for herself – an experience that lasted the better part of seven months – allowed Moreno to make the biggest decision of her life to date.

Rather than go the conventional route of attending a four-year university after high school, Moreno chose to join the Army as a combat medic. Before she chose to help heal soldiers injured in combat, she had to fight to heal herself.

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JetHawks get past Storm

LANCASTER – The Lancaster JetHawks stole Tuesday night’s game in every way possible.

The JetHawks, in front of a sold-out crowd, gave up four straight runs to start the game, and trailed by five in the top of the second. It was the second night in a row the JetHawks trailed by five runs in a game.

But Lancaster overcame the early deficit and beat the Lake Elsinore Storm 10-9 on a Fourth of July Fireworks Night at The Hangar. It was the fourth game this season the JetHawks won when trailing by at least five runs.

“It was a good game because obviously we got down big early in the game,” JetHawks manager Freddy Ocasio said. “The guys, they never gave up. They battled, and we were able to get a win.”

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‘Hawks come back, top 66ers

LANCASTER – Before the Lancaster JetHawks saw a single pitch Friday night, they had already given up five runs to the Inland Empire 66ers.

But the JetHawks stormed back behind a 5-for-6 performance from shortstop Brendan Rodgers, and beat the 66ers 14-7 at The Hangar.

“I was getting in hitter’s counts,” Rodgers said. “They were throwing it off speed, and I’m just getting it out up over the plate and putting a good swing on it. I did get a few lucky knocks tonight.”

Rodgers had a home run, two RBIs and scored three runs, while right fielder Sam Hilliard went 2-for-6 with a home run and four RBIs.

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Knight sends message in league opener

LANCASTER — If the Knight High School boys basketball team wanted to send a message to the rest of the Golden League, Tuesday’s blowout win over the Lancaster Eagles did it.

The Hawks (1-0 GL) beat the Eagles (0-1 GL), 65-42, on the road in the Golden League opener for both teams. Knight sophomore William Grant had a message for other teams in the league after the game.

“Watch out for us,” Grant said. “Don’t sleep on us. We’re coming for them – every team.”

The Hawks set the tone early on defense against Lancaster, only allowing the Eagles to score 10 points in the first quarter. Grant had nine of his game-high 17 points in the period, and made a stepback 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give Knight a 25-10 advantage.

Knight head coach Tom Hegre said the team’s focus to start the game was on the defensive end.

“We don’t talk too much about the offensive side of the ball,” Hegre said. “If we play hard on the defense, our guys know that good things will happen. I thought they did a great job of coming out with that mentality to start the game.”

Lancaster tried to stage a comeback with a 7-0 run in the second quarter, cutting its deficit to 13. But Knight answered with a 7-2 run capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from junior Mekhi Smith.

The Hawks made four 3-pointers in the third quarter and extended their lead to 26. Lancaster senior James Wallace closed the quarter with a jumper that beat the buzzer, but the Eagles trailed 55-33.

Lancaster head coach Sid Melvin expected the team to have a good showing on its home court, but said the Eagles struggled to score all night.

“We never got it going offensively,” Melvin said. “Everything we did was in like a panic mode as far as driving to the basket. From the perimeter, we got nothing that we tried to get.”

Melvin credited Knight’s defense for holding the Eagles to only 42 points, but also blamed Lancaster’s tough shooting night.

“We got a lot of open looks, but those are the shots that we missed tonight,” Melvin said. “It’s very frustrating.”

Hegre said he felt glad the Hawks were able to open the league schedule with a road win. His goal for the team by the end of the season is to be in the best possible position for a playoff run, he said.

Grant led the team with 17 points off the bench, while senior Devon Martin scored 15.

Eagles senior point guard Jordan Brown scored 12 points.

Knight will play Littlerock at home on Friday. Lancaster’s next game is against Highland on the road on Friday.

Valley tennis players fall in CIF 1st round

CLAREMONT — Girls tennis players from three Antelope Valley high schools went into Round 1 of the CIF Southern Section Individual Sectionals on Monday, but none came out.

Quartz Hill sophomore singles player Katelyn Abaied went the distance, but lost in a third-set super tiebreaker, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 10-4. Lancaster and Highland’s top doubles teams both lost in straight 6-0 sets, and Quartz Hill junior singles player Angela Zhang was also swept, 6-0, 6-0.

Abaied played Fairmont Prep’s Claire Chen, who finished second in the San Joaquin League. She looked off her game in the first set, but rebounded well and went up 3-0 in the second.

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Singles step up for Highland

QUARTZ HILL — The last time the Highland and Lancaster high school girls tennis teams faced off, the Eagles were only able to win five sets in a closely played match.

On Tuesday, Lancaster came away with more set wins, but the final result stayed the same.

The Bulldogs (8-1) continued their winning ways Tuesday with an 11-7 victory over the Eagles (6-3) at Quartz Hill High School.

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Lancaster girls heat up at Crystalaire

LLANO – In what Lancaster High School girls golf coach Casey Jones called a “showdown,” four Golden League schools finally faced each other in a golf match Tuesday at the Crystalaire Country Club.

When the match was over, it was Lancaster that outshot Quartz Hill, Palmdale and Highland to take first place in league.

The Eagles girls shot 280 as a team and finished seven strokes ahead of Quartz Hill. The Quartz Hill girls came in second at 287, while Palmdale came in third and Highland fourth with scores of 290 and 307, respectively.

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