Chaffey’s guard play vs. San Bernardino Valley’s front line. Neither side is making any secret of what an early Foothill Conference showdown between fierce rivals will amount to when the Wolverines hit the road tonight at 7 at Chaffey College. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Both programs are ranked among the top 20 in the state, are off to 2-0 starts in conference and have enough weapons to put a scare into anyone. Jerome Habel, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, is averaging 16.7 points and 8.1 rebounds a game for No. 16 San Bernardino Valley (14-7, 2-0). Chris Adams (6-7, 10.9 points per game) is emerging as a quiet inside force and small forward Jamar Smith (22.3 ppg) showed he’s healthy after a high ankle sprain with 22- and 24-point performances in victories over Rio Hondo and Desert last week. “It’s going to be a war; it’s a rivalry game,” Chaffey coach Jeff Klein said. “They are the defending conference champions … and they have great size and great athleticism. When you have that combination, it’s scary.” No. 17 Chaffey (17-4, 2-0), without a lot of size, counters with the state’s most potent offense, a run-and-gun shooting show that averages 104 points a game four better than No. 6 Fresno (19-4). Point guard T.J. Smith (17.9 ppg) usually leads that assault. But Chris Brown (14.8 ppg), Larry Dew (12.1) and Vince Alvarado (11.2) all average double figures in scoring, and any number of Panthers can score double figures when Chaffey is running on all cylinders. “I don’t think Chaffey can match our big men, and we can’t match their guard play,” San Bernardino Valley coach Phil Mathews said. “It’s their guard play against our front line play. They have a nice guard tandem, and we have a pretty good front line. That’s how it’s going to break down.” But who breaks down is anyone’s guess this early in conference play. That wasn’t the case at least not early during a 77-76 win over No. 18 Mt. San Jacinto (13-8, 1-1) on Saturday. But Chaffey continued to trap and press and shoot, and the Panthers turned a halftime deficit into what they hope is a momentum-building victory heading into a home game against a Wolverine team picked to win the Foothill Conference. Favorites, though, can change dramatically after today. “We’re looking super forward to the challenge,” Chaffey sophomore Ronnie Bullock said. “This is what you play for. You hope the preseason gets you ready for games like this, gets you ready to contend.” SBVC PLAYERS MOVE ON Eight more San Bernardino Valley College football players are off to four-year institutions, giving the school nine who have moved on between semesters. The group is headed by tight end Jason Hawkins (Mississippi) and defensive backs Mike McCoy (Kansas) and Mombroso Washington (Utah). Rounding out the group are linebacker Foaki Fifita (Texas A&M-Kingsville), offensive lineman Rodney Patterson (Fort Valley State, Ga.), defensive lineman Devin McCrory (Southwest Oklahoma), defensive back Wes Montgomery (Texas Southern) and wide receiver Marquis Smith (Henderson State, Ark.). Earlier, defensive back Brett Bankus decided on Idaho State. The players will have an early advantage over newcomers at their respective schools since enrolling in January makes them eligible to participate in spring drills. “We try to stress the importance of getting it done to our kids,” SBVC coach Pat Meech said. “These were the guys that took it upon themselves to do that. It is one of the things that makes you a more attractive recruit to colleges.” HULL HAS HOT HAND If freshman Ted Hull contributes like he had recently, the Redlands men might make a run at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title. He was the pivotal player in a 126-123 win over Wheaton with 31 points on the strength of 11-for-17 shooting from the field. What makes that all the more impressive is that most of those shots were tough ones. He was 8-for-13 from three-point range. “He happened to have the hot hand that night,” coach Gary Smith said. “Our guys recognized that and passed up shots to get him the ball.” Redlands (4-6) opens SCIAC conference play at 7:30 tonight with Claremont-Mudd-Scipps (6-5) being the guest at Currier Gymnasium. HARRIS TO REDHSIRT Tests performed last week revealed a stress fracture in his foot that will sideline Cal State San Bernardino’s Prentice Harris (Upland),at least a month. He played in six of the Coyotes’ scheduled 26 games, which puts him just under the limit of games an athlete can play before exhausting a year of eligibility. Harris is on track to finish his degree in the spring but said he would like to play next year while working on a graduate degree. JOHNSON LEADS COYOTES Junior forward Chet Johnson of Compton has been named Wilson/California Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball player of the week for consecutive double-doubles in wins over Chico State and Stanislaus. Johnson, a transfer from Saddleback, totaled 13 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block in a 67-59 win over the Wildcats. Then the next night he collected 11 points, 11 rebounds, six steals, four assists and three blocks in an 88-75 win over the Warriors. “He has done a lot of the little things that don’t show up in a box score, diving for a loose ball, getting the key rebound,” coach Jeff Oliver said. “He has done all the intangible things you can ask of a player.” Johnson is the second men’s player to earn the honor. Jason Breland was named back in November for his showing in the first week of the season. WATER POLO PLAYERS HONORED Three water polo players from SCIAC champion Redlands have earned All-America honors by the American Water Polo Coaches Association. Senior goalkeeper Casey Finfrock (Riverside) and sophomore two-meter standout Ryan Hall were named to the first team, while junior two-meter Ian Calpin made the second team. It was the second straight honor for Finfrock and Hall and the first for Calpin. Finfrock, the SCIAC player of the year, had 308 saves, 43 steals and 13 assists with a save percentage of 59.92. Hall was the team’s leading scorer with 50. He also had 49 steals, 51 ejections drawn and 21 blocks. Calpin had 43 goals, 33 steals, 13 blocks and 13 assists. UCR PLAYER LAUDED UC Riverside senior guard Rickey Porter was named the Big West player of the week. Porter poured in a career-high 40 points in an 83-71 win over Pacific for the second-highest single-game total in school history. The only better effort was turned in by Dick Barton, who netted 42 in 1969. Porter also set personal bests for field goals (13), field-goal percentage (68.4) and minutes played (38) in helping the Highlanders snap Pacific’s 31-game conference win streak. NOTABLE Cal State San Bernardino baseball playersAaron Rice and Billy Ermert were honored during halftime of Saturday’s game against Stanislaus. Coach Don Parnell presented the two with their All-America awards earned last spring. … Redlands soccer player David Epstein has landed a spot on the 2005 Men’s All-American team for NCAA Division II and III schools by the Jewish Sports Review … Melinda Eberhardt has been hired as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Redlands, making her the third full-time trainer to join the staff. Most recently she worked as head trainer at Dominican University in Illinois. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!