My Twitter Feed

November 24, 2017

News:

2015 San Pedro Prep Softball Preview -

Friday, May 1, 2015

Art Preview: ‘Non-Native’ by Ingrid Dietrich -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

San Pedro Prep Baseball 2015 Preview -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Recapping The Final Gaffey Street Community Workshop -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tiffany Torres Bears Down For Success At POLA High -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

San Pedro Fish Market Launches Scholarship Contest -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

San Pedro’s Rita Fiorenza Is A Basketball Revelation -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

‘No Lane Reductions’ As Gaffey Street Redevelopment Plans Move Forward -

Friday, January 9, 2015

San Pedro Prep Sports 2014 Fall Review -

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

LAPD Harbor Division and Philie B’s Pizza To Host Charity Events This Weekend -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

San Pedro Holiday Parade Returns Sunday with a Twist -

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Winter Wonderland Comes To The Waterfront -

Monday, December 1, 2014

One-Way Streets May Come to Downtown San Pedro -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

San Pedro’s Two Newest Volleyball Skyscrapers: Allison Kittell & Tracy Folchi -

Monday, November 10, 2014

San Pedro and POLA Prep Girls Cross-Country Preview: Running For More Glory -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

International Craft Beer Festival Comes to Crafted This Weekend -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Second Workshop for Urban Greening Project Receives Warm Reception from Community -

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Construction of Mixed-Use Apartment Complex on Gaffey Could Begin Next Spring -

Thursday, September 25, 2014

UPDATE: Blaze Inside Port of L.A. in Wilmington Nearly Contained; Air Quality Deemed ‘Safe’ -

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

San Pedro High Football Off To Another Strong Start -

Monday, September 22, 2014

San Pedro’s Rita Fiorenza Is A Basketball Revelation

Rita Fiorenza is a three-time All-Marine League first team guard who has revitalized the San Pedro High girls basketball program. (photo: Jamaal K. Street)

The San Pedro High girls basketball team suffered its worst season ever in 2010-11, only winning once in 20 games. The program was headed south rapidly and there was no sign of any hope to return to respectability.

Suddenly, a change would come.

Gary Herrera would become the new coach, and not soon thereafter, a new star would come aboard in the form of a fabulous freshman guard named Rita Fiorenza.

From there, San Pedro girls basketball would never be the same again.

“I was very excited,” Fiorenza said of her first year with San Pedro. “I knew that our team would do well, but most importantly have fun. I knew I’d make a lot of new friends and memories with my teammates.”

It has been a slow, but smooth, transition, but Fiorenza has been the catalyst to a dramatic turnaround in turning San Pedro from a pushover into a threat in just three years and is already having a magnificent senior season without having to do too much for the surging Pirates, who will once again push the likes of Narbonne, Carson and Washington Prep in the Marine League.

Fiorenza drives to the basket for two of her career-high 31 points vs. Washington Prep in an overtime win for the Pirates on February 7, 2014. (photo: Debbie Ferguson)

Fiorenza drives to the basket for two of her career-high 31 points vs. Washington Prep in an overtime win for the Pirates on February 7, 2014. (photo: Debbie Ferguson)

Fiorenza, who began playing basketball at 9 years old, would pace San Pedro to a playoff berth in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I playoffs, even pulling off a 39-33 upset victory over Washington for their first win over the Generals since 1992. Fiorenza averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.5 assists in garnering All-Marine League first team honors.

However, there is one moment in her freshman season that Fiorenza gained instant notoriety.

In Fiorenza’s home debut, San Pedro trailed 42-40 to Elizabeth Learning Center with eight seconds to play, and no one knew who was going to be the one to come up with the clutch moment. So Fiorenza took the inbound pass after it slightly went over her right shoulder, drove to the basket, making a move to slightly avoid a Bulldog defender trying to draw a charging foul, and double clutching a layup in midair. It softly banked off the backboard and into the basket as time expired.

San Pedro eventually lost, 52-48 in overtime, but Fiorenza, who scored 18 points, earned her first signature moment.

“That play was a true test between faith and trust in myself,” Fiorenza said. “I had to take the chance to tie the game. After making that layup I couldn’t even process at the time how huge it was. But from then on, my confidence in my game grew tremendously.”

There was no sophomore slump for Fiorenza, as she started off the 2012-13 season with a 26-point barrage against University of Los Angeles, and scoring 23 points in the rematch with Elizabeth Learning Center, which the Pirates dominated with a 72-49 road victory. However, Fiorenza’s health would slow her down as an illness forced her to miss a few Marine League games. Despite that, San Pedro still made the playoffs again with just three league wins, and Fiorenza earned her second straight All-Marine League first team selection.

Year three in the 2013-14 season would be Fiorenza’s finest.

The Pirates started off the 2013-14 year 1-3, but after that, Fiorenza and San Pedro came back strong, finishing 14-9 overall, nearly tripling their win output of the 2012-13 season (5-13), and they even went 8-4 in the Marine League. Fiorenza would average 18 points, 7.2 assists, 3.1 steals and 4 rebounds a game in being named All-Marine League first team for a third straight year.

Fiorenza shined against crosstown neighbor Port Of Los Angeles, where she posted 26 points, 9 steals, 5 assists and 4 rebounds in powering San Pedro to a 56-38 victory, but another big game against Washington in the Marine League gave Fiorenza perhaps her greatest moment.

It was the first time in a long time where the crowd in the San Pedro gym was packed, and Fiorenza was not about to let the seven seniors lose on senior day, as she scored a career-high 31 points in leading the Pirates to a 66-63 overtime victory over the Generals. In fact, Fiorenza, who also had five assists, six rebounds and three steals, scored ten points in overtime, including nailing two backbreaking three-pointers.

“That game was a challenge for us but we came together and conquered it,” Fiorenza said of the win over Washington. “It was the best communication in a game our team had. We were really happy and excited afterwards.”

So far this season, San Pedro is 10-7 overall and Fiorenza is averaging 17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals, and is once again leading a balanced team that also features rising sophomore guard Deanna Valverde, junior forward Melannie Ortiz (South Torrance transfer) and sophomore center Iman Garba, who moved from Kentucky.

“Rita has a lot of talent and I’m definitely going to miss playing with her,” Valverde says. “She’s taught me so much and I respect her for that.”

Fiorenza, who also runs track, has a 3.5 GPA and is interested in playing college locally at either Long Beach State, Pepperdine, Biola or San Diego State.

Leave A Comment