East County Sports

Tommy’s back, but Opera surrounds Foothillers

SoCal Regional CIF Playoffs


By Bill Dickens
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (3-7-16) — Controversy continues to stalk the Grossmont High boys basketball program as the Foothillers enter the SoCal Regional Playoffs on Wednesday (Mar. 9) against La Salle High in Pasadena at 7 p.m.

Two major issues swirl around the Foothillers (22-7).

Foremost is the return of 6-foot-9 senior center TOMMY RUTHERFORD, who appears to have recovered from an ankle injury and has been declared 100 percent go to go by his physical therapist. That’s the good news.

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There is, however, some question whether 40-year veteran coach FRANK FOGGIANO will be on the Grossmont sidelines for the state opener. Foggiano was tagged with two technical fouls in a game at Poway, which led to his ejection. The Foothillers lost to the Titans 68-53.

Those were the only two technicals slapped on Foggiano this season.

There is a chance that Foggiano will be denied the opportunity to coach in the State playoffs for the first time in his lengthy career.

“I respect basketball so much that I always play by the rules, no matter what I think of them,” he said. “If they rule against me, I’ll do what they say, even though I disagree with it.”

For Grossmont, the return of Rutherford is a major bonus since the team did not win a game in the playoffs since he was sidelined three weeks ago after spraining his ankle in a practice session.

“I think the return of Tommy will give the other kids confidence,” Foggiano said.

Even if Foggiano is denied his usual post of coaching from the sidelines, his likely replacement will be 10-year Junior Varsity coach JACOB OBER, a former player of Foggiano’s.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Jacob,” Foggiano noted. “He knows the routine, as do our players. It’s not like I’ve been doing a bunch of magic.”

So Ober should be able to take over with ease, if necessary.


In other games involving East County teams . . . Mount Miguel girls will play the only local game.


Wed., Mar. 9
SoCal Regional CIF Playoffs:
First Round
Grossmont (22-7) at Pasadena La Salle (25-8), 7


Fri., Mar. 11
SoCal Regional CIF Playoffs:
First Round
Foothills Christian (24-4) at Santa Ana Mater Dei (27-4), 7


Wed., Mar. 9
SoCal Regional CIF Playoffs
First Round
Crescenta Valley (24-9) at Mount Miguel (21-11), 7
Grossmont (25-5) at L.A. Price (25-6), 6

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