The summer sports season has come to a close, but it was busier than ever. Here are some of the most memorable performances by Southern California high school athletes over the last eight weeks:
Lonzo Ball can score: The Chino Hills junior guard had an unforgettable three-game scoring stretch in the Fairfax tournament. The
Perhaps finding inspiration, his 12-year-old brother, LaMelo, who will be an eighth-grader, scored 29 points in a tournament game against 16- and 17-year-olds in Las Vegas. There's also another brother, LiAngelo, a sophomore. The message this summer is don't play the Ball brothers in a game of three-on-three.
Trent Irwin can catch: In winning the Edison passing tournament that was stacked with top teams, Newhall Hart showed off Irwin, a receiver who has been starting since he was a freshman. He rarely drops passes, always runs precision routes, and he and quarterback Brady White have that "sixth sense" between them. He has college offers from Stanford, Arizona State and UCLA.
Kolby Allard is a rising prospect: The San Clemente pitcher earned MVP honors at the Perfect Game All-American Classic, striking out all three batters he faced with a fastball that touched 94 mph.
Brice Turang can hit: Before he stepped onto campus at Corona Santiago, the freshman outfielder batted .553 in the 15U World Cup while helping the USA team earn a silver medal. He had at least one hit in nine of the 10 tournament games.
Spencer Freedman can play: Yes, he's a 16-year-old freshman point guard, but that doesn't change the fact that Freedman will be an impact player in his rookie season of high school basketball for Santa Monica. He can shoot from three-point range, dribbles effectively under pressure and, as he becomes stronger, will more than hold his own on defense.
Sierra Canyon is scary good: How can a tiny school in Chatsworth possibly be the No. 1 basketball team in California? The Trailblazers might pull it off behind the trio of Deveral Ramsey, Cody Riley and Ira Lee. There's depth and talent throughout the lineup.
Travis Waller is cool under pressure: The Servite quarterback didn't blink as one top quarterback after another made a college commitment. He continued to take his time, investigating, examining and waiting until he knew where he wanted to go. Oregon is his choice, and Waller figures to fit there.
Taylor McQuillin can pitch: If a team wants to win a softball championship in the spring, make sure you're in the division that doesn't contain McQuillin, the Arizona-bound pitcher from Mission Viejo. She helped the OC Batbusters win the PGF 18U Premier Division championship.
Get ready for Kobe mania: Kobe Paras, a 6-6 junior, is finally eligible at L.A. Cathedral after arriving from the Philippines last year. He can dunk, he can shoot, and when I saw him score 22 points in a summer game, I began to see what all the fuss is about.