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1904 posts
  • Basketball
Riley Battin of Oak Park.
Riley Battin of Oak Park. (Eric Sondheimer)

As college basketball recruiters visit high school gyms this week, a stopover at Oak Park is a must to get a glimpse of 6-foot-10 senior Riley Battin. He has become one of the best players in Southern California and in the state.

He was known primarily for his perimeter shooting and rebounding. But more muscle, less weight and more hop has made him a complete big man. It's scary to think how good he might be this season, considering he averaged 24.7 points and 12.3 rebounds as a junior.

"He's really transformed his body," Coach Aaron Shaw said.

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  • Baseball

The high school baseball programs at Hart and Harvard-Westlake need to take a bow. Each has four pitchers in the major leagues.

For Hart, there's Trevor Bauer of the Indians, James Shields of the White Sox, Tyler Glasnow of the Pirates and Mike Montgomery of the Cubs.

For Harvard-Westlake, there's Lucas Giolito of the White Sox, Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals, Max Fried of the Braves and Nik Turley of the Twins.

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The Southwestern League in the Inland Empire is earning consideration as one of the top leagues in girls' volleyball.

Three teams from the league won tournaments. Temecula Valley knocked off the No. 2 team in Division 1, Long Beach Poly, to win the Dave Mohs tournament.

Chaparral won the Dan Quam/Hemet tournament. And Vista Murrieta won the Queens Court tournament. Murrieta Mesa also won a tournament.

  • Basketball
Former UCLA guard works out with Toreadors

The 2017-18 prep basketball season is going to be about the guards. There are so many top guards that somebody could put together a league of guards this season.

So imagine how fortunate Taft High's guards must have felt having former Toreador great Larry Drew II drop by the gym on Tuesday to participate in a workout and offer tips. Drew, who starred at UCLA and leaves on Sunday to join the Miami Heat, was the City Section player of the year in 2008 when the Toreadors won the Division I title.

Standout senior guard Kihei Clark was able to dribble the ball against Drew and also play defense against him. How many high school kids get to test themselves against someone who's played in the NBA?

  • Football

One of the biggest surprises this season is Westlake, which is 3-0 under first-year coach Tim Kirksey, who spent years as an assistant to Jim Benkert at Westlake and Oaks Christian.

The Warriors started the season with an upset of Sierra Canyon, then defeated Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park.

Quarterback Jake Kaplinski, a transfer from Chaminade, has performed well.

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  • Volleyball
  • Baseball
  • Softball

The City Section, with the support of its coaches, will create Open Division playoffs this season for baseball, softball and boys volleyball.

In baseball, the Open Division will consist of the top 12 teams, mostly from the 28-team Division I. Four teams will have a first-round bye. It means all 28 teams competing in Division I will make the playoffs, with a 16-team Division I format.

Still to be decided is whether the Division I or Division II championship game will join the Open Division in playing at Dodger Stadium.

Division II football in the City Section is shaping up to be a competitive race.

Eagle Rock, Huntington Park, Reseda and Roosevelt are each 3-0 and figure to be part of the mix come playoff time.

For Eagle Rock, junior safety Rayford Turner has three interceptions. Lineman Justin Martinez has returned a fumble for a touchdown and an interception for a touchdown. Quarterback Davy Stone also has been playing well.

  • Volleyball

The Southern Section released its girls volleyball polls on Monday, and Mater Dei holds down the No. 1 spot and Long Beach Poly is No. 2 in Division 1.

Palos Verdes is No. 1 in Division 2, and Laguna Beach is No. 1 in Division 3.

Here's the link to complete rankings.

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  • Football

Orange Lutheran has moved to No. 4 in this week's Southern Section Division 1 football coaches poll.

Mater Dei remains No. 1, St. John Bosco No. 2 and Corona Centennial No. 3.

Here's the link to complete polls.

The 2012 football season is looking pretty good for Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

That was the year the Knights had four quarterbacks. There was senior Kelly Hilinski, the starter. There was backup JJ Muno, a senior. There was sophomore Tyler Hilinski. There was junior Grant Kraemer.

Kelly went on to play at Columbia and Weber State. Muno went to UC Santa Barbara for baseball, playing in the College World Series, and is now in the Chicago White Sox organization.