Eric Sondheimer has been covering high school sports for the Los Angeles Times since 1997 and in Southern California since 1976. Get his latest from the field and follow all our prep sports coverage and analysis here.
Tyler Hilinski, a former Upland High quarterback who was expected to contend for the starting job for Washington State this fall, was found dead in his apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, according to the Pullman Police Department.
Hilinski was 21.
Police reported a rifle was recovered next to Hilinski and a suicide note was found. Police detectives and the Whitman County coroner’s office will be conducting an investigation to confirm the suspected cause and manner of death.
Upland Coach Tim Salter said he was told that when Hilinski failed to show for an afternoon practice, teammates went to the apartment and found him dead.
“I’m having a hard time to understand it all,” he said. “I feel so bad for the family.”
Hilinski was a redshirt sophomore at Washington State. He made his first collegiate start in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 against Michigan State, a 42-17 defeat.
He was part of a well-known Southern California family that produced three outstanding quarterbacks. Older brother Kelly starred at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, where Tyler played his first two seasons. Youngest brother Ryan is a junior at Orange Lutheran and considered one of the top prospects in California.
The news hit Notre Dame assistant Joe McNab very hard. One of his sons played with Hilinski in high school.
“It’s so sad,” McNab said. “He was an awesome kid. I feel so bad for his family. It’s awful.”
Washington State coach Mike Leach and interim athletic director John Johnson issued a statement.
Many people quickly took into Twitter for reaction on Hilinski’s death.
Etiwanda (19-1, 3-0) continues to be the team to beat in the Baseline League.
Kessler Edwards scored 20 points in the Eagles’ 72-59 victory over Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night. The big upset in the league was Upland knocking off Chino Hills 64-63. Kenny Chilson made six three-pointers for Upland.
Damien defeated Los Osos 68-55. Eric Hancik had 24 points and Cameron Shelton 20.
In the Inland Valley League, Riverside Poly (16-3, 3-0) handed North (14-2, 2-1) a 49-47 defeat. Lamont Butler led the Bears with 20 points. Edwyn Collins had 19 points for North.
In the Pacific League, Xavier Davis scored 32 points in Burbank’s 88-78 win over Crescenta Valley. Arman Pezeshkian had 41 points for the Falcons.
Heritage Christian defeated Maranatha 66-63. Noah Fernando scored 34 points.
Paraclete defeated Viewpoint 64-60. Michael Feinberg had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Viewpoint.
In the Foothill League, Valencia defeated West Ranch 61-51. Richard Kawakami had 18 points. Hart defeated Canyon 65-44. Luca Robinson scored 24 points.
Troy received 24 points from Alec Sinek in a 57-44 win over Sunny Hills.
Flintridge Prep defeated Chadwick 65-42. Jonathan Le had 16 points.
First place in the Mission League will be on the line Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Crespi. It should be a packed crowd. Harvard-Westlake, with four talented sophomores and a freshman in its starting lineup, will take on the Brandon Williams-led Celts.
For basketball fanatics, the coaching battle will be something else. It’s Russell White going against David Rebibo. Rebibo was White’s freshman coach for one season, then left for El Camino Real, where he guided the Conquistadors to a City Division II championship. Then he went to the University of San Francisco to be an assistant before returning to Harvard-Westlake.
“It’s going to be a fun, festive, competitive game,” White said of facing Rebibo and the Wolverines. “Dave does a great job.”
Said Rebibo: “Russell is one of the best coaches in California. It’s not going to be easy.”
The unknown factor in this game is 6-foot-10 sophomore Mason Hooks of Harvard-Westlake. His rebounding and ability to score inside could help offset Crespi’s strength at the guard position.
“The thing that comes to mind is monster and beast,” White said of Hooks. “I love his passion for the game.”
Talk about passion — just watch the coaches. That might be as entertaining as the game.
A groundbreaking ceremony is set for Thursday at Glenn High in Norwalk for the construction of new synthetic turf fields, buildings, bleachers and lighting.
It’s the start of a major project that will provide additions and renovations across more than 20 acres of the campus.
The $25-million project is funded through Measure G, the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District’s improvement bond passed by voters in 2014.
The project is scheduled to be completed in December.
As usual, the Easton tournament is loaded with top baseball teams. The tournament begins on Feb. 24.
Harvard-Westlake, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Birmingham, El Camino Real, Simi Valley, West Ranch, Hart, Valencia and Oaks Christian lead the 36-team field.
Among the intriguing divisional games are El Camino Real at Simi Valley, led by standout pitcher Owen Sharts, on Feb. 27, and Newbury Park at Chaminade on Feb. 27.
Here’s the link to the complete schedule.
Riverside Notre Dame 92, Aquinas 49
Alemany 57, Villa Park 52
Bishop Montgomery 61, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham 40
Bloomington 61, Perris 50
Canyon Springs 60, Grand Terrace 53
Capistrano Valley Christian, 57, Elsinore 47
Cathedral 69, Anaheim Canyon 66
Corona 79, Carter 55
Costa Mesa 64, Western 36
Damien 61, Concord De La Salle 52
Eastvale Roosevelt 68, Arcadia 62
Edison 80, Dos Pueblos 59
Irvine University 87, Orangewood Academy 72
King 72, Palm Desert 36
La Sierra 57, Moreno Valley 56
Laguna Beach 69, Rancho Mirage 45
Loara 83, Magnolia 73
Los Alamitos 64, Mayfair 56
Los Altos 62, Rolling Hills Prep 57
Mira Costa 69, Los Angeles Marshall 59
Montverde (Fla.) Montverde Academy 74, Mater Dei 48
Murrieta Valley 66, Adelanto 65
Newport Beach Pacifica Christian 73, Savanna 65
Newport Harbor 62, Norco 37
Ocean View 61, El Toro 52
Pacific 65, Summit 55
Rancho Christian 72, Corona Centennial 65
Rancho Verde 61, Murrieta Mesa 54
Riverside North 73, Kaiser 58
San Diego Mission Bay 59, Orange Lutheran 55
San Gabriel Academy 65, Corona del Mar 61
St. Anthony 68, Capistrano Valley 51
Tahquitz 64, Cleveland 61
Temecula Valley 101, Huntington Beach 81
Torrance 63, Sunny Hills 39
Aquinas 41, Riverside Notre Dame 40
Carson 50, Lakeside 36
Etiwanda 64, Gardena Serra 62
Fairmont Prep 51, San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral 46
Mater Dei 66, Canyon Country Canyon 41
Moorpark 49, Corona del Mar 40
Orangewood Academy 55, Rosary 54
Santa Margarita 40, Arcadia 29
Sonora 66, Foothill Tech 46
Gardena Serra likes the Honor Bowl so much that it will play in both the Northern California and Southern California Honor Bowl football games this fall.
Serra will play San Mateo Serra on Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Francis in Mountain View. Then on Sept. 1 at San Diego Cathedral Catholic, Serra with play Cathedral Catholic at 7:30 p.m.
Also participating is Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, which will play at St. Francis on Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Notre Dame Coach Kevin Rooney is a former coach at St. Francis.
UCLA-bound senior Devon Chang of Santa Margarita has been selected the Gatorade state player of the year in girls’ volleyball.
She’s a 5-foot-11 setter who led the Eagles to a 34-9 record and Division I state championship.
She has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and is the first volleyball player from Santa Margarita to win the award.
Unbeaten Bishop Montgomery took a quick trip to Utah on Monday to face Bingham and came away with a 61-40 victory. The No. 1-ranked Knights are 17-0.
David Singleton scored 25 points and Josh Vazquez had 16. Bishop Montgomery faces L.A. Cathedral in a league showdown on Wednesday and City Section power Westchester on Saturday.
In a Mission League game, Crespi (18-2, 5-0) set up a Wednesday matchup for first place against Harvard-Westlake with a 91-69 victory over Chaminade. Brandon Williams finished with 36 points, Kyle Owens 26 points and Taj Regans 19.
In the battle of Compton, Dominguez pulled out a 58-56 win over Compton when Brent Woods made two free throws with 1.2 seconds left. Wayne Arnold had 21 points.
In Springfield, Mass., Santa Ana Mater Dei was no match for the No. 1 prep basketball team in America, Florida’s Montverde Academy. Mater Dei was beaten 74-48. R.J. Barrett scored 22 points.
In Las Vegas, Sierra Canyon lost in overtime to Bishop Gorman 82-80. The Trailblazers had an 11-point halftime lead. Washington signee Jamal Bey scored on a drive with 2.5 seconds left. He scored 26 points.
In Moraga, Oak Park defeated San Jose Valley Christian 77-54. Riley Battin finished with 27 points and Clark Slajchert 21 points.
Los Altos received 24 points from Jarod Lucas in a 62-57 win over Rolling Hills Prep. Chris Koon had 25 points and Alex Garcia 22 for Rolling Hills.
L.A. University rallied from a 19-point deficit to defeat Schurr 51-49. Daisone Hughes finished with 21 points.
Tyler Smith scored 18 points in Servite’s 73-41 win over Santa Fe.
Jules Bernard scored 28 points in Windward’s 76-64 win over Santa Clarita Christian. Jaren Harris added 17 points.
Los Alamitos received 18 points from Jacob Eyman to upset Mayfair 64-56. Caleb Christopher had 20 points for Mayfair.
Colony defeated Leuzinger 77-71. Sedrick Altman and Lorenzo Bright each scored 27 points.
L.A. Cathedral handed Anaheim Canyon only its second defeat 69-66.
Damien rallied for a 61-52 win over De La Salle. Cameron Shelton contributed 33 points.
Brandon Whitney scored 21 points in Alemany’s 57-52 win over Villa Park.
Eastvale Roosevelt defeated Arcadia 68-62.
Ali Betts scored 22 points and freshman Jaylen Carter had 20 points in Dorsey’s 69-61 win over Oaks Christian.
Eddy Egun scored 27 points in El Camino Real’s 94-74 win over Rialto. Mansoor Azizi added 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Mike Meadows scored 27 points in Campbell Hall’s 96-54 win over Sylmar.
Calabasas defeated Knight 62-49. Max Cheylov had 17 points and Ben Kaslow 15.
Jaxen Turner scored 30 points in Rancho Verde’s 61-54 win over Murrieta Mesa.
Gardena Serra defeated View Park Prep 54-51 in overtime. Jamal Briscoe had 17 points.
Orange Lutheran was beaten by Mission Bay 59-55.
Jordan Fuller scored 26 points in Sherman Oaks Notre Dame’s 73-47 win over Simi Valley.
Edison defeated Dos Pueblos 80-59.
Rancho Christian defeated Corona Centennial 72-65. Isaiah Mobley had 21 points. DJ Davis scored 26 for Centennial.
Sam Clareman scored 22 points in Brentwood’s 83-47 win over Price.
Crossroads defeated Coronado 80-72. DJ Houston and Ben Terry each scored 22 points.
A second basketball coach is about to become a father during the basketball season.
Windward’s Colin Pfaff became a father last month when his first child was born during the middle of a tournament. Now Fairfax Coach Steve Baik has his phone at his side as he waits for the birth of his third child. His wife is expecting their first daughter.
Baik and his wife are hoping for a January delivery. Fairfax plays Westchester on Jan. 31, so that would not be a good day. Fairfax also plays Bishop Montgomery on Jan. 27.
Whatever happens, Baik, who guided Chino Hills to a 35-0 record two years ago, has his assistants ready to take over at a moment’s notice.
Rolling Hills Prep 79, New Roads 29
Century 53, Magnolia 39
Acaciawood 52, Lake Arrowhead Christian 29
Carson 56, South Gate 31
Dominguez 72, Redondo 63
Fremont 66, Washington 62
Hawkins 51, Lincoln 45
Leuzinger 82, Executive Prep 70
Manual Arts 56, Huntington Park 36
Narbonne 62, Crenshaw 57
Saddleback Valley Christian 57, Temecula Valley 46
View Park 67, King/Drew 49
Vista Murrieta 57, Carnegie 45
SAN JOAQUIN LEAGUE
Saddleback Valley Christian 40, Webb 37
Corona Centennial 68, Patriot 37
Garden Grove 53, Western 13
JSerra 53, Lakewood 42
Orangewood Academy 51, Foothill Tech 39
Rolling Hills Prep 61, Oaks Christian 49
St. Mary’s Academy 76, Los Angeles Hamilton 53
Troy 56, Norco 47
Vista Murrieta 72, San Diego Serra 38
West Torrance 70, Antelope Valley 22
Sierra Canyon fell behind by 10 points to Fairfax in the third quarter Saturday night. Then Cassius Stanley went to work.
He helped the Trailblazers go on a 17-2 run and finished with 27 points as Sierra Canyon defeated the Lions 76-57 in the Harvey Kitani Classic at Fairfax.
Fairfax had opened a 41-31 lead before Sierra Canyon woke up and went into attack mode. K.J. Martin added 14 points for the Trailblazers. Jamal Hartwell scored 15 points for Fairfax.
In Springfield, Ma., Chino Hills knocked off South Carolina Spartanburg Day 70-64. Onyeka Okongwu finished with 35 points and 14 rebounds going against the No. 1 college prospect, Zion Williamson, who had 36 points.
Dominguez received 30 points from Wayne Arnold and 21 points from Gary Williams in a 72-63 win over Redondo. Kyle Carter had 24 points.
Leuzinger defeated Executive Prep 82-70.
Ali Betts scored 25 points in Dorsey’s 65-60 win over Maranatha.
Rolling Hills Prep defeated New Rhodes 79-29. Vaughn Flowers had 22 points and Alex Garcia 20.
Ben Yarovinsky scored 20 points in Viewpoint’s 60-49 win over St. Genevieve.
Taft defeated Nevada Coronado 78-69. Kihei Clark scored 29 points.
San Gabriel Academy defeated Nevada Green Valley 54-42. Malakhi Jensen finished with 18 points.
Etiwanda defeated Twentynine Palms 82-28. Kessler Edwards and Krystian Wilson each scored 14 points.
Moorpark defeated Agoura 67-63. Drake London scored 30 points.
Eastvale Roosevelt defeated Great Oak 54-46. David Agba and Brennon Wade each scored 13 points.
Ryan Turell scored 30 points, had 10 rebounds and 10 assists in Valley Torah’s 70-35 win over Trinity Classical.
After writing about the issue of transfers in Friday’s Los Angeles Times, a letter to the editor arrived from a reader, David Sanderson of La Cañada-Flintridge.
Here’s his suggestion:
“The CIF, established 103 years ago, has outlived its usefulness and effectiveness. A modest proposal: establish two associations. The first would be termed the Sports Academy Assn. Member schools, private and public, would include in their mission statement a goal of preparing students for Division I athletic scholarships and eventual professional athletic careers. The schools in this group could recruit freely. The coaches in the SAA would be paid as full-time coaches.
“The second would be the Neighborhood Schools Assn., the members of which would enroll students residing only within existing prescribed boundaries. The students in these schools would participate for the joy of competition and the development of lifelong friendships. NSA coaches would typically be classroom teachers who coach during the season for a stipend.”
It’s an interesting idea, considering there could be as many as 17,000 students switching schools in California this school year.
This was supposed to be the week St. John Bosco faced the difficult task of taking on Santa Ana Mater Dei and Santa Margarita in consecutive Trinity League games.
Not only did the Braves hold their own — they pulled off an unlikely sweep to improve to 15-2 and 3-0 in league. Their 75-70 triumph on Friday night against Santa Margarita featured 27 points from Jonathan Salazar and 18 from Josh Adoh. Jake Kyman scored 32 points for the Eagles.
Mater Dei ended a two-game losing streak with a 63-38 win over JSerra. Spencer Freedman had 20 points. Orange Lutheran defeated Servite 63-57 in double overtime.
Crossroads knocked off Brentwood 54-50. Shareef O’Neal had 18 points.
In the Mission League, Harvard-Westlake and Crespi continued on a Wednesday showdown to determine first place. Harvard-Westlake defeated Loyola 60-53. Johnny Juzang had 21 points. Truman Gettings, whose brother Stone used to play for Loyola, had 14 points. James Keefe lead Loyola with 22 points.
Brandon Williams scored 23 points in Crespi’s 68-42 win over St. Francis. Kyle Owens added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Chaminade defeated Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 63-57. Freshman KJ Simpson scored 26 points.
Camarillo’s Jaime Jaquez and Simi Valley’s Max Edwards had an old fashion shootout. Jaquez scored 49 points. Edwards scored 36 points. Simi Valley defeated Camarillo 88-83. Oak Park defeated Royal 92-54. Riley Battin scored 41 points and Wes Slajchert had 26 points.
Newbury Park knocked off Oaks Christian 62-57. Daniel Foldes had 21 points and 15 rebounds. Westlake defeated Agoura 51-40. Deon Francois had 14 points.
Viewpoint defeated Campbell Hall 56-50. Michael Feinberg scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds.
Damien defeated Upland 83-51. Cameron Shelton scored 22 points.
Rolling Hills Prep defeated Wildwood 85-18. Alex Garcia and Vaughn Flowers each scored 16 points. Julian Lopez scored 24 points and Jarod Lucas 20 in Los Altos’ 68-51 win over Charter Oak.
Gardena Serra defeated Cantwell-Sacred Heart 93-83 in overtime. Serra rallied from 12 points down. Doctor Bradley scored 27 points. No. 1 Bishop Montgomery defeated St. Bernard 68-42. David Singleton scored 25 points.
Corona Centennial defeated Corona Santiago 76-52. Paris Dawson had 18 points, D.J. Davis 17 and Jaylen Clark 16.
Santa Monica defeated Hawthorne 69-32. Edison defeated Newport Harbor 59-48. David Atencio scored 20 points.
Quinn Collins scored 27 points in Redondo’s 78-66 win over Inglewood.
Flintridge Prep opened the Prep League with a 67-57 win over Rio Hondo Prep. Jonathan Le scored 19 points.
In the City Section, Westchester received 24 points from Kaelen Allen in a 62-53 win over Fairfax in the Western League. Jamal Hartwell had 19 points and Ethan Anderson 18 for Fairfax. University defeated Hamilton 73-47.
Grant defeated Arleta 69-59. Antonio Tidwell finished with 27 points.
In the West Valley League, Taft defeated Granada Hills 54-49. Brandon Wilson had 14 points and 19 rebounds. Birmingham defeated Chatsworth 74-59. Devonaire Doutrive had 27 points and Tyme Andrews 19 points. El Camino Real defeated Cleveland 75-34. Eddy Egun scored 18 points.
Sylmar defeated Panorama 49-35. Jules Bernard scored 22 points in Windward’s 70-27 win over Venice.
Crenshaw took a big step toward winning the Coliseum League with a 58-51 win over View Park Prep. Dominique Winbush finished with 19 points.
Tarbut V’Torah 49, Samueli 35
Garey 43, Edgewood 42
MOUNTAIN PASS LEAGUE
Beaumont 77, Tahquitz 68
Citrus Hill 74, West Valley 42
Hemet 64, San Jacinto 35
RIVER VALLEY LEAGUE
Hillcrest 91, Norte Vista 38
La Sierra 84, Ramona 63
SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE
Jurupa Hills 56, Arroyo Valley 48
SAN JOAQUIN LEAGUE
Capistrano Valley Christian 59, Orangewood Academy 57 (OT)
Acaciawood 55, New Harvest Christian 52
Tarbut V’Torah 45, Liberty Christian 8
INLAND VALLEY LEAGUE
Canyon Springs 47, Riverside North 39
Valley View 89, Rancho Verde 50
Harvard-Westlake 74, Marymount 26
MOUNTAIN PASS LEAGUE
Hemet 56, San Jacinto 51
MOUNTAIN VALLEY LEAGUE
Rubidoux 53, Vista Del Lago 20
ORANGE COAST LEAGUE
Godinez 76, Estancia 33
Pasadena Poly 46, Westridge 31
RIVER VALLEY LEAGUE
Hillcrest 44, Norte Vista 39
Ramona 33, La Sierra 31
SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE
Arroyo Valley 86, Jurupa Hills 23
SAN JOAQUIN LEAGUE
Orangewood Academy 57, Avalon 37
SEA VIEW LEAGUE
Capistrano Valley 39, Mission Viejo 24
Trabuco Hills 50, Laguna Hills 43
SOUTH COAST LEAGUE
Aliso Niguel 74, San Juan Hills 53
Tesoro 67, El Toro 46
Edison 60, Newport Harbor 29
Huntington Beach 40, Fountain Valley 28
Los Alamitos 74, Marina 29
Mater Dei 87, JSerra 35
Playing a smothering man-to-man defense that has been a hallmark of the Dave Kleckner coaching era, Etiwanda keeps on winning.
The Eagles improved to 17-1 overall and 2-0 in the Baseline League with a 67-53 victory over host Chino Hills on Thursday night.
Etiwanda held the once high-flying Huskies to 18 points in the first half. That’s how many points Chino Hills used to score in four minutes during the Ball brother days.
The Eagles ended Chino Hills’ five-game winning streak. Krystian Wilson and Kessler Edwards provided an offensive spark. Wilson scored 17 points.
Chino Hills (9-7, 1-1) leaves on a cross-country trip this weekend to the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., to play Spartanburg Day on Monday.
Six pitchers and catchers from Southern California will be participating in this weekend’s “Dream Series” at Tempe Diablo Stadium in connection with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The event is designed to encourage amateur players of color to continue their baseball careers in the positions of pitcher and catcher. They will be receiving instruction from former MLB players.
Among the players participating are Aaron Eden from Westchester, Julian Tristan from Northwood, Jalen Parks from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Nick Bacura from Mira Costa, Jacob Schanks from Corona Santiago and Tyler Smith from Windward.
On Jan. 1, Los Angeles Cathedral became a whole different basketball team. That’s because players who were sitting out the first month of the season became eligible.
On Wednesday night, in a Del Rey League opener, Cathedral stunned St. Bernard 65-64. Orlando Robinson, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Las Vegas, scored 29 points.
Guilherme Pedra, a 6-6 sophomore from Brazil, had 11 points.
Bryce Mitchell, a 6-3 junior who moved and has been playing since December, also had 11 points.
Cathedral is 7-4, including a 4-1 record in 2018. The Phantoms face No. 1-ranked Bishop Montgomery on Wednesday at Bishop Montgomery.
Charles Mincy said Thursday he and the administration at Dorsey have parted ways and he no longer will be the football coach after two seasons at his alma mater.
“The principal decided he wanted to open the job up,” Mincy said.
Mincy, a former NFL player, guided Dorsey to the City Section Division I championship game in 2016 before losing to Narbonne. The Dons lost in a revamped Division I final to San Fernando this past season.
His son, Charles Jr., is considered one of the top running backs in the City Section. He’ll be a senior next season. Mincy said his son will not attend Dorsey for his senior year.
Dorsey has been a longtime City power and is known for producing outstanding players. It has lost enrollment to charter schools and private schools, like many Los Angeles Unified School District Schools, but has a strong, dedicated alumni with high expectations for its football program.