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Varsity Times Insider: The latest sports news from Southern California's high school teams

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.

Freshman allows one run for UCLA

The last time Jake Jackson was pitching in high school, he was leading El Toro to the Southern Section Division 1 championship and earning player of the year honors.

On Sunday in his collegiate debut for Nevada, Jackson threw six shutout innings against UC Irvine. What a homecoming for the freshman right-hander. He struck out five and walked one.

At UCLA, freshman Zach Pettway from Long Beach Wilson allowed one run in five innings in his first collegiate appearance. He struck out two, walked none and allowed three hits as UCLA opened a 13-1 lead over Portland.

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  • Baseball
Harvard-Westlake junior pitcher Sam Hliboki will be the Wolverines' ace.
Harvard-Westlake junior pitcher Sam Hliboki will be the Wolverines' ace. (Eric Sondheimer)

Harvard-Westlake starts out as the No. 1 team in The Times’ top 25 prep baseball rankings.

Even though the Wolverines won’t have pitcher Jesse Bergin (injured knee), their pitching depth combined with solid lineup makes them a Southern Section Division 1 title contender.

THE TIMES' PRESEASON BASEBALL TOP 25 RANKINGS

GIRLS BASKETBALL

SOUTHERN SECTION

OPEN DIVISION

BOYS BASKETBALL

SOUTHERN SECTION

DIVISION 3AA

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BOYS' BASKETBALL

CITY

OPEN DIVISION

GIRLS' WATER POLO

SOUTHERN SECTION

DIVISION 1

  • Baseball

Valley Mission League schools Kennedy and Sylmar won their first two games in baseball this weekend.

Kennedy improved to 2-0 with a 10-1 victory over North Hollywood. Omar Rodriguez went three for four with a home run and three RBI.

Sylmar is also 2-0 after a 4-2 win over Bell in eight innings.

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  • Basketball

Members of the Fairfax High basketball team got a private meeting with LeBron James on Saturday. He gave them a pep talk before their scheduled City Section Open Division playoff game tonight.

“It was really a humbling experience,” Coach Steve Baik said of the 15-minute gathering arranged as part of a Nike event during NBA All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. Fairfax is sponsored by LeBron’s signature shoe.

“These kids will remember this the rest of their lives,” Baik said. “It was special.”

  • Football

Oaks Christian has named Charles Collins as its interim football coach and offensive coordinator, according to a news release from the school Saturday.

He was an assistant coach last season, coaching receivers. The school previously named Roland Williams director of football operations.

Oaks Christian has been dealing with the fallout from the resignation of head coach Jim Benkert. A group of parents and students submitted a petition Friday protesting Benkert’s departure.

GIRLS' SOCCER

CITY

DIVISION 1

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