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.
Mission Viejo’s Spillane brothers, Luke and Jake, deserve a nice steak dinner from their parents after they helped the Diablos knock off No. 1 El Toro 3-2 in a South Coast League game on Friday.
Luke went three for three. Jake struck out four and scattered nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. Kevin Champlin got the save with 1 1/3 innings shutout relief. Erik Tolman threw six innings for El Toro. Mission Viejo scored the winning run in the seventh on an RBI double by Alex Jemal.
Thousand Oaks pulled out a dramatic 5-4 Marmonte League win over Agoura on a three-run walk-off home run by Garrett Flynn. That came after Nico Della Ripa hit a grand slam in the top of the seventh for a 4-2 Agoura lead.
The Southern California Regional basketball finals on Saturday will include three City Section teams trying to reach Sacramento — Birmingham, Van Nuys and View Park Prep.
No. 6 seed View Park is considered the team with the best chance to advance. The Knights are 25-8 and set to play No. 13 seed El Cajon Christian at 6 p.m. at Price in Division IV. Having faced the pressure of playing such Coliseum League teams as Crenshaw, Dorsey and Fremont, View Park should be in good position to prevail.
No. 7 Van Nuys is in its first regional final, facing No. 1-seeded Santa Clarita Christian at 6 p.m. at Master’s in Division V. Tyree Winborn has been a consistent scorer for the Wolves.
Sprinters are hardly in shape right now. They’re just starting to loosen up the muscles and turn on the speed.
For Sherman Oaks Notre Dame junior Christian Grubb, Thursday’s Mission League meet against Loyola offered a chance to face off against fellow football player Alex Johnson, a senior headed to UCLA to play cornerback.
Grubb won the 100 meters in 11.03 seconds. Johnson, who anchored his 400-meter relay team to victory, finished second in 11.23. Both should be among the favorites for the league title in the sprints.
A competitive Sunset League began baseball action Thursday, and Marina came away with a 2-0 win over Edison.
Blake Partis was magnificent on the mound, throwing a complete game with zero walks while scattering five hits. Cory Lewis and Braden Wylde each had RBIs. Lucas Hansen allowed two hits in 5 2/3 innings for Edison.
Huntington Beach defeated Newport Harbor 8-6. Josh Hahn struck out seven in four innings. Justin Brodt had two hits and three RBIs.
West Hills Chaminade has acquired a shopping center near its high school campus off Saticoy Street and Woodlake Avenue for $14 million, school president Rob Webb said Thursday. The 4.8-acre parcel is one of last in the area that has not been developed for residential use. It currently contains 16 businesses.
No final decision has been made about what the school will do with the land, but it could be used for parking, more classrooms and additional facilities.
“For us, yesterday we were a debt-free organization,” Webb said. “Today we aren’t. A big chunk came from capital reserves. It’s an exciting time. Schools are landlocked in this neighborhood and for us to find a parcel that became available for the first time in 50 years is transformational.”
Etiwanda started the basketball season unranked in The Times’ top 25 rankings (who’s the person responsible for that foolish oversight?), but the Eagles are following the philosophy it’s not how you start but how you finish. They are one win away from a trip to Sacramento to play for the state Open Division championship.
At 30-3, Etiwanda will face talented Sierra Canyon on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Long Beach State in the Southern California Regional final.
In making the preseason rankings, I failed to take into account that Coach Dave Kleckner really was fully committed after briefly retiring after last season.