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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.

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The final high school sports transfer number is in for the 2017-18 school year. There were 16,839 transfers reported by the member schools of the California Interscholastic Federation.

That’s a record number of transfers statewide and the fourth consecutive year of an increase.

In 2014-15, the number was 15,865. In 2015-16, it was 15,882. In 2016-17, it was 16,595. The total increase over four years is 974 and comes out to a rise of 6.1%.

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  • Basketball

Sierra Canyon coach Andre Chevalier said most of his top players will be available starting Monday to play in the Fairfax tournament.

Sierra Canyon opens against St. Francis in a 7:30 p.m. game at Fairfax High.

Sierra Canyon is expected to be the No. 1 team in the state for 2018-19.

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  • Football
Titans rally from 21 points down in fourth quarter

It’s summertime, and I’m looking back at my favorite stories, videos and moments.

Dec. 12, 2015, had me at San Marino High on a Saturday night for the state football playoff bowl game between the home school and Sierra Canyon.

It produced one of the greatest comebacks I’ve seen in high school football. I was so certain that San Marino was going down to defeat that I tweeted Sierra Canyon fans, telling them to get the bus ready for a trip to Sacramento.

Damien captured the Platinum Division championship of the Maranatha basketball tournament with a 66-55 victory on Saturday night over Harvard-Westlake.

Malik Thomas finished with 17 points. Amar Brown, Austin Cook and Jarred Hyder added 14 points apiece. Hyder, a transfer from Cajon, was tournament MVP.

Spencer Hubbard finished with 18 points for Harvard-Westlake. Fairfax took third place with a 62-58 overtime win over Long Beach Poly. Justin Gladney scored 22 points.

  • Baseball

USA Baseball has named four Southern California-based high school players to the group of 43 players selected for the trials for the 18U national team.

The team will be cut down to 20 in the fall.

Among the players: Pete Crow-Armstrong, Harvard-Westlake; Jared Jones, La Mirada; Joe Naranjo, Ayala; Max Rajcic, Orange Lutheran.

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The semifinals are set for the Maranatha basketball tournament on Friday night.

It will be Damien taking on Fairfax at 7:30 p.m., followed by Long Beach Poly playing Harvard-Westlake at 8:30 p.m.

Here’s the rest of the schedule:

Isabella D’Aquila of JSerra has been named the Gatorade national player of the year in girls’ soccer.

She learned of the award on Thursday after a surprise visit by Seattle Reign FC’s Morgan Andrews.

D’Aquila, a junior, scored 39 goals and had 15 assists this past season.

  • Football
Saturday's seven on seven tournament brackets at Cal Lutheran
Saturday's seven on seven tournament brackets at Cal Lutheran (Los Angeles Rams)

One of the best seven on seven passing tournaments of the summer should be Saturday’s 34-team tournament at Cal Lutheran sponsored by the Rams.

There are eight different pools, with action starting at 9 a.m. The championship competition comes in the afternoon.

Narbonne, Westlake, Gardena Serra (correction from graphic), Cajon and Alemany are among the top passing schools participating.

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Three players from Southern California high schools are among the 18 finalists for the USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Cup team.

Joshua Christopher of Mayfair, Johnny Juzang of Harvard-Westlake and Evan Mobley of Rancho Christian are finalists after three days of training camp.

The 12-man team will be named prior to departure on June 23. The World Cup is June 26 to July 8 in Argentina.

Isabella D’Aquilla of JSerra has been selected the Gatorade state player of the year in girls soccer.

The junior forward led JSerra to a 22-2-3 record and the Southern Section Division 1 championship.

She scored 39 goals. She had the lone goal in the championship game. She also has a 4.31 grade point average and is committed to Santa Clara.