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Juniors star at Southern Section track championships

It’s summer vacation and time to look back at some of my favorite stories, videos and moments. The 2015 Southern Section track and field championships featuring T.J. Brock of Chaminade and Michael Norman of Vista Murrieta were pretty special.

They were juniors and fired up to put on a show.

Brock won the Division 3 100 meters in a wind-aided 10.20 seconds, the second fastest in state history.

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Sophomore guard Devin Askew scored 16 points and had 12 assists in Mater Dei's 72-71 win over Sierra Canyon.
Sophomore guard Devin Askew scored 16 points and had 12 assists in Mater Dei's 72-71 win over Sierra Canyon. (Eric Sondheimer)

There’s no MVP selected for the Fairfax tournament, but if there were, sophomore Devin Askew of Santa Ana Mater Dei would be the honoree.

Askew completed a great week, turning in one good performance after another in leading Mater Dei to the Fairfax tournament championship on Saturday with a 72-71 win over Sierra Canyon.

Mater Dei overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half. Askew finished with 16 points and 12 assists. He was part of an impressive Mater Dei guard trio. Junior Aidan Prukop scored 19 points and junior Ryan Evans made six threes, including the game-winning shot with 5.8 seconds left.

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Sophomore guards Kenneth Simpson Jr., left, and Keith Higgins Jr. lead Chaminade.
Sophomore guards Kenneth Simpson Jr., left, and Keith Higgins Jr. lead Chaminade. (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Kenneth Simpson Jr. and Keith Higgins Jr. have known each other since the second grade when they met in elementary school. Best friends and best teammates for years, they are standout sophomore guards at Chaminade. And they’re developing fast.

Higgins scored 23 points Friday and Simpson had 20 in Chaminade’s 75-56 win over Crespi that sends the Eagles into the San Fernando Valley Shootout championship game Saturday at 6:15 p.m. against Mission League rival Harvard-Westlake at Crespi.

Simpson and Higgins are like brothers. “They do everything together,” coach Bryan Cantwell said.

  • Football

The Bonita passing tournament will have its second day on Saturday. Valencia and Hart gained the top two seeds.

On Saturday, the Westlake High will host another tournament.

And the following Saturday (July 7) is the Edison passing tournament.

Junior guard Dominick Harris, a Gonzaga commit, scored 22 points for Rancho Christian on Thursday.
Junior guard Dominick Harris, a Gonzaga commit, scored 22 points for Rancho Christian on Thursday. (Eric Sondheimer)

The semifinals are set for Friday at the Fairfax tournament. Mater Dei will take on Rancho Christian at 6 p.m., followed by Sierra Canyon facing Taft at 7:30 p.m.

Fairfax will play Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in a consolation game at 4:30 p.m.

Rancho Christian defeated Rolling Hills Prep 82-60. Dominick Harris had 22 points, and Luke Turner 19. Vaughn Flowers led Rolling Hills with 22 points. Mater Dei defeated Loyola 89-58.

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  • Basketball
Benny Gealer, right, receives instruction from Rolling Hills Prep coach Harvey Kitani. The freshman guard scored 33 points on Wednesday.
Benny Gealer, right, receives instruction from Rolling Hills Prep coach Harvey Kitani. The freshman guard scored 33 points on Wednesday. (Eric Sondheimer)

Sierra Canyon and Taft have advanced to a Friday matchup in the semifinals of the Fairfax summer basketball tournament. Game time will be 7:30 p.m.

In Wednesday’s quarterfinals, Sierra Canyon defeated Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 109-90. Terren Frank and KJ Martin each scored 27 points and Cassius Stanley had 23. Julian Rishwain scored 29 points and Ziaire Williams 24 for Notre Dame.

Taft defeated Fairfax 60-54. Makani Whiteside scored 22 points.

  • Football
  • Basketball
Drake London of Moorpark announced he has committed to USC.
Drake London of Moorpark announced he has committed to USC. (Eric Sondheimer)

The No. 1 two-sport athlete in California, Drake London of Moorpark, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he has committed to USC and will play football and basketball for the Trojans.

The 6-foot-4 London is a standout receiver in football and an outstanding guard in basketball.

He has dreamed of playing both in college and that’s his plan for now. He said his scholarship will be in football.

  • Baseball

Santa Ana Mater Dei has hired Saddleback Valley Christian coach Richard Mercado as its new baseball coach.

Mercado is a Mater Dei grad. He replaces Burt Call, whose contract was not renewed.

Mercado was a catcher at the University of Arizona.

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  • Basketball

Tuesday’s schedule for the Fairfax basketball tournament was postponed, forcing a revised schedule beginning Wednesday.

There will be seven games played on Wednesday at Fairfax. First-round games include Mater Dei vs. Valencia, 11:45 a.m.; Beverly Hills vs. Rolling Hills Prep, 1 p.m.; and Loyola vs. Pasadena, 2:15 p.m.

Also on Wednesday are quarterfinal games: Sierra Canyon vs. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 7 p.m.; Taft vs. Fairfax, 8:30 p.m.

6-8 sophomore gets 36 points, 10 rebounds, 10 blocks

The opening night of the Fairfax basketball tournament produced the usual jockeying for space under the basket, with five videographers determined to capture the best dunk from Sierra Canyon’s group of dunkers.

But the real star from the opening games was 6-foot-8 junior Ziaire Williams of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. He scored 36 points and had 10 blocks and 10 rebounds in an 82-74 win over Santa Monica.

As Brentwood coach Ryan Bailey put it, “That’s a pro with the ball.”