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  • Basketball

USA Basketball and the NBA on Tuesday announced new rules and standards for its youth basketball competitions that it hopes will be embraced by other organizations. They are designed to enhance the development of players and create a positive environment for boys and girls.

Among the changes:

+Smaller basketballs for ages 7-8 and ages 9-11.

+An eight-foot basket for ages 7-8 and a nine-foot basket for ages 9-11. (Ten feet is the normal height.)

+No zone defenses for ages 7-8 and 9-11.

+Equal playing time throughout the game for ages 7-8 and throughout the first three periods 9-11.

+No three-point field goals for ages 7-8 and 9-11.

+A 24-second clock for ninth through 12th grade, and a 30-second shot clock for 12-14.

+For players ninth to 12th grade, FIBA rules will be used.

The changes are supposed to promote individual development and a positive playing environment, according to David Krichavsky, NBA vice president and head of youth basketball development.

Working groups made up of experts and including former NBA and WNBA players helped develop the recommendations that will be implemented for the Jr. NBA program and Jr. NBA World Championship set for August.

“We think all these changes are going to be positive and promote positive development,” Krichavsky said.

Dinos Trigonis, who runs youth camps and competitions, expressed skepticism. He said implementing a shot clock could be difficult across the country for financial reasons. There are only eight states that have unlimited use of 30- or 35-second shot clocks.

“Most of the the high schools other than in California have not adopted a shot clock,” Trigonis said.

St. Francis Coach Todd Wolfson questioned the wisdom of banning zone defense for young players.

Sam Hliboki of Harvard-Westlake threw a complete game on Monday in a 6-2 win over Alemany.
Sam Hliboki of Harvard-Westlake threw a complete game on Monday in a 6-2 win over Alemany. (Eric Sondheimer)

Gahr has been playing one top team after another, and the Gladiators are more than holding their own in prep baseball.

On Monday, Darius Garcia struck out eight, walked one and pitched Gahr past No. 2-ranked El Toro 5-0. Xavier Estrada contributed two RBIs.

Gahr is 6-3 overall, with its only losses to top-25 teams Corona, Huntington Beach and Harvard-Westlake.

  • Baseball
  • Softball

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame is No. 1 and Servite No. 2 in this week’s Southern Section Division 1 prep baseball rankings.

Here's the link to complete rankings.

Los Alamitos and Orange Lutheran are the top two teams in Division 1 softball rankings.

Cassius Stanley, Sierra Canyon’s standout junior guard who left the Southern California Regional final on Saturday in the second quarter after hitting the court following a layup, is cleared to practice and play in Saturday’s Open Division state championship game, his father, Jerome, said Monday.

Stanley said his son was not diagnosed as having a concussion. He said his son’s shoulder and hands absorbed most of the fall.

Stanley didn’t return in a 58-55 win over Etiwanda. Sierra Canyon is set to play Sacramento Sheldon in Saturday’s 8 p.m. Open Division championship game at Golden 1 Center.

  • Baseball

Loyola picked up a doubleheader Mission League sweep of Crespi on Saturday.

In the first game, the Cubs won 3-0. Garrett Spicuzza struck out eight, walked none and allowed four hits. Loyola defeated Crespi 6-4.  Nik Trapani and Will Overstreet finished with two hits and two RBIs apiece. Chaminade defeated Alemany 6-2.

Edison defeated Mater Dei 7-5.





Gardena Serra is headed to Sacramento to play for the Division I girls' title
Gardena Serra is headed to Sacramento to play for the Division I girls' title (Nick Koza)

Ignoring its size disadvantage, Gardena Serra used its quickness and toughness to earn a trip to Sacramento on Saturday, beating Ribet 58-46 in the Southern California Division I girls’ regional final at Long Beach State.

There were 23 fouls called in the first half, and Ribet couldn’t recover. Standout Lola Penande, a 6-foot-4 forward who was a member of Spain’s U18 national team, picked up four fouls in the first quarter alone.

Lauryn Pointer finished with 17 points to lead Serra, including three threes that helped open up the Ribet defense that featured 6-9 Andrea Aquino. Cheyenne Gives scored 16 points, Alexis Tucker 13 and Racheal Duru 10.

  • Basketball

Pasadena point guard Darius Brown has committed to CSUN. He’s one of the first top recruits for first-year Coach Mark Gottfried.

Brown played alongside Bryce Hamilton, who’s headed to UNLV.

Brendan Harrick from Esperanza has also committed to CSUN.

  • Baseball

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.

  • Football

Sergio Villasenor has been named football coach at L.A. Wilson.

He replaces Eddie Martinez, who is retiring after 27 seasons.

Villasenor was an assistant at Wilson in the 1990s and was defensive coordinator when Wilson won a City Section 3A championship in 1996.