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Prep Rally: Revealing the All-Star boys’ and girls’ basketball teams

Amari Bailey goes up for a third quarter shot against Corona Centennial's Aaron McBride.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Prep Rally. My name is Eric Sondheimer. It’s all-star time. Let’s reveal the Los Angeles Times boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. I have to say the 10-player girls’ team is loaded with future WNBA players. One of the most talented group in years. I also want to highlight the extraordinary performance of Santa Ana Mater Dei football/track athlete Domani Jackson.

Basketball

Amari Bailey.
The Times’ boys’ basketball player of the year, Amari Bailey of Sierra Canyon.
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

Amari Bailey of Sierra Canyon and Brooke Demetre of Santa Ana Mater Dei are the boys’ and girls’ basketball players of the year as selected by The Times.

From beginning to end, Bailey had a magnificent junior season. The Stanford-bound Demetre led Mater Dei to its second straight Open Division girls’ championship during a season in which there were four McDonald’s All-Americans from Southern California.

The link to the Bailey story.

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The link to the Demetre story.

The link to the boys’ all-star team.

The link to the girls’ all-star team.

Dave Kleckner of Etiwanda and Martin Woods of Corona Centennial were selected the boys and girls coaches of the year.

Final boys’ basketball rankings

A look at the top boys’ basketball teams in the Southland for the 2021 spring season:

Rk. SCHOOL (W-L); Finish; Last rank

1. CORONA CENTENNIAL (21-2); Southern Section Open Division champions, opted out of regionals; 2

2. ETIWANDA (14-2); Southern Section Open Division qualifier, Open Division regional runner-up; 6

3. SIERRA CANYON (16-2); Southern Section Open Division runners-up, Open Division regional semifinalist; 1

4. ST. JOHN BOSCO (23-4); Southern Section Open Division qualifier, SoCal Division 1-AA runner-up; 4

5. DAMIEN (29-4); Southern Section Open Division qualifier, Open Division regional semifinalist; 7

6. MATER DEI (27-4); Southern Section Open Division qualifier, Open Division regional qualifier; 3

7. RIBET ACADEMY (13-5); Southern Section Open Division qualifier, Division 1-AA regional runner-up; 5

8. HARVARD-WESTLAKE (17-6); Southern Section Open Division qualifier, Division 1-AA regional semifinalist; 8

9. CAPISTRANO VALLEY (17-4); Southern Section Division 1 runner-up, Division 1-A regional runner-up; 21

10. CHAMINADE (20-4); Southern Section Division 1 champion, Division 1-AA regional semifinalist; 12

Click here for the rest of the top 25

Football

Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson will begin his 32nd season this fall.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Ana Mater Dei is headed to Texas on Aug. 27 to play its second game of the 2021 fall season against Duncanville.

Mater Dei went 5-0 during the spring season and has never been to Texas to play a high school football game. Duncanville was 10-2 last fall.

It will be coach Bruce Rollinson’s 32nd season.

Here’s the link to information about the game.

Speedster Domani Jackson

Domani Jackson of Mater Dei wins the 100-meter dash in 10.25 seconds, tying the state record.
(Steve Galluzzo / For The Times)

Domani Jackson of Santa Ana Mater Dei was already considered the No. 1 football prospect in California, if not the nation. Now his reputation is only going to grow after he tied a 36-year state record in the 100 meters by running 10.25 seconds at Arcadia High, tying the great Henry Thomas’ record set in 1985.

Jackson, a cornerback committed to USC, was pushed by another football athlete who could come gunning for the record, Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra, who ran 10.32 seconds to finish second.

It’s just great to see football athletes using track and field to get better in their favorite sport.

Here’s the link to the track story from Saturday night.

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Commitments

Commitments are coming fast and furious. There’s no guarantee they will stick by the time football letter of intent day comes this fall, but we have to report them.

Quarterback Katin Houser of St. John Bosco, previously committed to Boise State, is now committed to Michigan State.

Pasadena receiver Mekhi Fox committed to UCLA.

Quarterback Brandon Rose of Murrieta Valley committed to Utah.

Leuzinger defensive lineman Kevonte Henry committed to Michigan.

Seven on seven

St. John Bosco won the first big seven on seven passing tournament, taking the Orlando Scandrick championship at Los Alamitos by beating Servite in the final.

Mater Dei competed but was missing top players competing in track and also taking recruiting visits.

Charter Oak won its own tournament championship over La Serna.

The next tournament is Saturday at Edison. Several top quarterbacks will be away for another competition.

Baseball/Softball

JSerra emerged as victorious in the first Southern California Division I regional baseball championship with a 5-1 win over Ayala behind pitcher Eric Silva.

Here’s the link to story.

In Division I softball, Camarillo defeat Westlake 2-0. Natalie Yamane hit a two-run home run.

Here’s the link to complete baseball championship scores.

Here’s the link to complete softball championship scores.

All-CIF honorees

The Southern Section has released All-CIF teams for soccer and volleyball.

Here’s the boys’ volleyball All-CIF teams.

Here’s the girls’ soccer All-CIF teams.

Here’s the boys’ soccer All-CIF teams.

From the archives: Michael Norman

Michael Norman celebrates after winning the 400 meters at the IAAF Diamond League Memorial Van Damme.
(Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images)

It was so fun to watch and root for Michael Norman making the U.S. Olympic team when he won the 400 meters at the Olympic Trials in Oregon. Since he was a high school phenom at Vista Murrieta, many have predicted greatness. Certainly watching him in high school at the Arcadia Invitational left me breathless.

Not only was he a great athlete but an even better person. Wearing his trademark headband, he was always friendly with fans, players, coaches and sportswriters. He’s truly a great representative for USA track and field and his story will be one of the best in Tokyo because his mother is from Japan.

Here’s a story from 2015 of Norman preparing for the Arcadia Invitational.

Here’s a story from 2016 of Norman turning on the speed at the Masters Meet.

Here’s a video from 2016 of Norman explaining his development into America’s best high school runner.

LAUSD looks to improve facilities

Coaches and principals in the Los Angeles Unified School District, get your sports wish lists together. The Board of Education approved a resolution to use money from Measure RR to upgrade, modernize and develop athletic facilities at high schools across the district.

The measure was approved by voters this year and provides $7 billion to update school facilities.

District staff have been directed to return in 90 days with a plan for selecting and funding projects.

Here’s the link to story.

Rob Wigod exit interview

The Southern Section season has been completed, so it was time for an exit interview with commissioner Rob Wigod.

What went right, what went wrong, what’s ahead for the new playoffs in football. Those were among the issues discussed.

Recommendations

From the San Diego Union-Tribune, a story on how throwing tortillas at the end of a basketball game caused havoc and controversy.

From the Los Angeles Times, an opinion piece on how to prevent heat deaths among youth athletes.

From Yahoo Sports, a look at allegations of recruiting violations involving the Arizona State football program.

Tweets you might have missed

Until next time...

Have a question, comment or something you’d like to see in a future Prep Rally newsletter? Email me at eric.sondheimer@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latsondheimer.

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