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SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Those basketball fans who made a trip to the Redondo tournament way back in November are looking pretty smart these days, because that was the place to be. Five of the participating teams are still in contention for state championships _ St. John Bosco, Redondo, Compton, Mayfair and Westchester. As it turned out, it was almost a preview of the best teams in Southern California. On Tuesday night, Westchester plays at Redondo in an Open Division semifinal game. It's a rematch from the third game of the season on Nov. 29 in which Redondo defeated Westchester, 65-64.
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SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 The seemingly never ending basketball season is nearing a conclusion _ or a beginning. As soon as the final games are completed on March 29, the club season will begin. Good luck on getting rest. But every game is an opportunity, and junior guard Max Hazzard of Loyola keeps building a resume. On Tuesday he gets to face junior guard Sedrick Barefield of Corona Centennial, an SMU commit, in a semifinal game of the Division I Southern California Regionals. Last week, Hazzard refused to let his team be eliminated.
SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 In trying to put together a short list of the best high school basketball players in Southern California history over the weekend, certainly Raymond Lewis from Los Angeles Verbum Dei deserves to be mentioned, as pointed out by several readers. Here's the link to a story about his accomplishments. Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
SPORTS
March 16, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
I'm still trying to figure out what was the point of the Southern Section Open Division playoffs other than to have a super division and help other teams win a section title. Fifteen of the 16 teams that were selected for the Open Division are still alive in the Southern California Regionals. The teams have a combined record of 25-1. If winning a section title means more than winning a state title, than the Southern Section has a public relations problem among the schools that got pulled from their divisions just so Mater Dei might have some competition in the Open Division.
WORLD
March 16, 2014 | By Kate Linthicum
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip - When I first met Abdullah Alathamna four years ago, he was laid up at a children's hospital in Los Angeles, his right leg bound in a cast. He was pale, and grouchy from the pain pills. He was not at all interested in answering questions from a reporter. He was an 11-year-old kid, injured and without his family, more than 7,000 miles from his home in the northern Gaza Strip. The Palestinian youngster lost a foot in 2006 when the Israeli military accidentally shelled his house and several others while targeting militants who had launched rockets into Israel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 2014 | By Rosanna Xia
The pastor of the Muscoy United Methodist Church in San Bernardino has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing two boys, authorities said. Stephen Howard, 54, of Fontana was arrested Thursday on suspicion of lewd acts with a child under 14 and oral copulation and sodomy with a person under 18, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The alleged victims, now 14 and 23 years old, previously attended the church and said Howard gave them money in exchange for the sexual abuse, authorities said.
SPORTS
March 15, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 There's no doubt which team is No. 1 in high school soccer in California. That would be the Loyola Cubs, who won the Southern California Regional championship in Division I with a 2-1 victory over Carlsbad on Saturday at Warren High. Sean Pleskow scored both goals. He broke a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 77th minute. Loyola finishes 30-0-6 in what was the best season in school history.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
SPORTS
March 15, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Junior point guard Kendall Small put on a show Saturday night, scoring 34 points to help Mayfair knock off Long Beach Poly, 82-73, in a quarterfinal game of the Division I Southern California Regional playoffs. Mayfair will play at top-seeded Chino Hills on Tuesday. Corona Centennial defeated Fairfax, 72-63, and will play at Loyola on Tuesday. Deontae North scored 17 points and Sedrick Barefield 14 for the Huskies. Lindsey Drew led Fairfax with 15 points.  In Division IV, Deveral Ramsey made four consecutive free throws in the final 25 seconds to help Sierra Canyon hold off JSerra, 61-56.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
Division IV should be renamed the private school division. It's where most of the ambitious small private school powers can be found in basketball, and the Southern California Regional playoffs are going to be filled with big-time games the rest of the way starting with Saturday's quarterfinals. Each matchup offers something for fans and scouts. JSerra at Sierra Canyon, 4 p.m. JSerra won the 4AA championship. Sierra Canyon won the Open Division consolation title. JSerra has 6-foot-11 sophomore Jayce Johnson.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 They were celebrating in the South Bay on Friday night, because Redondo and Westchester each advanced in the Southern California Regional Open Division playoffs and will meet in the semifinals on Tuesday night at Redondo. Westchester won its road game against Riverside North, 79-61. Elijah Stewart scored 24 points. Deshon Taylor had 31 points for North. Redondo defeated La Costa Canyon, 71-51. Ian Fox scored 24 points. The other semifinal will have Etiwanda playing at Santa Ana Mater Dei. Mater Dei defeated St. Augustine, 65-38.
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