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Fryer: Tustin about to land another top coach?

OCVARSITY.COM

Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

•Tustin has selected its football coach and, if published reports are correct, the Tillers got a good one. Tustin athletic director Myron Miller would neither confirm nor deny that it will be Greg Gano, who was at Damien of La Verne the past four seasons and who coached Los Altos of Hacienda Heights to four CIF-SS titles before that. Miller, who resigned as Tustin coach after the 2012 season, his 18th running the program, said an announcement cannot occur before Tustin Unified School District's approval of the hire, which should come next week.

•The top matchups for what looks to be an excellent Nike Extravaganza basketball two-day showcase next week at Mater Dei: Feb. 1, Mater Dei's nationally top-ranked girls team vs. Oaks Christian of Westlake Village, Mater Dei's boys vs. Eisenhower of Rialto, and Brethren Christian's boys team, featuring 7-foot-5 Mamadou Ndiaye, vs. Servite. The Feb. 2 games include Long Beach Poly, No. 1 in cahisports.com's state rankings, vs. No. 11 St. John Bosco of Bellflower, state No. 6 Etiwanda vs. No. 9 Loyola of Los Angeles, and No. 2 Mater Dei vs. No. 18 Westchester of L.A.

•Tickets for the Nike Extravaganza are on sale at Mater Dei's athletics ticket window from noon-4 p.m. weekdays. Prices: $12 for general admission Feb. 1 and the Feb. 2 morning session, $12 for general admission, $22 for reserved seating for the Feb. 2 evening session. If you really, really like basketball, there are courtside seats for $250 and $500.

•Laguna Beach junior boys basketball player Noah Blanton is nephew of Dain Blanton, an Olympic gold medal-winning volleyball player who was a star volleyball and basketball player at Laguna Beach.

•Fountain Valley's boys basketball team is in first place in the Sunset League because it gets scoring contributions from a variety of sources. One player who does stand out on occasion is guard Josh Armstrong, who scored 38 points with nine rebounds and six assists in a Barons victory over Marina last week.

•Two events today that will recognize great stars of the past: Brea Olinda will retire the No. 3 jersey of former girls basketball player Kelsey Harris, class of 2010; and Savanna will induct in to its hall of fame former county wrestler of the year Tony Okada at halftime of the Rebels' boys basketball game.

•Mater Dei junior basketball star Stanley Johnson, the leader for county player of the year, missed the team flight when the Monarchs traveled to play in Ohio, where they lost to St. Edward of Lakewood, 58-44, on Monday. Coach Gary McKnight said Johnson slept in and missed the 6:45 a.m. flight, but caught the next flight. For missing the flight, Johnson did not start Monday but still scored a team-high 16 points.

•I know some Mater Dei supporters who would create a rumor that Johnson was delayed by a TSA guy who is a Servite alum.

•A combine for high school football players who wish to continue their playing days at a Division II, III or NAIA school will be at The Home Depot Center in Carson on Feb. 23. It is a free camp organized by former UCLA coach Terry Donahue and the National Football Foundation. Go to cashowcase.org for information.

•The CIF-Southern Section Council, which creates and amends CIF-SS rules and regulations, meets next Thurdsay. Among the agenda items is a statewide proposal that would make uniform football overtime tiebreaking procedures. The proposal would give the offense the ball at the opponent’s 10-yard line, instead of at the 25-yard line, which is the current procedure.

•The Brea Lions Orange County North-South Prep All-Star Football Game has moved its north-south boundary to Warner Avenue. That means these schools that used to be in the South are now in the North for player selections (in alphabetical order): Bolsa Grande, Century, Foothill, La Quinta, Liberty Christian, Marina, Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Valley, Santiago, Tustin and Westminster. The goal is to provide a better balance of power among the regions.

•One of the older records in CIF-Southern Section football is for longest punt — Robin Fairbairn, Orange, 1951, 81 yards. Fairbairn, an attorney who has been living at his vineyard in Paso Robles, died last weekend. "I didn't kick it that well, really," Fairbairn once recalled, "but it was one of those windy nights and the ball kept bouncing and rolling for what seemed like forever."

•One former county player made the Super Bowl. San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Mike Iupati is from Western, class of 2005.

•Spring sports are coming soon. First contests can be held Feb. 18 in boys tennis and Feb. 23 in badminton, baseball, boys golf, gymnastics, boys and girls lacrosse, softball, boys and girls swimming, boys and girls track and field, and boys volleyball.

•As usual, I am on Roger Lodge’s “Sports Lodge” radio show on KLAA/830 today at 9:30 a.m. I am doing the twitter thing from the Villa Park-Foothill boys basketball game tonight at twitter.com/stevefryer, passing along updates from that game and many others around Southern California hoops.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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