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Loyola standout Gathers headed to Taft

According to San Jose-based basketball scout Gerry Freitas, senior guard Jordan Gathers has left Loyola of Los Angeles to enroll at Taft of Woodland Hills and is scheduled to begin classes Sept. 9.

Gathers, the nephew of the late Hank Gathers, is another talented player to add to the roster for Taft coach Derrick Taylor in the Toreadors' attempt to knock off Westchester of Los Angeles, Crenshaw of Los Angeles and Fairfax of Los Angeles in pursuit of the program's third City championship.

The 6-foot-2 Gathers averaged 11 points per game for the Cubs last year, but missed seven weeks with a shoulder injury. Loyola was the Div. II-A runner-up last season and Taft reached the City final, losing to Westchester.

- Jacob H. Pollon

Oaks Christian is state's top football team

After being recognized in the top 10 in several preseason national high school football rankings, Oaks Christian of Westlake Village was honored as the No. 1 team by Cal-Hi Sports in the preseason state top 50.

The Lions, who captured their sixth consecutive Southern Section title, enter Friday's game at No. 22 Alemany of Mission Hills with a 21-game winning streak.

Oaks Christian and Alemany are two of the nine area teams ranked in the top 50. In addition, Loyola, which competes in the Serra League against No. 5 Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks and No. 23 Crespi of Encino, is ranked No. 26. Taft, at No. 17, is one of two City S ection teams to be ranked, trailing Crenshaw at No. 15.

Valencia and Moorpark, which met in last year's Southern Section Northern Division semifinals, are ranked Nos. 30 and 43. Quartz Hill, the defending Western Division champion, is No. 48, although Golden League rival Palmdale is ranked higher at No. 36.

No local showdown for Sundling at U.S. Open

Thousand Oaks resident JT Sundling joined Rio Mesa of Oxnard graduates Bob and Mike Bryan on the prestigious list of 18-under doubles champions when he and USC teammate Daniel Nguyen captured the title Aug. 15 at the USTA National Championship in Kalamazoo, Mich.

But there won't be a showdown of the area standouts in the opening round of the U.S. Open men's doubles draw, as Nguyen and Sundling will take on Argentina's Maximo Gonzalez and Juan Monaco and not the defending-champion Bryans, who won 18-under championships in 1995 and '96.

The top-seeded Bryans, who also captured the U.S. Open title in 2005, will face Jose Acasuso and Martin Vassallo Arguello - another Argentinian pair - in their first-round match.

Gonzalez and Monaco reached the semifinals at the U.S. Open last year, losing to India's Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-0. Paes and Dlouhy fell in the final to the Bryans 7-6 (5), 7-6 (10).

Sundling and Nguyen secured the wild-card berth into the U.S. Open main draw with a 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory over Sekou Coker Bangoura and Nathan Pasha. In six matches in alamazoo, Sundling and Nguyen dropped only one set.

Mottram helps U.S. rebound against Japan

Evan Mottram's best effort of the FIVB 19-under World Championships was enough to help the U.S. Youth National boys' volleyball team get past Japan, but it wasn't enough to help the Americans in a tiebreaker with Iran and Serbia.

Mottram, a Quartz Hill graduate and UC Santa Barbara freshman, had eight digs and 17 service receptions in a 25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22 pool-play victory over Japan in Jesolo, Italy. But Iran's sweep of Serbia created a three-way tie in the Americans' pool, resulting in the U.S. finishing third, despite a victory over defending-champion Iran.

The Americans, No. 8 in the FIVB World Youth rankings, will compete today against Algeria, looking to secure a berth in the ninth-place semifinals. The U.S. finished 15th at the 2007 FIVB 19-under tournament in Mexico.

- Erik Boal
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:651
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