Los Angeles Preps: Loyola

Loyola's Shelton bags first offer

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
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Senior-to-be lineman Coleman Shelton of Loyola is finally getting the recognition he deserves from recruiters. The 6-foot-4 All-Serra League selection received a scholarship offer from Colorado last week and a number of other Pac-12 schools are starting to show interest.

Teammate Cameron Walker, one of the area's top cornerbacks, is already up to eight offers, including Michigan, Boise State and Cincinnati. Tight end Jack Neuheisel, the son of former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, is planning a visit to Southern Methodist.

Loyola has one of the toughest non-league schedules around: Harvard-Westlake, West Covina, Newport Harbor, St. John Bosco, Mira Costa and Valencia.

Volleyball: Mira Costa wins Div. 1 title

May, 19, 2012
5/19/12
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Mira Costa captured its seventh CIF-Southern Section boys' volleyball title Saturday night by upsetting top-seeded Loyola in the Division 1 final at Cypress College. The Mustangs won an exciting five-set match, 25-18, 25-22, 25-27, 21-25, 15-12.

Loyola (33-2) never faced a two-set deficit all year and nearly completed the comeback.

"We wanted to give them trouble," Mira Costa coach Mike Ninnis told Fox Sports Preps Zone Live. "Things worked out for us."

Third-seeded Mira Costa (32-4) had lost to Loyola twice during the regular season, but won the one that mattered. Loyola, which swept through every set in the playoffs, dodged two match points in the third set.

In the Division 2 final, Oak Park defeated Corona del Mar in four sets to win its first section title. South Torrance beat Warren in four sets to claim the Division 3 title, and Los Angeles Cathedral ousted defending champion Santa Monica in five sets to win Division 4. Chadwick swept Viewpoint in Division 5.

Volleyball playoffs update

May, 16, 2012
5/16/12
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The Granada Hills boys volleyball team swept Woodland Hills Taft in three games and will play for the City Section Division I championship on Saturday.

Palisades had a bit tougher time with West Adams, but still swept its way to the championship match.

Granada Hills and Palisades will play at Venice High School on Saturday at 5.

Los Angeles Jordan plays Verdugo Hills in the Division II championship match at Venice High School. Northridge plays Elizabeth in the small schools championship at noon.

In the CIF Southern Section boys volleyball playoffs, top-seeded Loyola plays third-seeded Mira Costa in the Division I championship match at Cypress College on Saturday.

Top-seeded Oak Park plays second-seeded Corona del Mar in the Division II championship match at Cypress College.

No. 1 seed Warren plays No. 2 South Torrance in the Division III championship match.

No. 1 Cathedral plays No. 3 Santa Monica in the Division IV championship match. No. 4 Viewpoint plays No. 1 Chadwick in the Division V championship match.

Loyola top seed in CIF Southern Section volleyball playoffs

May, 6, 2012
5/06/12
7:44
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The CIF Southern Section boys volleyball playoffs begin on Tuesday and it looks like there might be a new champion in Division I.

Mater Dei won the Division I championship in a five-game match over Santa Margarita last year.

Servite won the Trinity League championship this year and enter the Division I playoffs as the No. 4 seed. Mater Dei was second in the Trinity League, followed by Santa Margarita in third.

Loyola has the top seed in the Division I playoffs and awaits the winner of the Simi Valley vs. San Marcos wild-card match.

Esperanza is the No. 2 seed and opens against St. Francis. Mira Costa is the No. 3 seed and plays Newbury Park in the first round.

Servite plays Long Beach Wilson in the first round.

Teams from the L.A. North Region dominate Division II. Oak Park is the top seed and has a bye in the first round. Valencia is the No. 4 seed and plays Knight from Lancaster in the first round.

Corona del Mar is the No. 2 seed and has a bye in the first round. Laguna Beach is the third seed and plays Malibu to open the playoffs.

Corona del Mar won the Division II championship in four games against Laguna Beach last year.

Here is a look at the first-round matches in the CIF Southern Section playoffs:

(Read full post)

Loyola's Hazzard commits to Arizona

April, 15, 2012
4/15/12
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Loyola sharpshooting guard Jacob Hazzard committed to Arizona on Sunday, accepting a preferred walk-on spot with the Wildcats.

Hazzard, the grandson of former UCLA great Walt Hazzard, had scholarship offers from a number of Division III schools but a visit to Tucson last week convinced him. He averaged more than 12 points per game and made over 40 percent of his 3-pointers, gaining a reputation as one of the top shooters in the Southland.

"I love the facilities, love the campus and it's a big school," Hazzard said of Arizona. "I wanted to go to a big-time school. The basketball fan base there is ridiculous. Everyone is supportive."

Prep basketball: Top 20 rankings

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
6:16
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Another prep basketball season is in the books after the CIF State Championships took place last weekend in Sacramento. The Southland was well represented at the gathering, with four teams in attendance up North. Three programs prevailed and brought home some hardware for their respective trophy cases.

Let's take a look at how the Southland's premier programs stacked up against each other this season. Some of the teams will look familiar. Others not so much. Here are the final ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings.

1. (1) Mater Dei (34-2): The Monarchs went wire-to-wire as the top-ranked team. Are we surprised? No, not really.

2. (4) Alemany (33-4): There's no substitute for experience, and with seniors Max Guercey and Marqueze Coleman in the mix the Warriors know this all too well.

3. (2) Long Beach Poly (28-3): Pieces of the puzzle appeared in place. The Jackrabbits, however, were their own worst enemy when it mattered most, the playoffs.

4. (6) Loyola (26-6): Bad news: Seniors Julian Harrell, Justin Childress and Jacob Hazzard are gone. Good news: Sophomore Parker Jackson-Cartwright returns.

5. (5) Serra (31-3): With Daddy Ugbede out on the court, the Cavaliers were capable of beating anyone. The senior was a threat underneath and out on the perimeter.

6. (3) Taft (29-4): Anthony January was a high-profile transfer at the start of season for the Toreadors. The senior wing, of course, lived up to most of the hype.

7. (7) Etiwanda (30-3): With sophomore point guard Jordan McLaughlin in the fold, the Eagles figure to be just fine for years to come. More than fine, in fact.

8. (16) Price (26-9): Seemingly no one around played a tougher schedule. Once postseason play rolled around, the Knights were a battled-tested group. And then some.

9. (11) La Verne Lutheran (25-8): The Trojans relied on Grant Jerrett. The Arizona commit and McDonald's All-American could take care of business by himself.

10. (17) St. John Bosco (25-8): The Hamilton brothers, junior Isaac and sophomore Daniel, often times played as if they were seasoned veterans for the Braves.

11. (10) Mayfair (27-6): Senior wing Dion Wright did a little bit of everything for the Monsoons once the playoffs started. He did most of it extremely well too.

12. (9) Pacific Hills (30-5): Brandon Taylor might have been considered an underrated point guard early on this season. The senior changed the perception in the playoffs.

13. (8) Orange Lutheran (22-11): A mid-season injury to Gabe York was difficult to deal with. Once the senior guard was healthy, there was not stopping the Lancers.

14. (12) Pasadena (27-7): The Bulldogs knew they had a reliable presence in senior Blake Hamilton. During their playoff run, everyone else learned the same exact thing.

15. (14) Mission Viejo (25-6): When football and basketball players finally come together, it can be a dangerous combo. Go ahead and ask opponents of the Diablos this year.

16. (18) Crespi (24-8): It was tough to figure out the Celts. They managed to defeat Alemany twice, Price one time and Loyola once. This group might have peeked too early.

17. (13) Calabasas (28-4): The season was dedicated to assistant coach Joe Frazier, in a coma after a motorcycle accident. The Coyotes did their mentor proud from start to finish

18. (15) Inglewood (23-12): Starting five consisted of juniors Charles Lockwood, Kristopher Randall, Randy Onwuasor, Edward Scott Jr. and Nicholas Smiley. Watch out.

19. (NR) Bishop Montgomery (23-5): Playing in highly competitive Division IV took its toll on the Knights. They were a battered and bruised bunch come postseason play.

20. (NR) Village Christian (32-3): The Crusaders were on a crusade, apparently. They came out of nowhere and opened some eyes en route to winning a Division V state title.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

South: Boys' basketball top 10

March, 26, 2012
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The final boys’ basketball top 10 rankings for schools in south Los Angeles County:

1. Long Beach Poly (29-3)
On the bad side, Poly came up short in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA finals against Mater Dei and again in the Southern California Regionals against Fresno Bullard. On the bright side, standout juniors Roschon Prince and Jordan Bell return next season with redemption in mind.

2. Loyola (26-6)
Four of Loyola's six losses came against eventual state champions -- two to Mater Dei and two to Mission League titlist Alemany. The Cubs blew a 10-point lead against Mater Dei in the Division 1AA semis, which will serve as motivation for up-and-coming point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright this offseason.

3. Gardena Serra (31-3)
The Cavaliers were the last ones standing in Division 4AA but couldn't find the same magic in the regional final against Price. Despite missing out on a trip to Sacramento, Serra can hang its hat on the impressive section title.

4. Price (26-9)
San Diego State-bound forward Skylar Spencer and Co. made a run at state but fell short in the capital. The Knights return a good group, led by versatile guard Chance Murray.

5. La Verne Lutheran (25-8)
Arizona-bound forward Grant Jerrett, the state's only McDonald's All-American, was denied his third straight state championship ring but it won't dampen a stellar prep career. The torch has been handed to sharpshooting junior guard Eric Cooper Jr.

6. Pacific Hills (30-5)
The Bruins were a force in the difficult Alpha League and it carried them to the Division 4A championship. With only two seniors graduating, coach Ivan Barahona has Pacific Hills eying the repeat next season.

7. Pasadena (28-7)
The Bulldogs benefited from rival Muir's forfeiture of the Pacific League crown, but forward Brandon Jolley and guard Ajon Jefferson legitimized it by winning the Division 3AAA championship. Both return next year.

8. St. John Bosco (25-8)
Yes, the Braves beat Pasadena in the regional tournament. But they're a spot below because Pasadena captured a section title. With dynamic brothers Isaac and Daniel Hamilton leading the charge, Bosco will be one of the teams to watch next year.

9. Mayfair (27-6)
The Wright brothers, Brian and Dion, guided the Monsoons to the Division 2 title against Santa Maria Righetti.

10. Damien (26-3)
Coach Matt Dunn won't make the excuse, but making a 200-mile trip up the coast didn't help the top-seeded Spartans' chances of advancing in the Division 3AAA playoffs.

Ten more, in alphabetic order: Bishop Montgomery (23-5), Crenshaw (24-6), Compton (19-10), Dorsey (27-9), Downey (22-6), Fairfax (20-10), Leuzinger (23-6), Muir (5-21)#, Westchester (22-8), Windward (20-9)

# - Muir was 24-2 on the court; vacated 19 wins for use of an ineligible player.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Following him on Twitter.

Mater Dei has its own 'big three'

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
8:01
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Mater DeiCourtesy of Nick KozaFrom left, Katin Reinhardt, Xavier Johnson and Stanley Johnson are key cogs in Mater Dei's success.

SANTA ANA -- Most prep basketball teams from this region are lucky to have at least one star player on their roster. A select few programs suited up a pair of standouts in the same uniform. One school, however, was fortunate enough to have a trio of high-profile prospects in their mix: Santa Ana Mater Dei.

When opponents focused their efforts on limiting the effectiveness of Katin Reinhardt, the Monarchs countered with the equally dangerous Xavier Johnson. When defenses shifted toward him, a more-than-capable Stanley Johnson stepped to the forefront.

Slowing down one player was entirely possible. Shutting down two proved to be quite daunting. Completely stopping the Southland's makeshift version of “The Big Three,” albeit on a much smaller scale in comparison to the moniker recently made so well-known in NBA circles, was not met with much success.

“Go ahead, pick your poison,'' said Reinhardt during practice this past week as top-seeded Mater Dei (32-2 overall) prepared for sixth-seeded Fresno Bullard (33-3) in Saturday night's Division I championship game of the Southern California Regional Playoffs at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. The winner advances to next week's CIF State finals in Sacramento.

“We're not trying to be 'The Big Three' from the Boston Celtics, maybe the Miami Heat. Just kidding,'' Stanley Johnson said. “People give us nicknames, we hear the hype about the three of us, but we don't think about it. We're just Katin, Xavier and Stanley.''

Fair enough.

Whatever the case, it's difficult to argue with the success the Monarchs have enjoyed this season with Reinhardt, and the Johnsons -- who are not related -- leading the way of course.

They have gone wire-to-wire as the top-ranked team in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20. On the national level, it has been more of the same. Mater Dei is No. 8 in the country by ESPNHS in its latest Powerade Fab 50 rankings.

“We want to leave a legacy as, maybe, the three best players to come through Mater Dei. At same time, we know there is a lot of history at this school,'' Xavier Johnson said. “The big things for us, we're all so competitive and unselfish. Three heads are better than one.''

(Read full post)

L.A. Junior Kings win hockey titles

March, 11, 2012
3/11/12
10:31
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The L.A. Junior Kings won the Pacific District ice hockey 18U championship, 4-3 in overtime, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo on Sunday.

Several of the players on the Junior Kings are students at high schools in Los Angeles.

Christian Salvato, the captain of the Junior Kings, is a senior at Bonita High School. He helped the Junior Kings rally from a 3-1 deficit against the Alaska Wolves in the third period to tie the score and send the game into overtime.

"We just played as a team, didn't give up and just kept working, Salvato said.

Ian Hoang, a freshman at Long Beach State and a graduate of Villa Park High School, scored two goals and had an assist. Paul Ramsey scored the game-winner for the Junior Kings in overtime.

"The feeling is amazing," said Joey Cicoria, a forward on the Junior Kings and a senior at Hart High School in Newhall. He also played football at Hart in the fall. "It's unreal. We came back and won in overtime. It's a great feeling."

The Junior Kings advance to the USA Hockey national tournament.

The L.A. Junior Kings 16U team won its Pacific District championship, 3-1, over the Alaska Wolves. Keanu Yamamoto from Redondo Beach had a goal and an assist for the Junior Kings.

Ryan Siroky, from Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, had an assist on Yamamoto's goal.

Nolan Stevens, a freshman at Loyola High School and a forward on the Junior Kings, is the son of Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens, who was the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Parker-Cartwright powers Loyola victory

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
11:08
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LOS ANGELES -- Sophomore sensation is not a term to be used loosely.

In the case of Parker Jackson-Cartwright from Los Angeles Loyola, the moniker is indeed fitting. Come to think of it, the same thing can be said about Etiwanda's Jordan McLaughlin.

The talented underclassmen went toe-to-toe Saturday night. In the end, however, Jackson-Cartwright got the better of the exchange by virtue of his Cubs defeating the McLaughlin-led Eagles, 48-35, in a Division I second-round game of the Southern California Regional playoffs.

“I can't imagine that there are two better sophomores in the state,'' Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “We're talking about a pair of kids who are going to be high-major college-type of recruits when they're seniors. Both of them are getting a ton of looks already. I had a bunch of coaches and scouts call me this week about the game. Everyone wanted to see Parker and Jordan go at it.''

With the victory, Loyola (26-5) advances to the semifinals on Tuesday night against Santa Ana Mater Dei, a 78-66 winner over Mission Viejo on Saturday. The Monarchs, mind you, did not have standout guard Katin Reinhardt in the lineup. He has a hand injury and will be reevaluated this week.

Jackson-Cartwright was largely -- although not solely -- responsible for the Cubs success. He kept Loyola's stat guru, Andrew Figueras, busy throughout the game. The 5-foot-7 point guard scored a team-high 13 points. Jackson-Cartwright added six rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists.

His counterpart did not have his best game of the season. McLaughlin attempted to keep things close and finished with 10 points, three blocks and two rebounds. Problem was, the 6-foot floor general did not have much help. No other player scored in double digits for Etiwanda (30-3).

“At this stage, in the state tournament, in Division I, it's unique from a fan standpoint to see two players like Jordan and Parker play at such a high level because they are so young,'' Etwiwanda coach Dave Kleckner said. “This game was a preview of things to come for both players.''

(Read full post)

Etiwanda-Loyola: Battle of elite PGs

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
4:34
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Loyola's Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Etiwanda's Jordan McLaughlin are, without question, two of the Southland's top basketball prospects. The point guards figure to draw quite an audience Saturday night when their schools meet in the second round of the Division I Southern California Regionals.

Jackson-Cartwright
Jackson-Cartwright
McLaughlin
McLaughlin
The sophomores are quite familiar with each other. They matched up in summer-league games last year and even attended a high school football game together as friends.

They'll meet under different circumstances Saturday: A trip to the regional semifinals -- likely against top-seeded Mater Dei -- is up for grabs.

"I'll play my game, nothing is going to change," said Jackson-Cartwright, the top-ranked player in the state for the 2014 recruiting class who has scholarship offers from the likes of UCLA, USC, Arizona State and Washington. "He's a good player. I'll try to get into him and make it tough for him."

Loyola outlasts Crenshaw in first round

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
10:04
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LOS ANGELES -- Julian Harrell still hasn't gotten over Loyola's loss to Mater Dei in the CIF-Southern Section semifinals. He says he thinks about the 10-point lead his team let slip away in the final 10 minutes against the state's top-ranked team and eventual Division 1AA champion.

It happened over a week ago, but the defeat still stings. Loyola used it as motivation Wednesday night, beating Crenshaw 103-91 before a capacity crowd in the first round of the Southern California Regionals.

"I'm not over the loss, to be honest," said Harrell, who scored a team-high 25 points. "I'm still trying to swallow that loss. ... That's in the past, but we do want another shot at [Mater Dei]."

Fourth-seeded Loyola (25-5) will face Etiwanda in the second round Saturday night and, with a win, will likely get another crack at the top-seeded Monarchs in the regional semifinals.

Sharpshooter Jacob Hazzard had 22 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Cubs. Senior Khaliq Bedart-Ghani added 16 and an electrifying breakaway dunk. Super sophomore point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright had 12 points and 10 assists.

Loyola held a 51-40 lead following an up-and-down, fast-paced first half. Crenshaw had twice fallen behind by double figures but responded with runs, including a 9-0 spurt midway through the second quarter. The Cubs answered with a 17-4 run, highlighted by a pair of dagger 3-pointers from role player Trey Mason.

(Read full post)

Prep basketball: Top 20 rankings

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
5:08
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With the Southern Section and Los Angeles City Section playoffs in the books, the premier programs from the greater Los Angeles area turn their collective attention toward the Southern California Regional Playoffs this week. First-round play starts Wednesday night as teams begin their bids for a berth in the CIF State Championship game.

That said, let's take a quick look at how some of the best of the best from right here in the Southland stack up against each other. Without further adieu, here's the latest edition of the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 rankings.

1. (1) Mater Dei (29-2): Have gone wire-to-wire atop of our rankings and show no signs of slowing down.

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (26-2): Revenge-minded Jackrabbits would like another shot against Mater Dei.

3. (5) Taft (28-3): Not much competition in Los Angeles' City Section. Division I state will be different though.

4. (6) Alemany (28-4): All signs pont to the Warriors making an appearance in Division III state title game.

5. (7) Gardena Serra (29-2): The top seed in Division IV and distinction is worthy given body of work.

6. (4) Loyola (24-5): Wouldn't be least bit surprised to see the Cubs make some noise in Division I play.

7. (3) Etiwanda (29-2): Eagles are overlooked in Division I with Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly around.

8. (9) Orange Lutheran (21-10): Gabe York receives the headlines while Payton Banks waits in the wings.

9. (10) Pacific Hills (28-4): Brandon Taylor is one of the most underrated seniors in Southern California.

(Read full post)

LA South: Local teams ready for postseason run

March, 4, 2012
3/04/12
11:52
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Some of the Southland's premier prep hoops programs reside in the Northern region of Los Angeles. And for those skeptics out there looking for proof, one need not look any further than the brackets released for the Southern California Regional Playoffs on Sunday afternoon.

First round play begins Wednesday night and Long Beach Poly is one of the marquee teams competing in Division I. The Jackrabbits were awarded the all-important No.2 seed and open up at home game against Capistrano Valley.

Among the other potentially entertaining games in an absolutely loaded Division I field: Los Angeles Crenshaw at No. 4 Loyola Los Angeles, Los Angeles Westchester at Fresno Bullard and Los Angeles Dorsey at Orange Lutheran.

In Division II, No.2 Mayfair earned a first-round bye. Los Angeles Garfield faces a particulary tough task at No. 5 Inglewood. Division III has a strong contingent, including No. 6 Bellflower St. John Bosco, No.7 Bell and South Torrance.

Gardena Serra is the top seed in Division IV and has a bye in the first round. Local opponents looming large are No. 2 La Verne Lutheran, No. 3 Los Angeles Price and No. 5 Los Angeles Pacific Hills. Other teams posing as ptoential threats are underdogs No. 8 Animo South Los Angeles and Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart.

In Division V, Playa del Rey St. Bernard is the top seed. No. 2 Los Angeles Ribet Academy and Los Angeles View Park could play the spoiler role.

Mater Dei survives against Loyola

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
10:38
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ANAHEIM -- The two losses Mater Dei has this season came in overtime, so the last thing longtime Mater Dei basketball coach Gary McKnight wanted was to head there.

Senior forward Xavier Johnson sank two clutch free throws and the Monarchs played suffocating defense on the final possession, escaping with a 61-58 win against Loyola in a CIF-Southern Section Division 1A semifinal Tuesday night at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.

Sharpshooter Jacob Hazzard's potential tying 3-pointer barely left his hand before it was sent back his way. Khaliq Bedart-Ghani grabbed the loose ball and fired a 3-pointer of his own but missed badly, and top-seeded Mater Dei advanced to face second-seeded Long Beach Poly in Saturday night's title game at the same venue.

"I just didn't want it to get to overtime," McKnight said.

Johnson made sure it didn't, recording game-highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds. His electrifying dunk at the end of the third quarter was exactly what a lackadaisical Mater Dei needed to wake up.

"They made one more play than we did," said Loyola coach Jamal Adams, whose team led by as many as nine late in the third quarter. "We played our tails off. No moral victories."

Recent history between the two added intrigue. Last season, defending Division 1A champ Loyola lost to Mater Dei in the Southern California regionals, 72-70, after leading by nine heading into the fourth quarter. The Monarchs went on capture the state crown in Sacramento.

Tuesday night's affair mirrored that closely: Defending state champion Mater Dei (28-2) went on a 9-0 run midway through the fourth to regain control.

(Read full post)

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