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Boys' basketball player of the year: Trent Perry of Harvard-Westlake

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Boys' basketball player of the year: Trent Perry of Harvard-Westlake

Trent Perry smiles so much during basketball games that photographers can’t help but focus their cameras on his face. He’s always showing his joy at competing, his passion for winning, his commitment to succeeding.

Over this past season, few guards have been better. When the game matters, when the moment reaches a fever pitch, Perry steps forward to deliver.

The 6-foot-4 senior headed to USC helped the Wolverines win a Southern Section Open Division championship and repeat as state Open Division champion this season. He scores, passes or leads depending on the time, situation and moment. He averaged 18 points, six rebounds and six assists.

The McDonald’s All-American has been selected The Times’ player of the year for the 2023-24 season.

What he did in his final three games of his high school career will be remembered for a long time. He had 42 points in a one-point regional playoff win over Carlsbad. He scored 28 points and made all 13 of his free throws in a regional final win over Eastvale Roosevelt. He made the go-ahead basket, another basket and two free throws to take down Richmond Salesian by five points in Sacramento for the state title.

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“I had to give it my all,” he said.

That pretty much sums up Perry, a player who became great because of his work ethic.

He was one of the players who helped Harvard-Westlake right the ship in January after consecutive losses to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Sierra Canyon.

“Losing is humbling,” he said. “It honestly set us back a little bit, but we just go through adversity and refocus as a group. We always have to push forward and keep our head on straight.”

Perry’s unselfishness was important in creating opportunity for others to develop for Harvard-Westlake, from guard Robert Hinton to guard Christian Horry to forward Nikolas Khamenia. With the ball in his hands and his eyes looking up, Perry created the situations for others to contribute and that’s what top players do, lift others around them.

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The jaw-dropping numbers that prove just how good Scottie Scheffler, Nelly Korda are

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The jaw-dropping numbers that prove just how good Scottie Scheffler, Nelly Korda are

The heights they are reaching have become comical, two golfers taking over their respective sports with such dominance that — at least for this moment — it’s difficult to imagine anyone beating them.

Nelly Korda just won her fifth straight start, ending with a major, the Chevron Championship. Scottie Scheffler just won four of five starts with a Masters in the middle. The men’s and women’s world No. 1s are no longer just the best players in their sport. They are becoming two of the best ever. It’s reached the point Scheffler was playfully asked this week in Hilton Head if the two of them are in a competition.

“I don’t know, man,” he joked, “I think if it’s a competition she’s got me pretty beat right now. Five wins in a row. She had that T16 at the beginning of the year, which was just terrible. I can’t believe she did that.”

And with their runs of greatness has come a fun little trend: Who can post the most ridiculous, impressive statistics or notes to quantify how incredible their golf has been in 2024.

“The best five weeks since this.”

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“The most strokes gained since that.”

It’s become so extreme and entertaining that we decided, hey, let’s make a list of the most impressive and telling notes on Scheffler’s and Korda’s historic runs.

1. In their last 10 combined starts, Korda and Scheffler have beaten 1,163 golfers, per Monday Q Info. Only one golfer beat either. Stephen Jaeger avoided a playoff and beat Scheffler by one stroke at the Houston Open after the latter’s putt on 18 missed. For Korda, it’s the first time somebody has won five straight LPGA events since Annika Sorsenstam (2004, 2005). Scheffler’s run of W-W-T2-W-W is just the fifth streak of five T2s or better in the last 30 years. Tiger Woods did it eight straight times twice, and seven straight on another occasion. Scheffler has matched Vijay Singh’s 2004 run.

2. Korda and Scheffler became the second pair of world No. 1 players in both men’s and women’s golf to win majors in consecutive weeks (since the inception of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking). Tiger and Lorena Ochoa did it in back-to-back weeks at the Women’s British Open and PGA Championship in 2007, according to The Athletic contributor Justin Ray.

3. In the last 42 days, Scheffler has earned $16.3 million. That’s the second most earned in a PGA Tour season, and he did it in just five events. That means that Ted Scott, Scheffler’s caddie, has made approximately $1.78 million this year, putting him at 45th on the 2024 PGA Tour money list, ahead of Rory McIlroy.

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PGA Tour 2024 money list

Place PGA Tour golfer 2024 money

1

Scottie Scheffler

18,693,235

2

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Wyndham Clark

9,111,009

3

Sahith Theegala

6.565,228

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4

Ludvig Aberg

6,511,053

5

Hideki Matsuyama

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6,007,495

44

Eric Cole

1,790,728

Ted Scott (Scheffler’s caddie)

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1,780,000

45

Rory McIlroy

1,714,672

Tour average

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1,026,231

Scheffler is chasing down his own record. He won $21.04 million last season.

4. It’s not just Scheffler’s wins. It’s his two years of historic consistency. Scheffler has finished top-3 in 23 of his last 51 events. That’s beating almost the entire field 43 percent of the time. For reference, Xander Schauffele is No. 2 on DataGolf and has been one of the most consistent players in men’s pro golf not named Scheffler. Schauffele’s betting odds before the RBC Heritage projected him to finish top five 30 percent of the time. For one tournament. Scheffler has been finishing top three nearly one and half times that pace.

5. Scottie’s lead in the world rankings over No. 2 Rory McIlroy is bigger than McIlroy’s lead over No. 788 Tiger Woods. Scheffler has double the OWGR points as McIlroy, with 690 total points for an average of 15 points to McIlroy’s 338, averaging 7.4.

The gap between world No. 1 Nelly Korda and world No. 2 Lilia Vu on the Rolex Women’s Golf Rankings is just as large as the gap between the Vu and the 185th-ranked player, Auston Kim.

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6. Scheffler has twice as many rounds of 64 or lower this season (4) than rounds of even par (2). Even par is his worst score in 2024 (Round 2 at the Houston Open and Masters). He hasn’t shot over par since a 3-over 73 at the Tour Championship in August.

7. With her win at the Chevron Championship, Korda became the third LPGA player to win five tournaments in five starts, joining Nancy Lopez (1978) and Sorenstam. After withdrawing from this week’s LA Championship Korda could go for a record sixth win as soon as the Founders Cup (May 9-12 in Clifton, N.J.).

8. No American golfer had won five tournaments in a single LPGA season since Juli Inkster in 1999. Korda just won five in consecutive events before May.

9. Korda leads the LPGA’s 2024 season-long points race with 2,702 CME Globe points. Lydia Ko is in second place and has earned less than half of that. Korda has already earned enough points to have finished third each of the last two years.

10. Korda, 25,  became the youngest American player to win a second LPGA major since Juli Inkster (who was 23)  in 1984 (via Justin Ray). Inkster ultimately won seven from 1984 to 2002. Meg Mallon is the only other American to get to four majors in the 21st century. Korda is halfway there.

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The only good news for the rest of the PGA and LPGA Tours? Scheffler and Korda have decided to take this week off.

(Illustration: Dan Goldfarb / The Athletic; Photos: Andy Lyons, Andrew Redington / Getty Images)

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Riley Gaines praises girls who refused to compete with trans athlete as WV takes law to Supreme Court

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Riley Gaines praises girls who refused to compete with trans athlete as WV takes law to Supreme Court

Riley Gaines, a former collegiate swimmer with the Kentucky Wildcats who has been a staunch supporter for fairness in women’s sports, praised a group of middle school girls who refused to compete against a transgender athlete last week.

Gaines appeared on Fox News Channel’s “America Reports” along with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey after the official announced he will fight the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling to strike down the state’s “Save Women’s Sports Act.”

Riley Gaines testifies during a House subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, Dec. 5, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Bridgeport, West Virginia, middle-schoolers stepped into the circle for the shot put and discus competitions and then stepped out in protest of the transgender athlete who was competing against them, according to OutKick

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“I could not be more proud of these girls,” Gaines, an OutKick contributor who hosts the “Gaines for Girls” podcast told Sandra Smith. “Again, 13, 14 years old, they’re in middle school yet they’re the ones who are forced to be the adults in the room to advocate for their own rights to quality opportunity, safety and privacy which were once ensured by Title IX, but now, of course, are under threat, and which were once ensured by the law here in West Virginia. But now, with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling, it’s all under threat, which sets a terrible precedent.

“Could not be more proud, could not be more inspired, by these girls. Ultimately, that’s what revitalizes me. It reminds me of what we’re fighting for. It’s girls just like Emmy Salerno and the other four girls who decided not to compete against a boy when given the opportunity.”

Morrisey also praised the girls.

“What we saw last week with those five young girls stepping up, I think that should be replicated across the country,” he said. “But the stakes in this case on a lot of these issues, they couldn’t be any higher.”

Earlier, Morrisey was with Gaines for the ceremonial signing of Independent Women’s Voice’s “Stand With Women” commitment. He then announced he would take the state’s case over the Save Women’s Sports Act to the Supreme Court.

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Patrick Morrisey in April 2024

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced he’s taking his fight to the Supreme Court. (Screenshot)

The state law prohibited transgender girls from competing against biological girls in sports. But in a 2-1 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the law violated Title IX – siding with the American Civil Liberties Union, its West Virginia chapter and Lambda Legal.

“We’re vigorously defending the law and that law is reasonable,” Morrisey said. “It’s based on biology and it’s based on fairness.

“We’re working on defending the integrity of women’s sports. We must protect our young women. Opportunities for women and girls are precious and we have to take advantage for every one of them. And every time a biological male competes, he takes away an opportunity from a biological girl.

“That isn’t just unfair. Boys have a competitive advantage. They’re bigger. They’re faster. They’re stronger – whether or not they’ve gone through typical biological male puberty.”

At the news conference, Gaines added, “Allowing males to compete in women’s sports is risky, it is unfair and it is discriminatory. And it must stop – which is exactly what AG Morrisey has been fighting so tenaciously for.”

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OREGON HIGH SCHOOL TRANSGENDER TRACK ATHLETE COMPETES AGAINST GIRLS AT EVENT, SPARKING OUTRAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Riley Gaines at a presser

Riley Gaines speaks at a news conference with West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey. (Sceenshot)

West Virginia’s “Save Women’s Sports Act” was signed into law in 2021. It required student-athletes to compete and play against those of their biological gender. The law was challenged on the basis that it violated the 14th Amendment and protections under Title IX.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin ruled in January 2023 that the law did not violate Title IX protections. However, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to reinstate a preliminary injunction.

The Supreme Court ruled last April that the transgender girl who challenged the law could compete with biological girls on the middle school’s girls’ sports teams. Supreme Court justices refused to disturb an appeals court order that made it possible for the girl to continue playing on her school’s track and cross-country teams. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented from the decision.

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West Virginia was one of at least 24 states that had laws barring transgender women and girls from competing against the gender they identify as.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.

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UCLA may have found its replacement for Adem Bona in transfer William Kyle III

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UCLA may have found its replacement for Adem Bona in transfer William Kyle III

UCLA now has enough transfers to fill out a starting lineup. Go ahead and pencil in its latest as the center who will walk to midcourt for the opening tip.

William Kyle III, who starred as a defensive menace for South Dakota State, will likely replace Adem Bona as the Bruins’ primary post player after verbally committing Wednesday on social media after taking an official visit earlier this week.

“BRUIN NATION LETS WORK,” Kyle tweeted alongside a bear emoji as well as blue and gold hearts.

The reigning Summit League defensive player of the year, Kyle blocked 1.6 shots per game last season while averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He shot a league-best 62.3% on the way to being selected first-team all-conference.

A 6-foot-9 sophomore, Kyle has two seasons of eligibility remaining and will presumably split time with returning center Aday Mara.

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Kyle becomes the fifth transfer to become a Bruin, joining small forward Kobe Johnson (formerly of USC), combo guard Skyy Clark (Louisville) and power forwards Eric Dailey Jr. (Oklahoma State) and Tyler Bilodeau (Oregon State). All five players averaged double figures in scoring at their previous stops, significantly bolstering a UCLA offense that staggered for much of last season.

Recruiting website 247Sports.com had ranked the Bruins’ transfer class No. 3 nationally before Kyle’s commitment, trailing only Indiana and Kansas. It’s conceivable that UCLA’s starting lineup next season could feature four transfers alongside returning point guard Dylan Andrews.

With Kyle joining the roster, UCLA currently has no open scholarships but is believed to be pursuing sharpshooter Dominick Harris, who entered the transfer portal after making 44.8% of his three-pointers last season for Loyola Marymount. The Bruins would need an additional scholarship to become available to land Harris.

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