With the football season wrapped up, the focus shifts to the hardwood where nonleague games and holiday tournaments take center stage. Check out the debut of FOX Sports West’s CIF-Southern Section Top-10.
No. 1 Long Beach Poly (5-0) – The Jackrabbits took care of in-city and Moore League rival Long Beach Cabrillo rather handily last week. This week the Jackrabbits will head to Florida to play in the 40th City of Palms Classic. National powers Montverde Academy and Whitney Young are on the same side of the bracket as the Jackrabbits. Their first round game is against Georgia Tift County. Roschon Prince is averaging 22.8 points and shooting 61 percent from the field for the Jackrabbits.
No. 2 Mater Dei (5-0) – After winning the Jim Harris Memorial Ocean View Tournament of Champions, the Monarchs took last week off. This week they’ll head to Las Vegas for the Tarkanian Classic. In an enhanced role, Elijah Brown has gotten off to a hot start. He’s leading the Monarchs in scoring with 23.8 points per game and steals with 2.2 per game. Stanley Johnson is averaging 20 points per game.
No. 3 Loyola (8-0) – Jamal Adams’ club is undefeated with two tournament titles under its belt in this young season. The Cubs are in the midst of an 18-day layoff before returning to action the day after Christmas at the Holiday Classic in Palm Springs. The Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, from Texas Fort Bend Travis, will also be playing in that tournament. Parker Jackson-Cartwright is averaging 15 points and nearly nine assists for the Cubs.
No. 4 St. John Bosco (5-1) – The Braves are supposed to be in the midst of a special year but suffered their first setback of the season in a one-point defeat, 63-62, at the hands of Inglewood last week. The Braves held a seven-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but scored just nine points in the final frame at Inglewood. The Braves will be headed to South Carolina this weekend for the Chick-Fil-A Classic.
No. 5 Etiwanda (7-2) – The Eagles were impressive last week in avenging an early season loss to Corona Centennial, 56-49, in the semifinals of the Inland Empire Invitational. They went on to win the tournament by defeating Baseline League rival Rancho Cucamonga in the finals. More impressive is they did it without star guard Jordan McLaughlin, who is sidelined with an ankle injury. McLaughlin, who has missed the last three games, could be back as soon as Saturday for Etiwanda’s next game versus San Diego Cathedral Classic, the Daily Bulletin reports.
No. 6 Bishop Montgomery (5-0) – Doug Mitchell’s bunch won the Westchester Trevor Ariza Tip-off Classic, where they compiled impressive wins over the host Comets as well as Del Rey League rival Serra. Mitchell also picked up his 500th career win in the season opener. Last week they easily took care of Peninsula, 66-44.
No. 7 Corona Centennial (9-1) – The Huskies suffered their first loss of the season, 56-49, in the semifinals of the Inland Empire Invitational against Etiwanda. They bounced back, defeating Silverado by 34 points in the third-place game. Centennial has split their two meetings with Etiwanda this season. This week they have nonleague games against Moreno Valley and Chino.
No. 8 Mission Viejo (11-0) – The Diablos have exploded out of the gate, winning their own tournament and this past weekend taking home the Irvine World News/Gary Raya Classic championship. Guard Evan Zeller had 35 points in the 85-72 championship game win over Tesoro. In the tournament opener, he dropped 50 on University in a 115-50 win for the Diablos. Football standout Max Redfield was named to the All-Tournament team. On Saturday, they’ll take on Anaheim Canyon in the North/South Challenge at El Toro.
No. 9 Inglewood (5-2) – Brandon Randolph scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Sentinels past St. John Bosco 63-62 last week. Inglewood trailed by 11 points with less than four minutes to play. They followed that up with a nine-point win over New Jersey Newark Memorial at the Drew Gooden Classic. Both of the losses for Inglewood this season have come to No. 7 Corona Centennial. This week they’re in Sacramento for the ST. HOPE Elite Hoop Classic where Oakland Fremont will be their first round opponent.
No. 10 West Ranch (4-1) – The Wildcats had wins over Crespi, Palmdale, Alemany, and Chaminade before losing by 20 points to Loyola. They were off last week. This week they’ll head to Sacramento for the ST. HOPE Elite Hoop Classic. Aku Kaluna is averaging a double-double, 17.6 points and 13.4 rebounds for West Ranch.