Long Beach Poly remains at the top despite suffering their first loss of the season. Plus, two new additions in this week’s Top 10 as teams prepare for holiday tournaments that tip off the day after Christmas.
No. 1 Long Beach Poly (8-1) – The Jackrabbits are still No. 1 despite suffering their first defeat of the season, 76-51, to Montverde Academy at the 40th City of Palms Classic. Poly bounced back to finish third in arguably the nation’s most prestigious early season tournament with wins over Top 15 teams nationally – Georgia Tifton County, Nebraska Omaha Central and No. 5 Memphis Southwind. Jordan Bell nearly had a triple double with 20 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks in the third-place game. While they were at the Palms Classic, they received word that junior forward Kameron Chatman will not be eligible to play until March 16, 2013, which is the weekend of the Southern California regional finals. The CIF ruling is a result of Chatman, a transfer from Oregon, losing an appeal to gain immediate eligibility. This week they’ll head to Texas for the 55th Whataburger Basketball Tournament. The Jackrabbits first round opponent will be Texas Plano West.
No. 2 Mater Dei (10-0) – The Monarchs remain in the No. 2 spot after continuing their winning ways last week in Las Vegas, defeating Bishop Gorman, 76-60, in the championship of the Jerry Tarkanian Classic. Stanley Johnson was named Tournament MVP. Elijah Brown had a nice showing as well and received All-Tournament honors. Mater Dei will stay in Orange County this week for the Orange Holiday Classic at Chapman University. San Bernardino is up next at 8:30 p.m., on Thursday.
No. 3 Loyola (8-0) – Jamal Adams’ club returns to action this week after an 18-day layoff in search of tournament title No. 3 of the season. Loyola will be in the Holiday Classic in Palm Springs beginning Dec. 26.
No. 4 St. John Bosco (8-1) – The Braves bounced back strong on the heels of their first loss of the season. St. John Bosco went to South Carolina for the Chick-Fil-A Classic and won the entire thing. They defeated Blanche Ely, 72-62, in the final. They’ll take the rest of the month off before opening Trinity League play against Orange Lutheran on Jan. 2.
No. 5 Etiwanda (8-2) – The status of Jordan McLaughlin continues to be in question. The Eagles continue to press on. Over the weekend, Etiwanda defeated San Diego Cathedral Catholic, 60-54, in the Public-Private school challenge at Long Beach City College. They’ll have much needed time off for McLaughlin’s ankle to get healthy before taking on Riverside King on Jan. 5.
No. 6 Bishop Montgomery (9-0) – After winning the Westchester Trevor Ariza Tipoff Classic, the Knights remained undefeated and took home the Mission Prep Tournament title in San Luis Obispo. The Knights defeated Seattle Prep, 68-53, in the championship game. Lamond Murray Jr. took home tournament MVP honors. He scored 27 points in the final. Next up for the Knights is Palos Verdes on Jan. 2.
No. 7 Corona Centennial (11-1) – The Huskies averaged 93 points per game in two games last week, easily taking care of Moreno Valley and Chino in non-league action. The competition gets stiffer for the Huskies this week when they head to the Oaks Christian Holiday Hardwood Invitational. Up first for the Huskies is Pleasant Grove.
No. 8 Mission Viejo (12-0) – The Diablos continue to roll. There may not be a guard in the Southern Section as hot as Evan Zeller right now. He scored 24 points for the Diablos over the weekend in their 22-point win over Anaheim Canyon. Mission Viejo will take its act on the road to the Holiday Classic in Palm Springs, where it will face Menlo, Diamond Ranch and Rancho Cucamonga in pool play.
No. 9 Chaminade (7-2) – After being unranked last week, the Eagles crack the Top 10 after finishing second at the St. Hope Elite Hoop Classic in Sacramento. Chaminade lost to Sacramento, 70-68, in the final. The Eagles lost on a shot at the buzzer and despite that, Jaron Martin was named Tournament MVP, the LA Times reports. This week, Chaminade will host their own Christmas Classic and face Sun Valley in the first round.
No. 10 Santa Monica (8-3) – The Vikings make their debut into the Top 10 on the heels of a 60-39 thrashing of Loyola Country Day at the Public-Private school challenge at Long Beach City College. Two of Santa Monica’s three losses were to No. 3 Loyola by a combined seven points. The Vikings opening game in the Oaks Christian Holiday Hardwood Invitational this week is against Moorpark.