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Sunday, January 8, 2012
L.A. North: Boys' basketball Top 10

By Tim Haddock

The top 10 boys basketball teams from the L.A. North region have a pair of 15-1 teams, one at the top and one at the bottom.

Crespi of Encino is off to a 15-1 start, its only loss coming in the semifinals of the Redondo Sea Hawk Beach Classic.

Canyon is also 15-1, its best start in school history, and has only lost to Crespi in the championship game of its own tournament.

The Mission League and Marmonte League well-represented in the top 10. Here's a look at this week's L.A. North top teams:
  1. Crespi (15-1) – The Celts have won three games in a row and their only loss came against L.A. Wasington in the semifinals of the Redondo Sea Hawk Beach Classic. Crespi won its first two Mission League games, including 75-73, over Loyola to open league play. The Celts play at Alemany and are home against Chaminade in league games this week.
  2. Woodland Hills Taft (11-3) – The Toreadors are coming off a 52-48 win over Lincoln in the L.A.-San Diego Challenge over the weekend. Taft snapped a two-game losing streak with the win over Lincoln. The Toreadors begin West Valley League play against El Camino Real on Wednesday night.
  3. Alemany (13-2) – The Warriors are off to a 2-0 start in Mission League play to keep pace with Crespi. They have won six games in a row and haven’t lost since Dec. 21 to Crespi in the San Fernando Valley Invitational. Alemany plays St. Francis on Monday night before a Mission League showdown against Crespi on Wednesday night.
  4. Calabasas (14-2) – The Coyotes are 4-0 in Marmonte League play and have won four of their past five games. The only loss for Calabasas in that stretch came against Rancho Verde in the Oaks Christian Tournament. Calabasas plays Newbury Park on Monday and Westlake on Wednesday in Marmonte League games.
  5. Burbank Providence (14-3) – The Pioneers have won six games in a row and have a 2-0 record in the Liberty League. Marcus LoVett Jr. is one of the top freshman, if not one of the top basketball players, in the San Fernando Valley. He is averaging 32.8 points per game and shooting 42 percent from 3-point territory. He also has 3.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.
  6. Harvard-Westlake (10-4) – The Wolverines are keeping pace with Crespi and Alemany in the Mission League standings at 2-0. They have won three games in a row, but the Wolverines have a tough road game against Loyola on Friday night. Utah-commit Josh Hearlihy looks like he will be sidelined at least until playoffs with a knee injury. He averaged 14.5 points per game in his junior season and was expected to be one of the senior leaders on the team. Sophomore Derrick Newton has stepped in to lead Harvard-Westlake in scoring with 19.1 points per game.
  7. Westlake (15-4) – The Warriors have won six games in a row and are tied for first place in the Marmonte League standings with Calabasas at 4-0. Westlake plays Royal on Monday night and at Calabasas on Wednesday night.
  8. Royal (11-5) – The Highlanders have won six of their past seven games. They lost to Hoover from San Diego in the championship game of the Clovis Elks Tournament on Dec. 30. Royal is all alone in third place in the Marmonte League and plays Westlake on Wednesday and Agoura on Friday night.
  9. El Camino Real (9-5) – The Conquistadores have impressive wins over Chaminade and Westlake and are coming off a commanding, 81-45, win over a depleted Sierra Canyon team. They will be tested in West Valley League play right out of the gate against Taft on Wednesday night.
  10. Canyon (15-1) – The Cowboys are off to their best start in school history and have won eight games in a row including the championship game of the Ventura tournament. Canyon opens Foothill League play against Saugus on Tuesday night and Valencia on Friday.