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Sunday, January 29, 2012
I.E.: Boys' basketball Top 10

By Dan Arritt

A couple of more sizable upsets in the Inland Empire league last week, one that cost a low desert team a spot in these rankings and another that put a well-known program on the brink of joining the ‘dropped out’ club. Last week's results also opened the door for a high desert team to make its debut in the top 10, and a Mt. Baldy League team to return. 

1. (1) Etiwanda, 22-1: The Eagles just keep getting better and better. They ran over Rancho Cucamonga and Glendora in Baseline League play last week, then roared back from a slim halftime deficit Saturday night to beat Damien, 64-45, at Azusa Pacific. Next: Tuesday @ Upland.

2. (2) Eisenhower, 14-6: Marvelle Harris continues to leave an impression on the I.E. The 6-foot-3 senior shooting guard put up 33 points in a 41-point blowout against Fontana last week, but more impressive was the 23 he scored Friday night in a 79-61 victory against Yucaipa in another Citrus Belt League game. Next: Wednesday vs. AB. Miller.

3. (8) J.W. North, 17-4: The Huskies are back where many expect they belong, owning a two-game lead in the Big VIII League with five games to play. They won their lone game last week, beating up on defending champion Corona Centennial, 73-38 Next: Monday @ Riverside Poly.

4. (4) Elsinore, 20-3: The Tigers went 3-0 last week, starting off with a trip deep into South Orange County for a 77-70 victory Monday against Aliso Niguel. They came back two days later and won at Paloma Valley in a Sunbelt League game, then beat visiting Lakeside in another league game. Next: Wednesday @ Temescal Canyon.

5. (5) Murrieta Valley, 19-2: Jackson Helms, a 6-6 senior forward, scored a season-high 20 points Friday night in a 72-54 victory against Temecula Valley in Southwestern League play, helping the Nighthawks finish 2-0 during the week and erase the memory of a tough loss against Vista Murrieta the week before. Next: Tuesday @ Great Oak.

6. (3) Summit, 17-6: Devon Alexander was held to a season-low six points Wednesday night but the SkyHawks extended their lead in Sunkist League play to two games with a 47-43 victory against visiting Patriot. Isaiah Taylor came back and scored 20 in a 57-47 win Friday at Jurupa Valley. Next: Wednesday @ Bloomington.

7. (7) Cajon, 16-6: The Cowboys improved to 10-0 in San Andreas League play with a 65-57 win Tuesday at San Gorgonio, followed by a 65-27 victory Thursday against visiting Pacific. Next: Tuesday vs. Rialto.

8. (NR) Colony, 15-6: The Titans avenged their only loss in Mt. Baldy League play Friday night, getting 26 points from 6-2 senior guard Miles Poullard, including eight in the final quarter of the 67-61 victory against Don Lugo. Kennieth Barnes, a 6-4 sophomore forward, contributed 23 points and 12 rebounds for Colony. Next: Monday vs. Garey.

9. (NR) Silverado, 18-2: The Hawks clinched the Desert Sky League title last week but that's not what earned them a spot here, rather an earlier victory against Upland and strong efforts against Etiwanda and J.W. North. Next: Tuesday vs. Granite Hills.

10. (6) Rancho Verde, 17-5: The troubles continue against Inland Valley League rival Canyon Springs. The Mustangs lost to the Cougars last season in the second-to-last game, costing them the outright league title. They were upset again Friday night, 54-52, preventing them from taking a three-game lead with four remaining. Next: Tuesday @ Arlington.

Dropped out: Palm Desert (16-4), Riverside King (15-6).

Just missed: Canyon Springs (11-8), Corona Santiago (15-6), Vista Murrieta (12-9), Corona (14-7), Montclair (19-2), Chino Hills (14-7), Don Lugo (15-6), Upland (16-6), Chaparral (16-7), Palm Springs (15-6), Beaumont (16-2), Citrus Valley (15-4), Perris (15-7).