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Monday, February 13, 2012
Prep basketball: Top 20 rankings
By Sean Ceglinsky
With regular-season play in the books, the Southland's premier programs will take a day or two and regroup before the focus turns toward the postseason.
That said, let's take a look at some of the top teams from the greater Los Angeles area as preparations begin for the Southern Section and Los Angeles City Section playoffs later this week.
At this stage of the game, it's win or go home.
1. (1) Mater Dei (24-2):
No real surprise here, Monarchs remain atop the poll. Moreover, they appear poised to take home the Division 1-AA title.
2. (2) Long Beach Poly (22-1):
If anyone is capable of giving the top-ranked team a run for its money, perhaps it's the talented Jackrabbits.
3. (4) Etiwanda (26-1):
There will be no easy games in Division 1-AA play for the Eagles. Questions about just how good they are about to answered.
4. (6) Loyola (21-4):
Signs point to the Cubs meeting Mater Dei in the Division 1-AA semifinals. With a finals berth on the line, anything can happen.
5. (5) Taft (24-3):
Anthony January's nickname is "Dinnertime." Odds are, the senior wing will be hungry during the City Section tournament.
6. (3) Alemany (23-4):
Surprising late-season loss to North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake could be a blessing in disguise. The Warriors needed a reality check.
7. (7) Gardena Serra (24-2):
Division 4-AA is about as competitive as they come and the Cavaliers, of course, are considered to be the cream of the crop.
8. (10) La Verne Lutheran (19-6):
It's time for Grant Jerrett to live up to his lofty reputation. Expect big things from the senior big man and Arizona commit.
9. (8) Bishop Montgomery (21-4):
The Knights are on the same half of the bracket as La Verne Lutheran in Division 4-AA. What a showdown that would be.
10. (9) Pacific Hills (23-4):
Ontario Christian appears to be the only thing standing between the Bruins and their ultimate goal: a Division 4-A championship trophy.
11. (12) Price (19-7):
A two-point loss to La Verne Lutheran last week could be construed as a moral victory. Let's see if Knight can build on the momentum.
12. (13) St. John Bosco (19-6):
Pair of setbacks came at the hands of Mater Dei. No shame in that fact. Braves capable of making headlines the rest of the way.
13. (11) Westchester (20-6):
Stumbled late last week against Los Angeles Fairfax. Then again, the two are bitter rivals. The final result is not that much of a shocker.
14. (14) Orange Lutheran (16-10):
The Lancers will go as far as senior Gabe York will take them in Division 1-AA play. A prolonged postseason run is a possibility.
15. (16) Mayfair (21-5):
The Monsoons went about their business rather quietly during the regular season. Time for them to make some noise in Division 2-A.
16. (17) Windward (18-8):
Draw in Division 4-AA is not particularly favorable. Nevertheless, the Wildcats are a well-rounded group and could do some damage.
17. (15) Capistrano Valley (22-4):
The Cougars didn't do themselves any favors with a loss to Mission Viejo. The end result was the No. 2 seed in Division 1-A.
18. (18) Damien (24-2):
A date with Pasadena in Division 3-AAA is almost certain. It will be interesting to see of the Spartans can keep their eyes on the prize.
19. (19) Crespi (20-6):
The Celts are a battled-test group, no doubt about it. Whether their tough schedule pays off in Division 4-AA pays off remains to be seen.
20. (20) Calabasas (23-3):
The Coyotes have been on the cusp of dropping out of the poll for a while now. Still, they managed to secure a top seed in Division 3-AA.
Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on