Monday, March 5, 2012
Prep basketball: Top 20 rankings
By Sean Ceglinsky
With the Southern Section and Los Angeles City Section playoffs in the books, the premier programs from the greater Los Angeles area turn their collective attention toward the Southern California Regional Playoffs this week. First-round play starts Wednesday night as teams begin their bids for a berth in the CIF State Championship game.
That said, let's take a quick look at how some of the best of the best from right here in the Southland stack up against each other. Without further adieu, here's the latest edition of the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 rankings.
1. (1) Mater Dei (29-2): Have gone wire-to-wire atop of our rankings and show no signs of slowing down.
2. (2) Long Beach Poly (26-2): Revenge-minded Jackrabbits would like another shot against Mater Dei.
3. (5) Taft (28-3): Not much competition in Los Angeles' City Section. Division I state will be different though.
4. (6) Alemany (28-4): All signs pont to the Warriors making an appearance in Division III state title game.
5. (7) Gardena Serra (29-2): The top seed in Division IV and distinction is worthy given body of work.
6. (4) Loyola (24-5): Wouldn't be least bit surprised to see the Cubs make some noise in Division I play.
7. (3) Etiwanda (29-2): Eagles are overlooked in Division I with Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly around.
8. (9) Orange Lutheran (21-10): Gabe York receives the headlines while Payton Banks waits in the wings.
9. (10) Pacific Hills (28-4): Brandon Taylor is one of the most underrated seniors in Southern California.
10. (11) Mayfair (26-5): Monsoons are in the midst of perfect storm. No pun intended. Well, maybe a little.
11. (8) La Verne Lutheran (23-7): Arizona-bound Grant Jerrett figures to be difference in Division IV play.
12. (18) Pasadena (25-6): Brandon Jolley is catalyst. When 6-foot-5 junior is on, Bulldogs are tough to beat.
13. (13) Calabasas (27-3): Dedicated the season to injured assistant coach Joe Frazier and have played well.
14. (17) Mission Viejo (27-4): Who says Diablos are a football school? They can play some solid hoops too.
15. (NR) Inglewood (21-10): Forget about record. Coach Pat Roy has the Sentinels peaking at the right time.
16. (14) Price (22-8): Played one of toughest schedules around. Should be prepared for this state of season.
17. (15) St. John Bosco (22-7): Appear poised for showdown against Pasadena in Division III title game.
18. (16) Crespi (23-7): Celts have plenty to prove in Division IV. Now let's see if they can get the job done.
19. (19) Royal (24-7): No longer an afterthought after a rather impressive Southern Section postseason run.
20. (NR) St. Bernard (23-7): Small school could play with the big boys if given the all-important opportunity.
Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.