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Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Inland Empire: Boys' basketball top 10

By Dan Arritt

The holiday tournaments have come and gone and the Inland Empire certainly left its mark. Etiwanda, Fontana Summit and Elsinore won titles, while a number of other teams had solid showings. With the league schedule beginning this week for most teams, look for the season to kick into high gear.

1. Etiwanda, 14-0 (1) – The Eagles won the Westlake Village Oaks Christian tournament last weekend, stomping La Jolla Country Day, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, Sacramento and Los Angeles Loyola along the way. Next up: Friday vs. Rancho Cucamonga at Etiwanda.

2. Corona Centennial, 10-3 (2) – The Huskies finished fifth last week in the featured National Division at the Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines. The highlight of their run was a three-point victory over Woodlands Hills Taft, which came in ranked No. 2 in the state by ESPN RISE. Next up: Today vs. Riverside Poly at Corona Centennial.

3. Murrieta Valley, 11-2 (3) – The Nighthawks finished 2-2 in the Senator’s Division at the Holiday Classic, beating North Hollywood Campbell Hall and Long Beach Wilson, but losing to Santa Maria Righetti and San Diego St. Augustine. Next up: Today vs. La Puente Bishop Amat at Murrieta Valley.

4. Rancho Verde, 11-3 (5) – The Mustangs went 2-2 at the Oaks Christian tournament, getting victories against small-school power Los Angeles Price and Inglewood, and losing to Etiwanda and tournament host Oaks Christian. Rancho Verde only lost to Oaks Christian by five points, while Upland lost to the Lions by 25. Next up: Friday at Riverside Arlington.

5. Upland, 11-3 (4) – After dropping the opener of the Oaks Christian tournament to the tournaments hosts, the Highlanders reeled off victories against Moreno Valley Canyon Springs, Concord De La Salle and Pacific Palisades. The win against De La Salle was especially impressive, considering the Spartans are annually one of the top teams from Northern California. Next up: Friday at Mira Loma Alta Loma.

6. Summit, 10-4 (9) – The SkyHawks have their full team back after an extended football season and they haven’t lost since, winning the Kiwanis San Bernardino tournament title last week, 70-66, against Redlands East Valley. Next up: Wednesday at Rialto Eisenhower.

7. Redlands East Valley, 12-3 (8) – The Wildcats won six straight before losing to Summit in the Kiwanis final. Among their results in the last three weeks were two-point losses to Upland and San Bernardino Cajon, and blowout victories over Chino Hills and Compton Dominguez. Next up: Today at La Quinta.

8. Victorville Victor Valley, 12-2 (7) – The Jackrabbits finished third last week in the National Division at the Desert Heat Invitational at Cathedral High, beating Perris Citrus Hill, 59-42. Victory Valley lost in the semifinals to then-unbeaten Thousand Oaks, 73-66. Next up: Wednesday at Apple Valley Granite Hills.

9. Elsinore, 11-3 (10) – The Tigers defeated Riverside North, 67-60, last week to win the Paloma Valley Winter Shootout. Two of Elsinore’s losses this season have come against No. 3 Murrieta Valley, the other against Carlsbad La Costa Canyon. Next up: Friday at Temecula Great Oak.

10. Ontario Colony, 6-7 (NR) – The Titans’ record speaks for their strength of schedule thus far, losing to the likes of Mission Viejo, Corona del Mar, Upland and Summit, while defeating top 10 bubble teams Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos and Chino Hills. Next up: Wednesday at Chino Don Lugo.

Dropped out: Rialto Eisenhower.

Just missed: Redlands, Chino Hills Ayala, Los Osos, Chino Hills, Riverside North.