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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Inland Empire: Boys' basketball top 10

By Dan Arritt

A tough week for Upland was countered by eye-opening wins by Rialto Eisenhower and Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos. Victorville Victor Valley also suffered a surprising defeat in Desert Sky League play but the Jackrabbits redeemed themselves with a solid win over the weekend.

1. Etiwanda, 18-0 (1) – The Eagles found themselves in the rare position of being down late in a game Monday night against Ventura, but Evan Jenkins scored on a layup with 9.9 seconds remaining to give Etiwanda a 52-51 victory at the Martin Luther King showcase at Los Osos. The Eagles came into last week ranked No. 2 in Division 1AA, Ventura was No. 4 in Division 2AA. Next up: Friday at Los Osos.

2. Corona Centennial, 14-3 (2) – The Huskies are picking up where the school’s football team left off, pummeling one Big VIII League opponent after another. Last week it was 82-33 over Norco and 97-49 over Corona. Next up: Tonight vs. Corona Santiago at Centennial.

3. Murrieta Valley, 15-3 (3) – The Nighthawks survived a tough Southwestern League opener Wednesday against Temecula Valley and won, 67-61. They had an easier time Friday against Temecula Great Oak, but then ran into Orange Lutheran, the top-ranked team in Division 4AA, and lost, 82-60. Next up: Wednesday at Murrieta Mesa.

4. Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, 15-3 (4) – The Mustangs went 3-0 last week with Inland Valley League wins against Canyon Springs, Valley View and La Sierra. In the 66-44 victory Friday night against La Sierra, freshman DeShon Taylor made 10 three-pointers and scored 32 points. Next up: Wednesday at Moreno Valley.

5. Eisenhower, 10-6 (8) – The Eagles are rolling on all cylinders after sputtering over the holiday break. Keyon Sayles scored a career-high 37 points in a 96-78 victory Friday night at Redlands East Valley, considered their biggest challenger for a fifth consecutive Citrus Belt League title. Next up: Tonight at Redlands.

6. Los Osos, 13-5 (NR) – The Grizzlies have won nine of their last 11 games but none more impressively than their 68-63 win last week at Upland. Barry Cheaney scored 19 points, Chinedu Amajoyi had 18 and Los Osos limited last season’s Baseline League co-MVP, John Gilliam, to 10. Next up: Friday vs. Etiwanda at Los Osos.

7. Upland, 12-6 (5) – Tough week for the Highlanders, who went 0-3, including two losses in Baseline League play. The losing streak began with the five-point loss to Los Osos, followed up by a 13-point loss to Etiwanda. They then took on Reseda Cleveland at a showcase Saturday in Los Angeles and lost on a three-point basket at the buzzer, 51-48. Next up: Friday at Rancho Cucamonga.

8. Ontario Colony, 10-7 (10) – After losing five straight last month, the Titans posted a couple 40+ victories last week in Mt. Baldy League play. The jury is still out whether they’re a championship-caliber team, but Saturday will provide a better indication when they play Etiwanda. Next up: Friday vs. Montclair at Colony.

9. Elsinore, 14-4 (7) – The Tigers posted double-digit wins against Lakeside and Temescal Canyon in Sunbelt League play, but couldn’t counter the size of Los Angeles Price in a Martin Luther King showcase event Monday at Price. Norvelle Pelle, a 6-9 forward for Price who signed with St-John’s, scored on one lob pass after another, totaling 21 points in the 77-64 victory. Next up: Tonight vs. Perris at Elsinore.

10. Victor Valley, 15-3  (6) – Still tough to figure the Jackrabbits’ 30-point loss Wednesday to Desert Sky League rival Victorville Silverado. Victor Valley got back on track Saturday but it wasn’t until four minutes remained against Villa Park in a nonleague game, when the Jackrabbits stormed back from 13 points down to win, 75-73. Next up: Wednesday at Barstow.

Dropped out: Palm Springs.

Just missed: Chino Hills Ayala, Chino Hills, Eastvale Roosevelt, Silverado.