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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
ESPNLA top 20 boys' basketball rankings

By Sean Ceglinsky

There are no significant changes at the top of the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 boys' basketball rankings this week. A shakeup toward the bottom half of the top 10, however, was in order after one team was dealt a surprising setback.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that a pair of programs are making their first appearance in the rankings following the exits of Murrieta Valley and Los Angeles Fairfax, a pair of schools that could be back in the mix sooner rather than later.

Some other teams to keep a close eye on are Aliso Niguel, Compton and La Verne Damien, along with Pasadena, Ventura and Los Angeles Washington. A couple of quality victories over the next couple of days figure to go a long way.

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (18-0): Winning Moore League games by an average of 42 points. Are you kidding me? Running the table appears to be entirely possible.

2. (2) Etiwanda (20-0): Jordan Daniels doesn't receive enough credit. All of that, however, could end up changing if the senior point guard keeps the Eagles flying high.

3. (3) Mater Dei (18-2): There are no easy games in the tough Trinity League. St. John Bosco looms on Wednesday followed by a showdown with Orange Lutheran on Friday.

4. (4) Centennial (16-3): Big VIII League games against Riverside King on Tuesday evening and Riverside Poly on Thursday night figure to offer little, or no, resistance.

5. (5) Taft (15-2): Kevin Johnson has been focused on the task at hand recently. And make no mistake, when the senior is motivated, the Toreadors are seemingly unstoppable.

6. (7) Westchester (18-5): With a showdown against rival Fairfax on Thursday, perhaps the Comets are primed for an upset loss Wednesday against Hamilton. Perhaps not.

7. (8) Canyon (19-2): Chris Anderson might be a tad bit undersized. He is, after all, 5-foot-7. Thing is, no one plays a bigger role tor the Comanches than the senior point guard.

8. (9) Harvard-Westlake (17-2): Damiene Cain and Zena Edosomwan are a potent one-two punch down in the post and they work the high-low game to near perfection.

9. (10) Mission Viejo (22-0): At 6-10, Issac Neilson is proving to be a force on both ends of the floor. Aliso Niguel will attempt to stop the BYU-bound senior on Friday night.

10. (6) Orange Lutheran (16-5): Suffered a setback with loss to Cezar Guerrero and St. John Bosco. Now, it is time to see how the Lancers respond to some adversity.

11. (14) Loyola (13-5): Mission League victory over Crespi on Monday night was a must. Up next: Alemany and Chaminade on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

12. (12) Peninsula (19-1): Flat out, Reese Morgan can fill it up. He has scored 30 or more points on seven different occasions this season and 40 or more three times.

13. (11) Edison (20-1): Leaving Dylan Garrity wide open is a mistake. The senior is shooting 54 percent from the field and 48 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

14. (18) Price (15-5): With the regular season winding down, the Knights are playing some of their best ball. We'll find out how good they are in two weeks against Mater Dei.

15. (15) Thousand Oaks (18-2): This week figures to be challenging considering the Lancers will be without coach Rich Endres, who is sidelined with a blood clot in his leg.

16. (13) Crespi (16-5): It's now or never for the Celts. Wins against St. Francis on Wednesday and Notre Dame on Friday are imperative to stay close in the Mission League race.

17. (17) Windward (12-6): Wesley Saunders receives plenty of attention. Accordingly, things are beginning to open up for Nick Stover, brother of UCLA's Anthony Stover.

18. (18) La Verne Lutheran (11-4): Inconsistency is troublesome. Last week, the Trojans defeated Upland Christian Academy by 87 points. A 15-point loss to Price followed.

19. (NR) Corona del Mar (14-7): At times, Danny Cheek has carried the Sea Kings. However, the senior guard, a Northern Arizona commit, will need help moving forward.

20. (NR) Oaks Christian (14-6): Chass Bryan held down the fort until football players Blair Holliday and Dillon van der Wal arrived. Nowadays, everyone is on the same page.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

NOTE: The ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 is independent of the regional rankings, which are compiled by the bloggers who cover each of those regions. Records are through Jan. 23.