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Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Inland Empire: Boys' basketball top 10

By Dan Arritt

Some losses are more understandable than others. Etiwanda lost to a highly ranked opponent at a Saturday night showcase, while Moreno Valley Rancho Verde fell to a familiar foe from the Inland Valley League. The latter is much less acceptable. Victorville Silverado lost its rematch against Victorville Victor Valley, keeping both out of the top 10, while Fontana Summit and Redlands East Valley earned second chances to prove they belong.

1. Etiwanda, 22-1  (1) – The Eagles let one get away Saturday night against Los Angeles Loyola and lost, 70-64, at Fairfax High in L.A. No shame in losing to the Lions, however, they came into the game ranked No. 2 in Division 1A and looking to avenge a loss to Etiwanda in late December. Next up: Tonight at Glendora, 6:30 p.m.

2. Corona Centennial, 18-3  (2) – Gelaun Wheelwright had a week to remember. The Weber State-bound guard combined for 51 points in Big VIII League road victories against Riverside King and Riverside Poly, making 20 of 28 field-goal attempts, including seven of 13 from beyond the three-point stripe. Next up: Tonight vs. Riverside North at Centennial, 7:30 p.m.

3. Murrieta Valley, 19-3  (3) – The Nighthawks didn’t blink Wednesday while taking down Temecula Chaparral, the defending Southwestern League champion. Justin Gudger scored 18 points and Austin Quick had 13 in the 62-43 victory. Next up: Wednesday vs. Temecula Great Oak at Murrieta Valley, 7 p.m.

4. Ontario Colony, 15-8  (5) – The Titans had a much easier time against Chino Don Lugo the second time around. After winning by just three points at Don Lugo on Jan. 5, Colony blew out the visiting Conquistadors in the second half Wednesday and won, 94-65. The Titans have won 59 consecutive Mt. Baldy League games. Next up: Wednesday vs. Chino at Colony, 6:30 p.m.

5. Rialto Eisenhower, 14-7  (6) – After losing to Richmond Salesian, the Eagles took out their frustrations on Yucaipa in the form of a 93-47 victory last Tuesday. They still haven’t earned the respect of Southern Section voters, however, who have them pegged way down at No. 11 in Division 1AA. Next up: Tonight vs. Redlands East Valley at Eisenhower, 6 p.m.

6. Elsinore, 19-4  (7) – The Tigers might just become the first team in the Southern Section to clinch a league title. They beat Lake Elsinore Lakeside and Menifee Paloma Valley last week to take a three-game lead in the Sunbelt League with four games remaining. Next up: Tonight vs. Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon at Elsinore, 6:30 p.m.

7. Eastvale Roosevelt, 14-5  (8) – Kendall Brown made four three-point baskets and scored 17 points last Tuesday in a 60-48 victory against Corona Santiago. The Mustangs were much more balanced Thursday in a 50-24 win against Norco, as five players scored between six and eight points. Next up: Tonight at Riverside Poly, 7:30 p.m.

8. Summit, 17-6  (NR) – The SkyHawks have won seven straight games and ran their record to 6-0 in the Sunkist League with victories last week against Riverside Patriot and Mira Loma Jurupa Valley. Welcome back Summit! Next up: Tonight vs. Bloomington at Summit, 6:15 p.m.

9. Redlands East Valley, 19-4  (NR) – Khalil Bangou is averaging 22 points a game over the last four games. The 6-4 senior wing scored 21 in a 66-42 victory Tuesday against Fontana Miller and 24 in a 74-62 win Thursday against Redlands. Up next: Tonight at Eisenhower, 6 p.m.

10. Rancho Verde, 18-4  (4) – The Mustangs have been a bit of a mystery team this season but they were exposed Friday night against Moreno Valley Canyon Springs. The Cougars led nearly wire-to-wire in the 55-50 victory. Despite the upset, Rancho Verde only tumbled two spots to No. 10 in the Division 1AA coaches’ poll. The Mustangs took a much bigger hit here. Next up: Wednesday at Riverside Arlington, 7:30 p.m.

Dropped out: Silverado, Upland.

Just missed: Chino Hills, Palm Springs, Victor Valley, Canyon Springs, Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos.