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Tuesday, February 1, 2011
ESPNLA top 20 boys' basketball rankings

By Sean Ceglinsky

There are only two undefeated teams left in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 boys' basketball rankings after Etiwanda was upset by Loyola Los Angeles, 70-64, Saturday night at the Fairfax State Preview Classic.

True to form, Long Beach Poly has a firm grasp on the top spot once again. And surprisingly enough, it appears as if Mission Viejo is poised to continue its winning ways. The Diablos, after all, have made a remarkable regular-season run thus far.

So, without further adieu, it is time to get down to business and check out how some of the Southland's premier programs stack up against one other.

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (19-0): The only thing standing between the Jackrabbits and an unblemished regular season record is Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman on Saturday.

2. (3) Mater Dei (20-2): Stanley Johnson might be a freshman, but the 6-foot-5, 190-pound forward has surely not played like a wide-eyed youngster for the Monarchs.

3. (4) Corona Centennial (18-3): Challenges in the Big VIII League have been nonexistent thus far. Plenty of tests, however, await in the Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs.

4. (5) Taft (17-2): All signs point to the Toreadors being hyped and ready for their showdown against Concord De La Salle in the Nike Extravaganza this weekend.

5. (6) Westchester (19-5): The Comets essentially wrapped up a Western League championship with a 22-point victory over second-place University on Monday night.

6. (2) Etiwanda (21-1): Seemingly no one saw the loss to Loyola coming. Hey Eagles fans, fear not, your team figures to rebound in Baseline League play this week.

7. (8) Harvard-Westlake (20-2): A pair of important Mission League games on the road loom large. First up, Chaminade on Wednesday followed by Loyola on Friday.

8. (11) Loyola (17-5): On a roster with a number of relatively unknown commodities, Julian Harrell has emerged as one of those names to definitely remember.

9. (9) Mission Viejo (23-0): James Cramer's stats are not particularly spectacular: 10 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game: Nevertheless, the senior gets the job done.

10. (10) Orange Lutheran (17-6): The Lancers are hanging onto a spot in the top 10 by a thread. They could made a statement Saturday though with a win against Westchester.

11. (12) Peninsula (21-1): Too bad the Panthers lost to Westchester by six points in early December. After 18 straight wins, the setback is nothing more than a distant memory.

12. (13) Edison (21-1): The lone loss for the Chargers this season came against Huntington Beach. The rematch is on Wednesday with first place in the Sunset League at stake.

13. (14) Price (16-5): When it comes to big games, they don't get much bigger than Saturday's against Mater Dei. For the Knights, at least, this one is for all the marbles.

14. (7) Canyon (20-3): A Century League upset at the hands of Villa Park last week certainly did not help matters. Good thing is, the Comanches still control their destiny.

15. (16) Crespi (18-5): With a victory over host Alemany on Wednesday night, the Celts will take over sole possession of third place in the tight Mission League race.

16. (17) Windward (15-6): Last weekend's win over perennial powerhouse from San Diego, Torrey Pines, at the Fairfax State Preview Classic looks good on the resume.

17. (18) La Verne Lutheran (13-4): Arrowhead League opponents have offered the Trojans little, or no, resistance thus far. Postseason play can not get here soon enough.

18. (15) Thousand Oaks (20-2): It is time to see just how good the Lancers are and we'll know plenty after Tuesday's Marmonte League game against rival Simi Valley.

19. (20) Oaks Christian (16-7): Tri-Valley League games appear to be a formality for the Lions. What everyone wants to see is Saturday's match-up with Windward.

20. (NR) Ventura (21-2): Suppose we should give some credit where credit is due. Keep in mind, the Cougars nearly defeated Etiwanda about two weeks ago before losing, 52-51.

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. 30.