1. Mater Dei, 32-3 (1)—The Monarchs won a 23rd consecutive league championship and an eighth state title, and only one of their top 10 players—David Brown—is a senior. Can you say back-to-back? If Xavier Johnson, Katin Reinhardt, Stanley Johnson & Company work hard, they might be the best team in the country.
2. Orange Lutheran, 27-7 (2)—James Douglas and Gabe York led the Lancers to the Division 4AA title. They were the county’s only boys’ section champion and gave the school its first boys’ title. Lutheran—which beat Mater Dei and Westchester this season—was eliminated in the regional by La Verne Lutheran, the eventual state champion.
3. Foothill, 23-9 (7)—It’s all about the finish, and the Knights were rolling at season’s end behind Cooper Pickell and Rob Filley Though beaten by 2A champion Gahr, 71-70, in the section semifinals, Foothill overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat 2AA runner-up Mission Viejo in the regional.
4. Mission Viejo, 29-3 (4)—The Diablos, led by BYU-bound center Isaac Neilson, and James Craven almost always played to the wire; three of their last five games went overtime, and their three losses were by a combined six points.
5. Canyon, 26-4 (3)—Chris Anderson’s third-seeded Comanches were shocked by sixth-seeded Summit in the 2AA playoffs, but then Summit lost to Mission Viejo before beating nationally ranked San Diego Lincoln and playing in the Division III state championship.
6. Capistrano Valley, 24-8 (6)—The runner-up to Loyola in Division 1A, the senior-laden Cougars had a capable point man in Taylor Hamasaki.
7. Aliso Niguel, 26-4 (5)—The Wolverines have a great young talent in sophomore guard Scott Lynds, who kept them in the game—for awhile—against Mater Dei in the regional.
8. Villa Park, 22-8 (8)—The Spartans had a great player in Shaquille Hunter, but couldn’t put away the easy shots when it mattered in 2AA quarterfinal loss to Ventura.
9. Corona del Mar, 19-10 (NR)—Two consecutive losses when the team got hit with illness skewed the ranking, but Sea Kings lost by only four to La Verne Lutheran in 3AA quarterfinals.
10. Edison, 26-3 (10)—Chargers’ two regular season losses were by a combined three points, but Dylan Garrity and teammates didn’t have enough for Compton in 2AA playoffs.