Los Angeles Preps: Dreon Barlett

LA North and Orange County: Edison 53, Simi Valley 43

February, 18, 2011
SIMI VALLEY -- If you successfully stop Dylan Garrity, chances are, you stop the Huntington Beach Edison boys' basketball team.

Using an effective box-in-one and a particularly stifling triangle defense, among others, Simi Valley did a relatively good job of containing the 6-foot senior point guard during Friday night's Southern Section Division 2AA second-round game.

In the end, however, Garrity did just enough, though it should be noted he had plenty of help along the way in a 53-43 road victory.

“We didn't want Garrity to get off and score a bunch of points against us, so we tried to cut off the head of the snake. It didn't work,'' Simi Valley coach Christian Aurand said. “I think we did what we wanted too and took him out of the game. The other guys made us pay, and sometimes in basketball, that kind of stuff happens. It's out of our control.''

All signs pointed to Edison (26-2) being in trouble given the that fact Garrity scored two points the first quarter. The bucket was rather dramatic though. He scored on a layup at the buzzer to extend the lead to 16-12 heading into the second quarter.

Jonathan Davis did his best to keep the score close early for the Pioneers (20-8). His two-handed dunk cut the deficit to 9-6 with 3:30 left in the first quarter. The George Washington-bound senior scored eight point in the first eight minutes of play.

Ultimately, it didn't matter as Kris Wolfe picked up the slack. The senior ended up scoring nine points by the time the first quarter had ended.

Shortly thereafter, Dreon Barlett got things going, in a hurry, and scored eight consecutive points to give the Chargers a 23-12 lead with 6:17 remaining in the first half. All told, the junior forward scored 11 of his 16 points in the second quarter.

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ESPNLA top 20 boys' basketball rankings

February, 8, 2011
If there is one thing to be learned from last week it is this: Expect the unexpected from the Southland's top boys' basketball teams.

More than a few programs ranked among the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 lost recently, most notably top-ranked Long Beach Poly. The Jackrabbits, however, maintain the top spot in the poll based upon their body of work.

Four other teams in the top 10 suffered setbacks, so do not be surprised to see some new faces in some new places this time around.

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (22-1): A surprising five-point upset at the hands of Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman on Saturday hurt. It is not the end of the world. Far from it, in fact.

2. (2) Mater Dei (22-2): Victories over JSerra on Tuesday night and Santa Margarita on Thursday are the only obstacles left in the way of a Trinity League title.

3. (3) Corona Centennial (21-3): The Huskies have been without senior point guard Michael Caffey for a while now, yet the wins continue to mount at an alarming rate.

4. (4) Taft (21-2): Concord De La Salle posed as somewhat of threat over the weekend. And while the showdown went into overtime, the Toreadors found a way to prevail.

5. (8) Loyola (19-5): Everyone has been talking about how the Cubs have played one of the more difficult schedules around. And apparently, that is proving to be true.

6. (6) Etiwanda (23-2): Not sure to how to explain last week's Baseline League loss against Upland. Nevertheless, few programs possess as much upside as the Eagles.

7. (10) Orange Lutheran (19-6): Big test Tuesday night against Cezar Guerrero and St. John Bosco followed by a Trinity League finale with Servite on Thursday evening.

8. (5) Westchester (20-6): Can't knock the Comets for taking on Orange Lutheran and losing at the Nike Extravaganza. They will be better for the experience down the road.

9. (7) Harvard-Westlake (22-3): Lost to Loyola on Friday night. The Wolverines bounced back with a victory over Crespi on Monday though to clinch the Mission League title.

10. (9) Mission Viejo (23-1): Fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with a two-point setback to Tesoro. Up next is El Toro on Tuesday and Capistrano Valley on Thursday.

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