Los Angeles Preps: Price

Windward's Stover nabs MVP at Collision

April, 24, 2012
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Los Angeles Windward forward Nick Stover, a Loyola Marymount signee, earned most valuable player honors at the Collision XIV all-star game at El Camino College on Saturday night, leading the CIF Southern Section boys' team to a 113-106 victory against the City Section.

Stover had 19 points and San Diego State-bound forward Skylar Spencer of Price added 18 for the Southern Section, which won for the sixth time in the event's 14-year history. Woodland Hills Taft's Anthony January had a game-high 24 for the City Section.

The City Section girls' team won its game, 68-67, after erasing an 18-point deficit. Pasadena Poly's Michelle Miller, who this season passed Lisa Leslie for third place on the Southern Section career scoring list, had 19 points.

Collision XIV scheduled for Saturday

April, 19, 2012
4/19/12
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Top graduating girls' and boys' basketball players from the CIF Los Angeles City Section and Southern Section will be on display Saturday at the 2012 Collision XIV all-star games at El Camino College in Torrance.

The event features five games, headlined by the City Section versus Southern Section games at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Among those suiting up for the Southern Section boys' team will be Price teammates Skylar Spencer (San Diego State) and Khalil Johnson (Cal). Fairfax teammates Brendyn Taylor (USC) and Landon Drew (Cal State Northridge) will represent the City Section.

Alums of the event include Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), Darren Collison (Indiana Pacers), Austin Daye (Detroit Pistons) and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves).

The City boys lead the all-time series 8-5, while the Southern girls lead 11-2.

Source: Price's Johnson headed to Cal

April, 11, 2012
4/11/12
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Los Angeles Price forward Khalil Johnson has committed to Cal and is set to sign with the Golden Bears this spring, according to a source.

Johnson, a versatile forward with a smooth lefty stroke, also considered Arizona State. The 6-foot-7 Johnson was a key contributor on a Price team that reached the CIF State Division IV championship last month. The Knights, though, lost to Salesian.

Price has produced its share of talent in recent years. Skylar Spencer, one of the area's top big men, is headed to San Diego State. Allen Crabbe, Cal's leading scorer as a sophomore last season, was the Pac-10 freshman of the year in 2011.

Prep basketball: Top 20 rankings

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
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Another prep basketball season is in the books after the CIF State Championships took place last weekend in Sacramento. The Southland was well represented at the gathering, with four teams in attendance up North. Three programs prevailed and brought home some hardware for their respective trophy cases.

Let's take a look at how the Southland's premier programs stacked up against each other this season. Some of the teams will look familiar. Others not so much. Here are the final ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings.

1. (1) Mater Dei (34-2): The Monarchs went wire-to-wire as the top-ranked team. Are we surprised? No, not really.

2. (4) Alemany (33-4): There's no substitute for experience, and with seniors Max Guercey and Marqueze Coleman in the mix the Warriors know this all too well.

3. (2) Long Beach Poly (28-3): Pieces of the puzzle appeared in place. The Jackrabbits, however, were their own worst enemy when it mattered most, the playoffs.

4. (6) Loyola (26-6): Bad news: Seniors Julian Harrell, Justin Childress and Jacob Hazzard are gone. Good news: Sophomore Parker Jackson-Cartwright returns.

5. (5) Serra (31-3): With Daddy Ugbede out on the court, the Cavaliers were capable of beating anyone. The senior was a threat underneath and out on the perimeter.

6. (3) Taft (29-4): Anthony January was a high-profile transfer at the start of season for the Toreadors. The senior wing, of course, lived up to most of the hype.

7. (7) Etiwanda (30-3): With sophomore point guard Jordan McLaughlin in the fold, the Eagles figure to be just fine for years to come. More than fine, in fact.

8. (16) Price (26-9): Seemingly no one around played a tougher schedule. Once postseason play rolled around, the Knights were a battled-tested group. And then some.

9. (11) La Verne Lutheran (25-8): The Trojans relied on Grant Jerrett. The Arizona commit and McDonald's All-American could take care of business by himself.

10. (17) St. John Bosco (25-8): The Hamilton brothers, junior Isaac and sophomore Daniel, often times played as if they were seasoned veterans for the Braves.

11. (10) Mayfair (27-6): Senior wing Dion Wright did a little bit of everything for the Monsoons once the playoffs started. He did most of it extremely well too.

12. (9) Pacific Hills (30-5): Brandon Taylor might have been considered an underrated point guard early on this season. The senior changed the perception in the playoffs.

13. (8) Orange Lutheran (22-11): A mid-season injury to Gabe York was difficult to deal with. Once the senior guard was healthy, there was not stopping the Lancers.

14. (12) Pasadena (27-7): The Bulldogs knew they had a reliable presence in senior Blake Hamilton. During their playoff run, everyone else learned the same exact thing.

15. (14) Mission Viejo (25-6): When football and basketball players finally come together, it can be a dangerous combo. Go ahead and ask opponents of the Diablos this year.

16. (18) Crespi (24-8): It was tough to figure out the Celts. They managed to defeat Alemany twice, Price one time and Loyola once. This group might have peeked too early.

17. (13) Calabasas (28-4): The season was dedicated to assistant coach Joe Frazier, in a coma after a motorcycle accident. The Coyotes did their mentor proud from start to finish

18. (15) Inglewood (23-12): Starting five consisted of juniors Charles Lockwood, Kristopher Randall, Randy Onwuasor, Edward Scott Jr. and Nicholas Smiley. Watch out.

19. (NR) Bishop Montgomery (23-5): Playing in highly competitive Division IV took its toll on the Knights. They were a battered and bruised bunch come postseason play.

20. (NR) Village Christian (32-3): The Crusaders were on a crusade, apparently. They came out of nowhere and opened some eyes en route to winning a Division V state title.

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

South: Boys' basketball top 10

March, 26, 2012
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The final boys’ basketball top 10 rankings for schools in south Los Angeles County:

1. Long Beach Poly (29-3)
On the bad side, Poly came up short in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA finals against Mater Dei and again in the Southern California Regionals against Fresno Bullard. On the bright side, standout juniors Roschon Prince and Jordan Bell return next season with redemption in mind.

2. Loyola (26-6)
Four of Loyola's six losses came against eventual state champions -- two to Mater Dei and two to Mission League titlist Alemany. The Cubs blew a 10-point lead against Mater Dei in the Division 1AA semis, which will serve as motivation for up-and-coming point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright this offseason.

3. Gardena Serra (31-3)
The Cavaliers were the last ones standing in Division 4AA but couldn't find the same magic in the regional final against Price. Despite missing out on a trip to Sacramento, Serra can hang its hat on the impressive section title.

4. Price (26-9)
San Diego State-bound forward Skylar Spencer and Co. made a run at state but fell short in the capital. The Knights return a good group, led by versatile guard Chance Murray.

5. La Verne Lutheran (25-8)
Arizona-bound forward Grant Jerrett, the state's only McDonald's All-American, was denied his third straight state championship ring but it won't dampen a stellar prep career. The torch has been handed to sharpshooting junior guard Eric Cooper Jr.

6. Pacific Hills (30-5)
The Bruins were a force in the difficult Alpha League and it carried them to the Division 4A championship. With only two seniors graduating, coach Ivan Barahona has Pacific Hills eying the repeat next season.

7. Pasadena (28-7)
The Bulldogs benefited from rival Muir's forfeiture of the Pacific League crown, but forward Brandon Jolley and guard Ajon Jefferson legitimized it by winning the Division 3AAA championship. Both return next year.

8. St. John Bosco (25-8)
Yes, the Braves beat Pasadena in the regional tournament. But they're a spot below because Pasadena captured a section title. With dynamic brothers Isaac and Daniel Hamilton leading the charge, Bosco will be one of the teams to watch next year.

9. Mayfair (27-6)
The Wright brothers, Brian and Dion, guided the Monsoons to the Division 2 title against Santa Maria Righetti.

10. Damien (26-3)
Coach Matt Dunn won't make the excuse, but making a 200-mile trip up the coast didn't help the top-seeded Spartans' chances of advancing in the Division 3AAA playoffs.

Ten more, in alphabetic order: Bishop Montgomery (23-5), Crenshaw (24-6), Compton (19-10), Dorsey (27-9), Downey (22-6), Fairfax (20-10), Leuzinger (23-6), Muir (5-21)#, Westchester (22-8), Windward (20-9)

# - Muir was 24-2 on the court; vacated 19 wins for use of an ineligible player.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Following him on Twitter.

Price falls to Salesian in D-IV title game

March, 23, 2012
3/23/12
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SACRAMENTO -- The Salesian boys' basketball team started out a little sluggish, but came away with the CIF State Division IV championship at Power Balance Pavilion on Friday afternoon.

Down 16-10 in the first quarter, Salesian came alive in the second quarter to take a one-point lead at halftime, build a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and went on to win, 70-56, over Price.

Salesian from Richmond (34-2) won its second CIF state championship and was making its second state final appearance in a row. The Pride lost to Windward in last year’s CIF State Division IV final. Coach Bill Mellis said playing in the championship game last year helped his players prepare for this year’s game.

“All week long, we knew what we were up against,” Mellis said. “We knew whoever came out of the south was going to be a tough challenge. The first half, they were getting the best of us.”

Price (27-8), the No. 16 team in the ESPN Los Angeles rankings, took advantage of its size in the first half and outrebounded Salesian, 22-17. Second-chance points helped Price build an early lead. Price had 16 offensive rebounds to Salesian’s nine.

But Salesian went to a zone defense and was able to keep Price off the boards in the second half, evening out the rebounds.

Price couldn’t make free throws either. The Knights were 14-for-32 from the free-throw line. Salesian wasn’t much better at 50 percent (14-for-28). When asked to comment on his team’s free-throw shooting in the game, Price coach Michael Lynch responded, “Do I have to?”

Not only did Price shoot 44 percent from the free-throw line, the Knights missed the front ends of one-and-ones and a few technical free throws.

“That’s how you get behind,” Lynch said. “I don’t know what happened tonight.”

Salesian’s Jabari Bird scored a game-high 24 points and was 10-of-16 from the field. Teammate Jermaine Edmonds was the only other player in double figures. He scored 10 points off the bench and played the fourth quarter with four fouls.

Khalil Johnson led Price with 17 points and was one of three players in double figures for the Knights. Trey Dickserson scored 15 points and Skylar Spencer had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Salesian capped a 27-game winning streak with the CIF state championship.

Spencer steps into big role for Price

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:54
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LOS ANGELES -- There was no shortage of high-profile post players in the Southland this season. The position, in fact, was seemingly the deepest it has been in recent years.

Attempting to determine who the best of the bunch was could prove to be a difficult task given the long list of candidates. A case can certainly be made for Skylar Spencer, considering the 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior from Los Angeles Price senior is the last man standing.

[+] EnlargeSkyler Spencer
Courtesy of Nick KozaSkyler Spencer has been consistent in his play and that is a big reason Price finds itself in the state title game.
While most of his highly regarded peers sit at home on Friday afternoon and wonder about what could have been, Spencer will suit up for the Knights (26-8 overall) and likely be the difference between winning and losing in the CIF state championship game against Richmond Salesian (33-2). The opening tip is at 1:30 p.m. in Sacramento at Power Balance Arena.

“I wouldn't trade Skylar for anybody out here,'' Price coach Michael Lynch said. “He's our captain, our leader on the team, we've been on his back so many times this year.''

If given the chance, many would choose Grant Jerrett from La Verne Lutheran as the premier player in the greater Los Angeles area. The senior and Arizona commit, after all, was recently named the Gatorade State Boys' Basketball Player of the Year.

North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake's Zena Edosomwan deserves consideration with regard to being mentioned in the same sentence as some of the Southland's best bigs. Also worth mentioning is Woodland Hills Taft's Anthony January. Gardena Serra's Daddy Ugbede and La Verne Damien's Chris Reyes round out the well-rounded group.

Spencer can't be overlooked if winning is a criteria used in the conversation. The Knights were among the top programs in the ESPNLosAngeles Top 20 rankings this season with Spencer leading the way. Remember, Price played one of the more competitive schedules around.

“We did not back down from anyone, we'll play anyone, anytime, anywhere,'' Spencer said. “To be the best, you have to play the best. That's the way you have to think.''

(Read full post)

CIF state boys basketball finals preview

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
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Tim Haddock / For ESPNLosAngeles.com
Joe Shashaty scored 10 points and was one of four players from Village Christian who scored in double figures against Renaissance Academy in the Southern California Regional Division V final.

Division I

Mater Dei of Santa Ana vs. Sheldon of Sacramento

Mater Dei (33-2) has a 20-game winning streak and hasn’t lost since Jan. 7 to Gill St. Bernards from New Jersey. The Monarchs are the Southern Section Division 1A champions and won the Southern California Regional championship, 85-66, over the surprising Bullard team from Fresno. Mater Dei has won eight state championships and is in search of a record-setting ninth. Sheldon (29-5) has an 11-game winning streak and won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 championship, 49-44, over Jesuit. Sheldon played Jesuit again in the Northern California Regional final and won 61-56, erasing a 17-point deficit in the second quarter.

Division III

Alemany of Mission Hills vs. Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco

After losing its Mission League finale to Harvard-Westlake, Alemany (32-4) has won nine playoff games in a row, including the Southern Section Division 3A championship, 72-60, over Oak Park. The Warriors had to hold off St. John Bosco in the Southern California Regional Division III final, 62-61, to advance to their first state championship game in school history. Nevada-bound Marqueze Coleman scored 24 points against St. John Bosco and had 31 against Cathedral Catholic from San Diego in the Southern California Regional semifinal. Sacred Heart Cathedral (28-5), the top seed in the Northern California Regional playoffs, beat Bishop O’Dowd, 61-57, in the Division III championship game. Josh Fox scored 21 points and had 13 rebounds for Sacred Heart. Taylor Johns had a double-double as well with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

(Read full post)

Price knocks off top-seeded Serra

March, 17, 2012
3/17/12
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Price Sean Ceglinsky/For ESPNLA.comPrice built an early lead and stayed in control in its victory over Serra to earn a state title berth.

ONTARIO -- The fans came to see Los Angeles Price's Skylar Spencer and Gardena Serra's Daddy Ugbede. And while the one-on-one matchup between two of the Southland's premier post players had its moments, there was more at stake than individual bragging rights in this one.

"I was looking forward to going up against Daddy, he always comes to play, it's always a challenge,'' Spencer said.

In the end, Spencer got the better of the exchange as the Knights jumped out to a nine-point lead in the first half and maintained a double-digit advantage for most of the second half en route to a 73-66 Division IV victory in a Southern California Regional title game at Colony High.

Behind 15 points from the San Diego State-bound Spencer, third-seed Price (26-8) advances to next weekend's CIF state title game in Sacramento.

"I'm just glad Spencer is on our side, I'd take him over any other player in Southern California,'' Price coach Michael Lynch said.

Top-seeded Serra (31-3), on the other hand, is left to think about what could've been after Ugbede, a senior with scholarship offers, finished with 18 points.

With the focus on Ugbede underneath the basket, things opened up for teammate Dakari Tucker. In the second quarter alone, the senior scored six points and added three rebounds, two assists and two steals. It was more of the same in the second half. Tucker scored another nine points in the third quarter. Serra still trailed, 56-51, to start the fourth quarter.

Spencer scored five points in the opening minutes of the game. However, he got into foul trouble and ended up back on the bench midway through the first quarter. Making matters worse, Spencer did not play at all in the second quarter.

(Read full post)

Price knocks off La Verne Lutheran

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
9:41
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LA VERNE -- It was as simple as this: Skylar Spencer didn't want his season to end. One free throw to tie, two to lead. Less than seven seconds remaining.

The San Diego State-bound forward sank both, pushing Los Angeles Price past La Verne Lutheran, 53-52, Tuesday night in the Southern California Regionals Division IV semifinals at the University of La Verne. Price will match up against top-seeded Gardena Serra, the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA champion, in the regional title game Saturday night at Ontario Colony High School.

Second-seeded Lutheran, a two-time defending state champion, had a chance to win with 6.9 seconds remaining, but McDonald's All-American Grant Jerrett fumbled a pass inside the paint before the final buzzer sounded.

"That last six-point-whatever seconds seemed like two minutes," Price coach Michael Lynch said. "When I saw that ball fumbled away, I lost it."

Lutheran (25-8) took a 52-51 lead with 32.8 seconds remaining after Jerrett made one of two free throws. Lynch called a timeout and, on the ensuing possession, Spencer pulled down an offensive rebound and was fouled hard.

He composed himself and took the biggest free throws of his life.

"I knew I had to at least make one but I was worried about making two," said Spencer, who finished with 11 points and five blocked shots. "I didn't want my season to end. I didn't want the game to go into overtime."

(Read full post)

Prep basketball: Top 20 rankings

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
5:08
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With the Southern Section and Los Angeles City Section playoffs in the books, the premier programs from the greater Los Angeles area turn their collective attention toward the Southern California Regional Playoffs this week. First-round play starts Wednesday night as teams begin their bids for a berth in the CIF State Championship game.

That said, let's take a quick look at how some of the best of the best from right here in the Southland stack up against each other. Without further adieu, here's the latest edition of the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 rankings.

1. (1) Mater Dei (29-2): Have gone wire-to-wire atop of our rankings and show no signs of slowing down.

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (26-2): Revenge-minded Jackrabbits would like another shot against Mater Dei.

3. (5) Taft (28-3): Not much competition in Los Angeles' City Section. Division I state will be different though.

4. (6) Alemany (28-4): All signs pont to the Warriors making an appearance in Division III state title game.

5. (7) Gardena Serra (29-2): The top seed in Division IV and distinction is worthy given body of work.

6. (4) Loyola (24-5): Wouldn't be least bit surprised to see the Cubs make some noise in Division I play.

7. (3) Etiwanda (29-2): Eagles are overlooked in Division I with Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly around.

8. (9) Orange Lutheran (21-10): Gabe York receives the headlines while Payton Banks waits in the wings.

9. (10) Pacific Hills (28-4): Brandon Taylor is one of the most underrated seniors in Southern California.

(Read full post)

LA South: Local teams ready for postseason run

March, 4, 2012
3/04/12
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Some of the Southland's premier prep hoops programs reside in the Northern region of Los Angeles. And for those skeptics out there looking for proof, one need not look any further than the brackets released for the Southern California Regional Playoffs on Sunday afternoon.

First round play begins Wednesday night and Long Beach Poly is one of the marquee teams competing in Division I. The Jackrabbits were awarded the all-important No.2 seed and open up at home game against Capistrano Valley.

Among the other potentially entertaining games in an absolutely loaded Division I field: Los Angeles Crenshaw at No. 4 Loyola Los Angeles, Los Angeles Westchester at Fresno Bullard and Los Angeles Dorsey at Orange Lutheran.

In Division II, No.2 Mayfair earned a first-round bye. Los Angeles Garfield faces a particulary tough task at No. 5 Inglewood. Division III has a strong contingent, including No. 6 Bellflower St. John Bosco, No.7 Bell and South Torrance.

Gardena Serra is the top seed in Division IV and has a bye in the first round. Local opponents looming large are No. 2 La Verne Lutheran, No. 3 Los Angeles Price and No. 5 Los Angeles Pacific Hills. Other teams posing as ptoential threats are underdogs No. 8 Animo South Los Angeles and Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart.

In Division V, Playa del Rey St. Bernard is the top seed. No. 2 Los Angeles Ribet Academy and Los Angeles View Park could play the spoiler role.

Prep basketball: Top 20 rankings

February, 27, 2012
2/27/12
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The goal for many of the Southland's premier programs at the start of the season was simple: Win a Los Angeles City Section or Southern Section championship. And with title games taking place later in the week, the time has come for teams to follow through with the plans they made months ago.

Unfortunately for some, lofty aspirations of taking home some hardware never materialized this year. Torrance Bishop Montgomery, Los Angeles Westchester along with La Verne Damien and Los Angeles Windward fall into that category as each program had their respective season end last week.

That said, let's take a look at the teams whose postseason hopes remain alive and well.

1. (1) Mater Dei (27-2): The Monarchs made it to the final four in Division 1-AA. No surprise there. Now let's see if they can seal the deal with a trophy.

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (25-1): Etiwanda in the Division 1-AA semifinals is the only thing standing between the Jackrabbits and a berth in the marquee game.

3. (3) Etiwanda (29-1): Jordan McLaughlin is a sophomore. He certainly doesn't play like an underclassman though and averages more than 17 points per game.

4. (4) Loyola (24-4): Give the Cubs some credit. They did not overlook anyone in the Division 1-AA bracket and a showdown against Santa Ana Mater Dei awaits.

5. (5) Taft (27-3): Los Angeles Dorsey does not figure to give the Toreadors much trouble in the City Section title game this weekend. A championship is a formality.

6. (6) Alemany (27-4): The Warriors figured to go as far as senior point guard Max Guercy would take them. Low and behold, they are in the Division 3-A finals.

7. (7) Gardena Serra (28-2): There were no easy games in Division 4-AA and the Cavaliers can vouch for that fact. Next up: La Verne Lutheran in the title game.

8. (8) La Verne Lutheran (23-6): Expect a big Division 4-AA finals game from Grant Jerrett. The senior and Arizona commit is overdue for a memorable performance.

10. (14) Orange Lutheran (17-10): Arizona-bound senior Gabe York is healthy once again. That does not bode well for Capistrano Valley in the Division 1-A semifinals.

10. (10) Pacific Hills (27-4): The Bruins had better be prepared for Jose Estrada in Division 4-A. The junior from Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart can flat-out score.

11. (15) Mayfair (22-5): Seemingly a sure thing to win it all in Division 2-A. The highest seeded team left in the bracket for the Monsoons is No. 5 Wildomar Elsinore.

12. (17) Capistrano Valley (25-4): Lack of respect has been a driving for the Cougars in Division 1-A. An upset victory over Orange Lutheran would quiet the skeptics.

13. (20) Calabasas (26-3): The Coyotes have flown underneath the radar for a while now in Division 3-AA. Suppose it's about time they receive an acknowledgment.

14. (11) Price (22-8): No shame in losing to Gardena Serra in the Division 4-AA semifinals. Plus, the Knights played one of the more competitive schedules around.

15. (12) St. John Bosco (22-7): An upset at the hands of Oak Park in the Division 3-A semifinals ended the season a bit sooner than expected for the talented Braves.

16. (19) Crespi (23-7): The Celts were one only basket away from defeating La Verne Lutheran and making an appearance in Division 4-AA championship game.

17. (NR) Mission Viejo (26-3): The Diablos have been on the verge of entering the poll for weeks. They have finally arrived and are a force to be reckon with in Division 1-A.

18. (NR) Pasadena (24-6): Damien received most of the headlines in Division 3-AAA this season. The Bulldogs, however, are the ones standing in the end during postseason play.

19. (NR) Royal (23-6): In terms of peaking at the right time, the Highlanders figured things out just in the nick of time in Division 2-AA. They're one win away from the finals.

20. (NR) Thousand Oaks (21-8): Must be considered the surprise of the playoffs so far. Lancers have knocked off No. 1 and No. 8 seeds to reach the Division 2-AA semifinals.

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

South: Boys' basketball Top 10

February, 27, 2012
2/27/12
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The south Los Angeles County boys’ basketball top 10 power rankings as teams move into championship week:

1. Long Beach Poly (26-1)
Junior wing Roschon Prince set a school playoff record with 40 points Friday. Now he gets to face Etiwanda's hard-nosed man-to-man defense with a ticket to the championship game at stake. Next: CIF-SS Division 1AA semifinals vs. Etiwanda at Anaheim Convention Center, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

2. Gardena Serra (28-2)
The top-seeded Cavaliers survived against L.A. Price, redeeming a controversial loss from earlier in the season. Serra has the size to match McDonald's All-American Grant Jerrett of La Verne Lutheran, but can they contain him? Next: CIF-SS Division 4AA final vs. La Verne Lutheran at Anaheim Convention Center, Thursday, 4:45 p.m.

3. Loyola (24-4)
The opportunity to avenge last year's state tournament loss to eventual champion Mater Dei is finally here for the Cubs. We know about the Monarchs' talent, but Loyola figures to match up well at all spots. Next: CIF-SS Division 1AA semifinals vs. Mater Dei at Anaheim Convention Center, Tuesday, 8:15 p.m.

4. La Verne Lutheran (23-6)
Junior guard Eric Cooper Jr. has been playing with a broken finger in his right shooting hand, providing the second-seeded Trojans with much-needed minutes. They may be shorthanded but, like coach Eric Cooper said Friday after a win against Crespi, "When you've got Grant Jerrett, you've always got a chance." Next: CIF-SS Division 4AA final vs. Gardena Serra at Anaheim Convention Center, Thursday, 4:45 p.m.

5. Pacific Hills (27-4)
The top-seeded Bruins have the unenviable task of containing dynamic scorer Jose Estrada in the championship game. Next: CIF-SS Division 4A final vs. Cantwell-Sacred Heart at Anaheim Convention Center, Thursday, 3 p.m.

6. Price (22-8)
The Knights had a lead against top-seeded Gardena Serra heading into the fourth quarter but could not stop Dakarai Tucker. No title game in Division 4AA, but San Diego State-bound Skylar Spencer and the Knights could make a run in the state tournament.

7. St. John Bosco (22-7)
The second-seeded Braves were plagued by their perimeter defense, losing to visiting Oak Park, 67-66, in the CIF-SS Division 3A semifinals.

8. Pasadena (24-6)
Coach Tim Tucker has an athletic squad, led by forward Brandon Jolley, who is a handful down low. Next: CIF-SS Division 3AAA final vs. Arroyo Grande at Anaheim Convention Center, Friday or Saturday, time TBA.

9. Bishop Montgomery (23-5)#
Given the difficulty of Division 4AA, it was unlikely that the top four seeds would reach the semifinals. Bishop Montgomery was the first casualty, losing on the road to Crespi.

10. Dorsey (27-7)
The seventh-seeded Dons erased an early 20-3 deficit to shock third-seeded Westchester in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section semifinals Saturday at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Can Cinderella win it all? Next: City Section Division I final vs. Woodland Hills Taft at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Saturday, 8 p.m.

Ten more, in alphabetical order: Crenshaw (24-5), Compton (19-10), Damien (26-3)#, Downey (22-6)#, Fairfax (20-10)#, Leuzinger (23-6)#, Mayfair (24-5), Muir (5-21)*, Westchester (22-7), Windward (20-9)#

# -- Denotes season has concluded
* -- Muir was 24-2 on the court; vacated 19 wins for use of an ineligible player

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Following him on Twitter.

Serra gets another shot at Price

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
11:21
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The top-seeded Gardena Serra boys' basketball team will have redemption on its mind when it takes the floor Friday night for a CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA semifinal matchup against fourth-seeded Price at Morningside High School.

The teams met in mid January and Serra (27-2) lost, 49-47, in controversial fashion when center Emmanual Ndumanya's game-tying shot at the buzzer was waved off. On video it appears as if Ndumanya got his shot off before time expired, but now the teams will get to settle it on the court. Second-seeded La Verne Lutheran (22-6) and Encino Crespi (23-6) meet in the other semifinal at the University of La Verne.

It was a game of runs last time, with Serra falling behind 22-4 before storming back with a 25-2 run. The lead reached 13 as Price (22-7) was held scoreless until late in the third quarter, but the Knights responded with an 11-0 spurt to start the fourth quarter.

"It's going to be another war," Price coach Michael Lynch said, "but we’re ready."

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