Los Angeles Preps: The Top 10

South: Boys' basketball top 10

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
4:36
PM PT
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.

South: Boys' basketball Top 10

February, 27, 2012
2/27/12
4:30
PM PT
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.

South: Boys' basketball Top 10

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
3:29
PM PT
The south Los Angeles County boys’ basketball top 10 power rankings as teams move into the second week of playoffs:

1. Long Beach Poly (24-1)
The second-seeded Jackrabbits advanced into the next round by doubling up visiting Riverside King, and now face a 90-mile bus trip. Next: CIF-SS Division 1AA second round at Palmdale Knight, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

2. Gardena Serra (26-2)
The top-seeded Cavaliers will have to neutralize Harvard-Westlake forward Zena Edosomwan. Interior players Daddy Ugbede and Emmanual Ndumanya will have their hands full. Next: CIF-SS Division 4AA quarterfinals at Harvard-Westlake, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

3. Loyola (22-4)
The fourth-seeded Cubs had an easy time with Trabuco Hills on Friday. Beating Long Beach Jordan, the third-best team in the Moore League, doesn't figure to be as simple. Next: CIF-SS Division 1AA second round at Long Beach Jordan, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

4. La Verne Lutheran (21-6)
A broken finger to guard Eric Cooper Jr. stripped the second-seeded Trojans of Grant Jerrett's primary sidekick. The role players will have to step up in his absence. Next: CIF-SS Division 4AA quarterfinals at Oaks Christian, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

5. Price (21-7)
The fourth-seeded Knights have already defeated fellow small school power Windward twice this season. They hope the third time isn't the charm for the visitors. Next: CIF-SS Division 4AA quarterfinals vs. Windward, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

6. St. John Bosco (21-6)
The second-seeded Braves opened the playoffs with blowout victories of 41 and 38 points. They've shown no signs of slowing down, either. Next: CIF-SS Division 3A quarterfinals at Covina, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

7. Bishop Montgomery (23-4)
Larry Taylor III sank clutch free throws and the third-seeded Knights avoided a second-round upset against Morningside on Friday. Lamond Murray Jr. scored 25 points. Next: CIF-SS Division 4AA quarterfinals at Crespi, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

8. Damien (26-2)
The top-seeded Spartans were on the bad end of a preliminary coin flip, and now must travel 200 miles north for their next game. Could an upset be brewing? Next: CIF-SS Division 3AAA quarterfinals at Arroyo Grande, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

9. Pacific Hills (25-4)
The top-seeded Bruins, co-champions of the Alpha League, opened the playoffs with wins of 53 and 32 points. Next: CIF-SS Division 4A quarterfinals vs. St. Bonaventure, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

10. Pasadena (21-7)
There was no better way for the Bulldogs to head into the playoffs than with a victory against Pacific League rival Muir. Coach Tim Tucker has his team eying the top prize. Next: CIF-SS Division 3AAA quarterfinals vs. Bonita, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Ten more, in alphabetic order: Crenshaw (23-4), Compton (18-9), Downey (22-6)#, Fairfax (20-9), Leuzinger (22-5), Mayfair (22-5), Muir (24-2)#, Santa Monica (19-8), Westchester (21-6), Windward (20-8)

# - Denotes season has concluded

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

South: Boys' basketball top 10

February, 12, 2012
2/12/12
7:21
PM PT
The south Los Angeles County boys’ basketball top 10 power rankings as the 2012 playoffs get underway:

1. Long Beach Poly (23-1)
Credit the Moore League champion Jackrabbits for shaking off the departure of Ryan Anderson (Boston College) and Alexis Moore (USC) from last year's Division 1AA title team. Then again, Poly never rebuilds -- it reloads. Coach Sharrief Metoyer has done a tremendous job. This week: CIF-SS Division 1AA first round vs. Riverside King, Friday, 7 p.m.

2. Gardena Serra (24-2)
Coach Dwan Hurt has his group riding a nine-game win streak heading into the playoffs. The Cavaliers swept through the Del Rey League, and appear to be the slight favorite in Division 4AA. This week: CIF-SS Division 4AA first round vs. Salesian, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

3. Loyola (21-4)
Not exactly the regular season the Cubs had hoped for, but they can forget about falling short in the Mission League with a championship run in the next couple of weeks. Julian Harrell and Jacob Hazzard lead a deep, dangerous squad. This week: CIF-SS Division 1AA first round vs. Trabuco Hills, Friday, 7 p.m.

4. La Verne Lutheran (19-6)
Lost in senior forward Grant Jerrett's selection to the McDonald's All-American game is the strides sharpshooter Eric Cooper Jr. has taken as a go-to player for the Trojans. Jerrett demands double teams down low, and Cooper, an Arizona commit, is making opponents pay. This week: CIF-SS Division 4AA first round vs. Pasadena Marshall, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

5. Price (19-7)
Mixed results for the Knights last week after beating Compton but losing to fellow Division 4AA contender La Verne Lutheran in overtime. San Diego State signee Skylar Spencer and Co. thrive in transition, so they'll be a tough draw in the playoffs. This week: CIF-SS Division 4AA first round vs. Blair, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

6. St. John Bosco (19-6)
No shame in finishing at 8-2 in the Trinity League, especially with both losses coming against the state's top-ranked squad. If there's consolation for Braves fans, it's that this team, with junior Isaac Hamilton and sophomore Daniel Hamilton at its core, only figures to get better under first-year coach Derrick Taylor. This week: CIF-SS Division 3A first round vs. Jurupa Hills, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

7. Bishop Montgomery (21-4)
Sure, the Knights couldn't get it done against Del Rey League rival Gardena Serra, but wins against Woodland Hills, Westchester, Pacific Hills and Price don't lie. Montgomery is a team to keep an eye on in a stacked bracket. This week: CIF-SS Division 4AA first round vs. Templeton, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

8. Muir (24-2)#
A loss to neighboring rival Pasadena in the regular-season finale didn't discourage coach Gamal Smalley, who led the Mustangs to their first Pacific League crown in over a decade. But the excitement was short-lived, as the Mustangs were disqualified from postseason play and stripped of their title for using an ineligible player. Muir forfeited 20 victories.

9. Damien (24-2)
The Spartans rolled to their second consecutive Sierra League championship, earning a No. 1 seeding in Division 3AAA. They now have a target on their back, and it will be up to Saint Mary's-bound forward Chris Reyes to fight through constant double teams. This week: CIF-SS Division 3AAA first round vs. El Dorado, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

10. Pacific Hills (23-4)
A loss to Windward in the finale denied the Bruins sole possession of the Alpha League title. It didn't affect their postseason aspirations, though, as the Bruins received a No. 1 seeding in Division 4A. This week: CIF-SS Division 4A second round vs. winner of Costa Mesa-St. Monica, Friday, 7 p.m.

Ten more, in alphabetic order: Crenshaw (22-4), Compton (17-9), Downey (22-5), Fairfax (19-9), Leuzinger (21-5), Mayfair (21-5), Pasadena (19-7), Santa Monica (18-8), Westchester (20-6), Windward (18-8)

# - Denotes season has concluded

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

South: Boys' basketball Top 10

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
12:26
PM PT
The south Los Angeles County boys’ basketball top 10 power rankings:

1. Long Beach Poly (21-1)
The Jackrabbits were perhaps the region's most impressive team at Saturday's Nike Extravaganza, blowing past OLu with intensity on defense and efficiency from Roschon Prince and Reuben Strickland on offense. This week: at Millikan, Tues.; vs. Long Beach Jordan, Thurs.

2. Loyola (20-4)
Simply put, the Cubs appeared gassed in Saturday's loss to Woodland Hills Taft at the Nike Extravaganza. They're a solid perimeter-shooting team but looked to have tired legs following Friday night's win against Harvard-Westlake. This week: vs. St. Francis, Wed.

3. Gardena Serra (23-2)
The Cavaliers, who claimed the Del Rey League title by beating Bishop Amat, have three players averaging more than 10 points per game. This week: at La Salle, Mon.

4. La Verne Lutheran (18-6)
Surprisingly, the Trojans hung tough against powerful Mater Dei at the Nike Extravaganza before faltering late. It was still an impressive showing, especially since Grant Jerrett was limited with an ankle sprain. This week: at Price, Fri.

5. Price (18-6)
The Knights missed an opportunity to make a loud statement by losing to Alemany at Saturday's "To The Rack" Showcase. They host a fellow small-school power in a potential Division 4AA playoffs preview Friday. This week: at Compton, Tues.; vs. La Verne Lutheran, Fri.

(Read full post)

South: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 29, 2012
1/29/12
9:30
PM PT
The south Los Angeles County boys’ basketball top 10 power rankings:

1. Long Beach Poly (18-1)
The Jackrabbits increased their lead to two games in the Moore League standings thanks to Roschon Prince's stellar game at Compton on Friday. The junior wing had 35 points and 12 rebounds. This week: at Lakewood, Wed.; vs. Long Beach Wilson, Fri.; vs. Orange Lutheran in Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei, Sat.

2. Loyola (18-3)
An up-and-down week ended in a positive way with a 92-84 win against Orange Lutheran at the Fairfax State Preview Classic. Still in the Mission League race, but need some help. This week: at Notre Dame, Wed.; at Harvard-Westlake, Fri.; vs. Taft in Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei, Sat.

3. Gardena Serra (21-2)
There's great balance throughout coach Dwan Hurt's roster, that much was evident in the Cavaliers' 10-point win against host Fairfax at the State Preview Classic on Saturday. Senior guard Kajon Mack and big Daddy Ugbede complement each other well. This week: vs. Bishop Montgomery, Wed.; vs. Bishop Amat, Fri.

4. La Verne Lutheran (16-5)
A 67-62 overtime loss to Westchester on Saturday snapped a nine-game win streak. The Trojans face an interesting group of competitors in the next few days. This week: vs. Ribet Academy, Tues.; at Renaissance Academy, Wed.; at Mater Dei in Nike Extravaganza, Sat.

5. Price (17-5)
The Knights have won six straight since losing at the Brandon Jennings Invitational in Milwaukee, riding the leadership of junior guard Chance Murray and bouncy forward Skylar Spencer. The upcoming schedule will put their streak in serious jeopardy, though. This week: at Ribet Academy, Fri.; at Alemany, Sat.

(Read full post)

South: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
12:02
PM PT
The south Los Angeles County boys' basketball top 10 power rankings:

1. Long Beach Poly (15-1)
The Jackrabbits had success at the King Holiday Hoopfest in Seattle, handing Rainier Beach (Wash.) its first loss of the season. An important stretch in the Moore League lies ahead. This week: at Long Beach Jordan, Mon.; vs. Cabrillo, Wed.; at Compton, Fri.

2. Loyola (15-2)
Despite a rough start in the Mission League, the Cubs can ascend to the top of the standings by handling their business this week. This week: vs. Crespi, Mon.; vs. Alemany, Wed.; at Chaminade, Fri.; vs. Orange Lutheran at Fairfax State Preview, Sat.

3. La Verne Lutheran (15-4)
The Trojans beat a Gabe York-less Orange Lutheran team last Monday, but a win is a win. Arizona-bound forward Grant Jerrett is a nominee for the McDonald's All-American game. This week: vs. Hope Centre, Thurs.; at Westchester, Sat.

4. Gardena Serra (19-2)
The Cavaliers are rolling, having routed three opponents since losing to Price on a waved-off field goal that appeared to beat the buzzer. Great depth on this roster. This week: at Cathedral, Fri.; vs. Fairfax at Fairfax State Preview, Sat.

4. Price (13-5)
The Knights have won a pair of close games since losing at the Brandon Jennings Invitational in Milwaukee. This week: vs. Hope Centre, Tues.; vs. Renaissance Academy, Thurs.; vs. Windward at Fairfax State Preview, Sat.

6. St. John Bosco (15-4)
The Braves got just one win at the Allstate National Prep Classic in New Orleans over the weekend, but they did stay undefeated in Trinity League play with a close win against Orange Lutheran. Big test against the region's best team looms. This week: at JSerra, Wed.; vs. Mater Dei, Fri.

7. Bishop Montgomery (16-3)
They may not admit it, but the Knights are already eying their Feb. 1 rematch with Serra, which will likely decide the Del Rey League championship. This week: vs. Bishop Amat, Wed.; vs. La Salle, Fri.

8. Windward (13-6)
The busy Wildcats were idle all of last week, taking in some much-needed rest. Nick Stover and Co. pick up the pace again in the Alpha League. This week: vs. Pacific Hills, Tues.; vs. Sierra Canyon, Wed.; vs. Price at Fairfax State Preview, Sat.

9. Muir (18-1)
The Mustangs defeated neighboring rival Pasadena for the first time in over a decade thanks to the clutch free-throw shooting of Jelani Mitchell. The Pacific League rematch is set for Feb. 9 at Muir. This week: at Arcadia, Mon.; vs. Burbank, Wed.; vs. Hoover, Fri.

10. Damien (18-1)
Can anyone slow down the Sierra League-leading Spartans? They've had their close calls and figure to get tested Saturday against the Inland Empire's best squad. This week: vs. Ayala, Wed.; vs. Claremont, Fri.; vs. Etiwanda at Azusa Pacific, Sat.

Ten more, in alphabetic order: Crenshaw (15-4), Compton (11-7), Dorsey (18-6), Downey (16-5), Leuzinger (15-4), Pacific Hills (19-3), Pasadena (13-6), Peninsula (14-5), Santa Monica (13-6), Westchester (12-4)

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

L.A. South: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 15, 2012
1/15/12
9:21
PM PT
The south Los Angeles County boys' basketball top 10 power rankings:

1. Long Beach Poly (12-1)
The Jackrabbits showed no rustiness following a three-week layoff, blowing out Lakewood, 74-30, behind 25 points from standout junior Roschon Prince. This week: vs. Rainer Beach (Seattle, Wash.) in King Holiday Hoop Fest at Univ. of Washington, Mon.; at Long Beach Wilson, Wed.; vs. Millikan, Fri.

2. Loyola (14-2)
The Cubs got back on track with three convincing Mission League wins against Chaminade, Harvard-Westlake and Notre Dame. This week: at St. Francis, Sat.

3. La Verne Lutheran (14-4)
Arizona-bound forward Grant Jerrett scored 30 points in an overtime win against Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. This week: at Orange Lutheran in Tony Matson Memorial Classic, Mon.

4. Price (12-5)
Guard Chance Murray led the way with 22 points in a thrilling victory against Serra in Saturday's Cochran Classic at LACES. This week: vs. Palm Springs, Mon.; vs. Leuzinger at Gardena Serra, Sat.

5. Gardena Serra (15-2)
An up and down week for the Cavaliers, who got an important league win against Bishop Montgomery before losing to L.A. Price on a controversial last-second call. This week: vs. Santa Monica at L.A. Price, Mon.; at Bishop Amat, Wed.; vs. La Salle, Fri.; vs. San Diego Hoover, Sat.

6. St. John Bosco (13-2)
The Braves have started 3-0 in the Trinity League and now get a tough test against Orange Lutheran. The Hamilton brothers -- junior Isaac and sophomore Daniel -- have Bosco in great shape. This week: vs. Orange Lutheran, Wed.; at Allstate National Prep Classic in New Orleans, weekend.

7. Bishop Montgomery (14-3)
The Knights could never get over the hump against Serra and lost for the first time in nearly a month. This week: at Cathedral, Wed.

8. Compton (10-7)
Forward Victor Robbins might be the top unsigned senior in the Southland. He proved it Saturday with 25 points and 16 rebounds in a big win against Windward. This week: at Long Beach Jordan, Wed.

9. Windward (13-6)
A win against Alpha League foe Brentwood followed by a blowout loss to Compton made for mixed results last week. This week: Idle.

10. Damien (15-1)
The Spartans have won 11 straight since losing in the title game of the Concord De La Salle tournament. St. Mary's-bound big man Chris Reyes and Co. can gain a stranglehold of the Sierra League. This week: vs. Ventura at Los Osos, Mon.; vs. Chino Hills, Wed.; at Charter Oak, Fri.

Ten more, in alphabetic order: Brentwood (12-4), Dorsey (15-5), Downey (16-4), Leuzinger (12-4), Muir (16-1), Pacific Hills (15-3), Pasadena (12-5), Peninsula (12-5), Santa Monica (11-5), Westchester (10-4)

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

L.A. South: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 9, 2012
1/09/12
9:59
AM PT
The south Los Angeles County boys' basketball top 10 power rankings:

1. Loyola (11-2)
Losing the first two Mission League games wasn't how the Cubs wanted to start. Still, it doesn't figure to be the end of their title hopes. This week: vs. Chaminade, Mon.; vs. Harvard-Westlake, Fri.; vs. Notre Dame, Sat.

2. Long Beach Poly (11-1)
The Jackrabbits have been idle since before Christmas, and the layoff might be a good thing for the Moore League favorites. They travel to Seattle next week. This week: vs. Lakewood, Fri.

3. Gardena Serra (13-1)
The Cavaliers are deep and talented, and the favorites in the Del Rey League. Daddy Ugbede and Dakarai Tucker led the charge down in San Diego over the weekend. This week: vs. Cathedral, Wed.; at Bishop Montgomery, Fri.; vs. Price in Cochran Classic at LACES, Sat.

4. St. John Bosco (11-2)
The Braves are the dark horse pick in the Trinity League thanks to the additions of brothers Isaac Hamilton, a junior, and Daniel, a sophomore. Lately it's been the younger brother flashing his scoring skills. This week: at Servite, Wed.; at Santa Margarita, Fri.

5. Bishop Montgomery (13-2)
Victories against Westchester, Taft, Serra and Price make up an impressive résumé for the Knights. This week: at La Salle, Wed.; vs. Gardena Serra, Fri.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
12:19
AM PT
There were no south Los Angeles County schools involved in the state bowls, so the rankings remain as they did last week. The area's sectional champions were Narbonne (City Section Division I), West Covina (Southeast Division), Monrovia (Mid-Valley Division) and South East (City Section Division II). The final top 10 rankings:

1. (1) Narbonne (11-3)
The City Section Division I champions are favored to repeat in 2012, if only because they’ve got the section’s leading passer in Troy Williams (3,247 yards and 34 touchdowns).

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (10-2)
The Jackrabbits got their second straight Moore League championship but will have a lot of offensive talent to replace.

3. (3) St. John Bosco (8-4)
The third-place team from the Trinity League made its first playoff appearance since 2006, and leading running back DaVonte Young returns next season.

4. (4) Charter Oak (10-2)
The Chargers won the Sierra League and have a dynamic talent in tailback Kurt Scoby for the next two years.

5. (5) Carson (8-6)
The Colts lost in the City Section Division I title game for the second straight year. And, according to reports, they’ll have to replace energetic coach Elijah Asante.

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O.C.: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
12:13
AM PT
With Santa Margarita's victory at the Home Depot Center, the season is officially over. Despite their loss to Mater Dei in the Trinity League opener, the Eagles are an easy choice for No. 1. After that it gets a little tougher, mostly because of Servite's stunning loss to Tesoro in the second round; all year long the Friars were the best team, and had a victory over Santa Margarita to prove it. If they were to play next week, most people would still expect a Servite victory; nevertheless, we're flipping Servite and Tesoro to reflect the Titans' head-to-head victory even though Servite's body of work is superior. Upon reflection, the lower part of the ranking gets an adjustment as well. For kicks, we added an additional five teams to the end-of-the-year rankings.

1. (1) Santa Margarita (13-2)
Eagles QB Johnny Stanton passed for four touchdowns and ran for two more, the last with 16 seconds left on fourth down, to win the State Division I Bowl Championship. Despite the so-called "bad" loss to Mater Dei, Eagles have victories over Tesoro, Carson, Los Alamitos, Trabuco Hills, Orange Lutheran, St. John Bosco, Bishop Amat, Long Beach Poly, Mission Viejo and San Clemente. Last: beat San Jose Bellarmine 42-36.

2. (2) Mission Viejo (10-3)
Diablos have victories over Long Beach Poly, Carson, San Clemente, Tesoro, Trabuco Hills and Huntington Beach.

3. (3) San Clemente (12-2)
Tritons have victories over Carlsbad La Costa Canyon, Mater Dei, Newport Harbor, Trabuco Hills, Tesoro (twice), Lakewood and St. John Bosco.

4. (5) Tesoro (8-5)
Titans have victories over Hart, Narbonne, Trabuco Hills, Edison and Servite.

5. (4) Servite (10-2)
Friars have victories over Oceanside, Bishop Amat, La Habra, Edison, Orange Lutheran, St. John Bosco, Mater Dei and Santa Margarita.

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L.A. South: The Top 10

December, 11, 2011
12/11/11
11:45
PM PT
With no south Los Angeles County schools heading to the state bowls, we can label this a collective down year in the region. Narbonne (City Section Division I), West Covina (Southeast Division), Monrovia (Mid-Valley Division) and South East (City Section Division II) are champions. The top 10 rankings heading into the final week of play:

1. (1) Narbonne (11-3)
Emotional leader Tray Boone usually talks the talk, but he backed it up Friday with six touchdown runs and 316 total yards to lead the Gauchos to the City Section Division I title. Last week: Beat Carson, 48-32.

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (10-2)
A quick exit from the Pac-5 bracket but at least order appears to have been restored for the back-to-back Moore League champions.

3. (3) St. John Bosco (8-4)
The third-place team from the Trinity League made its first playoff appearance since 2006, and leading running back DaVonte Young returns next season.

4. (4) Charter Oak (10-2)
The Chargers won the Sierra League and have a dynamic talent in tailback Kurt Scoby for the next two years.

5. (5) Carson (8-6)
For the second straight year, the Colts stumbled in the City Section Division I title game when mistakes turned costly. Last week: Lost to Narbonne, 48-32.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: Boys' basketball Top 10

December, 6, 2011
12/06/11
6:20
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Loyola, Long Beach Poly and La Verne Lutheran are ranked in the preseason POWERADE ESPNHS Fab 50 national rankings, and they lead the way in our opening edition of the south Los Angeles County boys' basketball top 10:

1. Loyola (4-0)
Key players: PG Parker Jackson-Cartwright, SG Justin Childress, SG Jacob Hazzard, SF Julian Harrell (Penn)
Last season: The Cubs went 25-6 and won the CIF-Southern Section Div. I-A championship before losing by two to eventual state champion Mater Dei in regionals.
Why they're here: Jackson-Cartwright, only a sophomore, is already considered the top point guard in the state. Mix in the shooting of Childress and Hazzard -- as well as the versatility of Harrell -- and the Cubs have a lineup that few can match.

2. Long Beach Poly (3-1)
Key players: SF Roschon Prince, PF Jordan Bell, PG Chris Croom, SG Reuben Strickland
Last season: The Jackrabbits posted a 30-2 record and captured the Division 1AA title in Anaheim before losing to eventual state champion Mater Dei in regionals.
Why they're here: Poly coach Sharrief Metoyer lost his top two to graduation -- state player of the year Ryan Anderson (Boston College) and Alexis Moore (USC) -- but there's more than enough talent left. Prince and Bell might be the best one-two combination in the county.

3. La Verne Lutheran (4-0)
Key players: PF Grant Jerrett (Arizona), SG Eric Cooper Jr. (Arizona), SF McKay Anderson, SG Cameron Osorno
Last season: The Trojans overcame off-the-court adversity, finishing with a 25-5 mark and a second consecutive state championship.
Why they're here: Jerrett, a long and lean power forward, is arguably the top prospect on the West Coast. Coach Eric Cooper Sr. returns nine letter-winners from last year's team, including son Eric Cooper Jr., a sharp-shooting junior who makes teams pay for double-teaming Jerrett down low.

4. St. John Bosco (4-0)
Key players: SG Isaac Hamilton, PF Anthony January (UTEP), SF Darryl Matthews, SG Daniel Hamilton
Last season: The Braves finished 21-9 and were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 4AA playoffs.
Why they're here: New coach Derrick Taylor, who built Woodland Hills Taft into a City Section power, has the Braves thinking about the Trinity League crown. Getting past defending state champion Mater Dei won't be easy, but Bosco has Isaac Hamilton, a transfer from Crenshaw who is one of the nation's top juniors.

5. Price (3-1)
Key players: PF Skylar Spencer (San Diego State), PG Chance Murray, SG Chris Sandifer
Last season: The high-flying Knights went 24-8 and fell just short against La Cañada in the CIF-SS Division 3AA championship game.
Why they're here: Yes, Price lost guard Askia Booker (Colorado) and ultra athletic forward Norvel Pelle to graduation but don't dismiss coach Michael Lynch's bunch. Spencer is another high-soaring scorer who's lethal in fast break opportunities, and Murray, a junior, already has a scholarship offer from UCLA.

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L.A. South: The Top 10

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
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The Narbonne Gauchos gain a stranglehold of the top spot after an eye-opening semifinal victory. Of course, a little help from rival Carson didn't hurt. The Colts return the rankings following their shocking upset of top-seeded and previously unbeaten San Pedro. Ocean League champion Santa Monica falls out after its lopsided loss to underdog Culver City. The south Los Angeles County top 10 rankings heading into the championship round:

1. (3) Narbonne (10-3)
The Gauchos made easy work of a very good defense to secure a spot in the title game for the third time in four years. Quarterback Troy Williams is hungry. Last week: Beat Dorsey, 41-7. Next: City Section Division I championship vs. Carson at East L.A. College, Friday.

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (10-2)*
Order appears to have been restored for the back-to-back Moore League champions.

3. (5) St. John Bosco (8-4)*
The third-place team from the Trinity League made its first playoff appearance since 2006.

4. (6) Charter Oak (10-2)*
The Chargers won the Sierra League and have a dynamic talent in tailback Kurt Scoby for the next two years.

5. (NR) Carson (8-5)
The Colts leap back into the rankings following a rather surprising upset of top-seeded San Pedro. They were expected to make it back to the title game, but they took a difficult route to get there. Last week: Beat San Pedro, 24-19. Next: City Section Div. I championship vs. Narbonne at East L.A. College, Friday.

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L.A. South: The Top 10

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
10:50
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Long Beach Poly fell out of the region's top spot for the first time this season following its second-round loss to Santa Margarita. Last week's second- and third-ranked teams -- St. John Bosco and Charter Oak, respectively -- also stumbled. Now, three of the region's top four squads come from the City Section. Marine League champion and top-seeded San Pedro is the only remaining undefeated team in the south Los Angeles County top 10 rankings heading into the third round of the playoffs:

1. (4) San Pedro (12-0)
The top-seeded Pirates eliminated the two-time defending City Section Division I champs Friday, securing another matchup with fifth-seeded Carson. The Marine League champs defeated the Colts 21-0 on Oct. 28. Last week: Beat Crenshaw, 31-7. Next: semifinals vs. Carson, Friday.

2. (1) Long Beach Poly (10-2)*
The lack of consistency from the quarterback positions was a season-long concern for coach Raul Lara. That turned into a nightmare Friday when the Jackrabbits were intercepted five times. The good news: Gerard Wicks returns next season. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 49-16.

3. (5) Narbonne (9-3)
Junior quarterback Troy Williams had six total touchdowns, and the emerging Tray Boone had two more to propel the Gauchos to their third straight 50-point performance. They now face perhaps the city's top defense. Last week: Beat West Adams, 59-20. Next: semifinals vs. Dorsey, Friday.

4. (6) Dorsey (11-1)
The fast and talented Dons defense had six takeaways Friday, and USC-bound receiver Jaydon Mickens had four total touchdowns to go along with six receptions and 82 yards. Last week: Beat Birmingham, 45-13. Next: semifinals at Narbonne, Friday.

5. (2) St. John Bosco (8-4)*
Bosco twice cut its deficit to four on Friday but the defense couldn't come up with stops. Still, the Braves made their first playoff appearance since 2006, so they've got nothing to hang their heads about. Last week: Lost to San Clemente, 42-24.

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