No surprise in final BurlisonOnBasketball Top 25

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The six state championship games will be played on Friday and Saturday in Sacramento.

But the results of those games aren’t going to impact the Southern California BurlisonOnBasketball Top 25 ranking for the 2016-17 season, which is why you’re about to take a look on the final Top BurlisonOnBasketball Top 25 that is made up of teams from the CIF Southern, Los Angeles and San Diego sections.

And, based on what happened in both sectional and regional play, the choice for the top spot couldn’t be any easier.

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Bishop Montgomery among six boys Southern winners

LONG BEACH, Ca. – Southern California, as collection of geographic entities, will be well represented in the boys’ basketball championship games in Sacramento next weekend.

Los Angeles County (Torrance Bishop Montgomery, in the Open, and San Pedro Rolling Hills Estates, in Division V) will send two teams; Riverside County (Eastvale Roosevelt, in Division I) is sending one; Orange County (Anaheim Esperanza, in Division II, and Villa Park, Division III) is home to two; and San Diego County (La Mesa Helix, Division IV) will ship one north next weekend.

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Familiarity on tap Saturday for Southern finals

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – Saturday in the Long Beach State Pyramid will be a case of basketball déjà vu or, for you Bill Murray fans out there, Basketball Groundhog Day.

Top-ranked (via the BurlisonOnBasketball Top 25) Torrance Bishop Montgomery and No. 2 Santa Ana Mater Dei earned a Saturday rematch Tuesday night with their respective wins in the State Southern Open Regional semifinal games.

Bishop Montgomery spurted in the final five minutes to knock off the Monarchs (70-55), in the March 4 CIF Southern Section Open Division championship game in the Anaheim Honda Center.

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Tuesday rematches-galore in Southern semifinals

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – It will be “Rematch Tuesday Night” during semifinal action of the State Southern Regional boys basketball playoffs.

*In an Open Division semifinal, host Mater Dei (No. 2 in the updated BurlisonOnBasketball Top 25) takes on No. 8 St. Augustine for the third time – courtesy the Saints’ upset of Sierra Canyon Friday night in Chatsworth.

The Monarchs beat St. Augustine in the Dec. 3 championship game of the Mission Viejo Diablo Inferno Tournament and then knocked off the Saints again during the February Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei.

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Stanley drives Harvard-Westlake to D-II semifinal

MISSION HILLS, CA – The third time proved quite charming for the Studio City Harvard-Westlake boys’ basketball team Saturday night at Alemany.

The Wolverines lost to Alemany twice in Mission League play, where the Warriors went unbeaten.

But, despite trailing by 11 points after the first quarter Saturday night in a State Southern Regional Division II quarterfinal, Coach David Rebibo’s club finally overcame its Mission League rival, 72-64.

The win moved the Wolverines into another “rematch”, this one on Tuesday night at home against Pasadena in a Division II regional semifinal.

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Southern Open games follow script . . . sort of

ONTARIO, Ca. – Things went pretty much as expected Friday night in the opening round of the California Southern Regional boys basketball action.

“Pretty much”, though, didn’t extend to Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley.

That’s where the host Sierra Canyon Trailblazers – the top-ranked team in not only California, but in all of the U.S. of A for a healthy hunk of the season – were stunned in the only upset of the night.

Saint Augustine, which captured the San Diego Open Division crown Saturday night with a narrow win over Torrey Pines, broke out to an 18-point lead at intermission and then held off Sierra Canyon, 88-81.

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Upsets dot opening-round State Division I action

LONG BEACH, Ca. – There was smattering of upsets – some of those of the eye-raising and “oh my goodness” variety – during Wednesday’s first night of the State Southern Regional action in boys basketball.

The most notable of those stunners game in Division I, where a buzzer-beater and near-buzzer beater ended the seasons of No. 6 seed Santa Margarita and No. 7 Foothills Christian, respectively.

In the former, junior Isaiah Morris nailed a 3 at the buzzer to help San Diego Section team Vista trip of host Santa Margarita in two overtimes, 97-94.

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Bishop Montgomery moves atop updated Top 25

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – It’s time for the “best vs. the best” with the release of the bracketing in the Northern and Southern Regionals of the California State championships Sunday afternoon.

And, not surprisingly, the CIF Southern Section’s Open Division dominated the seeding in the South.

The South’s eight-team Open Division’s first four seeds come from the Southern Section, with champion Bishop Montgomery followed by runner-up Mater Dei, and Sierra Canyon and Chino Hills, which lost in the semifinals.

The top six seeds in Division I are also from the Southern Section’s Open Division, as are its No.

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Saturday is championship day in SoCal prep hoops

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – Open Division championships in the Southern, Los Angeles and San Diego sections will be contested for Saturday.

Along with getting three programs title hardware, those games will also help determine the seeding for the eight-team State Southern Regional Open Division playoffs that get underway on March 11.

The most attractive of those Saturday championship games will have the No.’s 1 (Mater Dei) and 2 (Bishop Montgomery) teams in the updated BurlisonOnBasketball Top 25 facing off in the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Here is the aforementioned Top 25:

  1. Santa Ana Mater Dei/Southern Section Open (3) 31-1

Next up: Saturday, vs.

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Birmingham, Westchester to play for City Open title

LOS ANGELES – The third time proved the “charm” for the Westchester High basketball team Saturday night in the Roybal Learning Center.

As for the “fourth time” for the Taft High squad in the same building and with the same prize at stake . . . not so much.

The Westchester Comets, who had lost two narrow decisions to Fairfax in Western League plays, finally got the Lions in their – and most important – meeting Saturday night, prevailing 66-59 in an L.A. City Open Division semifinal.

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Meet Frank
Frank Burlison

Frank Burlison is a well-regarded basketball writer who was inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2005. His opinions on the potential of high school and college players are widely respected and sought by college coaches and NBA scouts, personnel directors and general managers from coast to coast. Oh, yes – he can offer plenty of thoughts on movies, television and pop music. Yes, he can rank those, too. Hint: He’s a big The Godfather, Larry Sanders, The Wire and The Beatles loyalist.

To learn more about Frank's scouting services, click here.


“I’ve known Frank since he was a student at Long Beach State and no writer ever worked harder at studying and understanding basketball. When I was coaching I always put more stock into what he said about (high school) players than anyone I knew. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best there is at evaluating the potential of basketball players.”
Lute Olson, Hall of Fame and NCAA Championship Winning Coach

"I have known Frank for 15 years and there is no one outside of those in the Trail Blazers' organization that I trust more than Frank when it comes to player evaluations."
Neil Olshey, Portland Trail Blazers' General Manager

“Frank Burlison has always been a proponent of my talent and, even more so, of my potential – far before it was evident to most. Even as a smaller and determined player who was being overlooked by most high-major colleges and national scouting services, Frank always served as a friendly voice who got me into the door to most events to help me prove my talents.”
Russell Westbrook, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft out of UCLA and an all-star guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder

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