LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA – There’s just a bit more than three weeks before the start of the respective playoffs in the CIF’s Southern, L.A. City and San Diego sections.
So I figured it’s an ideal time for an updated BurlisonOnBasketball Southern California Top 25, right?
Seven of the squads in these ratings – No.’s 1 Chino Hills, 4 Bishop Montgomery, 7 Fairfax, 11 Corona Centennial, 12 Alemany, 14 Santa Margarita and 24 Santa Monica – will be on display Saturday at Cerritos College in Norwalk as part of the Rolling Hills Prep State Preview, presented by Scorebooklive.com.
The Top 25 follows, with previous ranking in parenthesis:
- Chino Hills/Southern Section (1) 20-0
FRANK SAYS: The winning streak is at 55 but could be seriously tested Friday (at Damien) and Saturday (vs. a gifted team from Utah, at Cerritos College).
- Chatsworth Sierra Canyon/SS (2) 16-1
FRANK SAYS: In reality, the squad got wins in tougher tests (against Las Vegas Findlay Prep, Memphis East and La Porte, IN, La Lumiere) in the Bass Pro and HoopHall events than they will get at any time until at least the semifinals of the Southern Section Open playoffs.
- Santa Ana Mater Dei/SS (3) 21-1
FRANK SAYS: The addition of 7-foot-1 junior Bol Bol may have considerable influence on the outcome of the Southern Section Open playoffs.
- Torrance Bishop Montgomery/SS (4) 18-2
FRANK SAYS: The Knights get their roughest remaining test, pre-Southern Section Open playoffs, Saturday vs. Fairfax, at Cerritos College.
- Lake Balboa Birmingham/LACS (5) 18-3
FRANK SAYS: This team may very well have the three best players (Devante and Devonaire Doutrive, and Deschon Winston) in the L.A. City Section.
- La Verne Damien/SS (6) 20-2
FRANK SAYS: To say the least, it’s a challenging week for Mike LeDuc’s club – Baseline games at Etiwanda Tuesday and at home vs. Chino Hills Friday.
- Los Angeles Fairfax/LACS (13) 17-1
FRANK SAYS: Minus its best player (soph guard Ethan Anderson/leg injury; he’s out for a while, apparently) it may be tough sledding vs. Bishop Montgomery Saturday.
- Eastvale Roosevelt/SS (7) 12-6
FRANK SAYS: A home league win vs. Centennial Thursday may be the only thing separating this squad from a No. 5 or 6 seed in the SS Open playoffs.
- El Cajon Foothills Christian/San Diego (9) 16-2
FRANK SAYS: Jaylen Hands will get to show off why he’s a McDonald’s AA when his team faces Oak Hill Academy on Feb. 3 in the Nike Extravaganza.
- Long Beach Poly/SS (8) 14-6
FRANK SAYS: A Moore League that isn’t as strong as usual (besides Poly) means that the Jackrabbits’ most telling test the remainder of the regular of season comes against Orange Lutheran of the Trinity League at the Nike Extravaganza on Feb. 4.
- Corona Centennial/SS (10) 16-5
FRANK SAYS: The Huskies will likely earn a share of the Big VIII League title with a win at Roosevelt Thursday.
- Mission Hills Alemany/SS (11) 17-3
FRANK SAYS: The Warriors already have Mission League wins at Crespi, Chaminade and Harvard-Westlake.
- San Diego St. Augustine/SDS (14) 17-3
FRANK SAYS: It’s a considerable upset if St. Augustine isn’t playing Foothills Christian in the San Diego Open Division championship game.
- Santa Margarita/SS (12) 14-5
FRANK SAYS: The game vs. Centennial Saturday at Cerritos College will be critical for the teams’ respective seeding in SS Open playoffs.
- Westchester/LACS (15) 15-7
FRANK SAYS: The rematch with Fairfax is on the road Feb. 10.
- Harbor City Narbonne/LACS (16) 17-5
FRANK SAYS: As of now, the Gauchos are looking at an L.A. City Open playoff semifinal vs. Birmingham.
- Redondo Beach Redondo/SS (18) 17-4
FRANK SAYS: The Sea Hawks are humming along quite nicely and are in reasonable position to take a 16-game win streak into the Southern Section Open playoffs.
- Oak Park/SS (17) 16-6
FRANK SAYS: The Eagles may need a stumble – or two – in the Coastal Canyon League to not be a part of the Southern Section Open playoffs for the first time.
- Santa Monica Crossroads/SS (19) 14-6
FRANK SAYS: The addition of forward Ira Lee in the lineup all but made this program a lock for its first Southern Section Open slot.
- San Diego Torrey Pines/SDS (25) 17-3
FRANK SAYS: Has established itself as clearly the No. 3 team in the San Diego Section – and, to boot, is the only team to knock off Fairfax.
- Anaheim Esperanza/SS (20) 19-1
FRANK SAYS: It’s hard envisioning this team losing prior to the Southern Section playoffs – regardless of the division it’s in.
- Etiwanda/SS (22) 16-7
FRANK SAYS: The Eagles’ SS Open resume will be enhanced with a home Baseline League win against No. 6 Damien Tuesday night.
- Huntington Beach Edison/SS (23) 18-3
FRANK SAYS: Barring the unseen, only a game at Los Alamitos (Feb. 7) stands in the way of a 23-3 record going into the playoffs.
- Santa Monica/SS (24) 13-6
FRANK SAYS: A rematch with No. 12 Alemany is set for Saturday at Cerritos College.
- Bellflower St. John Bosco/SS (UR) 13-9
FRANK SAYS: The Braves eke out the last spot – just ahead of Northridge Heritage Christian – via impressive wins at JSerra, in the Trinity League Friday night, and vs. Diamond Bar, Saturday at Azusa Pacific University.