LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA – Here is the updated BurlisonOnBasketball Southern California Top 25, post-Southern and L.A. City Section playoff unveilings over the weekend.
The number in parenthesis indicates previous rating:
- Sierra Canyon/Southern Section Open (2) 25-1
Next up: Friday, vs. No. 22 Heritage Christian
Frank Says: The Trailblazers have a significant size advantage in the first round but that would be the case against all but two or three teams in SoCal.
- Chino Hills/SS Open (1) 27-1
Next up: Friday, vs. No. 23 JSerra
Frank Says: A cool matchup in this one – 6-9 junior Joel Mensah vs. 6-9 sophomore Onyeka Okongwu.
- Santa Ana Mater Dei/SS Open (3) 28-1
Next up: Friday, vs. No. 21 Crossroads
Frank Says: Ira Lee and Shareef O’Neal vs. Justice Sueing and Bol Bol make this one of the more attractive first-round Open showdowns.
- Bishop Montgomery/SS Open (4) 23-2
Next up: Friday, vs. No. 17 Oak Park
Frank Says: Strange but true trivia: Oak Park will be the first of the Open entries that the Knights have played this season.
- Birmingham/L.A. City Open (5) 24-3
Next up: Friday, vs. Dorsey
Frank Says: Barring a mammoth upset vs. Dorsey, Birmingham gets a rematch with Narbonne or Taft on Feb. 25 in a City Open semifinal at Roybal.
- Santa Margarita/SS Open (13) 20-6
Next up: Friday, vs. No. 20 Esperanza
Frank Says: Two of the three-best teams in Orange County hook up as Esperanza gets its first swing at an Open entry this season.
- Damien/SS Open (6) 25-3
Next up: Friday, vs. No. 12 Centennial
Frank Says: Centennial Coach Josh Giles played for Damien Coach Mike LeDuc when LeDuc was the coach at Glendora High.
- Fairfax/LACS Open (7) 24-3
Next up: Friday, vs. El Camino Real
Frank Says: The Lions’ losses are to No.’s 4 Bishop Montgomery, 6 Santa Margarita and 18 Torrey Pines.
- Roosevelt/SS Open (8) 18-6
Next up: Friday, vs. No. 16 Redondo
Frank Says: This is a rematch of a 2016 Open first-round tilt won by Redondo (at Redondo), 56-54.
- Long Beach Poly/SS Open (10) 21-6
Next up: Friday, at No. 11 Alemany
Frank Says: The Jackrabbits haven’t lost since falling to No. 5 Birmingham in the fifth-place game of the Classic at Damien on Dec. 30 and take an 11-game winning streak to Mission Hills.
- Alemany/SS Open (12) 24-3
Next up: Friday, vs. No. 10 Long Beach Poly
Frank Says: The Warriors have won 16 in a row since losing to No. 12 Centennial in the first round of the Classic at Damien on Dec. 26.
- Corona Centennial/SS Open (11) 23-6
Next up: Friday, at No. 7 Damien
Frank Says: Five of the Huskies’ losses have come against fellow Open Division squads; the other was to No. 24 Etiwanda.
- Augustine/San Diego Open (13) 23-4
Next up: Friday, vs. Cathedral Catholic
Frank Says: Barring the unforeseen, this will be the No. 1 seed in the San Diego Open playoffs a week from now.
- Foothills Christian/SD Open (9) 20-5
Next up: Tuesday, at Carlsbad Army-Navy
Frank Says: An eventual SD Open semifinal with No. 18 Torrey Pines seems likely.
- Westchester/LACS Open (15) 22-8
Next Up: Friday, vs. George Washington Prep
Frank Says: A win vs. the Generals gives the Comets a third shot at rival and No. 8 Fairfax on Feb. 25.
- Redondo/SS Open (17) 23-4
Next up: Friday, at No. 9 Roosevelt
Frank Says: A very strong collection of guards will have to play well if the Sea Hawks are going to leave Eastvale with a victory Friday night.
- Oak Park/SS Open (18) 21-6
Next up: Friday, at No. 4 Bishop Montgomery
Frank Says: This isn’t this underclass-laden program’s last trip to the Open Division playoffs.
- Torrey Pines/SD (20) 24-3
Next up: Tuesday, vs. Sage Creek
Frank Says: Six-nine Jake Gilliam is among the underrated “center-types” in the SoCal Class of 2017.
- Narbonne/LACS Open (16) 23-6
Next up: Friday, vs. Taft
Frank Says: As one would surmise from a No. 4 vs. No. 5 seed-matchup, this is the most compelling of the L.A. City Open quarterfinals.
- Esperanza/SS Open (21) 25-1
Next up: Friday, at No. 6 Santa Margarita
Frank Says: The Aztecs’ Stanford-bound Kezie Okpala will be guarded (at least part of the time) by Orange County’s best sophomore, Jake Kyman.
- Crossroads/SS Open (19) 18-8
Next up: Friday, at No. 3 Mater Dei
Frank Says: The transfer (by way of Sierra Canyon and then Prolific Prep) and return to health (after second shoulder surgery) of Ira Lee pushed this program into Open stratosphere for the first time.
- Heritage Christian/SS Open (ur) 21-5
Next up: Friday, at No. 1 Sierra Canyon
Frank Says: Wins over Windward (when Jalen Harris was healthy) and San Diego’s best team (No. 13 St. Augustine), as well as a narrow loss to No. 5 Birmingham got this team into the Open bracket.
- JSerra/SS Open (ur) 17-9
Next up: Friday, at No. 2 Chino Hills
Frank Says: If reasonably healthy, the Lions can be much more competitive against the defending Open champions than many expect them to be.
- Etiwanda/SS 1AA (22) 18-11
Next up: Wednesday, at Beverly Hills
Frank Says: The Eagles are the division’s top seed but must still make the long bus ride from the Inland Empire to the Westside because of Southern Section rules since they finished third in their league (Baseline) while the Normans were second in their league (Ocean).
- Santa Monica/SS 1AA (24) 19-7
Next up: Friday, vs. JW North or Great Oak
Frank Says: All in all, this is the most “talented” team not in the Open Division.
Next 10 (alpha): Colony 23-5; Edison 22-4; La Canada 24-4; La Jolla Country Day 18-8; Los Alamitos 21-6; Pasadena 20-6; St. John Bosco 17-11; Taft 22-9; Vista 23-3 and Windward 21-6.