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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Suggestion: Buy your SS Open semifinal tickets NOW!

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – In essence, it’s “one-stop shopping” for those wanting to see the four best high school basketball teams in California in a three-hour or so stretch of one night and in one building.

The CIF Southern Section’s administrative decision of a few weeks ago to book the section’s Open Division championship semifinals USC’s Galen Center – with its seating capacity of 10,800 – proved astute Tuesday night when the division’s top four seeds each won their respective second-round games.

The victories set up a Friday night 7 o’clock game between top seed Chatsworth Sierra Canyon (27-1) and No.

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Best of the Best in SS Open quarterfinals Tuesday

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – History may prove that there were never more compelling Southern California high school basketball games played on one day during this season as then are scheduled for Tuesday

Eight of the first 10 squads in the updated BurlisonOnBasketball Top 25 will hook up with one another Tuesday night during the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Open Division while three of the L.A. City Open Division first-round clashes – postponed on Friday for weather-induced reasons – are also scheduled for Tuesday.

In the Southern Section Open contests, top-ranked Sierra Canyon plays host to No.

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New BurlisonOnBasketball Top 25 plus playoff looks

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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Sierra Canyon tops CIF SS boys hoops Open bracket

LOS ALAMITOS – The 16-team bracket for the fourth CIF Southern Section Division boys’ playoff field includes some obvious – and familiar – names.

The top four seeds (in order) Sierra Canyon, Chino Hills, Mater Dei and Bishop Montgomery are 4 for 4 in Open Division appearances.

Two other programs are also represented for the fourth time in the field, Corona Centennial and Redondo.

The bracket was announced at the CIF Southern Section Sunday afternoon.  The teams were selected, seeded and assembled into “bracket form” Friday morning at the Southern Section office.

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Oak Hill abruptly halts Chino Hills run at 60

SANTA ANA, Ca. – A winning streak that had reached 60 finally met its match Saturday night during the 22nd Nike Extravaganza in Mater Dei High’s Meruelo Center.

The Chino Hills Huskies seemed well on their way to extending that streak to 61 in front of a elbow-to-elbow gathering of 3,300 plus while building that first-half advantage against Mouth of Wilson (VA) Oak Hill Academy behind the dynamic play of sophomore point guard Melo Ball.

But the first 59 victims in that remarkable run didn’t have what the Warriors threw right back at the Huskies – and that streak.

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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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