With the 2019-20 high school basketball season tipping off the week of Nov. 18, Scorebook Live California is previewing the Top 50 teams in Southern California. Our Top 50 list spans the Southern, L.A. City and San Diego Sections.
Here are numbers 45 to 41 in our team rankings.
- More preseason rankings: California Top 25 | SoCal Top 25 | San Diego Top 20
- SoCal Top 50 Preview: Nos. 50-46 | Nos. 45-41 | Nos. 40-36 | Nos. 35-31
Head coach: Todd Wolfson
Last year’s record: 24-8
Division: Southern Section 2AA
Top player: Andre Henry
Outlook: Henry committed to UC Irvine in late October. He’ll be one of the premier players in the Mission League this season after averaging a double-double a year ago (19.3 points and 11.9 rebounds). St. Francis has added a talented freshman guard in Jackson Mosley. Senior guards Jason Gallant and Fred Harper are important returners. The Mission League doesn’t have a clear favorite this year, but last year’s winner Harvard-Westlake looks like the pick of the litter. St. Francis will try and play spoiler. They certainly have a star to lead the way, but what will they look like on the interior?
Head coach: Jason Crowe
Last year’s record: 12-17
Division: Southern Section 2A
Top players: Jaren Johnson and Christian “Bam” Johnson
Outlook: Lynwood has the potential to be a Top 25 team. Jaren Johnson is a great athlete with a beautiful shooting stroke. Christian “Bam” Johnson, a junior transfer from View Park, can shoot the lights out. He’s on track to play Division 1 college basketball. The Knights have also added the McClain brothers, Darius and LJ, from Narbonne. They give Lynwood interior toughness that wasn’t there last season. Keyon Kensie and Donald Jones will be two impact freshmen. Lynwood should win the San Gabriel Valley League.
Head coach: Shawn Zargarian
Last year’s record: 29-6
Division: Southern Section Division 1
Top player: Tyler Carlson
Outlook: Carlson is one of the top shooters in the region and that was made very clear during Crescenta Valley’s deep postseason run a year ago. Carlson made ten threes in a playoff win over Compton and then poured in 20 points a week later against Santa Barbara. Chucky Meyer returns from last year’s team, but the Falcons must replace three impact seniors. Pasadena will be Crescenta Valley’s main competition in the Pacific League.
Head coach: Mike Murphy
Last year’s record: 19-10
Division: Southern Section 2A
Top player: Daniel Esparza
Outlook: Esparza set the Sonora scoring record when he put up 45 points in a victory over Troy last season. He’s a volume scorer from the guard position and will be a nightmare for defenders in the Freeway League. Marqui Worthy and Ian Jones are two underclassmen returners for the Raiders that will take the pressure off of Esparza. He’ll have some help.
Head coach: Jeffrey Berokoff
Last year’s record: 24-9
Division: Southern Section Division 2A
Top player: Judah Brown
Outlook: Pacifica Christian made the Southern Section 4AA championship game a season ago and the team returns a lot of their core. Brown, a senior forward, is committed to St. Mary’s. Junior point guard Houston Mallette has 15 scholarship offers, per the Pacifica Christian staff. Timmy Bahadoor is a sharpshooting senior. The Tritons will make waves in Orange County this year.
Pacifica Christian lost to Fairmont Prep twice in postseason play last season. The Tritons are desperate for a victory against their league rivals this time around, which makes the race for the San Joaquin league title must see TV.