SBLive’s California Boys Basketball Top 25: Sierra Canyon starts the year No. 1

The winter 2021-2022 California high school boys basketball season started Monday. Here’s a look at the top teams in the state to begin the year. SBLive’s statewide high school boys basketball rankings are compiled by SBLive California reporter Connor Morrissette and are released every Monday throughout the spring 2021 season.

SBLIVE CALIFORNIA TOP 25 BOYS BASKETBALL RANKINGS

November 15, 2021

1. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 5

Amari Bailey and just about everyone else from a year ago are back for the Trailblazers along with a host of talented transfers. “We want to go undefeated and win everything,” Bailey said.

That’s on the table.

2. Corona Centennial (Corona, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 1

The Huskies won the Southern Section Open Division championship over Sierra Canyon in the spring and bring back star guards Jared McCain and Donovan Dent for this season. Losing Kylan Boswell to Arizona Compass Prep is a big blow though.

3. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) (1-0)

Last season: 11

The Wolverines bring back four starters from last season’s Southern Section Open Division team. They also have a special freshman in Nikolas Khamenia.

4. Etiwanda (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 2

Junior Jimmy Baker, junior Curtis Williams and New Mexico-bound senior Quinten Webb make up one of the best trios in California high school basketball.

5. Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.) (0-0)

Last week: 16

Modesto Christian went 15-0 in the spring. Sophomore Jamari Phillips is a player to watch.

6. Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 4

St. Mary’s commit Aidan Mahaney missed a lot of time last season. If he stays healthy this year, Campolindo may be NorCal’s best team.

7. Damien (La Verne, Calif.) (1-0)

Last season: 7

Senior guard RJ Smith is committed to Colorado, but the Spartans x-factor is junior big man Jimmy Oladokun.

8. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (0-0)

Last week: 8

Mater Dei lost three terrific seniors from last year’s team. Heading into this season, the Monarchs don’t necessarily have a ‘go-to guy’, but junior Zack Davidson and seniors Gabriel Quiette and Kaden Minter are all talented high school basketball players. Look out for freshmen Tee Bartlett and Owen Verna to make an impact this year as well as senior Santa Margarita transfer Jack McCloskey after the sit out period. The Monarchs will have solid depth.

9. St. Augustine (San Diego, Calif.) (0-0)

Last week: 20

St. Augustine is San Diego’s preseason No. 1. thanks to bringing back four starters led by star junior Jurian Dixon.

10. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) (0-0)

Last week: 9

The Braves are always talented and this year will be no different. They start below St. Augustine despite a head to head win a year ago due to losing some talented seniors as well as forward Jeremiah Nyarko who transferred to Sierra Canyon. Braves senior Christian Estrada will be one of the top bigs in California high school basketball this year.

11. St. Bernard (Playa Del Rey, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Tyler Rolison and Darius Carr are two excellent guards. St. Bernard will get a boost in the front court after the sit out period passes.

12. Heritage Christian (Northridge, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Senior guard Malik Moore, a Pepperdine commit, is back for the Warriors. Heritage Christian has also added a stable of transfers from Ribet Academy who will make big impacts. Point guard Barrington Hargress is the best of that group.

13. Crean Lutheran (Irvine, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Koat Keat is battling a knee injury, but when he’s healthy, there aren’t too many better forwards in California high school basketball. Seven footer James Agany and sophomore guard Vyctorius Miller, along with Keat, make Crean Lutheran a potential Southern Section Open Division team.

14. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Star junior Dusty Stromer is back for Notre Dame after playing as a freshman. He joins senior Creighton commit Ben Shtolzberg to make up a Knights team with Southern Section Open Division aspirations.

15. West Ranch (Santa Clarita, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

West Ranch will go as far as junior Andrew Meadow and sophomore James Evans take them.

16. St. Joseph (Santa Maria, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 15

St. Joseph lost a lot of talent to graduation, but star senior guard Dre Roman returns for a team that went 27-3 a year ago.

17. San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 17

Senior Fresno State commit JoJo Hunter, a shooting guard, isn’t just one of the top players north of LA County — he’s one of the top players in the state.

18. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 6

Mitty had a senior heavy team in the spring, but this winter a young Monarchs squad should still emerge as one of the state’s best.

19. Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

After a disappointing spring, a senior laden Sheldon team should give the Huskies a chance to once again reach the Open Division title game this season, but they will certainly face some stiff competition.

20. St. Anthony (Long Beach, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Senior forward Elijah Price is extremely underrated. Expect St. Anthony to compete for a Southern Section Open Division spot.

21. Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Senior guard Benny Gealer, a Stanford commit, and junior forward Kenny Manzi make up one of the state’s best duos.

22. Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Sophomore Amani Johnson is a player to watch for Salesian.

23. Los Altos (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) (1-0)

Last season: NR

This should be the season Los Altos takes a big step forward thanks to junior center Jazz Gardner. The Conquerors are Division 2AA title favorites in the Southern Section. They’ll compete for Section, regional and state titles this year.

24. Fountain Valley (Fountain Valley, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Senior guard Roddie Anderson and sophomore Carter Bryant are special talents.

25. San Marcos (San Marcos, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 19

Senior Yale commit Devin Arlington averaged 20.3 ppg and 6.1 apg last season.

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