SBLive’s Southern Section Top 25 Boys Basketball Rankings: reigning Open Division champion Corona Centennial starts year at No. 2

The winter 2021-22 California high school boys basketball season started on Monday. Here’s a look at the top teams in the Southern Section to begin the year. SBLive’s Southern Section high school boys basketball rankings are compiled by SBLive California reporter Connor Morrissette and will be released every Monday throughout the spring 2021 season.

SBLIVE SOUTHERN SECTION TOP 25 BOYS BASKETBALL RANKINGS

November 15, 2021

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

Last season: 3

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: 7

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. Damien (La Verne, Calif.) (1-0)

Last season: 4

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

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

Last week: 5

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.

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

Last week: 6

The Braves are always talented and this year will be no different even with the loss of 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.

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

Last season: 18

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.

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

Last season: 14

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.

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

Last season: 13

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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

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

Last season: 12

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

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

Last season: 20

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.

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

Last season: 24

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

17. Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 16

After a disappointing spring, Bishop Montgomery has the talent to return to their usual spot among the Section’s best teams. Junior Xavier Edmonds is a player to watch.

18. Colony (Ontario, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 22

Colony returns four of five starters from a team that went 19-2 last season.

19. Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) (1-0)

Last season: 11

Junior forward Rockwell Reynolds is an x-factor for the Eagles.

20. Fairmont Prep (Anaheim, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Chol Deng averaged 17.6 ppg for Fairmont Prep a year ago as a junior.

21. Riverside Poly (Riverside, Calif.) (1-0)

Last season: NR

Rhode Island signee Chance Stephens is one of the best shooters in the Section.

22. Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

6-11 junior transfer Martin Gumwell isn’t eligible until after the SOP, which is a blow the Eagles will have to deal with.

23. Capistrano Valley Christian (Capistrano Valley, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Junior Pepperdine commit Ariik Mawien has had a great offseason and he’ll help Capistrano Valley Christian surprise people this year.

24. Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: NR

Senior guard Christian Watson and freshman guard Jovani Ruff are both top players in their respective classes.

25. Oak Park (Oak Park, Calif.) (1-0)

Last season: NR

Junior forward Isaiah Sherrard scored 17 points and had six blocks in a 77-37 win over Chatsworth to start the year.

Thank you for joining the discussion on SBLive!

%d bloggers like this: