SBLive’s California Boys Basketball Top 25: Riverside Poly debuts at No. 23

The winter 2021-2022 California high school boys basketball season started last Monday. Here’s a look at the top teams in the state one week into the season. 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.


November 22, 2021

1. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) (3-0)

Last week: 1

There’s no getting around it, despite their 3-0 record, Sierra Canyon is having a poor start to the season. The Trailblazers aren’t fully healthy, but still should have beaten San Ysidro and St. Augustine by larger margins in their last two games (they won 84-70 and 51-46 respectively). Sierra Canyon plays Texas power Duncanville on Saturday in a game that will show exactly how the Trailblazers stack up nationally as currently constituted.

They’ll stay at No. 1 until they lose.

2. Corona Centennial (Corona, Calif.) (3-0)

Last week: 2

Donovan Dent scored 30 points in an 85-59 win over No. 14 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame last week. The Huskies are loaded with talent and will take over at No. 1 if Sierra Canyon slips up.

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

Last week: 3

The Wolverines beat No. 25 Crossroads team 61-53 last week. Landon Lewis, one of the top bigs in the region, scored 14 points in the victory.

4. Etiwanda (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) (1-0)

Last week: 4

Etiwanda beat Santiago 64-36 in the first game of their season. Junior Curtis Williams scored 19 points.

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

Last week: 5

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

6. Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 6

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.) (5-0)

Last week: 7

Damien beat No. 23 Riverside Poly 55-52 to win the Rumble for Rosecrans. Kaleb Smith scored 15 points to lead the Spartans.

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.) (2-1)

Last week: 9

St. Augustine was San Diego’s preseason No. 1. team and so far the Saints are playing like it. Their lone loss came against No. 1 Sierra Canyon 51-46.

10. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) (2-0)

Last week: 10

Braves senior Christian Estrada is one of the top bigs in California high school basketball this year. He scored 23 points in the Braves’ 76-49 win over Hesperia last week.

11. St. Bernard (Playa Del Rey, Calif.) (3-0)

Last season: 11

Tyler Rolison and Darius Carr are two excellent guards. They’ve led the Vikings to a 3-0 start. Rolison scored 37 points in St. Bernard’s 83-75 win over Fairmont Prep on Nov. 19.

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

Last week: 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.

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

Last week: 15

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

14. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) (2-1)

Last week: 14

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. The duo led the Knights to a 61-53 win over No. 15 Heritage Christian last week, but then lost on the road 85-59 to No. 2 Corona Centennial.

15. Heritage Christian (Northridge, Calif.) (2-1)

Last week: 12

In their first marquee game of the season, Heritage Christian fell to No. 14 Notre Dame 61-53. Senior Barrington Hargress scored 20 points in the loss. The Knights followed up the defeat with a nice win over San Diego’s No. 2 team, San Marcos, 61-40.

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

Last week: 16

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.) (1-0)

Last week: 17

The Panthers opened their season with an 86-61 win over Bakersfield Centennial. Fresno State commit Jojo Hunter scored 34 points in the win.

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

Last week: 18

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. Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro, Calif.) (2-0)

Last week: 21

Senior guard Benny Gealer, a Stanford commit, and junior forward Kenny Manzi make up one of the state’s best duos. Gealer scored 21 points in a 64-45 win over Mater Dei Catholic last week.

20. Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) (1-1)

Last week: 19

Sheldon beat Fairfax 59-50 and lost to No. 2 Corona Centennial 72-51 last week. Devon Hayes scored 12 points in the win over Fairfax.

21. Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) (0-0)

Last week: 22

Sophomore Amani Johnson is a player to watch for Salesian.

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

Last week: 24

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

23. Riverside Poly (Riverside, Calif.) (4-1)

Last week: NR

Poly narrowly lost to No. 7 Damien 55-52 last week. If a 50/50 call had gone their way, they could have won. The good showing moves the Bears into this week’s rankings.

24. Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) (4-0)

Last week: NR

Bishop Montgomery rolled to the Ryse Williams Pac Shores title with four big wins, which pushes the Knights into this week’s Top 25.

25. Crossroads (Santa Monica, Calif.) (2-1)

Last week: NR

Crossroads beat a good St. Anthony team 69-57 and then fell to No. 3 Harvard-Westlake 61-53.

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