SBLive’s Southern Section Top 25 Boys Basketball Rankings: Damien moves to No. 4

The winter 2021-22 California high school boys basketball season started on Nov. 15. Here’s a look at the top teams in the Southern Section a month into 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.


December 13, 2021

1. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) (9-1)

Last week: 1

Bronny James scored 19 points to lead Sierra Canyon to a 71-53 win over Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent–St. Mary, the alma mater of LeBron James, two weeks ago at Staples Center. Last week, the Trailblazers beat Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) 65-52. Sierra Canyon’s lone loss this season came against Texas power Duncanville.

2. Corona Centennial (Corona, Calif.) (6-1)

Last week: 2

The Huskies lost to Texas power Duncanville 75-70 at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest showcase at Dickie’s Arena in Fort Worth, Texas in November, which is their only loss on the year. Corona Centennial has beaten Sheldon and No. 19 Notre Dame Sherman Oaks so far this season.

3. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) (10-1)

Last week: 3

The Wolverines won the 2021 Rose City Round Ball Classic Championship at Maranatha High School two weeks ago, but dropped their first game of the year at Hoophall West to Mountain Pointe (Phoenix, Ariz.) 59-54 last week.

4. Damien (La Verne, Calif.) (12-0)

Last week: 5

Damien has beaten No. 8 Riverside Poly and No. 9 St. John Bosco this season.

5. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (6-1)

Last week: 6

Mater Dei’s lone loss this came against Chicago (Ill.) Simeon 66-50 in a game that was close for three quarters. Mater Dei’s beaten No. 15 Etiwanda and Edison this season.

6. St. Bernard (Playa Del Rey, Calif.) (7-0)

Last week: 8

St. Bernard is playing like an Open Division team in the Southern Section. The Vikings beat No. 11 Bishop Montgomery 54-44 in the Westchester Tournament Championship. Darius Carr won Tournament MVP after scoring 30 points in the title game.

7. Crean Lutheran (Irvine, Calif.) (3-0)

Last week: 9

Crean Lutheran showed why they’re going to be considered for the Southern Section Open Division playoffs this year in their 69-63 season-opening win over Eastvale Roosevelt two weeks ago. Sophomore Vyctorius Miller scored 28 points in the victory. Koat Keat added 18 points.

8. Riverside Poly (Riverside, Calif.) (9-1)

Last week: 14

Poly narrowly lost to No. 4 Damien 55-52 on Nov. 20 and since then, the Bears have won five blowouts.

9. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) (8-2)

Last week: 7

St. John Bosco advanced to the championship game of their Winter Classic tournament last week, but then fell in the title game 67-47 to No. 4 Damien.

10. Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro, Calif.) (7-0)

Last week: 12

Senior guard Benny Gealer, a Stanford commit, and junior forward Kenny Manzi make up one of the state’s best duos. The Huskies won the 2AA Southern Section title last season and have picked up right from where they left off a year ago. Their best win this season came against previously undefeated Mira Costa 60-48.

11. Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) (7-1)

Last week: 16

Bishop Montgomery lost their first game of the season 54-44 to No. 6 St. Bernard two weeks ago, but the Knights have won seven blowouts outside of that defeat.

12. Crossroads (Santa Monica, Calif.) (7-1)

Last week: 17

Crossroads beat No. 22 St. Anthony 69-57 on Nov. 19 and then fell to No. 3 Harvard-Westlake 61-53 on Nov. 20. Last week, they won the Beverly Hill High School tournament after beating West Ranch and Santa Clarita Christian.

13. JSerra (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) (6-1)

Last week: 23

Despite a close defeat to No. 24 Foothill, JSerra has started the year strong and moves to No. 13 thanks to wins over No. 15 Etiwanda and Tesoro.

14. Capistrano Valley Christian (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) (9-0)

Last week: 15

Mac West is averaging over 20 points per game for undefeated Capistrano Valley Christian.

15. Etiwanda (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) (8-2)

Last week: 4

Going into last week, Etiwanda had beaten all six of their opponents by double digits, but they then fell to No. 5 Mater Dei and No. 13 JSerra.

16. Colony (Ontario, Calif.) (7-0)

Last week 18

Colony is off to a 7-0 start with their best wins coming against Mission Bay and San Clemente.

17. Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) (9-0)

Last week: 19

Santa Margarita has won all nine of its games in blowout fashion to begin the year.

18. Serra (Gardena, Calif.) (7-3)

Last week: NR

Serra’s 79-70 win over No. 19 Notre Dame last week propelled the Cavaliers into this week’s rankings.

19. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) (11-2)

Last week: 10

The Knights two losses this season have come against No. 2 Corona Centennial and No. 18 Serra Gardena. Notre Dame has beaten No. 20 Heritage Christian and Compton so far this season.

20. Heritage Christian (Northridge, Calif.) (8-1)

Last week: 11

Heritage Christian’s lone loss this season came against No. 19 Notre Dame 61-53 on November 18th. Since then, the Warriors have beaten San Marcos and Alemany.

21. Fairmont Prep (Anaheim, Calif.) (6-2)

Last week: 20

Fairmont Prep is in COVID protocol, but in their two most recent games, they fell to No. 4 Damien and beat No. 22 St. Anthony.

22. St. Anthony (Long Beach, Calif.) (5-2)

Last week: 21

The Saints have beaten St. Monica, Campbell Hall, Inglewood and Beckman so far this season and lost to No. 17 Crossroads 69-57 and No. 21 Fairmont Prep 61-46.

23. Village Christian (Sun Valley, Calif.) (8-3)

Last week: 24

Village Christian beat a good St. Francis team earlier this year and they hung tough with No. 6 St. Bernard in a 63-60 overtime defeat two weeks ago. This past week, Village Christian fell to No. 3 Harvard-Westlake 78-40.

24. Foothill (Santa Ana, Calif.) (9-1)

Last week: NR

Foothill upset No. 13 JSerra last week 69-64 but then followed up that performance with a 62-52 loss to Edison.

25. Canyon (Anaheim, Calif.) (9-2)

Last week: NR

Canyon returns to the rankings this week. They’ve lost to No. 8 Riverside Poly in overtime and Lakewood this season, but beaten Hillcrest and Sonora.

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