Now, I know this is a student section website, but I do cover high school sports and I am the play-by-play broadcaster and the beat writer for JBA USA, run by Big Baller Brand. I have covered basketball for a few years now and I have kept an eye on the top teams in SoCal.
We might as well talk sports while we recognize the top student sections. Plus, Basketball student section starts to pop off in December, so we need something to talk about.
2018 SOCAL STUDENT SECTIONS TOP 20 SOCAL BOYS BASKETBALL PRESEASON RANKINGS
1. Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (Gold Coast) (2017-18 Record) 27-4
The defending CIF Open Division State Champions return four starters including Kanyon Martin and Scottie Pippen sons, seniors KJ Martin and Scotty Pippen Jr. They also add Terran Frank and add in big man Christian Koloko. Add all that with senior Cassius Stanley and you’re a force to be reckoned with.
2. Rancho Christian of Temecula (South Valley) 29-5
The Eagles are looking to enjoy their last season with both the Mobley brother, Isaiah and Evan. Outside of the Mobley brothers, the Eagles also have Jordan Montgomery and transfers Dominick Harris and Jayden Byers. Not a bad lineup.
3. Bishop Montgomery of Torrance (Del Ray) 28-2
Bishop Montgomery will look to reload once again. Luckily, they have Gianni Hunt, Will Crawford and Josh Vasquez back. Nick Schrader is also back and he will join transfers Isaiah Johnson and Bradley Ezewiro. The Knights never rebuild, they reload.
4. Westchester of Los Angeles (Western) 29-6
The defending CIF-LA City Section Open Division Champions will look to have their star guard healthy when it matters the most, we’re talking about Jordan Brinson. Brinson will have other star players back like Kaveon Batiste, Jeremiah Turley, Kevin Bethel to go along with transfer Jared Barnett. This Comet team has been together for a couple years, so experience is definitely key this season.
5. Mission Bay of San Diego (Western) 27-6
Mission Bay is coming off their first CIF-San Diego Section Open Division title and they could get another one with Boogie Ellis back. Ellis will also have back Ronnie Latting and Jaymarree Norton. The Buc stop here in San Diego.
6. Fairfax of Los Angeles (Western) 23-10
The Lions started off with a few young guys and are now going to finish strong for their senior year. Ethan Anderson and Robert McRae lead the way along with Daylen Williams and Ronald Mitchell. Fairfax also adds transfer Keith Dinwiddie. This Fairfax is deep and the Westchester/Fairfax games are going to be so much fun to watch this season.
7. St. John Bosco of Bellflower (Trinity) 25-8
The Braves return five starters and what a perfect time to return five starters when Mater Dei is rebuilding. Christian James and Fernando Gomez will look to backup Jonathan Salazar, who will be to go-to guy. Josh Adoh and Jaylen Mansen will also play big roles as these five seniors will look to take down Mater Dei for the Trinity League title.
8. Mater Dei of Santa Ana (Trinity) 23-7
The Monarchs are going through a rebuilding season after winning the CIF-SS Open Division title last season. Transfer Ryan Evans will look to help lead Mater Dei along with Aiden Prukop. The Monarchs will also have a group of sophomores which will get a lot of playing time, mainly Wilhelm Breidenbach, Devin Askew and transfer Nick Davidson. This will be a challenging season for Mater Dei.
9. Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita (Trinity) 20-10
The Eagles might jump over Mater Dei as the top spot in Orange County, but we shall see as the season progresses. Santa Margarita starts with their fantastic 1-2 combo in Jake Kyman and Max Agbonkpolo. With those two along with big man Shengzhe Li and Santa Margarita might pose a threat this season. Add Kendall MuHugh to the mix and maybe the Eagles could take the Trinity League title.
10. Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley (Ivy) 23-11
The Mustangs return their two big weapons in Tory San Antonio and Jaxon Turner. The big two will get help from Emmanuel Agubata and Derrick Nettles Jr. as they try to make one big push with a deep run in the postseason.
11. Chino Hills (Baseline) 26-11
This could be the last hurrah in a big winner for the Huskies for awhile with Onyeka Okongwu leading the way. Phaquon Davis and Aibigho Ujadghele will play big minutes and expect Will Pluma and Nick Manor-Hall to play vital roles for Chino Hills as they look to repeat as CIF-SS Champs.
12. Harvard-Westlake of Studio City (Mission) 22-6
I remember when the Wolverines had a fantastic group of freshman a few years back. Now their juniors and Johnny Juzang is the go-to guy this season. He has big man Mason Hooks back as well as Brase Dottin and Spencer Hubbard. This is still a young team that will keep the winning tradition going for Harvard-Westlake in the next several years.
13. Centennial of Corona (Big VIII) 20-11
The Huskies will look to their group of juniors to lead the way this season starting with Jaylen Clarke. DJ Davis will be another key factor as well as Paris Dawson and Dennis Cash. Allan McBride is back and will look to end his high school career with at least a Big VIII League title.
14. Riverside Poly (Ivy) 24-9
The Bears return junior superstar Lamont Butler, but also add a couple of transfers like junior Evan Oliver and senior Jamal Briscoe. This could be one of the best season Riverside Poly has ever had with the new big three.
15. Orange Lutheran (Trinity) 11-17
The Lancers are back in the mix after missing the playoffs the last two seasons. This is a senior loaded lineup with Cade Potter being the key guy. He’ll get help from 7-0 big man Makur Maker. Isaiah Pope and Tre Anderson are back as well. The Lancers will look to make the same splashes they made two seasons ago.
16. Notre Dame of Riverside (Ivy) 33-4
Four starters return for Notre Dame after losing in the CIF State Finals. The Titans return Anthony Holland and Anton Mozga as well as Pierce Sterling and Dondre Bausley. Notre Dame plans on ending their postseason with a win this time around.
17. Foothills Christian of El Cajon (Coastal) 26-7
The Knights lose one big player, but return the others who come with experience. Senior Derrick Carter-Hollinger leads the Knights and will get help from little brother Darrien Carter-Hollinger who is only a sophomore. Jaren Nafarette is also a big piece that is back for Foothills Christian. I expect the Knights to be better than expected.
18. St. Augustine of San Diego (Western) 18-8
The best challengers for Mission Bay will be Mission Bay. Chibuzo Agbo leads the way for the Saints and will get help with a new Saint, Nakial Cross. The coaches son, Luke Haupt will get some big minutes, as well as Tyson McWilliams. This is a young team, so next year is going to be even better.
19. Damien of La Verne (Baseline) 24-7
The Spartans are going to rely on a sophomore, Malik Thomas, but they have a huge weapon on offense in Austin Cook. Transfer Jared Hyder will look to help Ofeanyi Okeke and keep the Spartans alive for the Baseline League title.
20. Torrey Pines of San Diego (Avocado-West) 28-4
The Falcons are bringing up the ball with the Pope twins, juniors Michael and Bryce and relying on seniors Victor Novy and Travis Snider with help from junior Brandon Angel. Torrey Pines will look to stay at the top in San Diego again.
INLAND EMPIRE TOP 20 PRESEASON RANKINGS
- Rancho Christian of Temecula (South Valley) 29-5
- Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley (Ivy) 23-11
- Chino Hills (Baseline) 26-11
- Centennial of Corona (Big VIII) 20-11
- Riverside Poly (Ivy) 24-9
- Notre Dame of Riverside (Ivy) 33-4
- Damien of La Verne (Baseline) 24-7
- Etiwanda (Baseline) 30-4
- Colony of Ontario (Palomares) 24-6
- Roosevelt of Eastvale (Big VIII) 25-4
- Hesperia (Mojave River) 24-6
- Hillcrest of Riverside (River Valley) 32-4
- JW North of Riverside (Ivy) 23-3
- Redlands East Valley (Citrus Belt) 18-10
- Cajon of San Bernardino (Citrus Belt) 26-8
- Rancho Cucamonga (Baseline) 20-10
- Murrieta Mesa (Southwestern) 26-10
- Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga (Baseline) 18-10
- Adelanto (Desert Sky) 16-10
- Rialto (San Andreas) 21-8
LOS ANGELES TOP 20 PRESEASON RANKINGS
- Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (Gold Coast) 27-4
- Bishop Montgomery of Torrance (Del Ray) 28-2
- Westchester of Los Angeles (Western) 29-6
- Fairfax of Los Angeles (Western) 23-10
- St. John Bosco of Bellflower (Trinity) 25-8
- Harvard-Westlake of Studio City (Mission) 22-6
- Brentwood School of Los Angeles (Gold Coast) 26-8
- St. Anthony’s of Long Beach (Del Ray) 28-4
- Mayfair of Lakewood (Suburban) 21-8
- Los Altos (Hacienda Heights) 25-4
- Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks (Mission) 16-12
- Washington Prep of Los Angeles (Imperial) 23-11
- Long Beach Poly (Moore) 23-9
- St. Bernard of Playa del Rey (Del Ray) 14-12
- Camarillo (Coastal Canyon) 15-12
- Crespi of Encino (Mission) 27-5
- Crossroads of Santa Monica (Gold Coast) 25-9
- Alemany of Mission Hills (Mission) 19-10
- Oak Park (Coastal Canyon) 21-7
- Heritage Christian of Northbridge (Olympic) 13-16
ORANGE COUNTY TOP 20 PRESEASON RANKINGS
- Mater Dei of Santa Ana (Trinity) 23-7
- Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita (Trinity) 20-10
- Orange Lutheran (Trinity) 11-17
- JSerra of San Juan Capistrano (Trinity) 18-9
- Villa Park (Crestview) 15-12
- Tesoro of Rancho Santa Margarita (Sea View) 17-10
- Pacifica Christian of Newport Beach (San Joaquin) 10-17
- Canyon of Anaheim (Crestview) 25-4
- Cypress (Empire) 24-5
- La Habra (Freeway) 21-8
- Fairmont Prep of Anaheim (San Joaquin) 22-6
- Marina of Huntington Beach (Wave) 16-12
- Servite of Anaheim (Trinity) 11-17
- Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo (South Coast) 21-8
- Newport Harbor of Newport Beach (Surf) 21-7
- Edison of Huntington Beach (Surf) 21-8
- Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo (South Coast) 23-7
- Corona del Mar of Newport Beach (Surf) 17-11
- Sonora of La Habra (Freeway) 14-15
- Dana Hills of Dana Point (Sea View) 14-15
SAN DIEGO TOP 20 PRESEASON BASKETBALL RANKINGS
- Mission Bay of San Diego (Western) 27-6
- Foothills Christian of El Cajon (Coastal) 26-7
- St. Augustine of San Diego (Western) 18-8
- Torrey Pines of San Diego (Avocado-West) 28-4
- Cathedral Catholic of San Diego (Western) 13-14
- San Marcos (Avocado-West) 23-6
- La Jolla Country Day (Coastal) 22-11
- Vista (Avocado-East) 23-9
- Francis Parker of San Diego (Coastal) 15-13
- Santa Fe Christian of Solana Beach (Coastal) 20-12
- Montgomery of San Diego (Mesa) 23-6
- La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad (Avocado-West) 13-16
- Christian of El Cajon (Western) 24-10
- Poway (Palomar) 20-10
- El Camino of Oceanside (Avocado-East) 18-14
- Carlsbad (Avocado-West) 15-17
- Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista (Mesa) 24-8
- Rancho Buena Vista of Vista (Avocado-East) 16-13
- Helix of La Mesa (Grossmont-Hills) 19-10
- La Jolla (Western) 12-15