L.A. Daily News boys basketball Top 10 rankings, Jan. 15

This week’s Daily News boys basketball Top 10 rankings.


(Records through Sunday, Jan. 14)

1. Harvard-Westlake (20-1): The Wolverines’ biggest week of the regular season started Monday morning in the Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts. Harvard-Westlake defeated McEachern (Georgia) 60-59 in overtime Monday and will return home for a Mission League showdown with Notre Dame Wednesday. The cherry on top will be a game Friday against Sierra Canyon.

2. Notre Dame (20-0): No team has been able to slow down the Knights, who added to their win total with victories over St. Francis, Alemany and St. Monica last week. The most challenging test comes Wednesday against Harvard-Westlake. Last season’s game went to double overtime. Mercy Miller and teammates will try to dethrone the defending Mission League champs this year.

3. Sierra Canyon (19-1): Waiting in the wings for the result between Harvard-Westlake and Notre Dame will be a hungry Sierra Canyon team, which hosts the Wolverines on Friday. The Trailblazers can’t overlook St. Francis on Wednesday, however.

4. West Ranch (11-9): West Ranch is finding its groove with five straight wins and has been getting solid contributions from the entirety of its roster. James Evans usually leads the way, but on any given night it could be Darrell Morris, Jaeden Robley or Bishop Brooks leading the team in scoring. Freshman BJ Evans is getting in the mix, too. The Wildcats were going to play a challenging nonleague game Monday night against Heritage Christian.

5. Crespi (18-5): The Celts have lost three in a row but that’s not a surprise given the Mission League gauntlet they’ve faced. The game against Harvard-Westlake was competitive for most of the night and Crespi faced an uphill battle against Sierra Canyon. The Celts will have a chance to rebound and add two league wins against Chaminade and Loyola this week.

6. Heritage Christian (13-8): The Warriors earned a crucial Olympic League win over Village Christian last week and have the league title in their sights. Junior Tae Simmons has played well this season, and led his team with 27 points and 15 rebounds against the Crusaders. Things won’t get easier this week with back-to-back games against West Ranch and Maranatha (also 3-0 in Olympic League) Monday and Tuesday, but Heritage Christian is prepared after playing one of the most difficult schedules in the area.

7. Thousand Oaks (16-5): The Lancers suffered a setback against Oaks Christian last week but rebounded with a monumental double-digit win against Westlake. Elias Chin is the Marmonte League MVP so far this season and has been getting crucial support from junior big man Trent MacLean. Thousand Oaks has a rematch with Oaks Christian on Jan. 24, but first it has to get through league foes Agoura, Newbury Park and Calabasas.

8. Village Christian (14-7): The Crusaders are behind the eight ball in the league standings after losing to Heritage Christian last week and already having lost to Maranatha. But Village Christian has shown it’s capable of winning big games this year and will have a chance to climb back into the thick of things with rematches against both teams later in the season. The Crusaders should win both games this week, against Bishop Montgomery and Fairfax, before facing Maranatha for the third time this season, but for the first time in their home gym.

9. Oaks Christian (13-8): After a slow start to begin the season, the Lions are coming on strong and sit atop the Marmonte League (3-0) ahead of early-season favorites Thousand Oaks and Westlake. Oaks Christian defeated Thousand Oaks 66-59 last week behind Troy McGovern’s 23 points. The junior guard has been the Lions’ go-to scorer, averaging 19 points across their three league wins so far. Oaks Christian will try to remain undefeated in league this week with games against Calabasas on Tuesday and Westlake on Friday.

10. Birmingham (9-10): The Patriots put themselves ahead of the pack in the West Valley League with two wins last week, including an overtime victory over Chatsworth. Birmingham withstood Alijah Arenas’ 34-point barrage thanks in large part to Mark Rios’ 19 points, including five made 3-pointers (two in overtime). The Patriots were going to face Southern Section opponent Moorpark Monday night and then host Taft and Cleveland (also 2-0 in league) to cap off the week.

Also considered: Saugus (16-6), St. Bonaventure (15-7), St. Francis (15-7) Westlake (16-5)

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