L.A. Daily News boys basketball Top 10 rankings, Jan. 29

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


(Records through Sunday, Jan. 28)

1. Sierra Canyon (24-1): The Trailblazers came back from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit Friday to beat the last undefeated team in the area: Notre Dame. The win secured the No. 1 spot and home-court advantage for the Trailblazers in the Mission League Tournament. Different from the star-studded Sierra Canyon teams of the last few years, this year’s team is well-balanced from top to bottom. The starting five is loaded with talent and contributions off the bench have been key this season. The Trailblazers have a good chance to come out of the league tournament and the Open Division playoffs on top.

2. Notre Dame (24-2): The Knights were one quarter away from an undefeated Mission League record but fourth-quarter turnovers against Sierra Canyon quickly dashed that dream. Notre Dame lost the following night to Bishop Gorman as well, but played without its two best players in Mercy Miller and Lino Mark. As the No. 2 seed in the Mission League Tournament, Notre Dame will likely have to face Harvard-Westlake for a chance to make the tournament final and get another opportunity to play Sierra Canyon.

3. Harvard-Westlake (23-3): After back-to-back losses to Notre Dame and Sierra Canyon, Harvard-Westlake came out like a team on a mission, defeating Chaminade, St. Francis and Foothill by an average of 28 points. The Wolverines will get a chance to avenge their earlier loss to Notre Dame as long as they get past the winner between Alemany and Loyola in the Mission League Tournament. Along with its league counterparts, Harvard-Westlake is aiming to win the league tournament and the Open Division.

4. Heritage Christian (19-8): The Warriors are on a seven-game winning streak and claimed sole possession of the Olympic League crown with their victory over Maranatha on Friday. The duo of Tae Simmons and Dillan Shaw, both juniors, is one of the best in the area. The Warriors have one game left against rival Village Christian before likely being named one of the top seeds in the Division 2AA playoffs.

5. Crespi (21-6): The Celts finished in fourth place in the Mission League, where most predicted they would land after the big three. Crespi hung tough with Notre Dame last week, losing by just three points before finishing the regular season off with a win over Alemany. The Celts will face the winner of Chaminade and St. Francis on Tuesday and would get another shot at Sierra Canyon if they can advance past the second round. Led by sophomore scorer Joe Sterling, Crespi is another team along with Heritage Christian that can make noise in the Division 2AA playoffs.

6. Campbell Hall (11-14): Credit to coach David Grace and Campbell Hall for battling through a difficult early-season schedule that has prepared the team for a likely Division 2AA playoff run. The Vikings are 5-1 in the Gold Coast League and have a chance to claim a share of the league title if they can defeat Windward on Wednesday. Campbell Hall lost to Windward, a potential Open Division team, by just two points when the teams met two weeks ago.

7. Westlake (21-5): The Warriors (7-1 in league) control their destiny for the Marmonte League title after defeating Thousand Oaks on Friday. Westlake has two games left against Calabasas and Oaks Christian this week before heading to the playoffs, potentially as one of the top seeds in Division 2A or maybe even a middle-seeded Division 2AA team. Junior Austin Maziasz has been the constant for Westlake this season with solid support from seniors Dante Deshautelle and Kayden Elsokary.

8. Village Christian (19-7): The Crusaders are running hot having won nine games in a row including a crucial win over Olympic League foe Maranatha to propel them to second place in the league. While Heritage Christian has already secured the league title, Village Christian can boost its resume with a win against the Warriors on Tuesday before closing out the regular season against Valley Christian.

9. West Ranch (13-13): The Wildcats are the epitome of an up-and-down team, having won games against some of the area’s best competition, but also losing games they should have won. Last week was particularly rough, falling to Valencia Wednesday and Carlsbad Saturday. The loss to Valencia snapped a 45-game winning streak in the Foothill League. West Ranch has the potential to be a disruptor come playoff time if it plays up to caliber.

10. Chatsworth (12-10): The Chancellors needed to beat Birmingham last week to stay in the hunt for the West Valley League crown and were able to do so thanks to an Alijah Arenas game-winning layup with 1.3 seconds remaining. The race is on between Chatsworth, Birmingham and Cleveland for the league championship. Chatsworth plays El Camino Real, Taft and then Cleveland in the season finale on Friday. Birmingham plays Cleveland on Wednesday.

Also considered: Birmingham (14-11), Cleveland (15-8), Grant (18-6), St. Francis (18-9), Thousand Oaks (20-6)

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