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  • Devin Ugland

Birmingham jumps and Narbonne enters updated HoopsByUgland SoCal Top 25 rankings

1. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: The Trailblazers, despite not having played a game just yet, move up a spot in the latest rankings due to Bishop Montgomery’s loss to Oakland Bishop O’Dowd Saturday. 2. Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) (0-1) Last Week: Lost to Bishop O’Dowd, 70-63, Saturday at NorCall Tipoff Classic Comment: The Knights drop a spot after blowing an early 17-1 lead in a loss to O’Dowd. Bishop wasn’t full strength, playing without junior shooting guard David Singleton. 3. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) (1-0) Last Week: Defeated Dos Pueblos 87-54 Comment: The Monarchs were balanced in the a blowout victory with Michael Wang leading the way with 20 points. Justice Sueing had 15, Spencer Freedman 11 points and 10 assists and Harrison Butler added 11 points. 4. Chino Hills (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: The Huskies begin their season this week in the BattleZONE at Corona Centennial. 5. Birmingham (Lake Balboa) (4-0) Last Week: Won 65th annual Pac Shores tournament with an 84-74 decision over Westchester. Comment: Devante Doutrive took home MVP honors for his performance at Pac Shores. He had plenty of help from Deschon Winston, his brother, Devonaire, and sharpshooter Mark Boland.

Birmingham beat Westchester for the Pac Shores title which helped them rise to No. 5 in the latest HoopsByUgland SoCal Top 25. Photo Credit: Nick Koza

6. Fairfax (Los Angeles) (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: The Lions open their season this week at the Rose City Classic at Maranatha High, but will be without standout junior Robert McRae until January. 7. Santa Margarita (3-1) Last Week: Eagles took fifth-place at Pac Shores last week, after beating Peninsula, losing to eventual champion Birmingham, then defeating Redondo Union and Oak Park. Comment: Santa Margarita has a big front court and depth on its bench. Adrease Jackson, Jake Kyman and Kaden Rasheed all played well at Pac Shores. Point guard Pearson Parker returns soon from a broken fibula, adding a much-needed primary ball-handler. 8. Corona Centennial (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: The Huskies begin their season as hosts of the BattleZONE this week. 9. Westchester (Los Angeles) (3-1) Last Week: Finished second at Pac Shores after losing to Birmingham, 84-74, in Saturday night’s championship game Comment: The Comets are a well-rounded bunch who play hard under coach Ed Azzam. Luis Rodriguez, Marquis Moore, Chris Simmons, Jordan Brinson and Jeremiah Turley all played well at Pac Shores. 10. Crespi (Encino) (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: There’s still no specific return date for standout guard Brandon Williams, but the Celts will be just fine under the leadership of Taj Regans and the tutelage of Russell White. 11. Alemany (Mission Hills) (0-1) Last Week: Lost to Sacramento Christian Brothers in overtime, 82-71, at the NorCal Tipoff Classic Comment: D.J. McDonald scored 31 points in a losing effort and a “source” said newly-added Fred Odhiambo is a player. 12. Santa Monica (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: The Vikings begin their season this week at the St. Monica Classic. 13. Eastvale Roosevelt (3-1) Last Week: Finished third at Pac Shores. Comment: Roosevelt beat Inglewood and Oak Park before losing to Westchester in the semifinals. Matt Mitchell was one of the most productive players on the week, pouring in 21 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in the third-place win over Narbonne. 14. Foothills Christian (El Cajon) (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: The Knights begin their season in the BattleZONE at Corona Centennial this week. 15. Oak Park (2-2) Last Week: Finished sixth at Pac Shores Comment: The Eagles put forth four solid efforts at Redondo Union last week, beating Dominguez and Long Beach Poly, but losing to Eastvale Roosevelt and Santa Margarita. Riley Battin and Wes and Clark Slajchert make for a dynamic trio, while 6-foot-10 big man Ezekiel Richards is improving. 16. Narbonne (Harbor City) (2-2) Last Week: Finished fourth at Pac Shores Comment: The Gauchos were underrated by just about every media outlet that does preseason rankings in the area. Narbonne is well-coached, tough and executes to precision. Kendall Frey and Psalm Maduakor were standout performers at Pac Shores. 17. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: We’ll find out more about the Dons once they get rolling. 18. St. Augustine (San Diego) (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: I’ll be paying a visit to Mission Viejo High to see the Saints at the Diablo Inferno. 19. Damien (La Verne) (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: Watched the Spartans play well at their scrimmage with Mater Dei and Crespi last week. Senior forward Justin Hemsley has made strides. Damien opens with the Sierra Vista tournament this week. 20. St. John Bosco (Bellflower) (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: The Braves open on December 5 against Fullerton at the Corona del Mar Beach Bash. 21. Redondo Union (2-2) Last Week: Finished 7th at Pac Shores Comment: The Sea Hawks play hard, share the ball and defend, which goes a long way in high school basketball. Ryse Williams cemented himself as one of the best guards in SoCal. 22. Lynwood (2-2) Last Week: Lost to Rancho Christian, 59-55, in Consolation Championship at Pac Shores Comment: Oscar Lopez hurt his ankle in the Knights first game at Pac Shores, but Lynwood still had a good showing behind sophomore guard Noel Scott and senior Jamal Bogan. 23. Etiwanda (0-0) Last Week: Idle Comment: The Eagles open in the BattleZONE this week. 24. Heritage Christian (Northridge) (5-0) Last Week: Defeated Windward, 85-76, to win West Valley Tournament title Comment: Senior Juhwan Harris-Dyson, sophomore Jonathan Daniels and freshman Dillon DePina were key cogs in the Warriors big week. 25. Long Beach Poly (1-3) Last Week: The Jackrabbits stumbled out of the gates, defeating Mayfair in the opening round of Pac Shores before dropping their next three games. Comment: Poly struggled to put the ball in the basket, but the Jackrabbits always seem to pull things together when it matters most. Others considered: Rancho Christian, Village Christian, Orange Lutheran, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Los Altos, Esperanza, Edison, JSerra, Gahr


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