The boys’ basketball season is two weeks old and the Inland Empire preseason rankings are holding strong, for the most part.
In a matchup of the I.E.’s top two teams, Etiwanda knocked off Corona Centennial, 68-64, on Dec. 4 in the championship of the Rose City Classic in Pasadena.
Here’s an updated top 10, with some key results and upcoming matchups.
1. Etiwanda, 7-0 (1) – In addition to the Eagles’ win against Centennial, they also knocked off tournament host Pasadena, 71-56, in a semifinal. Next up: Thursday vs. A.B. Miller at the Inland Empire Challenge.
2. Centennial, 6-2 (2) – The Huskies’ other loss was by four points to San Diego Lincoln, ranked 46th in the nation by ESPN RISE in the final of the Santa Monica tournament Saturday. Etiwanda is ranked No. 49 by the same publication. Centennial beat a talented Compton team, 81-76, in a semifinal. Next up: Thursday vs. Riverside King at Centennial.
3. Murrieta Valley, 8-0 (3) – Knocked off some decent competition, including Moreno Valley Rancho Verde (59-41), Elsinore (69-47) and Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos (68-57). Next up: Tuesday vs. Elsinore at Murrieta Valley.
4. Upland, 6-1 (5) – Fell to tournament host Mission Viejo in final of the Diablo Inferno tournament on Dec. 4. Earlier in the tournament, the Highlanders posted wins against Orange County mid-sized powers San Juan Hills and Corona del Mar. Up next: Thursday vs. Redlands East Valley at the Inland Empire Challenge.
5. Rancho Verde, 8-1 (7) – Beat Riverside Arlington, 57-44, on Saturday in the final of the Riverside Poly tournament. Also knocked off Redlands and Moreno Valley Canyon Springs en route to the title. Next up: Thursday vs. Moreno Valley Vista del Lago at Rancho Verde.
6. Rialto Eisenhower, 3-2 (6) – Opened with an impressive 72-58 victory against JSerra before dropping games against Compton and small-school power Los Angeles Windward. Next up: Saturday vs. San Diego Gompers Prep at Hosea Hall tournament.
7. Victorville Victor Valley, 8-1 (NR) – Posted victories against Redlands East Valley and Riverside North, with its lone loss coming against Clovis North of the Central Section. Up next: Thursday vs. Barstow at Victor Valley.
8. Redlands East Valley, 7-1 (4) – Lost by 11 points to Victor Valley in the final of the Phelan Serrano tournament Dec. 4. Up next: Thursday vs. Upland at the Inland Empire Challenge.
9. Fontana Summit, 4-4 (8) – The SkyHawks have been trying to hold on until star point guard Montigo Alford finished the football season. They still managed to beat small-school dynamo Los Angeles Price, 77-69, on Dec. 1. Up next: Thursday vs. Rancho Cucamonga at the Inland Empire Challenge.
10. Elsinore, 5-1 (9) – Another team that’s been short-handed due to a long football season. Still, the Tigers only loss came against No. 3 Murrieta Valley. Their best win was 60-55 against Eastvale Roosevelt. Up next: Thursday vs. Vista at the North Orange County tournament.
Dropped out: Riverside King.
Just missed: Redlands, Chino Hills, Ontario Colony.