Inland Empire: Centennial faces tall test vs. Bishop O'Dowd

Corona Centennial will be up against one of the nation’s top juniors when the Huskies tip off today at approximately 5:25 p.m. in the prestigious National Division at the Holiday Classic boys’ basketball tournament at Torrey Pines High School.

Brandon Ashley of Bishop O’Dowd High in Oakland, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward, is being wooed by nearly every major basketball program in the country.

At a home game last week, head coaches from California, Washington and Kansas sat courtside. Ashley led Bishop O’Dowd to the Division III state finals last season, where they lost to Gardena Serra in overtime.

Ashley is ranked by ESPN as the 10th best prospect in the class of 2012, and the second-best power forward.

Centennial beat Oakland, 82-74, in its first-round game Monday, getting 35 points from senior point guard Gelaun Wheelwright, who signed with Weber State last fall after earlier committing to USC.

Rialto Eisenhower, Murrieta Valley, San Bernardino and Chino Hills Ayala dropped into the loser’s bracket with losses Monday in their respective divisions.

Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos knocked off Los Angeles Pacific Hills, 54-45, in the Senator’s Division at San Diego Cathedral Catholic and advanced to play Cerritos Gahr today at 3:50 p.m. Complete brackets and results can be found here.

Over at the Oaks Christian tournament in Westlake Village, Etiwanda won its first-round game against La Jolla Country Day, 58-42.

The Eagles, the top-ranked team in the Inland Empire, advanced to play another I.E. power, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, today at 4 p.m. in a quarterfinal game.