Valley News -

By JP Raineri
Sports Editor 

HS Boys' Basketball: League games have arrived for top local teams


Last updated 1/10/2019 at 11:30pm

Courtesy photo

Evan Mobley slams one home as the Rancho Christian Eagles take the No.2 spot in the CIF Division 1 rankings this week.

The quest for the playoffs heats up for local boys' basketball teams who have had to scratch and claw their way through the holiday break. Many of the eyes in the valley are on the all-out fight for the No. 1 spot in the Southwestern League and of course everyone is staring at Rancho Christian over in the newly established South Eastern League, since they are definitely a team to watch in the Open Division of the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Eagles have 10 games left in the season with one tournament still to go and as of the latest Division 1 polls they are ranked in the No.2 spot. Though the team's performances in the first two rounds of The Classic at Damien were not as spectacular as they should have been, that tournament also came right after the Christmas rush. The final two rounds are where Rancho Christian reminded everyone why they are among the nation's best teams. Dominick Harris finished with a team-high 21 points, Evan Mobley finished one block shy of a triple-double, and the Eagles zoomed right by Centennial 77-69 in the Platinum Division championship game. They picked up their second tournament title of the season and improved to 14-1, with their lone loss coming to Bishop Gorman in the Jerry Tarkanian Classic final.

For the ever so tough Southwestern League, this is the week that league action kicks off. The preseason standings show Temecula Valley on top with a 13-4 record, but everyone else is very close behind. Murrieta Mesa (11-5), Chaparral (10-6) and Vista Murrieta (10-7) all have double digits in the win column and Murrieta Valley (9-5) and Great Oak (8-9) are nipping on all of their heels. Murrieta Mesa and Great Oak both found themselves creeping up in the rankings of the Division 2A CIF Southern Section polls as well. As league games get underway Temecula Valley will travel to Great Oak, Chaparral will be at Murrieta Valley and Murrieta Mesa will face Vista Murrieta on the road. All games are set to be played at 7 p.m. this week.


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