Above: Bishop Amat coach Richard Wiard has a big non-league game on Saturday in the SoCal Shootout at APU against top-ranked Bonita. Wiard didn’t win multiple state titles by accident. On Friday, he was at Bonita scouting their game against Walnut. Now, who scouts non-league games in January? Wiard does. Preparation, that’s what separates Wiard from the rest. Knowing this, I still like Bonita, think they’re too talented and have been waiting for this opportunity a long time.
1. Damien (15-1) – Facing undefeated Mission Viejo on Saturday at APU
2. La Verne Lutheran (8-3) — Good record against a powerful schedule with Price in town on Saturday
3. Glendora (14-4) — Impressive overall record, but might be third or fourth best in Baseline.
4. Chino Hills (14-4) — Sorry Huskies, this is Damien’s year to take the Sierra.
5. Bonita (12-3) — Rowland, Walnut, Diamond Bar are all tough in Hacienda, but ‘Cats are still the team to beat.
6. Ayala (12-5) — Are they a team Damien should worry about? They meet on Friday.
7. Bishop Amat (14-5) — No significant wins on resume, but they keep on winning and could be a factor in the Division 4AA playoffs.
8. Northview (17-3) — Getting better each week and in the same playoff Division with Amat, wouldn’t mind seeing them meet up down the road.
9. Rowland (13-5) — Boom Boom Hamlow’s best team in years, though a stinging loss to Diamond Bar hurts.
10. Mountain View (14-3) — They haven’t played a tough schedule, but overall record is best of the rest.
1. Bonita (15-1) — Love the scheduling with a non-league game against Bishop Amat on Saturday in the SoCal Shootout at APU. Prediction: Cat’s by 10.
2. Bishop Amat (15-3) — In our neck of the woods, Amat not use to being No. 2. They can prove we’re wrong on Saturday.
3. Duarte (13-1) — Not only do they have size and are beating everyone in front, they’re young and only going to get better.
4. Diamond Ranch (7-8) — Tough schedule, bad record. Look, you know it, I know it, they’re better than this.
5. Chino Hills (11-6) — If they’re the best in the Sierra, how do you explain a 26-point nonleague loss to Bishop Amat?
6. Walnut (11-6) — Lori Huckler’s crew not use to losing league game, but that happens in a league with Diamond Ranch and Bonita. Welcome to the Hacienda.
7. Wilson (12-6) — Would love to see them win the Valle Vista for late coach Ed Bruyninckx, who passed away before the season started.
8. Sierra Vista (10-3) — They don’t like being No. 2 in the Montview, but they better get use to it with Duarte on a roll.
9. West Covina (10-6) — You have to feel for the Dogs who will probably do no better than fourth-best in the brutal Hacienda.
10. Baldwin Park (13-3) — Although they lost a tough game to Wilson, off to best start in years.