Boys Basketball Rankings: La Verne Lutheran beats another giant; Damien hosts Chino Hills on Wednesday

Tribune Boys Basketball rankings
1. La Verne Lutheran (14-4)
– The Trojans took down another giant, beating Orange Lutheran at their house in the Third Annual Tony Matson Memorial Classic on MLK Monday. Orange Lutheran, ranked No. 4 in the state by MaxPreps, was without super player Gabe York and the Trojans took advantage, winning 60-58.
2. Damien (16-1) – The Spartans beat Ventura in a MLK showcase game 52-47 after starting 2-0 in the Sierra last week, which included a squeaker over South Hills. On Wednesday they host Chino Hills, which should be a good one.
3. Bonita (14-4) — The Bearcats are off to a 3-0 start and face 3-1 league-rival Walnut on Wednesday at Walnut.
4. Glendora (14-5) — After losing big to Etiwanda, the Tartans beat Rancho Cucamonga and Claremont on Monday in an MLK Showcase game.
5. Chino Hills (12-5) — Did its part to start 2-0 in the Sierra, setting up Wednesday’s game at Damien for sole possession of first.
6. Northview (14-6) — A shocking 53-50 loss to Wilson leaves the Vikings in a three-way tie for first in the VVL with Wilson and Nogales, both 3-1 in league too.
7. Ayala (11-4) – How do you explain a 26-point loss to Chino Hills? They came back with a win over Charter Oak, but they must do better against the contenders.
8. Walnut (14-6) – Beat Diamond Bar and lost to Rowland big, 66-37. That’s not a good sign with Bonita coming to town next.
9. Rowland (10-6) — The Raiders bounced back after their league opening loss to Los Altos with big wins over Walnut and Diamond Ranch, and have a chance to build on that with Diamond Bar and West Covina next up.
10. Covina (12-6) – The Colts’ 60-54 loss to Baldwin Park shows the parity in the Valle Vista League. I thought Northview and Covina stood above the rest, but obviously that’s not happening.

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  • Chris Reyes Fan

    As always a great win for the Damien Spartans who beat a Ventura team which last year won a CIF Championship and made it to the second round of State, losing to eventual finalist Summit. Chris Reyes has undeniably been the driving force behind the Spartan four year run.

    Unfortunately for Coach Dunn, who last year’s team failed to be included in State to every one’s surprise, this game came a year too late as Ventura graduated 11 seniors on a 14 member squad. Still the win is a feather in the Spartans’ cap and will surely address what has been a glaring weakness, a weak preseason schedule, which State must have taken into consideration after two previous State appearances would have assured most teams inclusion, yet not the Spartans.

    This year’s team has only one super star and one in the making in Hemsley who is well on his way to becoming a D1 recruit. Cohesiveness is what makes this team go as every one pulls for each other. A close call with South Hills might mean tinkering with the starting lineup as Reyes needs players to hit open shots consistently or at least draw defenders away from Reyes.

    Great group of kids so hopefully this year the Spartans bring home a much anticipated CIF Title. Chino Hills beat up Ayala who beat up Charter Oak who beat up, well maybe thatt was a bad example, lol, but CO does have athletes so you never know. Either way the Sierra League is the best League in the Valley so every game is a challenge, except when Chris Reyes gets let loose. Too talented to not be scoring in the 25 point range night in and night out, oh well he’s a St. Mary’s baller so this too will pass.

    Thanks to Chris Reyes who a great example of how a high school super star is suppose to conduct himself. Great kid, great family. St. Mary’s got themselves a winner !

  • Damien Fan

    The above comment is spot on! But was there another super star last year alongside Reyes?

    The supporting cast(4 starters)is definitely doing their jobs as evident in the stats. All have contributed tremendously to the success of the team. If anything, the team needs to find the open man for an open shot. There were not many open shots for their shooters in the South Hills game. Give credit to SH, they were hitting all their shots. For the Damien players – Screen hard, roll hard, get open and be found!

    Good luck this evening against CH.

  • Class of 2012 Fan

    Damien Fan

    Last year we had a group of seniors that never really improved from their Junior season when they rode to State on a mission, and that’s just the way the ball bounces sometimes. No disrepect to any one but I’m sure to a man those seniors would say that’s a regrettable fact they just never could figure out.

    For instance Mansour who was a pleasant surprise his junior year hitting big shot after big shot after big shot in game after game but lost his “magic”in his senior season. Tatera who was a complete rebounding horse and free throw making machine never developed a midrange jumper to take pressure off JJ and Reyes and at times just wanted to run. Speaking of JJ the kid just worked his butt off but somehow had to get his outside the offense. Finally JP, coming off a foot injury his junior season, never became Chris Allen-lite and at times seemed uncomfortable being option 1 or 2, surprising considering his Junior season when his absence was felt big time. For all that teams success I’m sure they knew they culd ahv edone more and let a CIF Championship slip through their fingers.

    This year’s team seems different somehow. I’m surprised by who doesn’t play as much who does and the rotation at times seems forced. With so many players on the team, 17 at last count, it’s surpising how often the team doesn’t press or run with Reyes on the court. Players develop at different rates, as last year’s team proved, but somehow I thought Andres and Jeremy would play more prominemt roles given their athleticism, especially on defense. Still I have faith that both will come up huge down the road.

    On the positive side I see Prater has developed the confidence to hit shots but still has to commit to the boards on both ends of tehe court. Odom has been very good on the defensive side of the ball when Hemsley is running the show and Clayton just needs to settle down and shot in rythym instead of watching teams sag and freezing. Time to develop a tear drop shot considering the best rebounder on the Valley plays for Damien and put backs is his bread and butter.

    Chino Hills will be a huge test tonight to see where both programs will be this time next year, after Chris Reyes is gone. My guess after watching both teams play for years is Chino Hills will not go down without a fight. Expect a great game at all levels!!!

  • Class of 2012 Fan

    Damien Fan

    Last year we had a group of seniors that never really improved from their Junior season when they rode to State on a mission, and that’s just the way the ball bounces sometimes. No disrepect to any one but I’m sure to a man those seniors would say that’s a regrettable fact they just never could figure out.

    For instance Mansour who was a pleasant surprise his junior year hitting big shot after big shot after big shot in game after game but lost his “magic”in his senior season. Tatera who was a complete rebounding horse and free throw making machine never developed a midrange jumper to take pressure off JJ and Reyes and at times just wanted to run. Speaking of JJ the kid just worked his butt off but somehow had to get his outside the offense. Finally JP, coming off a foot injury his junior season, never became Chris Allen-lite and at times seemed uncomfortable being option 1 or 2, surprising considering his Junior season when his absence was felt big time. For all that teams success I’m sure they knew they culd ahv edone more and let a CIF Championship slip through their fingers.

    This year’s team seems different somehow. I’m surprised by who doesn’t play as much who does and the rotation at times seems forced. With so many players on the team, 17 at last count, it’s surpising how often the team doesn’t press or run with Reyes on the court. Players develop at different rates, as last year’s team proved, but somehow I thought Andres and Jeremy would play more prominemt roles given their athleticism, especially on defense. Still I have faith that both will come up huge down the road.

    On the positive side I see Prater has developed the confidence to hit shots but still has to commit to the boards on both ends of tehe court. Odom has been very good on the defensive side of the ball when Hemsley is running the show and Clayton just needs to settle down and shot in rythym instead of watching teams sag and freezing. Time to develop a tear drop shot considering the best rebounder on the Valley plays for Damien and put backs is his bread and butter.

    Chino Hills will be a huge test tonight to see where both programs will be this time next year, after Chris Reyes is gone. My guess after watching both teams play for years is Chino Hills will not go down without a fight. Expect a great game at all levels!!!

  • Class of 2012 Fan

    Damien Fan

    Last year we had a group of seniors that never really improved from their Junior season when they rode to State on a mission, and that’s just the way the ball bounces sometimes. No disrepect to any one but I’m sure to a man those seniors would say that’s a regrettable fact they just never could figure out.

    For instance Mansour who was a pleasant surprise his junior year hitting big shot after big shot after big shot in game after game but lost his “magic”in his senior season. Tatera who was a complete rebounding horse and free throw making machine never developed a midrange jumper to take pressure off JJ and Reyes and at times just wanted to run. Speaking of JJ the kid just worked his butt off but somehow had to get his outside the offense. Finally JP, coming off a foot injury his junior season, never became Chris Allen-lite and at times seemed uncomfortable being option 1 or 2, surprising considering his Junior season when his absence was felt big time. For all that teams success I’m sure they knew they culd ahv edone more and let a CIF Championship slip through their fingers.

    This year’s team seems different somehow. I’m surprised by who doesn’t play as much who does and the rotation at times seems forced. With so many players on the team, 17 at last count, it’s surpising how often the team doesn’t press or run with Reyes on the court. Players develop at different rates, as last year’s team proved, but somehow I thought Andres and Jeremy would play more prominemt roles given their athleticism, especially on defense. Still I have faith that both will come up huge down the road.

    On the positive side I see Prater has developed the confidence to hit shots but still has to commit to the boards on both ends of tehe court. Odom has been very good on the defensive side of the ball when Hemsley is running the show and Clayton just needs to settle down and shot in rythym instead of watching teams sag and freezing. Time to develop a tear drop shot considering the best rebounder on the Valley plays for Damien and put backs is his bread and butter.

    Chino Hills will be a huge test tonight to see where both programs will be this time next year, after Chris Reyes is gone. My guess after watching both teams play for years is Chino Hills will not go down without a fight. Expect a great game at all levels!!!

  • Damien Fan

    Class of 2012 Fan

    I’m not too familiar with the names but carrying 17 will surely leave some players with very little court time. It boils down to who can defend and play efficiently.

    I agree that this year’s team has the ability to run and play an uptempo game, obviously within the confines of the system. I’ve only seen a few break aways where the guards stole telegraphed passes for a layup or when the ball was rebounded and passed court length for an easy bucket. I sure wish the PG would push the ball more and not wait for the defense to set up.

    Tonight’s game, IMO, will define each club’s season. The winning team will be league champs.