How Good is Montebello?

It’s a frequent question asked and one that I’ve heard several times already. Just how good is the Montebello High School boys basketball team?

Heading into tonight’s contest at 7 p.m. versus Almont League rival Alhambra (3-18 overall, 0-5 in league), the Daily News’ top-ranked Oilers are 22-1 overall and 5-0 in league.

According to, Montebello is ranked No. 33 in state and No. 17 in the entire CIF-Southern Section. On the other hand, Montebello is unranked in the Los Angeles Times’ Top 25.

The Oilers’ record has earned them much praise, and as expected, criticism.

One of the gripes I’ve heard is that they haven’t played anybody.

Yet, how true is that complaint when they’ve beaten Sunny Hills (19-3), Anaheim Canyon (16-6), Santa Margarita (10-10), Sonora (17-5), La Caada (16-4) and Keppel (17-4).

I’ve also heard that the Oilers are a one-man team. Again, how true is that?

Montebello has the three-headed monster of 6-foot-3 senior forward Andrew Torres (14.7 points a game), 5-10 junior guard Michael Carabes (14.6) and 6-11 center Antonio Worthy (11.6) along with the impressive ball-handling skills of point guard Marcos Mejia.

So, is Montebello for real?

I think the Oilers are legit. When the ball is distributed more and there isn’t that one dominant star, like La Mirada’s Derrick Williams and La Habra’s Jordan Sachs, there is this tendency to think a team isn’t as talented. Yet, the truly dangerous teams are the ones with options, right?

I’m only disappointed Montebello will enter the playoffs in Div. 1-AA, arguably the nation’s toughest playoff division. Let’s just hope they don’t open with Long Beach Poly again.

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