Unbeaten La Habra will get its toughest test of the season Friday when it hosts Mission Viejo at Cerritos College.
Both teams sport 3-0 records, and both are ranked No. 2 in their CIF-SS playoff divisions, Mission Viejo in the Pac-5, La Habra in the Southwest.
Other teams facing their stiffest competition this week will be unbeaten Santa Fe and Whittier Christian. Seven of this weekend’s games feature at least one team ranked in its division.
Here’s a look at the schedule and my picks for the week.
La Mirada (0-3) at St. Francis (2-0) – La Mirada
Westlake (2-1) vs. La Serna (2-1) at Cal High – La Serna
Mission Viejo (3-0) vs. La Habra (3-0) at Cerritos College – Mission Viejo
Santa Fe (3-0) at Corona Santiago (1-2) – Corona Santiago
St. Margaret’s (2-0) vs. Whittier Christian (3-0) at Whittier College – Whittier Christian
Cal (1-1) at Fullerton (3-0) – Fullerton
Schurr (0-2) at Diamond Ranch (2-1) – Diamond Ranch
Norwalk (3-0) vs. Whittier (2-1) at Cal High – Norwalk
Montebello (1-2) at El Rancho (1-2) – El Rancho
Damien (1-1) at St. Paul (0-3) – Damien
Mountain View (2-0) vs. Pioneer (2-1) at La Mirada High – Pioneer
L.A. Roosevelt (3-0) at Cantwell-Sacred Heart (0-2) – L.A. Roosevelt
Led by sophomore goalie Jason Curiel and an effective transition game, El Rancho High’s boys water polo team earned a 23-10 nonleague victory over host Warren on Wednesday.
Curiel made 11 saves and added eight steals with aggressive play around his cage, which triggered the Dons’ counterattack. Parlox Rodriguez had four assists and Ricardo Robles scored seven times as El Rancho improved to 5-2.
“He’s the backbone,” El Rancho coach John Pringle said of Curiel. “We put a lot of faith in him. He’s aggressive, but he takes smart risks.”
With Curiel directing the attack, El Rancho consistently beat Warren in transition and converted outnumbered chances. Robles scored goals in the third quarter on two-on-one and three-on-one chances, and Curiel added an assist in the fourth with a nice pass to Daniel Gomez.
“We can create (offensive opportunities) with our defense and our team speed,” said Pringle. “If we can (finish scoring chances) on a consistent basis, we’re gonna be very competitive in (the Del Rio League).”
For the first time in three weeks, the No. 1 team in the Daily News football poll kept that position, with unbeaten La Habra earning a convincing 41-7 victory over St. Paul.
The Highlanders, ranked No. 2 in the CIF-SS Southwest Division poll, held onto the spot after both La Mirada and La Serna suffered losses soon after topping the Daily News poll. But they’ll get their toughest test of the young season Friday when they host Mission Viejo at Cerritos College. The Diablos are ranked No. 2 in the Pac-5 Division.
La Serna rebounded from its loss to Los Osos by whipping Schurr and held the No. 2 position, but La Mirada’s third consecutive defeat sent it from No. 3 to No. 4 this week. Fresh off Christian Lara’s record-setting performance last week, Santa Fe moved fourth to third. But the Chiefs (3-0) will have a big challenge this week when they visit Corona Santiago.
Seven of the 12 area games this week feature an opponent ranked among the top 10 in its playoff division. Norwalk, ranked No. 1 in the Southeast Division, will take on Whittier at Cal High, and Whittier Christian hosts St. Margaret’s, the No. 2 team in the East Valley Division.
1. La Habra (3-0)
2. La Serna (2-1)
3. Santa Fe (3-0)
4. La Mirada (0-3)
5. Whittier Christian (3-0)
6. Cal (1-1)
7. El Rancho (1-2)
8. Montebello (1-2)
9. Whittier (2-1)
10. Schurr (0-2)
1. La Habra (3-0): Defeated St. Paul 41-7
2. La Serna (2-1): Defeated Schurr 39-8
3. La Mirada (0-3): Lost to Servite 38-14
4. Santa Fe (3-0): Defeated Godiniez 49-6
5. Whittier Christian (3-0): Defeated Whittier 27-20
6. Cal (1-1): Lost to Troy 35-6
7. El Rancho (1-2): Lost to Bell Gardens 41-25
8. Schurr (0-2): Lost to La Serna 39-8
9. Whittier (2-1): Lost to Whittier Christian 27-20
10. Montebello (1-2): Defeated S. El Monte 57-21
This week’s schedule
All times 7 p.m. unless noted
Westlake vs. La Serna at Cal High
La Mirada at St. Francis
Mission Viejo vs. La Habra at Cerritos College, 7:30 p.m.
Santa Fe at Corona Santiago
St. Margaret’s vs. Whittier Christian at Whittier College
Cal at Animo South L.A.
Montebello at El Rancho
Schurr at Diamond Ranch
Norwalk vs. Whittier at Cal High
Damien at St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
Mountain View vs. Pioneer at La Mirada High
Roosevelt at Cantwell-Sacred Heart