So the Whittier-area boys basketball preview that publishes Wednesday takes a look at my top five area teams. They are: 1. Cantwell-Sacred Heart; 2. La Mirada; 3. El Rancho; 4. Santa Fe; 5. Pioneer. My reasons are explained in the story.
Here’s a look at my next five, and a quick thought on each. As with my preseason football Top 10 – which had La Mirada in the first spot – these are educated guesses at best. As the season grinds on, the best teams will sort themselves out and the picture will become clearer.
6. Cal – The two-time defending Del Rio League champions have a new coach, but return only two players that made significant contributions a year ago.
7. La Habra – With a junior-heavy team last season, the Highlanders reached the Division 2A playoffs. They’re seniors now, and could be a part of the Freeway League mix.
8. Montebello – First-year coach Nathan Yu has a luxury in the Almont League – size. Senior wing Andy Munoz, an All-Almont League first teamer last year, is 6-6.
9. Whittier – The Cardinals return three starters from a year ago, including leading scorer Guillermo Blas, an All-DRL first-team selection.
10. St. Paul – The Swordsmen beat Cantwell in league play last season and got to the second round of the 4A playoffs, but nine seniors graduated.