Servite's Pearson Parker, shown driving to the basket last month against Yorba Linda, has helped the Friars start the season with a 12-5 record. The Friars are on the “watch list” for the Open Division playoffs.

Fryer on basketball: Open 'watch list' loaded with Trinity teams


That Trinity League must be pretty good.

The CIF-Southern Section on Monday released its first Open Division “watch list” – teams that currently are in the running for the Open Division playoffs bracket.

The Open Division teams, up to 16 of them, will be chosen by a selection committee to play in the elite division of the CIF-SS playoffs, which begin in February.

All six Trinty League teams are on the watch list: JSerra, Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran, St. John Bosco, Santa Margarita and Servite. Also on the watch list of 38 teams are Los Alamitos and Villa Park.

The watch list will change during the regular season, with teams being added or dropped by the committee.

Jump stops around Orange County boys basketball:

• Villa Park junior forward Evan Battey scored 20 points with 11 rebounds in a win over Cypress. He followed with 36 points and 16 rebounds in a win over Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. Spartans junior guard Myles Franklin scored 15 points against Cypress and had 24 points and 11 assists against Mira Costa.

• Laguna Beach shot 56 percent in Godinez’s gym in a 67-48 over the Grizzlies in an Orange Coast League game.

• JSerra junior Sebastian Much scored 28 points with 10 rebounds in a 76-53 win over Orangewood Academy. Much was 10-for-18 from the floor and 6-for-7 at the free-throw line.

• The Pacific Coast League is better, top to bottom, than it has been in a long time. Perhaps ever. Beckman lost to Edison by two points, 80-78, as the Patriots’ Michael Yee scored 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field. Beckman had a 22-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

• Saddleback Valley Christian coach Tom Lewis labeled it “the biggest win in SVC basketball history” after the Warriors beat Sheldon of Sacramento, 56-55, last week in the Serra Showcase in Gardena. It was large, no doubt. Sheldon was No. 19 in last week’s California top 20.

• Los Alamitos last week retired the No. 12 jersey of Landry Fields, an All-County and All-CIF player when the Griffins won a CIF-SS championship in the 2005-06 season. Fields also starred at Stanford and played for the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors.

• If the county boys basketball ranking was a top 25, here is how this voter would rank teams 11-25: 11. Edison (13-5); 12. Corona del Mar (13-4); 13. Capistrano Valley Christian (14-4); 14. Saddleback Valley Christian (9-8); 15. Esperanza (11-6); 16. Northwood (13-5); 17. Ocean View (13-4); 18. Newport Harbor (15-3); 19. San Clemente (12-5); 20. Woodbridge (11-6); 21. Beckman (13-4); 22. Buena Park (12-4); 23. Trabuco Hills (11-7); 24. Laguna Beach (12-5); 25. El Toro (13-5). Yes, several other teams were considered. Yes, one or all of those teams might get into that top 25.

• Tickets for the Nike Extravaganza - a two-day basketball event Feb. 5 and 6 at Mater Dei - are on sale each week Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mater Dei basketball office or at the ticket window of the school’s Meruelo Athletic Center. Prices are $12 or $22, depending upon seating choice, with courtside seating packages available. Transactions are cash only.

• USA Today’s Pacific regional top 10 includes three teams that will play in the Nike Extravaganza: No. 1 Chino Hills, No. 8 Mater Dei and No. 9 Shadow Mountain of Phoenix. Mater Dei plays Shadow Mountain on Feb. 5 at 8:30 p.m.

• Some of the Nike Extravaganza matchups on Feb. 6: Santa Margarita vs. Etiwanda, 1:15 p.m.; Fairfax of Los Angeles vs. Los Alamitos, 2:45 p.m., and Westchester vs. Orange Lutheran, 4:15 p.m. Fairfax was No. 9 in last week’s California top 20. Westchester was No. 18.

• State No. 1 Chino Hills, starring UCLA-signee Lonzo Ball and his two younger brothers who also are outstanding players, plays Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas in the Nike Extravaganza on Feb. 6 at 7:15 p.m. Mater Dei, No. 4 in California, plays state No. 6 Foothills Christian, No. 6 in the state and featuring UCLA-bound T.J. Leaf, on Feb. 6 at 8:45 p.m.

• Centennial of Corona played De La Salle of Concord in the CIF State football championships. Their basketball teams play each other in the Nike Extravaganza on Feb. 6 at 5:45 p.m. In the state basketball rankings, Centennial is No. 5 and De La Salle is No. 10.

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