Fryer on basketball: South Coast battles begin
A look at Orange County boys basketball:
•Finally, every county league will be involved in league play, beginning this week. The South Coast League starts league action with these great matchups: El Toro (14-4), No. 9 in the county rankings, at No. 7 Tesoro (14-3); and Aliso Niguel (14-4) at No. 2 Mission Viejo (15-1) on Wednesday; and Mission Viejo at El Toro on Friday.
•Besides the South Coast League, these leagues begin league games this week: Academy, Express, Garden Grove, Golden West, Orange, Orange Coast, Pacific Coast, San Joaquin and Sea View. League play started last week or last month in several other leagues.
•Mater Dei is the only county team in CalHiSports' California top 20, at No. 2. Long Beach Poly is No. 1. St. John Bosco of Bellflower is No. 5.
•Mater Dei plays at St. John Bosco on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (The gym doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Anticipating high demand for tickets, Bosco is selling tickets in advance at its main office Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Go to bosco.org for more information, including ticket prices.
•If Mater Dei sells tickets in advance for the Wednesday game at St. John Bosco, it will announce details at materdei.org.
•Other top games this week: Tuesday – Northwood at Woodbridge, and Corona del Mar at Irvine (Pacific Coast League); Wednesday – JSerra at Servite (Trinity), and Los Alamitos at Edison (Sunset); Friday – Canyon at Villa Park (Century), and Mater Dei at Orange Lutheran (Trinity).
•To find out which CIF-Southern Section playoff division a team is in, go to cifss.org and work your way through sports, basketball, boys basketball and then click on "Events & News" to find the listings of the playoff divisions and their teams. The top division, Division 1AA, is talent-heavy as expected. Five teams in the state top eight are in 1AA.
•Stanley Johnson's week: The Mater Dei 6-foot-7 junior scored 19 points with 13 rebounds in the Monarchs' victory over JSerra last Wednesday; two days later, he scored 17 with nine rebounds in a victory over Santa Margarita.
•Orange Lutheran senior Payton Banks scored 25 in a loss to St. John Bosco, and followed with 12 points in limited minutes in a Lutheran victory over Servite on Friday.
•Cypress, in its 51-32 victory over Western in an Empire League game last week, held Western to 18 percent shooting. The Pioneers made only 8 of their 45 shots. Jalen Hall scored 18 points for the Centurions.
•How this writer voted in the Register's county boys basketball media poll this week: 1. Mater Dei; 2. Mission Viejo; 3. Orange Lutheran; 4. JSerra; 5. Tustin; 6. Tesoro; 7. Foothill; 8. El Toro; 9. Sonora; 10. Villa Park. Five media members vote on the weekly county top 10.
•The consensus placed JSerra at No. 3 and Lutheran at No. 4. The reason this ballot had Lutheran at No. 3 and JSerra at No. 4 is that Lutheran lost to St. John Bosco by 14 at St. John Bosco, and JSerra lost to Bosco by 16 at JSerra.
•If a top 25 poll was taken, here is how this writer would vote for places 11-25: 11. Aliso Niguel (14-4 record); 12. Servite (12-5); 13. Santa Margarita (12-5); 14. Fountain Valley (13-4); 15. Huntington Beach (10-6); 16. Canyon (12-6); 17. Troy (14-4); 18. Ocean View (9-5); 19. Northwood (11-5); 20. Laguna Beach (11-6); 21. Dana Hills (13-4); 22. Sunny Hills (13-5); 23. Trabuco Hills (8-7); 24. Brea Olinda (14-3); 25. San Clemente (9-8).
•Official scorekeepers must wear a black-and-white striped shirt or have one displayed at the scorer's table in front of the official scorekeeper, which usually is the home-team scorekeeper, according to National Federation of High School Sports Associations rules.