Boys’ basketball: Bishop Montgomery begins the year at No. 1

David Singleton (34) and Bishop Montgomery are looking to repeat as CIF Open Division state champions.
(Nick Koza / For The Times)

A look at The Times’ preseason top 25 high school boys’ basketball teams in the Southland:

Rk. School: Comments by Eric Sondheimer

1. BISHOP MONTGOMERY: Guards David Singleton and Gianni Hunt are better than ever.

2. MATER DEI: No Bol Bol, but Spencer Freedman, Michael Chang lead the way.

3. SIERRA CANYON: After Jan. 1, team will have five top transfers in its starting lineup.


4. CHINO HILLS: Andre Ball is much improved, and Onyeka Okongwu is terrific.

5. FAIRFAX: The Lions need Kirk Smith to rebound, block shots and stay calm.

6. WESTCHESTER: Jeremiah Turley and Jordan Brinson are the top guard duo.

7. OAK PARK: Riley Battin’s scoring and rebounding lift the Eagles.

8. CRESPI: Brandon Williams is back, so beware.

9. PASADENA: Bryce Hamilton and Darius Brown are outstanding guards.

10. SANTA MARGARITA: The Eagles have size, strength and toughness.

11. CORONA CENTENNIAL: A young team will be very good at season’s end.

12. DAMIEN: Cameron Shelton is ready for a big season.

13. RANCHO CHRISTIAN: Watch out for the Mobley brothers.

14. LONG BEACH POLY: No size here, but the guards know how to play defense.

15. EASTVALE ROOSEVELT: There’s talent to cause trouble.

16. TAFT: If 6-10 Antwan January stays eligible, Toreadors can be very good.

17. ALEMANY: Fred Odhiambo, a 7-footer, must be dealt with.

18. DOMINGUEZ: The Dons’ guard play should be outstanding.

19. WINDWARD: Jules Bernard leads Wildcats.

20. HARVARD-WESTLAKE: This young team will have great chemistry.

21. BIRMINGHAM:: Devonaire Doutrive should lead the City Section in scoring.

22. MAYFAIR: Josh Christopher is a future star.

23. ROLLING HILLS PREP: The State Division V champs all return.

24. JSERRA: Lots of size will aid the Lions, led by 6-11 Joel Mensah.

25. CAPISTRANO VALLEY: Dawson Baker leads four returning starters.