As a freelance team, it’s probably safe to say that the Price High School boys’ basketball team stands alone — literally — as one of the candidates for the CIF Southern Section elite Open Division playoff bracket.
Price (20-5), coached by Michael Lynch, travels to St. Anthony (6-16) for its final regular-season game on Feb. 13. The Knights are classified in Division VI without a league home, but opponents are not complaining. The perception among some avid prep basketball followers is that if Price were to be placed in a league, it would likely dominate with few worries.
Any team that has Price’s leadership and talent of Christian Little, LaRond Williams, James Washington, Deandre Johnson, Donnell Murray, Roderick Williams and Kesean Davis would have a proud coach like Lynch, who won his 500th game recently and was honored after the Knights’ game against Renaissance Academy on Feb. 4.
Under Lynch’s tenure, Price’s pedigree of six CIF state championships, seven Southern California Regional titles and 10 Southern Section championships in the past 11 years also speaks volumes about the program’s consistency.
Here is a brief look at other local Southern Section boys’ basketball teams which are in contention for the playoffs, considered by division, followed by the girls’ teams.
There is a good chance the Open Division boys’ bracket could include Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary, Cathedral, La Mirada, Lawndale, Loyola and St. John Bosco, competing against the likes of powerful teams like Mater Dei, Bishop Montgomery, Redondo Union, Long Beach Poly and others.
In the 2A Division, Compton and Lynwood appear to have their reservations confirmed. In the 3A Division, Leuzinger is currently trying to stay in the hunt with a late-season push. In the 4AA Division, Morningside, once a long-time perennial contender during the late 1980s and 90s, is in the lions’ den, surrounded by hungry contenders like Chaminade, Orange Lutheran, Crespi, Harvard-Westlake, Oaks Christian and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and J Serra.
Windward (Division 5AA) and St. Bernard (Division 5A) both are sure to maintain their qualifying spots.
Among local girls’ teams likely to secure playoff berths are Serra and Windward (Open Division); Lynwood (Division 1AA); Mark Keppel (Division 2AA); Lawndale (Division 2A); St. Paul, Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary, Marlborough and Notre Dame Academy (Division 4A); St. Bernard (Division 5A); Price and Pilgrim (Division 6).