Mission League basketball teams are chasing Harvard-Westlake

It’s the final season of Mission League boys’ basketball before Sierra Canyon joins the league next year. It’s all going to be about chasing Harvard-Westlake for the league title. The basketball season begins next month, and already teams are developing this fall to offer competition to the Wolverines.

During a tournament last weekend in Anaheim, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and St. Francis were impressive and provide strong indications that they will be the top challengers.

Notre Dame finished sixth out of seven teams in league last season, but the Knights get back talented junior Dusty Stromer, who was 6 feet 4 when he played for the Knights as a freshman. He’s now 6-7 and has a UCLA scholarship offer. Ben Shtolzberg, who has committed to Creighton, returns for his fourth season on varsity and continues to be one of the best scorers in the league. The Knights will throw up three-pointers en masse.

St. Francis, with four returning starters, is making steady progress. Jake Goldberg, Buckley DeJardin, Luke McGrath and Jackson Mosley have all improved, making the Golden Knights very dangerous.

Of course, everyone will have to deal with Harvard-Westlake’s size this season. “They’re humongous,” St. Francis coach Todd Wolfson said.

The Wolverines could put on the court 6-8 Brady Dunlap, 6-8 Landon Lewis and 6-8 Jacob Huggins. The guards, who are very experienced, include Cameron Thrower, Trent Perry and Robert Hinton.

Loyola has a new coach from St. Paul in Damaine Powell, who will turn loose point guard Jalen Cox. Alemany has a new coach in Mike Dulaney and will rely on prolific shooter Nico Ponce. Chaminade must come up with new contributors after the graduation of four-year standouts KJ Simpson and Keith Higgins. Crespi will be hoping a couple of promising freshmen will be immediate contributors.

Everyone will be enjoying their final season before that little school in Chatsworth arrives with all its big-name players and an annual wave of transfer students.

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