Unbeaten No More

As is the norm at this time of the boys basketball season you can start counting the number of unbeaten teams in the state on one hand. Muir of Pasadena was on the list heading into its matchup on Friday against Pasadena but dropped off of it by the time the night was over.

With first place in the Pacific League on the line, Muir lost its first game of the season after 18 straight wins to its crosstown rivals, 54-42. The loss also should cost the Mustangs a few spots in the CalHiSports.com state rankings. They were No. 2 in Div. III and No. 13 overall coming into the week.

Two keys in the game went in Pasadena's favor. First, the Bulldogs' backcourt of Dino Wilburn and Duwan Rice was dominant and Pasadena center MacKensie Clark was able to match the output of 6-11 Muir center Ryan Hollins.

Wilburn and Rice scored their team's last eight points of the game and finished with a combined 35 points and eight steals. Muir's backcourt just did not match up. Clark scored 12 points and had seven rebounds, not awe-inspiring totals to be sure, but Hollins was nearly identical with 11 points and eight rebounds.

The win upped Pasadena's record to 14-4 overall and 4-0 in league.

Two other undefeated teams that played on Friday remained undefeated.

In southern California, Centennial of Compton took on El Segundo in an Ocean League game that matched the state's No. 1 team in Div. III against the state's No. 2 team in Div. IV. This time, Div. III got the win as Centennial used a strong fourth quarter to defeat El Segundo, 55-44.

Darius Sanders had 16 points and six rebounds to lead Centennial, which ran by the Eagles with a 16-6 surge in the final quarter. Sanders also helped put the clamps on El Segundo standout Dashawn Strong, who had 22 points but only two in the final period.

In northern California, California High of San Ramon improved to 16-0 for the season with a 72-45 triumph over San Ramon Valley of Danville in an East Bay Athletic League game. The Grizzlies took command with a 20-6 edge in the second quarter. George Tucker led in scoring with 25 points and Brian Elbogen added 16.

Like Muir, which also will run into Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta, in its league, both Centennial and California play in leagues that will test them. In addition to El Segundo, North Torrance and South Torrance are capable of giving the Apaches a close encounter. California's tough league foes include Monte Vista of Danville, Amador Valley of Pleasanton and Foothill of Pleasanton.

Entering this week, Centennial and California are the state's only undefeated teams from schools with enrollments in Div. I, Div. II or Div. III. There are a handful of squads still unbeaten from the small school ranks, such as Oaks Christian of Westlake Village (16-0), but other than that that's it for the entire state.

Note: The Pasadena Star-News, South Bay Daily Breeze and Contra Costa Times were utilized in compiling this writeup.

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