Posted: 2:40 pm Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Boys’ hoops: Inside the top 10 

By Jeff Greer

Let’s take the weekly look at the boys’ hoops top 10, which is printed every Tuesday in the Post.

After finally seeing Spanish River in person instead of relying on scouting reports, it’s clear to me the Sharks are the best large-school team in the area. John I. Leonard is second-best, though Dwyer is making a very strong argument for that spot. Jupiter, Suncoast and Martin County could give those teams trouble, along with Royal Palm Beach and unranked Palm Beach Lakes.

Here’s this week’s top 10, which you can also view here. I’ve listed each team’s upcoming games. All tips are 7:30, unless noted.

1. Summit Christian (20-2): vs. Santaluces (Thu.)
2. Spanish River (17-2): at Olympic Heights (Tue.), vs. Zion Lutheran (Fri.)
3. Grandview Prep (17-3): at Sagemont (Thu.)
4. St. Andrew’s (18-2): at Village Academy (Tue.), vs. North Broward Prep (Wed.), vs. Pope John Paul II (Fri.)
5. Dwyer (17-6): vs. Palm Beach Lakes (Tue.)
6. John I. Leonard (13-5): at Palm Beach Gardens (Tue.), vs. Boynton Beach (Wed.), at Lake Worth (Fri.)
7. Martin County (20-3): vs. Centennial (Thu.)
8. Jupiter (17-7): vs. Auburndale (Sat.) at Bartow
9. Suncoast (15-5): at Jupiter Christian (Thu.), at Inlet Grove (Sat.)
10. Royal Palm Beach (14-8): vs. Palm Beach Central (Thu.), at Seminole Ridge (Fri.)
Also considered: Atlantic, Jensen Beach, Lake Worth Christian, Palm Beach Lakes.

Instead of breaking down the entire poll, I’ll take the temperature of area hoops as I see ‘em. We may disagree, so let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. (As always, keep it respectful.)

Stock up

It took about five minutes of warmups to realize Spanish River has the best chance at a state-tournament run among the large schools. The Big Four, so to speak, is as good as any I’ve seen. Granted, they don’t have an individual player as good as Jacoby Brissett was for Dwyer last year, but River’s team star power is just as strong as Dwyer’s was a year ago. The Sharks have four big players — 6-6 Evan Kupferberg, 6-3 Reggie Love, 6-1 Dante Scholl and 6-1 Colton Gelb. Gelb and Scholl can shoot. Kupferberg is a handful in the paint. Love does a bit of everything. The biggest concern is foul trouble and depth, and on the occasion when Gelb or Scholl is off, can the other two carry River?

Jupiter has re-kindled the magic after losing four of seven. The Warriors have won three in a row. It’s always going to be about the guards for Jupiter. Bobby Hain and Grant Pelchen will be matchup problems all season long, but that doesn’t matter if teams pack into zones and make Jupiter’s guards beat them. Coach John Andersen has flirted with several lineups, including a big one — with Mike Edgely (6-4) and Angelo Goss (6-4) at the 2 and 3 — and a smaller one, with Kyle Case or Denzel Jones at the 2. Case’s hot shooting lately has helped Jupiter recover from its struggles. If Case stays hot, look out: The Jupiter-Dwyer-Spanish River-Leonard regional would be unbelievably competitive.

Wait ‘n’ see

It took two losses last week, but Grandview Prep is loaded on the perimeter. Daniel Garga’s a stud, as is Ivan Canete, Eric Mance and Kamil Williams. As long as any of those guys is playing well, things will be fine for the Pride.

Stock falling

More like plummeting for Palm Beach Lakes, which went from No. 4 to unranked in two weeks. The Rams are struggling to find their mojo. The only senior on the team, Bruce Harrison, was suspended indefinitely for unspecified reasons. There are a lot of young players getting serious burn, and size and depth hurt Lakes against bigger, tougher teams. It’s been disappointing to see Lakes fall off after such a hot start.