By Mark Tennis
Contributing: Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens
Top-ranked girls basketball teams by division heading into the first week of February and the close of the regular season in some parts of the state are Mater Dei (D1), Carondelet (D2), Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland (D3), Windward of Los Angeles (D4) and Brookside Christian of Stockton (D5).
All teams have been ranked according to their CIF divisions, but some will obviously be pulled up into the new CIF Open Division for the Northern California and Southern California regional playoffs. We have indicated which teams in which divisions are eligible for the Open Division so readers can then visualize which non-Open Division teams may end up battling it out for the various CIF divisional state titles.
Of the top-ranked teams this week, Mater Dei, Carondelet, Bishop O’Dowd and Windward all look like they’ll be in the open division.
Teams throughout the state also can petition the CIF to be considered for the open division once they have qualified for the regional playoffs. This likely isn’t going to happen, though, for any team that is outside top 10 overall in the state.
(After results of Saturday, Jan. 26 with some scores from early this week indicated)
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 21-0
2. (2) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 20-1
3. (3) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 19-3
4. (4) Santiago (Corona) 20-2
5. (5) Troy (Fullerton) 17-3
6. (6) Millikan (Long Beach) 21-2
7. (7) Etiwanda 20-2
8. (8) Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley) 19-2
9. (14) Heritage (Brentwood) 15-4
10. (12) Hanford 17-4
11. (9) Centennial (Corona) 18-3
12. (10) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 18-3*
13. (13) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 18-5
14. (11) Brea Olinda (Brea) 17-4
15. (NR) Kennedy (Sacramento) 16-4
Dropped Out: Previous No. 15 Bishop Amat (La Puente).
Eligible for Open Division: Mater Dei, Stockton St. Mary’s, Long Beach Poly, Berkeley, Brea Olinda, Hanford, Sacramento Kennedy, Harbor City Narbonne.
Teams on the Bubble: A.B. Miller (Fontana) 18-3, Berkeley 11-9, Bishop Amat (La Puente) 17-7, Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley) 12-8, Clovis West (Fresno) 14-5, Deer Valley (Antioch) 11-7, Granite Hills (El Cajon) 17-5, Narbonne (Harbor City) 15-8, Oakland Tech (Oakland) 15-3, Stockdale (Bakersfield) 16-4, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 17-2.
Notes & Highlights: There were no changes in the top eight of this division covering the last two weeks. The only team that lost was Long Beach Poly and that was in overtime to D4 No. 1 Windward. Heritage made the boldest move up from No. 14 to No. 9 based on getting wins over Deer Valley of Antioch and Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills. Of the teams now in the top 10, seven are projected to be in the field for the loaded CIF Southern Section Division IAA playoffs. The only top 15 ranked team from above that is slated for the CIFSS Division IA playoffs is No. 13 Vista Murrieta. Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly, Santiago, Troy, Millikan and Etiwanda will all be battling for top seeds over the next week. Mater Dei and Poly obviously seem safe for No. 1 and No. 2.
1. (2) Carondelet (Concord) 16-3
2. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 15-5
3. (8) Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 18-3
4. (4) Cajon (San Bernardino) 21-0
5. (10) J.W. North (Riverside) 14-4
6. (9) Lynwood 14-5
7. (5) Sacramento 17-4
8. (3) Mark Keppel (Alhambra) 19-4
9. (6) McNair (Stockton) 21-2
10. (7) Woodbridge (Irvine) 20-3
Dropped Out: None.
Eligible for Open Division: Archbishop Mitty, Carondelet, Lynwood, Sacramento.
Teams on the Bubble: Bonita (La Verne) 18-5, Canyon (Canyon Country) 18-4, Clayton Valley (Concord) 15-6, Garces (Bakersfield) 19-2, Gregori (Modesto) 20-1, Lynbrook (San Jose) 16-3, Lutheran (Orange) 18-3, Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 19-4, Patriot (Riverside) 20-2, Serra (San Diego) 15-6, St. Francis (Mountain View) 16-5.
Notes & Highlights: Carondelet and Mitty flip-flop at the top based on Mitty taking recent losses to Sacred Heart Cathedral (a team the Monarchs beat earlier) and Miramonte of Orinda (a team ranked No. 11 overall in the state). Both teams are likely going to be in the Open Division in the north so the divisional title in the north should be more wide open than in recent years. In the south, Cajon remains unbeaten and largely untested and like the Bishop Montgomery boys would have the option of petitioning up to the open division if it were to finish the section playoffs with no losses. It’s hard to see Cajon, though, taking a crack at Mater Dei, Windward and Long Beach Poly when it has never won a divisional state crown. In this week’s rankings, we even moved up Ridgeview in front of Cajon due to Ridgeview posting a win over Serra of Gardena. It’s close, but Cajon has yet to beat a team as good as the Cavaliers.
1. (1) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 16-3
2. (2) Chaminade (West Hills) 20-2
3. (3) Miramonte (Orinda) 19-1
4. (4) Alemany (Mission Hills) 18-6
5. (7) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 15-4
6. (10) Campolindo (Moraga) 17-3
7. (5) El Dorado (Placentia) 20-3
8. (6) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 14-6
9. (NR) Enterprise (Redding) 20-1
10. (NR) Jurupa Valley 22-1
Dropped Out: Previous No. 8 Laguna Hills, No. 9 Santa Barbara.
Eligible for Open Division: Bishop O’Dowd, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Laguna Hills.
Teams on the Bubble: Burlingame 16-2, Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 15-7, Laguna Hills 17-5, Lakeside (Lake Elsinore) 20-3, Modesto Christian 16-7, Oak Park (Agoura Hills) 14-7, Santa Barbara 17-7, Selma 22-1, Vanden (Travis AFB) 20-3.
Notes & Highlights: Bishop O’Dowd, which would be considered the NorCal open division favorite at this time, continues to roll atop this division. Both No. 3 Miramonte and No. 6 Campolindo also are from the same CIF North Coast Section as the Dragons. It also looks like Miramonte wouldn’t be eligible for the open division so whichever team ends the section playoffs as the runner-up to O’Dowd could be a favorite for the CIF Division III state title. Two teams from outside the usual contingent of perennial powers in this division to get ranked this week are Enterprise and Jurupa Valley. Enterprise has emerged as the best overall squad in the CIF Northern Section and features big-time freshman point guard Kamira Sanders. Jurupa Valley is state-ranked for the first time and is coming in after a big win over D2 bubble team Patriot of Riverside.
1. (1) Windward (Los Angeles) 21-0
2. (2) St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 17-4
3. (4) Salesian (Richmond) 19-4
4. (5) La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 9-10
5. (7) JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 17-5
6. (9) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 15-5
7. (8) St. Bernard (Playa del Rey) 14-5
8. (3) Serra (Gardena) 17-5
9. (NR) Bishop’s (La Jolla) 15-8
10. (NR) Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento) 19-2
Dropped Out: Previous No. 6 Bishop Montgomery (Torrance), No. 10 Piedmont.
Eligible for Open Division: Windward, Berkeley St. Mary’s, La Jolla Country Day, Gardena Serra, Salesian.
Teams on the Bubble: Argonaut (Sutter Creek) 21-0, Bear River (Lake of the Pines) 20-2, Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 19-5, Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 12-5, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 16-3, Piedmont 15-5, St. Anthony (Long Beach) 12-9, St. Joseph (Santa Maria) 14-7, St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs) 13-11.
Notes & Highlights: After Windward and St. Mary’s, the order of the teams between No. 3 and No. 8 probably can be adjusted on a daily basis. The group is just that closely bunched. La Jolla Country Day still has a losing record, but actually had to move up in the divisional rankings because its two most recent losses were by just 11 and six points, respectively, to Stockton St. Mary’s and Bishop O’Dowd. The Torreys also got a quality win last week against D5 No. 2 Horizon. Bishop’s notched a win over Horizon as well and in addition got a win recently against Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. That more than counter-balanced losses by Bishop’s to Centennial of Las Vegas and national power Riverdale Baptist of Maryland. Getting a win over Modesto Christian, meanwhile, was the impetus to put Bradshaw Christian in there in the 10th spot instead of keeping Piedmont or pulling up undefeated Argonaut.
1. (1) Brookside Christian (Stockton) 18-4
2. (2) Horizon (San Diego) 16-6
3. (3) Eastside College Prep (E. Palo Alto) 14-5
4. (NR) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 16-7
5. (4) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 15-4
6. (5) Valley Christian (Dublin) 18-2
7. (6) International (San Francisco) 19-2
8. (7) Mesa Grande Academy (Calimesa) 18-3
9. (8) Turlock Christian 19-3
10. (9) Desert (Edwards) 15-1
Dropped Out: Previous No. 10 Pacific Collegiate (Santa Cruz).
Eligible for Open Division: Brookside Christian.
Teams on the Bubble: Animo South (Los Angeles) 18-5, Central Catholic (Modesto) 13-5, Loma Linda Academy (Loma Linda) 20-3, Pacific Collegiate (Santa Cruz) 13-3, Providence (Burbank) 13-8, Ripon Christian 14-6.
Notes & Highlights: Sierra Canyon had to be inserted into this divisional ranking with a win over D4 ranked St. Bernard of Playa del Rey. The Trailblazers’ also have solid wins against Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood and St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs. In addition, all of their losses except one are to highly ranked opponents. It was easy to slot Sierra Canyon in between Eastside College Prep and Pinewood because ECP topped Pinewood 53-38 last week. Other than Brookside Christian and Horizon (which lost in showcase events to top-ranked foes), no other ranked teams in the last two weeks lost. That was too bad because someone had to drop to make room for Sierra Canyon and that had to be previous No. 10 Pacific Collegiate. That team can now consider itself No. 11.
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