By Mark Tennis
Contributing: Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens
There should be some top matchups in CIF sectional playoff games by the end of this week but until then the state’s best girls basketball teams – for all five divisions combined – are going to be almost universally in cruise control.
The top-ranked teams by division heading into Wednesday’s games of this were 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 by Cal-Hi Sports 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, Feb. 16 with some scores from early this week indicated)
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 26-0
2. (2) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 25-2
3. (3) Santiago (Corona) 25-2
4. (4) Troy (Fullerton) 24-3
5. (5) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 23-4
6. (6) Etiwanda 25-2
7. (7) Millikan (Long Beach) 25-3
8. (8) Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley) 24-2
9. (9) Hanford 22-4
10. (10) Heritage (Brentwood) 22-4
11. (11) Centennial (Corona) 22-4
12. (12) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 23-3*
13. (13) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 23-5
14. (14) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 22-2
15. (15) Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley) 16-9
Dropped Out: None.
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) 22-4, Berkeley 16-10, Bishop Amat (La Puente) 20-8, Clovis West (Fresno) 20-5, Deer Valley (Antioch) 16-9, Granite Hills (El Cajon) 21-6, Great Oak (Temecula) 18-7, Kennedy (Sacramento) 21-5, McClymonds (Oakland) 22-3, Narbonne (Harbor City) 20-8, Stockdale (Bakersfield) 22-4.
Notes & Highlights: It was almost sad to see Brea Olinda of Brea getting knocked out early in this year’s CIFSS Division I-AA playoffs by Great Oak of Temecula. In recent seasons, even last year, the Ladycats have been among the state and the nation’s top-ranked squads. Great Oak advanced to a Wednesday matchup this week against Long Beach Poly. Probable quarterfinal matchups in the division include the Jackrabbits against Etiwanda, Santiago vs. Millikan, Troy vs. Rancho Verde and Mater Dei vs. Corona Centennial.
1. (1) Carondelet (Concord) 23-3
2. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 21-6
3. (3) Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 22-3
4. (4) Cajon (San Bernardino) 26-0
5. (5) Lynwood 19-5
6. (6) Sacramento 23-4
7. (7) Mark Keppel (Alhambra) 24-4
8. (8) J.W. North (Riverside) 18-5
9. (9) Woodbridge (Irvine) 25-3
10. (10) Canyon (Canyon Country) 23-4
Dropped Out: None.
Eligible for Open Division: Archbishop Mitty, Carondelet, Lynwood, Sacramento.
Teams on the Bubble: Bonita (La Verne) 23-5, Clayton Valley (Concord) 20-6, Garces (Bakersfield) 25-2, Gregori (Modesto) 24-1, Lynbrook (San Jose) 19-4, Lutheran (Orange) 22-5, McNair (Stockton) 24-3, Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 22-5, Patriot (Riverside) 24-3, Serra (San Diego) 21-6, St. Francis (Mountain View) 19-7.
Notes & Highlights: In addition to all 10 ranked teams winning all of its games last week, all of the bubble teams from last week were winners as well, with the lone exception being Mountain View St. Francis, although the Lancers’ loss was to Archbishop Mitty. Cajon of San Bernardino is expected to get to 27-0 on Wednesday night, but the Cowgirls could then get a test against either Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach or Bonita of La Verne. Those two teams also were scheduled to play on Wednesday.
1. (1) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 23-3
2. (2) Miramonte (Orinda) 25-1
3. (3) Chaminade (West Hills) 24-3
4. (4) Alemany (Mission Hills) 23-5
5. (5) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 20-5
6. (7) Campolindo (Moraga) 22-4
7. (8) Enterprise (Redding) 25-1
8. (9) Jurupa Valley 27-1
9. (6) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 18-8
10. (10) Santa Barbara 22-7
Dropped Out: None.
Eligible for Open Division: Bishop O’Dowd, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Laguna Hills. Note: Miramonte also has been told by CIF North Coast Section officials that it also will be eligible for the open division in the north.
Teams on the Bubble: Agoura (Agoura Hills) 18-11, Burlingame 25-2, Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 20-7, El Dorado (Placentia) 24-4, Laguna Hills 21-7, Lakeside (Lake Elsinore) 24-4, Oak Park (Agoura Hills) 18-9, Patterson 23-2, Selma 28-1, Vanden (Travis AFB) 24-3.
Notes & Highlights: We had to go all the way to No. 6 in Division III before finding a team from last week’s rankings that lost and had to drop in this week’s rankings. That team was St. Ignatius of San Francisco. Even so, the Wildcats’ loss was to No. 5 Sacred Heart Cathedral so they only fell three spots. The only bubble team that lost and had its season end was Sonora of La Habra. It was a bad week for that school. Its boys team also was upset and dropped out of the Division III boys rankings.
1. (1) Windward (Los Angeles) 27-0
2. (2) St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 25-4
3. (3) Salesian (Richmond) 23-6
4. (4) JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 22-6
5. (5) Serra (Gardena) 23-5
6. (6) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 21-6
7. (7) La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 14-11
8. (8) St. Bernard (Playa del Rey) 24-7
9. (9) Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 19-5
10. (10) Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento) 23-2
Dropped Out: None.
Eligible for Open Division: Windward, Berkeley St. Mary’s, La Jolla Country Day, Gardena Serra, Salesian.
Teams on the Bubble: Argonaut (Sutter Creek) 27-0, Bear River (Lake of the Pines) 23-3, Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 22-7, Bishop’s (La Jolla) 17-11, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 21-3, Piedmont 19-8, Ripon 22-4, Soquel 24-2, St. Anthony (Long Beach) 17-10, St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs) 17-11.
Notes & Highlights: Bubble team Argonaut improved to 28-0 with a win in Tuesday’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs, which for one night anyway is better than even Mater Dei or Windward. The Mustangs haven’t played a tough schedule, which is why they aren’t ranked despite their record. The section playoff pairings were even more unkind as Argonaut was seeded only at No. 4, behind Bear River, Bradshaw Christian and Colfax. The best games in Wednesday’s CIFSS Division IV-AA quarterfinals were Serra of Gardena vs. St. Anthony of Long Beach and Oaks Christian vs. St. Bernard.
1. (1) Brookside Christian (Stockton) 23-4
2. (2) Horizon (San Diego) 20-7
3. (3) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 19-9
4. (4) Eastside College Prep (E. Palo Alto) 20-6
5. (5) Valley Christian (Dublin) 26-2
6. (6) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 20-6
7. (7) Mesa Grande Academy (Calimesa) 24-3
8. (8) Desert (Edwards) 21-1
9. (9) Ripon Christian (Ripon) 19-6
10. (10) Turlock Christian 23-4
Dropped Out: None.
Eligible for Open Division: Brookside Christian.
Teams on the Bubble: Animo South (Los Angeles) 23-5, Central Catholic (Modesto) 16-7, Flintridge Prep (La Canada) 18-7, International (San Francisco) 25-3, Providence (Burbank) 18-9, Urban (San Francisco) 21-6.
Notes & Highlights: For the third time this season, perennial power Pinewood lost last week to Eastside College Prep. This time, the score was 54-30. Often, the two usually meet a fourth time in the CIF Central Coast Section Division V championship. They may meet again in this year’s CCS playoffs, but both were placed into the new CCS open division. Pinewood plays Archbishop Mitty in one quarterfinal while Eastside is meeting St. Francis of Mountain View. No matter what happens both teams will be advanced by the CCS to the Northern California regional playoffs and would then likely be in the NorCal D5 bracket. Inserting any D5 team into either the NorCal or SoCal open division brackets (even if that team technically meets the criteria) would be ridiculous and if that were to happen would make whichever team wins the D5 state title an illegitimate champion.
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