After Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth lost its first game of the season in the title game of the Les Schwab tourney in Oregon, there was serious thought that the Trailblazers should no longer be No. 1 in the state. In the end, that didn’t happen. Read below for quick capsules and quick, free look at the first eight teams in this week’s new state rankings.
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1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 10-1
Nationally-ranked Nathan Hale of Garfield, Wash., was the team to edge the Trailblazers in the championship game of the Les Schwab Invitational, 67-65. They still have win over Oak Hill Academy and are playing national No. 1 La Lumeire of Indianda on Jan. 16.
2. (3) Chino Hills 16-0
The defending national and CIF Open Division champs have a winning streak that is now up to 51 games but there isn’t the signature national win like there was last year in December vs. Montverde Academy.
3. (2) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 12-1
We originally didn’t penalize the Knights too much for dropping their season opener to Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland but have to be behind Chino Hills now.
4. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 16-1
The Monarchs defeated No. 6 Birmingham of Lake Balboa (74-67), Centennial of Corona (51-49) and Damien to capture The Classic at Damien Tourney title.
5. (8) Woodcreek (Roseville) 13-2
This is the spot where the rankings get tricky and we knew it two weeks ago when we were taking in the various holiday tournaments. Junior big man Jordan Brown went for 38 points and 14 rebounds in a loss to Chino Hills.
6. (9) Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 11-3
The Patriots are the early favorites to win the L.A. City Section Open Division title, but have to consistently show they can play and defeat state-ranked teams.
7. (NR) Sheldon (Sacramento) 8-1
Coach Joey Rollings’ club will battle No. 5 Woodcreek for Sac-Joaquin Section D1 supremacy and stamped itself as a contender for the NorCal Open Division crown by advancing to the Rancho Mirage Holiday Invitational title game versus No. 2 Chino Hills and by winning their division at the Tarkanian Classic.
8. (11) Foothills Christian (El Cajon) 12-2
Led by UCLA-bound guard Jalen Hands, the Knights captured the National Division of the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic.