Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog

Quick-hitting, behind-the-scenes news and notes from the CalHiSports.com staff, including previews of upcoming content and events.

Super 8 Girls BB State Ranks Update

There are no new teams in this week’s Super 8, but immediately afterward there are a lot with upsets in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs. The top five in our Super 8 also are top seeded in five different top divisions of various section playoffs.
Read more…


Super 8 Boys State Rankings Update

No. 1 Sierra Canyon avoids being a stunning upset victim in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs, but previous No. 7 Alemany does not. Joining the Super 8 therefore is previous No. 9 Sheldon of Sacramento.
Read more…


Kelsey Plum nears NCAA career record

La Jolla Country Day grad and former Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year moves to within 78 points of NCAA women’s record that was set in 2001.
Read more…


Super 8 Girls BB State Ranks Update

Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa and Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco both move up into the top eight and there’s now just one CIF Southern Section team in the top eight.

NOTE: Our updated State Top 20 with expanded writeups of the first eight teams plus the next 12 and lists of many other teams on the bubble will be posted each week but will require Gold Club membership to see for the rest of the season. Our breakdowns and analysis of what’s coming up and what’s already happened can’t be matched anywhere else because we’ve been following the statewide scene years and years longer than any other media source. For sign up info, CLICK HERE.

(After games of Saturday, Feb. 11)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 20-2
It was a two-win week in the always tough West Catholic Athletic League for the Monarchs but head coach Sue Phillips and her girls nearly stubbed their toes in a 71-65 win at Mountain View St. Francis in a game where they rallied from a 56-53 deficit after three quarters.

Khayla Rooks doesn’t have the huge scoring stats of others in the San Diego Section this season, but her leadership of top team still may get her Player of the Year consideration. Photo: Harold Abend.


2. (2) Clovis West (Fresno) 26-2
The Golden Eagles weren’t expected to break a sweat in Tri-Valley Athletic Conference games against Clovis Buchanan and Clovis East and they didn’t after beating the pair by a 183-42 combined score.

3. (3) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 21-3
The Jackrabbits’ two wins in Moore League games over Cabrillo of Long Beach and Compton last week were by an even greater combined score than what No. 2 Clovis West experienced in its two wins.

4. (4) Mission Hills (San Marcos) 24-2
The only thing notable last week in two Avocado–East League wins was the fact the Grizzlies scored 102 points in both victories over Oceanside El Camino and Oceanside.

5. (5) Carondelet (Concord) 21-4
The East Bay Athletic League is a little tougher than some leagues so the Cougars’ two win last week were still blowouts but not as bad as others.

6. (6) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 21-3
While teams above them other than Mitty had cakewalks in league action, the Dragons hosted a still formidable Stockton St. Mary’s that’s likely still better than many ranked teams and came away with a hard-fought but decisive 71-63 victory.

7. (9) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 23-3
The Cardinals move up with a sound resume that includes a solid 54-36 victory over a Chaminade team that has a win over a Harvard-Westlake team that just pinned a loss on previous No. 8 Alemany.

8. (10) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 14-7
The Irish also benefit from the who-beat-who syndrome in the south, moving up this week while previous No. 7 Sierra Canyon and previous No. 8 Alemany dropped a few spots.


Super 8 Boys BB State Ranks Update

No changes in this week’s Super 8, but the race for top seeds in section playoffs has begun with Sierra Canyon getting it in the insanely loaded CIF Southern Section Open Division and Birmingham of Lake Balboa getting it in the L.A. City Section. We think it should be Woodcreek in the Sac-Joaquin, but it may go to Sacramento Sheldon instead.

NOTE: Our updated State Top 20 with lists of many other teams on the bubble will be posted each week but will require Gold Club membership to see for the rest of the season. Our breakdowns and analysis of what’s coming up and what’s already happened can’t be matched anywhere else because we’ve been following the statewide scene years and years longer than any other media source. For sign up info, CLICK HERE.

(Through games of Saturday Feb. 11; Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 25-1
As expected, Sierra Canyon was awarded the No. 1 seed in the rugged CIFSS Open Division playoffs and opens with 20-7 and state rank bubble club Heritage Christian of Northridge.

2. (2) Chino Hills 27-1
Lost in the hoopla of LaMelo Ball’s 92 points vs. Los Osos was that teammate Eli Scott got a triple-double with 29 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists. Huskies start CIFSS Open Division as No. 2 seed and will play 17-9 JSerra of San Juan Capistrano.

Junior big man Bol Bol dunks in one of his first games for No. 4 Mater Dei. Photo: BallisLife.com.


3. (3) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 23-2
The Knights only had one game last week to close out the regular season and came away with an easy 103-45 victory over Cathedral of Los Angeles.

4. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 28-1
The Monarchs closed out the regular season with coach Gary McKnight winning his 29th consecutive league title and 34th in his 35 years as head coach. They also were seeded ahead of Bishop Montgomery at No. 3 in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs.

5. (5) Woodcreek (Roseville) 23-2
Yes, the Timberwolves had trouble at Granite Bay last week in a 69-60 win, but the team they are battling for the top seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, Sheldon of Sacramento, also had trouble in a four-point win vs. Grant.

6. (6) Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 24-3
After an easy win over El Camino Real, the Patriots earned the top seed in the L.A. City Section Open Division and will open the eight-team bracket against 15-16 Dorsey of Los Angeles.

7. (7) Alemany (Mission Hills) 24-3
In the CIFSS Open Division seedings, the Warriors were only No. 7 behind No. 5 Santa Margarita (our No. 10 team overall in the state) and No. 6 Roosevelt (see below). We’re still sticking with our order until proven otherwise on the court.

8. (8) Roosevelt (Corona) 18-6
Head coach Steve Singleton’s club finished unbeaten in a league that contains another CIFSS Open team (No. 14 Centennial of Corona) and did not lose to another unranked California opponent.


Coaches: Safer Fences Are Better

All coaches and athletic directors who are fans of our content on CalHiSports.com should check out the safer fences for your school facilities that are available from our partners at SPECTO through their Grand Slam Safety fences campaign.
Read more…


Sonora’s Mike Murphy: 600th win

California’s exclusive club of boys basketball coaches to achieve 600 varsity wins improved by one last Thursday when Mike Murphy from Sonora of La Habra guided his team to a 77-48 triumph over Fullerton in the Raiders’ Freeway League finale.

For a look at the all-time state coaching leader list with every coach at 600 wins before the start of this season (Gold Club post), CLICK HERE.

The team had already wrapped up its fifth straight league title and improved to 25-3 heading into the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

It’s easy to get caught up in the Open Division teams in Southern California and lose sight of longtime coaches like Murphy, who are more than happy not to be dealing with the bigger spotlight at other schools but have just as big of an impact on their players’ lives as anyone.

Murphy, who began his career at now-closed Southern California Christian of Anaheim, is in his 27th season of coaching. He was the Orange County Register’s Coach of the Year after the 2014-15 season when Sonora went 29-5 and won the CIF Southern Section 3AA title.

In the win against Fullerton, Kevin Marlow led the way with 24 points and four assists. Making the 600th win more memorable for Murphy also was the fact that his son, Sean, is on this year’s team and posed for photos with his dad after the game with a banner that had been created to celebrate the milestone.

According to our own Cal-Hi Sports record book, Murphy is the 34th coach in state history to reach 600 wins. The last one to get there was Torrance Bishop Montgomery’s Doug Mitchell very early on last season. Mitchell just won his 650th game two weeks ago.

Next coming up to the 600 mark may be Craig Ashmore of Newark-Memorial. Based on results through Saturday, he has 578 career wins. Dave Kleckner of Etiwanda also is on the horizon. He has 559 wins, based on counting up wins after he won his 500th in his fifth game of the 2014-15 season.


Super 8 Girls BB State Ranks Update

There are no changes at the top of this week’s overall pecking order and some of the teams are winning by almost 100-point margins. That will change once the section playoffs get going, which are coming up fast.

NOTE: Our updated State Top 20 with expanded writeups of the first eight teams plus the next 12 and lists of many other teams on the bubble will be posted each week but will require Gold Club membership to see for the rest of the season. Our breakdowns and analysis of what’s coming up and what’s already happened can’t be matched anywhere else because we’ve been following the statewide scene years and years longer than any other media source. For sign up info, CLICK HERE.

(After games of Saturday, Feb. 4)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 18-2
It was just another week at the office for head coach Sue Phillips and her girls in West Catholic Athletic League play after a rocking-chair 70-35 win at crosstown Presentation and another impressive win over Sacred Heart Cathedral, 82-62 in San Francisco, and remember, the Irish and Mitty are the only teams to beat Mission Hills.

Bishop O’Dowd guard Myah Pace is one of the top players in Northern California. Photo: Prep2Prep.com.


2. (2) Clovis West (Fresno) 24-2
Head coach Craig Campbell and his girls won by 25 points at Fresno Clovis North, by 21 points at Fresno Central and then went out of Tri-Rivers Athletic Conference play and put a running clock win on visiting Bakersfield Stockdale.

3. (3) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 18-3
The Jackrabbits blitzed cross-town Millikan in Moore League play and then posted a surprisingly easy 82-56 win over visiting Windward, although it was reported that that team wasn’t at full strength.

4. (4) Mission Hills (San Marcos) 22-2
After moving up one spot last week, there’s nowhere to go and likely won’t be for a while. Head coach Christopher Kroesch and his girls improved to 6-0 in Avocado – East League action after running-clock road wins at Vista Rancho Buena Vista and Vista.

5. (5) Carondelet (Concord) 18-4
The Cougars’ 62-54 win over Salesian probably is a better statement for that team, although it’s just very apparent that although teams like Carondelet and Mission Hills are very good, everyone after the top three teams has a lot of holes.

6. (6) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 18-3
The Dragons came up three spots last week but they can’t pass Carondelet since that team just beat a Salesian team that pinned a one-point loss on them. O’Dowd cruised to wins last week over Berkeley and Piedmont

7. (7) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 19-3
Not much to write home about this week with the only action a 92-point Gold Coast League win over Lancaster Paraclete.

8. (8) Alemany (Mission Hills) 20-5
There are few gimmes in the Mission League and a down West Hills Chaminade proved it by only allowing head coach Bryan Camacho and his girls a seven-point win on the road after Alemany won by 22 points at home.


Super 8 Boys BB State Ranks Update

After the first big four from the CIF Southern Section, there are some other tantalizing potential section playoff matchups from other places, especially the Sac-Joaquin with No. 5 Woodcreek and a team just outside the Super 8.

NOTE: Our updated State Top 20 with lists of many other teams on the bubble will be posted each week but will require Gold Club membership to see for the rest of the season. Our breakdowns and analysis of what’s coming up and what’s already happened can’t be matched anywhere else because we’ve been following the statewide scene years and years longer than any other media source. For sign up info, CLICK HERE.

(Through games of Saturday Feb. 3; Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 23-1
There’s not as much debate now to have the Trailblazers on top now that they can claim a win over Oak Hill Academy while Chino Hills cannot. Marvin Bagley also playing at a level similarly to T.J. Leaf of Foothills Christian last season, but he’s still just a junior.

Mater Dei 7-footer Bol Bol goes way above rim during Friday game at Nike Extravaganza. Photo: Twitter.com.

2. (2) Chino Hills 25-1
AFter the loss to Oak Hill Academy on Saturday broke 60-game win streak, it’s an easy choice to keep the Huskies in front of Bishop Montgomery in the state rankings with one less loss and a tougher schedule.

3. (3) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 22-2
The Knights had two more easy wins in the Del Rey League last week and have one more regular season game on Monday versus L.A. Cathedral before they prepare for the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs.

4. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 26-1
Bol Bol and Justice Seuing combined for 46 points as the Monarchs came away with a 74-62 win over state No. 12 St. Augustine of San Diego in their tougest game of last week, which also was their Saturday game at the Nike Extravaganza.

5. (5) Woodcreek (Roseville) 21-2
We still have the Timberwolves higher than Sacramento Sheldon, which is the Sacramento Bee’s top-ranked team and stayed there even when the Huskies dropped that recent game to San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno. Sheldon did move up to No. 9 this week, though.

6. (6) Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 22-3
The Patriots roared out to a 15-2 lead to start the game and went on to crush Taft of Woodland Hills 116-81 last week in the two teams’ showdown that likely decided the West Valley League championship.

7. (7) Alemany (Mission Hills) 22-3
If there’s a team capable of taking down one of the big four in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs, then it might be the Warriors, especially if junior big man Fred Odhiambo continues to improve his overall skills.

8. (8) Roosevelt (Corona) 16-6 
After wins against Corona (70-46) and M.L. King of Riverside (62-52), the Mustangs clinched their first outright Big VIII League championship.


All-Time All-State Super Bowl Team

In keeping with last week’s first team all-state football format (30 players, six multi-purpose) and including this year’s Super Bowl, won by the New England Patriots in overtime over the Atlanta Falcons, here’s a lineup we’d pick as our All-Time All-State Super Bowl Team. Performances in the game itself was one major part of the criteria (MVPs, etc.) and then looked at those who have Hall of Fame, All-Pro credentials.

DE Jared Allen, one of the NFL’s all-time leaders in sacks, played in last year’s Super Bowl. Photo: lghs.net.


OFFENSE
WR James Lofton (Washington, Los Angeles)
WR Lynn Swann (Serra, San Mateo)
TE Brent Jones (Leland, San Jose)
OL Larry Allen (Vintage, Napa)*
OL Bruce Matthews (Arcadia)
OL Anthony Munoz (Chaffey, Ontario)
OL Ron Yary (Bellflower)
OL Gary Zimmerman (Walnut)
QB Tom Brady (Serra, San Mateo)
RB Marcus Allen (Lincoln, San Diego)
RB Terrell Davis (Lincoln, San Diego)
PK Jim Turner (Swett, Crockett)
*Did not play there but was last school attended.

DEFENSE
DL Jared Allen (Los Gatos)
DL Manny Fernandez (San Lorenzo)
DL Charles Mann (Valley, Sacramento)
LB Teddy Bruschi (Roseville)
LB Rod Martin (Hamilton, Los Angeles)
LB Willie McGinest (Long Beach Poly)
LB Junior Seau (Oceanside)
LB Malcolm Smith (Taft, Woodland Hills)
DB Larry Brown (Los Angeles)
DB Ronnie Lott (Eisenhower, Rialto)
DB Richard Sherman (Dominguez, Compton)
P Matt Horan (Sunny Hills, Fullerton)

MULTI-PURPOSE
WR/KR Julian Edelman (Woodside)
QB/RB John Elway (Granada Hills)
RB/WR Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Tech)
QB/RB Aaron Rodgers (Pleasant Valley, Chico)
SPCTM Matthew Slater (Servite, Anaheim)
WR/KR Steve Smith (University, Los Angeles)

Head Coach: Bill Walsh (Hayward)

Asst. Coaches: Joe Gibbs (Santa Fe, Santa Fe Springs); John Madden (Jefferson, Daly City); Dick Vermeil (Calistoga); George Siefert (Poly, San Francisco); Mike Holmgren (Lincoln, San Francisco); Brian Billick (Redlands); Pete Carroll (Redwood, Larkspur).