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 Boys BB State Ranks Update

There are no changes at the top of the order in our State Top 20 for this week, but No. 8 Fairfax suffers an injury loss that could be tough to overcome, especially with some of the teams on that team’s schedule in upcoming weeks.

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 January 21; Previous ranking in
parentheses)

1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 16-1
It will now take a Herculean effort for the Trailblazers to suffer a loss before the start of the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Well-known hoops analyst/coach Steve Lavin played on California prep team that once won 57 games in a row. Photo: Pac12Network.com.


2. (2) Chino Hills 20-0
Former UCLA head coach Steve Lavin was on the team at Drake (San Anselmo) that won 57 games in a row from 1980 to 1982. Huskies will try to match the length of that streak in state record book this week.

3. (3) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 18-2
The Knights bounced back from their MLK Monday loss to national power Montverde Academy of Florida with two easy league wins last week.

4. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 21-1
Seven-foot Bol Bol had 21 points and 10 rebounds in his transfer debut for Monarchs last Friday vs. Orange Lutheran.

5. (5) Woodcreek (Roseville) 18-2
TImberwolves hammered a Folsom team last week (69-34) that has been tough to beat in recent years at home or away.

6. (6) Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 18-3
How many explosive scorers does this team have anyway? Add Mark Boland (who had 28 points vs. Taft last week) to the list.

7. (7) Foothills Christian (El Cajon) 16-2
The Knights play the same Taft of Woodland Hills club that nearly defeated No. 6 Birmingham at the Greatest Showcase on Earth next Saturday at L.A. Cathedral.

8. (8) Fairfax (Los Angeles) 17-1
The Lions got past arch-rival Westchester last week, but lost talented sophomore guard Ethan Anderson for the rest of the regular season with a knee injury.


California Super Bowl QBs

Well, we won’t get a dream matchup of California QBs Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers in this year’s Super Bowl so that got us thinking if there’s ever been a matchup in the Super Bowl between two quarterbacks who’ve both gone to California high schools.
Read more…


Super 8 Girls BB State Ranks Update

After the type of loss that Clovis West had on Monday to Las Vegas Centennial, it had to be previous No. 2 Archbishop Mitty rising back up to No. 1 in this week’s state rankings. These rankings also don’t include anything from after Monday and we already know at least one top five team from this week has already lost.

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 Monday, Jan. 16)
(Previous rank in parentheses)

1. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 13-2
Head coach Sue Phillips’ squad goes back to the top after previous No. 1 Clovis West lost by a large margin 70-44 to Centennial of Las Vegas at Stockton St. Mary’s MLK Showcase. Besides, the Monarchs also have a head-to-head win over the Golden Eagles.

2. (1) Clovis West (Fresno) 15-2
Yes, head coach Craig Campbell’s girls beat Las Vegas Centennial 57-42 earlier this season, which shows how much different the MLK Day matchup was compared to the earlier one.

Mission Hills head coach Christopher Kroesch took his team to the St. Mary’s MLK Showcase in Stockton and saw the girls get tested twice. Photo: Mark Tennis.


3. (3) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 10-3
Looking at their schedule, it doesn’t look like the Jackrabbits are going to have too many tests until the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs.

4. (4) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 15-1
Until Tuesday’s stunning loss to Windward of Los Angles (which will be reflected in next week’s rankings), the Trailblazers had suffered their only loss by two points to a South Salem of Oregon team that is led by McDonald’s All-American Evina Westbrook.

5. (6) Carondelet (Concord) 10-3
The Cougars’ only in-state loss is to No. 2 Clovis wWest and they also have that win at St. Mary’s of Stockton. Another plus is that they have an upcoming showdown against No. 1 Mitty.

6. (7) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 13-4
Losing by three points to Centennial of Las Vegas on home court in game that could have gone either way looks a lot better for the Rams after what Centennial did to Clovis West two days later.

7. (5) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 16-1
We almost had the Wolverines behind both Carondelet and St. Mary’s last week so when they had to go into overtime to beat Millikan of Long Beach it became just about a necessity to go with that pecking order this week.

8. (10) Mission Hills (San Marcos) 15-2
Before the Grizzlies lost by 24 to Mitty at MLK event in Stockton, they posted a solid win over Salesian of Richmond two days earlier.


Super 8 Boys BB State Ranks Update

It’s no debate between Sierra Canyon and Chino Hills for the top spot in the Cal-Hi Sports state rankings since the Trailblazers already were in that position prior to getting their big wins over MLK weekend against Findlay Prep, Memphis East and La Lumiere. Foothills Christian and Fairfax also both move up.

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.

1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 16-1
For just the second time, a team has accomplished the “Springfield Double-Dip,” which is winning the BassPro TOC in Springfield, Mo., and then winning in a high-profile game at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., over the MLK weekend.

2. (2) Chino Hills 18-0
Take your pick for rankings criteria because it’s hard to argue between the Huskies and their 53-game win streak and what Sierra Canyon has done.

Eli Scott throws one down for Chino Hills in game last season vs. Sierra Canyon. Photo: Mark Bausman/SoCalSidelines.com.


3. (3) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 16-2
The Knights had a 16-game win streak snapped on Monday, but it was to national power Montverde Academy of Florida at the HoopHall Classic and was close enough not to cause a drop for the Knights.

4. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 19-1
We’ll find out more about the Monarchs on Feb. 3-4 when they host their own Nike Extravaganza.

5. (5) Woodcreek (Roseville) 16-2
With Sheldon losing to San Joaquin Memorial over the MLK weekend, the Timberwolves are a more solid No. 1 in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

6. (6) Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 15-3
Decaun Winston had a 43-point game for the Patriots two weeks ago and then last week Devante Doutrive had one of 38.

7. (8) Foothills Christian (El Cajon) 14-2
Newly selected McDonald’s All-American Jaylen Hands had 32 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in win vs. Army-Navy Academy.

8. (11) Fairfax (Los Angeles) 15-1
The Lions move back up three spots after Sheldon of Sacramento, Damien of La Verne and Centennial of Corona all lost last week. Damien’s loss was to No. 2 Chino Hills and was by a margin that didn’t drop the Spartans this week but prevented them from moving up.


NEW Girls BB Career Scoring Lists

Congratulations to Destiny Littleton for becoming the leader in the Cal-Hi Sports state records for career scoring in girls basketball. We have now updated the list with her name showing on top.

This content is for Gold Club and Gold Club Quarterly members only.

If you are a Gold Club member, please log in using the form in the top right to view this content.

If you’re not already a Gold Club member, you can find out more about how to Join the Cal-Hi Sports Gold Club.


St. Mary’s MLK Showcase Day 1

Host Rams, who were No. 1 in the nation when they played in their showcase event last year, fell in their Saturday matchup to nationally ranked Centennial of Las Vegas 68-65. That was bad for them, but good for the attention that Monday’s matchup between Centennial and current state/national No. 1 Clovis West of Fresno will get when it is played. The other big winner of the day was Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland, which topped Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa 58-48 in matchup of State Top 20 squads.

More State Record Updates and New State Top 20 Rankings (coming Tuesday) will be for Gold Club members only. Check out getting your membership today for just $9.99 for three months. For info, CLICK HERE.

It was simply a matter of one 3-pointer going in and another one missing in the final 20 seconds of Saturday’s marquee matchup at the St. Mary’s MLK Showcase that was played at Stockton St. Mary’s Morelli Gym.

After the host Rams tied the score at 65-65 with 36 seconds left on a layup by junior guard Ariel Johnson, the visitors from Vegas broke it when University of Arizona-bound Samantha Thomas drained a 3-pointer with 12 seconds remaining. Centennial players knew that St. Mary’s had to go for a 3-pointer as well and defended the perimeter, which was one reason why Johnson’s 3-point shot at the final buzzer clanged off the rim.

Neenah Young of St. Mary’s shoots a free throw during game Saturday vs. Centennial of Las Vegas. Photo: Mark Tennis.


St. Mary’s, which lost one week ago on Saturday as well on its home court to Carondelet of Concord, dropped to 12-4 with the 68-65 loss, but this loss probably won’t cost the Rams any spots in the next State Top 20 since Centennial is so highly regarded. The Rams (No. 7 in the Cal-Hi Sports State Top 20) will play again in the MLK Showcase on Monday against state No. 11 Alemany of Mission Hills.

Thomas had shown her ability to hit clutch threes earlier in the game when she connected for one at the third quarter horn that tied the score at 53-53. That basket had broken an 9-0 run by the Rams that had turned a 50-44 deficit into the 53-50 lead.

Both teams were able to go on runs during the game as the Bulldogs used their impressive speed and quickness for fast-break baskets. St. Mary’s countered with a few 3-pointers of its own, but doesn’t shoot or make as many as previous teams. The Rams instead had an edge with 6-foot-2 Aquira DeCosta battling for rebounds on the interior plus there were the acrobatic drives to the cup from both Johnson and fellow junior Neenah Young.

Johnson led all scorers with 22 points while the Rams had three others in double figures with sophomore forward Jada Moss (16 points), DeCosta (14) and Young (12). Centennial was balanced as well with four in double figures — Justice Ethridge (13 points), Thomas (12), Eboni Walker (11), Jayden Eggleston (10) — and Mel Isbell finishing with nine.

One of the most interested in the crowd in the second half was Clovis West of Fresno head coach Craig Campbell, who will be taking his team (ranked No. 1 in the state and nation) to Monday’s MLK Showcase schedule at St. Mary’s to face the same team from Nevada. Also playing on Monday in Stockton will be state No. 2 Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, which is facing state No. 10 Mission Hills of San Marcos.

In other games Saturday at the St. Mary’s MLK Showcase:

Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 58,
Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 48

After the Cardinals scored the first basket of the third quarter to take a 30-19 lead, they went cold for the rest of the quarter and into the fourth and wilted in the second half against a scrappy Dragons’ team that is trying to bounce back in the state rankings after a loss from last Saturday to Salesian of Richmond.

O’Dowd went on a 19-3 run for the rest of the third quarter and after scoring the first four points of the final quarter had built a 43-33 lead. The closest Cardinal Newman came after that was 50-42 and 55-48.

With the win, head coach Malik McCord’s squad improved to 12-3 and should rise from its No. 15 state ranking. Cardinal Newman, last year’s CIF Division IV state champs and ranked No. 8 in the state coming into the day, fell to 12-3.

There was a scary moment in the third quarter for the Dragons when All-State candidate Myah Pace hit the floor hard on a scramble for a loose ball and had a Cardinal Newman player fall on top of her. She stayed motionless on the court for a few moments, but eventually rose up and after being evaluated in the lockerroom returned to play in the fourth quarter. Pace led O’Dowd in scoring with 14 points.

Others from the Dragons who played well, included junior forward Zakiya Mahoney (12 points), freshman guard Daylee Dunn (10 points) and sophomore guard Jada Holland and sophomore guard Lexi Love (nine points). Hailey Vice-Neat topped Cardinal Newman with 13 points, while 6-foot-5 Lauren Walker had 12 points.

Mission Hills (San Marcos) 47,
Salesian (Richmond) 31

In yet another matchup of leading state-ranked teams, the girls from San Diego County made their debut at the MLK Showcase a successful one. Their depth plus the usual outstanding play of senior Khayla Rooks was too much for the Pride. Mission Hills (No. 10 in the state) improved to 15-1. Salesian (No. 14 in the state) dropped to 9-4.

Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 84,
Fairmont Prep (Anaheim) 70

Two weeks ago, Fairmont Prep was sitting at No. 9 in the state and No. 1 in Orange County. The team may not be known to many in Northern California, but it is a solid win for the Irish. Ranked at No. 9 in the state this week, Sacred Heart Cathedral got an even more monster game than usual from standout IImar’I Thomas, who had 39 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks, according to Cal-Hi Sports correspondent Harold Abend.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


Sierra Canyon vs. Findlay Prep?

A CIF member program has never played prep basketball academy Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), but state No. 1 Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth could meet the Pilots in the semifinals of the upcoming Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions on Friday 13th. Sierra Canyon reportedly will be able to play the Pilots at this event.
Read more…


Former Mr. Fooball Alo Passes

Former Banning of Wilmington standout fullback Michael Alo passes at 53 years old. The Cal-Hi Sports 1980 Mr. Football never played a down of college football, but is legendary in South Bay and L.A. City Sectionc circles for his dominant play.  

Read more…


Super 8 Girls BB State Ranks Update

It wasn’t reported to the local newspaper, but Carondelet of Concord’s 71-69 upset win over previous No. 3 St. Mary’s of Stockton causes some shockwaves in this week’s rankings, especially with the Cougars moving up to No. 6. St. Mary’s now becomes the center of the state’s girls hoops scene this weekend as numerous top teams, including No. 1 Clovis West and No. 2 Archbishop Mitty, will be coming to Stockton for the MLK Classic.

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.

1. (1) Clovis West (Fresno) 14-1
The Golden Eagles, who also are No. 1 in the nation, beat Sacred Heart Cathedral of S.F. last week 64-44 even though they didn’t even play that well. They’ll be in Stockton on Monday to play Nevada top-ranked Centennial of Las Vegas.

2. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 10-2
Both Monarch losses are to teams that are No. 1 in Colorado and D.C./Maryland, respectively, while they also still have an overtime win over Clovis West.

Players from Carondelet got into the Christmas spirit at a tournament last month. Photo: Twitter.com.


3. (4) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 8-3
The Jackrabbits get back the spot they lost to St. Mary’s despite not taking the court in 2017, although a Monday night blowout of Long Beach Wilson is included in their record.

4. (5) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 12-1
The Trailblazers move up a notch and still remain right in the mix with a lone 83-81 loss in Oregon at the Nike Interstate Shootout to Oregon top five South Salem of Salem.

5. (6) Harvard –Westlake (Studio City) 14-1
The Wolverines move up after winning a tight 49-47 game vs. La Jolla Country Day. They also have a win vs. Arizona Valley Vista, which beat Carondelet by 13 points at the Nike TOC.

6. (NR) Carondelet (Concord) 9-3
Head coach Elgin Leslie’s girls move past Cardinal Newman as the top team in the North Coast Section, and maybe St. Mary’s could conceivably win four times if they played five times, but that is speculative and speculation is not fact and the fact is that the Cougars went into Stockton and beat the Rams 71-69 in their house.

7. (3) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 11-3
The Rams had a chance at the buzzer but the 3-point shot by Neenah Young clanked off iron and head coach Tom Gonsalves and his girls suffered an upset defeat as a nationally-ranked team for the second time in two years.

8. (7) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 10-2
The Cardinals lose one of the two spots they gained last week to make room for Carondelet. However, if you had told the Newman faithful they would be a top 10 team nearing mid season after sitting at No. 17 in the preseason they’d take it.


Super 8 Boys BB State Ranks Update

There are no changes at the top of this week’s rankings, but there’s even more buzz surrounding No. 1 Sierra Canyon as it prepares to play in two huge showcase events over the MLK weekend. There’s also a lot of anticipation at No. 4 Mater Dei whether a prominent transfer will become immediately eligible or not.

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.

1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 12-1
Hard not to notice that Trailblazers won last week 83-52 over same Oakland Bishop O’Dowd squad that beat Bishop Montgomery to open the season. They go to the BassPro TOC and HoopHall Classic this week.

2. (2) Chino Hills 16-0
No games last week for Huskies, but get No. 9 Damien to start this week in their league opener. They’ll go for 52nd straight win.

3. (3) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 14-1
Junior standout David Singleton still rounding into top form after early season foot injury.

Bol Bol, the son of former NBA giant Manute Bol, plays for Bishop Miege of Shawnee Mission, Kan. Photo: notey.com.


4. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 17-1
League opening win vs. St. John Bosco overshadowed with the transfer of junior center Bol Bol from Kansas City area. Will he be eligible for this season or not?

5. (5) Woodcreek (Roseville) 15-2
Jordan Brown pumped in 29 points as the Timberwolves opened Sierra Foothill League action with a rout of Rocklin.

6. (6) Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 13-3
Early candidate for game of the year has to be the Patriots topping Heritage Christian of Northridge 110-105 at the Take Flight Challenge.

7. (7) Sheldon (Sacramento) 11-1
A strong week for the Huskies was capped by a 65-34 triumph over CIF North Coast Section recent powerhouse Monte Vista of Danville at the Father Kelly Tribute.

8. (8) Foothills Christian (El Cajon) 13-2
There are no changes in the first nine slots of this week’s rankings. Foothills crushed Lynwood in its only outing last week.


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