By Mark Tennis
Contributing: Ronnie Flores, Paul Muyskens
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Top-ranked boys basketball teams by division heading into the Martin Luther King Junior holiday weekend are Long Beach Poly (D1), Archbishop Mitty (D2), St. John Bosco (D3), Bishop Montgomery (D4) and Village Christian (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.
(After results of Saturday, Jan. 12 with some scores from early this week indicated)
1. (1) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 15-1
2. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 18-0
3. (3) Sheldon (Sacramento) 12-4
4. (4) Loyola (Los Angeles) 13-2
5. (5) Centennial (Corona) 17-1
6. (6) Etiwanda 12-2
7. (7) Bullard (Fresno) 13-2
8. (8) Deer Valley (Antioch) 12-3
9. (10) El Camino Real (Woodland Hills) 16-2
10. (11) Santa Monica 13-4
11. (14) West Ranch (Valencia) 12-4
12. (13) Westchester (Los Angeles) 14-5
13. (NR) Monte Vista (Danville) 12-3
14. (9) De La Salle (Concord) 12-2
15. (NR) Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 15-3
Dropped Out: Previous No. 12 Mission Viejo, No. 15 Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills).
Eligible for Open Division: Long Beach Poly, Mater Dei, Sheldon, Loyola, Bullard, De La Salle, El Camino Real. We are still working on a clarification on ECR, though, because its section title last year was for L.A. City Division II and this year the team would be L.A. City Division I.
Teams on the Bubble: Bellarmine (San Jose) 12-3, Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills) 12-5, El Camino (Oceanside) 15-2, El Toro (Lake Forest) 16-4, Inglewood 8-6, Lutheran (Orange) 15-3, Mission Viejo 16-2, Palo Alto 13-1, Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 13-2.
Notes & Highlights: This week’s rankings do not include an 82-80 overtime loss from earlier this week by No. 4 Loyola to D3 state-ranked Crespi of Encino. That game ended on a dramatic half-court buzzer beater by Crespi’s Carter Gallo that was one of the top 10 plays of the day on ESPN SportsCenter. This week’s rankings do reflect a win by Monte Vista of Danville of De La Salle of Concord, but the Spartans did not drop out of the top 15 because Mission Viejo and Alemany did. Newcomer Pleasant Grove is ranked No. 3 in the Sacramento area behind Sheldon and Sacramento and has a win over Inglewood.
1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 11-3
2. (3) Sacramento 12-4
3. (6) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 13-3
4. (4) Hoover (San Diego) 17-3
5. (7) Serra (San Mateo) 12-3
6. (2) J.W. North (Riverside) 15-3
7. (5) Westlake (Westlake Village) 16-3
8. (NR) Redondo (Redondo Beach) 10-8
9. (9) Newark Memorial (Newark) 8-6
10. (NR) El Camino (South San Francisco) 11-4
Dropped Out: Previous No. 8 Tesoro (Rancho Santa Margarita), No. 10 Westview (San Diego).
Eligible for Open Division: Archbishop Mitty, La Costa Canyon, Newark Memorial.
Teams on the Bubble: Chico 13-5, Lincoln (San Diego) 6-7, Mt. Eden (Hayward) 12-3, San Marcos 16-3, Tesoro (Rancho Santa Margarita) 15-5, Thousand Oaks 16-3, Villa Park 15-4, Westview (San Diego) 13-4.
Notes & Highlights: There was a lot of scrambling in this division. La Costa Canyon beat Valley Center and Del Norte and was moved in front of San Diego Hoover because a couple of its losses came when standout Jeff Van Dyke was injured. This move also matches local consensus. Serra, J.W. North and Westlake all had losses but all were to other ranked teams, including Serra by just 10 to No. 1 Archbishop Mitty. Redondo is not ranked high according to the CIF Southern Section coaches, but probably should be No. 2 or even No. 1 in Division 2A. The Seahawks may have eight losses, but two were to out-of-state teams and six were all to higher-ranked squads, including one loss by just two points to unbeaten Bishop Montgomery. Redondo also has a win over D3 state-ranked Modesto Christian.
1. (1) St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 11-3
2. (2) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 11-3
3. (4) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 15-2
4. (6) St. Augustine (San Diego) 11-3
5. (NR) Leuzinger (Lawndale) 13-4
6. (7) Modesto Christian 12-2
7. (5) Oak Park (Agoura Hills) 17-2
8. (10) Tustin 17-2
9. (3) Chaminade (West Hills) 14-4
10. (10) Hart (Newhall) 15-1
Dropped Out: Previous No. 8 Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 11-4.
Eligible for Open Division: Bishop O’Dowd, Cathedral Catholic, Modesto Christian, Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Teams on the Bubble: Calabasas 16-3, Campolindo (Moraga) 11-4, Damien (La Verne) 14-2, Drake (San Anselmo) 13-4, El Cerrito 12-6, Enterprise (Redding) 14-3, Independence (Bakersfield) 16-1, Sonora (La Habra) 17-2, Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 11-4, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 12-3.
Notes & Highlights: Since St. John Bosco’s two losses last week were to Mater Dei and Bishop Montgomery (state’s No. 2 and No. 4 overall ranked teams), there was no point in dropping the Braves in these divisional rankings. Chaminade had to drop down after a loss to Harvard-Westlake, but the Eagles also got a win last week over Crespi (team that just beat Loyola) so they didn’t drop out. The team with the biggest bump is new No. 5 Leuzinger. The alma mater of NBA superstar Russell Westbrook posted a big win over previous No. 5 Oak Park and also has notable triumphs against Village Christian (No. 1 in D5 state rankings) and perennial power O’Dea of Seattle. Leuzinger’s losses also are all to ranked teams from other divisions plus one to a team from Georgia.
1. (1) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 19-0
2. (2) Salesian (Richmond) 13-3
3. (3) Pacific Hills (Los Angeles) 14-2
4. (4) Brentwood (Los Angeles) 16-1
5. (5) Serra (Gardena) 13-4
6. (6) Army-Navy (Carlsbad) 14-3
7. (7) Price (Los Angeles) 14-3
8. (8) Crespi (Encino) 14-6
9. (9) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 11-5
10. (10) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 14-2
Dropped Out: None.
Eligible for Open Division: Salesian, Pacific Hills, Gardena Serra, Price.
Teams on the Bubble: Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) 10-5, Colfax 14-4, Half Moon Bay 13-2, JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 11-4, La Verne Lutheran 16-6, Palma (Salinas) 11-2, Riverbank 15-1, Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) 10-4, Seaside 10-2, St. Joseph (Santa Maria) 13-4, Washington (Easton) 12-8, Windward (Los Angeles) 9-7.
Notes & Highlights: Gardena Serra, Crespi and Harvard-Westlake all had losses last week but all were to ranked teams from other divisions. To give one a sense of how strong D4 is compared to D2 and D3, consider that Army-Navy of Carlsbad is considered a higher-ranked team in San Diego than D2 No. 4 Hoover or that Price has a win over D3 No. 5 Leuzinger or that Crespi just knocked off D1 No. 4 Loyola earlier this week.
1. (1) Village Christian (Sun Valley) 16-2
2. (2) St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 11-6
3. (3) Central Catholic (Modesto) 16-2
4. (4) Capital Christian (Sacramento) 14-2
5. (5) Bentley (Lafayette) 16-0
6. (6) Flintridge Prep (La Canada) 10-5
7. (7) Buckley (Sherman Oaks) 15-5
8. (8) Brethren Christian (Huntington Beach) 13-3
9. (9) Brookside Christian (Stockton) 16-1
10. (NR) View Park (Los Angeles) 14-8
Dropped Out: Previous No. 10 Rock Academy (San Diego).
Eligible for Open Division: Village Christian, St. Joseph Notre Dame (though it’s unlikely that either would get chosen for that much of a jump in competition)
Teams on the Bubble: Alma Heights Christian (Pacifica) 12-1, Foothills Christian (El Cajon) 7-9, Ripon Christian 12-3, Rock Academy (San Diego) 6-6, San Gabriel Academy 6-7, Tri-City Christian (Vista) 14-1, Urban (San Francisco) 14-2, Weed 13-2.
Notes & Highlights: Unless something strange happens, Village Christian and St. Joseph Notre Dame are going to likely stay No. 1 and No. 2 (also No. 1 in the south and No. 1 in the north) in this division. Losing to ranked teams from other divisions is just not going to cause either to drop no matter how often it happens. St. Joseph Notre Dame is more likely to see losses on its record, such as last week to El Cerrito, than Village Christian. The Pilots, though, play in one of the toughest leagues in Northern California and haven’t lost to a NorCal D5 opponent in several years.
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