It’s been two weeks since these rankings were last done and there are nine newcomers, headed up by Compton and Independence of Bakersfield in D3 and Dublin in D2. Hottest risers are Hart of Newhall, Serra of San Mateo and Capital Christian of Sacramento.
By Mark Tennis
Contributing: Ronnie Flores, Paul Muyskens
Top-ranked boys basketball teams by division heading into February and the last week of the regular season for some teams still 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.
Teams throughout the state also can petition the CIF to be considered for the open division after 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, Jan. 26 with some scores from early this week indicated)
1. (1) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 19-2
2. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 21-1
3. (3) Sheldon (Sacramento) 16-4
4. (5) Centennial (Corona) 22-1
5. (6) Etiwanda 18-2
6. (7) Bullard (Fresno) 18-2
7. (4) Loyola (Los Angeles) 16-5
8. (9) El Camino Real (Woodland Hills) 21-2
9. (8) Deer Valley (Antioch) 16-4
10. (12) Westchester (Los Angeles) 19-5
11. (NR) Mission Viejo 20-2
12. (15) Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 17-4
13. (10) Santa Monica 16-5
14. (NR) El Toro (Lake Forest) 20-4
15. (11) West Ranch (Valencia) 15-6
Dropped Out: Previous No. 13 Monte Vista (Danville), No. 14 De La Salle (Concord).
Eligible for Open Division: Long Beach Poly, Mater Dei, Sheldon, Loyola, Bullard, De La Salle, El Camino Real. It is confirmed from the CIF, by the way, that a team is eligible for the Open Division if it wins a section title in a different division from the year before.
Teams on the Bubble: Bellarmine (San Jose) 14-5, De La Salle (Concord) 16-3, Edison (Fresno) 23-3, El Camino (Oceanside) 20-3, Inglewood 12-9, Lutheran (Orange) 16-6, Monte Vista (Danville) 16-4, Palo Alto 17-1, Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley) 18-4, San Leandro 16-4.
Notes & Highlights: Long Beach Poly, Mater Dei, Corona Centennial, Etiwanda, Loyola and Mission Viejo will all be in the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs with the Monarchs (defending champion) on track for the top seed with the Jackrabbits at No. 2. The top-ranked teams projected for the CIFSS Division I-A bracket would be Santa Monica, El Toro and West Ranch. With Sheldon’s recent win over Deer Valley even though the Huskies were not at full strength due to the flu, it’s looking like they are becoming a strong favorite to win the open division in the north. This is also because Archbishop Mitty doesn’t seem to be as strong as last year and Salesian of Richmond has been a bit up-and-down. If Sheldon can get all its pieces into play for the stretch run, its lineup can give Long Beach Poly or Mater Dei a lot to worry about.
1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 15-4
2. (3) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 18-4
3. (5) Serra (San Mateo) 16-3
4. (6) J.W. North (Riverside) 19-3
5. (8) Redondo (Redondo Beach) 14-8
6. (9) Newark Memorial (Newark) 12-7
7. (2) Sacramento 16-6
8. (10) El Camino (South San Francisco) 15-4
9. (NR) Dublin 16-4
10. (NR) Thousand Oaks 19-4
Dropped Out: Previous No. 4 Hoover (San Diego); No. 7 Westlake (Westlake Village).
Eligible for Open Division: Archbishop Mitty, La Costa Canyon, Newark Memorial.
Teams on the Bubble: Elsinore (Lake Elsinore) 18-6, Hoover (San Diego) 20-5, Morse (San Diego) 19-5, Mt. Eden (Hayward) 16-4, San Marcos 20-3, San Ysidro 16-6, Tesoro (Rancho Santa Margarita) 17-7, Villa Park 17-5, Westlake (Westlake Village) 19-4.
Notes & Highlights: Both Mitty and La Costa Canyon suffered losses within the last two weeks, but Mitty’s was to national top five Lone Peak of Utah while LCC’s was to D1 top 10 Etiwanda. La Costa Canyon also had a big win early this week over El Camino of Oceanside (which was 20-3 coming in). Mitty faces No. 3 Serra on Saturday. Previous No. 2 Sacramento did have to drop due to a loss to Kennedy of Sacramento (not because of the loss to Bishop O’Dowd). These rankings also were done after finding out that Thousand Oaks had topped previous No. 7 Westlake 58-56 in a game played Tuesday night.
1. (1) St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 17-4
2. (2) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 16-3
3. (10) Hart (Newhall) 21-1
4. (3) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 19-3
5. (4) St. Augustine (San Diego) 15-4
6. (6) Modesto Christian 18-2
7. (8) Tustin 22-2
8. (5) Leuzinger (Lawndale) 17-5
9. (NR) Compton 15-8
10. (NR) Independence (Bakersfield) 22-1
Dropped Out: Previous No. 7 Oak Park (Agoura Hills), No. 9 Chaminade (West Hills).
Eligible for Open Division: Bishop O’Dowd, Cathedral Catholic, Modesto Christian, Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco).
Teams on the Bubble: Calabasas 19-4, Campolindo (Moraga) 14-5, Chaminade (West Hills) 16-6, Damien (La Verne) 18-4, Drake (San Anselmo) 17-4, El Cerrito 16-8, Enterprise (Redding) 17-3, Oak Park (Agoura Hills) 21-3, Sonora (La Habra) 19-3, Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 12-7, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 13-6.
Notes & Highlights: St. John Bosco, with a win last week against D1 ranked Loyola, and Bishop O’Dowd still look like the class of this division, except that O’Dowd seems ticketed for the open division in the north while Bosco is not eligible for the open division in the south. According to CIF Southern Section Spokesman Thom Simmons, teams can request to be placed in the open division. St. John Boso coach Derrick Taylor could make this request, but his team already lost twice to Mater Dei and has been up-and-down so that remains to be seen. Two teams that avenged earlier losses last week – Hart of Newhall against West Ranch of Valencia and Independence of Bakersfield against Bakersfield – made big moves in this week’s rankings. Independence’s previous loss to the Drillers also has been that team’s only loss so far. In this week’s overall CIF Central Section rankings by the Fresno Bee, the Falcons are No. 2 behind only D1 ranked Bullard of Fresno. Compton is another to watch in the south in this division with a win last week over D1 ranked Santa Monica. Most of the talented team’s losses came early and to higher-ranked opponents, including two already to Long Beach Poly and one to Mater Dei.
1. (1) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 23-0
2. (2) Salesian (Richmond) 18-3
3. (4) Brentwood (Los Angeles) 20-2
4. (3) Pacific Hills (Los Angeles) 17-4
5. (5) Serra (Gardena) 18-5
6. (7) Price (Los Angeles) 20-3
7. (6) Army-Navy (Carlsbad) 17-4
8. (8) Crespi (Encino) 18-6
9. (10) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 19-2
10. (NR) Lutheran (La Verne) 20-6
Dropped Out: Previous No. 9 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood).
Eligible for Open Division: Salesian, Pacific Hills, Gardena Serra, Price.
Teams on the Bubble: Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) 13-6, Colfax 17-5, Exeter 15-4, Half Moon Bay 16-4, Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 15-8, JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 12-7, Riverbank 18-2, Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) 15-5, St. Joseph (Santa Maria) 15-6, St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) 13-10, Windward (Los Angeles) 15-8.
Notes & Highlights: Bishop Montgomery already has a solid 72-65 win over Serra of Gardena this week and should enter the CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA playoffs with a perfect record. This is a team that has been ranked as high as fifth in the nation, although we still have the Knights fourth in the state because unlike Long Beach Poly, Mater Dei and Sheldon they have played no national-level opponents. The tricky part about the Knights is they are technically not eligible for the open division under the criteria, but according to CIF Southern Section media director Thom Simmons they can petition the CIF to be considered for the open division. Coach Doug Mitchell recently told the Los Angeles Times he hasn’t decided if he will request for his team to move up, but he did indicate his team will have to win the CIFSS Division IV-AA playoffs to even consider it. If the Knights are not in the open division, there is a chance we could have an unbeaten CIF Division IV state champion (Bishop Montgomery) being compared to the CIF Open Division state champion (if its Mater Dei, LB Poly or Sheldon) to be named overall State Team of the Year.
1. (1) Village Christian (Sun Valley) 19-3
2. (4) Capital Christian (Sacramento) 19-2
3. (2) St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 13-9
4. (6) Flintridge Prep (La Canada) 14-5
5. (3) Central Catholic (Modesto) 20-3
6. (5) Bentley (Lafayette) 14-1
7. (8) Brethren Christian (Huntington Beach) 16-3
8. (9) Brookside Christian (Stockton) 20-1
9. (NR) Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) 16-7
10. (NR) Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro) 14-8
Dropped Out: Previous No. 7 Buckley (Sherman Oaks); No. 10 View Park (Los Angeles).
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: Buckley (Sherman Oaks) 17-6, Head-Royce (Oakland) 15-4, Modoc (Alturas) 15-4, Ripon Christian 16-4, Rock Academy (San Diego) 11-7, Tri-City Christian (Vista) 19-1, Urban (San Francisco) 18-4, View Park (Los Angeles) 17-10.
Notes & Highlights: After losing games to El Cerrito, St. Mary’s of Berkeley and Salesian of Richmond (the Salesian result was expected), St. Joseph Notre Dame is no longer the top-ranked team from Northern California in this division. The move to Capital Christian also is because the Cougars posted an impressive 60-36 win over Central of Fresno since the last rankings were done. Central has been one of the top-ranked teams overall from the CIF Central Section for the last two seasons. Sophomore Trey Belton shined for Capital Christian in that game with 17 points. Mission Prep, meanwhile, is on the rise in the south. The Royals have a recent loss to Flintridge Prep (which is now up to No. 4) but they’ve done well too, including a 53-50 triumph over St. Joseph of Santa Maria.
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