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Boys: Strong week for El Cerrito, Serra
By Mark Tennis
If you count the MLK day games from last Monday and continuing forward, it was a big week for Bay Area No. 3 El Cerrito.
After the Gauchos topped Bay Area No. 8 Sacred Heart Cathedral on MLK Day, they focused in quickly on a rematch played Friday night at St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda, which is the only team to have beaten them this season.
It was mission accomplished for coach Michael Booker’s team. Although it went to overtime, the 71-64 triumph did avenge that one loss and will give more fodder to the argument that El Cerrito and not Monte Vista should be No. 2 in the Bay Area behind Bishop O’Dowd.
Anthony Sullen hit for 22 points to lead the Gauchos. Tyrell Alcorn also had another solid all-around outing with 15 points, seven steals, six rebounds and six assists. They needed multiple contributors too to overcome St. Joe’s 6-foot-7 Temidayo Yussef, who dominated with 30 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Yussef also had a 35-point game last week in a win over St. Patrick/St. Vincent.
Another team with a head-turning week was Serra of San Mateo. Coach Chuck Rabb’s boys began by beating Bay Area No. 9 St. Ignatius (coming off of a win over Mitty) 70-64 and then edged No. 8 Sacred Heart Cathedral 73-66 in overtime. The Padres, who are tied with Mitty atop the WCAL standings, also have a head-to-head win over No. 6 De La Salle.
Here are this week’s Bay Area boys’ top 20 (previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, Jan. 25):
1. (1) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 13-4
2. (2) Monte Vista (Danville) 18-0
3. (3) El Cerrito 20-1
4. (4) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 14-3
5. (6) Serra (San Mateo) 13-4
6. (7) De La Salle (Concord) 12-5
7. (8) St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 16-5
8. (5) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 12-5
9. (9) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 14-4
10. (10) Campolindo (Moraga) 13-5
11. (11) Newark Memorial (Newark) 11-7
12. (13) Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) 11-6
13. (14) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 15-3
14. (15) Leigh (San Jose) 17-1
15. (18) Freedom (Oakley) 13-4
16. (NR) Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 13-4
17. (19) Burlingame 15-3
18. (20) St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) 17-4
19. (NR) Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 14-4
20. (NR) Salesian (Richmond) 11-9
Dropped Out: Previous No. 12 Berkeley; No. 16 Drake (San Anselmo); No. 17 St. Mary’s (Berkeley).
Teams On The Bubble: Aptos 15-3, Berkeley 14-2, Branson (Ross) 17-3, Castro Valley 12-6, College Park (Pleasant Hill) 13-4, Drake (San Anselmo) 16-4; Hillsdale (San Mateo) 11-7, Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 15-3; Pittsburg 14-4; San Leandro 8-8, Santa Cruz 11-7, St. Francis (Mountain View) 11-7; St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 16-5.
Girls: Oh yes we did – O’Dowd back to No. 1
By Harold Abend
Previous Bay Area No. 1 St. Mary’s of Berkeley was given a pass in last week’s rankings after the losses at the Stockton MLK event, but with another loss last week to a Richmond Salesian team that has a loss to Bishop O’Dowd as do the Panthers, they had to lose the top spot this week.
St. Mary’s then rebounded to beat a Carondelet team at Bentley on Saturday that has a win over Salesian at the West Coast Jamboree.
While O’Dowd has a stinker two-point loss to defending CIF Division II state champion Lynwood, a four-point loss to a Colorado Highlands Ranch team that has a lone loss, the only other Dragons’ loss is to a Long Beach Poly team that was just upset by Los Angeles Windward.
Get the drift. This season has been totally unpredictable everywhere except for one thing in the Bay Area. While everyone except Cal-Hi Sports was writing off Bishop O’Dowd as being maybe the third or fourth best team in the CIF North Coast Section, guess who’s now in the catbird seat?
After waking up and putting on a pretty darn good show in a 78-71 win over Carondelet on Saturday at the Bentley/Campolindo Showdown, St. Mary’s benefits from the convoluted set of scores again this week because the Panthers also own a win over state No. 1 Mater Dei. As a result, they get to stay in front of Salesian, which stays behind Carondelet.
The wild-and-wacky West Catholic Athletic League continued with more twisting and turning as Archbishop Mitty took another loss, this time 52-50 to crosstown Presentation.
Presentation then won a matchup of bubble teams on Saturday at Campolindo 50-44 over Clayton Valley of Concord. The two teams fought hard for three quarters with Clayton Valley holding a 36-35 lead, but Nakamura’s girls got some solid work down the stretch from 6-foot junior forward Maeve Kavanagh (17 points, 14 rebounds) to pull out the win.
Here are this week’s Bay Area girls’ top 20 (previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, Jan. 25):
(*Forfeits not included)
1. (3) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 15-3
2. (1) St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 15-5
3. (2) Carondelet (Concord) 14-3
4. (4) Salesian (Richmond) 16-5
5. (5) Miramonte (Orinda) 17-1
6. (6) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 16-2
7. (7) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 11-7
8. (8) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 11-5
9. (9) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 16-1
10. (10) Berkeley 11-6
11. (11) Santa Rosa 18-1
12. (12) Deer Valley (Antioch) 13-4
13. (13) Monte Vista (Danville) 16-2
14. (14) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 15-2
15 (15) Eastside College Prep (East Palo Alto) 10-7
16. (16) Scotts Valley 15-3
17. (17) St. Francis (Mountain View) 11-7
18. (19) Lynbrook (San Jose) 11-6
19. (20) Piedmont 11-5
20. (NR) Castro Valley 13-4
Dropped Out: Previous No. 18 Moreau Catholic (Hayward).
Teams On the Bubble: Campolindo (Moraga) 12-6, Clayton Valley (Concord) 13-6, Galileo (San Francisco) 16-4, Justin-Siena (Napa) 16-4, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 15-3, North Salinas (Salinas) 15-2, Northgate (Walnut Creek) 15-4, Pittsburg 12-6, Presentation (San Jose) 12-6, Valley Christian (Dublin) 17-3, Valley Christian (San Jose) 12-6.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend