We’re giving a lot of love to the Drake boys this week by pulling up the Pirates all the way from unranked to No. 10. For the girls, Salesian goes to No. 1, Pinewood and Mitty go to No. 7 and No. 8 and Justin-Siena is up to No. 13. Check this post for the new Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 rankings in both boys and girls basketball. We produce these rankings in support of the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area TV show, which airs live on KUSI Channel 20 in San Francisco on Sunday nights.
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Boys: Drake’s time has come
We almost snuck in Drake of San Anselmo into last week’s Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 boys basketball rankings, but went with Marin County Athletic League champion Branson instead.
After two more regional rounds last week, though, there’s no choice now to put the Pirates ahead of Branson. Not only did Branson lose in its regional semifinal, but Drake beat both Miramonte of Orinda and previous No. 12 Archbishop Riordan to win its first NorCal title since 1994. The Pirates also advanced to this week’s CIF Division III state championship against Chaminade of West Hills.
Coach Doug Donnellan’s team also made a statement that it will be one to watch for next year as well. Leading scorer Jesse Hunt, who had a 38-point game earlier in the NorCal playoffs, is a junior. Jasper Verduin, who led the Pirates with 23 points against Riordan, also is a junior.
In another move before next week’s final Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20, Freedom has to now go in front of San Mateo Serra despite a head-to-head loss from early in the season. The Falcons first defeated Jesuit of Carmichael on the road to advance to the CIF NorCal Division I final. They followed that by pushing No. 2 Monte Vista into overtime.
The only non-Bay Area team representing the north in this week’s CIF state finals is Folsom is D2. Good luck to Bishop O’Dowd in the Open Division, Monte Vista in D1, Drake in D3, Moreau Catholic in D4 and St. Joseph Notre Dame in D5.
Here is this week’s complete Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 for boys (Compiled by Mark Tennis; previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, March 22):
1. (1) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 28-4
2. (2) Monte Vista (Danville) 31-1
3. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 27-5
4. (4) El Cerrito 27-5
5. (5) Newark Memorial (Newark) 23-8
6. (8) Freedom (Oakley) 26-7
7. (6) St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 28-5
8. (7) Serra (San Mateo) 22-9
9. (10) Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 27-6
10. (NR) Drake (San Anselmo) 25-8
11. (14) McClymonds (Oakland) 21-9
12. (15) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 24-6
13. (16) Pittsburg 22-6
14. (17) Lincoln (San Francisco) 25-10
15. (18) De La Salle (Concord) 19-9
16. (11) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 23-7
17. (12) Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) 19-12
18. (9) Campolindo (Moraga) 23-8
19. (13) Salesian (Richmond) 23-15
20. (NR) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 19-12
Dropped Out: Previous No. 19 St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo); No. 20 Branson (Ross).
Teams On The Bubble: Acalanes (Lafayette) 17-13; Aragon (San Mateo) 20-10; Bellarmine (San Jose) 12-17; Branson (Ross) 25-7; Burlingame 26-5; Concord 22-9; Dougherty Valley (San Ramon) 20-8; Fortuna 27-4; Half Moon Bay 26-6; Heritage (Brentwood) 15-13; Leigh (San Jose) 24-5; Miramonte (Orinda) 18-13; Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 26-7; Pinole Valley (Pinole) 16-14; San Benito (Hollister) 21-5; San Leandro 16-12; Santa Cruz 20-10; St. Francis (Mountain View) 17-13; St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) 25-10.
Girls: Salesian motors past Miramonte
After the Salesian of Richmond girls lost to St. Mary’s of Berkeley in the CIF North Coast Section Division IV final, the team was dropped all the way down to a No. 4 seed for the CIF NorCal Open Division and had to open the regional playoffs on the road.
Over the last two weeks, though, the Pride has been nothing short of dominant and is now not only a clear-cut No. 1 for the Bay Area but may have a shot to knock off Long Beach Poly in the CIF Open Division state championship. The Southern California team is normally a big favorite in many girls’ state finals, but this one isn’t shaping up that way.
What the Salesian girls have proved is that they have gone from a team that Louisville-bound Mariya Moore had to carry to win, to one that’s developed into a finer tuned machine with Moore as the linchpin among lots of fluid working parts.
“We’ve been telling the younger girls all season that there are going to be times when Mariya can’t carry the team and they are going to have to step it up,” head coach Steve Pezzola said.
It took awhile for the younger girls to blossom, but never was it more evident than against Miramonte in last Saturday’s NorCal Open Division final.
The Pride had a 24-5 lead after the first quarter and Moore had no points, but she did have three assists. It was 42-24 at halftime and Moore only had two points but six assists. She ended up with seven points and nine assists after her time and contributions were limited by foul trouble.
Junior Kian McNair helped lead the ferocious defense and finished with a game-high 18 points. Sophomore Minyon Moore, the little sister of Mariya, added 13 points.
Some might think that Miramonte should move into the spot behind Salesian, but just because the Mats made it the title game is not a guarantee. The Mats dropped both games to Salesian whereas St. Mary’s has one win when the Pride was at full strength.
Division IV NorCal winner Justin-Siena of Napa also makes a big move in this week’s rankings after a 13-point win over a Scotts Valley team that pinned a loss on Archbishop Mitty in the CCS Open Division playoffs.
Speaking of the Monarchs, they have been tough to rank all season. Yes, we know they went 1-2 against Sacred Heart Cathedral but since they are playing State Top 20 Chaminade of West Hills in the CIF D2 state final they were moved up as high as possible this week and that spot was No. 8.
Here is this week’s complete Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 for girls (Compiled by Harold Abend; previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, March 22):
(*Forfeits not included)
1. (2) Salesian (Richmond) 30-6
2. (1) St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 27-8
3. (4) Miramonte (Orinda) 30-2
4. (3) Carondelet (Concord) 28-3
5. (5) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 23-4
6. (6) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 26-5
7. (9) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 29-3
8. (13) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 21-11
9. (8) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 21-8
10. (10) Berkeley 24-9
11. (11) Monte Vista (Danville) 26-5
12. (7) Deer Valley (Antioch) 25-7
13. (19) Justin-Siena (Napa) 29-6
14. (12) Scotts Valley 25-6
15. (14) Eastside College Prep (East Palo Alto) 20-11
16. (15) Santa Rosa 28-5
17. (16) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 23-6
18. (17) Presentation (San Jose) 16-14
19. (18) Clayton Valley (Concord) 24-8
20. (20) Piedmont 21-10
Dropped Out: None.
Teams On the Bubble: (Playoff teams only)
Campolindo (Moraga) 17-12, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 24-8, Dublin 19-11, Encinal (Alameda) 21-8, Lowell (San Francisco), 22-6, Lynbrook (San Jose) 20-9, McClymonds (Oakland) 16-13, North Salinas (Salinas) 25-3, St. Francis (Mountain View) 16-12, Skyline (Oakland) 21-9, Valley Christian (San Jose) 15-14
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