It’s not as easy as anticipated, but the No. 1 teams for the 2013-14 season are Bishop O’Dowd for boys and Salesian of Richmond for girls. Check this post every week for Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 rankings. Baseball and softball take over next week. 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: The Monte Vista conundrum
There have been several instances around the state in what we’ll call the Open Division era when there’s a team that wins a CIF Division I state championship that thinks it has a case to be ranked ahead of a different team that doesn’t win a state title but loses in the Open Division.
After this weekend’s CIF state finals in Sacramento, Monte Vista of Danville capped a 32-1 season by knocking off Centennial of Corona in the Division I title game. The Mustangs’ only loss was to San Ramon Valley in overtime, which was a team they also defeated twice.
As impressive as that sounds, the team voted not to play in the Open Division so the opponents (or possible opponents) it had to defeat were definitely of a weaker variety than the teams that season-long Bay Area leader Bishop O’Dowd had to overcome in order for it to win a state crown.
While we would say that Monte Vista’s case is stronger than others we’ve seen in the state in either football or basketball since open divisions began, it’s not enough to be ranked higher than the Dragons, who lost in Saturday’s Open Division final to 35-0 Mater Dei of Santa Ana, who could end up as a consensus national champion.
Here are the final Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 rankings for the 2013-14 season (compiled by Mark Tennis; previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, March 29):
1. (1) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 28-5
2. (2) Monte Vista (Danville) 32-1
3. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 27-5
4. (4) El Cerrito 27-5
5. (5) Newark Memorial (Newark) 23-8
6. (7) St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 29-5
7. (6) Freedom (Oakley) 26-7
8. (8) Serra (San Mateo) 22-9
9. (12) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 24-6
10. (9) Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 27-7
11. (11) McClymonds (Oakland) 21-9
12. (13) Pittsburg 22-6
13. (14) Lincoln (San Francisco) 25-10
14. (15) De La Salle (Concord) 19-9
15. (16) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 23-7
16. (10) Drake (San Anselmo) 25-9
17. (17) Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) 19-12
18. (18) Campolindo (Moraga) 23-8
19. (20) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 19-12
20. (19) Salesian (Richmond) 23-15
Dropped Out: None.
Honorable Mention: 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: Pinewood holds steady, but Justin-Siena gets final bump
After all was said and done last weekend at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, the Bay Area only went 1-for-4 in state title games, and just like in baseball that’s not exactly an earth-shattering average.
However, don’t tell that to the Pinewood of Los Altos Hills girls because the hit they got was a grand slam.
With the 60-42 victory over La Jolla Country Day in the Division V title game on Friday morning, Pinewood claimed a record-tying sixth state championship for head coach Doc Scheppler. He now joins Kevin Kiernan of Santa Ana Mater Dei, Tom Gonsalves of Stockton St. Mary’s, and Carl Buggs of Long Beach Poly for the most state championships by a girls head coach. It was also win No. 504 for Scheppler, who is never short on colorful quotes after his team has won a state championship.
While there was the possibility of Pinewood finishing as the highest-ranked CCS team this season, it just wasn’t a strong enough case for the Panthers to overcome a head-to-head loss to St. Ignatius as well as St. Ignatius winning the CCS Open Division (a bracket that Pinewood also was in).
There also are going to be those that argue about our move regarding Justin-Siena of Napa and Archbishop Mitty of San Jose.
Based on playing better against a superior and higher state-ranked Chatsworth Sierra Canyon team in the Division IV state title game than the Chaminade (West Hills) squad Archbishop Mitty lost to in the Division II state championship, coupled with the fact Justin-Siena went to Scotts Valley in the NorCal D4 semifinals and pinned a decisive 81-68 loss on a team that had a 64-60 win over Mitty in the CIFCCS Open Division playoffs, it all means Justin-Siena has to be rewarded.
Along the way, the Braves girls also reversed an earlier close loss to Arcata in the NorCal D4 final with an impressive 47-26 victory.
Yes, they lost 64-37 to Sierra Canyon but early on when a statement had to be made about whether or not Justin came to play a game, the Brave girls made the Trailblazers take notice.
Chico State-bound Haley Cremen played her heart out to the final buzzer and finished with a double-double 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Here are the final Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 rankings for the 2013-14 season (compiled by Harold Abend; previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, March 29):
1. (1) Salesian (Richmond) 30-7
2. (2) St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 27-8
3. (3) Miramonte (Orinda) 30-2
4. (4) Carondelet (Concord) 28-3
5. (5) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 23-4
6. (6) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 26-5
7. (7) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 30-3
8. (9) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 21-8
9. (10) Berkeley 24-9
10. (11) Monte Vista (Danville) 26-5
11. (12) Deer Valley (Antioch) 25-7
12. (13) Justin-Siena (Napa) 29-7
13. (14) Scotts Valley 25-6
14. (8) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 21-12
15. (15) Eastside College Prep (East Palo Alto) 20-11
16. (16) Santa Rosa 28-5
17. (17) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 23-6
18. (18) Presentation (San Jose) 16-14
19. (19) Clayton Valley (Concord) 24-8
20. (20) Piedmont 21-10
Dropped Out: None.
Honorable Mention: (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 email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend