De La Salle of Concord, Damien of La Verne and upstart Campolindo of Moraga join the list of California’s elite State Top 20 boys hoops clubs. For the State Top 20 on the girls side, Carondelet of Concord is highest newcomer. Others coming up fast are Garces of Bakersfield, Brookside Christian of Stockton and Salesian of Richmond.
Check below for this week’s new list of the State Top 20 boys and girls basketball rankings.
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NEW BOYS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
Elite teams from California mostly stayed home for the post-Christmas tournaments with a majority of the best teams making the trek to Del Mar for the Under Armour Holiday Classic or to Palms Springs for the MaxPreps Holiday Classic.
When the dust settled, two SoCal teams won the major division titles — No. 2 Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth and No. 5 Fairfax of Los Angeles – in controversial fashion.
What the melee between Redondo Union and The Patrick School of New Jersey robbed us of was the chance to see Fairfax against Redondo Union at full strength. Of course, if the melee didn’t occur, Fairfax would have likely faced the Patrick School — and we tend to not penalize teams too much for losing to out-of-state clubs in our first set of rankings for the 2015 calendar year.
Regardless, Fairfax’s win over Redondo Union showed the Lions are deserving of a top five ranking. Coach Harvey Kitani has his best club since the Renardo Sidney and Solomon Hill-led club of 2008-09 and his team is the heavy favorite to capture the CIF L.A. City Section Division I title.
Top-ranked O’Dowd, No. 2 Sierra Canyon and No. 3 Mater Dei still have not lost to an in-state foe. No. 4 Bishop Montgomery hasn’t ventured far from home and does have a hard-to-explain loss (to Marin Catholic of Kentfield), but by defeating No. 6 Redondo Union in the marquee game of the Take Flight Challenge at the Jordan Hangar in West Los Angeles on Saturday, coach Doug Mitchell‘s club showed it is not only a contender to repeat as CIF Division IV state champions — but a bonafide contender for the CIF Open Division state title.
Senior guard Stevie Thompson Jr., a bit underrated nationally because he is not flamboyant nor a high-flyer, is not surprised by his team’s success despite graduation losses that include 2014 CIF Division IV state player of the year Justin Bibbins (Long Beach State).
“I like to lead by my play,” Thompson said after scoring 26 points in the 71-58 win over Redondo Union. “If you talk too much, and you mess up, you sometimes can’t get out of it. I really thought we were going to be this good this season.”
(Compiled by Ronnie Flores; updated through games played Saturday, Jan. 3; previous rating in parentheses)
1. (1) BISHOP O’DOWD (OAKLAND) 5-2
2. (2) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 10-1
3. (3) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 11-3
4. (4) BISHOP MONTGOMERY (TORRANCE) 15-1
5. (9) FAIRFAX (LOS ANGELES) 10-0
6. (5) REDONDO UNION (REDONDO BEACH) 11-4
7. (6) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH) 10-2
8. (7) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 9-4
9. (10) ETIWANDA 9-4
10. (15) PRICE (LOS ANGELES) 12-2
11. (16) CHINO HILLS 7-2
12. (NR) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 9-1
13. (13) CATHEDRAL (LOS ANGLES) 9-1
14. (NR) DAMIEN (LA VERNE) 12-2
15. (11) FOLSOM 11-2
16. (17) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 12-1
17. (8) ARCHBSHOP MITTY (SAN JOSE) 6-3
18. (18) FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN (EL CAJON) 10-4*
19. (19) MOREAU CATHOLIC (HAYWARD) 6-5
20. (NR) CAMPOLINDO (MORAGA) 9-2
*Forfeit losses not included.
Dropped Out: Previous No. 12 Loyola (Los Angeles), No. 14 El Cerrito, No. 20 Modesto Christian.
NEW GIRLS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
There are no undefeated teams among any of the teams in this week’s new Cal-Hi Sports State Top 20 although there are some on the bubble that haven’t yet lost but also haven’t yet really played anyone.
Preseason No. 1 Mater Dei of Santa Ana returned to the top of the state – and the nation – by winning the top division at the annual Nike TOC in Arizona. In the final, the Monarchs got past a Blackman High of Murfreesboro, Tenn. squad that had beaten California’s St. Mary’s of Stockton in the semifinals.
Mater Dei’s only loss is by one-point to Chaminade of West Hills, which then later lost to Long Beach Poly. At that point, Poly was considered No. 1 in the state, but then St. Mary’s of Stockton beat the Jackrabbits in the Nike TOC quarterfinals.
St. Mary’s then entered the Platinum Division of the West Coast Jamboree as the favorite and downed previously unbeaten St. Ignatius of San Francisco in the final. The Wildcats got there by topping Chaminade in the semifinals.
(Compiled by Harold Abend; updated through games played Saturday, Jan. 3; previous rating in parentheses)
1. (1) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 12-1
2. (2) ST. MARY’S (STOCKTON) 10-1
3. (6) ST. IGNATIUS (SAN FRANCISCO) 10-1
4. (3) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH) 9-2
5. (4) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 10-2
6. (5) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 11-1
7. (7) MIRAMONTE (ORINDA) 11-1
8. (8) PINEWOOD (LOS ALTOS HILLS) 6-2
9. (10) OAKS CHRISTIAN (WESTLAKE VILLAGE) 9-4
10. (11) REDONDO UNION (REDONDO BEACH) 9-3
11. (NR) CARONDELET (CONCORD) 9-1
12. (18) VENTURA 12-2
13. (15) BISHOP ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 12-2
14. (16) CLOVIS WEST (FRESNO) 12-2
15. (NR) GARCES (BAKERSFIELD) 11-1
16. (17) MISSION HILLS (SAN MARCOS) 10-4
17. (20) ARCHBISHOP MITTY (SAN JOSE) 8-2
18. (NR) BROOKSIDE CHRISTIAN (STOCKTON) 12-1
19. (NR) SALESIAN (RICHMOND) 10-2
20. (18) VISTA MURRIETA (MURRIETA) 10-4
Dropped Out: Previous No. 9 Brea Olinda (Brea); No. 12 St. Mary’s (Berkeley); No. 13 Modesto Christian; No. 14 La Jolla Country Day.
Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of CalHiSports.com. Harold Abend is an associate editor for CalHiSports.com. Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow us on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports