After all games in the books, it’s pretty obvious the state’s No. 1 and No. 2 girls teams are Mater Dei and St. Mary’s of Stockton. After that, though, it’s more of a toss up. Did Sierra Canyon make a case to be No. 3 with Monday win over St. Ignatius?
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It wasn’t quite an avenging win, but the players and head coach at Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth knew quite well that the St. Ignatius of San Francisco team they defeated 52-45 during Monday’s MLK Showcase at St. Mary’s of Stockton has been ranked very high among the state’s top teams.
“Honestly, it does feel like an avenging win because we know that (St. Ignatius) has a win over Chaminade,” said Sierra Canyon head coach Alicia Komaki, whose team dropped a 57-56 game to the Eagles on Jan. 10. “Our main theme is just to prove this year that we belong. We don’t pay much attention to rankings and all that but we want to prove we can be on that top level.”
St. Ignatius, which was No. 3 in last week’s rankings behind Mater Dei and Stockton St. Mary’s primarily because of its win over Chaminade coupled with Chaminade having that win over Sierra Canyon, actually lost its second game since then. The Wildcats were upset last Tuesday night 62-50 by arch-rival Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The Wildcats clawed back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter against Sierra Canyon and tied the score 39-39 with 5:07 left on a bucket by Sydney Raggio.
UCLA-bound Kennedy Burke then took over on Sierra Canyon’s next two possessions with baskets for a 43-39 lead. A layup with 32 seconds left by SI’s Joleen Yang cut the advantage to 47-45, but that was answered by a layup from Tori Nevill that iced the win for the Trailblazers.
Burke led all scorers with 20 points. Her dynamic teammate, Cheyanne Wallace, had 18 points. St. Ignatius received 15 points from Yang.
“For sure, this was a great trip for us,” said Komaki. “We played the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the state and we came back from that bad first half (against St. Mary’s).”
Sierra Canyon loaded up for its drive back down to Southern California at 12-3. One of the losses was to the No. 2 team in Maryland and one was from the Saturday game to St. Mary’s. The other was to Chaminade.
Is that enough to be No. 3? Possibly, although Chaminade did have big wins this week over state-ranked Alemany and Oaks Christian.
In other games played during Monday’s MLK Showcase at St. Mary’s of Stockton:
Vanden (Fairfield) 64, Troy (Fullerton) 43
It was another strong outing for the Vikings, who beat state-ranked Vista Murrieta in their first game in Stockton on Saturday. All five starters again had their moments, but Kayla Blair (20 points) and Chantell Greer (13 points) topped the scoring charts. Look for Vanden (15-2) to move up from No. 12 in this week’s State Top 20.
Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 71, Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 57
The Broncos fell to 1-3 in games they’ve played in Stockton, but all three losses were to strong opponents. This time, it was to an Irish squad buoyed by a huge upset from last week over state No. 3 at the time St. Ignatius of San Francisco. SHC stayed hot behind 6-foot-1 standout sophomore Iimar’i Thomas, who sizzled for 24 points. Vista Murrieta’s Jaelyn Brown battled fouls and ended with 17 points. The Broncos, in fact, had to finish the last 40 seconds of the game with an injured player hobbling on the court because they only had four healthy players available due to fouls. Kayla Coloyan also had 20 points for the Irish.
Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 61, Lynwood 48
After knocking off Reno on Saturday, the Knights couldn’t back it up with a win over the Falcons. Christian Brothers was led by Jessica Cooper with 14 points and Kira McKechnie with 13.
Narbonne (Harbor City) 59, Lincoln (Stockton) 47
Beating the Trojans after knocking off St. Mary’s of Berkeley on Saturday completed a very good showing for the L.A. City Section favorites (along with defending champion Fairfax). Lincoln, which won in its Saturday game over Enterprise of Redding, had difficulty with Narbonne’s Letecia Smith, who had 13 points. Lincoln sophomore Zahria Hendrix and Lianna Tillman ended a solid two-game stretch in front of the many college scouts with 10 points apiece.
St. Mary’s (Stockton) 85, La Jolla Country Day 52
It wasn’t the greatest of shooting nights for the Rams, but the state’s No. 2 team still led 24-7 at the end of the first quarter and breezed past the Torreys. Junior guard Kat Tudor connected for 15 points to lead St. Mary’s. Sophomore Naje Murray had 13 while freshman Aquira DeCosta netted 11.
St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 64, Clovis West (Fresno) 50
It was a solid bounce-back win for the Panthers after their loss in Stockton on Saturday to Narbonne. Cal commit and emerging all-state candidate Ma’Ane Mosely had one of the best games of the weekend with 27 points to lead St. Mary’s.
Note: Last game of the night between Pinewood of Los Altos Hills and McClatchy (Sacramento) not reported.
Paul Muyskens contributed to this post. 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 Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports