Drake of San Anselmo and St. Francis of Mountain View join the list of California’s elite boys hoops clubs in special edition of our weekly state rankings, which include Monday MLK results. For the girls, No. 1 Mater Dei is no longer the only Orange County team in the State 20. Both Brea Olinda and Foothill of Tustin are now on the honor roll.
Check below for this week’s new list of the State Top 20 boys and girls basketball rankings.
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There were plenty of matchups involving elite teams over the three-day MLK weekend and as is tradition, we don’t try to rush out our rankings on Sunday night or early Monday morning only to have them rendered obsolete by mid afternoon.
There are just too many good showcases around the state and country – many of them which got the idea of pitting top teams against each other in celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday from the Pangos Dream Classic, which began in 1995 in Southern California and now actually takes place in Las Vegas.
Good thing we did wait, too, because it allowed Cathedral of Los Angeles to overcome an early week loss to nationally-ranked Bishop Montgomery and move into the top 10 of the Cal-Hi Sports State 20.
The Phantoms were able to bounce back with MLK weekend victories over previous No. 10 Price of Los Angeles and No. 7 Long Beach Poly. In Saturday’s MLK showcase at Price, the Phantoms had a tough task playing without UCLA commit Kobe Paras, who injured his ankle early in the 80-76 loss to Bishop Montgomery, but point guard Milan Acquaah stepped up big-time in his absence. The junior transfer from Chino Hills had 31 points in the 79-69 victory.
On Monday night at the MLK Day Showdown at La Salle in Pasadena, coach William Middlebrook‘s club had an even bigger task in trying to take down Long Beach Poly, which entered the contest No. 41 in the Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 national rankings. Again it was Acquaah who came up big, as he hit key shots in the second half as the Phantoms knocked Poly out of the FAB 50 with a 68-64 overtime win in the last MLK day game completed around the country.
Acquaah finished with 27 points and rugged forward Leandro Amador, a transfer from Modesto Christian, added 23. It was a big week for the unsigned senior, as he contributed 24 points versus Price.
NEW BOYS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
(Compiled by Ronnie Flores; updated through games played Monday, Jan. 19; previous rating in parentheses)
1. (1) BISHOP O’DOWD (OAKLAND) 10-3
2. (2) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 12-1
3. (3) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 15-3
4. (4) BISHOP MONTGOMERY (TORRANCE) 19-1
5. (5) FAIRFAX (LOS ANGELES) 18-0
6. (6) REDONDO UNION (REDONDO BEACH) 14-4
7. (8) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 12-4
8. (12) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 14-1
9. (13) CATHEDRAL (LOS ANGELES) 14-3
10. (7) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH) 15-3
11. (10) PRICE (LOS ANGELES) 17-3
12. (11) CHINO HILLS 12-3
13. (14) DAMIEN (LA VERNE) 15-2
14. (9) ETIWANDA 13-5
15. (18) MOREAU CATHOLIC (HAYWARD) 11-5
16. (19) CAMPOLINDO (MORAGA) 15-2
17. (20) EL CERRITO 15-2
18. (16) LUTHERAN (ORANGE) 15-3
19. (NR) DRAKE (SAN ANSELMO) 16-2
20. (NR) ST. FRANCIS (MOUNTAIN VIEW) 13-1
*Forfeit losses not included.
Dropped Out: Previous No. 15 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose), No. 17 Foothills Christian (El Cajon).
NEW GIRLS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
A dear friend has an expression he claims was from his days in Philadelphia that has always resonated with me. It’s an expression he uses when describing a difficult task.
“It ain’t nothin but a ride down and a walk back,” my friend chuckled over the phone while celebrating MLK Day and his 79th birthday at the same time.
Well, in the case of top-ranked Mater Dei of Santa Ana, it was a bus ride up to Northern California for the St. Mary’s MLK Showcase in Stockton on Saturday and a bus ride back down to Orange County right after the game, something not unfamiliar to the Monarchs’ caravan.
“For us to drive seven hours yesterday and come here to play a very good team and win like we did was great,” said Mater Dei head coach and the state’s No. 6 all time winningest girls coach Kevin Kiernan after getting career head coaching win No. 658 in a 67-45 dismantling of a very solid Miramonte of Orinda.
Soon after making those comments, Kiernan and the Mater Dei troupe boarded the bus for a ride that would get them home around 3 a.m.
Ironically as he was leaving, one of the next teams up on the St. Mary’s floor was Troy of Fullerton, Kiernan’s former school.
Speaking of Orange County, two of the four newcomers this week join Mater Dei in the rankings. Orange County Register No. 2 Brea-Olinda (Brea) returns after being previously ranked while No. 3 Foothill of Santa Ana makes its first appearance.
(Compiled by Harold Abend; updated through games played Monday, Jan. 19; previous rating in parentheses)
1. (1) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 17-1
2. (2) ST. MARY’S (STOCKTON) 16-1
3. (4) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH) 14-2
4. (5) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 16-2
5. (6) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 13-3
6. (3) ST. IGNATIUS (SAN FRANCISCO) 13-3
7. (7) MIRAMONTE (ORINDA) 15-2
8. (8) PINEWOOD (LOS ALTOS HILLS) 11-2
9. (9) OAKS CHRISTIAN (WESTLAKE VILLAGE) 13-5
10. (10) CARONDELET (CONCORD) 13-1
11. (12) VANDEN (FAIRFIELD) 15-2
12. (16) ARCHBISHOP MITTY (SAN JOSE) 11-3
13. (18) SALESIAN (RICHMOND) 17-2
14. (15) GARCES (BAKERSFIELD) 15-1
15. (20) REDONDO UNION (REDONDO BEACH) 11-5
16. (11) BISHOP ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 15-4
17. (NR) BISHOP O’DOWD (OAKLAND) 9-7
18. (NR) BREA OLINDA (BREA) 14-2
19. (NR) FOOTHILL (TUSTIN) 15-2
20. (NR) NARBONNE (HARBOR CITY) 12-4*
*Forfeit wins or losses not include.
Dropped Out: Previous No. 13 Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach); No. 14 Clovis West (Fresno); No. 17 Brookside Chrisitan (Stockton); No. 19 Vista Murrieta (Murrieta).
Mark Tennis & Paul Muyskens contributed to this report. Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores
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