Defending NorCal Champions Monte Vista of Danville (Division I) and Folsom (Division II) join the list of California’s elite boys basketball teams in our latest weekly state rankings. For the girls, Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth has to drop some spots from No. 5 after a loss to Troy of Fullerton while the only newcomer is Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco.
Check below for this week’s new list of the State Top 20 boys and girls basketball rankings.
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Going into the season, there was no doubt Bishop O’Dowd loomed as the giant of Northern California basketball. It wasn’t a matter of whether or not the Dragons were NorCal’s best club, it was a question if there were any (or if enough) quality eligible teams to fill out a CIF NorCal Open Division bracket and potentially give the Dragons a good test in the regional playoffs.
The answer to that question is yes, as plenty of quality NorCal teams have emerged as potential state ranked clubs. Is there another O’Dowd type team? No, but there are enough teams to fill out a respectable open bracket and two more of those quality teams broke into the state top 20 this week — Monte Vista of Danville and Folsom.
Monte Vista knocked off previous No. 8 De La Salle in overtime and beat Folsom earlier this month. Yes, it may seem as if De La Salle is being punished heavily, but the Spartans don’t own a win over a team currently in the top 20 and must fall behind the defending state champ Mustangs and Folsom in the new pecking order.
The closeness of the loss to Bishop Montgomery can only help the Spartans so much, but De La Salle will get another crack at Monte Vista in the second round of East Bay Athletic League play.
As the regular season has worn on, it also looks like the disparity between the North and the South is perhaps not as drastic as last season with regards to overall state rankings (as opposed to potential state final matchups, which is a different story).
Last season there were a plethora of CIFSS Open Division teams that were worthy to crack our state top 20 nearly every week. The section’s entire 16-team open division could have been state ranked. This year, the teams that are projected to face the top four seeds in the opening round don’t appear quite as strong, as plenty more NorCal than SoCal teams were considered for the two new opening spots in this week’s Top 20.
NEW BOYS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
(Compiled by Ronnie Flores; updated through games played Saturday, Jan. 24; previous rating in parentheses)
1. (1) BISHOP O’DOWD (OAKLAND) 12-3
2. (2) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 14-1
3. (3) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 17-3
4. (4) BISHOP MONTGOMERY (TORRANCE) 20-1
5. (5) FAIRFAX (LOS ANGELES) 19-0
6. (6) REDONDO UNION (REDONDO BEACH) 16-4
7. (8) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 14-4
8. (9) CATHEDRAL (LOS ANGELES)
9. (10) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH) 16-3
10. (13) DAMIEN (LA VERNE) 17-2
11. (11) PRICE (LOS ANGELES) 18-4
12. (12) CHINO HILLS 13-4*
13. (15) MOREAU CATHOLIC (HAYWARD) 13-5
14. (14) ETIWANDA 13-6
15. (16) CAMPOLINDO (MORAGA) 15-2
16. (19) DRAKE (SAN ANSELMO) 18-2
17. (18) LUTHERAN (ORANGE) 17-3
18. (20) ST. FRANCIS (MOUNTAIN VIEW) 15-1
19. (NR) MONTE VISTA (DANVILLE) 16-2
20. (NR) FOLSOM 18-3
*Forfeit wins and losses not included.
Dropped Out: Previous No. 8 De La Salle (Concord); No. 17 El Cerrito.
NEW GIRLS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
After its win on MLK Day in Stockton over St. Ignatius of San Francisco, state No. 5 Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth beat Campbell Hall and Brentwood last week easily but then took a close 46-45 loss at Troy of Fullerton on Saturday.
The question for this week’s state rankings, therefore, becomes how far to drop Sierra Canyon? The same thing happened to Sierra Canyon as happened to head coach Kevin Kiernan’s Mater Dei team last year when it came off the road from Northern California and took a loss the next week.
The Trailblazers didn’t get home on MLK Day until 2 a.m, and then had two league games where the stars never regained their rhythm due to getting minimal time, and then everyone got sick so Friday’s practice prior to the Troy game had to be cancelled.
The toll of playing six games in eight days simply caught up with head coach Alicia Komaki and her girls.
“I could give you excuses, everyone was sick, got home late, the travel, six games, and I’ve coached with Roger (Troy head coach Roger Anderson) and we were prepared for the 1-1-3 zone, but we weren’t involved in the game,” said Komaki, herself with a heavy-chest cough.
Sierra Canyon suffered what many small schools suffer when stars are sick on a squad that isn’t 10-deep like a D1 school. Even so, Troy is not as bad a stinker loss as some other teams below Miramonte of Orinda and Pinewood of Los Altos Hills have suffered. In the end, the Trail Blazers dropped from No. 5 down to No. 8 in this week’s rankings.
(Compiled by Harold Abend; updated through games played Saturday, Jan. 24; previous rating in parentheses)
1. (1) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 18-1
2. (2) ST. MARY’S (STOCKTON) 19-1
3. (3) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH)
4. (4) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 17-2
5. (6) ST. IGNATIUS (SAN FRANCISCO) 14-3
6. (7) MIRAMONTE (ORINDA) 17-2
7. (8) PINEWOOD (LOS ALTOS HILLS) 13-2
8. (5) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 15-4
9. (9) OAKS CHRISTIAN (WESTLAKE VILLAGE) 14-5
10. (11) VANDEN (FAIRFIELD) 17-2
11. (10) CARONDELET (CONCORD) 15-2
12. (12) ARCHBISHOP MITTY (SAN JOSE) 11-3
13. (13) SALESIAN (RICHMOND) 19-2
14. (14) GARCES (BAKERSFIELD) 17-1
15. (15) REDONDO UNION (REDONDO BEACH) 14-5
16. (16) BISHOP ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 16-4
17. (17) BISHOP O’DOWD (OAKLAND) 11-7
18. (18) BREA OLINDA (BREA) 17-2
19. (20) NARBONNE (HARBOR CITY) 15-4*
20. (NR) SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL (SAN FRANCISCO) 9-8
*Forfeit wins or losses not include.
Dropped Out: Previous No. 19 Foothill (Tustin).
Mark Tennis & Paul Muyskens contributed to this report. Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend