There are two newcomers this week for the State Top 20 among boys as Alemany of Mission Hills and six-time state champion Westchester of Los Angeles join list. For the girls, Alemany gets bumped up into the first 10 but very few changes as section playoffs are poised to begin.
Check below for this week’s new list of the State Top 20 boys and girls basketball rankings.
To read our breakdowns on each Top 20 team, why some of these rankings moves were made, which teams are on the bubble and for the first CIF divisional state rankings for both boys and girls basketball, you need to be a member of our Gold Club. Join our team today by CLICKING HERE.
We accurately predicted all 16 teams that will participate in the loaded CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs. While our seeding predictions were just a bit different, and that’s not easy to predict with nine of the teams coming from just three leagues (Trinity, Del Rey, Baseline), one thing about the field is quite predictable.
The 16-team bracket will drastically impact Cal-Hi Sports’ State Top 20 in the coming weeks. In the first round alone, there are four matchups of state-ranked teams: No. 11 Cathedral at No. 9 Redondo Union, No. 15 Orange Lutheran at No. 7 Damien, new No. 18 Alemany at No. 6 Corona Centennial and No. 14 Chino Hills at No. 8 Long Beach Poly. The quarterfinals on Wednesday, February 25 figure to be blockbusters with some teams in or near the top 10 battling it out.
Alemany is the 12th team in a 16-team bracket to be included in the State Top 20, while the second newcomer at No. 20 is no stranger to our rankings — six-time CIF Division I state champion Westchester of Los Angeles.
The Comets were ranked in the top 10 in the preseason, but the summer ACL injury to guard Akil Reese and the 30-day ineligibility of junior forward Keith Fisher put the Comets a step back because they had a tough time scoring. Coach Ed Azzam’s team has been a lot better in recent weeks with Fisher becoming acclimated in the rotation.
The Comets play hard as heck on defense and their mix of team defense, tradition and coaching got them over the hump in a thrilling comeback win last week over rival and state-ranked Fairfax of Los Angeles. The loss didn’t drop the Lions far, but it elevated Westchester back in the conversation as a serious threat to knock off Fairfax in the first ever CIF L.A. City Section Open Division playoffs.
An in-depth explanation on the decision of where to drop Fairfax and a more in-depth look at the CIFSS Open Division playoffs will be published in the expanded State Top 20 rankings for Gold Club VIPs. As the basketball playoffs tip off, it’s a great time to JOIN OUR TEAM.
NEW BOYS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
(Compiled by Ronnie Flores; updated through games played Saturday, Feb. 14; previous rating in parentheses)
1. (1) BISHOP O’DOWD (OAKLAND) 19-4
2. (2) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 24-3
3. (3) BISHOP MONTGOMERY (TORRANCE) 24-1
4. (5) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 21-3
5. (4) FAIRFAX (LOS ANGELES) 27-2
6. (6) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 21-4
7. (7) DAMIEN (LA VERNE) 23-3
8. (8) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH) 22-3
9. (9) REDONDO UNION (REDONDO BEACH) 21-5
10. (10) ETIWANDA 20-7
11. (11) CATHEDRAL (LOS ANGELES) 19-6
12. (13) MOREAU CATHOLIC (HAYWARD) 19-5
13. (16) MONTE VISTA (DANVILLE) 22-2
14. (12) CHINO HILLS 19-6*
15. (15) LUTHERAN (ORANGE) 22-4
16. (18) SACRAMENTO 22-4
17. (20) EL CERRITO 22-3
18. (NR) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 20-7*
19. (19) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 21-3
20. (NR) WESTCHESTER (LOS ANGELES) 19-11
*Forfeit losses not included.
Dropped Out: Previous No. 14 Campolindo (Moraga); No. 17 Folsom.
NEW GIRLS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
Not surprisingly, there were few changes in this week’s rankings as league play is concluding in some CIF sections with several teams knocking on the door should they pull off upsets in the upcoming playoffs.
While our rankings don’t mirror the seedings of the CIF Southern Section Open Division, it illustrates the differences between seedings and rankings where in our methodology results outside of the CIFSS and a team’s overall body of work may allow it to be ranked higher than it is seeded.
There certainly was no disagreement in the top three seeds with Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly and Chaminade falling into place.
We also have No. 5 seed Sierra Canyon ranked ahead of No. 4 Alemany based on our assessment of their resume but an argument could be made to have Alemany higher, so we moved up the Warriors and will see what happens if both win and they face each other in the second round.
In the bigger picture, it doesn’t look anyone outside of those five teams is going to be in the CIFSS Open Division semifinals so almost all of those other teams will be bouncing down into CIF divisional playoffs where several of them will be state contenders, even favorites.
(Compiled by Harold Abend; updated through games played Saturday, Feb. 14; previous rating in parentheses)
1. (1) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 25-1
2. (2) ST. MARY’S (STOCKTON) 26-1
3. (3) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH)
4. (4) ST. IGNATIUS (SAN FRANCISCO) 19-3
5. (5) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 20-3
6. (6) MIRAMONTE (ORINDA) 23-2
7. (7) PINEWOOD (LOS ALTOS HILLS) 23-2
8. (8) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 20-4
9. (10) CARONDELET (CONCORD) 22-2
10. (11) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 22-5
11. (9) OAKS CHRISTIAN (WESTLAKE VILLAGE) 20-5
12. (12) ARCHBISHOP MITTY (SAN JOSE) 18-4
13. (13) SALESIAN (RICHMOND) 24-2
14. (14) GARCES (BAKERSFIELD) 24-1
15. (16) VANDEN (FAIRFIELD) 23-3
16. (15) BISHOP O’DOWD (OAKLAND) 17-8
17. (17) BREA OLINDA (BREA) 22-3
18. (18) NARBONNE (HARBOR CITY) 21-4*
19. (19) SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL (SAN FRANCISCO) 12-10
20. (20) VISTA MURRIETA (MURRIETA) 21-6
*Forfeit wins or losses not included.
Dropped Out: None.
Mark Tennis & Paul Muyskens contributed to this report.
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