With one week to go in the season, four boys teams just coming into the State Top 20 this week include state finalists San Ramon Valley of Danville, Campolindo of Moraga and Mitty of San Jose. For the girls, McClatchy of Sacramento, Serra of Gardena and Mark Keppel of Alhambra are all new and two of those three – McClatchy and Serra – are playing each other in the Division I state final.
Check below for this week’s new list of the State Top 20 boys and girls basketball rankings.
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As we come down to the final week of the season, three things we forecasted in the preseason have come to fruition.
1. If Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland emerged as the NorCal Open Division champion, the CIF State Open Division final guaranteed a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. This is because whichever team emerged as the champ of the SoCal Open Division figured to be one of the state’s two best teams along with the Dragons.
2. With the NorCal Open Division gutting the region of its best teams, but not necessarily many with a realistic shot to defeat O’Dowd, the SoCal representative figured to be the favorite in many state final games. That is certainly the case. In fact, only one SoCal state boys finalist doesn’t seem to have a realistic shot at cracking the final State Top 20 and that’s Crespi of Encino in Division 4. There are three NorCal title teams who were just put into the State Top 20 this week (San Ramon Valley, Campolindo, and Mitty) and all could fall out of the Top 20 without good showings this weekend.
3. Talented teams that lost in the brutal CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs before the semifinal round figured to be major state title contenders once they were back in their original CIF playoff division. That has come true as Chino Hills (D1), Damien (D3) and Sierra Canyon (D5) are all favorites to win state championships this weekend. D2 South representative La Mirada and D4 entrant Crespi weren’t even considered strong enough clubs to make the 16-team CIFSS Open Division field.
The other lone newcomer this week is NorCal Open Division entrant El Cerrito, which split with D3 North representative Campolindo of Moraga and drew a tough road game when it lost to No. 14 Folsom to open the regional. Teams that participated in the Open regional playoffs or the loaded CIFSS Open Division section bracket have a chance to move up in next week’s final rankings after all the results of games this season are tabulated.
NEW BOYS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
(Compiled by Ronnie Flores; updated through games played Saturday, March 21; previous rating in parentheses)
*Indicates season complete.
**Indicates forfeit wins/losses not included.
1. (1) BISHOP O’DOWD (OAKLAND) 27-4
2. (4) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 29-4
3. (2) BISHOP MONTGOMERY (TORRANCE) 31-2*
4. (5) FAIRFAX (LOS ANGELES) 32-3*
5. (3) ETIWANDA 24-9*
6. (6) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 25-4
7. (13) DAMIEN (LA VERNE) 25-5
8. (9) CHINO HILLS 24-7**
9. (15) LUTHERAN (ORANGE) 24-6*
10. (7) CATHEDRAL (LOS ANGELES) 22-8*
11. (10) MODESTO CHRISTIAN 30-4*
12. (11) MONTE VISTA (DANVILLE) 27-4*
13. (8) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 25-6*
14. (14) FOLSOM 28-5*
15. (NR) SAN RAMON VALLEY (DANVILLE) 26-6
16. (NR) CAMPOLINDO (MORAGA) 28-4
17. (14) REDONDO UNION (REDONDO BEACH) 25-8*
18. (NR) EL CERRITO 29-4*
19. (18) SERRA (SAN MATEO) 23-6*
20. (NR) ARCHBISHOP MITTY (SAN JOSE) 20-10
Previous No. 16 De La Salle (Concord); No. 17 Torrey Pines (San Diego); No. 19 Long Beach Poly (Long Beach); No. 20 Sacramento.
NEW GIRLS BASKETBALL
TOP 20 OVERALL RANKINGS
As has been the case during the entire postseason from the first round of CIF section playoffs to this week’s state finals, the top-seeded girls teams have done what they were supposed to do. That’s why there hasn’t been any massive changes in the state rankings resulting from a shocking upset.
Bishop O’Dowd did surprise some with the margin of its defeat over previous No. 8 Vanden, but the Dragons were No. 12 last week themselves and have been steadily improving as the knee of standout guard Asha Thomas has gotten stronger. She hadn’t played at all this season until just a few weeks ago.
Three new teams that did get to land in this week’s State Top 20 are McClatchy of Sacramento, Serra of Gardena and Mark Keppel of Alhambra. McClatchy and Serra basically replaced Vista Murrieta and Ventura among teams in the mix for the CIF Division I state title. Keppel went in for previous No. 19 Modesto Christian, which probably needs St. Mary’s of Stockton and Bishop O’Dowd to win CIF state titles and for Keppel to lose in its CIF state final in order to go back in.
(Compiled by Harold Abend; updated through games played Saturday, March 21; previous rating in parentheses)
*Indicates season complete.
1. (1) ST. MARY’S (STOCKTON) 33-1
2. (3) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 31-2
3. (2) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 27-4*
4. (4) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH) 26-4*
5. (5) MIRAMONTE (ORINDA) 30-3*
6. (6) SIERRA CANYON (CHATSWORTH) 22-5
7. (7) SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL (SAN FRANCISCO) 18-11*
8. (12) BISHOP O’DOWD (OAKLAND) 24-9
9. (9) BISHOP ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 24-7*
10. (10) ST. IGNATIUS (SAN FRANCISCO) 22-7*
11. (11) PINEWOOD (LOS ALTOS HILLS) 24-4*
12. (8) VANDEN (FAIRFIELD) 30-4*
13. (14) BREA OLINDA (BREA) 26-4
14. (16) EASTSIDE PREP (EAST PALO ALTO) 25-5
15. (20) ARCHBISHOP MITTY (SAN JOSE) 24-6
16. (17) OAKS CHRISTIAN (WESTLAKE VILLAGE) 26-7*
17. (NR) SERRA (GARDENA) 23-10
18. (NR) MCCLATCHY (SACRAMENTO) 26-7
19. (NR) MARK KEPPEL (ALHAMBRA) 26-7
20. (15) CLOVIS WEST (FRESNO) 26-5*
Previous No. 13 Vista Murrieta (Murrieta); No. 18 Ventura; No. 19 Modesto Christian.
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