Divisional Hoop Rankings Update

Why hasn’t there been divisional boys and girls basketball rankings so far this season on Cal-Hi Sports?

One reason is the amount of time it takes for us finish up all of the various all-state football teams without having the resources to do too many other content tasks at the same time.

Brothers Jeremy (42) and Justin (43) Hemsley of La Verne Damien celebrate after D3 state final. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Brothers Jeremy (42) and Justin (43) Hemsley of La Verne Damien celebrate after D3 state final. Photo: Willie Eashman.


Another reason is that it’s become increasingly more difficult to place teams in various divisions due to Open Division section playoffs in the Southern, San Diego and Central Coast sections. The sections that don’t have Open Divisions also seem to add wrinkles to their own playoff formats each season, such as in the Sac-Joaquin where teams now are moved up a division if they win a league title. If those teams don’t, they stay where listed.

Bottom line is because of all-state football projects and division uncertainty we’re now just going to wait until the section playoff pairings around the state are actually released next week until doing our own state divisional rankings.

One major shift that hasn’t gotten too much attention that we’ve seen around the state is that in the Southern Section this year the teams (both boys and girls) that play in that section’s Open Division will no longer be bounced down into their CIF state enrollment divisions for the regional playoffs.

According to the Southern Section’s own basketball handbook, projected regional/state divisions for teams in its Open Division go like this: semifinalists to the SoCal Open Division, quarterfinalists to SoCal Division I, first four consolation round teams to SoCal Division I, second four consolation teams to SoCal Division II. If you’re wondering, the CIFSS Division IAA finalists and the CIFSS Division IA finalists also will now no longer be in Division I for the SoCal regional/state playoffs. Those teams instead are projected to be in D2.

So how big of a shift is this? Well, last year on the boys side, Damien of La Verne won the D3 state title after losing in the CIFSS Open Division and Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth won the D5 state title after losing in the CIFSS Open Division. Also, eventual D4 state boys champion Crespi of Encino narrowly missed getting into the CIFSS Open Division. For the girls, the only state champion from the CIFSS Open Division was Sierra Canyon in D4 although Mark Keppel of Alhambra in D2 and Serra of Gardena in D3 made it to state finals after losing in the CIFSS Open Division.

Crespi’s boys also are a good example of how confusing it would be to do divisional state rankings right now. The Celts are currently shown ranked No. 1 in the CIFSS 3A Division, but if we put them in Division III for the state that wouldn’t make sense at all because they’re certain to be in the CIFSS Open Division and therefore wouldn’t be D3 for the state in any way shape or form. Instead, if Crespi doesn’t make it to the CIFSS Open Division semifinals, it would likely bounce back to D1 for the state.

Once we know which teams are all in for the CIFSS Open Divisions (boys & girls), which teams are all in for the other Open Divisions and which teams are in which brackets in the Sac-Joaquin, only then will it make it worthwhile to take the time to compile state divisional rankings.


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10 Comments

  1. kbrizzle
    Posted February 8, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Where is the Sac-Joaquin rule where a team that wins league is bumped up a division listed? Is this a misinterpretation of the rule? I’ve looked on the Constitution and Bylaws for basketball, but this isn’t stated. Please advise. Thanks.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted February 9, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      All I know is that Modesto Christian is expecting to be in D1 and Weston Ranch in D3 and Weston Ranch would have been D4 if it wasn’t winning league. Maybe those are league rules and not section rules. Bottom line is it’s a confusing mess and not going to try to figure it out and will wait until brackets released before speculating which teams not just in SJS but for state should be viewed as favorites in the various divisions.

    • Tiny Tim
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      I believe the rule in SJS for team playoffs is that if a team wins their league, they must play in the same playoff division that their league is rated. For example, Modesto Christian is in the Modesto Metro for basketball which SJS rates as a D1 league, so they’ll go into the SJS D1 playoffs should they win the league. St. Marys had to play in the SJS D1 football playoffs last Fall since they won the TCAL (again!) which is D1 rated.
      I have not been able to find this in SJS’s official publications either. It is new for 2015-16, but it must have been made after SJS published its rules for 2015-16.
      For teams that qualify but not win their league, they are, for the most part, lined up in order by their enrollment size with the largest in D1, the smallest in D7. However, a team may only play 1 division down from its league’s rating no matter what the team’s school enrollment is.

  2. phil60
    Posted February 8, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Looks like state playoffs will be diluted in lower divisions with best SS teams mostly in Open or D1.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted February 9, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Mostly true, but Crespi wasn’t in the CIFSS Open Division last year and ended up winning D4 state crown.

  3. pete pappas
    Posted February 8, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    do the clovis west girls want to be in open division? It looks as if they are forced to go to open division, when they should be hosting games in division one instead of traveling. where is the reward for winning central section championship. I hate the mess that the open division has created: especially in socal.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted February 9, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      This is actually a great year for the CW girls to do some damage in the SoCal Open Division. If the Central Section were in the north this year for girls hoops, forget it. But the south for one of the very few times is devoid of the usual powerhouse teams. Doesn’t matter if CW girls want to be open or not. They’ll be in it. They know it and this time they have legit chance to go far.

      • pete pappas
        Posted February 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        thanks, Mark. Any chance of hosting a game?

        • Mark Tennis
          Posted February 10, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          That would mean a top four seed and since La Jolla Country Day and Mission Hills will play each other in San Diego to decide one of them, then yes I think CW girls project to get an Open Division home game.

  4. pete pappas
    Posted February 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    With 6 socal teams ahead of cw girls in the rankings, c.w. will be seeded last, even if 3 or 4 of these schools are in the open division. I have watched c.w. girls basketball since it began in the early 80’s and they were always good in the central section, but always host a s.s. playoff game against teams like l.b. poly and get crushed. This years team is probably the best ever, but they do not reload every year like the socal powers and the pedigree is just not there to be in the open division and have no chance of hosting a playoff game Example: next year should be just as good, but the j.v. team sucks and there is no lenient transfer system like socal.

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