Regardless of heart-breaking loss to Cathedral Catholic, St. Mary’s of Stockton still has to go down as one of the best teams in section history. In the final rankings, Del Oro also has to go back behind Oak Ridge for head-to-head loss.
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Colleague Thomas Lawrence of the Stockton Record referred to the 38-35 loss in overtime by St. Mary’s to Cathedral Catholic of San Diego as “Shakespearian” in last Friday’s CIF Division 1-AA state final.
Other than the final few minutes of the first half and final three or four minutes of the fourth quarter, it certainly appeared as if the Rams were the superior team. But that also wasn’t just some chump opponent they were playing, either.
In winning, the Dons became the first team in CIF San Diego Section history to go 15-0 and win a Division I state title.
Since St. Mary’s only other loss this season was to a St. John Bosco (Bellflower) squad that beat De La Salle of Concord 56-33 in the Open Division state final and since the Rams scored 831 points in their games (second-best in section history and fourth-best in state history), they still have to go down as one of the best in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section history.
No, St. Mary’s 2016 isn’t up there with Folsom 2014, Cordova 1975, Elk Grove 1998 and Merced 1990 and possibly Grant 2008, but they’re up there just the same and deserving of being in the debate.
Head coach Tony Franks’ squad obviously stays No. 1 in the final Top 25 section rankings as well. It also was easy to put Del Oro back behind league rival Oak Ridge in the final rankings due to a head-to-head loss. If the Golden Eagles had won the CIF Division 1-A state final against San Clemente instead of losing, they would have stayed in front of the Trojans in the final rankings.
By winning the CIF Division 3-A crown, we’re also going to place Oakdale one spot in front of Manteca in the final rankings despite a 30-22 head-to-head loss. The Buffaloes also were in a higher division, but the team they lost to in their NorCal regional game, Menlo-Atherton of Atherton, got beat in their state game. Oakdale also got a win over Central Catholic of Modesto late in the season, which was a team that beat Manteca.
(After games of Saturday, Dec. 17)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 14-2
2. (2) Folsom 12-2
3. (4) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 10-3
4. (3) Del Oro (Loomis) 13-3
5. (5) Elk Grove 11-2
6. (7) Oakdale 14-2
7. (6) Manteca 12-2
8. (8) Inderkum (Sacramento) 11-3
9. (9) Sacramento 10-2
10. (10) Turlock 9-3
11. (11) Jesuit (Carmichael) 9-4
12. (12) Central Catholic (Modesto) 8-4
13. (13) Pitman (Turlock) 10-2
14. (14) Antelope 12-1
15. (15) Sheldon (Sacramento) 8-4
16. (16) Grant (Sacramento) 8-4
17. (17) Merced 9-4
18. (18) Napa 7-4
19. (20) Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 11-3
20. (19) Vacaville 8-4
21. (21) American Canyon 10-3
22. (22) Roseville 9-2
23. (23) Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) 8-4
24. (24) Davis 5-6
25. (NR) Monterey Trail (Elk Grove) 5-6
Previous No. 25 Capital Christian (Sacramento).
Amador (Sutter Creek) 14-2, Capital Christian (Sacramento) 11-3, Del Campo (Fair Oaks), Franklin (Elk Grove) 5-5, Granite Bay 4-7, Sonora 11-1, Tracy 5-6, Whitney (Rocklin) 6-5, Woodcreek (Roseville) 4-6.