After the first big four from the CIF Southern Section, there are some other tantalizing potential section playoff matchups from other places, especially the Sac-Joaquin with No. 5 Woodcreek and a team just outside the Super 8.
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(Through games of Saturday Feb. 3; Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 23-1
There’s not as much debate now to have the Trailblazers on top now that they can claim a win over Oak Hill Academy while Chino Hills cannot. Marvin Bagley also playing at a level similarly to T.J. Leaf of Foothills Christian last season, but he’s still just a junior.
2. (2) Chino Hills 25-1
AFter the loss to Oak Hill Academy on Saturday broke 60-game win streak, it’s an easy choice to keep the Huskies in front of Bishop Montgomery in the state rankings with one less loss and a tougher schedule.
3. (3) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 22-2
The Knights had two more easy wins in the Del Rey League last week and have one more regular season game on Monday versus L.A. Cathedral before they prepare for the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs.
4. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 26-1
Bol Bol and Justice Seuing combined for 46 points as the Monarchs came away with a 74-62 win over state No. 12 St. Augustine of San Diego in their tougest game of last week, which also was their Saturday game at the Nike Extravaganza.
5. (5) Woodcreek (Roseville) 21-2
We still have the Timberwolves higher than Sacramento Sheldon, which is the Sacramento Bee’s top-ranked team and stayed there even when the Huskies dropped that recent game to San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno. Sheldon did move up to No. 9 this week, though.
6. (6) Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 22-3
The Patriots roared out to a 15-2 lead to start the game and went on to crush Taft of Woodland Hills 116-81 last week in the two teams’ showdown that likely decided the West Valley League championship.
7. (7) Alemany (Mission Hills) 22-3
If there’s a team capable of taking down one of the big four in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs, then it might be the Warriors, especially if junior big man Fred Odhiambo continues to improve his overall skills.
8. (8) Roosevelt (Corona) 16-6
After wins against Corona (70-46) and M.L. King of Riverside (62-52), the Mustangs clinched their first outright Big VIII League championship.