The new No. 1 and new No. 2 are playing each other on Saturday so perhaps it doesn’t matter that much, but for the Cal-Hi Sports Top 20 it will be Bishop Montgomery at No. 1 and Mater Dei at No. 2 mostly because the Knights were higher previously and they are the ones who defeated previous state No. 1 Sierra Canyon.
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(Through games of Saturday Feb. 25; Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (3) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 26-2
Putting the Knights preseason No. 1 in the state didn’t look good at all after that first game vs. Bishop O’Dowd, but they weren’t at full strength and it looks better now after the 70-63 win in the CIF Southern Section Open Division semifinals over previous No. 1 Sierra Canyon.
2. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 31-1
Sure, of course Mater Dei can be ranked No. 1 as well. The Monarchs just avenged their only loss and they don’t have a loss like the Knights do in their first game vs. O’Dowd.
3. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 27-2
Barring the unlikely event of a Mater Dei blowout win against Bishop Montgomery on Saturday, look for the Trailblazers to be the No. 3 seed in the CIF SoCal Open Division playoffs, which will begin next week after this week’s various section finals.
4. (2) Chino Hills 29-2
The same reason that Sierra Canyon was seeded higher than the Huskies in the CIFSS Open Division (common opponent) also applies for the CIF SoCal Open Division. Therefore, it should be a No. 4 seed for them and a projected tougher first-round game in that bracket than the others, like perhaps against Birmingham if it wins the L.A. City crown.
5. (5) Woodcreek (Roseville) 27-2
We’re still on track for what some are saying is the NorCal Game of the Year between the Timberwolves and No. 7 Sheldon in Saturday’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship.
6. (6) Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 26-3
The Patriots won two games last week to earn their first ever trip to an upper division L.A. City Section championship game, this one coming in the Open Division nonetheless.
7. (8) Sheldon (Sacramento) 27-2
Both Sheldon and Woodcreek have losses to Chino Hills with each also having what one might call a stinker loss. If they play in the section final, the winner will be the No. 1 seed for the NorCal Open Division and the loser very well likely will be No. 2.
8. (11) St. Augustine (San Diego) 25-4
San Diego’s top-seeded team in its own Open Division is now in the top eight after previous No. 7 Roosevelt, No. 9 Santa Margarita and No. 10 Fairfax all lost last week.