We were alone with Bishop Montgomery at No. 1 last week ahead of Mater Dei and also were alone with Woodcreek as the No. 1 team from Northern California. Guess we do know what we are doing after all as both won featured games last Saturday. Mater Dei also almost fell to No. 3, but did not move Sierra Canyon higher.
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(Through games of Saturday, March 4; Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 27-2
The last time the Knights were the No. 1 seed in the SoCal Open Division in 2015, they lost to Mater Dei in the semifinals. This time, that won’t happen again but a semifinal loss wouldn’t be that much of a shocker because Bishop Montgomery will likely be playing Chino Hills.
2. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 31-2
It wasn’t an upset in our book that the Monarchs lost to Bishop Montgomery in the CIFSS Open Division championship, but it was a surprise to see them get outscored 17-2 after taking a 44-38 leading into the fourth quarter.
3. (3) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 27-2
Consideration in moving the Trailblazers in front of Mater Dei was not due to margin of victory vs. Bishop Montgomery, but more about the number of national-level wins that the they’ve have had going back to early December. They’ll play No. 7 St. Augustine on Friday in opening round of SoCal Open Division playoffs.
4. (4) Chino Hills 29-2
It’s a good bet the Huskies will score more than 100 points for the 17th time this season when they play L.A. City Section Open Division champ Birmingham in SoCal Open Division on Friday.
5. (5) Woodcreek (Roseville) 29-2
Despite big man Jordan Brown (6-11) being on the bench for much of the game with foul trouble, the Timberwolves still had enough other players step up in their 69-68 victory over previous No. 7 Sheldon of Sacramento that gave them the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 title and top seed for the NorCal Open Division.
6. (6) Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 27-3
As expected, the Patriots captured the L.A. City Section Open Division title with a 85-80 win over No. 10 Westchester on Saturday night at Cal-State Dominguez Hills.
7. (8) St. Augustine (San Diego) 27-4
We were almost ranking the Saints higher than Sacramento Sheldon earlier and that can now happen after they won the CIF San Diego Section Open Division while Sheldon got edged in its section final. St. Augustine owns a 77-46 win over the same San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno team that upset Sheldon 66-65 in January.
8. (7) Sheldon (Sacramento) 28-3
Replays showed it wasn’t much of a foul that sent Woodcreek’s Jordan Brown to the line with 0.1 seconds left in the SJS D1 title game. Brown still had to make them both for the win, which he did. No one would be surprised if the two play again for the NorCal Open Division crown or if they play again and Sheldon wins.