Mitty, Clovis West and Long Beach Poly are locked into the top three spots no matter what happens in the CIF Open Division state final between the top two. It’s after that, in which the order gets messy and the way it has been done this week may not be the way it ends up. Debate among us will continue until the final rankings.
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(After games of Saturday, March 18)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 28-2
St. Mary’s stayed with the Monarchs longer in the NorCal Open semifinal 78-61 win than Cardinal Newman in the 78-54 Northern Regional title game, but one thing is for certain and that is head coach Sue Phillips has her girls playing very well with one final hurdle to clear.
2. (2) Clovis West (Fresno) 33-2
Sure, it could have been argued that for many weeks that the Golden Eagles should have been higher than Mitty all along despite an overtime head-to-head loss because they won the Nike TOC. We’ve been doing rankings in five sports for 30 or more years, however, and in our system the head-to-head is always considered first. It won’t matter after Saturday’s Open Division final anyway.
3. (3) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 27-4
Season is complete. The Jackrabbits ended with two of their four losses coming to Clovis West. In last Saturday’s defeat in the CIF SoCal Open Division final, unlike the first loss in Hawaii, no overtime was needed. Regardless of what happens between Mitty and Clovis West, Poly will be third in the final state rankings.
4. (6) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 21-10
Season complete. Unlike the first three, we’ll let the debate continue for the next four slots. The first reaction after Saturday, because St. Mary’s played Mitty a bit stronger than Cardinal Newman, was that the Rams could be fourth. They also only lost to Clovis West by five.
5. (7) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 30-4
Season complete. The Cardinals earned their way to the NorCal Open final by beating Pinewood. They split with St. Mary’s, losing big early on and then winning later with the Rams more banged up at the time.
6. (5) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 25-4
Season complete. All that we know for sure about the final rankings is that the Panthers will be behind the Cardinal Newman team they lost to in the NorCal Open semifinals. Both themselves and Cardinal Newman could be in front of St. Mary’s or both behind St. Mary’s.
7. (4) Mission Hills (San Marcos) 30-3
Season is complete. The Grizzlies lost to Long Beach Poly in the SoCal Open Division semifinals. Whether they are fifth, sixth or seventh in the final rankings, it’s still the greatest season in school history. A three-spot drop may be harsh, but the loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral is why they have to be behind the NorCal teams.
8. (8) Carondelet (Concord) 28-5
Season previously completed. The Cougars stay in place behind seven of the eight Open Division regional semifinalists.