Girls BB: Division State Ranks (1st)

The Redondo Union girls won a CIF Southern Section title last weekend and may be the team to beat for CIF Division II state crown. Photo: @RedondoGBB / Twitter.com.


Teams in these rankings are playing on Wednesday night, but we do have these state rankings done at least a few hours ahead of time. Just like the boys, we can’t do them earlier because no one knows what divisions many teams are going to be placed. No. 1 teams are Bishop Montgomery of Torrance (D1), Redondo Union of Redondo Beach (D2), West Campus of Sacramento (D3), Brentwood of Los Angeles (D4) and Sierra Pacific of Hanford (D5).

Note: We hope you enjoy this free post on CalHiSports.com. We will update the divisional rankings next week, then the week after the regional finals and then there will be final rankings. All three of those will be for Gold Club members only. To see them all, plus the overall State Top 20 and all four of our all-state basketball teams, join our Gold Club today. To sign up, CLICK HERE.

Mission Hills of San Marcos head coach Christopher Kroesch has built a successful program. Photo: Mark Tennis.


DIVISION I
1. Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 20-9
2. Serra (Gardena) 20-8
3. Ribet Academy (Los Angeles) 25-4
4. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 21-8
5. Miramonte (Orinda) 25-5
6. St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 27-4
7. Mission Hills (San Marcos) 23-8
8. La Jolla Country Day 19-8
9. Antelope 25-5
10. Bear Creek (Stockton) 28-3
11. West (Torrance) 27-4
12. Presentation (San Jose) 21-5
13. Granada Hills Charter (Granada Hills) 26-5
14. Chaminade (West Hills) 21-8
15. Alemany (Mission Hills) 18-10
On the Bubble: Castro Valley 23-6, Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) 24-5, Eastside College Prep (E. Palo Alto) 20-6, Edison (Stockton) 23-7, Heritage (Brentwood( 23-7, Los Alamitos 23-7, McClatchy (Sacramento) 21-6, Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 11-14, Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 25-3*.
Notes: The top four teams in this division are all in our overall State Top 20 rankings package that was released on Tuesday night. Miramonte of Orinda was in those rankings as well until a loss to Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland in the CIF North Coast Section D2 final. O’Dowd is now up there that high and also went up to the NorCal Open Division. Miramonte arguably should have been chosen as well based on common opponent (La Jolla Country Day) and definitely should have been seeded higher in the NorCal D1 bracket than fourth. We put the Mats at No. 1 among the NorCal teams in D1 we evaluated.
We obviously would agree with Bishop Montgomery as the No. 1 seed in the south with its CIF Southern Section consolation round win over Serra of Gardena. There will be a time when the CIFSS consolation final winner will be in the Open Division in the south, but for now that winner is just about automatically given the No. 1 seed for the SoCal D1 bracket.
Since our primary girls hoops rankings analyst, Harold Abend, has been doing the State Top 20 bubble teams for many weeks and has seen most of the top teams in person, he was consulted for these divisional rankings and especially D1. That’s one reason why we went so far against the CIF’s seedings in this division. After Miramonte, we would have gone with NCS D4 champion St. Joseph Notre Dame at No. 2. That’s a team that beat NCS D1 champ Carondelet in its second game. The CIF’s top seed for the north went to Presentation of San Jose, which has had to deal with Archbishop Mitty in the West Catholic Athletic League but doesn’t have the quality wins in our system to be higher than others like Mission Hills, La Jolla Country Day, Antelope and Bear Creek of Stockton. As they say, though, we will see.

DIVISION II
1. Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 26-5
2. Pleasant Valley (Chico) 21-4
3. Lynwood 23-7
4. San Ramon Valley (Danville) 25-5
5. Glendora 31-0
6. Mark Keppel (Alhambra) 29-4
7. Valley Christian (San Jose) 13-14
8. San Marcos 19-7
9. Eureka 24-6
10. Whitney (Rocklin) 22-8
On the Bubble: Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 19-8, Del Oro (Loomis) 20-10, Downey 25-6, Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 24-7, Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) 20-4, South San Francisco 26-4, Westview (San Diego) 20-8.
Notes: This was the only division in the state (boys or girls) after the Open Division for boys in which the top two teams are from the two different regions and also are both No. 1 seeds. Redondo captured the CIFSS D2AA title with a 55-43 win over Lynwood and during the season also posted wins against L.A. City Open champ Fairfax and NCS D4 champ St. Joseph Notre Dame. The Pleasant Valley faithful probably thought their team had a chance to be in D1 so landing as the top seed in D2 likely was viewed as good news. The Vikings, who have a D1-bound standout in forward Sirena Tuitele (Colorado), have been dominant in the CIF Northern Section. They also got a win early in the season against NorCal Open team Folsom.
It wasn’t a problem for the CIF to decide what to do with unbeaten Glendora in this bracket. The Tartans could have won every game 100-0 in their march to the CIFSS 2A crown, but the CIFSS will always put the four semifinalist teams in their higher division (in this case 2AA) as higher seeds for the state playoffs. We don’t do rankings that way and instead evaluated Glendora’s outstanding season. We went with them lower than Redondo and Lynwood (the two 2AA finalists) but higher than Mark Keppel of Alhambra and Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo.
One team that suffered on seeding day had to be South San Francisco. The Warriors won the CCS D3 title with a 66-50 win over Aptos, then the next day were placed as a No. 7 seed in the NorCal D2 bracket. The team they beat picked up a No. 2 seed in NorCal for D3. At least the Warriors didn’t have to go on the road in that higher division (which happened in other cases around the state). It’s this situation (losing teams in section finals given seemingly preferential treatment over winning teams) that is one of the worst aspects of competitive equity seeding.

Kiara Jefferson is top player for 2017 D4 state champion that could win in D3 this year. Photo: Willie Eashman.


DIVISION III
1. West Campus (Sacramento) 24-7
2. Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) 27-6
3. Dublin 24-5
4. Enterprise (Redding) 25-4
5. Warren (Downey) 20-10
6. Clovis 19-12
7. Campolindo (Moraga) 19-10
8. Cabrillo (Lompoc) 26-3
9. Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 23-7
10. Culver City 24-6
On the Bubble: Aptos 25-4, Beverly Hills 25-5, Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 19-13, Mission Oak (Tulare) 23-7, Piedmont 23-6, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 16-10, Sunny Hills (Fullerton) 20-10, Urban (San Francisco) 25-5.
Notes: Here’s a division in which just a few simple glances at a team’s schedule shows head-to-head results that would have changed the seedings. We’re not sure the CIF or any of the commissioners did that for some of these divisions. In D3 girls, for example, Dublin of the NCS (which lost in that section’s D1 semifinals) has a win over Aptos but Aptos was seeded higher. A win by Clovis of Central Section over D3 South No. 3 seed Cabrillo of Lompoc also stands out.
For the top seeds, the CIF went with Enterprise of Redding in the north and Bonita Vista of Chula Vista in the south. We would have gone with Bonita Vista too and frankly would hope the Barons would punch their ticket for the state finals just so we can watch state scoring leader Shyla Latone (she’s the one who has had 76 and 60 points in separate games this season). But for the north our No. 1 and also No. 1 overall for the bracket is 2017 CIF Division IV state champion West Campus of Sacramento. West Campus also has a win over D1 McClatchy of Sacramento and has been highly ranked all season by the Sacramento Bee.
With a No. 2 seed in the south and at No. 5 overall in the state, we wouldn’t expect that CIFSS D3AA champion Warren of Downey would have yet another overtime game, but it wouldn’t be a shock. The Bears won their title with a 47-42 OT win against Cabrillo of Lompoc, but before that won in overtime against Long Beach Wilson and Culver City.

DIVISION IV
1. Brentwood (Los Angeles) 28-4
2. Foothill Tech (Ventura) 23-6
3. Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro) 26-2
4. San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 22-5
5. Eastlake (Chula Vista) 21-7
6. Union Min (El Dorado) 27-2
7. Woodside Priory (Los Altos Hills) 13-14
8. Notre Dame (Belmont) 14-12
9. Knight (Palmdale) 22-6
10. Colfax 25-4
On the Bubble: Cathedral City 24-3, Kimball (Tracy) 24-6, Oakland Tech (Oakland) 17-13, Ontario 28-3, Willows 23-5.
Notes: We wrote last month that some of the teams in these lower divisions were going to be watered down through competitive equity seeding to the point that very few of them were worth watching. That was based on what happened last fall in girls volleyball when we could look at the first brackets the CIF did using that formula. In short, for girls basketball, it’s not nearly as bad as it was in girls volleyball. There might only be two or three top 100 teams in D4 and only one or two top 200 teams in D5 and while that’s still not what many long-time attendees of the CIF state finals are used to, it might be okay.
Brentwood and Foothill Tech just played a memorable CIFSS D4AA championship game in which the Eagles came back from a 10-point deficit in the final minutes. They tied the score at 53-53 with 3.9 seconds left on a 3-pointer from freshman Sammy Wadler and then on the ensuing inbounds play she stole a pass and hit a basket at the buzzer for a 55-53 victory. Those teams also came out at 1-2 in looking at the entire D4 state bracket.
Last year’s D5 state champions from Rolling Hills Prep may be the team to beat, but in winning the CIFSS D4A title as opposed to being in D4AA the CIF wasn’t going to seed that team higher than any of the four semifinalists in D4AA. We don’t do rankings that way (no one would) and the overall resume for RHP clearly stands out over the semifinalists and arguably even more than Brentwood or Foothill Tech.
In the north, top seed Woodside Priory and No. 2 seed Notre Dame of Belmont are from the same CCS league as Pinewood, Eastside College Prep plus others. The team we would have seeded first, though, was San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno, which has a win over Notre Dame. The Panthers beat 27-4 Sierra Pacific of Hanford 57-51 to win the Central Section D4 title.

Mark Giannini was the girls basketball coach at Argonaut of Jackson until last week when he died from complications of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). Argonaut could be one of the favorites to win CIF NorCal D5 title. Photo: Amador Ledger-Dispatch/ledger.news.


DIVISION V
1. Sierra Pacific (Hanford) 27-5
2. Hueneme (Oxnard) 12-17**
3. Grace Brethren (Simi Valley) 23-3
4. Argonaut (Jackson) 21-8
5. Clear Lake (Lakeport) 23-5
6. University (San Francisco) 20-9
7. Desert Christian Academy (Bermuda Dunes) 26-3
8. Oakwood (North Hollywood) 23-3
9. Porterville 26-5
10. Lowell (San Francisco) 16-11
On the Bubble: Capital Christian (Sacramento) 15-11, Durham 24-5, Lassen (Susanville) 21-8, St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy (Downey) 14-14.
Notes: It seems like it was a close call for the NorCal top seed and since Argonaut of Jackson lost in the SJS D5 final in overtime to a Colfax team that is 25-4 and has a computer ranking below 100 we went for the Mustangs to be highest ranked over both University of San Francisco (top seed by CIF) and Clear Lake.
Argonaut played that section final two days after its head coach, Mark Giannini, died from complications of ALS. He was coaching in a wheelchair last season when the Mustangs won the SJS D5 title. He had been a coach at the school for 17 years.
Sierra Pacific was the top seed by the CIF for the south in D5 and we would agree. That team just lost in the Central Sec D4 final to San Joaquin Memorial, but look at D4 and that’s a good loss.
One of the most uncomfortable aspects of competitive equity divisions is when large schools get to play “down” in divisions against smaller schools who traditionally have been in the smallest divisions and haven’t had to worry about playing schools with massive enrollment advantages. In this division, we No. 2 seed Hueneme would be in that category. The team’s official 12-17 record includes numerous forfeit losses. On the court, this is a team that could do a lot of damage in D5 but arguably shouldn’t be in D5. Lowell of San Francisco would be another school in this division that would be large school going by enrollment.

Mark Tennis is the editor and publisher of Cal-Hi Sports. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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