NEW Girls BB State Top 20 Rankings

Khylee Pepe (left) and Kayla Padilla helped Bishop Montgomery to key win last Saturday vs. Salesian of Richmond and that is why the Knights are up to No. 9 in this week’s rankings. Photo: Harold Abend.

With so many top teams in action against each other last week or over the MLK weekend playing top-notch competition, it was thought there could be a shakeup for this week’s rankings, and there is, with the biggest change being for the third straight week there is a new leader at the top of the pecking order. With so many teams beating each other, transfers, injuries, sickness and even disciplinary action involving many games between top teams this season, our formula of looking to the future as well as what just took place, is a very useful criteria that has worked well for rankings that we’ve done successfully over five decades. We welcome three newcomers this week after none the past two weeks.


(Previous rating in parentheses; through games of Monday, Jan. 21)

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1. (2) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 22-0
We weren’t going to use some power rankings as our basis for anointing head coach Alicia Komaki and her girls to the top spot in the state until they beat a Windward team that had beaten them in eight straight matchups. We knew one was coming up last week and now after the Trailblazer won the head-to-head game in a 66-57 win on the road, they can take their rightful place atop the rankings. Vanessa De Jesus came up huge after the classical pianist tickled the ivories and played Windward like a piano in this game after a career-high seven three-pointers and 32 points in the big win. Ashley Chevalier, the daughter of boys head coach Andre Chevalier, scored 20 points and did a fabulous job covering Windward superstar Charisma Osborne. Sierra Canyon followed up the big victory over Windward with wins over Santa Monica Crossroads, a hard-fought win over Chaminade of West Hills, and a solid victory over Long Beach Poly. This week they face North Hollywood Campbell Hall, upstart Los Angeles Brentwood and then travel to No. 3 Redondo Union on Saturday where they will have to defend their spot in the catbird seat. “Redondo is really good and definitely deserves to be considered as one of the top teams in the state,” said Komaki. The girls now join the boys in a rarity as the top teams in both the girls and boys rankings. “I want to be number one at the end of the year,” continued Komaki. “Nobody really cares about January or February.”

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