As is another of our traditions, we present our expanded, final State Top 40 overall boys basketball team rankings, this time covering the 2018-19 season. With Sheldon of Sacramento losing in the CIF State Open final, we adjust some open division teams with Rancho Christian and San Diego open champ Torrey Pines getting upward bumps. Find out how high D1 champ Chino Hills lands and where D2 champ Campolindo ended up. Only one team in our final Top 20 wasn’t in our preseason Top 40 or on the bubble. For our analysis and writeups on all 40 teams, check out this post.
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CAL-HI SPORTS FINAL TOP 40
BOYS BASKETBALL STATE RANKINGS
(Preseason rating in parentheses; through games of Saturday, March 9)
1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 32-3
For the fifth time in the past six seasons, our preseason No. 1 team finished No. 1, as Sierra Canyon concluded its season with a dominant run through CIF Southern Section Open Division pool play, SoCal open playoffs and with a 76-52 win over previous No. 4 Sheldon in the CIF Open Division title game. It was the second consecutive CIF open crown, and this time around the Trailblazers were the only unbeaten team in pool play through the section playoffs and won a section title. The only time the Cal-Hi Sports preseason No. 1 didn’t finish No. 1 over that six-year time frame was last year, when Mater Dei lost Bol Bol (Oregon) days after the rankings dropped, but was able to defeat the Trailblazers in the CIFSS Open title game. Sierra Canyon lost the No. 1 ranking after losing a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown to No. 4 Rancho Christian to close the regular season and re-gained the spot in the second-to-last rankings after No. 3 Salesian lost in its first NorCal open playoff game. Sierra Canyon, which had some injuries and tinkered with its lineup throughout the season, got a strong state championship game from junior Terren Frank and freshman Amari Bailey, the former who missed a majority of the regular season and the latter who filled in admirably as a part-time starter. Frank had 13 points and seven rebounds and Bailey had nine points and four assists, including a monster dunk early in that game that precluded things to come, as the Trailblazers had 12 dunks in a game that was never in doubt. Coach Andre Chevalier’s team didn’t lose to another California team, losing twice to national power Montverde Academy of Florida. We won’t know where that exactly leaves Sierra Canyon until that team completes its season at GEICO Nationals Final Four weekend against seven other teams that are all ranked within the top 18 in the latest FAB 50 National Rankings, which currently has Sierra Canyon at No. 7.