We don’t have a 128-123 game to go through, but we also have compiled our first divisional state rankings for the girls teams through Thursday’s regional quarterfinals. The big move is Long Beach Poly having to go in front of previous state No. 2 Mater Dei for a big win from Wednesday in the Open Division. Administrators at Menlo School also had to move Friday on a decision about their team’s D1 game vs. Oakland Bishop O’Dowd with their campus closed due to a coronavirus complication. La Jolla Country Day won’t have its first SoCal game until Saturday night and stays No. 1. The other No. 1 teams are Salesian of Richmond (D1), Clovis (D2), St. Mary’s of Berkeley (D3), Colfax (D4) and West Valley of Cottonwood (D5).
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(All records through Thursday, March 5 games)
(These rankings won’t match the State Top 25 from earlier this week, which were done before Tuesday’s first round of the regional playoffs)
1. La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 30-1
2. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 24-3
3. Windward (Los Angeles) 26-4
4. Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 26-6
5. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 30-3*
6. Etiwanda 30-3
7. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 25-7*
8. Centennial (Corona) 26-6*
9. St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 23-6
10. Clovis West (Fresno) 27-4
11. Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 28-4
12. St. Mary’s (Stockton) 23-5*
Notes/Comments: That is all 12 teams from the SoCal and NorCal Open Divisions. In Saturday night’s regional semifinals, it will be Mitty vs. Cardinal Newman along with St. Joseph Notre Dame vs. Clovis West in the north. Cardinal Newman won what was essentially a play-in game for a four-team bracket with a 50-48 win at St. Mary’s on Tuesday. The SoCal bracket had an upset on Tuesday with Long Beach Poly topping CIF Southern Section Open Division champion Mater Dei 55-50. It was the second win of the season by the Jackrabbits over the Monarchs, however, and those six CIFSS Open Division teams that were in this bracket have been closely bunched all season so it wasn’t that big of an upset. Poly’s athletic, deep lineup matched up well against the Monarchs’ offensively and limited good scoring chances. Head coach Carl Buggs’ team advanced to a regional semifinal Saturday vs. Windward. The Wildcats came from behind in the fourth quarter to topple defending CIF Open Division state champ Sierra Canyon 65-59. Head coach Vanessa Nygaard’s squad also avenged an earlier loss to the Trailblazers. Top seed La Jolla Country Day had a first-round bye and will play Etiwanda, which won against Corona Centennial (also 65-59). Etiwanda reportedly isn’t too concerned about playing LJCD on the road since the Eagles have won four straight times at Country Day.
1. Salesian (Richmond) 23-4
2. Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 21-7
3. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 21-10
4. Rosary (Fullerton) 21-12
5. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City) 25-8
6. M.L. King (Riverside) 28-6
7. Clovis North (Fresno) 26-8
8. Lynwood 22-9*
9. Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 25-4
10. Miramonte (Orinda) 23-6*
11. Troy (Fullerton) 23-10*
12. Orangewood Academy (Garden Grove) 27-7*
13. Heritage (Brentwood) 22-7*
14. West (Torrance) 22-11*
15. Menlo School (Atherton) 21-6*
Notes/Comments: One of the NorCal D1 quarterfinals originally scheduled for Thursday, Menlo School vs. Bishop O’Dowd, was postponed to Friday in response to the Menlo School campus being shut down this week related to a confirmed case of the coronavirus (not from someone on campus but someone on campus who had contact with someone who does have it). Then on Friday, Menlo withdrew from the playoffs, so the Dragons are now shown opposite Clovis North in Saturday’s NorCal semis. “The Knights are appreciative of the community’s understanding during these uncertain times,” said a statement on Twitter. “We couldn’t be more proud of our defending state champion team and a remarkable season.” The Knights got a win over Sac-Joaquin Section D1 runner-up in their first round NorCal D1 game last Tuesday.
We have had Salesian as the higher ranked of these teams. The Pride have rolled in their first two NorCal games and will now take on a No. 5 seed Pinewood squad that won the CIF NorCal Open crown last year and beat Miramonte of Orinda 49-47 in Thursday’s regional quarterfinals. That reversed an earlier loss by the Panthers to Miramonte and they’ll try to do the same against Salesian.
In the south, top seed Cathedral Catholic has now posted a win over Orangewood Academy after previous losing to that team twice early on. Because of that and because of having a head-to-head win over Rosary, the Dons will now be ahead of the Royals in the rankings. They could play Rosary again next week in the regional finals but first must get past Harvard-Westlake on Saturday. That will be a matchup between two of the best young post players in the nation — sophomore Isumeh “Ice” Brady of Cathedral Catholic and Kiki Iriafen of Harvard-Westlake. Rosary’s regional semifinal will be against M.L. King of Riverside.
1. Clovis 23-9
2. Palisades (Pacific Palisades) 24-9
3. Del Oro (Loomis) 24-10
4. Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 20-9
5. Oakland Tech (Oakland) 24-8
6. San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 24-8
7. San Clemente 29-4
8. Santa Monica 28-7
9. Bakersfield 30-3*
10. Laguna Creek (Elk Grove) 28-4*
11. American (Fremont) 28-3*
12. Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 23-7*
13. Wilson (Long Beach) 25-9*
14. Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 24-9*
15. Crean Lutheran (Irvine) 28-6*
Notes/Comments: The top seed in the south, Long Beach Wilson, was eliminated in its first round game by Mira Costa and then Costa lost on Thursday to San Clemente. The Tritons, who probably should have been seeded higher than eighth given their record and decent league they’re from, will play next on Saturday vs. Santa Monica. Palisades has even better preparation for this division considering the competition it has faced this season and will be in the other regional semifinal against Mater Dei Catholic. The Crusaders just beat 30-2 Bakersfield 70-64, have also played strong competition (same league as SD Open semifinalist Bonita Vista) and they have quality wins against Fairmont Prep of Anaheim and Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills.
In the north, speaking of a team being in the same league as other powerhouses, Clovis hails from the same one as Clovis West and Clovis North. The Cougars are playing in a No. 2 vs. No. 3 seed NorCal semifinal against Del Oro of Loomis. The winner of that game then meets either Oakland Tech or San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno for the regional title on Tuesday of next week. SJM has been on a roll in recent weeks and will be trying to reverse a previous loss to the Bulldogs at the West Coast Jamboree (54-53). Tech, last year’s D4 state champion, escaped a 61-60 contest on Thursday vs. previous 28-2 American of Fremont.
1. St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 25-7
2. Righetti (Santa Maria) 24-4
3. Paloma Valley (Menifee) 32-3
4. Aptos 27-4
5. Woodside Priory (Portola Valley) 20-9
6. Peninsula (Rolling Hills Estates) 24-9
7. Eisenhower (Rialto) 27-6*
8. Viewpoint (Calabasas) 20-9
9. Lick-Wilmerding (San Francisco) 29-3*
10. Los Gatos 21-8
Notes/Comments: St. Mary’s probably should have been the top seed in the north since the Panthers have a win over NorCal D2 top seed Oakland Tech. The team that did get the top seed in the NorCal D3 bracket, Menlo-Atherton, lost in its first round game to Lick-Wilmerding of San Francisco and then Aptos took out Lick-Wilmerding 62-58. The Mariners are next facing Woodside Priory, a CIF D4 state finalist from two years ago and a team that won by a surprisingly large margin on Thursday 80-45 over St. Patrick-St. Vincent. The other NorCal semi will match Los Gatos against S. Mary’s.
In the south, it’s hard not to notice Paloma Valley with its 32-3 record. The only loss by the WIldcats since December was in league to a Riverside Poly club that they beat by 30 points in a rematch. We decided not to put Paloma Valley ahead of SoCal No. 1 seed Righetti of Santa Maria in these rankings, however, since this Saturday’s game between the two in the regional semifinals will be in Santa Maria. Viewpoint and Peninsula are playing in the other SoCal semi. We didn’t rank Viewpoint higher in these rankings due to losing to Eisenhower in the CIFSS Division 3A semifinals.
1. Colfax 29-4
2. Sierra Pacific (Hanford) 27-7
3. Argonaut (Jackson) 30-4
4. Lancaster 22-8
5. Ontario Christian 31-3
6. La Salle (Pasadena) 26-8
7. Pleasant Valley (Chico) 18-11
8. Point Loma (San Diego) 24-2
9. Hanford 22-10*
10. Ganesha (Pomona) 25-4*
Notes/Comments: It sure looks like someone did a favor to Colfax because the Falcons easily could have been placed in D3 instead of D4. One of Colfax’s wins was against Aptos, which is in the NorCal D3 semifinals. The Falcons are playing Pleasant Valley in their regional semifinal on Saturday. The other NorCal matchup is Argonaut vs. Sierra Pacific. It looks like there was a mistake with Sierra Pacific’s seeding as well since it had not one but two wins over Hanford and just beat the No. 3 seed Bullpups again on Thursday. Several players on the Sierra Pacific roster also were on the team two years ago that won the CIF D5 state title. Pleasant Valley, this year’s Northern Section D2-D3 champion, also was in the state finals two ago, falling to Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) in D2.
Top seed Lancaster in the south hasn’t been tested much so far, and advanced to the regional semis with an easy victory over Los Angeles CES. The Eagles are playing one of the state’s historically great programs, Point Loma of San Diego, in their next game. The Pointers aren’t like they were in the 1980s when they won multiple state titles, but they did improve to 24-2 on Thursday with an overtime victory against Ganesha of Pomona. It’ll be reported state scoring leader Chloe Briggs (more than 34 ppg) and her team from Ontario Christian in the other semifinal. Briggs’ team plays La Salle of Pasadena, a team that has a win over that same Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) squad that upset Long Beach Wilson in D2.
1. West Valley (Cottonwood) 25-8
2. Branson (Ross) 24-9
3. East Bakersfield 21-9
4. San Jacinto Valley Academy (San Jacinto) 19-2
5. Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 18-11
6. San Diego 22-8
7. University Prep (Redding) 25-8
8. Madison (San Diego) 17-17
9. Marshall (Los Angeles) 25-5*
10. Gridley 21-10*
Notes/Comments: We think Branson has a good chance to go all the way in this division, given the competition it plays in the Marin County Athletic League and some of the results the Bulls have had in that league. The rub if Branson were to win the D5 state title, however, is that the team has a head-to-head loss to Laytonville, which is actually the top seed in this year’s D6 NorCal bracket. There is no SoCal D6 bracket and we don’t do D6 rankings, but that could prove to be a pretty significant win for Laytonville. Branson won on Thursday 60-43 over Hughson and will play Monte Vista Christian in a No. 2 vs. No. 3 seed regional semifinal. NorCal top seed West Valley also won on Thursday and will now meet University Prep of Redding in the next round. The Redding girls asked in a tweet to the CIF if they could be placed in a game so they could go to a Chick-Fil-A restaurant. Since then, they’ve won twice and home and won’t have to go far to play West Valley.
We don’t know much about SoCal top seed San Jacinto Valley Academy, so we’re just going by computer rankings to place East Bakersfield just in front at No. 3 in these state rankings. Those two teams will play on Saturday. In the other regional semi, it will be a battle of San Diego Section teams. San Diego High already has a head-to-head win this season over Madison.