Preseason Girls BB State Ranks (1-20)

Players from preseason state No. 1 Sierra Canyon (left) are shown at their CIF Open Division state championship press conference. At right, players from preseason No. 4 Archbishop Mitty celebrate after winning Central Coast Section title. Photos: Mark Tennis & Archbishop Mitty athletics.

One week after our extensive boys basketball preseason state rankings, we do the same for the girls. With some teams starting in the CIF Southern Section on November 14 and some games in the CIF Central Section, adjustments to the original pecking order we planned had to be made to accommodate some of the results that took place. Two of the top three teams, No. 1 Sierra Canyon and No. 3 La Jolla Country Day, also kicked things off in style by going a combined 4-0 in the GEICO Texas versus California Showdown this past weekend at Sierra Canyon.

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For a look at the teams we’ve ranked from No. 21 to No. 40, plus more teams on the bubble, CLICK HERE.

To see updated girls basketball state records in all team and individual categories before the 2022-23 season really gets going, CLICK HERE.

CAL-HI SPORTS STATE TOP 40 PRESEASON RANKINGS

(Final expanded ranking listed from last season in parentheses and with last season’s record listed)
(*Not including forfeits)

1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 30-2

There likely isn’t anyone that would disagree with 2022 Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year and senior Juju Watkins and company, including juniors MacKenly Randolph and Izela Arenas, being anointed as the top team in the Golden State for the preseason rankings.

MacKenly Randolph of Sierra Canyon dribbles up the court during 2022 CIF Open Division state final. Photo: Samuel Stringer / Cal-Hi Sports.


It’s the same spot in the Final Expanded Rankings the Trailblazers occupied to end last season. After missing five games after transferring from Windward that were all won by Sierra Canyon, Watkins was declared eligible. The team ended up winning its first 14 games but they were stuck at No. 2 in the state behind an Etiwanda team that won the top division at the Nike TOC. Then, Sierra Canyon lost 73-71 to La Jolla Country Day at the Mater Dei Matt Denning Classic and that dropped the girls to No. 3 where they stayed right up until they avenged the Country Day loss with a 63-62 nail-biter in the CIF Southern Regional Open Division semifinals.

In the SoCal Open title game, head coach Alicia Komaki and her girls knocked out Etiwanda of the top spot with a 60-51 victory. Then in the CIF Open Division state title game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Watkins dazzled the crowd when she opened things up by hitting a three-pointer from beyond the NBA arc. She went on to record a huge double-double 23 points and 19 rebounds with six assists, six blocks and three steals and Sierra Canyon won its second consecutive CIF Open Division state championship in an 85-61 victory over NorCal champion Archbishop Mitty of San Jose.

For Komaki, it was a fifth state championship since 2013, and that’s also five in eight years since in 2020 COVID wiped out the state championships. What’s scary is Sierra Canyon almost assuredly will be better this season as Komaki returns every major contributor. The 6-foot-1 Watkins, who earlier this week committed to USC, ended up averaging 25.0 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. Randolph was at 15.2 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest, and Arenas checked in at 12.1 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. Another Trailblazer to look for this season is 6-foot-2 senior Crystal Wang. She finished at a 7.4 points and 3.7 rebounds clip this past season. Rounding this out is junior combo guard Christy Reynoso.

Note: The Trailblazers are 2-0 after sweeping their two games against their Texas opponents, 79-62 over Duncanville behind 33 points from Watkins, and 57-45 over South Grand Prairie where Watkins led four players in scoring with 18 points.

2. (2) Etiwanda 29-1

The Eagles started No. 2 in last year’s preseason rankings, ended there for the final expanded rankings, and that’s where they start once again to begin this season.

Kennedy Smith of Etiwanda seems poised to take over the mantle as the state’s most dynamic player after JuJu Watkins heads off to college. Photo: Twitter.com.


Etiwanda took over the top spot last season in the very first rankings after play began when it beat preseason No. 1 La Jolla Country Day at the Redondo Union Tournament and held that spot all the way up until a 60-51 loss to Sierra Canyon in the CIF Southern Regional Open Division championship. That lone loss came at home against a Trailblazers’ team Etiwanda had beaten 10 days earlier in the CIF Southern Section Open Division title game at home, 69-57.

Daisia Mitchell, who missed the playoffs last season with an injury, has graduated and is at St. Mary’s College. Destiny Agubata has transferred to Corona Santiago but she is injured and may or may not play this season. Those pieces are missing but head coach Stan Delus still has a loaded roster beginning with junior Kennedy Smith. The 6-foot-1 Smith, a 5-Star recruit who can play anywhere down low and even up top, followed up her State Freshman of the Year honors by being named State Sophomore of the Year last season when she averaged 19.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.2 steals, 2.2 assists and 2.1 blocks per game.

Despite not winning a state championship, the Eagles also had the State Freshman of the Year with point guard Aliyahna “Puff” Morris winning that award. She led the team in points and assists per game a 23.7 and 6.5 assists, respectively, plus Puff added 3.2 rebounds and 3.1 steals per outing. Other top returners are senior forward Sa’lah Hemingway (9.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 steals per game), and senior guard Majesty Cade (8.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.0 steals per game).

Delus also has two transfers he feels will be contributors, 6-foot-1 junior power forward Mykelle Richards of San Bernardino Cajon (13.7 points, 9.8 rebounds), and 5-foot-11 junior small forward Ryann Riddle (10.8 points,9.6 rebounds) of CIF Division III state runner-up La Salle of Pasadena. Another newcomer from Australia is junior shooting guard Sania Jenkins. Delus is also looking for contributions from freshman combo guard Arynn Finley.

Etiwanda is back opening at the Redondo Union tourney next week, then plays in the Troy Classic. The Eagles will headline the Platinum Division of the West Coast Jamboree, and will also play in the St. James MLK Classic in Washington D.C. Etiwanda wanted to play in the Nike TOC but their school district policy states they can’t miss more than two days of school and no competition on finals week, and that precluded them from playing.

3. (3) La Jolla Country Day 25-3

After starting out last year as the preseason No. 1 team, La Jolla Country Day lost 55-49 to Etiwanda in the championship game of the Redondo Union tournament, and then they also lost at the Nike TOC to Colorado No. 1 Aurora Grandview. From there head coach Terri Bamford and her Torreys ran off 17 straight victories including a 73-71 victory over Sierra Canyon at the Mater Dei Matt Denning Classic. They stayed at No. 2 all the way up until the CIF Southern Regional semifinals when they lost a heartbreaker, 63-62, to Sierra Canyon to end their season.

The good news for Torreys’ fans is Bamford returns all her top talent and has newcomers to add to the mix. It starts with seniors Breya Cunningham and Jada Williams. Arizona-committed Cunningham, a 5-Star, 6-foot-4 post who is considered the top big girl in California and one of the best in the nation returns after averaging 18.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per season. Williams, a 5-star point guard who moved to California last year when she committed to UCLA, has now flipped and will join Cunningham at Arizona. She averaged 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists last season. Junior combo guard Tajianna Roberts (14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game) showed improvement last season and also will mean a lot to the Torreys’ success. Senior Sumayah Sugapong (10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists) also has been a steady contributor while junior point guard Naomi Paganiban (6.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists is another player to look for.

Bamford also has five incoming freshmen she says are all “talented,” point guard Safiyah Sugapong, Sumayah’s little sister, guard Atlanta Bass-Sulpizio, guard Mahlia Washington, forward Ameila Dunbar, and 6-foot-1 post Jet Walton.

We toyed with the idea of flipping Country Day and Etiwanda, but it’s just the preseason so we kept Country Day where it finished in the final expanded rankings, plus the nationally-ranked Torreys, like Sierra Canyon and Etiwanda, will be tested early by nationally-ranked opponents. Like Sierra Canyon, Country Day is in the GEICO Texas versus California challenge and opened on Friday with South Grand Prairie before playing Duncanville on Saturday. From there, they play at the Sparks ‘N Sharks Thanksgiving Classic at Corona Santiago, their own Sweet 16 Invitational, the Nike TOC, the Nike Holiday Classic in Portland, Oregon, the Chosen 1’s Invitational match-up with Sierra Canyon, the Basketball Hall of Fame/Hoophall Classic versus New York Christ the King, and finally the GEICO Girls Basketball Invitational hosted by nationally-ranked Sidwell Friends of Washington D.C.

Bamford has now moved up to the No. 10 spot in all-time coaching wins according to the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book with 667 career victories, and she could move higher a notch or so this season, but it will take a little more time to pass Jay Trousdale for tops all-time in the CIF San Diego Section. Trousdale won 725 games in a 34-year career at Poway.

Note: Country Day held up its end of the showdown with the Texas teams first beating South Grand Prairie, 47-44, and then they got 33 points from Cunningham in a 72-66 victory over Duncanville.

Taj Avant-Roberts, Breya Cunningham and Jada Williams all were outstanding for La Jolla Country Day last season. Photo: Harold Abend / Cal-Hi Sports.

4. (4) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 30-2

The Monarchs were soundly beaten in the CIF Open Division state title game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento last season, 85-61, by Sierra Canyon, but that was then and this is now. Mitty, and its decorated head coach Sue Phillips, are pretty much a consensus No. 1 in Northern California to start the season, but will face NorCal challengers on the road to a return to a CIF Open title-game appearance against the top team from the CIF Southern Region.

As is the case just about every year, Phillips loses a ton of talent, but that’s because Mitty always has talent, and players on the rise that blossom as they come up in the program. Phillips loses three of her top five scorers but her best player, and possibly the best player in Northern California, 6-foot-2 junior junior and 5-Star recruit Morgan Cheli, is back. Cheli, who reportedly has over three dozen D1 offers, led the team in every statistical category after finishing at 14.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 3.1 assists per game. The other top returner is senior forward Maya Hernandez. She was fourth on the team in scoring and second in rebounds at 9.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Two other players that were solid contributors and who both looked good over the summer are 6-foot-1 shooting guard Elle Hanson and 6-foot guard and Maya’s twin Haley Hernandez. Others who should be contributors are seniors April Chan and Layla Woods. A name to really look for is 6-foot-1 incoming freshman and two-sport standout McKenna Woliczko. She may be the best incoming freshman in the state in basketball, where she can play anywhere on the floor, and softball as well.

On a final note. According to the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book Phillips will come into the season tied with Joe Vaughn (Ventura Buena, 1976-2007) for third place all-time among winningest coaches in California history with 761 career victories.

Pacifica Christian transfer Addie Deal could become the type of player at Mater Dei that the Monarchs have had in the past, such as Brooke Demetre or Katie Lou Samuelson. Photo: Twitter.com.


5. (7) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 23-6

Despite losing two D1 players, including their leading scorer, and a transfer, the top team in Orange County moves up a couple of spots from where it finished in last year’s final expanded rankings. The reason is as usual head coach Kevin Kiernan has some solid returners mixed in with a couple of transfers and newcomers.

The Monarchs will be led by senior Tennessee Chattanooga-committed guard Caia Elisaldez and junior Jenessa Cotton. Elisaldez was second on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game on 60.2-percent shooting from the field, and she was by far the leader in assists at 4.6 a game. Cotton, a 6-foot-2 power forward, was at 8.2 points a contest and led the team in rebounding at 7.0 per game.

The biggest addition is Pacifica Christian of Newport Beach transfer Addison Deal. Some feel the 6-foot combo guard is the best player in Orange County. Last season, Deal averaged 21.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.9 steals a game. Another guard who transferred from Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) and should be a solid contributor is Amaya Williams. Mater Dei also has two incoming freshmen the coaching staff feels will be big stars. Kaeli Wynn, a 6-foot-1 wing, is the daughter of former Washington State women’s head coach Jody Wynn, an all state selection in 1991-1992 at Brea-Olinda of Brea when she was Jody Anton. The other freshman is Mei-Ling Perry, a 5-foot-10 wing.

6. (10) Clovis West (Fresno) 26-3*

The Golden Eagles are another team that’s moving up from where they finished in the final rankings from last season as head coach Craig Campbell returns all his top players and has others he is looking to as solid contributors. Campbell also is a proven consistent winner who knows his stuff. The only head coach in California to win a state championship in two states, 2001 in Nevada and the 2017 CIF Open Division, Campbell will enter the season with 674 career victories combined between the two states, and that’s currently No. 9 all time according to the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book.

Leading scorer and rebounder Etoyah Montgomery (15.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.3 steals per game), a Long Beach State-committed senior wing, and flashy junior point guard Athena Tomlinson, will be Clovis West’s leading returnees. Tomlinson was second in scoring at 14.9 points per game, plus she added 3.9 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.3 assists per contest. Other top players returning are junior guard Ariyah Smith (5.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game), and sophomore guard Riley Walls (6.4 points, 4.2 rebounds per game). Two additional players Campbell feels will be solid contributors are senior guard Trinity Tolbert and sophomore guard Keegan Medeiros.

Sophomore Ava Rawlins and senior Charlotte Climenhage, both of Folsom, should be among the top players in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. Photo: Mark Tennis / Cal-Hi Sports.


7. (14) Folsom 26-4

The word among coaches and some analysts queried was that with what the Bulldogs return they are the No. 2 team in Northern California behind Archbishop Mitty. They may be the top team in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and the other NorCal sections but we consider the CIF Central Section as part of the north so while Folsom may be the No. 2 team north of Fresno they have to fall in behind a Clovis West team that played in the CIF Open NorCals and edged the Bulldogs 51-48 in the opening round.

Last year’s Bulldogs did have wins over top teams, including St. Mary’s (Stockton), Mission Hills of San Marcos, Salesian (Richmond) and Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills. Head coach Lynn Wolking loses a couple of seniors but has some very solid returners led by Nevada-bound 6-foot wing senior Charlotte Climenhage (13 ppg) and budding sophomore combo guard Ava Rawlins (10 ppg). There are four other sold contributors who will fight for starting positions, juniors Ella Uriate and Kamryn Mafua, and the sophomore duo of Sophia Minderman and Jada Tupou. After all is said and done, Folsom comes up seven spots to start this season from where it finished last season.

8. (5) Carondelet (Concord) 26-3

No team lost a bigger 1-2 punch than Carondelet and head coach Kelly Sopak with the departure of Talana Lepolo to Stanford and Nya Epps to UC Davis. Sopak, however, has some talented returners and a couple of new pieces to the puzzle.

The top returner at Carondelet is University of Pacific-committed 6-foot senior wing Jamie Kent, who looked much improved over the summer. Kent was third on the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game last season and was the top rebounder at 10.5 per game. A name to look for is sharpshooting guard Allie Cummins. She was impressive at Campolindo (Moraga) before transferring to Carondelet for her junior season. The NCS ruled her ineligible but she is now ready to go for her senior season. Another name to look for is junior wing Keisha Vitalicio. She turned some heads as a freshman at Clayton Valley (Concord) before transferring to Carondelet and sitting out last season.

9. (8) Mission Hills (San Marcos) 24-8

Mr. “We’ll Play Anyone” Mission Hills head coach Christopher Kroesch loses all-time leading three-point shooter and current UC Santa Barbara freshman Jessica Grant, as well as Kennan Ka, now at Long Beach State, but one of the top public school coaches in the state has a lot of returning talent, and he knows how to coach it up.

The Grizzlies’ top returner is Kyara Walter. The junior guard was second on the team in scoring and rebounding at 11.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. A player who could really break out this season is Mariah Brown. The flashy junior guard averaged 5.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and led the team with 5.4 assists per contest. Another guard to look for is Genessa Ong, who averaged 5.9 points and 2.6 assists per game.

10. (20) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 20-7*

The bottom fell out for St. Mary’s last season with respect to the last three rankings. In those final three rankings, the Rams went from No. 8 to No. 20 after they lost to Folsom by a point in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs and then bowed out 48-46 at home in another nail-biter in the CIF Northern Regional Division I semifinals to St. Ignatius of San Francisco.

St. Mary’s doesn’t get all 12 spots back but 10 is still a big jump up. Second-leading scorer Brooklyn Perry has transferred, but third-year head coach Alle Moreno welcomes back leading scorer and rebounder Jordan Lee. The 5-Star junior wing averaged 18.1 points and 7.0 rebounds, plus 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder Nia Anderson returns after the senior combo guard averaged 12.7 points and 5.7 rebounds, plus she led the team with 3.3 assists per contest.

Moreno also has several others she’s looking at for additional contributions, and she also has a newcomer that several coaches have said has solid skills for a big girl. Saulele “Lele” Tanuvasa is 6-foot wing that transferred from St. Bernard’s of Eureka.

Alyssa Jackson of Vanden was selected to last season’s all-state juniors team. Photo: Willie Eashman / Cal-Hi Sports.


11. (24) Vanden (Fairfield) 25-4*

It’s a huge jump up 13 spots compared to the end of last season, but of the top coaches we queried every one of them felt like head coach Allison Johnson and her Vikings will be one of the top teams in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and one even had them ahead of St. Mary’s. Vanden had a St. Ignatius team that was edged by Salesian (Richmond) in the NorCal Division I title game on the ropes in the quarterfinals but lost 54-50 after the score was tied 44-44 after three quarters. Johnson loses her second and third leading scorers, but senior star and leading scorer Alyssa Jackson (19.7 points, 5.7 rebounds per game) and fellow senior and leading rebounder Gabby Wright (6.3 points, 8.5 rebounds per game), plus others, including freshman Calonni Holloway (8.4 ppg) and sophomore Taytum Johnson (6.2 ppg), return.

12. (11) Salesian (Richmond) 21-5

The Pride lost a lot of senior talent but like a lot of perennially strong top teams they always seem to have a pipeline of players ready to step up, and head coach Stephen Pezzola has proven he’s one of the top coaches in Northern California. Pezzola likes to spread things around so rarely does any one player post astronomical numbers. The CIF Division I state champions have a solid core of returners led by senior and leading scorer Makiah Asidanya. She averaged 10.4 points plus 3.3 rebounds and a team-leading 2.4 steals per game. The other top returner is senior point guard Sofia Fidelus. She averaged 8.9 points a game and made 25 three-pointers, plus she was a defensive catalyst. Both seniors have offers from Hawaii. Pezzola has four more players that he feels could become contributors, senior forward Nyana Asiasi, junior point guard Madalyn Kanazawa, senior forward Eryn Gardner, and senior combo guard D’Yani Bernstine, who missed all last season with a knee injury.

13. (6) Centennial (Corona) 26-7

Head coach Martin Woods, our State Coach of the Year from two seasons ago, has some work to do. He had a solid season in 2021-22 but loses some real talent with Londynn Jones and Layla Curry graduating and going off to UCLA and Loyola-Marymount, respectively. The Huskies will still be formidable this season led by senior Sydney Summers (14.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 3.4 steals per game) and junior Morgan Hawkins and her 6.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 3.0 assists per game. Woods has some gaps to fill but he has several players who contributed last season that will need to step up and they’re all juniors — Serenity Johnson, Karsen Marshall, Aniyah Offutt and Paris Bandy.

14. (13) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 22-3

This is another one of these basketball factories with one of the best head coaches and one of the top shooting coaches in the business, Doc Scheppler, continuing to churn out winners. Superstar Elle Ladine is now at Washington and Scheppler loses a couple of other seniors but he returns some solid talent led by juniors Jade Ramirez (7.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists per game) and Skylar Chui (5.7 points, 6.4 rebounds per game). Scheppler is about to join a elite coaching group. With 696 career coaching victories when Pinewood wins its fourth game this season, the doctor will have performed successful surgery 700 times and will join six other coaches in state history who have 700 career coaching victories according to the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book.

15. (22) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 19-7

The Lady Knights lose Chloe Williams, now at Tulsa, but this Bishop Montgomery group is a team to watch and has some very solid returning talent, including some underclass contributors. The list includes seniors Kyori Lloyd (9.3 points, 7.1 rebounds a game), junior Cyriah Coleman (8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.1 steals per game), sophomore Jordin Blackmon (7.8 points a game), and junior Dalayja Floyd-Hurt (7.6 points a game), plus others. To start things off, the Lady Knights jump seven spots from where they finished in the final expanded rankings.

16. (21) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 17-9

No team was hit harder by COVID than head coach Malik McCord and his Dragons. They were forced to pull out of their last game in the Platinum Division of the West Coast Jamboree, and their own MLK Classic was affected when they couldn’t play from December 29 to January 21. At that point, after being off so long, the girls were up and down due to lack of practice and conditioning. The result was they ended up losing three games in league and finished in third place. Even so, when the NCS seeded its Open Division lo and behold O’Dowd was placed in the Open Division as the No. 5 seed. The Dragons ended up getting to the semifinals and then after two wins in the D1 NorCals their season was ended by Salesian in the semifinals.

The best player, Amaya Bonner, is off to Cal, but McCord had a fairly young team and his two top returners are juniors Savannah Jones (12 points, six rebounds and steals per game) and Nyah Greenwood (eight points and rebounds per game). Two additional impact returners are senior point guard Lamya Harrell and sophomore forward Madison Gordon. McCord also has four freshmen impact players, guard Devin Cosgriff, who already has offers, combo guard Lizzy Quinteros, who turned some heads last summer, combo guard Jayla Stokes, the daughter of former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver JJ Stokes, and guard Kira McCoy. Look out for the young Dragons.

Mary Carter of Antelope drives the ball up the court at the Golden 1 Center in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 final. Photo: Ray Iaea / Elk Grove Citizen.


17. (NR) Antelope 26-7

The Titans only received the No. 10 seed in the CIF Northern Regional Division II playoffs last season but went on the road and defeated Union City James Logan, McClatchy of Sacramento and Atherton Menlo before losing to San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno in the NorCal title game. Veteran head coach Sean Chambers loses one senior contributor but everyone else returns, and he has one of the top incoming freshman posts in the state. The top returner is Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-committed senior sharpshooting wing Mary Carter.

Last season she averaged a double-double 24.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game with 3.1 assists, 3.1 blocks and 1.8 steals. Other top returners are 6-foot-1 junior forward Samiya Dillard (12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds per game), senior guard Ivyana Samilton-Babcock (8.7 ppg), and junior wing Michelle Rice, who averaged 7.0 points and 6.2 rebounds a game. The freshman is 6-foot-3 Evelina Smith. She was very impressive during the summer NCAA Viewing Period. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a freshman as dominant as Evelina. She’s incredible,” Chambers said and added she is already getting offers.

18. (NR) Piedmont 24-7

A loss to Lincoln of Stockton ended the 2021-22 season for Piedmont after it got the top seed in the CIF Northern Regional Division II playoffs. The good news for Highlanders fans is that veteran head coach Bryan Gardere returns everyone led by Trinity Zamora. The 6-foot San Diego State-bound senior point guard/forward averaged a whopping double-double 23.3 points and 18.2 rebounds per game, plus 5.1 assists.

Zamora is joined in the backcourt by junior guard Natalia Martinez, who led the team in scoring at 24.1 points per game with 7.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Gardere also is looking for big things from 6-foot senior forward Eva Levingston, who had to sit out the entire season after transferring from Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame. Three other players Gardere feels will be contributors are senior guard Madison Hill, sophomore guard Shakila Zuberi and senior Perseas Giokaris. Another potential contributor is senior Adrienne Blackwell, a transfer from Southern California that is not yet eligible.

19. (39) Oakland Tech (Oakland) 20-9*

Some coaches like to schedule light to start the season and some schedule tough, and then some schedule ultra-tough, and that’s the case with Bulldogs’ head coach Leroy Hurt, and that’s the reason for this big bump. At the press conference following the Bulldogs’ victory over a tough Pasadena La Salle in the CIF Division III state championship, Hurt said he felt his team should have been in a higher division, and based on playing a tougher schedule than a lot of D1-level teams that might be correct. Hurt insisted on playing in the Platinum Division of the West Coast Jamboree, where Tech is at again this year, and the Bulldogs lost to Archbishop Mitty and Bishop O’Dowd but came back to soundly beat CIF D2 state runner-up San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno, 75-62. They had a couple of questionable losses but they only lost by six to Clovis West and eight to Stockton St. Mary’s. They avenged a loss to Lincoln (Stockton) en route to the D3 state title. Don’t look for a drop-off as Hurt returns his four top players, seniors Erin Sellers, Mari Somvichian and Sophia Askew-Goncalves, and junior Taliyah Logwood.

20. (22) Rosary Academy (Fullerton) 17-10
The Royals lose point guard Kaylee Byon to graduation but head coach Richard Yoon continues to show he can develop winners by scheduling tough. Last season nine of the losses were to teams ranked above them and the other was a 2-point tournament loss to Texas top100 Summer Creek of Houston. Byon may be gone but the No. 2 team in Orange County now has a new star on horizon, junior forward Allison Clark. Senior Ava Dominguez returns at the post and she looked improved this past summer. Two other players to look for are sophomore and new point guard Mya Barnes and senior forward Mary Larson.

For a look at the teams we’ve ranked from No. 21 to No. 40, plus more teams on the bubble, CLICK HERE.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at marketingharoldabend@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend


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