Preseason Girls BB Ranks (16-40)

Head coach Margaret Gartner and girls from No. 19 Acalanes (Lafayette) are shown during their competition last summer at the Cali Live ’23 event in Roseville. Photo: @Acalanes_gbb /

It’s time to launch our winter basketball content on and we are also doing it this week with a preseason Top 40 of the best girls teams from all across the state. This group is led by No. 16 and longtime state powerhouse Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland and includes the rest of these teams down to No. 40 Marin Catholic of Kentfield, plus a list of 25 more teams that just missed.

Note: All of our new weekly rankings this upcoming season after this free version for the preseason will be posts for our Gold Club members only. This subscription is still just pennies per day and signing up in the preseason is a great time to do it. If you like this free post, that’s great. Consider it a sample of what we do every week for Gold Club members. For details how to join our team today, CLICK HERE.

To check out the teams we ranked from No. 1 to No. 15, CLICK HERE.

16. (26) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 20-9

A third team at this stage of the rankings that gets a big boost of at least 10 spots from where it finished in the Final Expanded Rankings from last season is the Dragons. They graduated Lamya Harrell, who was out for the playoffs where O’Dowd bowed out to St. Mary’s (Stockton) in the second round of the CIF Northern Regional Division I playoffs, but everyone else returns, plus head coach Malik McCord has some additions that very well could help get the Dragons get back to Northern California dominance like in 2013 when O’Dowd won the inaugural state CIF Open Division championship in one of only two times a NorCal team has captured the Open title.

To start, all five starters return led by the sophomore duo of Devin Cosgriff (16.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg), an ESPN 4-star prospect as a freshman who already has an offer from UCLA and additional interest including South Carolina plus others. She tied for No. 13 in the Girls of Summer Player Ranking. Combined with sophomore Lizzy Quinteros (16.1 ppg) the duo are arguably the top underclass backcourt duo in the state.

Savannah Jones (14.1 ppg) will be looked on to provide senior leadership. Another returner McCord sees having a breakout year is sophomore Jayla Stokes, and the fifth starter and contributor is senior Nyah Greenwood. Others that will be looked on as contributors are juniors Madison Gordon and Simdi Chukwu, and sophomores Kiara McCoy and Emilyn Haw.

If that’s not enough depth, the Dragons have two talented incoming freshmen, including Myella Chapman and Ella Bibbins. According to McCord, Chapman is a true point guard who already has offers from Cal, Arizona, Washington, Santa Clara and Tulsa. McCord has O’Dowd in the Pinole Valley Tip Off Classic, the NorCal vs SoCal event in Los Angeles at Windward, the Recognize Game Classic versus Oakland Tech, the Nike TOC in Arizona, a match-up with St. Mary’s (Stockton) at the Woodside Priory Winter Classic, and its own MLK Showcase.

Santiago of Corona head coach Michael Mitchell talks to the media after his team fell to Central of Fresno in CIF D2 state final. Photo: Mark Tennis.

17. (14) Santiago (Corona) 26-10

This team loses three spots from the Final Expanded Rankings from 2023, but head coach Michael Mitchell and his Sharks do drop from No. 2 to No. 3 in the Inland Empire pecking order. Still, despite losing the top true IE post player in McKinley Willardson, Santiago has a solid base of returners, including senior Destiny Augubata, who was an all-state selection as a sophomore at Etiwanda but missed the entire 2022-23 season with a knee injury after transferring last season. According to Mitchell she is back from a knee injury but there is a possibility the West Virginia-bound Augubata may graduate early in January. At this time, it’s uncertain so we’re ranking Santiago somewhere in the middle between if she plays a full season or not.

Regardless, Mitchell has a lot of returning talent led by seniors Rylee Ghent (12.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Zawadi Ogot (13.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and junior Jayda Cobbs (10.3 ppg, 6.2rpg, 4.2 apg). The Sharks also welcome Andrea Alamo, a highly touted freshman who is a member of the Puerto Rican National Youth Team and has competed in international events. Santiago will be in the Harvard-Westlake tournament, the Sparks and Sharks, the La Jolla County Day Sweet 16, the Troy Classic and the SoCal Holiday Classic.

18. (25) St. Joseph (Santa Maria) 26-5

The Knights held onto the final spot in the top 25 of the Final Expanded Rankings last season despite a low seeding that sent them on the road in their final two games where their season ended in a loss in Los Angeles to Brentwood in the CIF Southern Regional Division I first round. One of the reasons St. Joseph is starting higher than some of the teams that went further in the D1 SoCals last year is based on who it returns.

Despite losing post player Candace Kpetikou, now a freshman at Colorado, head coach Kristina Santiago returns one of the top players in the state, smooth lefty Avery Cain who averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.8 assists per game. Cain, an ESPN 5-star recruit who is UCLA-bound, came in as the No. 6 rated player in the Girls of Summer rankings and was one of only seven players to earn a 9.0 rating out of a perfect 10 for the 125 players in the Girls of Summer Player Rankings.

Cain will not be a one-girl team as St. Joseph also returns two other major contributors plus more. Those two are senior point guard Kai Ona (10.6 ppg, 3.6 apg, 2.4 rpg, 2.4 spg) and junior wing Mia Matautia (6.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg). Two other players Santiago is looking to as solid contributors are sophomores Annalyssa Cota and Maava Sat. Newcomers who will be contributors are senior Gaby Gimeno, juniors Jazelle Oropeza and Alana Logan, sophomores Ali Mayes and Elizabeth Krause, and freshman Analize Silve.

Santiago also has scheduled tough. The Sharks open at the Clovis Challenge, travel to Archbishop Mitty, then comes the Doser tourney, the Nike TOC in Phoenix, and the Platinum Division of the West Coast Jamboree.

Avary Cain from No. 18 St. Joseph of Santa Maria is heading to UCLA and has been one of the top players for the Class of 2024 since she was a freshman. Photo: Chris Aguirre.

19. (19) Acalanes (Lafayette) 21-8

Of the several coaches and analysts queried some felt the Dons should be higher and some said lower, so after the best season since 1999 when Acalanes won the CIF Division III state championship, we decided to start off the team in the same spot where it finished in last year’s Final Expanded Rankings.

In actuality, 2023 in some respects could be considered the greatest season in school history because in those days of enrollment based divisions Acalanes of 1999 did not make the state rankings. What makes it even better for Dons’ fans is veteran head coach Margaret Gartner returns all her top talent led by junior guards Sophie Chinn and Karyss “KK” Lacanlale and junior forward Dulci Vail. Also back at 100-percent is junior guard Ariana Hallstrom. Other returning contributors will be junior Natalie Frechman and sophomore Cameron Thornton.

Sophomore Sofia Fernandez, a transfer from Benicia will also be a contributor. Gartner has two inside players she’s developing, juniors Addie Ames and Emme Seelenbacher. With this kind of depth, Gartner is going to have a lot to work with.

The Dons will be in the Marin Catholic tournament, and then will be at the SoCal Holiday Classic before starting league play.

Gartner, who took six years off before taking the Acalanes job for family reasons after coaching 23 years at Concord Carondelet, will also enter next season with 583 career coaching victories according to the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book and likely will join the 600-win club.

20. (18) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 17-12*

Between players out with injuries and transfers having to sit out or ruled ineligible, last year was a wild-and-wacky up and down season for head coach Doc Scheppler and his Panthers’ team that after beating the Acalanes team ranked right above them in these preseason rankings made it to the CIF Northern Regional Division I quarterfinals before bowing out to Oakland Tech.

Scheppler loses Southern Utah freshman Ava Ulrich and Jade Ramirez, and they accounted for a lot of production, but the wily veteran has a lot of returners and some new faces as well. The top returner is senior guard Alex Facelo and her 13.7 points per game. Another returner who tied for No. 17 in the Girls of Summer Player Rankings and who averaged 13.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season is junior Jolyn Ding. Role players returning are senior Anika Nambisan and juniors Gabby Yang and Christina Tanase. The biggest addition is junior guard Vallory Kuelker. She tied Ding for No. 17 in the Girls of Summer rankings. As one of the top players at Palo Alto Gunn as a freshman, she had to sit out the entire year but will be eligible and in a Panthers jersey this season. Another huge addition is Hungarian foreign exchange student Betty Hamori, a 6-foot-1 senior who until coming to the United States played with boys for two years on her school team.

Scheppler also has two girls that are sitting out and both were ranked in the Girls of Summer rankings. Caitlyn Kramer is a sophomore transfer from Crystal Springs Upland of Hillsborough that Scheppler says lives three minutes from Pinewood. Katherine Garr is a junior forward who transferred from Palo Alto.

With Pinewood being a team in transition and not likely being whole until January, Scheppler has forgone early season tourneys but will be taking his team down south to face Mission Hills in January, and later in the month they will face San Ramon Valley and Carondelet on the road.

21. (7) Piedmont 27-1

We realize it’s a huge drop but Piedmont lost a ton of talent from a team that had its season ended when the CIF Northern Regional Open Division top seed lost a close one to visiting Salesian of Richmond in the semifinals.

Head coach Bryan Gardere, who was the coach for two back-to-back CIF Division VI state championships in 2004-05 that featured the Paris twins, Courtney and Ashley, lost a lot of talent including current San Diego State freshman Trinity Zamora, Cal State Fullerton freshman Eva Levingston and San Francisco State freshman Perseas Gioukaris, plus others. The player he does return who will be the centerpiece of the Highlanders is West Alameda County Conference Player of the Year Natalia Martinez. She’s rated as one of the top seniors in Northern California and led the Highlanders in scoring assists and steals with 20, four and four, respectively, plus five rebounds per game. Over the summer Martinez tied for No. 9 in the Girls of Summer Player Rankings.

Other returners that have some college interest are seniors Lindsey Wirgler and Samantha Smith. Two other returning role players are senior Kat Melian and junior Shakila Zuberi. Senior Erinn Gardere transfers in from San Ramon Dougherty Valley and senior Arshiya Ranjitkar comes over from Union City James Logan.

Piedmont will be in the Lompoc tournament, it will host the Paris Twins Classic and then head to the SoCal Holiday Classic.

Orange Lutheran’s Shea Joko raises victory plaque at the CIF Southern Section championships. Photo: Fernando M. Donado / For OC Sports Zone.

22. (22) Lutheran (Orange) 26-8*

The 2022-23 season marked the first time Orange Lutheran cracked the top 25 for the Final Expanded rankings, and although there is movement all around them from where teams finished in those rankings and where they land in the preseason rankings, the Lancers come into this season holding down the same spot they finished with.

We saw OLu dismantle Los Angeles Marlborough, 63-45, in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship game before bowing out to Del Norte of San Diego in the Southern Regional Division I playoffs. The good news for Lancers faithful is the core of top players, including seniors Shea Joko and Taliyah McFerson, and sophomore Kelly Garrity, remains intact. Garrity impressed over the summer and looked improved from when we saw her against Marlborough, and tied for No. 13 in the Girls of Summer Player Rankings.

23. (36) Rosary Academy (Fullerton) 23-8

The Royals lose second leading scorer Ava Dominguez and her 14.7 points per game, but head coach Richard Yoon returns a ton of talent on a Rosary team that went 6-2 in the Trinity League, and that included two wins over an Orange Lutheran team ranked directly above them.

The top returner is leading scorer Allison Clarke. The senior wing checked in at 19.5 points per game last season. Another solid returner is leading rebounder and third leading scorer Mya Barnes. Last year the junior averaged 14.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Three other returning Royals who averaged over 4.5 points per game are the duo of sophomore guards Brigid Levecke and Kate Duarte, and junior Samantha Wilson. Whether or not Rosary can challenge Mater Dei in the Trinity League remains to be seen, but with what Yoon has in his arsenal the Royals get to come up big in the preseason rankings.

24. (24) Brentwood (Los Angeles) 28-7

After winning the CIF Southern Section 2A championship with a 79-66 victory over Leuzinger of Lawndale, the Eagles earned the No. 7 seed in in the CIF Southern Regional Division I playoffs and beat visiting St. Joseph before bowing out to Santiago in the second round. The result was Brentwood earned a top 25 state finish for the first time in school history.

Head coach Charles Solomon loses 22 points per game in scoring to graduation but the good news for the Eagles’ faithful is they have some solid returning talent led by junior and leading scorer Lev Feiman (13.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.4 steals, who according to Solomon has multiple college offers. Junior Payton Sugar (10.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 81 three-pointers and 40-percent three-point shooting) is another solid returner and senior Jocelyn Pascual (9.7 ppg) is as well.

More production is expected from senior Aaria Roa and Solomon welcomes two potential impact freshmen, Kelsey Sugar and Reena White. Sophomore 6-foot-1 transfer Logan Scott will give Brentwood a post presence it has lacked according to Solomon once she is past the sit-out period.

Brentwood is in the Harvard-Westlake tournament, the Nike Central Valley Showdown, the Bishop Gorman tourney in Las Vegas and the Sandra Meadows Classic in Texas.

Bailey Barnhard was a double-double machine all last season at Del Norte of San Diego. Photo: @SanDiegoPBC /

25. (21) Del Norte (San Diego) 23-11

The Nighthawks were late breaking into the top 25 rankings last season but came on strong in the playoffs and the CIF Southern Regional Division I No. 5 seed ended up making it all the way to the championship game against No. 2 seed Santiago before bowing out in a 52-39 loss. Despite it all, it was still by far the greatest girls hoops season in the history of the 15-year old school.

Calissa Tyrell and Kloe Taylor graduated, plus a couple of other graduates on the roster, but head coach Teshona Bennett returns leading scorer and rebounder Bailey Barnhard. The junior forward averaged a double-double 20.5 points and 13.6 rebounds plus 3.3 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Another top returner is junior Kiana Cadigan and her 7.7 points per game. Bennett returns several others but they were all role players last year so with that as a scenario the Nighthawks have to start a little lower then where they finished in last year’s Final Expanded Rankings.

26. (30) McClatchy (Sacramento) 24-7

The Lions check in as the No. 3 team from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and No. 2 from the Sacramento metro area. As with any young team, McClatchy had a couple of questionable losses during the 2022-23 regular season but in its playoff run the Lions only lost by five to Folsom in the CIFSJS Division 1 semifinals and then played as well in a 62-50 loss to Oakland Tech in the D1 NorCals as any of Tech’s next four opponents. Head coach Jeff Ota losses some senior talent but two of this top three scorers, junior and leading scorer and rebounder Nina Cain (19.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and sophomore Norret Lewis (12.6 ppg, 7. rpg), plus several others, including Kaela Stancil-Williams (9.5 ppg), return. Cain, an ESPN 4-star recruit, garnered a tie for No. 13 in the Girls of Summer Player Rankings.

27. (27) Vanden (Fairfield) 25-8

Head coach Allison Johnson Loses three of four leading scorers but the Vikings still have a lot of returners who were role players last year but looking at their numbers and what they did in some big games, Vanden should still be very competitive with those returners as a core. Junior guard Calonni Holloway (7.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.8 apg, 4.2 spg) is the top returner. She is joined by senior Jaylen Kuehnel (7.1 ppg), senior Jakayla Gilmer (5.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 spg, 2.8 apg), senior Taytum Jayla’Kai Johnson (4.4 ppg), and junior La’Miracle Lebon (4.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg). Several other returners and three newcomers, Kimora Amira Snell, Makayla Smith and Kaitlyn Garcia, plus one transfer, junior post AK Palmer, also are players to watch.

28. (17) Carondelet (Concord) 23-8

With the loss of several seniors, including current Northern Arizona freshman Allie Cummins and Pacific freshman Jamie Kent, the Cougars start a little lower for the preseason rankings than where they finished in the 2023 Final Expanded Rankings. However, head coach Kelly Sopak returns nine players from what was essentially a fairly young team that will be anchored by Lehigh-bound senior wing Keshia Vitalicio. She averaged 10.2 points per game. Two other underclass players that should significantly improve their numbers and are poised for breakout seasons are sophomores Layla Dixon and Sofia Ross. They averaged 4.6 and 5.2 points per game, respectively. Other role players Sopak is looking to for contributions are senior forward Katie Kostolansky, senior wing Kamil Reid, junior wing Ryan Rodriguez, and sophomores Olivia Smith, Lauren Clark and Victoria Liu. Carondelet will be in the Nike TOC, the Mater Dei Matt Denning Classic, and host the Sabrina Ionescu SI20 Classic.

Samari Bankhead shined for Windward (Los Angeles) at last summer’s Cali Live ’23 event held in Roseville. Photo: Harold Abend / Cal-Hi Sports.

29. (32) Windward (Los Angeles) 18-10

When we saw Windward last season at the Matt Denning Hoops Classic at Mater Dei they were riding a six-game winning streak after taking apart eventual SoCal D1 champion Santiago 69-48 behind a huge performance by current Princeton freshman Skye Belker. They ended up going 8-0 in the Gold Coast League and making the CIF Southern Section Open Division field, the Wildcats stumbled at the end but all those losses are to teams ranked ahead of them. The Wildcats have a new head coach, former Pepperdine and Cal State Northridge assistant Rachel Schrote, and Belker is gone, but the first-year head coach has all 10 other players after Belker returning, including junior Samari Bankhead, a very promising freshman that missed all of last season with an injury. Bankhead looked a little rusty at the Girls California Live 23 event in June but still tied for No. 13 in the Girls of Summer Player rankings. Other major contributors this coming season to look for are sharpshooting junior guard Olivia Lagao and senior wing Laurel Hinds, plus others.

30. (39) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 21-6

The word on the hardwood from several coaches and analysts queried about the Fightin Irish is that they going to be very solid this season. They were fairly high up in the rankings for quite a while until adversity struck in the form of injuries. Early in the season they posted successive tournament wins over San Ramon Valley, Acalanes and D2 state champion Fresno Central but that’s when things started unraveling. Even so, the Fightin Irish ended up giving San Ramon Valley a run in the D1 NorCals before bowing out in a 63-54 first round loss. The good news for head coach Demetrius Jackson is every major contributor is back, including San Francisco Italian Athletic Club San Francisco Player of the Year and senior guard Reza Po, and standout senior center Inez Gallegos is back from her injury. Jackson has several other contributors but two girls to look for who made the Girls of Summer rankings are senior wing Maddie Eade and junior point guard Aniyah Versosa.

31. (6) Salesian (Richmond) 27-5

We realize this is a huge drop-off for a team that ended up avenging earlier losses with wins over Folsom and Piedmont before bowing out in the CIF Northern Regional Open Division playoffs to Archbishop Mitty in the title game. However, head coach and 2021 State Coach of the Year Stephen Pezzola has a lot of rebuilding to do after losing just about everyone to graduation. Over the years, Pezzola has shown to be one of the top developers of new talent and this coming year he’ll have his work cut out for himself. Only one major contributor returns, senior point guard Madelyn Kanizawa, but several Pride players are waiting in the wings, including senior Ayla Rege, a sharpshooter who came on down the stretch, and senior Kamari Johnson. Pezzola will have some new faces to develop, including twin sister junior transfers Janiya and Jamia Sawyer, who looked solid over the summer and who Pezzola says “will play a very big role for us this year.” The Pride also welcome several freshmen, including 6-1 post Oriiannah Biden, who is expected to play a large role, and point guard Emnet Goitom. Salesian will be playing in the Nike TOC and the West Coast Jamboree as their two tournaments.

32. (35) Westchester (Los Angeles) 29-2

The Comets come in as the top team in the Los Angeles City Section just like they finished in the Final Expanded Rankings last season only it’s with a four-spot bump up for these preseason rankings. Of the two losses last season for the Comets, one was by a point to Bonita Vista and the other ended the season in a heartbreaking 62-59 home loss to Orange Lutheran in the CIF Southern Regional Division I opening round. Head coach Dominic Grimes loses some senior talent but senior and leading scorer and rebounder Mariah Blake is back along with some other solid contributors, including junior Reigne Waugh and senior Kyana Davis, plus others. Also, Westchester has freshman point guard Savannah Miles added to the mix.

Marianne Boco has been one of the top players in the CIF L.A. City Section since she was a sophomore at Granada Hills. Photo: Granada Hills Girls BB / MaxPreps.

33. (40) Granada Hills Charter
(Granada Hills) 26-6

Having two teams from the Los Angeles City Section in the final expanded rankings hadn’t happened in quite a while, and now the LA City Section has two teams in the preseason rankings, and as close as they are with returning talent they come in together with both earning some upward movement. The Highlanders lose one senior but she was only the fifth leading scorer. Senior combo guard and leading scorer Marianne Boco is back after averaging 16.6 points, 4.4 assists, 4.1 steals and 3.3 rebounds per game. Also returning is senior forward and leading rebounder Emma Perez (8.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg), plus senior and second leading scorer Karma Paez (9.7 ppg). Two other returning contributors are senior Natalie Melendez and sophomore Alyssa Badua. They averaged 6.7 and 5.2 points per game, respectively.

34. (29) Westview (San Diego) 25-6

Like a lot of teams as we get toward the final teams in the preseason Top 40, the Wolverines have some holes to fill with the graduation of two of its top three scorers. However, the No. 4 team from the CIF San Diego Section still returns enough talent to only lose six spots to start this season. Remember, this is a team that nearly upset the apple cart but fell short in a 49-48 loss as the No. 15 seed to eventual SoCal D1 champion Santiago in the first round of the Southern Regionals. This was after a 1-point loss in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs to a Del Norte team it had beaten twice previously. The top returner is senior Sydney Heyn, who averaged 11.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Her little sister, sophomore Sarah Heyn (5.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg), returns, as does senior Kira Carter (4.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg) plus several other contributors that were role players last season, including senior Beatriz Ibatuan and junior Maren Zimmer.

35. (20) Antelope 26-4

The Titans have to lose some spots after losing three of their four top scorers, including Cal Poly freshman Mary Carter, plus Evelini Smith, a promising sophomore who was injured her whole freshman year and has transferred to St. Mary’s (Stockton). Despite those losses, Antelope head coach Sean Chambers is a proven winner nnd developer of talent both at the high school and club levels. The top returner is second leading scorer and rebounder Michelle Rice. Last year as a junior she averaged 10.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Two returners that were solid contributors last season that Chambers is looking to for increased production are senior sharpshooter Isabel Azzolino (7.1 ppg) and sophomore point guard Kamaria Charlo. Chambers has two freshmen he feels will be contributors, Samiya Brown and Syd Thompson. Antelope will be staying local and plays in the Davis, Monterey Trail and Oak Ridge tournaments.

36. (38) Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) 23-10

Some may question how the CIF Southern Regional Division II champions can be ranked ahead of the Fresno Central team that defeated them 52-41 in the Division II state championship. The answer is Central got a state championship record performance from graduated senior Talia Maxwell and Bonita Vista star Mahliya Wilson and the rest of the Barons had one of the worst shooting nights in CIF state championship history when they went 17-of-108 or an abysmal 16-percent from the field. Even so, they weren’t blown out. Based on who they return and add, head coach Tristan Lamb could possibly be higher, but we’re starting them out at almost the same spot as in the Final Expanded Rankings. Leading scorer Wilson (19.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.7 spg, 2.4 apg) returns for her senior season. Other returning role players are junior Jamiya Valenciano, senior Haydee Aranciba-Hardwick, senior Isabella Topf and several others. Lamb also has Bayani Cordova, a freshman transfer from IMG Academy in Florida.

Sharpshooting guard Liv Yergensen, a junior at Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills), has seen D1 offers come in recently from Oregon State and Cal. Photo: @OakRidgeWBB /

37. (NR) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 19-11

The word out of the summer and fall by fellow coaches and local analysts is that Oak Ridge is back and loaded with a 13-player roster from last year that only graduated two seniors. We saw them briefly at the Girls California Live 23 event in June and they’re scrappy. Head coach Stephen White is a proven winner who comes into the season as the all-time winningest coach in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section history with 653 career wins. The Trojans have a big girl in 6-foot-4 junior Hailey Harris. Look for seniors Jessica Crannell and Kate Goff, and juniors Liv Yergensen and Addison Hunt, plus others. White always puts on a classy event with his longstanding Oak Ridge tournament.

38. (NR) Pleasant Valley (Chico) 30-4

The Vikings are in a similar situation to Bonita Vista when it comes to being in the preseason rankings and Fresno Central on the Bubble. Yes, Pleasant Valley lost 62-51 to Central in the Northern Regional Division II title game, but returns everyone and the other three losses were to top 25 teams plus Brentwood Heritage, which had McDonalds All-American Amanda Muse. The Vikings’ top player is budding junior AJ Gambol. She averaged a team-high 16.3 points with both 3.2 rebounds and assists per game. Other talented returners include juniors Maddux Wilson (14.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Nyah Fortune (7.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg), senior Caitlyn Vickery (7.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg), plus others. This is a scrappy and deep team that is still young. We’ll be watching what the lone representative of the CIF Northern Section does in the West Coast Jamboree.

39. (NR) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 24-10

Head coach Reina Ale returns a more than solid group that played in the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs. While the Knights didn’t win a game in three tries in its group, getting into that bracket was a huge accomplishment. The top returnee is junior guard Jordin Blackmon, who was the 2022-23 Player of the Year in the Del Rey League and has multiple D1 college offers. Two others back who we saw and liked in a two-point loss to Ontario Christian in last year’s Matt Denning Classic are sophomore Sophia Dignadice and junior Kadence Lloyd.

40. (NR) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 28-6

Just one senior was on the roster of the Wildcats from last season and it was a team that ousted 30-win Christian Brothers from the CIF NorCal D2 regionals before losing by two points to senior-dominated eventual state champ Central (Fresno). Izzy McFadden, a junior shooting guard who was tied for 15th in the Girls of Summer player rankings, is the top returnee for head coach Ashley Saia. Cecily Hadd is back after earning first team all-league honors. Madie Dayton was second team all-league and also returns.

25 More Teams on the Bubble

Buchanan (Clovis) 21-10
Buena Park 25-8
Canyon (Canyon Country) 20-8
Centennial (Corona) 20-10
Central (Fresno) 23-12
Chaminade (West Hills) 20-14
Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 30-4
Flintridge Prep (La Canada) 30-3
Hart (Newhall) 29-5
Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 20-11
Heritage (Brentwood) 22-7
La Salle (Pasadena) 31-4
Leuzinger (Lawndale) 30-6
Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga) 29-5
Lynwood 18-11
Marlborough (Los Angeles) 22-10
Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 21-10
Mount Miguel (Spring Valley) 24-8
Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 19-7
Pinole Valley (Pinole) 20-11
Rancho Christian (Temecula) 27-6
San Juan Hills (San Juan Capistrano 27-7
San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 20-10
Ventura 21-9
Village Christian (Sun Valley) 26-7
Whitney (Rocklin) 19-12

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

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One Comment

  1. Anthony Johnson
    Posted November 13, 2023 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    No Love for King Drew Girls??? We will have to show you I guess!!!

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