Here’s the second installment of posts in which we’ve made our recommendations for which girls teams should be seeded No. 1 in next week’s CIF regional playoffs. Check our page on Sunday night for reaction to all of the regional pairings.
Division II North: St. Mary’s (Stockton)
The Rams are going for their second straight CIF state title in this division (and fourth overall) and have had mostly glorified workouts so far, including a 64-29 victory over McNair of Lodi in Saturday’s Sac-Joaquin Section championship. North Coast Section champ Carondelet of Concord and CCS champ Archbishop Mitty of San Jose will present challenges to St. Mary’s in the regional playoffs, but not for the top seed.
Division III South: Mission Bay (San Diego)
This one was supposed to come down to a tough choice between the Bucs and Alemany of Mission Hills, but Alemany was upset in its Southern Section final by Laguna Hills. Mission Bay won its section title Saturday 67-42 over Mt. Miguel of Spring Valley. That’s a team that just doesn’t lose by huge margins like that unless it’s to an elite-level opponent. Four of Mission Bay’s six losses were to higher-ranked or out-of-state teams and there’s been some quality wins, such as those against Stockdale of Bakersfield, Oaks Christian of Westlake Village and Sacramento.
Division III North: Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland)
When you hear a score like the Dragons defeating an unbeaten team like Miramonte of Orinda 73-49 you always wonder why a team like Miramonte doesn’t play a more challenging preseason schedule. O’Dowd has been a national-level squad all season and looked the part in beating the Matadors for the North Coast Section crown. The Dragons are hoping to get back to the CIF state final after losing in last year’s title game to St. Joseph of Santa Maria.
Division IV North: Salesian (Richmond)
For the last three years, St. Mary’s of Berkeley has been the top seed in this division and the Panthers were favored to win the North Coast Section title on Saturday since they had earlier defeated Salesian in the Bay Shore Athletic League final. This time, though, the Pride posted a 49-42 win. With their 28-4 record and based on the success of NCS in this division at the state and NorCal level, it’s hard to see any other team getting the vote.
Division V South: Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo)
Combined with all of their years in the Southern Section and Central Section, the Royals have now won 19 section titles after they defeated Villanova Prep of Ojai 56-45 on Saturday in the CIFSS Div. 5AA final. Their only loss in a 29-1 season is to Independence of Bakersfield, a D3 team from the Central Section. Rolling Hills Prep of San Pedro is the only other Southern California team in the top 10 rankings for the state in the division, which in recent years has tended to be won by teams from the north.