High-SchoolCalifornia: St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda)

California high school boys basketball,CIF state championshipsWillie Eashman/ESPNHSTaylor Johns slams one home for Sacred Heart Cathedral
As is our custom prior to CIF state finals in football and basketball, we take a crack at choosing which teams we think will win.

Note: All of the following writeups and selections are done with the highest level of respect to both teams and all coaches. We never use point spreads and, sure, some of the scores might be a bit more lopsided than we might think. But you also never know what might happen. After all, these are teenagers.

We had one of our worst years ever in last year’s CIF finals (boys and girls combined) with just six correct and four wrong. We were 7-for-10 in 2010 and were 9-for-10 in 2009.

The following writeups were completed by Ronnie Flores, Harold Abend, Mark Tennis, Paul Muyskens.

Boys Division I
(Saturday, March 24, 8 p.m.)


Cal-Hi Sports’ predicted score:
Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 77, Sheldon (Sacramento) 66


The marquee game of the 2012 CIF boys state championships could live up to its billing as both teams look for historic victories.

Mater Dei, the top-ranked team in the state and the No. 8 team in the country in the POWERADE FAB 50, is gunning for its second consecutive CIF state title. Sheldon is looking to become the first Sacramento-area Division I state champion ever.

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State Divisional Boys BB Rankings

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:33
PM ET
With one game to go, Mater Dei (D1), Archbishop Mitty (D2), Alemany (D3), Salesian of Richmond (D4) and St. Joseph Notre Dame (D5) look to complete almost wire-to-wire runs atop their state divisions.

More highlights from this week’s lists include:

Our picks of which teams in the north and which teams in the south can still move up in the final rankings depending on which team wins in the CIF state championships.

With help from Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens, here is the eighth and next-to-last listing of boys teams this season for each division (records listed after regional championship games played on Saturday, March 17; previous ranking in parentheses):

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State Divisional Boys BB Rankings

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
9:36
PM ET
California high school boys basketball,CIF state championshipsMark Tennis/ESPNHSCoach Don Lippi, who recently won his 700th game, poses with his son after 2011 team at St. Joseph Notre Dame won CIF state title.
Regional finals set for Saturday at four sites as the road to the 2012 CIF state championships on March 23-24 gets very narrow.

Highlights from Tuesday’s games included:

"Bullard of Fresno upsetting nationally ranked Long Beach Poly on 40-foot bomb

"Katin Reinhardt coming back for No. 1 Mater Dei and scoring 21 points in win over Loyola

"Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame’s Don Lippi joining exclusive ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports record book list by picking up 700th career triumph

"Mater Dei (D1), Archbishop Mitty (D2), Alemany (D3), Salesian of Richmond (D4) and St. Joseph Notre Dame (D5) remaining as No. 1 teams

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State Divisional Boys BB Rankings

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
11:46
PM ET
Mater Dei’s chances for a repeat in Division I take a hit with Kaitin Reinhardt being lost with a thumb injury. Monarchs are still No. 1 in their division along with Archbishop Mitty (D2), Alemany (D3), Salesian of Richmond (D4) and St. Joseph Notre Dame (D5).

As the CIF state playoffs move into the regional quarterfinal round on Saturday night, the big news wasn’t an upset or any score for that matter from Thursday’s second-round.

During Santa Ana Mater Dei’s 66-47 win over Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta, standout 6-foot-4 guard Kaitin Reinhardt didn’t score and according to at least two game reports was battling “health issues.”

It was revealed on Thursday that Reinhardt’s issue is a thumb injury. It was placed in a cast and it has been reported that he’ll have to miss the rest of the season.

Reinhardt, who has signed with UNLV, has been arguably Mater Dei’s best player this season. He was averaging 18.2 points per game, including 35 against Christ The King of New York and 34 against Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo.

The Monarchs can still win the CIF Division I state title without Reinhardt, but they’re not an especially deep team so any contest in which fouls are being called and coach Gary McKnight has to go deeper into the bench is where the loss of a player like Reinhardt would be felt the most.

With help from Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens, here is the sixth listing of boys teams this season for each division

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State Divisional Boys BB Rankings

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
5:02
PM ET
Important announcement from Cal-Hi Sports | Archived Cal-Hi Sports content

No new No. 1 teams this week, but Gardena Serra is a new No. 2 in Division IV. Westchester also is coming on strong in Division I.

A staple of the Cal-Hi Sports rankings system for more than 30 years is the divisional breakdown of teams leading into the CIF state basketball championships.

Here is the second listing of boys teams this season with analysis and bubble teams for each division (records listed after games of Feb. 4 with some teams that have results included for this week):

CIF Division I
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 22-2
2. (2) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 21-1
3. (3) Etiwanda 24-1
4. (5) De La Salle (Concord) 20-2
5. (6) Taft (Woodland Hills) 22-3
6. (4) Loyola (Los Angeles) 20-4
7. (7) Sheldon (Sacramento) 18-5
8. (13) Westchester (Los Angeles) 19-5
9. (10) Jesuit (Carmichael) 19-5
10. (11) Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 21-3
11. (NR) Oxnard 23-2
12. (9) Buchanan (Clovis) 20-3
13. (NR) Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 21-1
14. (NR) Santa Monica 16-8
15. (8) Lutheran (Orange) 14-10
Drops: Previous No. 12 Fairfax (Los Angeles); No. 14 Mission Viejo; No. 15 J.W. North (Riverside).
Bubble: Central (Fresno) 17-6, Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta) 21-5, Fairfax (Los Angeles) 17-9, Foothill (Tustin) 19-5, Mission Viejo 21-3, Palisades (Pacific Palisades) 15-10
Comments: The team to watch in this division is Westchester of Los Angeles. Coach Ed Azzam’s club moved up five spots in this division this week and is looking more and more like it can give Taft of Woodland Hills or any other team in the L.A. City Section a real run for its money right now. The Comets, of course, have a tremendous history of success that can only make the players that much more confident. They have won six CIF Division I state crowns and have never lost in a state final.

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State Divisional Boys BB Rankings

February, 1, 2012
2/01/12
10:31
PM ET
Important announcement from Cal-Hi Sports | Archived Cal-Hi Sports content

First run-through of teams as the playoffs draw near shows Mater Dei, Archbishop Mitty, Alemany, Salesian of Richmond and St. Joseph Notre Dame in No. 1 positions.

A staple of the Cal-Hi Sports rankings system for more than 30 years is the divisional breakdown of teams leading into the CIF state basketball championships.

Here is the first listing of boys teams this season with analysis and bubble teams for each division (records listed after games of Jan. 28 with some teams that have results included for this week):

CIF Division I
1. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 19-2
2. Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 18-1
3. Etiwanda 22-1
4. Loyola (Los Angeles) 18-3
5. De La Salle (Concord) 18-2
6. Taft (Woodland Hills) 19-3
7. Sheldon (Sacramento) 16-4
8. Lutheran (Orange) 14-7
9. Buchanan (Clovis) 19-2
10. Jesuit (Carmichael) 18-4
11. Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 20-2
12. Fairfax (Los Angeles) 15-8
13. Westchester (Los Angeles) 15-5
14. Mission Viejo 20-2
15. J.W. North (Riverside) 17-4
Bubble: Bakersfield 16-7, Foothill (Tustin) 19-4, Oxnard 21-2, Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 19-1.
Comments: Defending CIF state champ Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly could meet in the CIF Southern Section Div. IAA final. Loyola also would be in the CIFSS Div. IAA bracket. If both win section titles, De La Salle and Sheldon project to be the top seeds for the Northern California playoffs.

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