<
>

New Cal-Hi Sports Girls BB Top 20

3/13/2012

Summit beating Santiago and Sac High getting some love accounts for the only changes in this week’s rankings. Regional semis on Tuesday, though, could produce upset or two.

The first two rounds of the CIF Southern and Northern Regional playoffs went pretty much as seeded with a few exceptions.

It’s this week that the proverbial rubber meets the road, since we’ll know by Saturday night which teams will be playing for a state titles in Sacramento at Power Balance Pavilion on March 23-24.

The Cal-Hi Sports caravan was in San Francisco last week to see Kentfield Marin Catholic pull out an exciting 45-44 overtime victory over Mercy of San Francisco in Division IV action. Marin Catholic then went on the road to San Andreas where it lost 33-31 to Calaveras of San Andreas in the quarterfinals.

(Through games played on Saturday, March 10)

(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 31-3

The Monarchs will play a doubleheader with the boys once again this week after Coach Kevin Kiernan’s girls won two games pretty handily last week, including ending the run of Huntington Beach in the quarterfinals with an 80-52 victory. Jordan Adams led the way against the Beach with a double-double 24 points and 13 rebounds (six assists, three steals) and Nirra Fields had 18 points after going for 25 in a 77-35 opening round win over Burbank. If Adams, after nursing an ankle injury the last two months, is rolling again with Fields, the Monarchs have to be heavy favorites to win a third straight Division I state title. They still have to deal with a hot Summit team on Tuesday to continue the run. The Long Beach Poly at Brea Olinda winner then looms before hotel rooms in Sacramento can be booked.

2. (2) La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 29-1

The Torreys were the only team in the Southern Regional Division IV bracket to get a bye. When they finally took the court, they smeared North Hollywood Campbell Hall 66-42 in the quarterfinals. Kelsey Plum led the way with 21 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists. University of San Diego-bound Maya Hood recorded another double-double after finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Coach Terri Bamford’s girls host a very solid St. Bernard of Playa del Rey in the semis after St. Bernard took a 65-51 decision from Burbank Bellarmine-Jefferson. The visitors may be pretty good, but Country Day already owns a 29-point win over them in January’s Westside Challenge at Santa Monica.

3. (3) Windward (Los Angeles) 29-4

The Southern Regional Division IV No. 3 seed had two blowouts last week -- 96-21 over Tollhouse Sierra and 70-31 over Bishop’s of La Jolla. Now comes the anticipated rematch with the Serra of Gardena team that tripped them in triple overtime in the CIFSS D4 title game. A loss again and coach Steve Smith’s girls will be out and will take a huge tumble in the rankings.

4. (4) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 30-3

With two wins last week, coach Carl Buggs and his Jackrabbits get to the 30-win mark for the fifth time in the past six seasons. The Southern Regional Division I third seed had a running clock 81-18 win against Carson and a 56-49 win over Hanford, a game they won by overcoming a fourth-quarter deficit against a visiting Bullpups team that didn’t have a real impressive resume but played well in defeat. With just under three minutes left and Poly down 49-47, senior Breeyon Alexander took over to get six of her 14 points down the stretch and help pull out the victory. Poly is another team that will have to avenge a CIFSS 1AA semifinal loss this week, in its case against Brea-Olinda, or the season is over.

5. (5) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 29-3

After a first-round bye, the Rams as expected had little trouble advancing to the NorCal Division II regional semifinals with a 77-48 quarterfinal win over Dougherty Valley. Charise Holloway scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Courtney Range also had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. St. Mary’s will host St. Ignatius of San Francisco on Tuesday night at Delta College. With a win, the Rams would then face either Archbishop Mitty of San Jose or Carondelet in the NorCal Championship Saturday at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento.

6. (6) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 27-3

The CIF Northern Regional Division III top-ranked Dragons had no problem with Christian Brothers of Sacramento in a 68-39 victory. Oderah Chidom led the way with 25 points. O’Dowd will now play the first game of a boys/girls semifinal doubleheader in a matchup with upstart and No. 5 seed Modesto Christian. Second-seeded Sacramento hosts Orinda Miramonte in the other semifinal.

7. (7) Brea Olinda (Brea) 26-6

The CIFSS 1AA semifinal 49-43 win over Long Beach Poly won’t mean a thing for first-year coach Kim Cram-Torres and the Lady Wildcats if they can’t duplicate the feat this Tuesday in the SoCal D1 semis. If so, they’ll likely face Orange County arch-rival Mater Dei in the title game on Saturday with a trip to Sacramento at stake. Brea started last week with an 86-43 win over El Cajon Granite Hills, and then ended what was a solid season for El Toro with a convincing 65-42 victory in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

8. (8) Berkeley 25-2*

Coach Cheryl Draper’s team breezed past Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove in a 51-33 victory in the CIF Division I North quarterfinals. Arizona State-bound Elisha Davis had 13 points, six assists and five rebounds to lead the way for the defending region champs. Berkeley now plays No. 4 seed Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills, a 44-29 winner over Brentwood Heritage, in the semifinals. Oak Ridge is the last team to beat Berkeley in the NorCal playoffs with a 52-42 win in 2010. That year, the Trojans then upset Long Beach Poly in the state final.

9. (9) Serra (Gardena) 29-3

Since a 70-65 loss to St. Bernard of Playa del Rey, the Cavaliers have won 12 straight as they picked up a pair of SoCal Division IV playoff wins last week. In a game that saw 12 different Cavaliers score, they defeated Parlier 73-20 in the first round. Simone Thompson then scored 20 points while Deandrea Toler added 17 as they earned a trip to the semifinals with a 91-45 triumph over Brentwood of Los Angeles. Things will get a bit tougher now as Serra faces No. 3 Windward in a rematch of the CIFSS Division 4AA section finals that saw the Cavaliers record a 82-77 win in triple-overtime.

10. (11) Summit (Fontana) 28-3

Since a pair of losses in early January, the Skyhawks have yet to lose. They improved their winning streak to 18 after a pair of SoCal Division I regional wins last week. Jillian Alleyne had 14 points and 13 rebounds as they dominated the second half of play to pick up a 71-58 win over Stockdale of Bakersfield in the opening round. With a chance to avenge their earlier 76-69 loss to Santiago of Corona in the Best of the West championship game, Summit next handed the Sharks just their second loss of the year with a 45-44 quarterfinal win. Alleyne led the comeback win as she scored 16 points and grabbed 28 rebounds. The team will now face top-seeded Mater Dei of Santa Ana in the semifinals.

11. (10) Santiago (Corona) 31-2

Chrishae Rowe had 22 points and 15 rebounds, but the Sharks’ season came to a disappointing end without a section or state championship as they lost 45-44 to Summit in the SoCal Division I regional quarterfinals after defeating Summit earlier in the year. Earlier in the week, Rowe scored a team-high 17 points while Paris Jones had 15 points and Shiana Carrington was also in double figures with 13 in a 68-45 first-round win over El Camino Real of Woodland Hills. Santiago could have fallen behind Lynwood in this week’s rankings, but that move can wait until next week if Lynwood has advanced to the D2 state final.

12. (12) Lynwood 26-4

The Cinderella season continues for the CIF Division II South top seed. Last week, the Knights rested with a first-round bye. On Saturday, they had little trouble in a 61-32 quarterfinal victory over Serra of San Diego. The Knights started slow, and actually trailed 8-7 after one quarter before turning up the heat. Sophomore Priscilla Lopez led the way with 18 points on three 3-pointers and 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. T’keya Mason added 11 points. Lynwood now meets Foothill of Santa Ana in the regional semifinals.

13. (13) Carondelet (Concord) 27-3

After a first-round bye, the Northern Regional Division II second-seed drilled 13 shots from 3-point land, including four by sophomore Natalie Romeo (22 points), in a 74-53 win against McNair of Stockton. McNair closed to 53-47 with 6:21 remaining, but the Cougars went on a 13-3 run to seal the deal. Carondelet now meets a familiar foe in the semifinals. That would be a Mitty team the Cougars beat 40-38 in the 2010 D2 NorCal final before they lost to Mater Dei in the state title game.

14. (14) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 25-5

The NorCal D2 third-seeded Monarchs would like nothing better than to beat a Carondelet team that has had its number in the last two playoff meetings. Coach Sue Phillips’ team earned the opportunity to play the Cougars this Tuesday at Ygnacio Valley in Concord after breezing past Pleasant Valley of Chico 64-26 behind Kelli Hayes and Kalyn Simon with 13 points apiece.

15. (15) Mission Bay (San Diego) 25-6

If the Southern Regional Division III top-seeded Buccaneers’ 60-59 quarterfinal victory over No. 9 seed Oak Park is any indication of things to come, coach Sa’de Wiley-Gatewood’s girls are going to have anything but a cakewalk against an Arroyo Grande team that put away its quarterfinal opponent Bishop Amat of La Puente 45-36. Mission Bay led by 13 going into the fourth quarter but three NBA-length 3-pointers by the visitors got them out of their game. Oak Park made 13 shots on 3-pointers in the game. Briteesha Solomon led the way for the Bucs with a double-double 25 points and 12 rebounds.

16. (16) J.W. North (Riverside) 28-5

After a first-round bye, the Huskies defeated Monache of Porterville 72-49 in the SoCal Division II regional quarterfinals. Pricilla Brooks once again earned herself a spot in our weekly state stat stars list as she grabbed 28 rebounds and scored 17 points in the win. In the semifinals on Tuesday, J.W. North will take on a Palisades squad that advanced to the quarterfinals with a 60-58 win over Keppel of Alhambra. With a win, the Huskies will likely get a chance to avenge a 65-55 loss to Lynwood in the CIFSS 2AA finals.

17. (17) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 26-5

After a first-round bye in the CIF Division II North playoffs, the Mike Mulkerrins-coached Wildcats made fairly easy work of visiting Petaluma Casa Grande in a 63-49 victory they led from beginning to end. It was the freshmen duo of 5-foot-11 Sydney Raggio and 6-foot-1 Josie Little that did the heavy lifting as they combined for 37 points. The win earned the Wildcats a trip to Stockton to meet national power St. Mary’s in Tuesday’s semifinal.

18. (18) Etiwanda 23-4

It’s been nearly three weeks since coach Anders Anderson’s team had its season end with a loss to Long Beach Poly. Since that loss, though, was by just five points, since Poly is still going in the D1 state playoffs and since the Eagles’ win over Summit of Fontana earlier in the season now looks even better due to Summit beating Corona Santiago, there’s no doubt that Etiwanda still belongs in the state top 20. The Eagles certainly have a stronger case over the three other teams that lost in CIFSS Division 1AA quarterfinals.

19. (19) Huntington Beach 26-6

There’s no shame in the Oilers taking an 80-52 loss to Mater Dei in the CIF Division I South quarterfinals. The Monarchs, after all, could be the best team in the state. Before that loss, the Oilers topped San Diego High, the top D1 team in the San Diego Section, with an impressive 71-51 win. The other win that keeps them in the top 20 is the one against El Toro in the CIFSS Div. I-A semifinals. El Toro is a team that beat previous No. 20 Narbonne last week.

20. (NR) Sacramento 26-6

This last spot in the top 20 is tricky to pick once again. Among the teams still going as the CIF playoffs head to the regional semifinals, the Dragons stand out the most. First, five of their losses were to out-of-state teams in holiday tournaments. The only in-state loss is to No. 15 Mission Bay. The Dragons also have two impressive wins over Kennedy of Sacramento, which is favored to reach the NorCal D1 final on Saturday. They host 30-1 Miramonte of Orinda on Tuesday in the NorCal D3 semifinal and then could take a shot at top-seed Bishop O’Dowd in Saturday’s championship.

Dropped Out:

Previous No. 20 Narbonne (Harbor City).

On the Bubble:

Bellarmine-Jefferson (Burbank) 24-9; Canyon (Anaheim) 21-8; Chaminade (West Hills) 24-5; Edison (Huntington Beach) 23-4; El Toro (Lake Forest) 27-4; Foothill (Tustin) 27-5; Hanford 25-5; Laguna Hills 24-8; Miramonte (Orinda) 30-1; Modesto Christian (Modesto) 27-6, Narbonne (Harbor City) 28-7; Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 23-5, Palisades (Pacific Palisades) 30-5, Rialto 25-2; Salesian (Richmond) 29-4; San Diego 27-6; St. Bernard (Playa del Rey) 26-9; St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 24-7*; Stockdale (Bakersfield) 26-5.

Comments or corrections? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.