So-Cal Power Rankings: March Edition

C6N0s9qUsAAeiY-.jpg-large

frank-burlison-wordpress

LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA – It’s time for the “best vs. the best” with the release of the bracketing in the Northern and Southern Regionals of the California State championships Sunday afternoon.

And, not surprisingly, the CIF Southern Section’s Open Division dominated the seeding in the South.

The South’s eight-team Open Division’s first four seeds come from the Southern Section, with champion Bishop Montgomery followed by runner-up Mater Dei, and Sierra Canyon and Chino Hills, which lost in the semifinals.

The top six seeds in Division I are also from the Southern Section’s Open Division, as are its No. 8 (Long Beach Poly) and 10 (Oak Park) seeds.

The other four Southern Section Open squads (Alemany, Esperanza, Crossroads and Heritage Christian) grabbed the top four seeds in Division II.

Divisions I thru V (each made up of 16 teams) in the South begin on Wednesday night, with the four Open games tipping off Friday night.

Second-round (quarterfinal) games in the non-Open divisions are set for Saturday night with all of the semifinals on tap for March 14.

Each of the championship games will be played on March 18, with the Open and Division I games in the Long Beach State Pyramid and the others at the sites of the highest remaining seeds.

The Ethan Thompson-led victory over Mater Dei Saturday night in the Honda Center in Anaheim gave Bishop Montgomery its second SS Open title in three years and the No. 1 seed in the Regional Open division.

Here’s the road to Sacramento (and the State Open Championship game) the Doug Mitchell-coached Knights will likely have to navigate: A Friday game against San Diego Open runner-up Torrey Pines; a March 14 semifinal vs. Chino Hills or L.A. City Open champion Birmingham; and a March 18 rematch with Mater Dei or Sierra Canyon (which Bishop Montgomery beat on Feb. 24 in the Galen Center).

Yep – tough sledding, indeed.

Here’s the updated Southern California Power Rankings:

rankings-number-1

bishop-montgomery-wordpress

This Season: 27-2, Southern Section Open Division champions

Last Week: 2

State Playoff Picture: Open Division, 1st seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Friday, Open, vs. No. 14 Torrey Pines, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Two stunning fourth quarters, vs. Sierra Canyon and Mater Dei, over the past two games propelled the Knights to a Southern Section title and the top seed in the State Southern Regional Open bracket.

rankings-number-2

mater-dei-wordpress

This Season: 31-2, Southern Section Open Division runner-up

Last Week: 1

State Playoff Picture: Open Division, 2nd seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Friday, Open, vs. No. 11 Westchester, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Things just sort of fell apart for the Monarchs over the final five minutes Saturday night in the Honda Center.

rankings-number-3

chino-hills

This Season: 29-2, Southern Section Open Division semifinalist

Last Week: 3

State Playoff Picture: Open Division, 3rd seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Friday, Open, vs. No. 5 Birmingham (SITE TBD), 7 p.m.

Frank Says: The Huskies will have had two weeks to get their legs – and jump shooting eyes – back into shape for the Open playoffs.

rankings-number-4

sierra-canyon

This Season: 27-2, Southern Section Open Division semifinalist

Last Week: 4

State Playoff Picture: Open Division, 4th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Friday, Open, vs. No. 9 St. Augustine, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Assistant Coach Andre Chevalier will be handling “in-game decisions” for head honcho Ty Nichols in the State playoffs.

rankings-number-5

birmingham-wordpress

This Season: 27-3, L.A. City Open Division champions

Last Week: 5

State Playoff Picture: Open Division, 5th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Friday vs. No. 3 Chino Hills (SITE TBD), 7 p.m.

Frank Says: The Patriots held off spirited rallies from Taft and Westchester in the fourth quarters of the semifinals and final to win their first-ever L.A. City crown.

rankings-number-6

damien-wordpress

This Season: 29-4, Southern Section Open Division quarterfinalist

Last Week: 6

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 1st Seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday vs. Fresno Central, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: There isn’t a better collection of jump shooters on any team in Southern California.

rankings-number-7

santa-margarita-wordpress

This Season: 21-8, Southern Section Open Division quarterfinalist (7) 21-8

Last Week: 7

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 6th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday, D-I, vs. No. 25 Vista, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: As a reminder, the Eagles came oh-so-close – an Adrease Jackson 3 that rimmed in and out at the buzzer – of sending their second-round Southern Section game with eventual champion Bishop Montgomery into OT.

rankings-number-8

roosevelt-wordpress

This Season: 21-8, Southern Section Open Division quarterfinalist

Last Week: 8

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 2nd seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday vs. El Camino Real, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: The trip to the Southern Section Open consolation final with Damien got Roosevelt the No. 2 seed in D-I.

rankings-number-9

st-augustine-wordpress

This Season: 27-4, San Diego Open Division champions

Last Week: 11

State Playoff Picture: Open Division, 6th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Friday at No. 4 Sierra Canyon, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: The Saints needed some fortuitous technical foul calls in the closing moments to toppled Foothills Christian in the San Diego Open semifinals.

rankings-number-10

foothills-christian-wordpress

This Season: 24-6, San Diego Open Division semifinalist

Last Week: 12

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 7th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday vs. No. 17 Oak Park, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: The team will be without head coach Brad Leaf (suspended for one game by following his two technical fouls at the end of the loss to St. Augustine) in its D-I opener.

rankings-number-11

westchester-wordpress

This Season: 24-9, L.A. City Open Division runner-up

Last Week: 13

State Playoff Picture: Open Division, 7th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Friday at No. 2 Mater Dei, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: The programs with the coaches atop the all-time L.A. City (Ed Azzam) and Southern Section (Gary McKnight) most-winning lists hook up once more.

rankings-number-12

centennial-wordpress

This Season: 24-9, Southern Section Open Division 1st round

Last Week: 10

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 4th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday vs. No. 19 Narbonne, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Two wins could give the Huskies a rematch with the team (Damien) that beat them in the first round of the SS Open playoffs.

rankings-number-13

long-beach-poly-wordpress

This Season: 22-8, Southern Section Open Division quarterfinalist

Last Week: 15

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 8th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday vs. No. 15 Fairfax, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Poly’s Darryl Polk is among the very best junior PGs in SoCal.

rankings-number-14

torrey-pines-wordpress

This Season: 28-4, San Diego Open Division runner-up

Last Week: 16

State Playoff Picture: Open Division, 8th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Friday at No. 1 Bishop Montgomery, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Torrey Pines was just four points away from winning San Diego’s Open championship Saturday night.

rankings-number-15

fairfax-wordpress

This Season: 25-5, L.A. City Open Division semifinalists

Last Week: 9

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 9th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday at No. 13 Long Beach Poly, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Consecutive L.A. City Open losses dropped Lions from potential State Open to No. 9 seed in D-I.

rankings-number-16

redondo-union-wordpress

This Season: 25-6, Southern Section Open Division 1st round

Last Week: 14

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 5th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday vs. Ridgeview, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: The Sea Hawks face a team with two future college players in forwards Jordan Roberts (Long Beach State) and Justin McCall (Cal State Bakersfield).

rankings-number-17

oak-park-wordpress

This Season: 22-8, Southern Section Open Division, 1st round

Last Week: 17

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 10th seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday at No. 10 Foothills Christian, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Jaylen Hands & Co. play host to a squad with some of SoCal’s best underclassmen.

rankings-number-18

taft-wordpress

This Season: 25-10, L.A. City Open Division semifinalist

Last Week: 18

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 3rd seed (Southern California)

Next Up: Wednesday vs. No. 20 JSerra, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: The Toreadors, at No. 3 in D-I, were seeded above two teams they lost to in the regular season (No.’s 6 Santa Margarita and 11 Vista).

rankings-number-19

narbonne-wordpress

This Season: 25-8, L.A. City Open Division quarterfinalist

Last Week: 19

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 13th seed

Next Up: Wednesday at No. 12 Centennial, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Five of Narbonne’s eight losses were by four points or less.

rankings-number-20

jserra-wordpress

This Season: 18-11, Southern Section Open Division 1st round

Last Week: 20

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 14th seed

Next Up: Wednesday, D-I, at No. 18 Taft, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Two of the better junior posts in SoCal will hook up in this one, Joel Mensah (JSerra) and Antwan January (Taft).

rankings-number-21

alemany-wordpress

This Season: 24-5, Southern Section Open Division 1st round

Last Week: 21

State Playoff Picture: Division II, 1st seed

Next Up: Bye, will play Saturday vs. winner of Harvard Westlake at Chula Vista Mater Dei

Frank Says: The Warriors earned top seed in this division based upon being the highest seed among the Southern Section Open teams to go 0-2.

rankings-number-22

heritage-christian-wordpress

This Season: 20-9, Southern Section Open Division 1st round

Last Week: 22

State Playoff Picture: Division II, 4th seed

Next Up: Wednesday vs. Pasadena, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Here’s a nice 1-on-1 showdown in this one: junior Bryce Hamilton of Pasadena vs. Cal-bound Juhwan Harris-Dyson of Heritage Christian.

rankings-number-23

esperanza-wordpress

This Season: 25-3, Southern Section Open Division 1st round

Last Week: 23

State Playoff Picture: Division II, 2nd seed

Next Up: Wednesday vs. L.A. Dorsey, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: This game pits teams that went 0-2 in their respective SS and L.A. City Open divisions.

rankings-number-24

crossroads-wordpress

This Season: 18-10, Southern Section Open Division first round

Last Week: 24

State Playoff Picture: Division II, 3rd seed

Next Up: Wednesday vs. Crenshaw, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: Ira Lee & Co. hook up with the L.A. City D-1 champion.

rankings-number-25

vista-wordpress

This Season: 26-4, San Diego Open Division semifinalist

Last Week: 25

State Playoff Picture: Division I, 11th seed

Next Up: Wednesday at No. 7 Santa Margarita, 7 p.m.

Frank Says: A year from now these same programs could be battling in the Open Division.

the-rest

Next 10 (alpha): Colony 27-5; Etiwanda 21-12; Harvard-Westlake 21-11; La Canada 25-5; La Jolla Country Day 20-9; Los Alamitos 22-7; Maranatha 18-10; Rancho Verde 26-3; Pasadena 23-7 and Santa Monica 22-8.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s