Here are Scorebook Live’s Top 25 rankings for Southern California high school girls basketball for the week of Jan. 27. Our Southern California girls basketball rankings are released weekly throughout the 2019-20 high school girls basketball season. The rankings span the Southern, San Diego and L.A. City Sections.
TOP 25 SOCAL GIRLS BASKETBALL RANKINGS
Week of Jan. 27, 2020
1. Sierra Canyon (20-3)
While the Trailblazers didn’t look unbeatable in their thrilling overtime victory against Windward–mostly because Windward is an elite team that really brought it–Sierra Canyon showed resilience in the face of adversity.
The Southern Section and state girls basketball race is never going to eventually come down to just one or two favorites like high school sports sometimes do. Whoever wins will have to outlast numerous elite teams that can beat anyone in the country on any given day. So it’s better in basketball to have to prove your resilience and gain experience than to never appear quite vulnerable for a quarter or two against great competition.
Additionally, facing a team with superior length and a lot of athleticism on the wing and in the backcourt forced them to address a few matchup issues on the fly down 13 in the third quarter, and they figured it out on both sides and got it done.
2. La Jolla Country Day (22-1)
It’s essentially been a tie at the top for two weeks since Sierra Canyon knocked off former No. 1 Long Beach Poly, who is the only team that’s beaten La Jolla Country Day. However, LJCD did beat Sierra Canyon by one point over a month ago. So there’s an equally strong chance that they prove to be the best team in the region, state, or country by the end of the year.
As expected, the Torreys steamrolled two outstanding teams in St. Joseph Notre Dame and El Cajon Christian. They’ll probably steamroll another outstanding team on Saturday in JSerra.
3. Long Beach Poly (20-3)
These Jackrabbits are relentless. They wiped the floor with a couple Moore League foes before winning yet another defensive duel in a danger game against Troy on the second night of a back-to-back. Speaking of trap games, their non-league showdown with Windward on Friday seems like a lock to produce a must-see game, and is also on the second night of a back-to-back.
4. Mater Dei (22-2)
It was a very good week for Mater Dei, avenging their double-digit loss against Trinity League rival Rosary Academy and also blowing out Orange Lutheran and Valencia (Valencia). This week presents three more very strong teams that the Monarchs will probably blow out in Santa Margarita, Aliso Niguel, and Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas). Should any of the top three lose a game, Mater Dei will rise.
5. Rosary Academy (16-9)
After a slightly shaky start to the season due to a brutal schedule, Rosary Academy is finally back near the top.
They couldn’t beat Mater Dei twice, but they still appear to be set to share the Trinity League title with them and come into the playoffs as a candidate for a legit Cinderella run. In addition to losing by just two to Mater Dei, they also beat St. Anthony handily. They will need to show up again this week to beat JSerra.
6. Windward (16-4)
What a crushing defeat. Windward blew a third quarter lead of 13 to Sierra Canyon and then valiantly came back from down eight with just a couple minutes left to send it overtime, and even led for much of overtime before losing 56-54. It wasn’t even a case of them really “blowing it” as much as Sierra Canyon getting really hot and playing flawless basketball for a long stretch. In fact, the Wildcats played such outstanding basketball in that loss that they are moving up.
From what I saw, I really think Windward could make a state title run. They would be immense underdogs, but they have the formula to sustain the level of play that had Sierra Canyon running out of answers. They have so much length and athleticism from one through five, they have enough shooting to space the court, they move the ball, and their combination of energy and execution is rarely topped. And, relatedly, they are so well-coached.
To follow it up, they beat St. Joseph Notre Dame by 20 a couple days after the tough loss.
7. Etiwanda (20-4)
Etiwanda won a couple relatively easy league play games before losing by one point to Orangewood Academy. That gets them dropped a little bit, but Orangewood Academy is still a heck of a team, so they could bounce back quickly in the rankings.
8. M.L. King (20-4)
It was business as usual for King, beating Santiago by 23 and Norco by 22. Wednesday is one of the bigger games of the year for them if they can put Roosevelt away for a second time. If so, they nearly guarantee at least sharing a Big VIII League title.
9. Corona Centennial (20-4)
Speaking of business as usual in the Big VIII League, Centennial beat Roosevelt and Santiago by a combined 56 points. They’ll be able to claim half of the league title if they can avenge their double-digit loss against King next week and take care of business otherwise.
10. Orangewood Academy (19-5)
The Spartans remain very potent yet unpredictable. Perhaps they are just peaking at the right time, because there might not be anyone capable of stopping them in Southern Section 2-AA or CIF Division 3 if they play their best basketball. This week they face Sage Hill and Fairmont Prep.
11. Marlborough (12-4)
12. Harvard-Westlake (14-8)
13. Chaminade (17-6)
We essentially have a three-way tie here in the Mission League between three teams who have been roughly equal all season and have each lost to one of the other two and beaten the other one.
Marlborough just beat Harvard-Westlake 51-38 after HW had just beaten Chaminade by one point. However, Chaminade beat Marlborough earlier in league play. Because Marlborough has the best record at 12-4 and has the most momentum, they get the top of those three, with H-W having then won the last matchup with Chaminade. But this is essentially one group of three who are tied in Mission League play.
14. Troy (16-8)
Troy is essentially at the exact same level as the above group of three right now, with this week on par for the course. They beat formidable Esperanza by 18, crushed Sunny Hills and Fullerton in league play by a combined 84 points, and lost to Long Beach Poly by only seven. The Warriors will assuredly continue winning by ugly margins for the last two weeks before the playoffs.
15. Lynwood (17-5)
Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) is a dangerous team, as Lynwood found out, very nearly the hard way. But the Knights pulled out the one-point victory and unloaded on two overwhelmed league foes to complete the 3-0 week.
16. West Torrance (15-9)
West blew out a good Legacy team by 38 points and beat Morningside badly. Friday is the rematch with North (Torrance) that would likely clinch the Warriors a league title if they won.
17. Cathedral Catholic (12-10)
It was business as usual for Cathedral, making short work of two great teams in Perry (Arizona) and Scripps Ranch. This week has two dangerous foes in store with Serra (San Diego) and particularly Bishop’s.
18. Roosevelt (17-6)
While it’s not a huge knock against them, it would be great to Roosevelt keep it to under twenty against Corona Centennial. They did blow out Corona two days late though. This week they have opportunities to pick up great wins against Santiago, like they did last time, and King, who they lost by six against last time.
19. Bishop Montgomery (16-6)
The Knights stay in place after beating great teams in Gardena Serra and Bishop Amat by 20 or more. They’ll very likely win out down the stretch, so if anything they could rise before the playoffs should teams above them lose.
20. Esperanza (21-3)
The Aztecs lost by 18 to a Troy team who they probably expected to give a run for their money. Still, they’re 21-3 on the year, and picked up three double-digit wins on the week after that. Esperanza has some good teams in their league but likely will win out without a huge problem.
21. Saugus (19-4)
Saugus beat Hart by 20 and Valencia (Valencia) by nine, and holds in place.
22. Camarillo (20-3)
The Scorpions are another team towards the bottom of the top 25 who are doing nothing but unload on league foes that have no chance at this time of year. They were 2-0 last week.
23. Flintridge Prep (18-4)
The Rebels are yet another team towards the bottom of the top 25 who are also doing nothing but unload on league foes that have no chance at this time of year. They too were 2-0 last week.
24. North Torrance (21-1)
Unlike the teams above them, North has serious work to do in league play having recently dropped an overtime game against West. If they can beat them this time, they should win half of a league title and show up to the playoffs with only one loss on the year.
On Saturday they blew out Fairfax with half of their rotation not available. Even with players who rarely play getting starters’ minutes, they moved the heck out of the ball, knocked down a lot of shots, and took it to Fairfax aggressively. They are visibly very well-coached and show the focus of a 21-1 team.
25. Rolling Hills Prep (17-3)
The Huskies were a late scratch against North on Saturday after a lot of travel for a bit. They had no action on the week.
Westview, Millikan, Bishop’s, Fairmont Prep, Redondo Union, Granada Hills Charter, Palisades, JSerra, Bonita Vista, La Costa Canyon, St. Anthony, St. Paul, Gardena Serra, El Cajon Christian, Serra (San Diego), Valley View, St. Mary’s Academy, Woodrow Wilson, San Clemente