Here are Scorebook Live’s Top 25 rankings for Southern California high school girls basketball for the week of Feb. 10, 2020. The rankings span the Southern, San Diego and L.A. City Sections.
Most of Southern California high school basketball is now in the postseason, with only the San Diego Section still playing regular season games this week. These are our final rankings of the regular season. We will release year-end rankings once the playoffs are over.
TOP 25 SOCAL GIRLS BASKETBALL RANKINGS
Week of Feb. 10, 2020
1. La Jolla Country Day (26-1)
The Torreys finish the regular season as the consensus top team in California and the top team in the country in the eyes of many.
Their only loss of the year came by six points to Long Beach Poly–another one of the best teams in the country–at the end of December when the Jackrabbits were playing their best ball of the year. Last week they blew out two excellent teams in Bonita Vista and Bishop’s.
2. Sierra Canyon (25-5)
Last week did not go well for Sierra Canyon. The Trailblazers lost two games to Rutgers Prep and Long Island Lutheran by a combined 33 points in some pre-playoffs tournament action. That said, those were two outstanding teams they lost to, but the results are head-turning. They beat Windward in overtime a few weeks ago and that’s the difference between two and three or four here.
That said, they still earned the top seed in the Southern Section Open Division for a truly outstanding season. Their chances of winning a state championship haven’t diminished that much. But there is a significant gap between one and two in these rankings for the first time all year.
3. Windward (22-4)
While they haven’t exactly lacked for consistency this season, the Wildcats are peaking at the right time. They are still less than two weeks removed of a huge victory over Long Beach Poly and are very deserving of the second seed in the Southern Section. Last week they beat Campbell Hall and Paraclete by a combined 136-48.
4. Mater Dei (26-2)
Last week, Mater Dei beat a strong JSerra squad by 34 points. There’s a strong chance the Monarchs feel slighted as the fourth seed in the Southern Section at 26-2. Their only losses were to Rosary Academy by ten and to Long Beach Poly in overtime. Their record is better than any of the teams ahead of them. But when choosing in seeding between Mater Dei, Sierra Canyon, Windward, and Poly, one has to split hairs, even when there aren’t hairs to split.
5. Long Beach Poly (24-4)
Speaking of splitting hairs, Poly, a team who gave the top-ranked team in the country, LJCD, their only loss of the year, ends the regular season at five in our rankings. This is a team whose only losses in California came by single-digits to Sierra Canyon and Windward, and only losses outside of California came to two of the best teams in the country in New Hope Academy and Riverdale Baptist of Maryland. But we can’t just create a giant tie for first or second. Those losses to Sierra Canyon and Windward have to be the difference.
That said, the Jackrabbits got the third seed in the Southern Section Open Division and will have all the opportunities in front of them to prove exactly how good they are. Last week they made beating Moore League rivals Woodrow Wilson and Millikan look shockingly easy.
6. Etiwanda (24-4)
With a one-point loss to Orangewood Academy a few weeks out of their system, Etiwanda is back up in the top six. They beat Rosary Academy twice this season, one of those times by 20, so it wouldn’t feel right not to give them the tiebreaker given how dominant they’ve been outside of the aforementioned loss for about six weeks on end.
In fact, speaking of the lack of gap amongst the top several, their only other losses this season were by twice by a total of eight to Long Beach Poly and once by three to Mater Dei. Four losses by a total of 12 points solely to nationally elite competition is enough to have them down at fifth in their own section.
That said, now’s their time to take all of it out when it counts the most. Saturday they get their rematch with Mater Dei, then round out pool play against Sierra Canyon and Lynwood.
7. Rosary Academy (19-9)
The Royals closed the regular season in outstanding fashion, which included sharing a Trinity League title with Mater Dei. They’re 8-1 in 2020 a two-point loss to Mater Dei, and otherwise a bunch of thrashings of excellent teams. Rosary Academy’s pool play consists of Poly, Windward, and Corona Centennial. It’s an uphill battle, but don’t be surprised if the Royals come out of their half of the bracket.
8. Corona Centennial (24-4)
Despite having the lowest seed in their side of the bracket, Cen10 still has a legitimate chance to come out of their half of the Open Division. And if they make it to the finals, they of course will have at least a decent chance of winning it all once they get there. Earning a tie for first in Big VIII League play, the Huskies got revenge on King with a double-digit victory of their own and narrowly edged out a dangerous Roosevelt squad to finish the regular season.
9. Harvard-Westlake (19-8)
The Wolverines started the year with four straight close losses to some of the best teams on the West Coast, and tacked on two more close ones before league play started against Plano (Texas) and Conway (Arkansas) at the Sandra Meadows Classic in Duncanville, TX.
We predicted the rocky start as a result of relentlessly brutal competition would pay off for them. If you ask the 2020 Mission League champions what they think, they’d probably tell you that it did.
That said, H-W was the first team left out of the Open Division, and had a serious case for the eighth spot while Lynwood was also entirely deserving of it. (Their overtime loss to Lynwood back in November embodies how close it was.) While the Wolverines are capable of knocking off any team in the section on a good night, it may prove fortuitous to be the top seed and favorite to win Division 1 if they can keep up their strong play. Having just beaten out Chaminade for the right to take a bye in the first round, they are peaking at the right time.
10. M.L. King (23-5)
The Wolves are also probably not happy to hear they didn’t make the Open Division playoffs, and like Harvard-Westlake, are a seeded favorite to win Division 1. They had a very similar case as seventh seed Cen10 (who they split meetings with) and eighth seed Lynwood based solely on their 23-5 record and their only losses coming to equally elite teams. However, a lot of their wins came against lesser competition, so it’s not a shock that those two teams got the last two seeds.
King opens up the playoffs on Thursday with Sonora, who they will likely clobber. Every week from then on, things will get more difficult in Division 1’s deep field, and the amount of teams who can seriously win it all might be in double-figures. But if forced to choose between them all, King would be my pick to make the title game with at least a fifty-fifty chance of winning it if they get there.
11. Lynwood (21-5)
Not only did the Knights make the Open Division playoffs, but they have the ability to turn some heads when they get there. This season they’ve beaten four of the top five or so contenders to win Division 1 in Harvard-Westlake, King, Bishop Montgomery, and Chaminade. Their only losses came to Etiwanda by five, Centennial by 16, Orangewood Academy by ten, and single-digits to two strong out-of-region teams.
There’s no doubt that Lynwood can play with the big boys so to speak, or more literally, girls. They’ll be the underdog in all three pool play games against Sierra Canyon, Mater Dei, and Etiwanda, but don’t write the eighth seed off.
12. Chaminade (21-7)
Chaminade only lost two games in the Mission League by a combined four points to Harvard-Westlake. All seven losses on the season came to teams who can beat just about anyone in the country on the right night–they were a couple buckets in a couple games away from making the Open Division.
Not only did the Eagles not make the Open Division, and not only did they not get a bye in the first round of Division 1, but they even have to face one of the most dangerous under-the-radar teams in the field in St. Mary’s Academy. That said, Chaminade will be the heavy favorite to beat St. Mary’s Academy, and has a chance to get revenge on H-W if both teams make it out of the pack.
13. Marlborough (14-6)
Dropping two of their last three games of the regular season by 16 and 18 points while falling to third in the Mission League was not how Marlborough wanted to end their regular season.
Of course, those losses were to CIFSS Division 1 contenders Harvard-Westlake and Chaminade. Marlborough’s only losses on the year came to a great Buchanan (Clovis) squad and then teams that are above them in these rankings. And the most important thing is that the Mustangs are still prime candidates to win Southern Section Division 2-AA and a CIF Division 3 championship.
14. Troy (20-8)
Last week was business as usual for the Warriors, blowing out La Habra and Sunny Hills en-route to a Freeway League title. Just how much was that really business as usual? In their ten league games, only once did Troy fail to beat a team by more than double their opponent’s score.
The Warriors don’t have a lot of wins on the year over elite teams, but they do have a couple over Orangewood Academy and Plano (Texas), and they beat the likes of St. Mary’s Academy and Esperanza with quite a bit of room to spare. They earned the second seed in the Division 1 playoffs and a bye in the first round, and that accurately depicts their likable chances of winning it all.
15. Orangewood Academy (23-6)
Like Marlborough, Orangewood Academy is a major threat to win CIFSS 2-AA and a Division 3 state championship. Beating Palisades by 23 in a tuneup game before the playoffs was a really look step before the postseason.
The Spartans have won a couple games over elite teams, including Open Division teams and the next two teams on this list, and have also dropped a couple that they expected to win. They aren’t the most predictable team out there, but if they don’t have any bad nights in the playoffs, almost nobody that they’ll see can stop them.
16. Cathedral Catholic (16-10)
Last week, the Dons blew out Mira Mesa and had a nice win over El Cajon Christian. Keep in mind that while the Dons have ten losses, just about all of them were to elite teams, almost exclusively squads ranked above them here. And a lot of them came very narrowly to the top of the top.
For instance, they took the top-ranked team in the country, La Jolla Country Day, to overtime. Of the 27 teams LJCD faced, only one did better, because the Torreys beat 26 of those 27 teams and only Cathedral took them to overtime. The best part is, there’s a great chance that those two teams will meet again in the San Diego Section Open Division finals.
17. West Torrance (19-9)
They had a few close calls against quality teams, but the Warriors went undefeated in the Pioneer League. They earned a bye in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs for their troubles.
West lost to St. Mary’s Academy around the beginning of the season and also dropped a game to Las Vegas Centennial, the top-ranked team in Nevada. Otherwise, their only losses have all come to teams in our top 15 in SoCal, some of them very narrowly. The Warriors aren’t the top favorite to win the Division 1 title, but they’re firmly planted in the race.
18. Bishop Montgomery (20-6)
The Knights could not have possibly asked for a more promising end to the regular season, blowing out both Bishop Amat and St. Anthony and completing an undefeated Del Rey League title run. When in full swing, they are probably better than the 18th best team in SoCal. Bishop Montgomery will get a bye in the first week of the Division 1 playoffs and has a serious shot at winning it all.
19. Roosevelt (19-8)
Roosevelt very nearly upset Corona Centennial to finish the regular season and finished third in the excellent Big VIII League. They’ll be favored against J.W. North in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs, although that’s not a shoe-in win by any stretch. Like a few of the teams just ahead of them, Roosevelt is not a favorite in Division 1 per se but is a definitely a real contender.
20. Fairmont Prep (21-6)
The Huskies are rolling right now. They’re less than two weeks removed from their biggest and best win of the year over Orangewood Academy, who they lost by double-digits to earlier in league play. Additionally, their other five losses this season came to a college team from Australia (so throw that one out), very dangerous teams in Redondo Union and Mater Dei Catholic, and Roosevelt twice. Fairmont Prep is a strong contender to win CIFSS 2-AA and potentially a CIF Division 3 title.
21. Saugus (23-4)
Not only did the Centurions just wrap up a Foothill League title in undefeated fashion, but they haven’t lost since 2019. Three of their four losses came in the first couple weeks of the season extremely narrowly to great teams in El Camino Real, Granada Hills Charter, and Santa Monica. They also lost in December to dangerous Redondo Union.
Now, they’ve won 14 straight games coming into the playoffs, including against Camarillo and Flintridge Prep. They’re another full-blown CIFSS 2-AA/CIF 3 contender.
22. Esperanza (25-3)
The M.O. on Esperanza has been the same all year. Not a lot of wins over great teams, but they’ve constantly beaten up on very good ones. And they did beat Orangewood Academy in December. They lost by 18 to Troy a few weeks ago which puts their Division 1 chances in question on paper, but that could just have been an off-night. After all, their only other losses on the season came by single-digits quite early in the season to St. Paul and Aliso Niguel.
23. Camarillo (24-3)
Like Saugus, Camarillo also hasn’t lost since 2019 when they played none other than Saugus. In fact, no team in 2020 has even managed to keep it to single-digits against the Scorpions. They should have good momentum going into the Division 1 playoffs after cleaning up in the Coastal Canyon League, which last week included dropping 100 on Simi Valley. Their only other losses came to Chaminade by single-digits and Corona Centennial, which means Camarillo is a clear contender to go all the way in the postseason, even if they’ll be an underdog in a lot of games on the way.
24. Flintridge Prep (22-4)
Like Saugus, Flintridge Prep also hasn’t lost since 2019 when they played none other than Saugus. In fact, no team in 2020 has even managed to keep it to single-digits against the Rebels. They should have good momentum going into the 2-AA playoffs after cleaning up in the Prep League. Their only other losses came to Marlborough, Rosary Academy, and Redondo Union, which means Flintridge is a clear contender to go all the way in the postseason, even if they’ll be an underdog in a lot of games on the way.
Yes, we know that slide read exactly the same as Camarillo’s. The major difference is that Flintridge Prep plays in Southern Section 2-AA, which has a few elite contenders but not nearly as deep of a field as CIFSS 1. So, they face much less of an uphill battle than Camarillo. They’ll start with a likely victory over Arcadia.
25. Rolling Hills Prep (22-3)
They clearly don’t call ’em Rolling Hills Prep for nothing. The Huskies are rolling right now–in fact they’re on fire, currently on a 15-game winning streak. RHP will be a big mystery coming into the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs for having beaten very few big names at all but only losing to West and Camarillo by a combined nine points and by 18 to Lynwood.
North (Torrance), Westview, Serra (San Diego), La Costa Canyon, JSerra, Millikan, Redondo Union, Bishop’s, Palisades, El Camino Real, San Clemente, Aliso Niguel, St. Paul, Mater Dei Catholic, Valley View, Oaks Christian, Woodrow Wilson, Valencia (Valencia), Bonita Vista, El Cajon Christian