Jordan Adams is back at Mater Dei and should be good to go when No. 2 Monarchs play No. 1 Windward on Feb. 3.
The bad news for future opponents is music to the ears of Mater Dei of Santa Ana coach Kevin Kiernan and the Monarchs’ faithful.
“She’s been back for four games and playing pretty well even though she’s not 100 percent, but even a 70 percent Jordan Adams is one of the best players in the state,” Kiernan told Cal-Hi Sports.
Adams, who has been out since the second half of a loss to Riverdale Baptist of Maryland at the Nike TOC in Arizona, missed eight-and-a-half games and almost three weeks, with the Monarchs suffering both their losses in her absence.
Had not Canadian-born transfer Nirra Fields been playing lights out in her absence, Mater Dei might have had more problems in its grueling schedule.
With both girls in the lineup on MLK Day at the Tony Matson Memorial Classic at Orange Lutheran, Mater Dei put a 63-27 shellacking on previously state-ranked Anaheim Canyon. Fields had 30 points (six steals) and Adams 11 points.
“Nirra is something else. You’ve got to see her,” Kiernan remarked. “She’s starting to rev it up.”
The Cal-Hi Sports caravan will get the chance to see Fields and Adams against Windward of Los Angeles in a probable No. 1 vs. No. 2 state showdown on Feb. 3 in Santa Ana at the Nike Extravaganza.
Despite Windward taking an out-of-state 62-48 loss to POWERADE FAB 50 top-ranked St. Mary’s of Phoenix last week, the girls remain as the No. 1 California team in this week’s national rankings and No. 1 in the Cal-Hi Sports state rankings.
Coach Steve Smith and the girls have shied away from no one this season. Before they meet Mater Dei, they’ll be coming off a Jan. 28 match-p at Long Beach City College with current state No. 3 Long Beach Poly.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Monday, Jan. 16)
1. (1) Windward (Los Angeles) 16-3
It’s pretty tough to come home from two major tournaments involving nationally-ranked teams, play a few running clock league games, then have to face the FAB 50 No. 1 team in the nation on its home turf, but that’s exactly what coach Steve Smith tried to do, and it didn’t work. The Wildcats fell behind 32-16 in the second quarter against St. Mary’s of Phoenix, and although sophomore power forward Kristen Simon scored seven unanswered points in the third quarter to get the girls to within five points of the lead, the D1-recruit laden local girls closed out a 62-48 win.
2. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 17-2
The eight-day four-game stretch was a lot easier with Jordan Adams back in the line-up. In her first game back, a Trinity League 67-57 victory over Orange Lutheran at home, the 6-foot-1 USC-bound phenom had 11 points. Two nights later, she had her best outing in the four games with 18 points in a blowout of Fullerton Rosary. Meanwhile, Adams’ backcourt mate and UCLA-committed Nirra Fields continues to dominate. Besides the 30 points she had against Canyon, the 5-foot-9 flash had 27 in the Orange Lutheran win. The fourth win of the week was a running clock win over Pacifica of Oxnard.
3. (3) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 15-1
The Jackrabbits downed Moore League opponent Lakewood 66-18 last week. Olivia Montgomery led the way with 13 points. After playing just one game in two weeks, coach Carl Buggs’ girls are in action twice this week at crosstown Wilson and hosting crosstown Millikan. This is the time of the year Buggs gets to use everyone more often. All 16 players average more than two points per game and six are over five points per game already this season.
4. (4) La Jolla Country Day (San Diego) 17-1
The Torreys had a 79-60 win over No. 17 Mission Bay at the MLK Showcase at San Diego Hoover, but that wasn’t the closest margin of victory in the four-game, seven-day stretch. That came in a 70-53 win over Perris that opened the stint. In between those wins were a rout of Coastal South League rival Francis Parker of San Diego and a 70-37 win on the road at Keppel of Alhambra. Junior Kelsey Plum led the way against Mission Bay with 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Maya Hood added 18 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. In the Perris win, the University of San Diego-bound Hood had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Not to be outdone, Maya’s twin and also San Diego-bound Malina got into the double-double act as well. She had 14 points and 12 rebounds against Mission Bay. Coach Terri Bamford and the girls face St. Bernard (Playa del Ray) on Saturday at the Santa Monica Extravaganza at Santa Monica.
5. (5) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 13-2
After Hayward Area Athletic League blowout wins over Moreau Catholic of Hayward, Tennyson of Hayward, and then Hayward Mt. Eden, it’s five-straight running-clock victories in league play since the loss to Windward two weeks ago in the West Coast Jamboree Platinum Division championship game. Don’t look for it to get much better this week against visiting Arroyo of San Lorenzo and on the road at San Leandro.
6. (6) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 11-3
It didn’t take long for the Rams to have another outing after their big win over Carondelet of Concord at the MLK Classic on Monday at UC Berkeley’s Haas Pavilion. They played Tuesday at home against local rival McNair, which was 17-1 coming in, and had no trouble in a 82-45 win. Despite the score, it was a memorable night for coach Tom Gonsalves and his team since the school retired the jersey of former player Jocelyn Mancebo, who died last summer at age 26 from cancer. It also was memorable outing for senior Regina Camera, who canned nine 3-pointers and ended with 29 points and seven steals.
7. (7) Edison (Huntington Beach) 13-2
After being injured in the Nike TOC, and then returning too soon the following week and re-injuring her ankle, junior Karlie Samuelson will return to action this week when the Chargers have games against crosstown Marina, Los Alamitos and Bishop’s of La Jolla. In her absence, coach Dan Wiley has had to make due with Karlie’s little sister, Katie Lou Samuelson. The 6-foot-3 freshman, who is averaging 21 ppg, had 24 points, including a huge 3-pointer in the final minute that gave Edison the lead in a 60-58 victory over a hot-shooting Huntington Beach. The victory kept a 42-game Sunset League winning streak alive. Note: the streak is 43-straight after Katie Lou had 26 points in a 63-31 victory on Tuesday this week over Marina.
8. (8) Brea Olinda (Brea) 13-4
The Lady Wildcats won all three games last week, including a 53-51 victory over No. 12 Troy of Fullerton in the Tony Matson Memorial MLK Day event at Orange Lutheran. Coach Kim Cram-Torres and the girls almost let it get away from them. Brea-Olinda led by 15 points entering the final quarter, but with fewer than 30 seconds to play, Troy had possession with a chance to tie and possibly win. In a wild finish, Taylor Spears, who had a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds, blocked a shot with fewer than five seconds left. Troy in-bounded the ball with 2.7 seconds left and it was deflected out of bounds by a Brea defender. With 2.5 seconds remaining, Troy turned the ball over, giving Brea Olinda the 53-51 victory. Anna Kim also had a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
9. (9) Santiago (Corona) 19-0
For the second straight week, the Sharks went 3-0 in Big VIII League play. In their closest game of the three, they got 26 points and 10 rebounds from Chrishae Rowe in a 65-61 road win over state-ranked J.W. North of Riverside. Monique Billings also had a double-double in the win as she scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. The question is will the Sharks lose before the playoffs start? Looking over the remaining schedule, probably not.
10. (10) Berkeley 13-1
Coach Cheryl Draper took her girls on the road for the MLK holiday weekend and did double-duty. First, with the Cal-Hi Sports caravan in the house, they posted a 61-44 win over Stockton Lincoln at the Common Good Classic at Antelope High. Then they took a trip across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to pin a 65-58 loss on previously state-ranked St. Ignatius in the Kentfield Marin Catholic Martin Luther King Classic. In the Lincoln win, Disire Finnie had 16 points, Rachael Howard had a double-double 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Arizona State-bound Elisha Davis filled the stat sheet as usual with seven points, nine rebounds and eight assists. This week it’s Richmond, Hercules, and then St. Mary’s of Berkeley at the Campolindo Shootout.
11. (11) Serra (Gardena) 16-2
A pair of Del Rey League wins last week helped the Cavaliers increase their winning streak to six games before a pair of wins already this week increased it to eight. Rejane Verin had the best individual outing with 27 points in a 73-48 triumph against St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs 73-48. On Monday, Serra defeated Colony of Ontario 64-14 and then on Tuesday resumed league play with a 81-60 win over Bishop Montgomery of Torrance.
12. (12) Troy (Fullerton) 9-5
The girls of Troy posted two easy league wins -- 76-20 over Buena Park and 53-30 over Sonora of La Habra, and then fell short in the two-point loss to Brea Olinda on MLK Day. Despite being down by 15 points to start the fourth quarter against Brea Olinda, coach Roger Anderson’s girls refused to quit. They opened the quarter with a 13-3 run but could never take a lead. Shelby Dougherty led the way with 16 points. Even with the loss and five losses total, all to ranked or out of state teams, we’re still not dropping this bunch.
13. (13) Summit (Fontana) 11-3
Coach Latrina Duncan's Skyhawks soared out of the gate with a pair of road wins to kick off Sunkist League play last week. Jillian Alleyne was one of four players to score in double figures in the first win as she scored a team-high 17 points in a 84-58 triumph over Jurupa Valley. Summit faces Norte Vista of Riverside and Kaiser of Fontana in league play this week before a non-league game against Pacifica of Oxnard on Saturday.
14. (14) J.W. North (Riverside) 16-3
The Huskies remain at No. 14 despite a loss last week as it came by just 65-61 to No. 9 Santiago of Corona. Brittany Crain scored a game-high 26 points, but the Huskies were unable to hold on to their 26-21 halftime lead. Before the loss, Pricilla Brooks scored a team-high 12 points in a 60-36 road win over Roosevelt of Corona. Another reason J.W. North is staying put for now is a head-to-head win over No. 16 Etiwanda.
15. (19) Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills) 18-1
It’s a four-spot bump for coach Bryan Camacho and the girls after two wins last week, including a 57-49 victory over state-ranked Etiwanda in the Public versus Private schools event at Playa del Rey at St. Bernard. Despite having only one loss to Long Beach Poly, the Warrior girls have to remain behind a J.W. North team that pinned a 16-point loss on Etiwanda. This week, Alemany plays Gahr of Cerritos at the Santa Monica Extravaganza.
16. (15) Etiwanda 13-3
It’s just a one-spot drop for the Eagles after a 57-49 loss to Alemany of Mission Hills because they still have a better body of work than the immediate teams behind them in the rankings. Already this week Etiwanda has defeated Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga 66-30 as Ashtyn Anderson scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
17. (18) Mission Bay (San Diego) 9-5
It’s not often a team gets a bump when it loses by 19 points, but with the combination of teams above them losing, the loss coming to nationally ranked La Jolla Country Day, and still owning a big win over Oaks Christian, Mission Bay moves up and drags along Oaks Christian as well. The Bucs did have two wins last week -- 64-56 at Cathedral Catholic and 63-55 at home against the girls up the hill in La Jolla. They already own a 70-56 win over San Diego Scripps Ranch in their only game this week.
18. (20) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 14-3
Tri-Valley League play has turned into a bunch of large-margin victories for the Lions and last week it continued as they won on the road at Nordhoff of Ojai 83-29 and at St. Bonaventure of Ventura 75-37. Meghan McIntyre nearly outscored Nordhoff on her own as she scored 26 points while Kailee Severt was one of three others in double figures with 16 points. Severt led the offense against St. Bonaventure with 18 points while Brianna Barrett added 17 points.
19. (NR) Centennial (Corona) 16-3
It was an easy choice to move the Huskies back into the top 20 even though they are only in third-place in the Big VIII League behind Santiago and J.W. North. Both the Sharks and J.W. North are higher-ranked and the only other loss is to Summit of Fontana. Centennial also has two huge wins, one against state-ranked Serra of Gardena and another of Rialto, which hasn’t lost to any other team.
20. (NR) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 12-4
The Monarchs are back after a No. 18 preseason ranking but then dropped out after a close bad loss to up-and-down Antioch Deer Valley. They played well in a 2-point loss to Berkeley that the Cal-Hi Sports caravan took in, and they have a 19-point win over previously state-ranked St. Ignatius (San Francisco) two weeks ago. Very few of the ranked teams are without a tough loss and coach Sue Phillips and her girls have paid for the three-point Deer Valley loss long enough. They get the spot of Terra Nova since St. Ignatius has win over that team. Last week they had a 46-32 win in Mountain View at St. Francis, another at home 60-34 over Notre Dame of Belmont, and then a 58-49 win over the Gabby Green-less St. Mary’s of Berkeley at the Marin Catholic MLK Day event.
Dropped out: Previous No. 16 El Toro (El Toro) 19-2 Lost to 12-7 Laguna Hills, No. 17 Terra Nova (Pacifica) 10-4 Lost to Eastside
On the Bubble
Carondelet (Concord) 12-3, Canyon (Anaheim) 12-6, El Toro 19-2, Lincoln (Stockton) 12-2, Miramonte (Orinda) 16-0, Narbonne (Harbor City) 13-6, Poly (Riverside) 14-4, Rialto 15-1, Sacramento 10-6, San Diego 15-4, St. Bernard (Playa del Rey) 15-5, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 13-3, St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 9-6*, Stockdale (Bakersfield) 14-3, Terra Nova (Pacifica) 10-4.
Contributing to this story: Mark Tennis, Paul Muyskens.