There won’t be a Long Beach Poly-Mater Dei showdown in the Southern Section after Jackrabbits get upset in Tuesday semifinal by Brea Olinda. Also on the move up are Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills.
For most of the season it has seemed that defending CIF Division I state champ Mater Dei of Santa Ana would get a stern test in this year’s CIF Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs from Long Beach Poly.
The Monarchs and Jackrabbits have been No. 1 and No. 2 in the divisional state rankings just about all season. They won’t be playing in that section final this weekend, however. The Jackrabbits were knocked off in a 49-43 upset in Tuesday’s semifinals by Brea Olinda.
While this Brea team isn’t as talented as teams that took on Mater Dei in recent years, the Ladycats played inspiring defense in shutting down Long Beach Poly and got a strong outing from senior guard Taylor Spears, who scored 14 points.
The Jackrabbits had cut the Brea lead down to two points with just under one minute play, but couldn’t get a key basket and then had to foul.
Mater Dei, meanwhile, had no trouble in its semifinal game against previously unbeaten Santiago of Corona. The Monarchs won 71-32 and will now face Brea in the finals.
All other section championships around the state will be determined by the end of this weekend. On Sunday, March 4, CIF section commissioners will gather in two locations to seed the Northern California and Southern California regional tournaments. We will have our recommendations for the top seeds posted here as soon as possible throughout the weekend so check back frequently to see if your school’s division is done.
With help from Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens, here is the fifth listing of girls teams this season with analysis and bubble teams for each division (records listed after section playoff games played on Tuesday, Feb. 28 but rankings do not include any results from later in the week; previous ranking in parentheses):
CIF Division I
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 29-3
2. (7) Brea Olinda (Brea) 23-5
3. (2) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 28-3
4. (3) Santiago (Corona) 30-1
5. (4) Summit (Fontana) 25-3
6. (5) Berkeley 22-2
7. (9) Huntington Beach 24-4
8. (6) Edison (Huntington Beach) 23-4
9. (8) Etiwanda 23-4
10. (10) Narbonne (Harbor City) 26-6
11. (11) El Toro (Lake Forest) 26-3
12. (12) Troy (Fullerton) 19-8
13. (14) San Diego 25-5
14. (15) Deer Valley (Antioch) 20-7
15. (NR) Hanford 22-4
Drops: Previous No. 13 Rialto.
Bubble: Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley) 20-8, Granite Hills (El Cajon) 29-3*, Heritage (Brentwood) 22-4, Kennedy (Sacramento) 22-8, Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 23-7, Rialto 25-2, Stockdale (Bakersfield) 25-3, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 21-2.
Comments: With Long Beach Poly going down and Mater Dei completely dominating previously unbeaten Santiago, it doesn’t look like the Monarchs are going to be denied a third straight CIF state title. They will now face Brea Olinda in the CIFSS Div. I-AA final on Friday, but the matchup certainly doesn’t have the impact as when the two teams played each other in 2010 and 2011. Another Orange County team advancing to the CIFSS Div. I-A final was Huntington Beach. The Oilers avenged an earlier loss by topping El Toro 51-39 and would now be back in front of the Chargers in the rankings. When we did the new overall top 20 on Tuesday, we put El Toro higher due to the previous win. Huntington Beach now gets Summit in this weekend’s title game.
CIF Division II
1. (1) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 26-3
2. (2) Lynwood 24-4
3. (3) Carondelet (Concord) 24-3
4. (4) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 23-5
5. (5) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 25-4
6. (6) J.W. North (Riverside) 27-4
7. (8) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 29-1
8. (7) Mark Keppel (Alhambra) 27-4
9. (10) Dougherty Valley (San Ramon) 19-8
10. (NR) Foothill (Tustin) 24-5
Drops: Previous No. 9 Canyon (Anaheim).
Bubble: Canyon (Anaheim) 21-8, La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 24-4, McNair (Stockton) 27-3, Mt. Carmel (San Diego) 26-5, Norco 18-13, Palo Alto 18-4, St. Francis (Mountain View) 18-10, Ventura 25-4.
Comments: Top-ranked St. Mary’s crushed Florin of Sacramento 74-33 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II semifinals on Tuesday and will play McNair in Saturday’s final. McNair may be 27-3, but will have little chance against the Rams. Two of those three losses have come to St. Mary’s and the scores were 82-45 and 87-45. No. 2 Lynwood not only was the team to beat previous ranked Canyon of Anaheim, but the Knights also beat previous No. 7 Mark Keppel 62-60 in a CIFSS Div. II-AA semifinal on Tuesday. Lynwood next faces J.W. North in the title game.
CIF Division III
1. (1) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 24-3
2. (2) Mission Bay (San Diego) 22-6
3. (3) Alemany (Mission Hills) 29-2
4. (4) Miramonte (Orinda) 27-0
5. (5) Sacramento 24-6
6. (7) Terra Nova (Pacifica) 22-5
7. (8) Modesto Christian 24-5
8. (NR) Laguna Hills 21-8
9. (NR) Arroyo Grande 24-5
10. (NR) Rio Mesa (Oxnard) 25-5
Drops: Previous No. 6 Yorba Linda, No. 9 West (Torrance), No. 10 Bonita (La Verne).
Bubble: Bonita (La Verne) 27-4, Independence (Bakersfield) 24-5, Mt. Miguel (Spring Valley) 24-5, Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 23-6, Santa Cruz 24-3, West (Torrance) 25-6, Yorba Linda 24-6.
Comments: The top seed in the north in this division looks almost certain to come down to whichever team – Bishop O’Dowd or Miramonte -- wins the CIF North Coast Section title. The south will probably be between Mission Bay and Alemany, but there doesn’t appear to be any other team close to those two so those two probably don’t have to worry about it. As we’ve said many times, there is absolutely no difference between a No. 1 and No. 2 seed, but there’s a huge difference between No. 2 and No. 3 because theoretically the No. 3 would have to play a semifinal on the road.
CIF Division IV
1. (1) Windward (Los Angeles) 27-3
2. (2) La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 26-1
3. (6) Serra (Gardena) 26-3
4. (4) St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 24-6*
5. (10) Bellarmine-Jefferson (Burbank) 23-8
6. (8) Salesian (Richmond) 26-4
7. (3) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 22-5
8. (7) St. Bernard (Playa del Rey) 24-8
9. (9) Mater Dei (Chula Vista) 21-5
10. (5) Chaminade (West Hills) 24-5
Bubble: Bishop’s (La Jolla) 18-8, Calaveras (San Andreas) 26-3, Campbell Hall (North Hollywood) 20-6, JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 22-7, Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 22-7, Mercy (San Francisco) 26-4, St. Patrick/St. Vincent (Vallejo) 22-7, Soquel 24-4.
Comments: Previous No. 10 Bell-Jeff rose up to knock off previous No. 5 Chaminade in a CIFSS Div. IV-AA quarterfinal, but the Guards then ran into Serra of Gardena in the semis and lost 71-54. Since No. 1 Windward didn’t exactly dominate St. Bernard of Playa del Rey in its semifinal, that could be a tough game for the Wildcats. Since both No. 4 St. Mary’s and No. 6 Salesian are from the North Coast Section, odds are good that if one of those two wins the section title then that team is going to be getting the top seed in the north.
CIF Division V
1. (1) Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) 28-1
2. (2) Brookside Christian (Stockton) 24-4
3. (3) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 17-11
4. (4) St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 18-10
5. (5) Hamilton (Hamilton City) 28-0
6. (6) Ripon Christian 22-4
7. (8) University (San Francisco) 26-4*
8. (9) Eastside Prep (Palo Alto) 13-13
9. (10) Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro) 17-4
10. (NR) Turlock Christian (Turlock) 25-3
Drops: Previous No. 7 Sonoma Academy (Sonoma).
Bubble: International (San Francisco) 20-9, Ocean View Christian (San Diego) 21-2, Pacific Collegiate (Santa Cruz) 22-4, Portola 24-4, San Domenico (San Anselmo) 23-6, Sonoma Academy (Sonoma) 26-3, St. Francis CCC (Watsonville) 18-9, St. Vincent (Petaluma) 24-6, Villanova Prep (Ojai) 24-6.
Comments: Mission Prep has remained in control in its CIFSS playoff games and has a firm grip on the top seed for Southern California in this division provided the Royals don’t slip up in their section final. In the north, though, things could get very interesting. We have solid reasons for ranking Brookside Christian at No. 2 in the state, but Pinewood has won two straight Division V state titles so giving the Panthers the top seed in the north might make sense, too. Then what happens to unbeaten Hamilton? The Northern Section doesn’t have a track record of basketball success to stand on so the Braves probably are going to be a No. 4 seed despite being spotless. Still, don’t discount the possibility of some voters in the seeding meeting being swayed by Hamilton being 29-0. Bottom line is that there is a possibility that Brookside Christian -- even if it wins the Sac-Joaquin Section title -- might have to go on the road for a NorCal semifinal.
Comments or corrections? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.