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April 2, 2014

Final Boys BB Top 20

Bishop O'Dowd was the top team in November and was the last program standing in March. How did the rest of the rankings shake out after four months of basketball?

Preseason Rankings

1. Bishop O'Dowd
2. Newark Memorial
3. Modesto Christian
4. Capital Christian
5. Monte Vista
6. De La Salle
7. El Cerrito
8. Campolindo
9. Montgomery
10. St. Mary's-Stockton
11. Jesuit
12. Mitty
13. Salesian
14. Sacramento
15. Sheldon
16. St. Joseph
17. Freedom
18. Riordan
19. Folsom
20. Moreau Catholic

Final Rankings

1. Bishop O'Dowd
2. Monte Vista
3. Capital Christian
4. Folsom
5. Cosumnes Oaks
6. Mitty
7. Modesto Christian
8. El Cerrito
9. Newark Memorial
10. St. Joseph
11. Freedom
12. Jesuit
13. St. Mary's-Stockton
14. Serra
15. St. Ignatius
16. Grant
17. McClymonds
18. Moreau Catholic
19. Drake
20. Riordan

On the Mark

Bishop O'Dowd was the preseason No. 1, Capital Christian was No. 4 and Monte Vista rounded out the top five. Those three programs separated themselves from the rest of Northern California. Outside of a couple of weeks away from the top perch, Bishop O'Dowd was No. 1 throughout the year in never losing to a NorCal team. No. 2 Monte Vista won its first state title and suffered only a three point loss to rival San Ramon Valley. Capital Christian finishes at No. 3 and was the NorCal Open Division runner-up as a Division V program.

El Cerrito started the year at No. 7 and finished at No. 8 in spending the year in the Top 10. The Gauchos' losses are to St. Joseph, Modesto Christian, Salesian, Bishop O'Dowd and Mitty. A runner-up finish to the Dragons in the North Coast Section Division III playoffs, El Cerrito was pushed up to the Open Division where it fell to Mitty in the first round.

St. Mary's-Stockton was the best team not part of the NorCal playoffs, but the Rams finished No. 13 with a 26-3 on-court record. They lost twice to NorCal finalist Cosumnes Oaks and Division I semi-finalist Jesuit. The Rams started the year at No. 10.

Moreau Catholic had just one junior and no seniors on the roster, but a wealth of underclassman talent. The Mariners started the year at No. 20 and had losses to Monte Vista, Mitty, Newark Memorial twice and Bishop Montgomery. They own the only NorCal win over Folsom. Moreau Catholic won the school's first NCS and NorCal titles to finish the year at No. 18.

Too High to Start

De La Salle started the year at No. 6, but the strong sophomore class was dealt a number of close defeats and the late season loss of Nikhil Peters. Seven of its nine losses came by seven points or less, including three losses to Division I state champion Monte Vista. However, the Spartans were upset in the NorCal playoffs by Lincoln-San Francisco (54-47) to fall out of the final rankings.

Dealing with early season sanctions from the Sac-Joaquin Section, Sheldon stumbled to an 8-18 record. The Huskies had won four straight SJS Division I titles and started the year at No. 15, but fell out of the NCP Top 20 in the first revision. They didn't challenge the Top 20 the rest of the season.

Campolindo and Montgomery started in the Top 10, but neither program could sustain the ranking. The Cougars won the Diablo Foothill Athletic League and reached the Division III semi-finals before falling to Riordan in overtime. Montgomery won the North Bay League and made the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs. They lost a road game to Serra. Both teams finished outside the rankings.

Teams we missed on

The Sac-Joaquin Section and NorCal finalists in Division II were much too low to start the season. Folsom made the rankings at No. 19, but vaulted up to No. 4 with a 32-3 record. The Bulldogs fell in an entertaining state final to St. John Bosco. Unranked in the preseason, Cosumnes Oaks used a quartet of Alex Van Dyke, L.J. Reed, Eric Toles and Jaaron Stallworth to reach the Top 5 in NorCal. The Wolfpack had only three NorCal losses and two of them came to Folsom.

When the preseason rankings came out, it looked like the West Catholic Athletic League didn't have a dominant team after sending Mitty and Serra to the Open Division. Despite the graduation of McDonald's All-American Aaron Gordon, Mitty rose from No. 12 to No. 6 in winning the WCAL regular season and playoff titles. The Monarchs also won the Central Coast Section Open Division and reached the Open Division semi-finals.

Mitty and Riordan were the only WCAL teams in the preseason Top 20, but four schools are in the final rankings. The biggest risers were Serra (No. 14) and St. Ignatius (No. 15). The Padres reached the Division II semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Folsom. The Wildcats swept Mitty in their regular season series and won the CCS Division II title.


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