Basketball Blog

2015-16: All San Diego Section Squads Eliminated

Rick : March 16, 2016 7:24 am : Basketball

It was five and out for the San Diego Section in the Southern California regional semifinals last night.

Most of the road-weary locals were in their ball games at halftime but faded thereafter, memories of terrific seasons and bus rides of up to 150 miles ahead as they made their way home.

Foothills Christian (25-5) trailed, 37-30, after 16 minutes against Chino Hills but, despite 36 points from T.J. Leaf, was a well-beaten, 82-62, before a standing room only crowd of 2,800 persons at Colony High in Ontario.

Cathedral (21-7)  lagged only 46-42 in the third quarter before Torrance Bishop Montgomery began raining three-point baskets and pulled away to a 72-56 victory at El Camino College in Torrance.

El Camino (29-7) was in a 31-31 deadlock at halftime at Calabasas Viewpoint but couldn’t keep up  and was eliminated, 73-57.

St. Augustine (24-8) was outscored, 15-4, at  Encino Crespi Carmelite in  the first quarter but manfully battled back to trail only 41-39 after three.   That was the Saints’ final gesture.  They  collapsed in the fourth quarter and exited with a 68-55 loss.

The Mission Hills girls (29-4), lagging, 40-26, at the half and 55-41 at the three-quarter juncture, closed out with a 79-59 loss to West Hills Chaminade.

With apologies to the late Don Meredith of ABC’s Monday Night Football, turn out the lights, the party’s over.

 

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2015-16: Five Remain in South Regional Playoffs

Rick : March 14, 2016 10:31 am : Basketball

The few, the proud….

Five teams from the San Diego Section still are in the hunt as the Southern California regional playoffs reach the semifinals round tomorrow.

+Foothills Christian (25-4) will try to stop the No. 1 team in the country when it challenges Chino Hills (31-0) at Colony High in Ontario, a “neutral” site 11 miles and 20 minutes from the Huskies’ campus.

Chino Hills defeated the Knights, 106-86, in December and 85-83 in January on other neutral layouts.

The Huskies ran the Knights off the floor in the first game, taking a 22-5 lead in the first three minutes and roaring to a 40-13, first-quarter lead.

That Foothills outscored its opponent, 73-66, over the last three quarters was virtually unnoticed because the Knights never got closer than 18 points, at 87-69, early in the fourth quarter.

THIRD TIME CHARM?

Foothills has a shot, if only because of the ancient shibboleth that declares it is very difficult for one team to beat another three times in a row in the same season.

Knights coach Brad Leaf adjusted after the first game and the Knights actually led late in the game. Can Leaf, his superstar, 6-foot, 10-inch son, T.J., and the El Cajon team pull off the upset?

Guess:  Chino Hills 88, Foothills Christian 78.

+Seven seed Cathedral’s 83-80, Open Division, overtime victory at No. 2 Chatsworth Sierra Canyon was the stunner of the regional tournament and elevated the  Dons (21-6)  into another tough road battle against No. 3 Torrance Bishop Montgomery (27-2) at nearby El Camino College.

The Knights 72-58, overtime conqueror of Los Angeles Westchester, in the quarterfinals, lost to Chino Hills, 71-67, on Jan. 30, and to Sierra Canyon, 78-69, in the Southern Section playoffs.

Inspired Cathedral must keep 6-11 Brandon McCoy out of foul trouble.  He sat for 12 minutes in the first half at Sierra Canyon but still finished with 23 points.

Guess: Bishop Montgomery 64, Cathedral 61.

+No. 12 St. Augustine (24-7) is the lowest surviving seed in Division I and visits No. 1 Encino Crespi Carmelite (30-4).

The teams have played against one common opponent.

Crespi beat Bellflower St. John Bosco, 59-25, on Dec. 21, and St. Augustine topped ‘Bosco, 62-52, on Jan. 5.

St. Augustine last gained the regional finals in 2013 when Trey Kell, Brynton Lamar and company came from 11 points behind in the fourth quarter to top West Hills Chaminade, 61-57.

MONROE DOCTRINE

An important contributor to the Saints’ victory in that game at Colony High was freshman Eric Monroe, inserted into the lineup by coach Mike Haupt in the fourth quarter.

Monroe’s ball-handling coolness under pressure was significant and has been a benchmark of his play for four years.  Monroe is the Saints’ handyman, the one to whom they turn to get the ball up court and position the offense.

The 6-foot, 3-inch senior was particularly effective last week when Eastvale Roosevelt took a 22-13 lead and had the Saints on their heels before St. Augustine rallied to a 54-52 victory before an overflow crowd at Daugherty Gymnasium.

Monroe and his senior counterpart, Martin Tombe, who hit two, big three-point shots in the fourth quarter, again will carry the Saints’ hopes against the favored San Fernando Valley squad.

Guess:  Crespi 66, St. Augustine 60.

+El Camino is thriving in D-IV, having routed Rancho Mirage, 90-66, and upsetting No. 1 seed Pomona Diamond Ranch, 63-58, after surviving a 30-point fourth quarter by the host Panthers.

The eight-seed Wildcats (29-6) now travel to Calabasas to take on the five-seed, 28-6 Viewpoint Panthers, who have victories over Kern County Taft Union, 77-37, and 76-69 over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

El Camino, coached by former Army-Navy boss Tom Tarantino,  has rallied after losing to Kearny, 66-43, in the San Diego Section D-I finals.

The Wildcats have their best chance of getting past the semifinals since the Millenium-era teams coached by Ray Johnson annually were the San Diego Section’s best.

Guess:  El Camino 59, Viewpoint 55.

+The four-seed Mission Hills (29-3) girls draw the No. 1 seed and host West Hills Chaminade (28-4).

The Grizzlies advanced with a 49-45 victory over Los Angeles Windward.  Chaminade defeated Los Angeles Palisades, 79-67.

Guess: Chaminade 62, Mission Hills 50.

MORE QUARTERFINALS RESULTS

BOYS

D-IV

11 Grossmont 50, @3 Gardena Serra 65.

D-V

9 Bonita Vista 56, @1 Santa Maria St. Joseph 97.

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2015-16: Cathedral, Foothills Beat Favorites on Road

Rick : March 12, 2016 10:52 am : Basketball

Greater challenges lie ahead, but San Diego Section teams in the Southern California regional playoffs were successful in three of four Open Division quarterfinals games last night.

+The Foothills Christian Knights stunned Mater Dei, dealing the Monarchs their first loss at home in 10 years, 50-46, and moving on to Tuesday’s semifinals and a third shot at Chino Hills, the nation’s No. 1 team.

The 31-0 Huskies defeated Foothills, 106-86, and 85-83, earlier in the season and  their Open quarterfinals, 103-71 victory over Reedley Immanuel tied Chino Hills with the 1995-96 San Francisco Balboa Buccaneers for a state-record, eighteen 100-point games.

Fifth-seeded Foothills (25-4) reversed a 61-53 loss to No. 4 Mater Dei (27-5) five weeks ago, benefitting from the Monarchs 5-for-25 shooting on three-point attempts and closing down low to outrebound their hosts, 34-18.

T.J. Leaf led the winners with 21 points, blocked three shots, and brought down 16 rebounds.

The Knights trailed only at 2-0 and tenaciously kept the Monarchs at a distance in the second half  in the hosts’ big arena game environment of scoring table dasher boards, jumbotron, and almost 2,500 raucous fans.

The Foothills-Chino game will be at Colony High in Ontario Tuesday night at 7.

+Seventh-seeded Cathedral defeated No. 2 Chatsworth Sierra Canyon in overtime, 83-80, in arguably the major boys upset of the postseason.

According to Max Preps, Cathedral was ranked 31st in the state and 156th nationally.  Sierra Canyon was fourth in California and ninth in the country.  Cathedral stood 17th in the state, according to Cal-Hi Sports, while Sierra was fourth.

Complicating the Dons’ bid was the absence 6-11 Brandon McCoy, who was on the bench in foul trouble for all but four minutes of the first half.  Mc Coy, who scored 23 points, led a Dons comeback that had the visitors in front, 73-65, late in the fourth quarter.

Sierra Canyon tied the score at 73 to force the overtime but Cathedral raced to an 83-73 advantage in the extra session and held on.

Cathedral (21-6) now faces the 3 seed, Torrance Bishop Montgomery (27-2), which overcame Los Angeles Westchester, 72-58, in overtime and outscored Sierra Canyon, 78-69, two weeks ago in the Southern Section playoffs.

The fourth-seed Mission Hills girls (29-3) defeated No. 5 Los Angeles Price, 49-45, and get No. 1-ranked West Hills Chaminade in the San Fernando Valley suburb on Tuesday.

Mission Hills is ranked sixth and Chaminade fourth in the Cal-Hi Sports ratings, but the Eagles are second in California and fourth in the country as seen by Max Preps, which ranks the Grizzlies 23rd in California and 99th in the country.

The only Open Division losers from the San Diego Section were the  La Jolla Country Day girls, beaten, 46-39, by host Long Beach Poly.

 

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2015-16: Kearny, St. Augustine Pull Big Road Wins

Rick : March 10, 2016 5:37 am : Basketball

Despite being seeded in the nether regions of the Southern California regional playoffs, No. 15 Kearny and No. 12 St. Augustine scored significant road victories last night, while most other San Diego Section squads, including all 13 girls’ teams in action, were stowing their gear today.

Kearny (31-3) overcame a 53-47, fourth-quarter deficit to upset No. 2-ranked and host Huntington Beach Edison, 65-58, in Division III.

Martin Tombe’s three-point basket with 21 seconds remaining lifted St. Augustine (23-7) past No. 5 Corona Centennial, 60-59, after the Saints trailed, 42-29, in the third quarter and were down, 59-57, in the final minute.

Following Tombe’s field goal, the Huskies called timeouts at :21, :17, and :11, and never got in position for an offensive thrust.

Coach Mike Haupt’s Saints defenders frustrated the hosts to the point that the game ended with the ball being tipped  into the back court.

Centennial made 22 trips to the free-throw line and converted 10.  Tombe made 3 of St. Augustine’s 5 attempts.

THE MARTIN AND ERIC SHOW

Tombe’s  27 points were complemented by Eric (Vaughn) Monroe’s 15. The four-year varsity veterans were members of the 2012-13, Trey Kell-led Saints, who won the state D-III title.

St. Augustine gets a home game Saturday evening, possibly at a venue other than its 600-seat  Daugherty Gymnasium, against lower seed (13) Eastvale Eleanor Roosevelt (23-8), a 56-55, double-0vertime winner over No. 4 Los Angeles Fairfax.

Kearny has another daunting challenge. The Komets will travel almost 150 miles north through routinely brutal Los Angeles traffic to take on the 7 seed, 25-7 Calabasas Coyotes, who ushered out No. 10 Fresno Roosevelt, 55-52.

St. Augustine and Eleanor Roosevelt faced one common opponent. The Mustangs  were 1-2 against Corona Centennial, winning, 56-55, and losing, 73-61, and 83-55.  The latter was in a Southern Section playoff consolation game.

Meanwhile, there was total devastation in the San Diego Section Girls’ brackets, low-lighted by No. 1-ranked The Bishop’s 57-52 loss to visiting Westlake Village Oaks Christian.

OTHER RESULTS

BOYS

D-I

No. 9 Torrey Pines 50, @Inglewood 66.

D-II

No. 11 Mission Bay 58,  @No. 6 Rancho Santa Margarita 73.  No. 12, Army-Navy 62, @Orange Lutheran 63. No. 13 Poway 58, @No. 4 Los Alamitos 67.

D-III

No. 11 La Jolla Country Day 48, @No. 6 LaVerne Bonita 52.

D-IV

No. 8 El Camino 90, No. 9 Rancho Mirage 66. No. 13 San Marcos 61, @No. 4 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 69.

D-V

No. 9, Bonita Vista 59, @No. 8 Capistrano Valley Christian 46.  No. 11 Mission Vista 52, @No. 6 Saddleback Valley Christian 53.  No. 14 O’Farrell 46, @No. 3 Temecula Rancho Christian 84.

GIRLS

D-I

No. 10 Santa Barbara 69, No. 7 Torrey Pines 60.

D-II

No. 9 La Cresenta Crescenta Valley 57, No. 8 Mount Miguel 55. No. 10 Manhattan Beach Mira Costa 61, No. 7  Westview 54,    No. 13 Serra 34, @No. 4  Anaheim Fairmont Prep 56.

D-III 

No. 10 Lake Elsinore Lakeside 47, No. 7 Eastlake 38.  No. 14 Horizon 61, @No. 3 Norco 64.  .

D-IV

No. 9 L.A. Notre Dame Academy 66, No. 8 Poway 51. No. 10 La Costa Canyon 45, @7 Newport Beach Corona del Mar 54.  No. 12, Imperial 34, @L.B. St. Anthony 68.

D-V

No. 9 Mira Mesa 35, @No. 8 Sun Valley Village Christian 64. No. 10 Escondido Adventist 34, @No. 7 Cypress Oxford Academy 39.  No. 12, Grossmont 43, @L.A. Price 53.

 

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2015-16 Week 11: Foothills Runs Away With Final No. 1 Rating

Rick : March 7, 2016 4:31 pm : Basketball

Records through Monday, March 7:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 Foothills Christian (11) 24-4 110 1
2 Cathedral 20-6 96 2
3 St. Augustine 22-7 79 4
4 Kearny 30-3* 77 7
5 Torrey Pines 25-5** 71 3
6 El Camino 27-6 50 5
7 Army-Navy 21-10 42 6
8 La Jolla Country Day 28-5 33 NR
9 Mission Bay 21-8 25 8
10 Poway 24-8 13 9

**Forfeited 73-64 victory over Manhattan Beach Mira Costa Dec. 26.                                    *Forfeited 57-37 victory Dec. 5 over Horizon.                                                                                  Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Others receiving votes, including record: San  Marcos (22-7, 11), Grossmont (22-7, 4); La Jolla (19-11, 2); Bonita Vista (20-12, 1); Helix (19-11, 1).

Eleven media representatives vote, including John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Jim Lindgren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Lisa Lane, San Diego Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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2015-16: Boys Hit Road in Southern California Regionals

Rick : March 7, 2016 4:11 pm : Basketball

San Diego’s eternal quest for respect from the Southern Section renews this week with opening rounds of the state regional playoffs.

Respect still is to be earned.

Only one of 15 boys teams is seeded higher than its opponent in the six divisions, Open and I-V, brackets for which were announced yesterday by the state CIF office in Sacramento.2016CIFBasketball

El Camino (27-5)  is eighth in D-IV and plays host to No. 9 Rancho Mirage (30-1) on Wednesday.

San Diego Section girls fared better.

No. 5 Los Angeles Windward (20-6) will visit No. 4 Mission Hills (28-3) in the Open Division, which begins play Friday.

The Bishop’s is top seed in D-I and will take on No. 16 Westlake Village Oaks Christian (20-8) on Wednesday and No. 7 Torrey Pines (22-8) plays host to 10 Santa Barbara (26-4).

No. 8 Mount Miguel (21-11) entertains No. 9 Crescenta Valley and 7 Westview (25-6) receives  10 Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (22-9) in D-II.

No. 7 Eastlake (26-6) plays host to No. 10 Lake Elsinore Lakeside (25-5) in D-III.  No. 8 Poway (19-11) is home to No. 9 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (16-15) in D-IV.

Thirty squads, 15 girls, 15 boys, will be in action this week.

Boys matchups to watch:

OPEN DIVISION

No. 5 seed Foothills Christian (24-4), seventh-ranked in California and 23rd in the country by Max Preps and fifth in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, gets another shot at Santa Ana Mater Dei (27-4), which beat the Knights, 61-53, a couple weeks ago and hasn’t lost a home game in 10 years. Mater Dei, Max Preps’ state No. 4 and U.S. No. 8, and Cal-Hi Sports’ No. 4, is recovering from one of the worst defeats in school history, 102-54, to Chino Hills in the Southern Section semifinals a week ago. The winner will be “rewarded” with another shot at Chino Hills, the No. 1 team  in the United States.  Foothills lost to the Huskies, 106-86 in December and 85-83 in January and is one of the few to test this squad, which has surpassed 100 points 14 times.  Thomas Jefferson of Brooklyn lost a 91-90 decision and Montverde Academy of Florida was edged, 83-82.   St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth, N.J., also came close but lost, 66-60 and Torrance Bishop Montgomery fell, 71-67. Cathedral (20-6) is seeded seventh and gives the San Diego Section two of the eight Open berths, compared to 4 for the Southern and one each for the Los Angeles City and Central sections.  The Dons will make a 133-mile jaunt to Chatsworth and meet No. 2-ranked Sierra Canyon, a ballyhooed club that Max Preps ranks third in the state and seventh in the U.S. and is coming off a 105-83 loss to Chino Hills.  The 26-4 Trailblazers defeated tough Redondo, 74-70, and Bishop Montgomery, 78-69, in the Southern playoffs and had losses to national powers Oak Hill Academy of Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, 49-48, and Montverde Academy, 81-67.   Cathedral is ranked 28th in the state by Max Preps.

DIVISION III

What am I missing?  Kearny (30-3) has been dismissed as a 15 seed.  The Komets visit second-ranked Huntington Beach Edison (24-9), which played a predominanty Orange County schedule with no great wins and two bad losses, 83-44 to Santa Ana Mater Dei, and 72-52 to Villa Park. Kearny lost one game by forfeit and another when star player Takoda Browne was absent. The Komets are quick, have a decent big man, defend, and hustle at both ends of the court.

Girls matchups to watch:

OPEN DIVISION

Mission Hills (26-3) and La Jolla Country Day (24-5) are the fourth and sixth seeds, respectively, and San Diego has two teams in the elite division, compared to 4 for the Southern and 1 each for the Los Angeles City and Central sections. Day, coached by Terry Bamford, who has taken the Torreys to four state championships, opens at Long Beach Poly (25-4).  The Jackrabbits lost, 72-63, to West Hills Chaminade, the No. 1 seed, in the Southern finals but also hold a 50-39 victory over Chaminade.  The Poly environment shouldn’t bother the La Jolla team, which has been steeled over the years with big games and intersectional schedules.  Mission Hills’ 68-64 win over Day in the San Diego finals elevated the Grizzlies.  They have a home game against No. 5 Los Angeles Windward (20-6).

Other pairings:

BOYS

El Camino (27-5)  is eighth in D-IV and plays host to No. 9 Rancho Mirage (30-1) on Wednesday.

San Diego Section girls fared better.

No. 5 Los Angeles Windward (20-6) will visit No. 4 Mission Hills (28-3) in the Open Division, which begins play Friday.

The Bishop’s is top seed in D-I and will take on No. 16 Westlake Village Oaks Christian (20-8) on Wednesday and No. 7 Torrey Pines (22-8) plays host to 10 Santa Barbara (26-4).

No. 8 Mount Miguel (21-11) entertains No. 9 Crescenta Valley and 7 Westview (25-6) receives  10 Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (22-9) in D-II.

No. 7 Eastlake (26-6) plays host to No. 10 Lake Elsinore Lakeside (25-5) in D-III.  No. 8 Poway (19-11) is home to No. 9 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (16-15) in D-IV.

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2015-16 Week 10: Playoffs Open on Quiet Note

Rick : February 22, 2016 4:14 pm : Basketball

Open Division teams, representing the elite of San Diego Section basketball as determined by the power ratings system, don’t get under way in the  playoffs until Friday (Girls) and Saturday (Boys).

Divisions I-V begin play tonight (Girls) and tomorrow (Boys).

Several factors go into the power ratings, administered by assistant commissioner John LaBeta, who heard some complaints regarding North County teams, which receive the majority of coverage in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

.El Camino boys coach Tom Tarantino thought the Wildcats should have been in the Open Division.  His team defeated Open No. 5 seed Army-Navy, 64-53.

In defense of the ratings, Army-Navy was 7-3 in intersectional play.  El Camino was 2-5. In Max Preps’ extended, computerized ratings, Army-Navy is ranked 63rd in California, El Camino 84th.

One of El Camino’s out-of-section losses was 65-52 to Temecula Valley, a team Army-Navy defeated 77-71.

The Mission Hills girls, ranked sixth in the state by Cal Hi-Sports, were seeded fourth in the open division.

The Grizzlies are 5-1 against the best girls’ teams in the area, La Jolla Country Day (state No. 7, according to Cal-Hi Sports), The Bishop’s (16th), and Torrey Pines (on bubble).

Working against Mission Hills were its opponents in the  Avocado East, in which the Grizzlies played multiple games against weak opponents.

Unsolicited advice to unhappy coaches:  Play a good, tough nonleague schedule.  You can’t control your league competition.

Boys poll and records through Monday, Feb. 22:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
1 Foothills Christian (11) 21-4 110 1
2 Cathedral 18-5 93 3
3 Torrey Pines 23-4* 88 2
4 St. Augustine 21-5 82 4
5 El Camino 24-5 58 5
6 Army-Navy 20-8 55 6
7 Kearny 26-3** 42 7
8 Mission Bay 19-7 17 NR
9 Poway 23-6 16 10
10 Grossmont 22-4 15 8

*Forfeited 57-37 victory Dec. 5 over Horizon. **Forfeited 73-64 victory over Manhattan Beach Mira Costa Dec. 26.                               Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.                                   NR–Not ranked.

Others receiving votes, including record:  La Jolla Country Day (24-5, 13), San Marcos (20-6, 9), Escondido (17-9, 3), West Hills (20-6, 2), Rancho Bernardo (19-8, 2).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eleven media representatives vote, including John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Jim Lindgren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Lisa Lane, San Diego Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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2015-16 Week 9: Seedings, Playoffs Coming Fast

Rick : February 17, 2016 6:33 am : Basketball

Assistant commissioner John LaBeta will be up into the early morning hours Saturday and, hopefully after a few hours sleep, at it again when the sun rises.

Basketball’s most important weekend is at hand.

LaBeta is the ratings maven for the San Diego Section.

The regular season ends Friday night and teams will have until midnight to get their results to the CIF office, where LaBeta will make the final ratings computation for the first of three tiers of postseason play: San Diego Section, Southern California Regional, and State championships.

Seedings, brackets, and divisional placements probably will be announced by early afternoon Saturday.

From the Apollo to the Valley, there are 123 boys teams in 23 leagues and 120 girls squads in 22 circuits. The only difference in boys’ and girls’ competition is that ten boys teams play in the Frontier North and Frontier South leagues, while seven girls squads comprise one Frontier League.

LaBeta, commissioner Jerry Schniepp, and other members of the CIF staff are sporting bloodshot eyes  and the beginnings of cauliflower ears from all the time they’re spending in front of their computers and on the telephone this week.

The universal basketball participation demonstrates the game’s popularity. By comparison, in 2015 a total of 83 schools fielded football teams, a sport not favored by all of the section’s institutions.

The ratings system, now an accepted fixture in California prep sports, was altered again this year, hopefully ensuring no repeat of 2015, when girls champion Horizon and boys titlist Escondido were not allowed to proceed beyond the San Diego Section tournament.

Meanwhile, Foothills Christian continues to dominate the Union-Tribune poll and is fifth in the state top 20 as ranked by Cal-Hi Sports. Mission Hills is seventh, La Jolla Country Day eighth, and The Bishop’s 17th in the girls’ top 20.

Boys poll and records through Monday, Feb. 15:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
1 Foothills Christian (11) 19-4 110 1
2 Torrey Pines 21-4* 86 4
3 St. Augustine 19-5 84 3
4 Cathedral 17-5 85 2
5 El Camino 22-5 62 5
6 Army-Navy 19-7 59 6
7 Kearny 24-3** 38 7
8 Grossmont 21-3 22 9
9 La Jolla Country Day 23-4 18 10
10 Poway 22-5 15 8

*Forfeited 57-37 victory Dec. 5 over Horizon. **Forfeited 73-64 victory over Manhattan Beach Mira Costa Dec. 26.                                                                                                                     Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Others receiving votes, including record:   Mission Bay (18-6, 11), San  Marcos (18-6, 9), West Hills (19-5, 4).

Eleven media representatives vote, including John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Jim Lindgren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Lisa Lane, San Diego Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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2015-16 Week 6: Knights Receive USA Today Props

Rick : January 18, 2016 5:54 pm : Basketball

Foothills Christian, a weekly, unanimous No. 1 in the San Diego Union-Tribune  poll, went “national” this week when it landed as No. 17 in the USA Today rankings.

The thrill-a-minute Knights achieved the honor with another roller-coaster performance against Connecticut’s Waterbury Sacred Heart, which was 17th in USA Today the previous week.

The Knights defeated the Hearts, 82-80, in the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts, but not before they gave up a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Foothills needed a couple free throws in the closing seconds to put the game away.  They led, 69-50, at the end of three quarters, according to the Max Preps line score.  T.J. Leaf had 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 7  assists for the Knights.

LEAF AND WALTON, CONT.

A friend chided me this week when he thought I was writing last week that Leaf was a better player  than Bill Walton at a similar stage in their careers.

The 6 foot, 10-inch Leaf is a power forward with an outside shooting touch.  The 6-11 Walton was an old school center who guarded the area around the basket the way a lioness watches over her cubs.

And Walton could score whenever he chose.

To show the regard Walton had with college scouts during his senior year at Helix was what they were saying after  the Covina Tournament, then the preeminent high schools hoops event in California.

UCLA assistant coach Denny Crum, who witnessed Walton’s scoring 50 points and taking down 34 rebounds in a 110-68 victory over Pasadena, reported to Bruins coach John Wooden.

NO ONE BETTER.

Crum:  “The greatest high school player I ever saw.”

Wooden:  “Better than Lewis (Alcindor)?”

Crum:  “Yes.”

Wooden, taken aback, looked around:  “Step into my office. Keep your voice down.”

The legendary coach wanted to make sure that he had heard Crum correctly.

Walton would go  on to UCLA, win two national championships and also lead the Portland Trail Blazers to an NBA title.

U-T BOYS’ POLL

Cathedral, augmented by 6-11  Morse transfer Brandon McCoy, jumped to second after a 56-53 win over St. Augustine before almost 2,500 persons at Point Loma Nazarene.

First-place votes in parenthesis. Won-loss records through Monday.

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
1 Foothills Christian (11) 11-3 110 1
2 Cathedral 10-4 82 6
3 Torrey Pines 12-4* 72 3
4 St. Augustine 13-4 72 2
5 La Jolla Country Day 18-0 66 4
6 El Camino 12-4 61 5
7 Army-Navy 13-5 55 7
8 Kearny 17-2 34 8
9 Poway 17-2 23 9
10 San Marcos 11-5 10 10

*Forfeited 57-37 victory Dec. 5 over Horizon.                                                                          Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Others receiving votes, including record: Mission Bay (13-4, 7), Grossmont (16-3, 5).

Eleven media representatives vote, including John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Jim Lindgren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Lisa Lane, San Diego Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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2015-16, Week 5: Foothills Goes to Massachusetts

Rick : January 12, 2016 7:21 am : Basketball

Foothills Christian lost its rematch with Chino Hills but continued as a team of statewide import, but has not yet gone “national,” in the eyes of major U.S. ratings entities.

The Adidas-influenced Knights will travel again this week, to Springfield, Massachusetts, for the Hoop Hall Classic and take on Connecticut’s No. 1, 8-0 Waterbury Sacred Heart, averaging 89 points a game.

After losing to Chino Hills by 20 in December, the Knights did a better job against the Huskies’  press in the Sierra Canyon event in the San Fernando Valley last week and took the USA Today No. 1 squad to the wire before bowing, 85-83.

T.J. Leaf and Chino Hills' Lonzo Ball will play together at UCLA next season.

T.J. Leaf and Chino Hills’ Lonzo Ball will play together at UCLA next season.

T.J. Leaf  put Foothills ahead, 83-82 with a basket with 13.3 seconds remaining in the game, but coach Troy Leaf’s scrappers from El Cajon couldn’t hold on.

Foothills Christian’s regular-season, intersectional tour won’t be complete until Feb. 6, when it heads up the I-5 Freeway for a game against Santa Ana Mater Dei, ranked No. 4 in California this week by Cal-Hi Sports.

Foothills is No. 1 in the Union-Tribune weekly poll and No. 5 in Cal-Hi‘s Top 20.  St. Augustine and Army-Navy earned  on-the-bubble status.

The U-T No. 2 Saints have a rivalry game with Eastern League title implications against No. 7 Cathedral Saturday night at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Get there early.  Parking is brutal.

LEAF AND WALTON?

After converting 20 of 24 shots from the floor, scoring 43 points, and knocking down 21 rebounds against the team from Chino, Leaf was described as the best prospect out of San Diego since Bill Walton in 1970.

Writer Frank Burlison, who made that observation, has virtually seen them all from his base in the Long Beach area for the last 40 or so years.   I was able to place Walton in Sports Illustrated‘s  “Faces in the Crowd” when Walton hit the national landscape.

Walton scored 50 points and had 34 rebounds in a 110-68 victory over Pasadena in the Covina Tournament and led  Helix to a 33-0 record. The Highlanders’ greatness wouldn’t be tested, because there were no Southern California or state playoffs in the Walton era.

Walton, a 6-foot, 11-inch center, was an enthusiastic, game-changing defender and unselfish, facilitating offensive player who still averaged 29.1 points a game.

The 6-10 Leaf, averaging 30.6 points, is a power forward and may have a more wide-ranging offensive game but has not had Walton’s impact on defense.

ON THE GIRLS’ FRONT

The Bishop’s (15-1), Mission Hills (11-3), and La Jolla Country Day (11-3) rank 10, 11, and 12, respectively, in the latest Cal-Hi Sports poll.

Junior Destiny Littleton of The Bishop’s has scored 605 points and is averaging 37.8 points.

U-T BOYS’ POLL

First-place votes in parenthesis. Won-loss records through Monday.

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
1 Foothills Christian (11) 9-3 110 1
2 St. Augustine 11-4 97 2
3 Torrey Pines 12-3 72 5
4 La Jolla Country Day 16-0 66 5
5 El Camino 12-4 63 4
6 Cathedral 8-4 62 7
7 Army-Navy 12-5 58 6
8 Kearny 14-2 34 8
9 Poway 15-2 24 10
10 San Marcos 9-5 11 9

Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.                                                                             NR—Not ranked.

Others receiving votes, including record:  Grossmont (14-3, 8), Mission Bay (11-4, 3), San Ysidro (14-2, 1), Vista (10-5, 1).

11 media representatives vote, including John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Jim Lindgren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Lisa Lane, San Diego Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

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