You can make that conclusion after last weekend's Marin Catholic tourney in San Rafael as the Scots upended a strong field to win the tourney championship.
The Paris twins, daughters of former NFL lineman Bubba Paris, played their freshman season last year at Modesto Christian and led the Crusaders to the Div. V state finals where they lost in a close game to La Jolla Country Day. They left that school for the East Bay to be closer to a parent's job and settled in Piedmont, an Oakland Hills community.
Piedmont High is famous for having a bird-calling contest in which students have appeared on The Tonight Show. The Paris twins may make the school soar for a different reason.
Piedmont's first big win at the tourney was over perennial NorCal power Berkeley, 58-43. Courtney Paris had 26 in that one and Ashley Paris added 15.
The next night, coach Brian Gardere's team downed defending CIF Div. IV state champ Marin Catholic, 66-53, behind Ashley Paris's 35 points.
In the finals, against preseason NorCal No. 1 St. Mary's of Stockton, Ashley was quiet but Courtney dominated with 31 points as Piedmont defeated the Rams, 67-55. St. Mary's ironically just announced it was not moving up to Div. I this year and instead would remain at Div. IV. That also happens to be the division for Piedmont and if it comes down to the Scots and Rams for top seed in the NorCal Div. IV playoffs last week's win could wind up being a tiebreaker.
MORE STATEWIDE GIRLS BASKETBALL UPDATES:
•Junior center Charde Houston of San Diego High poured in 71 points in a game against Castle Park of Chula Vista on Dec. 9 and broke her own CIF San Diego Section record. Houston played the entire second half of a 123-38 win over the Trojans, according to a newspaper account in the San Diego Union-Tribune, although she did stay on the bench for nearly all of the second quarter. Houston had 67 points for the previous section record in a game last year against Morse in which the Cavers won, 116-38. Her 71-point mark also ranks in a tie for fourth on the all-time state list. In 1998, LeAnne Bennett from Ribet Academy of La Canada had 71 points in a game vs. First Lutheran of Sylmar. The only junior ever to score more than 71 was Cheryl Miller of Riverside Poly, who had 77 in a game vs. Norte Vista of Riverside. Houston also had 61 points in a game last year vs. West Hills of Santee and finished the season with a state-leading scoring average of 34.9 per game.
•Castle Park, which was 0-17 last season, also was taken advantage of by Kearny of San Diego in a 126-10 rout last week. The Komets set a single game section scoring record that also ranks No. 10 on the all-time state list. The margin of victory ranks No. 6 on the all-time state list and unbelievably isn't even close to the record margin of 161 set in 1982 when Riverside Poly defeated Norte Vista of Riverside, 179-15.
•Kearny's girls posted their rout only two days after playing one of the greatest games in San Diego Section history. The Komets, who were in the preseason Div. III state rankings, battled San Diego High and came out on the short end of a 101-93 overtime score. The two teams' combined total of 194 tied the state record, although that one also was the bizarre 179-15 game involving Riverside Poly. At least this combo scoring record involves both teams scoring and not one team slaughtering. The Kearny-San Diego total beat the previous section mark of 173 set last year by San Diego (122) vs. Oceanside (51).
•On the same day the school's football team was taking care of Long Beach Poly and the boys basketball team was winning a prestigous tourney in Texas, the Mater Dei of Santa Ana girls basketball team pushed itself to a position of prominence in its sport as well by winning the championship of the Brea-Olinda tourney. Ashley Voisinet was named MVP after Mater Dei nipped Long Beach Wilson, 42-41, in the title game. She earlier scored 27 in a 72-62 win over La Jolla Country Day in the semifinals and had 30 vs. Eisenhower of Rialto in a 76-67 overtime win. Host Brea-Olinda, Wilson, LJCD and Eisenhower were all in the preseason state top 20. Mater Dei wasn't, but that will obviously change when the first regular season rankings are done.
•Kelly Tarver was the MVP and averaged nearly 26 ppg as Valencia won its own tourney last weekend with a 58-56 win in the final over preseason state top 20 member Saugus. The Vikings improved to 4-0.