1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 17-2
If you're trying to gain a national reputation, like Miami Christian of Florida is doing, playing the Monarchs at the Nike Extravaganza might not be a good idea. Mater Dei's latest gem in that event (remember last year's win over national No. 1 Oak Hill) was an 81-67 win last Saturday over the Florida Class 2A school. The Monarchs will play in another Saturday one-day get-together this week, but their opponent, Diamond Bar, shouldn't be quite up to the standards of their last two weekend foes.
2. (2) Westchester (Los Angeles) 14-1
The Comets will face No. 3 Fairfax for the first time on Tuesday in a league game. They split in the league games against the Lions a year ago.
3. (3) Fairfax (Los Angeles) 13-1
One team hoping for a Fairfax win in this week's matchup against Westchester is Mater Dei. If the Comets win and then come up with an upset in a few weeks over national No. 1 St. Vincent-St. Mary (LeBron's team) at the Prime Time Shootout, there will be no choice but to put Westchester at No. 1 in the state.
4. (4) Horizon (San Diego) 14-1
We sure don't have to worry about ranking the Panthers ahead of Garces anymore. That problem was taken of last Saturday by Carson (a team Horizon has beaten 71-54), which knocked off Garces to end the Rams' 20-game win streak. Horizon kept rolling with an 81-35 win over Santa Fe Christian behind Jared Dudley's 22 points.
5. (6) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 17-1
In a matchup last week involving outstanding college-bound seniors, it was Fred Washington (Stanford) and the Knights downing Justin Hawkins (Utah) and his team from Mayfair of Lakewood, 56-52. Washington finished with 21 points, Hawkins had 18.
6. (7) El Camino (Oceanside) 14-3
Our colleague at the San Diego Union Tribune, Steve Brand, led off his notebook last Friday about there being three San Diego Section teams among the top 10 in the state. Guess what, Steve? Now it's three among the top seven. The Wildcats moved up a notch due to Garces losing and due to their own pair of wins, including one of 100-55 over Orange Glen of Escondido.
7. (9) Lincoln (San Diego) 17-1
Shaun Davis racked up 41 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 102-89 win over La Jolla and Dominic McGuire had 21 points in a 77-48 triumph over University City. Too bad Lincoln and Horizon are both Division IV as either would be a solid state title contender in Division III, too, and it would give San Diego a stronger chance to bring home some hardware from Sacramento.
8. (10) Technical (Oakland) 9-4
The Bulldogs warmed up for this week's start of their Oakland Athletic League schedule with a 65-45 win over Jesuit of Carmichael. Leon Powe scored 23 and is looking better and better as he strengthens his knee. Four other teams from the OAL also are ranked among the top 20 in the S.F. Bay Area.
9. (14) Loyola (Los Angeles) 12-3
We think the real Loyola was the club that played previous No. 12 Harvard-Westlake last week and came up with an impressive 97-87 victory and not the team that played Mayfair at the Pangos Dream Classic. Davis Cantor scored 27 points against Harvard-Westlake and came back later in the week to score 18 in a 90-42 romp past Crespi.
10. (12) Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) 11-1
Johnnie Bryant, the MVP of the Nike tourney in San Diego that the Dragons won, led the scoring with 21 points as the Dragons moved to 2-0 in their league with a 57-54 win last Friday over San Leandro. Remember, O'Dowd has a win over the No. 1 Class 5A team in Arizona (which is unbeaten vs. everybody else).
11. (11) Brea-Olinda (Brea) 15-0
At least one Southern California prep writer (who shall remain nameless) told us that this ranking of the Wildcats is too high, despite the unbeaten record. We wonder if that opinion changed at all, following Brea's 78-69 victory last Saturday at the Nike Extravaganza over eight-time state champ Crenshaw. Evan Moore was even more dominant than usual with 31 points against the Cougars.
12. (17) Carson 11-3
Yes, the game against Garces was at home, but we're going to put the Colts higher than the Rams for now as that game showed just how good Ikene Ebekwe is getting.
13. (13) Fontana 15-1
We always have to double-check the spelling of Sean Green because for some reason we think of baseball and not football when seeing his name. Sean had another strong outing of 24 points last week in a 91-80 win by the Steelers over Centennial of Corona.
14. (5) Garces (Bakersfield) 20-1
This may be too far to drop the Rams, but we felt they had to go below Carson and the only other team to lose last week was Harvard-Westlake. With all of the other Division IV teams doing so well, though, the good news is that Garces can still attain a very high final state ranking if it wins the Division IV state title and doesn't lose again.
15. (8) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 12-4
Bryce Taylor swished through 40 points in the high-scoring loss to Loyola. The Wolverines came back later in the week with an easy 88-54 victory over Alemany of Mission Hills.
16. (16) Oakland 12-2
Ayinde Ubaka had 19 points and Martel Israel scored 17 as the Wildcats downed NorCal Div. IV power Salesian of Richmond, 60-43. Like Oakland Tech, Oakland played what could be described as a warm-up game for this week's start of league play.
17. (17) Sacramento 15-1
The Dragons started their Capital Athletic League schedule with a 63-48 victory over Casa Roble of Orangevale and have now won 12 straight. The streak includes a win over Foothill of Sacramento, which is now also in the overall state top 20.
18. (18) Vallejo 12-3
A rematch of last year's Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I championship game last Saturday saw the Apaches win this time. Vallejo's 83-76 win over Modesto Christian also featured 36 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists from star guard DeMarcus Nelson. Big D also poured in 47 last week in a win over Fairfield.
19. (20) San Gorgonio (San Bernardino) 14-2
Jacob Daigle was as smooth as cream cheese on a bagel and finished with 28 points in a 78-61 victory over Pacific. We're still looking for that one signature win that would really jump this team upward in the rankings and that might not happen until the playoffs.
20. (nr) Foothill (Sacramento) 14-2
The Mustangs are the only team to pin a loss on Bishop O'Dowd and last Saturday they upped their stock some more with an 80-75 victory on the road over Clovis West of Fresno. In Chris Walker and Sam Kirby, Foothill has one of the top guard combos in Northern California. Walker led the scoring with 22 vs. Clovis West.