Keppel of Alhambra joins the top 10 for the first time ever, thanks in part to Brea-Olinda (a team the Aztecs beat) impressing so much in a victory over previous No. 9 San Clemente. The only newcomer is Santa Margarita (which goes in for the team it beat).

(After games of Jan. 25; previous rank in parentheses)

1. (1) Lynwood 17-1

Artesia of Lakewood hung tough with the Knights for three quarters before finally breaking in a 65-52 defeat. Lynwood's other two wins during the week were 77-24 over Paramount and 90-26 over Downey. Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood was the top scorer in all three games with 15, 21 and 16 points.

2. (2) Mitty (San Jose) 15-2

Kaliliah Daniels had 23 points to lead the Monarchs to a 57-51 win over Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco, but even more good news for the Monarchs is the return of starting point guard Mary Eileen Gallagher, who had 10 in the same game. Gallagher had missed most of the season with a shoulder injury.

3. (3) Piedmont 16-2

The Highlanders took on their two toughest foes in the Bay Shore Athletic League last week and took care of both in similar fashion. A 63-49 win over St. Mary's of Berkeley was paced by Courtney Paris with 23 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks. The 6-2 sophomore then had 26 points, 24 rebounds and four blocks in a 59-43 win over Kennedy of Richmond, a Div. III state-ranked squad.

4. (4) St. Mary's (Stockton) 17-3

The Rams took a page out of the Pinewood playbook as several different players took and made three-pointers in a 90-39 win over Lincoln of Stockton. The team finished with 15 from beyond the arc. Outside shooting like that might be the difference in potential Div. IV playoff matchups against Piedmont, Ursuline, Marin Catholic and La Jolla Country Day.

5. (5) Narbonne (Harbor City) 12-6

Carson might be the second-best team in the L.A. City Section this season, but the Colts were still a far cry from Narbonne when the two teams met last week. Coach James Anderson's squad rolled to a 70-39 win as point guard Camille LeNoir continued to shine with 22 points. Narbonne's other win last week was 109-27 over Banning of Wilmington.

6. (6) Poly (Long Beach) 17-2

Make it 12 wins in a row after the Jackrabbits breezed to wins of 92-22 over Cabrillo of Long Beach and 71-51 over Rosary of Fullerton. The Rosary win, which came last Saturday at the Ayala Extravaganza, was particularly impressive since that team is state-ranked in Div. III and has played tough in earlier matchups vs. top 20 teams.

7. (7) Ursuline (Santa Rosa) 16-1

The Bears continued to run through their North Bay League schedule like Shaq against grade schoolers. Scores last week were 70-16 vs. Piner of Santa Rosa and 69-37 vs. Santa Rosa.

8. (8) Redondo (Redondo Beach) 16-4

Brittany Grice was not very nice to Seahawk opponents last week. The 6-3 center first scored 18 points and had eight rebounds and four blocks in a 71-51 win over South of Torrance. Grice next had 24 points and four more blocks in a 64-40 win over North of Torrance.

9. (14) Mark Keppel (Alhambra) 19-3

The rise of this program is one of the best stories in the state this season. A win over Brea-Olinda has helped greatly, since the Ladycats have been beating ranked opponents in recent weeks. And as Brea goes up, so does Keppel. The Aztecs had wins last week over Oxnard (73-60), Bell Gardens (72-35) and Schurr of Montebello (57-35). Monique Diaz had 20 points and 10 rebounds vs. Bell Gardens and came back with 18 to lead the way vs. Oxnard.

10. (15) Brea-Olinda (Brea) 17-3

While Keppel deserves its ranking for now, it's hard to imagine the Aztecs beating Brea a second time, especially the way coach Jeff Sink's team played in last week's 55-46 win over previous No. 9 San Clemente. The score was 26-11 at halftime and the lead was up to 26 before the Tritons rallied. Carrie Noyes had 10 points, 13 rebounds and played tough "D" on San Clemente standout Lindsey Pluimer. The quick hands of Lauren Pedersen also has been a key to the defense. She had six steals against San Clemente to go with her team-high 15 points.

11. (10) La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 17-4

Marissa Rivera is one of the top juniors in San Diego, but often is overlooked due to the presence of All-American Candice Wiggins. Last week was Rivera's turn to lead the scoring. The 6-1 center had 25 points in a 79-32 win vs. Francis Parker and had 24 in a 104-26 win over Tri-City Christian.

12. (11) Madera 16-0

It wasn't going to two overtimes against Clovis West that caused us to drop the Coyotes a spot in this week's rankings. It's the fact that Clovis West lost by 16 to North of Bakersfield and then North went down to Southern California and dropped its first game to Santa Margarita. North's loss also has to have an impact on other Central Section teams, including Madera.

13. (16) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 14-6

One of the biggest surprises of the season will be if the Knights and star player Noelle Quinn somehow don't four-peat as Div. III state champs. In last week's games, Quinn had 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight steals in a 64-38 win over St. Bernard of Playa del Rey and then scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds in a 48-30 triumph vs. Pasadena Muir.

14. (9) San Clemente 16-3

In addition to their big loss to Brea-Olinda, the Tritons also had a win last week over a ranked opponent as they edged Troy of Fullerton, 53-51 in two overtimes. Lindsey Pluimer needed frequent trips to the free throw line to score 19 against Brea, but was more herself vs. Troy as she totaled 27 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.

15. (18) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 11-4

A team the Panthers beat at the Nike TOC in Arizona turned out to be the one that knocked off national No. 1 Christ The King of New York. We also moved them up this week since their win last Saturday of 73-58 against Marin Catholic looks better than La Jolla Country Day's two-point win over the same team from the week before. Katy Digovich knocked down 27 points to pace the win vs. the defending Div. IV state champs.

16. (17) Wilson (Long Beach) 17-5

The Bruins could really shake things up next week when they play No. 6 Poly for the second time in Moore League play. Wilson won last week by 78-48 over Long Beach Jordan and 66-33 over Lakewood.

17. (12) Troy (Fullerton) 17-2

Meghan McGuire came up with seven steals to go with 17 points as the Warriors won by 55-40 over Palmdale last Saturday at the Ayala Extravaganza. Palmdale has been in the L.A. Times top 25 for almost the entire season, so you could certainly say that's a quality win.

18. (18) Bishop Amat (La Puente) 20-3

It was two easy wins for the Lancers last week as they dispatched St. Mary's Academy of Inglewood, 70-20, and Millikan of Long Beach, 57-33. Erin Myrick led the way with 20 points in the first game while Amanda Afaele had 18 in the second.

19. (nr) Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 17-4

Whitney Hollison netted 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to spark the Eagles' in their 77-69 win last Saturday over previously unbeaten North of Bakersfield. Another major reason we inserted this team into this week's top 20 is a 3-0 start in the Serra League that includes wins over Mater Dei and Rosary. That recent loss to St. Paul looks bad, but the other three wins are too much to ignore. Besides, if Santa Margarita beats Mater Dei and Rosary in league rematches coming up, the team will certainly belong among the state's elite.

20. (20) Cajon (San Bernardino) 20-0

Jessica Fiisikava will soon join Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood for the most different combinations of spelling for a first and last name we've seen in quite some time. Fiisikava had 20 points, eight rebounds and eight steals in a 73-24 win last week over San Gorgonio, then had 25 points in a 71-45 victory over Yucaipa.

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