Silverado of Victor Valley, the best team in the High Desert, is now among the top 20 in the state. And what's best about the Silver Hawks is that one of their top players has a last name that rhymes with the school's. Lincoln of San Diego and Harvard-Westlake hang on after losing, but Vallejo is bumped.

(After games of Feb. 8; previous rank in parentheses)

1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 24-2

Westchester's big loss to St. Vincent-St. Mary of Ohio last Saturday was good news for the Monarchs. If they run the table the rest of the season, it's now going to be that much harder for Westchester or anybody else to be State Team of the Year no matter what happens in the Div. I playoffs. Of course, MD must take care of business in Div. II, something that didn't happen last year. In last week's games, Marcel Jones had 19 points and seven steals in a 106-48 win over Servite of Anaheim and Mike Gerrity had 17 points and 11 assists in a 86-50 romp past Santa Margarita.

2. (2) Westchester (Los Angeles) 23-3

Before heading out to New Jersey to be what turned out to be a footnote in the LeBron James show, the Comets rolled past Palisades and Venice in a pair of Western League games. Against Pali, Trevor Ariza posted a triple-double with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

3. (3) Fairfax (Los Angeles) 21-2

The Lions won their games by 105-57 over Hamilton and 107-66 over University. Alex Bausley triple-doubled in the first game with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists and had 23 points and 12 rebounds in the second. USA Today was so impressed by the lopsided routs that it ranked Fairfax ahead of Westchester in its rankings this week, completely ignoring, of course, the score of what happened when the two teams met previously.

4. (4) Horizon (San Diego) 22-1

Based on last Friday's impressive 85-63 win over previous No. 7 Lincoln, the Panthers now look like they're closer to being third than they are to being fifth. Jared Dudley also could now be the leading player of the year candidate in the section after getting 29 points and 21 rebounds against the Hornets. Dudley also had 22 points in a 83-22 romp past Bishop's.

5. (5) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 23-1

The Knights haven't had a close game in a while, which could be a problem when they run into the likes of Harvard-Westlake, Ocean View and Compton Centennial in the CIF Southern Section Div. III-A playoffs. Fred Washington had 25 points and 12 rebounds last week in an easy win vs. Serra of Gardena.

6. (6) El Camino (Oceanside) 22-3

Wildcat coach Ray Johnson, in his 23rd season, is now the winningest ever for the San Diego Section. Johnson notched No. 490 and No. 491 for his career last week and has a chance to reach 500 if his team goes far in the regional playoffs.

7. (8) Technical (Oakland) 15-4

The Bulldogs survived a monster outing from Cal-bound guard Ayinde Ubaka (37 points) and stayed unbeaten in the Oakland Athletic League with a 75-65 win over Oakland High. Leon Powe, future teammate of Ubaka for the Bears, led Oakland Tech with 31 points.

8. (9) Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) 19-1

Johnnie Bryant had 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Dragons pulled away for a 59-42 win last Friday over San Leandro that just about wrapped up the Hayward Area Athletic League title. It was a much closer game the first time O'Dowd played the Pirates, so this is a team that is continuing to get better.

9. (10) Carson 19-3

Make it 10 straight wins for the Colts, the latest pair being 67-54 vs. L.A. Washington and 93-78 vs. Narbonne of Harbor City. Sophomore Bryan Harvey and senior Ikene Ebekwe both had 26 in the second game. Harvey also had 21 points and eight rebounds vs. Washington.

10. (11) Fontana 23-1

The Steelers haven't lost since their second game and hope to be on a 24-game winning streak entering the playoffs, pending what happens, of course, in a matchup this week vs. Eisenhower.

11. (12) Garces (Bakersfield) 27-1

Jack Ryan is the main character in Tom Clancy novels. Zach Ryan was the main character in the story of the Rams last week. Ryan poured in a career-high 42 points in a 109-60 clobbering of Taft and led all scorers with 28 points in a 126-54 mashing of Arvin.

12. (7) Lincoln (San Diego) 23-2

Shaun Davis was able to score 30 points for the Hornets in their big game against Horizon, but Dominic McGuire was held to 12. Lincoln will likely face Horizon again in the Div. IV section finals and then perhaps even one more time in the Div. IV regional playoffs.

13. (14) Loyola (Los Angeles) 19-4

The Cubs won their only game last week over St. Francis of La Canada, but the good news was Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks upsetting Harvard-Westlake. That put Loyola all alone in first-place in the Mission League with just one week to go in the regular season.

14. (15) Sacramento 24-1

The Dragons aren't letting down as the playoffs approach. The city's top-ranked team dispatched two more Capital Athletic League foes last week by 74-63 vs. Casa Roble and 74-55 vs. El Camino. David Young had 18 points against the Rams and 21 against the Eagles.

15. (17) San Gorgonio (San Bernardino) 23-2

Despite handing out 14 assists, Kevin Houston still was able to score 21 points as the Spartans walloped San Bernardino, 99-41. Khorry Lewis was the main benefactor of Houston's wizardry and led the team in scoring with 28.

16. (18) Foothill (Sacramento) 22-2

Getting a win over Vallejo might not look as good as it did a month ago, but the Mustangs' still appear to be one of the top squads in NorCal. They won last week by 71-40 over Rio Linda and 76-40 over Dixon. Chris Walker had 19 against Dixon and was one of three players with 11 against Rio Linda.

17. (19) Artesia (Lakewood) 22-2

A three-win week by the Pioneers started with a 69-57 victory over Mayfair, the defending champion of Artesia's league. Kejuan Johnson had 23 points in that game and came back to score 20 in a 75-51 win over Bellflower.

18. (20) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 19-2

The Dons are only four points from being unbeaten and have been led by 20 ppg scorer Thomas Juillerat. They haven't lost yet in league play, either, and a perfect mark in the East Bay Athletic League has traditionally been difficult to achieve.

19. (nr) Silverado (Victorville) 23-1

It's finally time to get the Silver Hawks in here. Their most significant win of the season was over Ocean View of Huntington Beach in December and they've been rolling in their league. Vince Alvarado had 16 points last week in a 78-63 win over Rime of the World.

20. (13) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 19-6

We just can't take it upon ourselves to completely drop out the Wolverines despite the overtime loss to Notre Dame. There's just been too many quality wins to ignore. The recent one over Loyola was nice, but the one we like just as much was over Denver East of Colorado, a team that is unbeaten vs. everybody else it has played.

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