1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 26-2
The Monarchs wrapped up another hugely successful regular season with an 80-55 victory over St. John Bosco of Bellflower behind 17 points each from Wesley Washington and D.J. Strawberry. Earlier in the week, they won by 101-68 over Servite of Anaheim. In the CIF Southern Section Div. II-A playoffs, Mater Dei's first game will be against either Gahr of Cerritos or Sonora of La Habra. The Monarchs don't appear to have a sniff of a close game until the final.
2. (2) Westchester (Los Angeles) 25-3
It wasn't the 143-51 shellacking that the Comets posted over Hamilton that got them the top seed in the L.A. City Section playoffs. It was a coin flip that came up in their favor that was called by Fairfax coach Harvey Kitani. Trevor Ariza had 37 points and Bobby Brown scored 23 in the rout, which was the most points by an L.A. City team in one game since Crenshaw went for 143 in January of 1994. The L.A. City record, by the way, is 149 and the state mark is 156.
3. (3) Fairfax (Los Angeles) 23-2
Being seeded second in the L.A. City Section playoffs means the Lions will likely face No. 3 Carson in the semifinals. In last week's games, Kevin Bell had 21 points and 10 assists in a 79-51 triumph over Venice and Joshua Shipp had 27 points in a 102-54 romp past Los Angeles.
4. (4) Horizon (San Diego) 24-1
Jared Dudley was studly once again, this time with 22 points as the Panthers rolled over La Jolla Country Day, 54-35, and then with 21 as they bounced San Dieguito Academy, 85-46. There's one more week of the regular season for San Diego teams, then Horizon will start gearing up toward a probable matchup against Lincoln in the Div. IV section final.
5. (5) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 25-1
After a first-round bye, coach Doug Mitchell's club will get either Estancia of Costa Mesa or Gabrielino of San Gabriel in the second round of the CIFSS Div. III-A playoffs. The Knights closed their regular season with wins of 59-36 vs. St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs and 59-45 vs. Bishop Amat of La Puente. Fred Washington had 17 points and five assists in the first game and then 18 points and 17 rebounds in the second.
6. (6) El Camino (Oceanside) 23-2
It looks like the San Diego Union-Tribune has relented and has now taken away the loss to Horizon from El Camino's record, which already had been done by the North County Times. We'll do the same, although it has no impact on the rankings. Officially, Horizon doesn't have a win over El Camino. But in the eyes of almost everybody who was at that "exhibition," it was clear which team won.
7. (7) Technical (Oakland) 17-4
Any team that goes unbeaten in the Oakland Athletic League is very special and the Bulldogs moved two games closer to that goal with another pair of Powe-erful victories. In a 85-70 triumph over Skyline, Mr. Powe, as in Leon, made 19-of-20 free throws and hauled down 11 rebounds to go with 41 points. Powe then scored 30 and had 15 boards in a 76-74 win vs. Fremont.
8. (8) Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) 21-1
So what's the significance of the Dragons once again going over the 20-win mark? Well, it's only the 26th consecutive year they've done it, which is easily the all-time state record. It's also the 43rd 20-win season for the school since 1956. The only school in the state that comes close is Long Beach Poly (which may get its 40th this year), but Poly has been around a lot longer.
9. (9) Carson 21-3
Maryland-bound standout Ekene Ibekwe poured in a season-high 40 points as the Colts crushed Banning of Wilmington, 97-64, in their regular season finale. Carson will start the L.A. City playoffs vs. Dorsey and then would likely meet Fremont in the next round.
10. (11) Garces (Bakersfield) 29-1
Hey, we do like the Rams and they may indeed finish among the nation's top 20 teams, but USA Today's current No. 19 national ranking is absurd. Horizon definitely deserves to be ahead of Garces until Garces plays and beats Horizon (which might happen). Of course, USA Today can't even get the win-loss record correct of its No. 1 team, so what do you expect? Garces won last week, 93-39, over Tehachapi as Anthony Esparza scored 23 points and Zach Ryan added 17.
11. (13) Loyola (Los Angeles) 21-4
For earning the Mission League title, which the Cubs did after winning last week by 98-59 over Alemany of Mission Hills and 87-64 over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, we rewarded them by jumping them over Lincoln in this week's rankings. Josh Flynn-Brown had 19 points, seven steals and six assists vs. Alemany and Omar Wilkes pumped in 23 points against the Knights.
12. (12) Lincoln (San Diego) 25-2
Dominic McGuire didn't play against either St. Augustine or University, but the Hornets still won comfortably by 69-50 and 85-75. Shaun Davis led Lincoln in scoring for both games with 20 and 35 points, respectively.
13. (10) Fontana 24-2
This is debatable whether the Steelers should have fallen further after they lost by 75-59 to Eisenhower in a Citrus Belt League showdown last week. It was only just the team's second loss of the season, so the L.A. Times didn't move them at all. On the other hand, Eisenhower has probably played a tougher schedule throughout the year and its win created a co-championship between the two instead of an outright title the Steelers were aiming for. Ike also got the top seed in the CIFSS Div. I-AA playoffs while FoHi was third.
14. (14) Sacramento 26-1
We're not that crazy about the Capital Athletic League this year, so that's why Fontana's fall wasn't below the Dragons. Sac High's week was consistent, to say the least. Check out these scores: 64-49 vs. Rio Americano of Sacramento and 64-48 vs. Burbank of Sacramento.
15. (15) San Gorgonio (San Bernardino) 25-2
The Spartans captured their first league title in 17 years when Anthony Daigle made a free throw with no time left on the clock to give them a 66-65 win over Cajon. Then they concluded the regular season by beating Colton, 82-56, behind Khorry Lewis' 23 points plus 20 points and nine assists from Kevin Houston.
16. (17) Artesia (Lakewood) 24-2
It's time to flip-flop the Pioneers with Sacramento Foothill both here and in Div. III from the indication that Artesia has been in a tougher league than Foothill. The only reason it's tougher is Mayfair, but that's reason enough, as Mayfair has been good enough to pin a loss on Loyola. In last week's games, Kejuan Johnson had 25 points in a 69-60 win over Cerritos and then scored 16 in a 63-42 win over La Mirada.
17. (16) Foothill (Sacramento) 24-2
Chris Walker led four Mustangs in double figures as they cruised past Center of Antelope, 71-48. Later in the week, Walker had 14 and so did Vincent Rivera in a 56-46 win over Highlands of North Highlands.
18. (19) Silverado (Victorville) 25-1
No one really thought much of the Silver Hawks at the beginning of the season, but they really do have a legitimate shot at winning the largest enrollment division of the CIFSS playoffs. They start those playoffs seeded No. 2, but they just as easily could have been No. 1.
19. (20) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 21-6
One of the best playoff divisions in the entire CIFSS is Div. III-A, where the Wolverines are seeded No. 3 behind Bishop Montgomery and Ocean View. This division also features a potential second-rounder between Compton Centennial and Chaminade of West Hills who both have been in the Div. III state rankings for much of this season. Harvard-Westlake's regular-season finale was a 102-44 romp past St. Francis of La Canada in which Bryce Taylor scored 35 and Evan Harris had 16 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks.
20. (nr) Vallejo 22-4
We'll go back to the Apaches this week after they were out for a week. Last week's scores were 97-80 over Hogan of Vallejo and 78-65 over Napa. DeMarcus Nelson only had average scoring outputs for him, but 32 and 34 points would be special for just about anyone else. Vallejo may only be No. 3 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I power rankings, but did anybody else in those rankings play Lincoln of Brooklyn or take a trip to play at a nationally-renowned tourney in South Carolina? No, and that's why power rankings have never impressed us. The computers don't give extra credit for playing teams like that. We almost always do.