1. (1) Lynwood 22-1
Santa Ana or Lakewood, neither one of which has a winning record, will be the first-round victim for the Knights in the CIF Southern Section Div. I-AA playoffs. Lynwood closed its regular season last week by clobbering Paramount, 81-18, and Warren of Downey, 79-40. Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood was the top scorer in both games with 18 and 21 points, respectively.
2. (2) Mitty (San Jose) 23-2
If last week's game was an indication, watch out for Valley Christian of San Jose in the upcoming Div. IV playoffs. The Monarchs were only able to beat Valley Christian by 52-47. Their other game last week was more typical as it was a 75-54 victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco.
3. (3) Piedmont 22-2
Ann Crangle, a freshman point guard, is blossoming into a key role for the Highlanders and is beginning to show she can hit the outside shot when the defense collapses around the Paris twins. In Piedmont's lone game last week, Courney Paris had 29 points and eight rebounds in a 58-30 win over Holy Names of Oakland.
4. (4) St. Mary's (Stockton) 23-3
It was a six-point win the last time the Rams played Merrill West of Tracy, but last week on their home floor it was a different story as Jacki Gemelos and Heather Benton played well above their years in sparking an 83-52 triumph. Gemelos, the freshman, netted 18 points and took over the game in spurts. Benton, a sophomore, added 10 points and came up with several steals. Senior Dominique Banks, averaging 20.9 per game, finished with 11.
5. (5) Narbonne (Harbor City) 16-6
There was no discussion about the top seed going to the Gauchos in the L.A. City Section playoffs. There probably won't be much competition, either, as the No. 2 seed, Carson, is a team Narbonne has already handily beaten twice. Last week's scores were 94-25 vs. Banning of Wilmington and 93-19 vs. San Pedro.
6. (6) Poly (Long Beach) 24-2
The Jackrabbits are seeded second in the CIFSS Div. I-AA playoffs behind Lynwood and open the postseason against either Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates or Paramount (see above what Lynwood did to Paramount). For Poly to meet Lynwood in the final, it probably will have to win a tough semifinal against most likely Eisenhower or Ayala.
7. (8) Redondo (Redondo Beach) 22-4
The top-seeded team in the CIFSS Div. II-A playoffs wrapped up its regular season with wins vs. North of Torrance (52-22) and Peninsula (60-22). Krisztina Fuleki starred in both with 20 points against the Tartars plus 19 points, 10 rebounds and five steals vs. the Panthers.
8. (9) Mark Keppel (Alhambra) 23-3
Since Keppel has a win over Brea and Troy has a loss to Brea, it's hard to see how Troy was seeded No. 1 in the CIFSS Div. II-AA playoffs instead of Keppel. Doesn't really matter, though, as both probably have similarly-tough paths towards the final anyway. In Keppel's regular season finale, a 90-42 win over Montebello, Krista Arase rang up a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
9. (10) Brea-Olinda (Brea) 23-3
Officially, Brea-Olinda's league win streak now stands at 171 after two more league wins last week. Going from the Orange League to the Century League this year had no effect on the dominance. After 20 straight titles in the Orange, the Century was no different. For comparison, the boys league win streak state record is at 98 games.
10. (11) La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 21-4
Marissa Rivera helped put the clamps on San Diego Section scoring whiz Linda Pace as Pace only scored 10 points in LJCD's 73-31 win last week. LaToya Cunningham led the Torres offensively with 25 points. Still without Candice Wiggins, LJCD has a tough test looming against Div. III power Kearny. Wiggins won't be back from her knee injury until March 7, at the earliest.
11. (12) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 17-4
The Panthers hammered previous No. 7 Ursuline of Santa Rosa, 70-52, in a nonleague special last Saturday. Want more proof that this team is starting to really roll? How about Pinewood 102, Redwood Christian 20. That's a team that normally plays the Panthers close and just two years ago was in the Div. V state finals after winning the Div. V state crown in 2000.
12. (13) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 19-7
Noelle Quinn and the Knights will begin their quest for a fourth straight Div. III state title on Saturday with a second-round CIFSS Div. III-A playoff matchup vs. either Banning or South El Monte. In their last regular season game, Quinn scored 23 points and Nykia Peace had 18 points and eight steals as the Knights downed St. Bernard of Playa del Rey, 66-28.
13. (14) San Clemente 22-3
Saugus and Cajon of San Bernardino appear to be the primary threats to the top-seeded Tritons in their half of the CIFSS Div. I-A playoffs. The other half features No. 2 seed Hart plus Royal of Simi Valley and Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo. Lindsey Pluimer scored 20 to lead San Clemente in both of its wins last week.
14. (7) Ursuline (Santa Rosa) 22-2
Monica Mertle had a strong outing with 27 points despite the Bears losing by 70-52 to Pinewood. The margin of defeat could have dropped them further in this week's rankings, but their win over Piedmont still carries a lot of weight. Earlier in the week, it was more true to form as Ursuline won by 68-45 over Rancho Cotate and 89-33 over Piner.
15. (15) Wilson (Long Beach) 22-6
The Bruins were initially seeded No. 3 in the CIFSS Div. I-AA playoffs, but there's a rule that prohibits teams from the same league being in the same half-bracket so Wilson had to shift to No. 4 since league champ Poly was No. 2. All that becomes more significant since Wilson now will likely face No. 1 Lynwood in the semifinals where its season will likely end.
16. (16) Troy (Fullerton) 23-2
Amanda Livingston was the Warriors' top scorer in each of the team's two wins last week. The senior post had 17 points in a 48-24 victory over Sonora of La Habra, then scored 16 to lead four in double figures in a 84-20 rout of Buena Park.
17. (19) San Diego 24-3
We're going to give a slight jump to the Cavers this week as a reward to their impressive 103-76 victory over Kearny of San Diego. It was a meeting between the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the section and Charde Houston wasn't even the leading scorer. She did score 29 points, but also set up her teammates for perimeter jumpers, which helped Bobbie Waldon pour in 31. If the Cavers get past El Camino in their section playoffs, they could even be looking at a No. 3 seed in the SoCal Div. I regionals.
18. (17) Bishop Amat (La Puente) 24-4
The Lancers start the CIFSS Div. III-A playoffs as the No. 2 seed behind league rival Bishop Montgomery and open against Azusa. The first opponent that figures to give them some real problems might be Santa Ynez in the quarterfinals. Amat won, 58-29, vs. St. Bernard of Playa del Rey to end the regular season behind Erin Myrick's 16 points.
19. (18) Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 22-4
Garland Cooper garnered 14 points and 16 rebounds in a 64-42 triumph over St. Joseph of Lakewood that capped the Eagles' third straight unbeaten league season. Santa Margarita is the No. 1 seed in the CIFSS Div. III-AA playoffs and shouldn't be tested until at least the semifinals.
20. (20) Madera 21-1
Heather Bates and her mates beat Clovis, 82-30, to win their first league championship since 1978. Bates had 19 points and Monica Aguilar scored 17.