Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Ratings (Boys)

In support of our weekly highlights show that airs every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on KRON TV, Channel 4, in San Francisco, here's the top 20 rankings so far for the 2002-2003 boys basketball season. Presented by the good folks at Team Dealer, Inc., our Bay Area Top 20 includes teams from the CIF Central Coast and CIF North Coast sections only plus teams from Solano and Napa counties of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section.

(After games of Saturday, Feb. 22; previous rank in parentheses)

1. (2) Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) 23-1

2. (1) Technical (Oakland) 18-5

3. (4) De La Salle (Concord) 19-5

4. (5) Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 25-0

5. (9) Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 22-3

6. (6) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 22-3

7. (7) Newark Memorial (Newark) 22-4

8. (14) McClymonds (Oakland) 18-8*

9. (11) Mitty (San Jose) 23-5

10. (10) Berkeley 20-3

11. (8) Serra (San Mateo) 22-5

12. (12) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 22-4

13. (13) Salinas 21-4

14. (4) Vallejo 23-5

15. (15) St. Joseph (Alameda) 19-7

16. (16) Oakland 18-6

17. (17) Hercules 15-8

18. (18) California (San Ramon) 17-7

19. (nr) Bethel (Vallejo) 19-8

20. (20) Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 22-4

Notes & Highlights

Look who's now No. 1 in the Bay Area? After Oakland Tech was knocked off by McClymonds, 73-71, to suffer its first Oakland Athletic League defeat in two years, you have to give it to Bishop O'Dowd. We all know why the program has been so much in the news lately, but for the players themselves they've done a great job staying focused on what they need to do. The team's only loss this season remains one to Valley of Sacramento way back in early December. Last week, the Dragons rolled over Castro Valley, 87-48, and then edged Moreau Catholic of Hayward, 61-57, in their first game since charges were leveled publicly against their coach. Assistant coach Pete Morales is now 14-0 since taking over most of the duties of head coach Mike Phelps after he was put on paid administrative leave on January 8.

There's no question Oakland Tech has played a tougher schedule than O'Dowd and probably remains more of a favorite in the NorCal Div. I playoffs than the Dragons. But the Dragons' schedule in the Hayward Area Athletic League isn't that much weaker than the Bulldogs' and you do have to rank teams higher that have won as many games in a row as O'Dowd has.

Mario Malave's two free throws with four seconds left gave McClymonds its win over Oakland Tech. Antonio Kellogg was the Warriors' leading scorer with 18 points. Mack then won later in the week, 76-63, over Fremont. Coach Dwight Nathaniel and his players insist the Tech win was no upset, but we probably have to wait until the season is over and then look back before that can be said with certainty.

Leon Powe had 33 points for Tech in the loss, then came back with a triple-double of 41 points, 18 rebounds and 11 blocks in a 81-52 win over Castlemont. Yet one more Tech fact: Did you know that the Bulldogs are the only team this season to pin a loss on the record of the top-ranked Class 6A team in Florida? Yep, Dillard of Fort Lauderdale started last week at 26-1 and its only loss was to Tech at the Holiday Prep Classic in Las Vegas.

Here's another question for you: What does Piedmont Hills and St. Margaret's of San Juan Capistrano have in common? If you said it has something to do with being undefeated, you're right. The Pirates are one of just two boys teams in the state who are undefeated and St. Margaret's is one of those very small private schools. For being from a large public school and going unbeaten, the Piedmont Hills boys have done something very special indeed, no matter what you think of the teams that have been on the schedule.

Another major shakeup in this week's rankings was caused when previous No. 4 Vallejo lost, 72-61, to Bethel of Vallejo. It was the second Monticello Empire League loss for the Apaches, but this one was very painful. Bethel finished with just one league loss and thus grabbed the MEL crown. Ramone Wellington and Duane Jones had 25 and 18 points to lead Bethel, which went on a 19-7 run in the fourth quarter. DeMarcus Nelson netted 30 to lead Vallejo.

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