The 2016-17 season is six weeks old, yet some things haven’t changed a bit. This week, we find Saddleback and City College of San Francisco once again battling it out for the California Community Colleges Men’s Basketball Coaches Association’s No. 1 ranking.
As it has been all year, this week’s poll was a nail biter. A late No. 1 vote for Yuba allowed Saddleback to eke out a one-point advantage over San Francisco for this week’s No. 1 ranking. San Bernardino, which had managed to wrestle the top ranking from Saddleback, fell this week to No. 6 after suffering two losses.
Going into this week’s games, the state currently has 49 teams with records at or above .500 and another 11 are two wins from reaching the .500 mark.
Next poll date: December 27 (release)
Here is a look at this week’s Top 20, as voted by coaches of the CCCMBCA:
State Top 20
1. Saddleback (10-2) — Saddleback has won five straight since losing it second game to the season. The Gauchos won the depleted (11 teams) Riverside City Holiday Tournament, however, their run was impressive — beating East Los Angeles, Fullerton and Riverside in the finals by 7 points. This week: Saddleback hosts its own tournament, opening with Canyons.
2. San Francisco City (11-1) — In its only game last week, San Francisco scored an 80-61 win over Cabrillo. The Rams have won four straight since falling to No. 12 Fresno on November 20. The Rams, the defending state champions, have played in three tournament finals, going 2-1. This week: The Rams will try to capture the San Joaquin Delta Tournament, which will also feature No. 13 Butte and regionally ranked teams, Merced (7-3) and Cabrillo (6-4).
3. Yuba (10-2) — Yuba had its nine-game win streak snapped last week in a 67-63 loss to non-CCCMBCA member North Idaho in the semifinals of the San Jose City Tournament. The 49’ers recovered by putting 102 points on Alameda in the third-place game This week: Yuba rests before beginning the longest conference grind in the state on Dec. 21 when the 49’ers travel to Alameda for the first of 16 Bay Valley Conference games.
4. Fullerton (9-3) — After losing consecutive games to conclude November, Fullerton looked focused in winning the Antelope Valley Tournament. And things looked even better last week as Fullerton hammered Mt. San Jacinto by 19 points after losing to the Eagles, 79-64, in the third-place game of the Fullerton Tournament. But Fullerton ran into Saddleback, the South’s preseason No. 1 ranked team, losing 58-50. This week: Fullerton travels to Palomar in its only game.
5. Las Positas (12-2) — Las Positas had a pretty easy time winning the Skyline Tournament. Only Skyline, in the championship game managed to stay within 10 points of the Hawks. Las Positas has won four in a row and six of its last seven. This week: Las Positas is idle.
6. San Bernardino (11-2) — San Bernardino’s hold on the state’s top ranking was short as the Wolverines lost two of its next five games after opening the season 8-0. San Bernardino won its first two tournaments of the season, but haven’t made the finals in its last two tournament outings. This week: San Bernardino will take its game on the road for the Sequoias Tournament.
7. Ohlone (9-2) — Have won four straight since losing back-to-back games, both in OT. Hasn’t played since Dec. 2 This week: Returns to action in the eight-team Modesto Tournament, opening with No. 13 Fresno.
8. San Diego City (12-3) — San Diego City currently has the state’s longest win streak at seven games after winning the Grossmont and Palomar tournaments. In all, the Knights have reached the championship game in four of five tournaments this season. This week: San Diego City will try to make it six tournament finals at the Saddleback Tournament.
9. Marin (3-2) — Played just two games in November, losing both. In December, Marin has won three straight — vs. No. 16 Santa Rosa, No. 12 Feather River and No. 14 Butte. This week: Marin competes in the Modesto Tournament, opening with the hosts – which doesn’t look so good now
10. Riverside (11-4) — Riverside fell to Saddleback in the finals of its tournament, but in the process the Tigers opened some eyes, after leading the Gauchos by 10 with five minutes to play. Riverside is one of the state’s top scoring teams, scoring 100 points or more five times this season including a state-high 119 points. In fact, Riverside scored 100 points in three of its four games last week, yet Saddleback held the Tigers to 77 points in the finals. This week: Riverside hosts Barstow on Saturday in its lone game.
11. El Camino-Compton Center (9-3) — EC-Compton scored wins over San Bernardino and Mt. San Jacinto, both ranked teams last week. In doing so, the Tartars caught the attention of several balloters who rewarded them with a spot in this week’s state poll. EC-Compton nearly made it a sweep, but lost to Chaffey in OT. This week: EC-Compton will host is Tartar Classic, featuring a hot Glendale team (won the Cypress Tournament last week); a struggling Chaffey team (losers of three of its last six); and West LA, No. 13 in Southern California.
12. Feather River (10-2) — Won the Cosumnes River Tournament before taking third at the Foothill Tournament, losing to No. 9 Marin by a score of 106-98. The loss to Marin snapped an eight-game Feather River win streak. This week: Visits Santa Rosa for the Kris Kringle Tournament, where the Golden Eagles figure to see No. 17 Citrus in the semifinals and possibly No. 16 Santa Rosa in the finals.
13. Fresno (8-4) — Has lost two of its last five, one coming to No. 19 Cerritos. Nine of Fresno’s outcomes have been decided by less than 10 points, including two last week, one being the championship game at the San Jose Tournament where the Rams fell to North Idaho, 95-90. This week: Fresno will be competing in the Modesto Tournament, where the Rams will take on No.7 Ohlone.
14. Butte (9-2) — Butte had its seven-game win streak snapped in the finals of the Foothill Tournament as No. 9 Marin scored an 80-66 victory. In the Roadrunners’ last four victories, their margin of victory has been just 4.3 points, and just twice have they been able to score 70 points or more. This week: Butte plays in the San Joaquin Delta Tournament, opening against Sierra (3-5).
15. Mt. San Jacinto (11-5) — Mt. San Jacinto paid a heavy price for its struggles last week, falling to No. 15 this week. MSJC lost two of its three games at the Riverside City Tournament, yet was able to knock off a very good East Los Angeles squad. Unfortunately, both of its losses were by double digits, including a 25-point defeat at the hands of El Camino-Compton Center. This week: Doesn’t get any easier for MSJC as the Eagles travel to Mission Viejo for the Saddleback Tournament, where they face a possible semifinal game against No. 8 San Diego City and a final with No. 1 Saddleback.
16. Santa Rosa (8-3) – Santa Rosa has won seven of its last nine, with one coming against a ranked opponent, Fresno to start the run. Its two losses have come against No. 9 Marin and regionally ranked, Foothill at No. 15. This week: Santa Rosa will play host to seven other teams in the annual Kris Kringle Tournament.
17. Citrus (10-2) — In its only game last week, Citrus scored an 84-71 road win over Los Angeles Pierce. This week: Citrus really hits the road, traveling to Santa Rosa for the Kris Kringle Tournament. The Owls will open the tournament against Mendocino (1-6), a struggling squad who has lost four straight.
18. Merced (7-3) — Begins the week with a three-game winning streak and victories in four its last five games. This week: Merced will compete in its final preseason tune up — the San Joaquin Delta Tournament — before opening Central Valley play at home against Fresno.
19. Cerritos (9-2) — Cerritos has quietly won eight of its last nine games, its only blemishing being a 17-point loss to No. 6 San Bernardino. The Falcons have won its last two tournaments — Irvine Valley and Mt. San Antonio. It also blasted Allan Hancock, 103-73, on December 10. This week: Cerritos will compete in the Sequoias Tournament, opening against Oxnard (2-6).
20. East Los Angeles (6-3) — East Los Angeles takes a tumble this week after losing two of three games at the Riverside Tournament. In fact, the Huskies have lost three of its last five after opening the season with four consecutive victories. This week: In its only game, East LA will travel to Oxnard on Dec. 13. The Huskies will then have a two-week break, returning to action on Dec. 28 against Grossmont in the San Diego Mesa Tournament.
Northern California Regional Poll
1. San Francisco (13)
2. Yuba (2)
3. Las Positas
6. Feather River
9. Santa Rosa
11. Diablo Valley
14. American River
Southern California Regional Poll
1. Saddleback (14)
3. San Bernardino (1)
4. San Diego City
6. El Camino-Compton Center
7. Mt. San Jacinto
10. East Los Angeles
12. LA Trade Tech
13. West LA
14. Antelope Valley
15. San Diego Miramar/El Camino/Mt. San Antonio