San Bernardino Valley, one of two remaining unbeaten teams in California, continued its hold on the No. 1 ranking in this week’s California Community Colleges Men’s Basketball Coaches Association poll. The Wolverines had its closest game of the season last week as Ventura came within a basketball of upsetting San Bernardino. San Francisco which has been scorching the competition since the last ranking comes in at No. 2 followed by defending state champions San Diego City, Citrus and Fresno City. Gavilan, the only other unbeaten team, comes in at No. 6. The voting for the top 11 teams was extremely close this week, with one point separating teams.
Upcoming poll dates: December 17, January 1, January 8, January 15, January 22, January 29, February 5, February 12, February 19 (poll will be based on regional seeds).
1. San Bernardino Valley (10-0) – San Bernardino is one of two unbeaten teams remaining in the California. The Wolverines survived Ventura, 84-83, in the second round of the Antelope Valley Tournament to keep its unblemished record. This week, San Bernardino faces a tall task with Fullerton in the opening round of the Riverside Holiday Tournament and then a meeting with the winner (or loser) of East LA-Mt. San Jacinto game.
2. San Francisco (9-1) – Since falling to Sequoias, 80-63, in the first round of the Fresno Tournament, the Rams have run off five straight wins — and only one opponent has managed to stay within 15 points of San Francisco during the streak. This week, San Francisco will take on Merritt (2-4), North Idaho (3-0) and LA Trade Tech (2-3) – so expect the same.
3. San Diego City (13-2) – The defending state champions have won six straight. Off this week, the Knights will next take to the floor at the Saddleback Tournament Dec. 14 where San Diego City figures to see either MiraCosta or host Saddleback in the finals.
4. Citrus (10-2) – Since losing to San Diego City, 92-91, in November 10, the Owls have run off seven straight wins. One of those wins avenged the one-point loss to the Knights as Citrus beat San Diego City, 77-75, in the finals of the Citrus Tournament on Nov.19. This week, Citrus hosts LA Pierce in Saturday in its only game.
5. Fresno City (5-2) – Fresno hasn’t played since Nov. 29, but the Rams still managed to hold a top 5 ranking this week. The Rams will play in the 16-team Modesto Tournament, opening against 2-7 Lassen, before seeing the winner of the Copper Mountain-Yuba winner.
6. Gavilan (10-0) – Gavilan, the only other unbeaten team in the state, comes in at No. 6, up one spot from the last poll. The Rams climbed 18 spots in the latest Massey Ranking (strength of schedule) after posting wins over Monterey, Irvine Valley and Skyline. This week, Gavilan will travel to Skyline for its eight-team tournament, opening with Porterville. The Rams’ greatest threat for the trophy figures to be No. 12 Las Positas in the semifinals.
7. Copper Mountain (10-2) – First-year program, Copper Mountain is one of six teams who begin the week with 10 wins or more. The Fightin’ Cacti had an eight-game win streak snapped last week with a 75-74 loss to Mt. San Jacinto in the first round of the Mt. San Jacinto Tournament. This week, Copper Mountain, which is located in Joshua Tree, hits the road to participate in the 16-team Modesto Tournament (Dec. 5) before going dark until Dec. 30.
8. West Hills (7-1) – Since opening the season with a 79-68 loss to Allan Hancock, the Falcons have been picking off the competition. West Hills beings the week riding a seven-game win streak and as a result have moved up five slots in the state poll. West Hills will close out its preseason play with three single games over the next four weeks — vs. San Diego Mesa (Dec. 9), at Mt. San Jacinto (Dec. 15) and at high-scoring El Camino (Dec. 30).
9. East LA (7-2) – East LA went 2-1 at the Citrus Invitational last week, which included an impressive 59-53 victory over Fullerton. Unfortunately, an 81-73 setback to host Citrus tempered the Huskies’ excitement. This week, East LA visits Riverside where it will compete in an overloaded bracket with the likes of San Bernardino, Fullerton and Mt. San Jacinto, the Huskies’ first-round opponent.
10. Las Positas (7-3) – Las Positas managed to crawl its ways back into the state ranking this week after losing three of its first four games (with only one of their wins coming against a ranked opponent). Since suffering a 21-point drubbing by Gavilan, Las Positas has won three straight games. This week, the Hawks host 5-1 Hartnell before venturing to the Skyline Tournament, where the Hawks could see — you guessed it — No. 6 Gavilan. In their first meeting, Las Positas surrendered 28 points to Ibn Zaid and teammate Ja-Mont Wilson added 23 as Gavilan outscored Las Positas, 51-33, in the second half.
11. San Diego Miramar (7-2) – Miramar’s two losses this season have been at the hands of Cerritos (by one point) and San Diego City (by 13). Otherwise, the Jets have blown away the completion. This week, Miramar flies to Santa Barbara for its eight-team tournament.
12. Yuba (4-3) – Yuba hasn’t played since Nov. 19, which means it will have been 16 days since Yuba has seen an opponent when the 49’ers take on No. 7 Copper Mountain in the first round of the Modesto Tournament. That is a long time of scrimmaging each other, but when you have lost three of its first seven games maybe some reflection was needed. The Yuba-Fightin’ Cacti game won’t be these two team’s first meeting. Copper Mountain, behind a strong second half and 19 points from Murshid Randle, beat Yuba, 83-77, back on Nov. 17.
13. Diablo Valley (6-3) – Two weeks ago, Diablo Valley wasn’t even ranked in the regional poll. This week, thanks to a 19-point rout of previous No. 2 Sequoias, the Vikings find themselves back in the Top 20. Diablo Valley has won four of six since the last ranking. This week, the Vikings will tend to its their ships before taking part in the West Valley Tournament on Dec. 15.
14. Cerritos (8-2) – After dropping consecutive games, Cerritos took it to the competition at the Mt. San Antonio Classic, winning all three of its games, including a 63-58 victory over the rival Mounties. In its only game this week, Cerritos visits Allan Hancock on Saturday.
15. West LA (8-3) – West LA’s losses this year have been to Copper Mountain, Saddleback and San Bernardino Valley. Otherwise, the Wildcats have been perfect, like last week when they ran the table and won its own tournament, defeating Barstow, 88-86, in the finals.
16. Sequoias (6-3) – The Giants aren’t standing as tall this week after falling from No. 2. Sequoias suffered consecutive losses at the San Francisco Tournament, including losing to Contra Costa, who was just 2-2 at the time. The Giants followed it up by taking a 19-point drubbing at the hands of Diablo Valley. In its only game this week, Sequoias hosts 3-6 San Diego Mesa, before hosting its annual Pepsi/Wyndham tourney. The tournament could provide fans with a Fresno-Sequoias final or a Cerritos-Sequoias championship game, although the Giants will need to get by a Ventura team that has won seven of its last nine going into that tourney.
17. Fullerton (7-3) – The Hornets went 2-1 last week at the Citrus Invitational, but it wasn’t enough to keep Fullerton in the top 10 this week. Fullerton has split its last four games after upsetting San Diego City in the finals of the Fullerton Tournament. This week, Fullerton makes a trip east to play in the eight-team Riverside Holiday Tournament, opening with No. 1 San Bernardino Valley at 5 pm. The tournament runs from Dec. 7-9, and features three ranked teams.
18. Santiago Canyon (10-3) – Another first-year program that has amassed double-digit wins, already. However, the Hawks have struggled of late, losing three of its last five games. The losses have come at the hands of San Diego City, Mt. San Jacinto and Bakersfield. After scoring in triple figures in its first three games, Santiago Canyon has only crossed the 100-point plateau once since then. With a month remaining before the start of conference play, Santiago Canyon only has three remaining non-conference games — 3-8 Southwestern on Friday, winless Cuyamaca (Dec. 14) and at Desert (Dec. 16). The Hawks will open conference play on Jan 3 at Riverside having not played a game for 18 days.
19. Santa Rosa (4-2) – Santa Rosa falls a spot this week. The Cubs haven’t played since Nov. 19, which will mark a stretch of 19 days when Santa Rosa takes on Contra Costa in the first round of the Foothill Tournament.
20. Feather River (7-2) – Feather River slips to No. 20 this week after coming in at No. 17 in the previous poll. The Golden Eagles won the consolation championship at the Cosumnes River Tournament, after opening the tournament with an 80-78 loss to Sacramento City. This week, Feather River travels to Foothill for its annual tournament, and will open against the host which are 5-4.
Northern California Regional Poll
1. San Francisco
4. West Hills
5. Las Positas
7. Diablo Valley
9. Santa Rosa
10. Feather River
11. Sacramento City
Others receiving votes: Foothill, Los Medanos, Modesto, Monterey, Mendocino, Hartnell, Shasta
Southern California Regional Poll
1. San Bernardino
2. San Diego City
4. Copper Mountain
5. East Los Angeles
6. San Diego Miramar
8. West Los Angeles
10. Santiago Canyon
Others receiving votes: Irvine Valley, Victor Valley, Mt. San Jacinto, Bakersfield