For the fourth consecutive poll, San Francisco City College holds the top ranking in the CCCMBCA state poll. The Rams, winners of 15 consecutive games, appear headed for another conference title and the region’s top seed when the playoffs begin next month.
1. San Francisco (3-0, 19-1) – Winners of 15 straight, San Francisco has beaten two of the three potential competitors for the conference crown. The other, Las Positas, has lost to Foothill and Canada, making it almost a guarantee that the Rams will repeat as conference champions and secure the top seed in the regional playoffs. This week, San Francisco visits Las Positas and hosts Skyline.
2. San Diego City (1-0, 20-2) — Winners of 13 straight, San Diego City, the state’s defending champions, opened conference play with a 123-37 thrashing of Cuyamaca. The Knights set so many team records that will would take up too much space to mention here. This week, SD City faces the two other teams who escaped week one undefeated — #19 (at) Grossmont and 7-10 (vs.) Southwestern.
3. Fresno City (4-0, 16-3) — Winners of 10 straight, Fresno City hosts #5 West Hills in a showdown for the conference lead on Wednesday. The Rams have scored 100-plus points in two of their four previous conference games, including 128 vs. Porterville last Saturday. While the Central Valley Conference title won’t be decided on Wednesday, the winner certainly has the inside track on the title. The Rams also visit 5-11 Reedley on Saturday.
4. San Bernardino Valley (1-0, 17-4) — San Bernardino Valley climbs two slots this week thanks to Fullerton losing to Saddleback. The Wolverines, winners of five straight, opened conference play by steamrolling Palomar, 96-60. This week, San Bernardino Valley hits the road for games vs. MiraCosta (1-0, 6-11) and Desert (0-1, 1-13).
5. West Hills (4-0, 13-2) — Winners of five straight, West Hills will put its win streak and possibly its conference title hopes on the line on Wednesday when the Falcons visit #3 Fresno City in a key conference battle. Over the course of the last two weeks, West Hills has climbed six slots in the poll. So, perhaps, the Falcons are ready for such a big stage. Regardless of the outcome vs. Fresno, West Hills needs to be able to regroup as the Falcons also visit Columbia (3-1, 9-5) on Saturday. Big week for the Falcons!
6. East Los Angeles (0-0, 15-4) — East Los Angeles climbs a spot in this week’s poll after posting a 100-74 win over Santa Monica. The Huskies, the favorite for the conference title (yes, we see you Chaffey), open South Coast-North play at home against 8-9 Pasadena and then travel to take on 7-10 Mt. San Antonio.
7. Citrus (1-0, 18-3) — Winners of four straight games, Citrus climbs two spots in this week’s poll after opening conference competition with an 83-60 victory over Los Angeles Valley. The Owls, winners of 15 of their last 16 contests, visit Victor Valley, who last week was ranked No. 20 in the state, on Thursday, the day after the Rams bury head coach Troy Johnson who passed away last week after suffering a heart attack. The game will be Victor Valley’s first home game since losing Coach Johnson. Citrus will return host Saturday to host Glendale.
8. Butte (2-0, 15-3) — Butte has won four straight games including consecutive Golden Valley Conference contests. On Wednesday, Butte hosts #17 Feather River. The winner takes the lead in the race for the conference title. Butte has won seven of its last eight games, losing only to #1 San Francisco (by 17). Butte had to rally last Saturday to beat host Shasta in overtime after trailing by eight points at halftime. Eric Boose (23 points) and Logan Ronney (20) both came off the bench to spark the Roadrunners. Butte will also travel to Siskiyous (3-15) in another Golden Valley Conference game.
9. Cerritos (0-0, 15-4) — Cerritos climbs two spots in this week’s poll. The Falcons open South Coast-South play this week with a road game at El Camino, the state’s top scoring team at 96.9 points contest. Ironically, the Warriors also have the state’s worse defense, allowing the opposition 112.7 points a game. Regardless, 5-11 El Camino is a dangerous opponent. Eight of El Camino’s games have ended with both the Warriors and their opponent scoring over 100 points. If you are into offense — don’t miss this one! Cerritos also visits 3-13 Compton on Friday.
10. Santa Rosa (7-0, 14-4) — Santa Rosa has opened a two-game lead in the race for the Big 8 Conference championship. The Cubs have won 10 straight and will complete the first round of conference play on Tuesday when they visit 4-12 American River. On Friday, Santa Rosa host 11-8 Diablo Valley. In their first meeting, the Cubs rallied from deficits of eight points (half) and 17 points (at one point in the second half) to pull out a 71-68 victory. At 4-3 to start the week, Diablo Valley needs an upset to climb back into the conference race.
11. Fullerton (3-1, 14-5) — Want the good news or the bad news? The good news is Fullerton is still in the hunt for the Orange Empire Conference title. The Hornets will begin the week in a three-way tie with #13 Copper Mountain and #18 Orange Coast, yes, we said Orange Coast. The bad news is — coach still has the edge over the student. Unranked Saddleback snapped Fullerton’s six-game win streak last week. The victory gives Andy Ground, the coach, a 5-2 record over his Perry Webster, the former player. The loss dropped Fullerton seven spots in this week’s poll. Ironically, the win did very little for Saddleback as the Gauchos turned around and lost to Orange Coast by seven points. This week, Fullerton faces a new challenge — what am I saying – a home game vs. #13 Copper Mountain and a road contest vs. Santiago Canyon, who fell out of not only the state ranking but to No. 6 in the conference standings as 1-2. We said when new year rolled around this would be the best conference race in the state and it hasn’t disappointed yet!
12. Foothill (3-1, 14-6) — Foothill begins the week in a dead heat with Canada for second place. We say second place became the Owls already have fallen prey to San Francisco. And because on Friday, Foothill faces Canada, ranked #12 in the north. But before we get to Friday, Foothill needs to get by 8-11 Skyline. Canada, on the other hand, has all week to prepare for Foothill since the Colts have a bye on Wednesday.
13. Copper Mountain (3-1, 16-5) – Copper Mountain, which begins the week tied for the lead in the Orange Empire Conference, climbs two slots after securing home wins over Irvine Valley (begins the week a game back of the conference leaders) and a fading Riverside squad, which trails the leaders by two games. Unfortunately for Copper Mountain there is no nights off in the Orange Empire. In its only game this week the Fightin’ Cacti will try to swat the Hornets of Fullerton on Wednesday. The two teams begin the week in a three-way tie atop the conference standings.
14. Yuba (6-1, 14-5) — After splitting its first two conference games, Yuba has gone on a five-game winning streak. That win streak propelled Yuba four spots in this week poll. It has also placed the 49’ers in a two-way tie atop the Bay Valley Conference with Napa Valley (#13 in the north). Yuba, who beat Napa Valley in overtime last week, hosts Mendocino and visits Alameda this week. Mendocino begins the week three games out of first place, while Alameda is 3 ½ games behind Yuba and Napa Valley.
15. Ventura (1-0, 13-7) — Unranked last week, Ventura comes in at No. 15 this week thanks to losses by Santiago Canyon, San Diego Miramar and Victor Valley. Nothing against Ventura, but a 10-point win over Allan Hancock isn’t exactly a resounding call for No. 15 in the state. Perhaps the Pirates stole this one? In its only contest this week, the Pirates travel on Saturday to take on (1-0, 8-10) Moorpark.
16. Gavilan (2-1, 16-2) — Gavilan was shocked by 8-9 Cabrillo last week, and as a result tumbles 11 spots to No. 16 this week. The loss not only stopped the Ram’s six-game win streak, but also removed them from the conference lead in the Coast-South. At 3-0 (11-6 overall), Hartnell begins the week atop the conference standings. But we’ll see how long that lasts as Gavilan hosts Hartnell on Friday after visiting Monterey Peninsula (1-2, 10-9) on Wednesday.
17. Feather River (2-0, 13-6) — Only thing on Feather River head coach Randy Rick’s mind is #8 Butte. Last year, Feather River ran the conference table, but this is a different year. The Golden Eagles will need big games from Gerard Andrus, fifth in the state in scoring at 23.9 points per game, and Jamel White (14-6 ppg) if Feather River is to beat Butte on Wednesday. Regardless of the outcome, the Golden Eagles will need to refocus quickly as they host 11-9 Shasta, which sits in third place, on Saturday. Consecutive losses would end Feather River’s chances of defending its conference title.
18. Orange Coast (3-1, 12-7) — Well looked at who crashed the state top 20. Orange Coast, losers of five of seven games in November, have turned it on since December 1. The Pirates went 7-1 in the month of December and followed it up by winning three of its first four conference games — highlight by wins over Santiago Canyon and Saddleback. Orange Coast’s resurgence has the Pirates sitting in a three-way tie in the race for the Orange Empire Conference title. This week, Orange Coast visits 8-8 Santa Ana ON Wednesday, giving the Pirates a week to prepare for #13 Copper Mountain. With the conference playing a 12-game conference schedule, Orange Coast will only square off against Copper Mountain and Fullerton once.
19. Grossmont (1-0, 12-6) – Grossmont makes its second appearance in the state top 20 this week, and its first since way back on November 20. Winners of three consecutive, the Griffins begin the week in a three-way tie for the Pacific Coast-South lead. But that share of the lead figures to be short lived as Grossmont hosts #2 San Diego City on Wednesday before hitting the road to face Porterville. Our research shows the last time a San Diego City team lost to Grossmont was on February 13, 2013 (61-58, behind 20 points from Roberto Romero). The last time Grossmont defended homecourt appears to be on February 19, 2010. I think everyone gets the point.
20. Columbia (3-1, 9-5) — Columbia claims the final spot in this week poll after Contra Costa, losers of two of its last three, falls to Napa Valley, 70-67, to close out last week’s action. Columbia, which begins the week a game behind West Hills and Fresno in the race for the Central Valley Conference title, travels to Porterville before returning home to square off against #5 West Hills on Saturday. The Claim Jumpers already lost to Fresno, 78-75, last Wednesday, so they’ll need an upset of West Hills to keep its title hopes alive.
1. San Francisco City
2. Fresno City
3. West Hills
5. Santa Rosa
9. Feather River
13. Napa Valley
15. (tie) Contra Costa/Sequoias/Cabrillo/San Joaquin Delta
1. San Diego City
2. San Bernardino Valley
3. East Los Angeles
7. Copper Mountain
9. Orange Coast
12. Victor Valley
14. Santiago Canyon
15. Irvine Valley
Others: Long Beach City, San Diego Miramar, West Los Angeles, Mt. San Jacinto, Cuesta