Prep2Prep NCS Rankings
THROUGH WEEK 7
By NATE SMITH
January 9, 2017
Despite three losses overall, Salesian is our new number one, after a strong showing over the holiday break, and a grueling strength of schedule. Any of the top four teams, however, appear capable of taking over the top spot. League play is underway everywhere this week, and there is plenty of shake-up further down the rankings as teams knocked each other off left and right over the past couple weeks.
1 (last week: 6)
Last: def. St. Mary's, 64-38; next: vs. St. John Bosco (1/16)
Salesian's schedule and recent play has us elevating the Pride to the top spot in our rankings, especially as all of the multi-sport athletes get their hardwood legs under them. Jaden and Jovon McClanahan, Derrick Langford, and Ke'mare Wright all came straight from a lengthy playoff run in football season, and the Pride seem to be getting heated up, especially after capturing the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop championship, and opening league play with a rout over Saint Mary's.
Last: def. Livermore, 63-35; next: at Granada (1/10)
The Gaels drop behind Salesian in our updated rankings through no fault of their play, but a mere scheduling reason. Dublin's five-point loss to Woodcreek is still more impressive than Salesian's loss to the same opponent, but the quality of scheduling since then is in favor of the Pride. Dublin, however, is making an early case as one of the top threats for the EBAL crown, especially after consecutive blowout wins against Foothill and Livermore last week. It might be a couple more weeks until the Gaels are challenged again.
BISHOP O'DOWD (4-6-0)
Last: lost to Sierra Canyon, 84-52; next: at Mt. Eden (1/13)
We haven't forgotten the fact that the Dragons handed Bishop Montgomery its only loss of the season, and also have a two-point loss to Salesian. Those two factors alone keep them in the top three despite the overall record, and the schedule has been brutal. O'Dowd's recent 12-point win over Heritage Christian-Northridge at the Under Armour Holiday Classic was a positive outcome amid a series of tests which will pay off down the road.
Last: def. Armijo, 74-55; next: at Vintage (1/10)
The Patriots' two defeats speak volumes right now, with an eight-point loss to Dublin, and a two-point loss in overtime to 11-3 King-Riverside. Following the loss to King, Heritage responded by beating Marin Catholic and College Park before racing Armijo-Fairfield on the road. The Patriots face Vintage-Napa and Antioch this week.
JAMES LOGAN (11-3-0)
Last: def. Moreau Catholic, 66-56; next: vs. Washington (1/10)
The Colts continue to build their resume, beating Moreau Catholic to make an early statement in the MVAL. Following early losses to De La Salle and St. Pat's, Logan was won seven of eight games, with the lone loss coming by two points to Mission-SF at the Sand Dunes Classic. The Colts also have wins over Monte Vista, Loyola, and Oakland Tech. Logan continues MVAL play against Washington and American this week.
MOREAU CATHOLIC (4-9-0)
Last: lost to Freedom, 87-72; next: at Kennedy-Fremont (1/10)
The record looks bad, but don't forget about the Mariners, who have a win over Immanuel and opened up MVAL play with a 56-point win over Irvington. Senior Dvan Molden joined Damari Milstead and Kyree Walker as a top scoring threat in the loss to Freedom, as the trio combined for 59 of Moreau's 72 points. The Mariners play at Kennedy and Washington this week.
MONTE VISTA (8-6-0)
Last: lost to Sheldon, 65-34; next: at California (1/10)
The Mustangs continue to grind away against top competition, taking on Sheldon last week after falling to De La Salle in their EBAL opener. Sandwiched around those losses, however, have been some impressive wins. Most notable of late were wins over Jesuit and Mission-SF at the Sand Dunes Classic. Monte Vista faces California this week.
Last: def. Swett, 57-53; next: at Tamalpais (1/10)
The Pirates' two losses are to Sacred Heart Cathedral and Heritage, and they have gone on a six-game winning streak since the latter of the two. Drake opened MCAL play with wins over San Rafael and San Marin, while adding a non-league win over Swett last week. They have a trio of MCAL games this week, against Tamalpais, Branson, and Novato.
CASTRO VALLEY (7-6-0)
Last: def. San Leandro, 71-69; next: vs. Hayward (1/11)
The Trojans are climbing the ladder in aa hurry, having won seven of nine games following an 0-4 start against strong competition. Castro Valley's current four-game winning streak features an overtime win against San Leandro to start WACC-Foothill play last week, plus previous wins over Clayton Valley and Archbishop Mitty.
STUART HALL (13-4-0)
Last: def. El Camino, 56-51; next: vs. Lick-Wilmerding (1/10)
The Knights have won seven of eight games heading into BCL play, with the lone loss in that stretch against Mission-SF. That same stretch includes wins over Berkeley, Acalanes, and Piedmont. Last week featured a pair of tight wins over Mills and El Camino. This week features a showdown with Lick-Wilmering, plus games against Marin Academy and Urban.