Prep2Prep NCS Rankings
THROUGH WEEK 15
Salesian's loss in the Open Division regional semifinals does not budge the Pride from the top spot for our final NCS rankings, while De La Salle solidified its spot in the top two with its NCS title and a first-round win in the Open Division. And it is no surprise to see the trio of Moreau, O'Dowd and San Leandro bunched together after the close games played between those teams. These are our final rankings for the 2018-2019 season.Note: Last week's rankings in parentheses
A perfect season for the Pride ended in the Open Division regional semifinals, with a one-point loss to Modesto Christian, after defeating Campolindo for the NCS Division III crown. Salesian finished the season with a sparkling 31-1 record, and moves up to Division II in the NCS next season after winning three straight Division III crowns.
The Spartans made a statement down the stretch, capturing the EBAL title with a win over Dublin, then beating James Logan for the NCS Division I crown. They added a CIF Open Division win over Weston Ranch before falling to eventual state finalist Sheldon in the regional semifinals.
After falling to De La Salle in the NCS Division I title game, the Colts went on another impressive run, beating Folsom, Bishop O'Dowd and Branson to capture the CIF NorCal Division I title, before falling by six points to Chino Hills in the state final.
It was a historic season for the Bulls, who beat Dublin early in the year, then went unbeaten in MCAL action. That led to a strong run through the NCS Division IV playoff field to win a section title, and the first two rounds of the Division I NorCal playoffs featured wins over CCS Open Division champion Sacred Heart Cathedral and NCS Division II champion Moreau Catholic.
The Gaels had outstanding regular season wins over teams such as James Logan and De La Salle, but could not beat either team in the post-season, falling to DLS for the EBAL title and to Logan in the NCS Division I semifinals on a 30-foot shot as time expired. Dublin fell victim to a phenomenal individual performance in its NorCal defeat to San Joaquin Memorial.
After falling twice to James Logan during the regular season, the Mariners shook off the sting of not capturing a league title by storming to the NCS Division II championship - beating Bishop O'Dowd in the final - and then took down Bellarmine and Clovis West in the CIF NorCal Division I bracket before running into the Branson buzzsaw.
After sharing the WACC-Foothill title, the Dragons reached the NCS Division II title game before falling in a close one to Moreau Catholic. They then claimed the rubber match with San Leandro, defeating the Pirates by three points after each of the regular-season contests was decided by a two-point margin in either direction. O'Dowd knocked out San Joaquin Memorial in the CIF NorCal Division I quarterfinals before bowing out against James Logan.
The fact that the Pirates come in eighth here shows the phenomenal depth in the top third of our rankings. San Leandro split with O'Dowd during the regular season before falling to the Dragons in the first round of the NorCal playoffs. The Pirates also had a regular season win over CIF Division II champion Campolindo and reached the semifinals of the NCS Division I playoffs before falling to De La Salle.
The Cougars challenged themselves during non-league play against teams such as James Logan, San Leandro, Weston Ranch, St. Mary's-Stockton and Modesto Christian - winning against the final team on that list - and then used that experience for a tremendous year. They captured the DAL-Foothill title, reached the NCS Division III title game for the third straight year and then won five straight to capture the CIF Division II crown, beating Colony-Ontario in the state final after dominating Serra-San Mateo in the regional final.
The Mustangs had the tough luck of playing in the deep NCS Division I bracket this season. They had a regular-season win over St. Joe's, and fell in overtime to De La Salle late in the regular season, but their season ended with a five-point to James Logan in the section quarterfinals. Monte Vista also beat Freedom in the first round of the playoffs.
The Pilots learned many lessons early in the year, at one point suffering three straight losses in overtime. That translated into a perfect run through league play before falling to Salesian in the semifinals of the NCS Division III playoffs. Placed in the CIF NorCal Division II bracket, St. Joe's beat St. Ignatius by double digits before yet another overtime loss ended its season, this time against Grant-Sacramento.
The Huskies reached the 30-win plateau this year, going unbeaten in the HDN and knocking off Division I opponents such as Dougherty Valley and Amador Valley during non-league play. They reached the NCS Division IV championship before losing to Branson and then beat Liberty Ranch-Galt in the first round of the CIF NorCal Division III playoffs before falling by two points to Foothill-Palo Cedro.
The Wildcats had a trio of impressive regular season wins against Liberty, Archbishop Mitty and Monte Vista, and pulled away from Heritage in the first round of the NCS Division I playoffs before falling to Dublin in the quarterfinals.
The Dons showed flashes of brilliance at times during the regular season, beating teams such as Franklin-Elk Grove and Dublin. They also knocked off BVAL-champion Liberty in the first round of the NCS Division I playoffs, before falling in a defensive battle to De La Salle in the quarterfinals.
The Lions won 16 straight games down the stretch, beating non-league teams such as Oak Ridge before sweeping the BVAL. Liberty fell to Amador Valley in the first round of the NCS Division I playoffs.
The Red Devils cannot claim a league title after losing three times to Stuart Hall during the regular season, but dramatic improvement resulted in a victory over the Knights for the NCS Division V title and then a run to the CIF Division III championship game, beating Piedmont Hills, Mountain View, Foothill-Palo Cedro and Monterey before falling to La Jolla Country Day in the state final.
The Knights were dominant all season long, going unbeaten in the BCL and beating University for a third time to capture the league tournament title, while also beating teams such as Carlmont, Palo Alto and Vanden. Stuart Hall's quest for a section crown ended in the NCS Division V final with a loss to University, however, and after beating Leland in the first round of the CIF NorCal Division III playoffs, the Knights lost in a rematch with Palo Alto.
The Giants nearly took down Branson in the MCAL final, then surged past Vallejo and San Lorenzo in the first two rounds of the NCS Division II playoffs before falling to Bishop O'Dowd in the semifinals. Redwood beat Santa Cruz in the first round of the CIF NorCal Division III playoffs before getting eliminated by Monterey in the regional quarterfinals.
The Falcons finished as the runner-up behind Campolindo in the DAL-Foothill, then routed Clayton Valley in the first round of the NCS Division I playoffs before falling to San Leandro in the quarterfinals.
A 22-win campaign for the Cougars included a pair of wins over St. Patrick-St. Vincent, and a NCS Division III win over Encinal before falling to St. Joe's in the quarterfinals. They lost by two points to Sacramento in the first round of the CIF NorCal Division II playoffs.
The Bruins made it 20 wins again this year, for the sixth straight season, before falling to Campolindo by two points in the NCS Division III semifinals. St. Pat's fell to Serra in the first round of the CIF NorCal Division II playoffs.
The Highlanders reached the semifinals of the NCS Division IV playoffs before falling to Branson, and then knocked off both Aptos and Cupertino in the first two rounds of the CIF NorCal Division IV bracket before getting eliminated by Will C Wood.
The Patriots beat NorCal participants such as University, Redwood and Central Catholic during the regular season, but could not get out of the first round in the NCS Division I playoffs, falling to Dougherty Valley.
The Grizzlies went undefeated in the inaugural Vine Valley, and gave James Logan a battle in the first round of the NCS Division I playoffs before falling to the Colts.
The Panthers reached the semifinals of the NCS Division IV playoffs before falling to Fortuna, and then took down Enterprise-Redding in the first round of the CIF NorCal Division IV playoffs before falling to Mission-San Francisco.