Prep2Prep CCS Rankings
THROUGH WEEK 15
With no more games to break down, why not take a look at how the Central Coast Section's teams stack up with their seasons concluded? Our final rankings of the year take teams' entire bodies of work into account, not just analyzing playoff results but looking at the entire course of the season.Note: Last week's rankings in parentheses
The margin between the Monarchs and WCAL co-champions Bellarmine and Riordan was razor-thin, but with Mitty's CCS Open Division Championship, it's only fitting to name the black and gold as the section's top team. Mikey Mitchell played the latter half of the season with a wrist injury, and the possibilities for his senior year are sky-high.
Another year with a heartbreaking CCS Open Division Championship loss and a tight defeat in the state tournament, but it was still an excellent season for the Bells. Quinn Denker proved that he's a Division I caliber point guard, and Ian Elam was arguably the most consistent player in the entire Bay Area. If Ryan Kiachian can perform on a nightly basis as a senior, next year could be yet another great one for Bellarmine.
A shocking CCS Open Division Quarterfinal loss to St. Francis deprived the Crusaders of a chance to prove themselves against fellow WCAL co-champs Mitty and Bellarmine, but convincing state tournament wins over Modesto Christian and Vanden reinforced Riordan's excellence. Unfortunately, the Crusaders never got to complete their quest for a NorCal title on the court after a student tested positive for COVID-19.
Undoubtedly the best public school team in the section once again, the Bears nearly beat Mitty in the CCS Open Division Semifinals, topped an excellent East Bay program in Dougherty Valley and led De La Salle in the third quarter. Point guard Justin Anderson will be hard to replace, but forward Skyler Thomas showed tremendous improvement in the final weeks of the season.
The Padres lost four games where they had a shot to win at the buzzer, but in most of those games, they had to scrap just to be in them down the stretch. All things considered, they finished right around where they belonged. Perhaps the best reflection on their season was their rise from Division II to Division I in the state tournament. Though they lost in the first round, it was just an eight-point defeat against a Campolindo team that had blown them off the floor last year.
A win over an elite Branson program made for an excellent capper to a great season for the Gators, who had solid contributions from sophomores, juniors and seniors as they won 23 games. Jai Deshpande and Charlie Selna will be tough to replace, but with two more years of Aidan Braccia and Emmer Nichols and Harrison Carrington likely moving into the starting lineup for his senior year, there are plenty more bright days ahead for SHP.
The outstanding sophomore class at St. Francis ensured that it wouldn't be a total rebuilding year, and the seniors were incredibly supportive of the young group. Harlan Banks, Vince Barringer, John Frazier and Isaiah Kerr will be household names for years to come.
Opponents scored just 45.6 points per game as the Vikings won their third CCS Division I title in four years and won at least 21 games for a fourth straight year. Matt Marzano, Ryan Purpur and Jamir Shepard will be hard to replace, but if the returners buy in to Jeff LaMere's defense, Palo Alto will remain an elite program.
The lone CCS boys basketball team to play in a Northern California title game, the Padres had the unique ability to blitz teams on offense without getting too sloppy on defense at the other end. They finally got a shot at a WCAL team and won, beating St. Ignatius on the road in the second round of the state tournament.
Section champions for the first time since 2014, the future is bright for St. Ignatius with three sophomores and two freshmen, the outstanding King-Jhsanni Wilhite, all set to return. Replacing Malcolm McCray-Hill's rebounding and Kourosh Kahn-Adle's defense won't be easy, but with Wilhite leading the way, the possibilities are endless.
Cole Kastner was deservedly named WBAL MVP in his senior season, and his excellence continued to the postseason, where he rallied the Knights to push Oakland Tech to the brink in overtime.
One of the most improved teams from the start of the year to the finish, the Ravens got their first state tournament win in program history with a triumph over Sonora. Kiahn Nice-Whiteside developed his outside shot as the year went on, and at 6-foot-6, he should be extremely intriguing for college coaches.
With four starters set to return, next year should be a good one for the Fightin' Irish. Ray-John Spears started the year as the only sophomore on the team, but he was joined halfway through the year by Eli McCarty, an excellent shot blocker.
At the start of the season, it would have been hard to consider a CCS semifinal loss and state tournament first-round exit a disappointing fate for Palma, but the Chieftains had such a good regular season that they raised their expectations significantly. They went undefeated in PCAL Gabilan play this year and are in prime position to run the league for the next few seasons.
Junior Cotton went out with a bang, winning a section championship and a double overtime thriller of a game in the state tournament. He'll be hard to replace, but Oliver Crank made tremendous strides after returning from a knee injury and should be an instrumental leader as a senior.
What was a balanced group of sophomores became a group of juniors with a clear leader in Mykola Ediger, who was a no-brainer as the PAL North MVP. All seven of Half Moon Bay's losses came to teams that won at least 20 games.
Even with a CCS quarterfinal loss, Arjun Ashokkumar's first season leading the Cougars was a tremendous one, with an unexpected run to a BVAL Mt. Hamilton co-championship. Rohan Bindu, Radhir Chenna, Arvin Randhawa and Rylan Suyeishi all averaged at least 11 points per game as seniors on a team that scored an average of 67.7.
A late-season injury to Alijah Washington cut the Pirates' playoff hopes short, but they still remained one of the blue bloods of the BVAL. Getting him and Mykiah Wyche healthy should provide a huge boost next year, as the two will lead a strong senior class along with Jordan Martinez. The recently concluded season also saw three sophomores get solid minutes, including John Sepulveda.
It was an incredible year for Mahmoud Fofana, who was so dominant that the Saints may have to consider retiring his jersey in the coming years. He averaged well beyond a double-double and had three triple-doubles with blocks.
The Eagles stumbled to the finish line but still managed to win 19 games with a team that saw just one senior get any sort of playing time in close games. With Brock Susko and Jake Skaggs leading the way, next year should be an outstanding one for Los Altos.
A mediocre regular season was washed away by a third straight CCS Division IV Championship Game appearance. The Cardinals came up short, but they followed that up by nearly beating Stuart Hall in the first round of the state tournament.
The Warriors' season ended prematurely with a CCS quarterfinal loss to a Gunn team that shot the lights out, but with just two seniors on the roster and a JV team that finished tied for third in the WCAL, even with three sophomores and three freshmen on the varsity squad, the coming years should be awfully fun at Valley Christian. Oh, and 6-foot-10 center Tichyque Musaka will be eligible next year.
Raymond Reece led the Panthers to a second straight CCS Division V title and NorCal semifinal appearance, an especially remarkable feat considering the graduation of Isaiah Saams-Hoy and departure of head coach Donovan Blythe.
The Spartans were rarely at full strength but finally got healthy late in the year, which sparked a pair of playoff wins. Though they lost a third meeting with Palo Alto to end their season, they had a shot to win at the buzzer, and the 43 points they scored that night were more than the Vikings allowed in any of their other playoff games.
Though they were blown out in both meeting swith each of the PCAL Gabilan's top teams, the Toreadores managed to return to the CCS Division III Semifinals, finally beating Burlingame in the quarterfinals to get there.