There’s no change at the top, but a bit of a stunner at the bottom.
It’s the final edition of my Local Boys Basketball Power Rankings, a top 5 from around the area with five bubble teams, because the regular season concluded Tuesday.
Take a look:
1. ST. MARY’S (1) 20-7
The Rams held off the rival Lincoln Trojans, winning by 16 to clinch an outright Tri-City Athletic League championship at 9-1. Sierra, once again, has a good case for No. 1 but doesn’t have the depth that St. Mary’s does.
Rams point guard Devin Williams and forward Lance Coleman II are two of the area’s best, and if they’re on-point in the postseason, St. Mary’s could be a sleeper in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II bracket.
2. SIERRA (2) 25-2
What a finish to the regular season for the Timberwolves, who ran through the Valley Oak League at 14-0 for their fourth consecutive outright league championship.
Senior Joshua Patton, an All-Area Player of the Year candidate, makes this group go, but senior forward Hunter Johnson always seems to be sharp in scoring and rebounding.
If this team makes its free throws and doesn’t get in foul trouble, it’s a contender in Div. III.
3. MANTECA (3) 20-6
The Buffaloes really want both of those games back against Sierra, but besides that, they’ve handled their business. Manteca is no fun to play in the postseason, with 6-8 Anand Hundal in the post, 6-7 Tydus Verhoeven eveywhere and senior Marcus Montano as an all-around threat.
While it may be next year this is a section championship contender, it’s still a playoff team and a good one at that.
4. WESTON RANCH (5) 17-10
The Cougars are one of the more fascinating teams to watch heading into the postseason. They could be separated from the VOL foes they were swept by in Sierra and Manteca, in the Div. IV bracket. Junior guard Jaelen Ragsdale is one of the area’s best, and has to be the heart and soul of this team in the postseason.
5. CALAVERAS (NR)
Surprise! The Redskins haven’t gotten enough ink from me this year, and they finished 21-3. Now, I know they’re a Mother Lode League team, and a smaller school, but they’ve got wins over Manteca, Sonora (Div. IV power), Ripon Christian (Div. V power) and Galt-Liberty Ranch (great squad this year).
The reason Bear Creek dropped is because it lost to rival McNair — I know that happens in rivalry games — on its own senior night to settle for a split San Joaquin Athletic Association championship with Chavez.
Now, on a neutral court, I may have to take Bear Creek or Chavez, or Tracy or Tokay, over Calaveras, but these rankings weigh heavily on a season’s resume, as well as how a team has played lately.
On the Bubble:
- Bear Creek Bruins
- Tracy Bulldogs
- Chavez Titans
- Tokay Tigers
- Brookside Christian Knights
- Ripon Christian Knights
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