Catholic high school teams hold six of the toprnten slots in Division 1 of the initial CIF-Southern Section boys’ basketballrnrankings, released Dec. 11.

Withrnleague play starting in earnest following the upcoming holiday and tournamentrnschedule, perennial power Bishop Montgomery is No. 1 and Mater Dei No. 2 inrnDivision 1, followed by Damien (4), Santa Margarita (5), St. John Bosco (8) andrnCrespi (10).

Lastrnseason, coached by Doug Mitchell, Bishop Montgomery defeated Mater Dei, 70-55,rnto win the CIF-SS Open Division championship, then won the state Open Divisionrntitle, 74-67, over Woodcreek. This season’s first Open Division poll will bernreleased in early January.

InrnDivision 2AA, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks is 13th, while La Salle is eighth and St.rnBernard 12th in Division 2A. The CIF-SS Basketball Advisory Committees arernranking the top 16 teams each week in boys’ and girls’ basketball.

 St.rnAnthony tops the Division 3AA rankings, with St. Francis third and St. Paulrn(last year’s 3A runner-up) sixth. Bishop Amat is fifth in 3A; Mary Star secondrnand Salesian 16th in 4A; Providence second and Don Bosco Tech 15th in Divisionrn5AAA; and St. Monica Academy is third in Division 5A.



Asrnin boys’ basketball, Catholic schools are well represented in the top ten ofrnthe girls’ Division 1 poll, with Alemany third, Serra fourth, Mater Deirnseventh, Chaminade eighth and Bishop Montgomery tenth.

And, as in boys’ basketball, Bishop Montgomery (coached by Noelle Quinn) won the CIF-SS Division 1A title last season, 41-38, over Huntington Beach

Divisionrn2AA rankings find St. Paul third, J.Serra fifth and Santa Margarita eighth, andrnLa Salle is fourth and St. Mary’s Academy tied for ninth in Division 3A. St.rnBonaventure is second and St. Joseph of Santa Maria 16th in Division 4AA, whilernProvidence is fifth in Division 4A.

InrnDivision 5AAA, Santa Clara is eighth, St. Bernard 12th and Mayfield 14th. MaryrnStar is second, Bishop Diego sixth, Sacred Heart ninth and St. Pius X-St.rnMatthias Academy 12th in Division 5AA; and Pomona Catholic is tied for sixth,rnVillanova 14th and Cornelia Connelly 16th in Division 5A.

Two other Catholic schools entered the 2017-18 season as defending CIF-SS champions: Rosary, winning the D-2AA title, 52-51, over Camarillo, and  Bellarmine-Jefferson, the D-5A champ, 56-39 over Chadwick. Rosary, coached by Richard Yoon, also won the state Division 3 championship, 62-45 over Campolindo.

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