Perhaps inspired by the memory of the late Lou Cvijanovich, Santa Clara of Oxnard surged to the top ranking in Division 5AA boys of the latest CIF-Southern Section basketball polls released Dec. 3.

The Saints won three in a row last week, after beating St. Monica in the finals of the “Coach C Classic” on Nov. 24, the day that Cvijanovich died at age 92. The tournament is named in honor of the man who led Santa Clara basketball for 41 years and won 15 CIF-SS and three state championships in boys’ basketball.

Three other local Catholic school basketball teams were also No. 1 in their respective boys’ and girls’ divisions in this week’s polls. The breakdown:

Boys’ basketball

  • D-1: St. John Bosco (3), Mater Dei (5), Bishop Montgomery (6), Santa Margarita (7), Damien (10), J.Serra (15), St. Anthony (16)
  • D-2AA: Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (3), Chaminade (5), St. Bernard (10)
  • D-3AA: St. Francis (4), Paraclete (10)
  • D-3A: Salesian (3), St. Bonaventure (7)
  • D-4AA: St. Monica/Santa Monica (5)
  • D-4A: Providence/Burbank (1)
  • D-5AA: Santa Clara (1), Verbum Dei (15), Don Bosco Tech (16)

Girls’ basketball

  • D-1: Bishop Montgomery (3), Mater Dei (5), Alemany (6), Serra (8), Rosary (10)
  • D-2AA: St. Paul (7)
  • D-2A: St. Mary’s Academy (1), Cantwell Sacred Heart (14)
  • D-3A: St. Bonaventure (5)
  • D-4AA: Marymount (5), Providence (11), Flintridge Sacred Heart (16)
  • D-4A: Mayfield (12)
  • D-5AA: Mary Star (8), Sacred Heart (T16)
  • D-5A: Villanova (1)


The first poll of the season in girls’ soccer places J.Serra at No. 1 in Division 1, with Santa Margarita fourth. Other rankings have Bishop Amat ninth in D-2; La Salle third and San Gabriel Mission fourth in D-4; St. Genevieve ninth in D-5; and St. Monica Academy tenth in D-7.

Boys’ soccer D-1 rankings list Cathedral (2), Loyola (3), Servite (6) and Santa Margarita (7). Elsewhere, Bishop Montgomery is ninth in D-4; Santa Clara sixth in D-6; and Paraclete third, St. Bonaventure eighth and St. Michael’s Prep tenth in D-7.

Girls’ water polo

The first poll issued Dec. 3 shows Mater Dei fifth and Santa Margarita sixth in the combined Divisions 1 and 2 (to be separated at playoff time in February), and Marymount seventh in D-7.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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