POST SEASON BEGINS…POWER RANKINGS
Some league races aren’t over, but on Tuesday the post season officially begins.
That start belongs to the North Bay League, whose Girls start their Post Season Tournament. The Boys take their turn on Wednesday.
Both the Girls and Boys first round game have the matchup of the best basketball rivalry in the area, at least on the Boys side and that is Montgomery traveling to Cardinal Newman.
The Montgomery-Cardinal Newman games this year hasn’t lived up to the rivalry with either the Girls or the Boys. In the four games the schools have met in (two each boys and girls), Cardinal Newman has a clean sweep and the games haven’t been close. The closest game was the first Boys game which was a 48-36 Cardinal Newman win. That was the first league game of the season.
It doesn’t expect to be that close in the Girls matchup. The Cardinal Newman Girls haven’t had very close league game in two years. The wins over Montgomery were by an average of 40 points a game.
The Boys game has a chance to be close. Since the last meeting, which was a 46-31 Cardinal Newman win on January 27th, Montgomery has turned things around, winning five of six. The only loss was to Windsor 40-38.
Cardinal Newman had two bad weeks in league play. They lost back to back games to Windsor and Ukiah twice. Besides that, they went 10-0. They have won at least ten games in the NBL in every season since 2005.
Windsor, of course, went 14-0 in league play. They haven’t been as dominate as the Cardinal Newman Girls, but dominate they have been. Thirteen of their fourteen league wins were by double figures. The only one that wasn’t was the game against Montgomery last week. Even with that game added in, Windsor’s average league win is over 20 points.
Even with the dominating performance in league play, on the Boys side it shouldn’t be taken for granted that Windsor will coast through. This tournament has a way of bring out the best in teams. In the Max Preps era four teams have gone through NBL play undefeated and two of them didn’t win the post season tournament. One was in 2009 when Cardinal Newman went into the tournament 26-0 and lost the championship game to Piner. Two years later, Montgomery had the undefeated league record and lost a first round game to Ukiah.
Speaking of Ukiah, that is who is traveling to Windsor and if you throw out the first half of its schedule they have hope. On January 13th, Ukiah lost a game at Santa Rosa 57-48, which dropped their record to 4-11. They looked like they were headed to a similar finish as last season, when they were 10-16 overall and 3-11 in league play.
Two days after the Santa Rosa game they defeated Cardinal Newman 60-52. That score was looked at as more of a letdown for Cardinal Newman, then an impressive win by Ukiah. Two days earlier in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game, Cardinal Newman had a six game winning streak snapped by Windsor 58-44. Outside the Montgomery two point win, that was Windsor’s closest league game.
What that game did though was turn the Ukiah season around. They ended the season 9-2, with the two losses to Windsor and a home game to Montgomery. You could call the Montgomery game their worst game of the season, with the final of 77-45. Things seemed pretty much over for them after that game as far as playoffs go. But the Wildcats regrouped and have won five straight since to steal that final playoff berth from Santa Rosa. One of the wins was at Cardinal Newman.
Ukiah is also in the other semi-final game in the Girls playoffs, traveling to Santa Rosa. The two teams split home wins during the league race. Ukiah has won four of five down the stretch, starting with the home 46-34 win over Santa Rosa. They ended tied for third with Montgomery at 9-5. The numbers drawn before the season get Ukiah a trip to Santa Rosa to play the Panthers in the first round instead of Cardinal Newman. Don’t think that isn’t a big draw. A win could nail a home game in the first round of the North Coast Section Division 2 playoffs.
At 10-4, Santa Rosa finished second in the NBL race. It is the seventh straight season that Santa Rosa has had at least the No. 2 seed in the Post Season tournament. They are 2-4 in first round games during that time.
This season besides the losses to Cardinal Newman and Ukiah, they opened the league season with a 45-44 loss to Casa Grande.
TUESDAY 7 PM
No. 4 Montgomery (18-8, 9-5) at No. 1 Cardinal Newman (22-4, 14-0)
No. 3 Ukiah (15-10, 9-5) at No. 2 Santa Rosa (16-10, 10-4)
WEDNESDAY 7 PM
No. 4 Ukiah (13-13, 9-5) at No. 1 Windsor (23-3, 14-0)
No. 3 Montgomery (15-10, 9-5) at No. 2 Cardinal Newman (18-8, 10-4)
No. 1 Windsor (Last Week No. 1)
No. 2 Cloverdale (2)
No. 3 Kelseyville (3)
No. 4 Cardinal Newman (4)
No. 5 Analy (5)
No. 6 Fort Bragg (6)
No. 7 Montgomery (7)
No. 8 Petaluma (11)
No. 9 Clear Lake (8)
No.10 St. Vincent de Paul (13)
No. 11 Ukiah (14)
No. 12 Santa Rosa (10)
No. 13 Archbishop Hanna (12)
No. 14 Roseland University Prep (9)
No. 15 Lower Lake (15)
No. 16 Anderson Valley (17)
No. 17 Piner (18)
No. 18 Rio Lindo Adventist (19)
No. 19 Healdsburg (16)
No. 20 Mendocino (20)
No. 1 Cardinal Newman (1)
No. 2 Middletown (4)
No. 3 Montgomery (2)
No. 4 Kelseyville (3)
No. 5 Santa Rosa (5)
No. 6 Ukiah (6)
No. 7 Cloverdale (7)
No. 8 Sonoma Valley (9)
No. 9 Casa Grande (8)
No.10 Analy (11)
No.11 Sonoma Academy (10)
No.12 Healdsburg (12)
No. 13 Clear Lake (13)
No. 14 Windsor (15)
No. 15 Rancho Cotate (14)
No. 16 Lower Lake (17)
No. 17 Maria Carrillo (18)
No. 18 Fort Bragg (16)
No. 19 Mendocino (19)
No. 20 St. Vincent de Paul (20)
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