The Mission Hills Grizzlies record might stand at 13-5, but the San Marcos team hadn't lost a game in the new year since transfers Warren Washington and Ed Fenzi became eligible, which made Wednesday's Avo East opener against Vista all the more meaningful.
Mission Hills escaped with a 70-66 home win over the Panthers, who had been riding a 7-game winning streak of their own. After dominating for most of the game, the Grizzlies ceded a late push to Vista, which had a chance to pull within one with less than a minute remaining before a pair of Cameron Wager free throws ended the threat.
As a result of the win, and the undefeated record in the new year, the Grizzlies have moved into fourth in the latest Full-Time Hoops Rankings update.
Foothills Christian still remains atop the rankings, though, in a bit of a surprise, the Knights are ranked 3rd in the rankings that matter the most for playoff seeding: the CIF-San Diego Power Rankings, which were released last night. In those rankings (which we will discuss in a later post), Saint Augustine (No. 2) is the county's top-ranked Division 1 team, and Torrey Pines (No. 3) is ranked ahead of the Knights as well.
Rounding out the Top 10 in this week's edition is Vista (5), La Jolla Country Day, Mater Dei Catholic (which scored an impressive blowout road win over Temecula Rancho Christian this weekend), Helix (which is also undefeated since transfer Miles Norris became eligible), Canyon Crest (a close loss to Torrey Pines is nothing to hang their heads about) and Rancho Bernardo (which enters the week undefeated in Palomar League play).
La Jolla dropped out of the Top 10 after a blowout loss to Orange Glen in a game played without its top player, Reed Farley.
The biggest drop in the rankings goes to Serra, which has lost 3 straight after opening the season undefeated at 17-0, the latest loss a 61-46 setback to unranked Scripps Ranch.
1. Foothills Christian- Escaped with a 68-61 "much closer than the final indicates" win over Santa Fe Christian
2. St. Augustine- Saints roll into rivalry week undefeated in league play after suriving a scare against No. 22 Lincoln
3. Torrey Pines- A strong road win in league play against Canyon Crest sets up yet another potential undefeated league run.
4. Mission Hills- Survived an upset bid by El Camino after a statement win against Vista.
5. Vista- Panthers throttled Oceanside after loss to Mission Hills.
6. La Jolla Country Day- Torreys keep winning in Coastal South
7. Mater Dei Catholic- Watch out for the Crusaders, who are running unabated through Mesa league and just throttled Rancho Christian out of Temecula.
8. Helix- Key test vs Valhalla was canceled due to storms, but Highlanders undefeated since Norris' joining lineup.
9. Canyon Crest- Ravens continue trend of "close losses to top teams."
10. Rancho Bernardo- Broncos have huge test this week against Poway on the road.
11. Poway- See above.
12. La Jolla- Vikings suddenly looking very strong in Eastern League with Serra's recent setbacks and win over Henry.
13. Mission Bay- "Young Bucs" keep climbing with wins over Kearny and Mira Mesa
14.Orange Glen- Opened rugged Coastal North play with road win over SFC and demolition of Army Navy
15. Santa Fe Christian- 0-2 start in league belies strong upset bid of top-ranked Foothills
16. La Costa Canyon- Not sure how to explain the loss to Sage Creek.
17. Valhalla- Test vs rising Helix will have to wait
18. Serra- Big slide out of Top 10 after losses to Hoover and Scripps Ranch
19. Patrick Henry- Missed a big opportunity to rise in rankings with home loss to La Jolla
20. El Camino- 2-3 zone nearly garnered signature win over Mission Hills
21. San Marcos- Big week ahead with games against Vista and rival Grizzlies
22. Kearny- Flooding issues have forced Komets out of home gym, tough sledding for any team
23. Lincoln- Big overtime win over Cathedral Catholic and strong performance against Saints take bad taste of losses to Morse and Horizon away, at least for now.
24. Coronado- Islanders survive first league road test with win over rival Point Loma
25. Oceanside- Wins over RBV and Carlsbad but fell flat in opportunity vs Vista
T-25 Cathedral Catholic- Brandon McCoy officially a McDonald's All-American, but losses mount with setbacks to Lincoln, Mission Bay and Kearny.
Others: Olympian, Scripps Ranch, Parker, Otay Ranch, Granite Hills