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Northern California Basketball is Back!

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

NorCal Preseason Girls Basketball Top 10

Pictured: Oakland Tech

This is not your traditional rankings you normally would see but we felt these are the better teams in our area. Based on last year's state playoff bracket we gathered teams and analyzed their complete body of work as well as their current roster. Four through ten could be debated all day but the best way to settle it is on the basketball court.

Picture taken by: Yalonda M. James

1. Archbishop Mitty

Archbishop Mitty coming off a tough loss in the open state championship to Sierra Canyon. We should expect for the Monarch’s to be very good again with their top ranked Junior guard, Morgan Cheli, set to return with the new addition of the freshman sensation McKenna Woliczko. San Jose Sports Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame nominee Coach Sue Phillips has reloaded for the new year. Will they be state bound again?

2. St. Mary’s Of Stockton

St. Mary’s of Stockton schedule was stacked last year compiling a 21-8 overall record while being upset by St.Ignatius in the state playoffs. The Rams lost and gained some key players. Unsigned senior guard, Brooklyn Perry, now at Folsom and 6’4 senior Center Imani Morris now at Duncanville High in Texas, which she just signed to the university of Memphis on a full ride athletic scholarship.

New additions: Emani King, who transferred in from Edison, has the upside to be a very special player for the Rams this year. Lastly, Senior guard ,Saulele Tanuvasa is a University of Colorado signee that comes from St. Bernard’s of Eureka.

Still expect the Rams to be in the contention for a state title this year as they will be led by top ranked # player junior Jordan Lee.

3. Folsom

Folsom Bulldogs was a scoring machine last year. Compiling an overall record of 26-4. The Bulldogs will definitely miss their former captain and starting point guard Makayla Jackson, who is now at Stanislaus State, and was an instrumental part of the team last year.

With a young talent roster, key players returning , and the transfer of Brooklyn Perry, we should expect Folsom to be an exciting team to watch this season.

4. Piedmont

Piedmont Highlanders led by Head Coach Bryan Gardere did an amazing job with his team last season compiling an overall record of 24-7. The Highlanders was the #1 seed in the state playoffs dropping a second contest to Lincoln (Stockton).

The Highlanders have added two known additions in senior wing, Eva Levingston, who sat out the entire 2021-2022 season and senior guard, Adrienne Blackwell. Already having two of best scorers in the area in San Diego State signee Trinity Zamora and lights out shooter Natalia Martinez. Don’t be surprised if Piedmont is in the discussion for a shot at Open this season. Carondalet

5. Vanden

Coach Jake and Coach Allison of Vanden are no strangers to winning. Bringing the heat last year deemed them as one of top contenders in the area. Vanden came up short in the playoffs losing in overtime to St. Ignatius. As they prepare for this new season after losing two seniors as well as captains, Coach Jake had this to say about the upcoming year. “Losing two key seniors is always tough, and hard to replace all that they did. We do have a lot of key pieces coming back with 3 starters, some key reserves, two transfers including our leading scorer, rebounder and 3 point shooter. We hope to stay healthy and be very competitive.”, stated Coach Jake.

The Vikings still have their senior, Alyssa Jackson, who recently signed to San Diego State. She will be on a mission to help lead the team back to the playoffs.

Picture taken by: Scorebook Live

6. Salesian

2022 Division I State Champs, Salesian was fun to watch last season. With big wins over Centennial (Vegas), Centennial (Corona) and Windward for the state championship win. The pride got the job done last year. With key departures from their state champion team play due to graduation, Salesian will have to lean on their veteran guard play. Look out for University of North Carolina Greensboro signee, Makiah Asidanya and D'yani Bernstine who missed all of last year due to an injury to have strong year for the pride.

7. Oakland Tech

Coach LeRoy Hurt of the Oakland Tech Bulldogs has built consistency around the program. A program that was known for winning in the early 2000s and is now back in the top contender conversation once more. The Bulldogs have won two state titles and missed an opportunity to compete for another one in 2020 due to Covid with in the past three years. Oakland Tech returns with the core of their roster and the addition of two very impactful freshman Terri’A Russell and Jhai Johnson. They will be a team to keep an eye on this season!

8. Clovis West

The Clovis West Golden Eagles have been the Mecca of girls basketball for years in Fresno. Clovis West already with a 4-0 start to the season. They’re led by senior forward, Etoyah Montgomery, Long Beach State signee and phenomenal junior point guard Athena Tomlinson. Athena is the type of player you don’t want to miss in action. She is ranked #51 in her class, which will be interesting to see her and the Golden Eagles in some heavy matchups this season.

9. Carondalet

The cougars were a forced to reckoned with under third year Coach Kelly Sopak. Compiling a 26-3 overall record, but coming up short in the NorCal open championship game against Mitty. Losing 8 seniors including top point guard Talana Lepolo, who is now playing for Stanford and just started in a phenomenal matchup vs South Carolina, was the GLUE to their team last year, she will be missed. The cougs will depend on seniors: Jamie Kent, University of Pacific signee, Allie Cummins who did not play last year, (transfer) who is a Northern Arizona University signee and some key freshmen to make a deep push this season.

10. San Ramon

San Ramon Valley Wolves compiled a 26-5 record led by Natalie Pasco, who is now at Boise State. The wolves graduated 7 players from this team. The big question is how will they look for the new season? One thing for sure we know they will be a great shooting team. A favorite player of mine is junior guard Sierra Chambers. She’s very posed and has a natural ability to score so look for her to have a break out junior year. San Ramon's fresh face Gianno Ghio, who transferred in as a senior she will add depth to the guard rotation once she’s eligible.

San Ramon will be well coached under Head Coach John Cristiano and well prepared for each matchup. Don’t be surprised if they have another stellar year!

Picture taken by: Richard J. Marcus

Watchlist: Cardinal Newman

Cardinal Newman is the definition of team basketball, compiling an overall record of 23-6. Head Coach Monica Mertle knows how to have her team ready to play every year. With two seniors graduated last season, the Cardinals bring back the bulk of their roster. We want be surprised if her team earns another open bid as they dominated Bishop O'Dowd this past Satuarday.

BONUS: San Joaquin Memorial

San Joaquin Memorial was fun to watch last season. With all the obstacles they endured last season and a mid-season coaching change, the Panthers was still able to make it to the Division II State Title game. Senior guard Asha SRA, Grand Canyon signee and senior wing/center Meadow Roland both are primed for big seasons. Player to watch out for though is 6’2 center Alexis Swillis, who is only an sophomore. New Head Coach, Geoffrey Clayton, will be leading the panthers this season.

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