RIVERSIDE, Calif. - With two weeks remaining in the regular season all of the conference titles remain up for grab. Although, this week could see a number of titles secured by teams in this week's California Community Colleges Men's Basketball Coaches Association Top 20 poll. Some may go down to wire next week, while next week will also hold key games as teams make a final push for a regional bid.
1. San Francisco (8-0, 24-1) — Winners of 20 straight, San Francisco, which has four games remaining, holds a 2 ½-game lead on second-place Foothill. The Rams can lock up another Coast-North title and the north’s top regional seed this week with wins over Canada and Las Positas or a Foothill loss.
2. San Diego City (6-0, 25-2) — San Diego City has won 18 straight games. The Knights can assure themselves of a share of the Pacific Coast-South title with a sweep of their competition this week. San Diego City begins the week with a one-game lead over #20 Grossmont and two games on Southwestern. And, as luck would have it, the Knights host Grossmont on Wednesday and then visit Southwestern on Friday before closing out the regular season with home games against Imperial Valley and San Diego Mesa. The defending state champs appear headed to the south’s top seed.
3. Santa Rosa (12-0, 19-4) — Winners of 15 straight, Santa Rosa hits the road for consecutive road games, the first stop being #19 Modesto, which trails the Cubs by two games to begin the week. A victory at Modesto would assure Santa Rosa of a share for the title, but a sweep of Modesto and Cosmunes River (7-15) would lock up the Big 8 Conference and position the Cubs to contend for possibly the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
4. San Bernardino Valley (6-0, 22-4) — San Bernardino Valley, winners of nine straight, begins the week with a two-game lead on San Diego Miramar. So, with four games remaining, the Wolverines can assure themselves of a share of the conference title with a sweep of homes games this week — MiraCosta (Wednesday) and Desert (Friday).
5. Cerritos (6-0, 21-4) — Cerritos, which had been stuck at #8 for weeks, climbs three spots this week after Citrus’ shocking loss to Los Angeles Valley. Cerritos, winners of seven straight, holds a two-game lead in the race for their respective conference title. The Falcons hold a two-game lead on Los Angeles Harbor with four games to play. This week, Cerritos host Compton on Wednesday and travels on Saturday to meet up with Los Angeles Southwest. Next Wednesday, Cerritos could clinch the conference title at home on Wednesday when Harbor makes a visit.
6. Yuba (11-1, 19-5) — Yuba ran its win streak to 10 games and in the process opened a two-game lead on the race for the Bay Valley Conference championship. The 49’ers have four games remaining, including a home game on Friday against second-place Napa Valley. So, a sweep of its two games this week would lock up the conference title and position the 49’ers to battle with Santa Rosa and Fresno City for second seed in the playoffs.
7. Fresno City (9-1, 21-4) — Fresno City had its 14-game win streak stopped as Sequoias edged the Rams, 80-79 in overtime. The victory marked the second time this season Sequoias had beaten Fresno — at home! The loss caused Fresno to fall into this week’s poll. Fresno City begins the week clinging to a one-game lead in the race for Central Valley Conference. #13 West Hills and #17 Columbia loom just a game behind. This week, Fresno City hits the street, with stops at Porterville and West Hills. Since, the Rams have beaten Columbia twice — the Fresno-West Hills game will be for all of the marbles. A victory by Rams and the conference title is theirs — it would be Fresno’s 17th consecutive title. A victory by West Hills means, Fresno needs help from Columbia or Sequoias next week.
8. Orange Coast (8-1, 17-7) — We are starting to become believers in Orange Coast. But it is exhausting! Orange Coast edged last place Cypress last week and then needed overtime to beat Santiago Canyon. When the dust settled, Orange Coast maintains a one-game lead over Fullerton with four three games remaining. From what we have been able to gather, the last time an Orange Coast men’s basketball team won a conference title was 1979 — 38 years ago. That year, Orange Coast won not only the conference title but the state championship behind Steve Timmons, a three-time US men’s Olympian in volleyball (won a gold and bronze). To get to the Orange Empire Conference title, the Pirates have to escape Mission Viejo (Saddleback) on Wednesday and then beat Fullerton at home. Doing, so would give the Pirates the conference title before closing the season out next Tuesday with a game at Riverside.
9. Citrus (5-1, 22-4) — Citrus had won 19 of its last 20 games. Unfortunately, Los Angeles Valley could have cared less. The Monarchs shocked visiting Citrus, 84-82. The loss dropped Citrus to #9 this week. Luckily, while the Owls were falling to LA Valley, Barstow was beating Antelope Valley. When the dust settled, Citrus had maintained its one-game lead over Antelope Valley in the race for the conference title. This week, Citrus hosts Victor Valley and travels to Glendale. This conference title figures to come down to next Wednesday’s game in Lancaster.
10. West Hills (8-2, 17-4) — West Hills travels to Ridgecrest for a Wednesday game with Cerro Coso, but a showdown with Fresno City looms on Saturday in Coalinga. West Hills definitely has the toughest trek to the Central Valley Conference title. Should the Falcons beat Fresno, and pull into a tie for the conference title, West Hills will have to beat Columbia at home and Sequoias in Visalia next week to in order to keep a share of the conference title. Fresno concludes the season with home games vs. 8-14 Reedley and 3-19 Merced. A Fresno City win on Saturday gives the Rams their 17th consecutive conference title.
11. East Los Angeles (5-1, 20-5) — East Los Angeles put itself back in position to win the conference title. After falling to Mt. San Antonio, the Huskies went out last week and rolled Chaffey, 64-39, and Chaffey followed it that performance by losing to Mt. San Antonio, 58-53. So, when the dust settled, East LA and Mt. San Antonio find themselves in a two-way tie for the conference lead. But they won’t be tied for long! On Wednesday, East LA will host Mt. San Antonio. If East LA wins, the Huskies still have a remaining game with Chaffey. Mt. San Antonio, on the other hand, will have remaining games against three opponents who are 20-44 this season, and two of the games will be at home.
12. Fullerton (7-2, 18-6) — Fullerton has three games remaining, two of which will be the road. However, there is no sense in beating around the bush. Friday night’s game at Orange Coast is huge! If, Saddleback beats Orange Coast on Wednesday then Friday’s game figures to be for the conference crown. If Orange Coast beats Saddleback, Friday’s game is still big for Fullerton since a conference co-championship figures to put the Hornets in position for a top six seed, based on its strength of schedule. Fullerton concludes the season at home against Santiago Canyon, and that isn’t a sure thing either.
13. Butte (6-1, 19-4) — Butte falls seven spots this week after, not only losing to unranked Shasta, 66-62, but losing the top spot in the Golden Valley Conference race. The Roadrunners begin the week a half-game behind Shasta with three games remaining. This week, Butte hosts Siskiyous on Wednesday and Lassen on Saturday. Butte’s title hopes probably rest with Feather River beating Shasta on Wednesday in Redding. Butte begins the week with the state’s 9th toughest schedule, compared to Shasta at No. 29. So, a co-championship would help Butte attain a higher regional seed.
14. Foothill (6-3, 17-8) — Foothill falls four slots this week after suffering consecutive losses for the second time this season. The Owls fell to Las Positas and then turned around and dropped a 69-65 contest to San Francisco. While Foothill is mathematically still in the conference race, the Owls need to be concerned with Canada. The Colts begin the week just a game behind Foothill in the race for second place. Foothill and Canada will conclude the season next Wednesday. However, in the meantime, Foothill will be looking to get past Ohlone and Skyline this week.
15. Shasta (7-1, 16-9) — Despite leading the Golden Valley Conference, Shasta comes in two spots behind Butte (second place in the GVC). The Knights have two remaining games – at home against Feather River on Wednesday and at Redwoods on February 14. A victory over Feather River would assure Shasta of at least a share of the conference title.
16. Allan Hancock (5-1, 18-8) — Winners of five straight, Allan Hancock breaks into the top 20 at No. 16 this week. The Bulldogs are in a dead heat with #18 Ventura for the Western State-North title. Allan Hancock beat Ventura, 96-94, in overtime last week to force the two-way tie. This week, the Bulldogs visit Moorpark and host Santa Barbara. Ventura and Allan Hancock play the same four teams over the course of the next two weeks. So, if one doesn’t blink this conference appears headed to a co-champion scenario.
17. Modesto (10-2, 17-7) — With four games remaining, Modesto finds itself two games behind Santa Rosa for the conference championship. But, at the same time, the Pirates hold a three-game lead over San Joaquin Delta in the race for second place. This week, Modesto hosts Santa Rosa and visits American River. So, Modesto can either be a game behind Santa Rosa or possibly only two games up on SJ Delta (takes on Sierra) come Tuesday night.
18. Ventura (5-1, 17-8) —Ventura begins the week in a dead heat with Allan Hancock. Each has handed the other a loss in conference and therefore won’t see each other again in the regular season. The remainder of the conference is 32-56, so it appears this conference is headed for a co-championship.
19. Columbia (8-2, 14-6) — The Central Valley Conference is the only conference with three teams ranked among the top 20. This week, Columbia lands at No. 19, falling four slots after a 20-point loss to Fresno on Saturday. The Claim Jumpers held off Cabrillo (by one point), Sequoias (two points) and Gavilan (three points) for the final north’s spot in the poll. Columbia begins the week in a two-way tie with West Hills for second place in the CVC. This week, Columbia travels to Merced before returning home to meet Porterville. Next week, Columbia visits West Hills.
20. Grossmont (5-1, 16-7) — Grossmont fought off Saddleback, Copper Mountain and San Diego Miramar for the final spot in this week’s top 20. The Griffins begin the week a game behind San Diego City in the race for their respective conference title. This week, Grossmont has an opportunity to move into a tie for the conference lead when the Griffins pay San Diego City a visit on Wednesday. Should Grossmont fall to San Diego City, then the Griffins will be playing defense as it tries to hold off Southwestern for second place.
1. San Francisco
2. Santa Rosa
4. Fresno City
5. West Hills
14. Napa Valley
15. Los Medanos
Others: Feather River, San Joaquin Delta, Sacramento City, Mendocino, Canada, Feather River
1. San Diego City
2. San Bernardino Valley
4. Orange Coast
6. East Los Angeles
8. Allan Hancock
12. Copper Mountain
13. San Diego Miramar
14. Mt. San Antonio
Others: Long Beach City, Santiago Canyon, LA Harbor, Antelope Valley