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Boys basketball rankings

1. Monterey: Showing off its depth during a current five-game winning streak.
2. Carmel: Statement win over Alisal in Gabilan Division opener.
3. Alisal: Saw its run of 20 straight league home wins snapped.
4. Salinas: Its inexperience caught up with them in committing 31 turnovers.
5. Pacific Grove: Big bounce back win after a humbling loss 48 hours earlier.
6. Palma: An offense showing signs of coming out of a season long slump.
7. Alvarez: An horrific week needs to be left in the rear view mirror.
8. North County: Has surpassed its entire win total from last winter.
9. St. Francis: When you've won 11 of 13 games, it's not a fluke.
10. Pajaro Valley: Has won four of its last five games.
  On the bubble: Stevenson, San Benito, Seaside, Monte Vista, Gilroy. rankings of the C.C.S.

22 (21)   ALVAREZ (11-2) 
Last: DNP; next: vs. Greenfield (1/8)
Friday’s trip to Pacific Grove should be one of the better challenges the Eagles receive in PCAL Mission play


Alvarez-Pacific Grove boys hoops

 League openers can set the tone for the season.
 No one knows that better than the Eagles, who fell in last year's opener, ultimately the difference in finishing one game out of first place.
 Alvarez finds itself up against the preseason favorites Friday, visiting Pacific Grove in both teams Mission Division opener.
 The Eagles have been flying high all year at 11-3, although they got a wakeup call last Tuesday in a loss to Greenfield. Their other two losses were to two teams a combined 23-4.
 Devin Foster was averaging nearly 20 points a game before suffering an ankle injury. Jacob Gomez, Isaiah Rodriguez and Ven Limosnero have all stepped up of late.
 The Breakers 7-6 record isn't as pretty. But four of their losses were by four points or less. They have faced two teams that took part in the State Northern California playoffs last year.
 Jack Sendell is averaging over 13 points a game for Pacific Grove, with 29 baskets from beyond the 3-point arc.
 Teammates Josh Cryns and Tyler Christianson are both averaging over 11 points a game while Keith Ray has begun to get into a rhythm since returning to the lineup.


Boys basketball rankings

1. Monterey: Is undefeated this season against teams in the CCS.
2. Alisal: Double the big man and deal with the sharpshooters on the outside.
3. Carmel: A program that may not hit its stride until midseason.
4. Alvarez: It's time to start taking the Eagles offensive attack seriously
5. Salinas: Starting to find itself in time for league with five straight wins.
6. Pacific Grove: Battle tested with four losses by five points or less.
7. Palma: Has dropped six of their last seven games.
8. Stevenson: Having gone 19 days between games is always a concern.
9. North County: Has already equaled last year's entire win total.
10. St. Francis: Why isn't anyone paying attention to a team that is 8-2?
  On the bubble: Seaside, San Benito, Monte Vista, Greenfield, Gilroy.
Mission Division
1. Pacific Grove: Defensive minded unit that understands and relishes its roles.
2. Alvarez: Might be the most exciting team to watch in this league.
3. Seaside: Defending Pacific Division champions are looking for bigger things this year.
4. St. Francis: Depleted by graduation won't keep this program from being competitive.
5. San Benito: A program that showed glimpses of its potential in the preseason.
6. Christopher: Has four players averaging eight or more points this season.

Boys basketball rankings

1. Monterey: An offensive juggernaut that plays hard on both ends of the floor.
2. Alisal: Head coach Jose Gil needs one more win to reach 300 for his career.
3. Carmel: Two losses to two teams from out of the section.
4. Palma: Tenacious defense is compensating for limitations on offense.
5. Alvarez: Has dropped two games to teams a combined 17-1.
6. Salinas: Starting to find the right combinations on the court.
7. Pacific Grove: The Breakers are 1-3 in games decided by five points or less.
8. Stevenson: Closed 2018 with three consecutive wins.
9. North County: Goes into the holidays having already surpassed last year's win total.
10. San Benito: All of its setbacks are to teams ranked ahead of them.
  On the bubble: Seaside, St. Francis, Monte Vista, Greenfield, Gilroy.


Alvarez boys basketball

Alvarez (14-11, 9-3)
 A late surge that saw Alvarez average over 80 points a game in its final three regular season games could be a sign of things to come this winter.
 Three of those sharpshooters are back for the Eagles, who will compete in the Mission Division of the Pacific Coast Athletic League this year.
 "We know we can score," Alvarez coach Mark Haddan said. "Our emphasis in practice has been on rebounding and defense."
 That starts with 6-foot-3 Devin Foster, who provides a presence in the paint with his defense, yet can bounce out to the perimeter and drain jump shots.
 "He can hit the three or take it inside," said Haddan, of his top returning scorer from last year.
 While defense is a work in progress, there is no question Alvarez can light up a gym with its arsenal of weapons.
 Guards Ven Limosnero, Efrain Perez and Jacob Gomez are players Haddan brought up three years ago as sophomores to provide depth.
 Now it's their turn to lead by example as the Eagles take aim at an eighth straight trip to the playoffs.
 "The strength of this team is our guards," Haddan said
 That would include Isaiah Rodriguez, who might be the teams best shooter from beyond the 3-point line, finishing second on the team in three's last season.
 "He is a deadly 3-point threat," Haddan said.
 Rodriguez lit it up at the Eagle Classic, averaging 18 plus points a game in earning tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
 What Haddan is counting on is more of a presence in the paint. Not only is Foster back, but 6-foot-3 sophomore Jordan Lopez was brought up to strengthen the teams defensive front.
 "He is going to help," Haddan said.
 What Alvarez needs to learn is how to finish games. Last year it was 0-4 in games decided by four points or less, including two league games. It finished one game out of first.


Alisal-Alvarez boys hoops

 Going in different directions in terms of divisional placement has not derailed this rivalry.
 While Alisal has rattled off five straight wins over the Eagles, both teams come into this non league battle with just one loss on the season.
 Alvarez is off to its best start in five years at 7-1, with its only loss coming to Scattini Tournament champion Pittsburg.
 Despite missing two starters for the first four games, including 6-foot-9 Sebastian Reynoso, the defending Gabilan Division champion Trojans are 5-1.
 Reynoso is healthy, averaging 29 points in his first two games back, giving Alisal a presence in the paint to complement shooting guard Josue Gil-Silva.
 Alvarez has its deepest roster in years, turning to the likes of Devin Foster, Jacob Gomez and Isaiah Rodriguez, all of which have been named to all-tournament teams this year.


Boys basketball rankings

1. Monterey: One of two teams in the southern region of the CCS still undefeated.
2. Alisal: Clearly a different looking team with Sebastian Reynoso in the lineup.
3. Carmel: A program that likely won't hit its stride for another three weeks.
4. Palma: Fell from the unbeaten ranks in the finals of the Scattini Tournament.
5. Alvarez: The 7-1 start to the season isn't a fluke.
6. Salinas: Snapped a four-game losing streak with arguably its most important win to date.
7. Pacific Grove: Has its first two-game winning streak of the season.
8. Stevenson: Has won four of its last five games to improve to 7-3.
9. San Benito: Has already surpassed last season's entire win total.
10. St. Francis: A cast of unknowns is off to a 5-0 start on the season.
  On the bubble: Monte Vista, Seaside, North County, Greenfield, Marina.

Alvarez boys basketball

 Producing points wasn't a concern coming into the year. Uncertainly stemmed on whether the Eagles could mold as one -- or would it be a process in the preseason.
 While four games is a small sample size, four straight wins to open the year suggests that Alvarez is pointed in the right direction.
 If the Eagles needed a statement win, it came last Saturday when they defeated Immanuel of Reedley 70-69 in the finals of the Eagles Classic.
 Not only was Immanuel the defending tournament champion and 5-1, but it also took part in the state tournament last season.
 Alvarez is 4-0 for the first time since 2012. And it is producing points at an alarming rate, averaging 72.3 points a game.
 Not that this should come as a complete surprise, considering Alvarez closed league play last winter with three straight wins. Apparently those that are back are feeding off last year's finish.
 Isaiah Rodriguez warmed to the rims in the tournament, averaging 18 plus points a game. Three-year starter Devin Foster has been a presence in the key and on the perimeter along with Jacob Gomez.
 The Eagles have shown balance, with as many as four different players scoring in double digits in a game.
 Another pop quiz awaits the Eagles on Thursday when they face a 4-1 Pittsburg squad in the Scattini Tournament at Palma.
 The Pirates are coached by Carson Paden, who took Marina to its first ever basketball title in 2008.
 Clearly, though, Alvarez head coach Mark Haddan couldn't have asked for a better start. The energy in the locker room has been vibrant. There's an expectation that's building momentum.

Preps of the Week

 Isaiah Rodriguez, Alvarez basketball: Scored 22 points in one game, 11 in another and 17 in the Eagles title clinching tournament win.
Honorable mention: Alfredo Mendoza, Salinas wrestling; Rolando Ortiz, Stevenson soccer; Noberto Tolentino, Marina soccer; JT Byrne, Carmel basketball; Josue Gil-Silva, Alisal basketball; Angel Trujillo, King City basketball; Cottrell Ealey, Marina basketball; Brandon Ducusin, North County basketball; John Sibal, North Salinas basketball; Luke Driscoll, Stevenson basketball; Parker Horton, Salinas basketball; Juan Sanchez, Greenfield soccer; Josh Cryns, Pacific Grove basketball; Mohammed Adam, Monterey basketball.


Alvarez basketball tournament

 Luring four teams from out of the section has created the unknown in the annual Eagles Classic at Alvarez High.
 Well sort of.
 Immanuel of Reedley is the defending tournament champion, having reached the state tournament in their respective division last year, falling to University of Los Angeles.
 Joining them in the Eagle Classic is East Bakersfield, Kennedy of Richmond and Castlemont, along with Mt. Pleasant.
 North County and North Salinas will join the host Eagles, who have not won the tournament since 2015.
 Alvarez was impressive in its only game to date, getting a big effort from Ven Limosnero in beating King City.


Boys basketball rankings

1. Monterey: A pair of impressive wins to open the season.
2. Alisal: Minus two starters didn't keep them from winning a tournament title.
3. Carmel: For the first time all year, the entire team will be intact this week.
4. Palma: Opened the season with a new look and a familiar ending.
5. Salinas: A cast of unknowns is off to a 2-0 non-league start.
6. Seaside: Confidence building overtime win improved record to 2-1.
7. Pacific Grove: A pair of nailbitting losses to opening the season.
8.  Monte Vista: Went 1-2 in a tournament in San Francisco.
9. Alvarez: Strong start with a season opening win.
10. Stevenson: Two straight wins after a season opening loss.
 On the bubble: St. Francis, Christopher, Marina, San Benito, Gilroy.

Boys basketball rankings

1. Monterey: Four of the top 10 players in the county are on the same team.
2. Alisal: Sebastian Reynoso might be the best player in the county if turned loose.
3. Carmel: Missing two starters and a league MVP for one more week.
4. Palma: Will have a different approach this year.
5. Salinas: Losing nine seniors doesn't mean this program is rebuilding.
6. Pacific Grove: When has a Pacific Grove program not contended?
7. St. Francis: Eight players back from last year's 20 win team.
8. Monte Vista: Left in the Gabilan Division this winter for a reason.
9. Seaside: Defending Pacific champions find themselves in the Mission Division.
10. Alvarez: Has reached the postseason eight straight years.
 On the bubble: Stevenson, Soledad, Christopher, Marina.

Preseason boys basketball rankings

Boys basketball rankings
1. Monterey:
2. Alisal:
3. Carmel:
4. Palma:
5. Salinas:
6. Pacific Grove:
7. St. Francis:
8. Monte Vista:
9. Alvarez:
10. Stevenson:
 On the bubble: Seaside, Soledad, Christopher, Gonzales.