Back after a week hiatus, I will do my HAAL rankings through Week 3. We have one more week of hoops before the midway point of the HAAL season.
1. Castro Valley (6-0) — The Trojans have walked out of San Leandro and Bishop O’Dowd with victories, which makes CV the easy choice for the top spot in my HAAL rankings. The only question to ponder about the Trojans right now is are they peaking too soon or have they yet to hit their peak? I know some of the CV coaches think the Trojans have yet to play to their full potential. That is scary.
2. San Leandro (5-1) — The Pirates played a depleted Hayward team last week and rolled to an easy victory. I have to think San Leandro is the biggest threat to dethroning Castro Valley, but first the Pirates will have to get by Bishop O’Dowd on Friday. The Pirates will play at Castro Valley on Jan. 30. A big couple of weeks ahead for San Leandro.
3. Bishop O’Dowd (5-1) — Brandon Ashley and Justin Brue had a field day on the glass in the victory over Hayward, but the Dragons still need to find some outside shooting and need to do a better job against a zone defense. The potential is there for this team. If the Dragons get it all together by playoff time, this team could go very far. Chris Martin deciding not to continue playing to concentrate on football does hurt the team, but the Dragons are still very big and strong inside without him.
4. Hayward (4-2) — The Farmers didn’t play well at all against the Dragons but still were able to stay in the game. The offense looked out of sync and the defense had no answer for the O’Dowd big men. Hayward settled for a ton of jumpers, but did show flashes of good offense when the defense forced a turnover and the team picked up the tempo. Still, this team needs to become more of a cohesive unit. The chemistry is not there at all and it really shows on the court. The talent is there for the Farmers and they know what they need to do. Let’s see how bad they want it. This is a group of seniors and it’s time one of them takes charge and rights the ship.
5. San Lorenzo (2-4) — Had San Leandro and Castro Valley last week and got blown out in both games. Still, the Rebels are at the top of the next tier in the HAAL after the drop off by Tennyson.
6. Tennyson (1-5) — Lancers had no chance against the Trojans and squeaked out a 58-55 victory over Arroyo. This team has plenty of young talent, but it doesn’t look like it is going to come together in time for a run at the playoffs. It isn’t out of the question, but this team has slipped since the beginning of the season.
7. Arroyo (1-5) —- Played Tennyson tough in a loss, and got a nice win over Moreau Catholic.
8. Moreau Catholic (2-4) — Beat Mt. Eden last week so that puts them at the No. 8 slot. Does own a win over Tennyson but losing to Arroyo last week keeps them down here for now.
9. Mt. Eden (1-5) — Monarchs scored just 16 points against the Dragons. Enough said.