The clear-cut, consensus No. 1 boys basketball team in the Sacramento region is Sheldon High School, a star-studded, tradition-rich powerhouse with visions of a CIF State championship.
So, then, who’s No. 2?
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Last week, it was Rocklin, which stormed to a 16-1 record before being derailed by Folsom 70-51 in Sierra Foothill League play.
The new No. 2 is Whitney, also a member of the SFL.
The Wildcats (14-5) are a balanced and cohesive unit under coach Nick French with one local loss - to No. 10 Franklin.
Ryan King, a 6-foot-5 junior wing, leads the Wildcats in scoring at 11.8 points per game, and 6-4 junior wing Jacob Fink is second at 9.1.
Whitney hosts No. 3 Folsom on Tuesday in Rocklin in what figures to be an energized setting.
The Bulldogs (13-4) lost to Whitney 63-56 on Dec. 8 in a tournament as Fink went for 18 and King for 12. Freshman guard Malik Jackson led Folsom with 18, and Dylan Davis had 15.
Folsom in that meeting did not have the services of bruising forward DeShawn Lynch, a Bee All-Metro lineman for the CIF State championship football team.
In beating Rocklin, Lynch had 13, Tiler Fears 16 and Davis eight.
The 6-5, 260-pound Lynch is light on his feet for a man his size, and he’s generating national recruiting interest as a lineman. He averages 13.2 points. Jalen Scott, a 6-3 forward, averages 9.8, the 6-3 Fears 9.7 and Jackson 8.9 for coach Mike Wall, who this season earned his 400th career win.
The SFL is again the region’s deepest league, and perhaps the best, too.
No. 8 Oak Ridge lost to new No. 20 Granite Bay 69-68 in overtime in SFL play as Doug Christie Jr. hit the winner. He’s the son of the former Kings star guard who now does Kings broadcast work and co-hosts with Grant Napear a daily show on Sports 1140 KHTK.
It’s been a rivalry for decades, dating to the 1980s when Burbank coach John Copeland and Grant coach Steve Williams fielded some of the region’s top teams and would meet in December for nonleague showdowns.
That rivalry heated up again Friday in a Metropolitan Conference contest on Florin Road.
Burbank topped previous No. 3-ranked Grant 80-70 in a game heavy on skill, big baskets and emphatic dunks.
Burbank, ranked 15th, received balanced scoring for coach Lindsey Ferrell. Junior guard Khalil Stewart had 21 points, sophomore guard Tyree Gill had 20, junior guard Kyrie Dunn 15 and senior guard leader Levelle Bailey 15.
Senior wing Damion Skelton had 11 rebounds, Gill 12 and Bailey 10.
Sheldon entered Monday’s Delta League game against Davis riding a five-game winning streak, including big nonleague wins over Memorial of Fresno (77-61), nationally ranked No. 26 Rainier Beach of Seattle (79-63) and state-ranked No. 6 Bishop Montgomery of Torrance (63-57).
Mixed into that whirlwind schedule was an 84-44 rout of Franklin to open Delta action, the program’s 51st consecutive league win.
The Bishop Montgomery game was in the Jordan Brand Classic at Redondo Union High, and it was the 600th career victory for coach Joey Rollings, including previous stops in Arizona.
Against Bishop Montgomery, guard Xavier Brown scored 17 points, and guard/wings Kaito Williams and Marcus Bagley had 15 each.
No. 7 Sacramento beat regional powerhouse Capital Christian 59-52 in Capital Athletic League play behind strong defense for coach Earl Allen, whose team also has a league win over No. 19 El Camino, 75-55, and will visit No. 12 Rio Americano on Wednesday.
Capital Christian is the best 4-12 team in the land, we’re sure, slugging through a brutal schedule and difficult losses, including 69-66 in overtime to Vanden, 64-63 in overtime to Folsom and 49-47 to Oak Ridge, and also beating Rio Americano 60-49 to open CAL action.
Capital Christian, a three-time Northern California Open Division playoff team in the last five years, played at No. 17 Vista del Lago on Monday night.
In beating El Dorado 61-58 to open Sierra Valley Conference play, Jalen Patterson scored 25 despite a bad ankle and Jaime Gonzalez eclipsed 1,000 career points for No. 5 Liberty Ranch, roaring along at 18-1.
Patterson, a dazzling junior guard, has 1,707 career points, trailing graduated DeAndre Stallings (1,882).
Patterson is averaging 24.5 points, tops in the region and third in the Sac-Joaquin Section behind Michael Vivo of Waterford (27.1) and Dailen Victor of Chavez of Stockton (26.7).
No. 7 Whitney opened SFL girls play in style, beating then-No. 4 Del Oro 65-61.
Senior guard Jada Lewis scored 24 and had 11 rebounds, and senior forward Emily Brustman had 13 points for the Wildcats, who beat Davis 71-67 on Saturday in a nonleague game to give coach Sydney Gatson win No. 100.
Senior guard/forward Makenzie Macfarlane had 20 for Whitney, which hosts No. 2 Folsom on Wednesday.
Follow The Bee’s Joe Davidson: email@example.com, @SacBee_JoeD, sacbee.com/high-school.
THE BEE’S TOP 20
1. Antelope (1) 16-1
2. Folsom (2) 13-2
3. McClatchy (3) 14-2
4. Sacramento (5) 9-6
5. Elk Grove (6) 12-2
6. Oak Ridge (7) 12-5
7. Whitney (14) 11-7
8. Del Oro (4) 15-2
9. Laguna Creek (15) 16-1
10. Franklin (9) 13-4
11. Colfax (10) 14-3
12. Christian Brothers (11) 9-4
13. Vista del Lago (12) 13-4
14. Cosumnes Oaks (13) 12-5
15. Granite Bay (8) 10-8
16. Lincoln (-) 13-5
17. Placer (17) 10-7
18. Woodcreek (-) 11-6
19. West Campus (19) 6-8
20. Capital Christian (20) 10-7
THE BEE’S TOP 20
1. Sheldon (1) 11-4
2. Whitney (4) 14-5
3. Folsom (5) 13-4
4. Rocklin (2) 16-2
5. Liberty Ranch (7) 18-1
6. Grant (3) 13-3
7. Sacramento (8) 8-5
8. Oak Ridge (6) 13-5
9. Jesuit (12) 10-6
10. Franklin (11) 11-6
11. Inderkum (20) 11-5
12. Rio Americano (13) 14-3
13. Woodcreek (17) 12-4
14. River Valley (-) 10-7
15. Burbank (18) 11-6
16. Roseville (19) 13-6
17. Vista del Lago (10) 10-5
18. Davis (-) 10-4
19. El Camino (15) 13-4
20. Granite Bay (-) 8-11