Empire roundup: Newman finishes ninth in basketball rankings, Casa baseball team might crack Top 20

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Cardinal Newman finished ranked in the state top 10 following a record-setting basketball season that ended with the narrow CIF title-game loss.

Finishing ninth in the Cal-Hi Sports rankings for Boys Division 4, the Cardinals set a school record for wins at 32-4.

Notable are the top-ranked teams in the final Cal-Hi poll. No. 1 Salesian handled the Cardinals in the North Coast Section title game. Second in Division 4 was Pacific Hills, the Southern California squad that edged Cardinal Newman in the CIF championship contest.

In the Calpreps rankings — the other major prep poll — Cardinal Newman finished 11th overall in the final Division 4 state rankings.

CASA WITH STATE’S BEST

In what could be a special season for Casa Grande baseball, the Gauchos are edging up the California prep rankings.

Casa Grande is among a very strong group of squads just outside the Cal-Hi Sports high school baseball top 20.

With an 11-1 overall record, Casa Grande could move up the rankings if the Gauchos keep winning.

The move to the North Bay League from the Sonoma County League poses a tough test for Casa Grande heading toward the North Coast Section playoffs. Casa Grande has a pair of one-run wins in the Gauchos’ first two league contests. Still, the Gauchos are deep, talented and experienced.

Cracking the top 20 would put Casa Grande in elite company, particularly among Bay Area schools.

Seven of the top-ranked teams are from the Bay Area. Leading the pack are St. Francis, of Mountain View; Elk Grove, in Sacramento; and Serra, from San Mateo.

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