Three SFL teams in section’s top six

Initial power ratings put Woodcreek at No. 2 in D-II
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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It is just a preliminary snapshot, but the Sac-Joaquin Section released its first basketball power ratings Monday, providing a glimpse of where teams stand as they enter the season’s final weeks. The good news for the Sierra Foothill League comes at the top of the ledger, where Woodcreek (No. 2), Rocklin (No. 5) and Oakmont (No. 6) are in good position in Division II. An error in the teams’ records will be corrected for next week, and with it fixed, the Vikings would actually be in the fifth position this week. The relevance of that shift will be eliminated Wednesday night when those two teams go head-to-head on the court, with one moving ahead of the other going forward. “This week is as tough as ever,” said Oakmont coach Rick Campbell. “We get Rocklin here on Wednesday and have to go up to Del Oro on Friday. We are just trying to survive night in and night out.” The goal for everyone is to reach the top four, with the possibility of two home playoff games that would come with it, but the top eight get to host one postseason contest. “Getting to the top four in the power ratings is everyone's goal because you get two home games,” said Woodcreek coach Burnel Pinkerton. “The section can move people as they see fit so you really don't know until the brackets come out exactly where you will be.” Somewhat surprising in this release is Granite Bay’s position outside the playoff spots. The Grizzlies sit at No. 18, needing some wins in the highly competitive SFL to get into the playoff mix. With its 14-8 overall record, it seems that Granite Bay would be in a better spot, especially considering that the Grizzlies are 4-0 against non-SFL teams that are currently above them on the grid. “I thought we might be a little higher based upon our preseason record, but I know that your league results count for more,” said Granite Bay coach Jason Sitterud. “Our attitude is to focus on the task at hand one game at a time. The nice thing is that with every win we should climb up the ladder, so we will work hard to get as many wins as possible down the stretch as see where the chips fall.” In Division V, Valley Christian Academy is in a great spot for now, sitting at No. 4. The Lions still have work to do, but this is the highest ranking in the history of the school. “We have a couple of possible bumps in the road before playoff time,” said VCA coach Brad Gunter. “Hopefully we take care of business and it comes down to the last game of the year at home for a league title and possibly moving up to the No. 3 spot against Bradshaw.” Gunter is still concentrating mostly on the league title in the SMAL. “Our first and main priority is a league title,” Gunter said. “We have only had one league title in basketball in the last 14 seasons and that puts the banner in the gym. Playoffs are bonus games.” Del Oro of the SFL presently sits at No. 9 in the Division III ratings.