The Power List: City Section girls basketball edition

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Jhada Cordon (24) and the Poly Parrots held firm at the #3 spot in the VST power rankings this week.

With many teams taking a well-deserved break at the start of the calendar year, the slate of games was lighter than usual. There wasn’t much movement amongst the teams on the list due to inactivity, but a small team in the Valley League makes their first appearance on the power rankings after a quality win in the Panorama New Year’s Classic over the weekend. Here are the VST power rankings for the week of 1/9/23:

1. Granada Hills Highlanders (13-4) Last week: #1

The Highlanders only played once last week, picking up a hard-fought win against Camarillo last Saturday. Granada Hills continues to improve and look to be rounding into form heading into league play. Karma Paez has been scorching hot in recent games and has provided scoring punch for the Highlanders. In the last five games, the junior wing is averaging 16.5 ppg on 52% shooting from the field. The combination of all-city player Marriane Boco and Paez will be tough to deal with when they face Birmingham and Taft this week.

2. Birmingham Patriots (11-8) Last week: #2

It was a light week for the Patriots, but they did crack the seal on their West Valley slate with a 76-37 win over Cleveland last week. This team has won four of their last five games, with the only blemish on the record being a one-point defeat to southern section giant Notre Dame. They’ll have a chance to make a statement when they face off against West Valley rival Granada Hills this week.

3. Poly Parrots (11-5) Last week: #3

The Parrots had an excellent showing this past week at the Huntington Park Tournament, notching lopsided victories over George Washington Prep, MACES and Lincoln before falling to Hamilton in the championship game last Saturday. The Parrots are already 3-0 in the East Valley and will resume league play this week with games against league foes Chavez, Monroe and North Hollywood on deck.

4. Chatsworth Chancellors (12-7) Last week: #5

Having already played in 19 contests before the turn of the calendar year, the Chancellors have had some well-deserved time off. They get back to the business at hand in the West Valley with big contests against Cleveland and Birmingham this week.

5. Taft Toreadors (11-6) Last week: #6

The Toreadors had a strong showing in the Panorama New Year’s Classic last week. While the competition wasn’t the toughest that they will face this season, the Toreadors did what you would expect a good team to do, and that is to dominate their opposition. In the four games they played at Panorama last week, they held their opponents to 22 points per contest.

6. Verdugo Hills Dons (12-7) Last week #7

Like Chatsworth, the Dons had a heavy slate in December, and used the post-Christmas winter break to rest and reset. Verdugo Hills sits in a good position at 3-1 in the East Valley League and will look to keep pace with first-place Poly. They’ll be expected to win their league contests against Grant and Monroe this week.

7. San Fernando Tigers (12-3) Last week: #4

The Tigers are one of the more perplexing teams to figure out through the first half of the season. Their 12-3 record definitely suggests they are a top team in the city section, and they pass the eye test when you get to see their pillars of power in seniors Samantha Maldonado and Kayla Stotts in action. The problem with San Fernando is they haven’t quite played the level of competition consistently as some of the teams in the top five, and this past week when they ran into Westchester, a team that may be the best in the entire section, and Palisades, another tea expected to make a strong run at a championship, they faltered. The Tigers will have opportunities ahead to prove they are as good as we think they are, with games against Van Nuys and Reseda on the slate this week.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-9) Last week: #8

The Cavs have been up and down this season, but the talent is there for this team to break out. They will have an opportunity to get things going in the right direction when they resume play in the West Valley against Chatsworth and El Camino Real this week.

9. Vaughn White Tigers (9-4) Last week: N/A

The White Tigers make their first appearance in the top ten after notching a quality win against North Hollywood at Panorama this past weekend. Vaughn is a small group, but their guards are consistently a handful to deal with. It is wide open as to who will finish at the top of the Valley League with the White Tigers, and VAAS looking to wrestle the league away from Northridge Academy this season. Vaughn will look to grab a league victory against East Valley this week before taking on a monumental task in Notre Dame (SO)

10. Northridge Academy Pumas (10-4) Last week #10

The Pumas are holding steady in the final spot of the rankings. The Pumas have had plenty of time to rest, having not played a game since before Christmas. They will get back to the task of trying to win their fifth straight Valley championship when they resume their league schedule against SOCES this week.

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