Zach Chappell, front, has led Capital Christian to the top of The Bee’s top 20 boys basketball rankings, scoring 39 points against preseason No. 1 Folsom last week. Andrew Seng Sacramento Bee file
Zach Chappell, front, has led Capital Christian to the top of The Bee’s top 20 boys basketball rankings, scoring 39 points against preseason No. 1 Folsom last week. Andrew Seng Sacramento Bee file

Joe Davidson

A unique perspective on sports in the Sacramento region, from high schools to the pros

Joe Davidson

Why Capital Christian tops boys basketball rankings despite its losing record

By Joe Davidson

December 11, 2017 05:06 PM

Never mind the overall record. Consider the body of work.

Capital Christian ascends to the top spot of The Bee’s boys basketball rankings because it beat region’s top two teams in successive nights, a quantum leap of six spots.

Behind 39 points from guard Zach Chappell, the Cougars beat previous No. 1 Folsom 72-70 Thursday to open the prestigious Gridley Invitational, then knocked off previous No. 2 Sheldon 74-59 on Friday, as Chappell scored 29.

Weary, fatigued and just plain outclassed by the best team in Northern California, Capital Christian fell 69-43 in the Gridley final to Salesian of Richmond.

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The Cougars (2-3) have no local losses, opening the season with setbacks to Rancho Christian of Temecula, 84-63, and longtime NorCal powerhouse Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland, 80-73. Those teams are a combined 8-0.

Capital Christian is led by first-year coach McCall Wollman, who last season worked under the coaching tutelage of Bob Hurley Sr., the famed leader of nationally renowned St. Anthony of New Jersey, which closed. Wollman replaced Devon Jones, who led the Cougars to two NorCal Open Division appearances before stepping aside to focus on family and health.

The Cougars this season have been led by Chappell and fellow guards Rick Barros and Trey Jones. Forward Micah Filer provides grit, which is sorely needed with 6-foot-9 post Kendall Munson out with a knee injury.

Folsom (6-1) beat traditional state contender Mitty of San Jose 63-48 in the Gridley consolation final. Sheldon (2-1) opened the tournament with a 55-36 rout of Woodcreek (3-2), which edged the Huskies for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title and for the NorCal Open Division championship. Sheldon also beat Dublin 65-48.

Titans times two – Burbank (7-0) moved up to No. 4 in The Bee rankings after winning the Nevada Union Invitational, topping El Camino 70-60 in the finals as Levelle Bailey had 22 points and Khalil Stewart scored 20. The Titans are defending Metropolitan Conference champions.

Oak Ridge (5-0) moved to No. 5 after downing Sierra Foothill League rival Granite Bay 53-52 in the finals of the Titan Holiday Classic, hosted by Antelope.

Koelbe DiMauro, Spencer Duane and Cade Hoppe led the way for the Trojans, one of the tallest and most skilled teams in the region. DiMauro is 6-4, Duane 6-5 and Hoppe 6-9.

Girls basketball

Folsom remains No. 1 in the girls Top 20, though No. 2 West Campus may have a say in this: The teams meet Wednesday in a nonleague showdown at West Campus.

Folsom (6-1) lost to longtime Northern Section power Pleasant Valley of Chico 59-57 in the Roseville Tournament, and The Bee generally does not drop area teams for losses to esteemed out-of-region opponents.

West Campus (5-0) has been a giant slayer already as the defending CIF State Division IV champions beat Bee preseason No. 1 McClatchy 61-49 en route to winning the Speck Tournament in Davis. West Campus is led by UCLA-bound guard Kiara Jefferson (16.5 points), and guards Gabby Rones (16.4) and Nia Johnson (16).

Folsom is paced by Cal-bound guard McKenzie Forbes (21.3 points) with a lot of help from Hanna Beckman (14), Parker Gordon (8.8), Chartiy Gallegos (7.5) and Shaley Harris (7.5).

Roseville on the rise – Roseville, a power in the 1980s and early ’90s, is 7-0 under fifth-year coach Josh Errecart, who took over a program that went 13-65 from 2011 to 2013. Key wins this season include 60-55 over Christian Brothers and 67-62 over Inderkum to win the Roseville Elite Showcase.

The Tigers have been paced by 6-6 center Ari McCurry, who had 19 points and 18 rebounds against Christian Brothers.

Hot hand – Inderkum guard Nailah Dillard is off to a hot start. The 5-10 junior captain went for 29 points against Lincoln, 29 against Folsom, 30 against Roseville and 31 against Christian Brothers. She is averaging 24.2 points and 8.2 rebounds for the Tigers (2-4).


Each of the five CIF State Football Championship games at Sacramento State will be televised live by NBC Sports Bay Area, the station that carries the Giants and Golden State Warriors.

Friday games are Division II-AA, Cajon (14-1) vs. Serra-San Mateo (12-2) at 4 p.m.; Division I-AA, Helix-La Mesa (13-1) vs. Folsom (15-0) at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, Division II-A: Grace Brethren (13-2) vs. Saint Francis-Mountain View, noon; Division I-A: Narbonne (11-3) vs. Pittsburg (9-2) at 4 p.m., and the Open Division between Mater Dei-Santa Ana (14-0) against De La Salle-Concord (11-1).

All the other games will be held at Southern California sites, including Placer (13-1) in Division 4-AA at Crenshaw (11-3) in Los Angeles.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

The Bee’s Top 20

Girls basketball

With last week’s ranking in parentheses.

1. Folsom (1) 6-1

2. West Campus (2) 5-0

3. McClatchy (3) 3-1

4. Sacramento (4) 2-2

5. Roseville (14) 7-0

6. Christian Brothers (6) 5-2

7. Antelope (8) 5-1

8. Foothill (5) 7-1

9. Oak Ridge (7) 3-3

10. St. Francis (9) 2-1

11. Elk Grove (10) 3-3

12. Davis (11) 2-1

13. Whitney (12) 4-3

14. Del Oro (13) 4-1

15. Cosumnes Oaks (-) 4-0

16. Woodcreek (17) 6-1

17. Granite Bay (18) 7-1

18. Colfax (-) 7-1

19. Liberty Ranch (-) 8-1

20. Franklin (-) 3-3

Dropped out: River City (15), Rio Linda (16), Inderkum (19), Bear River (20)

Boys basketball

With last week’s ranking in parentheses.

1. Capital Christian (7) 2-3

2. Folsom (1) 6-1

3. Sheldon (2) 2-1

4. Burbank (4) 7-0

5. Oak Ridge (6) 5-0

6. Jesuit (3) 2-1

7. Grant (8) 4-1

8. Sacramento (5) 5-1

9. Liberty Ranch (9) 5-0

10. Cosumnes Oaks (11) 2-1

11. Antelope (12) 5-1

12. Christian Brothers (19) 2-0

13. Del Oro (13) 3-2

14. Granite Bay (14) 3-2

15. Woodcreek (10) 3-2

16. Whitney (15) 3-1

17. Del Campo (16) 4-0

18. Monterey Trail (-) 3-3

19. Pleasant Grove (-) 2-2

20. Franklin (-) 3-2

Dropped out: Rio Americano (17), Cordova (18), Rosemont (20)