LARGE SCHOOLS -- BOYS
1. (1) Merced (14-4): Bears have won three in a row since loss to Pitman in CCC opener. Second shot at the Pride on Jan. 29.
2. (2) Turlock (15-4): Bulldogs can throw CCC into three-way tie for first place by beating crosstown rival Pitman on Wednesday.
3. (3) Manteca (11-5): Buffaloes stumbled once without Kiwi Gardner. He's back on the court, so that might not happen again.
4. (4) Davis (14-4): Not a good sign that Spartans were tested by Downey in MMC opener, but conference games usually tight.
5. (5) Pitman (12-6): Pride is capable of beating anybody and seems to have hit stride with efficient inside-outside offense.
SMALL SCHOOLS -- BOYS
1. (1) Modesto Christian (5-8): Crusaders have survived difficult early season and ready for TVL opener today at Escalon.
2. (3) Central Catholic (11-4): Raiders too strong inside for rest of WAC, but concern in backcourt after Friday's loss to Hilmar.
3. (2) Livingston (12-3): If Wolves rely too much on their outside game, they're vulnerable to upset as the WAC has other quality teams in Central Catholic and Hilmar.
4. (5) Ripon Christian (13-2): Slow and steady continues to win games for the Knights, and no one has been able to keep 6-8 Tyler Goslinga from having his way around the basket.
5. (4) Amador (15-2): Buffaloes held off Ripon in crossover showdown and will take eight-game win streak into MLL play, where Calaveras and Linden could present some problems.