Each Tuesday through the end of the regular season, the Star will rank the top five local baseball, softball and boys volleyball high school teams.
Here is this week’s poll, with last week’s ranking in parentheses. Records include Monday’s action but do not include tournament games or matches.
1. Salpointe Catholic (2) 12-1: A surging Cienega team knocked off the Lancers last week on the road, handing them their first regular-season loss. But, with the help of a wild week and some quality wins, senior pitched Jio Orozco and Salpointe are atop the power rankings for the first time this season.
2. Canyon del Oro (1) 10-2: A 3-1 loss at Tucson High on Saturday snapped an eight-game winning streak from the Dorados, dropping them from the No. 1 spot. CDO has three games this week on top of having to resume a game against Ironwood Ridge that is tied 9-9.
3. Desert Christian (3) 13-0: Another week, another three wins for the Eagles. And once again, the two-time defending champs made it look easy. Desert Christian, ranked No. 1 in Division IV, hosts No. 9 Elfrida Valley Union on Tuesday and the takes on fourth-ranked Glendale Joy Christian on Wednesday at Grand Canyon University.
4. Tucson (NR) 11-1: If it wasn't for an 11-inning, 4-3 loss at Catalina Foothills two weeks ago, coach Oscar Romero and the Badgers would have a strong case to be Southern Arizona's top team. A convincing win against CDO on Saturday certainly proved that.
5. Sunnyside (5) 12-3: The Blue Devils already have quality wins against Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge and Nogales. They could earn another one Tuesday night when they host Tucson for a 6 p.m. showdown that could decide who gets a first-round bye in the upcoming state tournament.
Dropped out: No. 4 Catalina Foothills (10-4).
1. Salpointe Catholic (1) 12-1: The Lancers fell to No. 3 from the top spot in the Division II rankings but remain Southern Arizona's top team – at least for now. Salpointe extended its winning streak to six with a 5-1 victory over Catalina Foothills on Monday. The Lancers host Sahuaro on Tuesday in a clash of two state title contenders.
2. Sahuaro (2) 12-1: Heading into Tuesday's showdown at Salpointe, the Cougars have won 10 straight games, including three in a row on the road last week. A win against the Lancers will only move Sahuaro closer to a first-round bye and maybe even the No. 1 seed for the state tournament.
3. Canyon del Oro (5) 10-3: Look out, the Dorados are starting to find their rhythm. CDO has won seven straight games since losing at Marana on March 26, including four in a row against teams in position to qualify for the state tournament.
4. Cienega (3) 10-3: The Bobcats, ranked fifth in Division II, had won 10 of their last 11 games before falling victim to a 3-2 upset at No. 25 Sunnyside last week. The loss shouldn't have an effect on Cienega's postseason hopes.
5. Ironwood Ridge (4) 12-3: All three losses by the Nighthawks have come against teams ranked inside the top 10 of Division II as of Monday – Canyon del Oro, Cienenga and Salpointe Catholic – and have each come by three runs. I-Ridge could get another shot at those teams down the road.
Dropped out: None.
1. Rincon/University (1) 10-1: The ninth-ranked Rangers have won 12 straight matches, including their perfect outing at the Hitmen Invitational a week ago. Rincon hits the road this week for its lone match at Sierra Vista Buena on Tuesday.
2. Ironwood Ridge (5) 11-2: Thursday night's four-set win against visiting Tucson High secured I-Ridge's 22nd straight section victory. The 11th-ranked Nighthawks can move one step closer to another section crown with a win Wednesday night at Catalina Foothills.
3. Marana (5) 10-3: After back-to-back losses two weeks ago, the 18th-ranked Tigers bounced back with consecutive five-set wins against Canyon del Oro and Mountain View last week. Marana plays at No. 27 Salpointe on Thursday in its third-to-last match.
4. Cienega (3) 8-2: Before losing at Rincon on Thursday night, the Bobcats had won eight straight regular-season matches – including four straight sweeps – since losing in four sets at Tucson High. But No. 15 Cienega beat the Badgers twice in last weekend's tournament.
5. Tucson (4) 10-2: The No. 13 Badgers had swept six straight opponents before losing at Ironwood Ridge in four sets on Thursday night and are still in position to qualify for the state tournament. Tucson lost to No. 21 Sahuaro on Monday night and takes on No. 23 Canyon del Oro on Tuesday.
Dropped out: None.