Mira Costa was voted No. 6 in the preseason coaches poll, and big things were expected from a team that returned some significant players from last year’s squad. But a couple of those players opened the season on the sideline with injuries, which led to a slow start and a drop in the poll. Costa has been ranked No. 11 or 12 for about the last month.
The Mustangs (11-3) are healthy now, though, and after win last week at Peninsula (in overtime) and at home over Redondo Union — their seventh consecutive victory — they are back in the Top 10, moving up two spots. They still sit one spot behind Peninsula (8-4), though, which fell from No. 7 to No. 9 after losing to Costa and Palos Verdes.
Also moving up two spots this week are Newbury Park (9-3), which also lost a few games while a key player was injured, and West Ranch (9-4). The Panthers have won four in a row and move up to No. 6; the Wildcats have won five of their last six and move from No. 17 to 15.
The biggest drop in the poll was Palisades (9-2), which lost Saturday at West Ranch and fell from No. 14 to No. 17.
The top of the rankings remain unchanged, with Palos Verdes (12-2) a unanimous pick at No. 1 on the 16 ballots submitted this week, and Loyola (12-3) a unanimous No. 2. Harvard Westlake (9-3) Westlake (8-3) and Agoura (7-5) fill out the Top 5 once again.
With playoff seeding two weeks away, keep an eye on the teams in the 15-20 range. Last year, the coaches committee selected 19 teams for the playoffs, scheduling three pre-first-round games. The winners of those games were then seeded into the main 16-team bracket at seeds 14, 15 and 16.
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Biggest jump: Newbury Park, 8 to 6; Mira Costa, 12 to 10; West Ranch, 17 to 15.
Biggest fall: Palisades, 14 to 17.
Dropped out: None.
Worth consideration: Valencia (5-7); Santa Monica (6-6); Cate School (4-6).