Boys Basketball Top 10: Sacred Heart atop final poll

Sacred Heart Cathedral junior forward Joshua Fox slams home a dunk against St. Ignatius in the Bruce-Mahoney game on Jan. 11 at USF's War Memorial Gymnasium. (Photo by Christian Chew)

Every week we will be compiling a poll of local media members to rank the top 10 boys and girls basketball teams in San Francisco. Feel free to make your own rankings and discuss ours in the comment section. Voters include staff, Mitch Stephens from and and Dylan Kruse from the San Francisco Examiner.

1. Sacred Heart Cathedral (23-7)
After rolling through the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs, the Irish got a terrible draw in their first game of the Northern California regional playoffs, where they fell to Bishop O’Dowd, who will play for the D-III state championship Saturday. Hard to put them anywhere else but the top after a second place finish in the West Catholic Athletic League and a CCS title.

2. University (28-7)
After impressive runs in the early rounds of the North Coast Section and Northern California regional playoffs, St. Joseph Notre Dame stood firmly in the way of the Red Devils’ quest for their first league title. As the region’s second-best Division V team, University has nothing to be ashamed of.

3. St. Ignatius (17-10)
The Wildcats exited earlier than expected in the WCAL and CCS playoffs, but were not short on marquee wins this season. I’m sure when St. Ignatius looks back on their season after some time, they’ll hang their hat on clinching the Bruce-Mahoney trophy against No. 1 Sacred Heart Cathedral and serving Mitty, which will play for the Division II state title on Saturday, one of its two losses.

4. Washington (25-10)
The Eagles’ first Academic Athletic Association title in 29 years was not marred by their first-round exit to Santa Teresa in the stacked NorCal Division I playoffs. It will be interesting to see how Washington rebounds next season, after losing three of the AAA’s best players to graduation.

5. Mission (23-11)
The Bears’ return to the AAA championship game with almost an entirely different starting lineup surprised some, but with almost all of their core players returning, they should be league favorites next season.

6. Riordan (9-18)
The Crusaders’ record may not look like anything close to impressive, but other than their two losses to Mitty, they were in nearly every WCAL game. If this season was tough for the Riordan faithful, next season could be worse, with the loss of leading scorer and senior leader Aaron Anderson to graduation.

7. Lowell (21-10)
What made Lowell’s season so impressive was the fact that they were successful without a genuine scorer, in a league that has plenty. Instead they leaned on the AAA’s best defense, led by senior Ricco Price.

8. Lincoln (20-13)
It was hard not to root for the Mustangs after the death of head coach Mike Gragnani, and for a while they appeared to be primed for a significant run in the AAA. But as the season progressed the weight they carried seemed to take a toll, as they lost key games down the stretch after a quick start in league play.

9. Stuart Hall (16-13)
After a 20-point loss to Marin Academy at home in late January, the Knights played their best ball, winning seven of their final 10 games, including two wins over Marin Academy.

10. Wallenberg (14-13)
After an average performance in the AAA regular season, the Bulldogs upset Lincoln in the first round of the league playoffs then nearly did it again in the semifinals against Mission.

Also receiving votes: Marshall (13-6), Waldorf (17-9) and Bay (19-8).

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  1. WCALGuy says:

    Should there be a separation between privates and publics? As the top four boys are privates and in combination with the girls the private schools have what I think are 11 out of the 20 spots.

  2. THE TURTH says:

    I was just wondering how washington is ranked lower than Univeristy when both of them won there respective leagues. Of course univeristy went to norcal finals in division 5 and washington lost in the first round of DIVISION 1 with some of the top teams in the NATION. DIvision 5 teams are wack they dont even have to have to win there section and they still make it to the state tournament. Every team in norcal for division one made it to there section championships at least! BCAL is not a better league than the AAA. Both leagues only have a couple of good teams and the rest are trash. Both leagues are the same but Division 1 is a million times tougher than Division 5. St. Joes was the only decent team Univeristy played in the whole norcal tournament.

  3. THE LIE says:

    From the words of the most based player in the AAA, I would love to say that Washington high school should have been ranked higher due to their run to the city championship and they in a tough division 1 league. Their opponent in the first round norcal playoffs , Santa Thresa, was much higher ranked than St.Joes. Getting to my point, all I’m saying is that Washington should be higher than University. If University were to play Washington right now, Washington would run them out of town.

    • jbalan says:

      The AAA is not a Division I league… Wash, Lowell and Galileo are D-I, Lincoln is D-II, Mission, Balboa and Burton are D-III, Marshall, Jordan, O’Connell and Wallenberg are D-IV and ISA is D-V…

      • basedlord says:

        @jbalan yess the AAA isnt a division 1 league but washington is and thats what the whole arguement is about! Washington is DIVISION 1 with teams like sheldon serra jesuit castro valley oakland making it into the state tournament. Division 5 state tournament are teams like Pinewood Marin Academy (who didnt win there section) head royce st elizabeth. You cant even compare those teams to Oakland and Castro Valley.

        • basedlord says:

          i would like to thank you though for all your coverage of city bball this year. Really put SF basketball back on the map. GG

        • jbalan says:

          I don’t know what being in Division I has anything to do with one team being better than the other. I was only pointing out the incorrect point that Wash plays in a “tough Division I league.”

    • The LIE is a liar says:

      A handful of the league opponents that Washington plays are worse than lowest of the BCL teams — Balboa, Oconnel, Jordan, ISA, etc. You’re argument that d1 automatically makes them superior is completely flawed and pretty ironic considering that many of the teams they play against are either crappy d1 (galileo) or pretty bad d4 teams like Jordan. UHS adds to their “weaker” league schedule by competing against legit teams in the preseason.

      Good teams can be in not-so-good leagues.

  4. Pepto Bismol says:

    i think Lincoln should hav been over Lowell, even though Lowell got to the Semis, Lincoln had a way tougher schedule and preseason and was clearly the better team. I think they even beat Wash, correct me if I am wrong.

    I think the University and SI at #2 and #3 are debatable but i am fine with the outcome. I like seeing University getting the respect they deserved, but in my opinion I think SI is a better team.

    Other than that.
    Great work SanFranPreps!!

  5. Mrt.Smith says:

    It will come down to the All-Star Game and the BCL will prevail.

  6. Roll Cats says:

    The fact that University ranks ahead of SI is simply because they never played each other. Regardless of their status as a Division 5 school, SI should schedule University so as to please the fans of both teams and so that there will be no debate when it comes time to rank SI ahead of University at the end of the season. I understand where the #2 ranking comes from, but I completely disagree. SI beat SH, Serra, Bellarmine, Burlingame, and oh yeah… ARCHBISHOP MITTY. The argument that the Mitty victory is a fluke (not mentioned in previous comments but talked about around the watercooler) can be made, but no team did a better job shutting down Aaron Gordon and forcing the other players to step up. Gordon scored only 7 in Mitty’s loss to SI as the SI defense consistently double-teamed him with success. University simply doesn’t match up with the tougher teams that SI plays against and it’s unfortunate that SI has to see University ranked ahead of them because they did not play each other. Finally, it would have been great to see Noah and Johnny match up because both seem to have a knack for clutch plays in big time match-ups (see Mrlik-SH basketball game and SH baseball game). In my opinion, SI completely deserved the #2 ranking and I wouldn’t call it a stretch to put Washington at 3 as it would have been compelling to see a Glapion-Springwater match-up.

    Anyhow, great work all season San Fran Preps as the coverage was most enjoyable for all city sports fans. Can’t wait for the all-city teams to come out! Predictions- Mrlik- POY (obvious choice, really no contest). First team- Springwater, Glapion, Fox, Johns, Mrlik. Who wouldn’t want that starting five???

    • WCALGuy says:

      Completely agree with the all city teams. POY you could make an argument for Fox and Johns as they led a young inexperienced team to 2nd place in WCAL and a CCS championship. But SI without Mrlik is bottom 3 the question is is Mrlik leading SI to a 4th place finish and beating Mitty impressive enough to top either Fox or Johns who led the young Irish to a better season.
      P.S that starting five would challenge for state!

  7. AAA fan says:

    Hey Pepto Bismal, Lowell took care of that discussion by beating Lincoln at Lincoln. Lowell Also beat Wallenberg Twice which is the team that Knocked Lincoln out of the playoffs.

    • former Wash player says:

      i could make the argument for BGlapion as POY, help lead Wash to first city title in 29 years and far as natural talent, he’s definitely up with the aformentioned guys

      • Pepto Bismol says:

        Glapion is a great payer dont get me wrong, but AAA was super weak this year and he had a lot of senior help from on offense with Jeremy Jetton, defense with Jeremy and Gallen Hall, and on the board with Lavendar Moore. This was the worst AAA year in competition in my opinion in this decade, I didn’t see any players that were standout college or JC players. AAA is going downhill fast and you can argue BCL is gettting closer to being better than AAA, competition-wise.

        He did carry his team, but i don’t think he is better than Myrlik, Fox, Johns, or Springwater. Also in my opinion Jeremy Jetton is not too far behind him too.

  8. basedlord says:

    Not to mention that every team in D1 cif tournament WON or made it to championship of there section. Teams that didnt even win there league or got to the finals of there section made it to the D5 cif tournament…..

  9. Anonymous says:

    How is Lick-Wilmerding not at least mentioned. 1) they beat bay 2) they beat waldorf 3) they beat walenberg 4) they beat lowell. it does really make sense to me

    • bball fan says:

      lick did not beat lowell or wallenberg. and they had a terrible record playing in a terrible league

    • Baybball says:

      Lick never played wallenberg….

      i would also like to thank SF Preps for great coverage this year. keep up the good work!

  10. More truth says:

    Noah Springwater: POY, Randy Bessolo: COY. Johnny Mrylic had a great season and deserves 1st team, but your all biased because he was the star against SHC. Look at the bigger picture: Noah is basically a better version than Johnny. They are both skinny 6-2/6-3 lefty combo guards. But Noah has got to be top 5 in the city in steals, assists, blocks, rebounds and points. He is basically a tripple-double caliber player at the higher school level whereas Johnny may be more double-double. Noah is going to COlumbia next year (not sure where Johnny is playing) and is far and away more apt to compete at the next level. He didn’t just have the better season because he is in a weaker league. Noah was all-city and all-norcal last year too. Plus, he doesn’t have nearly the #2 man at UHS that Mrylic has in Domingo, who is arguably the better player and while he may have been less “clutch” down the stretch was really more key to SI’s success (as in teams had to worry most about Domingo opening up the game for Myrlic and other players). Noah has basically been face guarded 3 years straight. Glapion and Fox also deserve 1st team. Mrylik (or maybe Domingo) deserves 1st team, but to give MVP to a player who didn’t win any championships or really come close and didn’t accomplish what either stars of SHC, Wash, Mission and Springwater of UHS were able to individually or as a team with equivalently qualified teammates and SI having the best #2 player making arguably more contributions… SI fans need to tone it down. To take it away from a player because of a final bad offensive game (or the coach) considering the injury or other contributions would be just as sad.

    • Pepto Bismol says:

      Besselo definitely COY
      But i say Fox or Myrlik POY hands down no discussion

    • Roll Cats says:

      More truth, there is no doubt Noah had a fantastic season and is phenomenal in all statistical categories. However, in terms of POY or MOP award, Johnny Mrlik did more for his team than any single player did in the city. I doubt you were crying foul when Tim Lincecum won the CY Young and the Giants missed the playoffs. Though Johnny did not play on a championship team, there is no doubt about the impact he made. University could have won their league without Noah whereas SI would not have had nearly as many wins without Johnny.

      To say Noah was basically face guarded is a great argument, he was. However, Johnny was face guarded and then some as he was double teamed and even 2 1/2 teamed against Riordan. Johnny’s accomplishments come in a much more difficult league, not to slight D5 and the BCL, but the type of defensive tenacity he faced make his statistics that much more impressive.

      Finally, SI fans are not going to “tone it down.” We’re only going to “Tone it up” as in get behind Antonio Aguilar and hopefully make a deeper run next season.

      • Hmmm says:

        Why Mrylic is not even in the top 3 for player of the year:

        2/15 WCAL Qtr Final vs. Bellarmine L: 46-49


        2/26 CCS Qtr Final vs. Riordan W: 60-53
        3/2 CCS Semi-Final vs. Burlingame L: 56-68

        SHC and SI are the only 2 teams that undesputably they have 2 of the top 10 players in the city?
        If this kid had gone to UHS (almost did), the matter of what team was #1 wouldn’t even be in question

        3. If any WCAL player deserves it, its Johns or Fox from SHC . SHC was no doubt the better team this year–SI beat them by 2, SHC then beat SI 20 then won CCS (no one else cares who was the star of the Bruce Mahoney).

        But Johns and Fox are both Juniors and like Domingo and Mrylic it’s pretty debatable who is better or who was more valuable for their team.

        On the other hand, theres not even a question that Springwater is the best player on UHS, but there is a question of whether SHC or UHS is the cities top team and both SI and SHC have a much better 1-2 punch (Domingo, Mrylik, Johns, Fox are all better than Zio).

        He has been #1 by a long shot the last 3 year for the devils leading them to back-to-back-to-back championships and back-to-back Norcal Finals. The 2009 BCL title and 2010 NorCal appearance were the 1st since 2002 when they lost in the State final. It’s not as easy as it seems and all the teams have had their years with the city’s top player… Stuart Hall had Stephen Powell, Lick had Marcus Wells, Drew had Scott Schulkin were probably the 3 top guards in the city ’06-’07– imagine if De’End Parker and Powell had stayed, with 3 very good players in the following class to round out the team. More recently, St Hall had Ikenna and Frank Duncan, MA had Merlin Edwards, UHS had a load of talented older players ahead of Springwater in all 3 classes before him, + there are many BCL players who could easily play in the WCAL (some that would also be All-League). But Noah was not only no doubt best on his team and (Randy with Springwater) completely revived a program from mediocracy to arguably top in SF… Noah was also probably the best player in the league too (top 3 in MVP votes Soph, top 2 as Junior and won MVP as senior; only lost it the other 2 years because it is unspoken BCL protocol for a Senior to win it).

        Just google Johnny Mrylik and Noah Springwaternames to see what comes up… it just talks about Mahony game for Mrylik and shows homemade highlight videos of him, it talks about Noah being All Norcal last year, setting Norcal Final 3 point records, winning gold at the Israel Maccabbi games and he is on with about 10 listed D1 schools…. I guarantee you, put all these city POY candidates in the BCL WEst: Randy still regains UHS’ title and Springwater still wins MVP by a long-shot.

        • Pepto Bismol says:

          ^ dang dude why dont you marry him? lol
          looking him up on google haha

          No but really it is all a matter of all opinion. Its like the old saying goes, “Opinions are like a**holes. Everybody’s got one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks.”
          You can argue POY til the cows come home, but you never going to see which team/player was better because they will never play each other.

          In my opinion i think Fox and Myrlik are the better players, but again it’s up to your own opinion. I can’t tell you what to believe. I think Noah is a great player, but really hurts him in my eyes is that BCL is a really weak league he would not have had all those accomplishments his junior and sophomore year in the WCAL.

          I hope WCAL plays BCL in the All Star game this year. So we might be able to see an end to this on going argument. haha

          I also want to give Credit to Besselo for starting the SF All Star I went the inaugural year and it was a lot of fun.

          Does anyone know when the All Star game is this year?

          • jbalan says:

            We’re going to post the rosters and all the info for the All-Star game on Sunday…

          • More Truth says:

            Well who would you rather have on your team? Noah and Johnny went to the same middle school and Johnny has always been #2 to Noah and it hasn’t changed. You switch Noah to SI’s team and Johnny to UHS’ team and SI will do better and UHS will do worse than they did. Take any player from SHC and switch him for Noah and it will be the same. He may have played in a weaker league, but absolutely owned it and proved himself against better teams outside of conference. UHS was (arguably) better this year and he doesn’t have nearly as good of a #2 as Myrlik-Domingo or Fox-Johns.

            If coaches are going to take 1 player in the city, I think you go with Noah without question. Just best all-around player. If I were picking a second guy, I would take Domingo because he’s got so much upside and arguably better than any of those other 3 guys now as it is. Who I’d take third… I’m not sure maybe Johnny?

            • Johnny Drama says:

              Owned it? UHS lost all 4 times they played a good team. Three times to SJND and to Oak. I recall he had his worst games against SJ. When he played athletic teams, he was a non factor because he was neutralized. Johnny faced that every night and still put up more points than him in a much tougher league. Mrlik would put up 30 in his sleep in the weakest league in CA.

              Now that season is done, you have no argument that UHS is better team. They got smoked badly by SJND and the 2 point loss was the outlier. The last 2 games is THE TRUTH! They beat nobody this year absolutely nobody. Us on the other hand beat the D2 state champs and both the D3 CCS finalist. Also Serra, giving us victories over 4 of the top 20 teams in Nor Cal (Examiner). UHS beat nobody on that list while SHC made the list. SHC is the best team this year hands down. Our schedule was much more difficult while yours was a cake walk BUT you lost every time you played a real team.

              City MVP should go to best player on best team, which is Fox.

              • Johnny Drama says:

                Now that hoops is over, I want to give props to the entire SFP team. Excellent job, you have a great product. Catch you next season, Drama out!

  11. UHS v. says:

    AAA (all ranked or receiving votes):
    @Thurgood Marshall Academic High School W 97-75 (also receiving votes)
    @Lincoln High School W 74-55 (#8)
    vs. Mission High School W 82-66 (#5)

    @Archbishop Riordan HS W 65-60 (#6)

    BCL city teams (ranked or previously ranked):
    Stuart Hall (#8): Win 63-41, Win 75-61, Win 70-45 (BCL finals)
    Lick Wilmerding (PR): W77-62 (redwood christian tourney final), W66-26, W70-53, W77-41 (BCL semis)

    Other D5:
    @Head Royce W51-43, W70-51 (NCS semis) BCL East champ, lost to Pinewood (CCS champ) in NOrcals
    @ Pinewood: Norcal Semis W81-75
    VS. Fremont Christian Win 94-64 NCS playoffs
    VS. Liberty Christian Win 90-55 Norcals playoffs

    Modesto Christian Invitational (all D1, high State ranked):
    Burbank(Sac) Loss 66-62 team won the tournament
    Canoga Park @ Win 73-32
    Fremont (LA) @ Win 69-66
    Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) Win 74-64

    Other losses:
    -vs.Oakland High School Loss 65-54
    -St Joe’s (x3) Loss 63-32 l Loss 54-65 Norcals LOss
    -St. Elizabeth L63-59 —NCS semis (lost to St. Joes), Norcal beat by Vacaville Christian (OT loss to St. Joes)
    -@Marin Academy L60-57 (W77-50, W82-65 in NCS for Norcal qualifier)

  12. UHS v. says:

    In other words, UHS is ranked ahead of Washington because they beat Mission much more handily, all the other (upper-half) AAA teams listed above and Riordan. UHS destoryed Lick and Stuart Hall 7 times by a total of who wants to even count many points and those teams both gave AAA teams problems. How else can they compare because when they didn’t play? UHS only narrowly lost to Oakland who is the only D1 team they faced and did much better than Wash in the Norcal tourney too.

    The argument for why they were ranked ahead of SI has been repeated numerously and no one really cares to explain it to them anymore since it seems to be ignored. The only reason UHS was not put first was to keep debates from getting to heated for everyone’s sake. There’s really no way to know and these rankings are pretty pointless other than for the sake of succesfful team’s and acknowledgement and comical arguments. We can never know whether UHS was better than SHC, SI or Wash (or if they were really better than Riordan or Mission even), it’s all slightly subjective and arbitrary. UHS believes they were the best team based off their results and success and wishes they were able to play everyone to have been able to prove it. And they don’t really care if everyone else feels the same way for themselves.

    I think the rankings are extremely fair. Washington clearly edges Mission, but those two are clearly neck-and-neck. Riordan clearly deserves to be behind them, followed by the trickling down AAA teams then BCL and then smaller league waldorf won. SHC clearly edges SI at the head of the pact, but those teams are clearly pretty close too. And UHS is the only team that really brings the debate into question. They are obviously ahead of Mission and Riordan (and Washington then by default seems pretty obvious). The question is whether they go before, between or after SHC and SI. I think putting them between was a good compromise to a question no one can truly know.

    Good job to all teams, coaches and SFprep for a great year and hope for the same next time!

  13. IC Stars says:

    Well, they got the top spot right.

  14. Chris says:

    Josh Fox is very good, he sort of looks like Obama in that picture.

  15. All-City Team says:

    PG: Stephen Curry
    SG: Noah Springwater
    SF: De’End Parker
    PF: Rob Jones
    C: Eric Crookshank

    Coach: Randy Bessolo

    • Pepto Bismol says:

      ^lol wat is this?
      If your going to say the best players in the city or from the city you are missing a lot buddy.
      im not even going to try to argue with this. I see no point haha. This person is a lost cause haha

  16. City Lights says:

    I love how wildcat fans refuse to even entertain the idea that they might have been better off WITHOUT Mrlik chucking up 60 shots a game while the rest of his teammates stood around and watched.

    Mrlik is Jimmer-light. Very light. Maybe D3.

    The best player in the city is either Johns or Fox, take your pick. And before Johnny Mrlik, errr… I mean Johnny Drama or some delusional “Uni” fan shoots back about how much better Mrlik or Springwater is, check yourself and try to justify to yourself how you would pick either one of those two over Johns or Fox if you were starting a team from scratch.

  17. ARHS Stats says:

    If Johns or Fox are the best players in the city, then SHC beat Mitty or won the WCAL. Since this did not happen, they are not the Player of the Year for San Francisco, especially since another San Francisco team beat Mitty.
    SHC did not even play in the WCAL Championship game, Serra beat SHC by 40 points at SHC in the WCAL Semi Finals

    Johns or Fox did not win League Player of the Year honors either.

    Mrlik’s team beat Mitty, SHC did not. So this this give an advantage to Johnny Mrlik.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mrlik’s team lost to SHC at home by 20+ I believe. Mrlik’s team also got manhandled by Burlingame in the semi-finals of the CCS tournament. Mrlik’s team also never made it out of the first round of the WCAL tournament losing at home. How does Serra beating SHC at home make Mrlik better? SHC swept Serra during the season. SI beat Mitty at home which is a big deal but to base POY off of one game? Fox and Johns led their young team to a 2nd place finish in WCAL, won CCS, and made it to second round of NorCals where they were beaten by the eventual NORCAL CHAMPS. Mrlik is a great player and I have enjoyed watching him play but POY should be the BEST player from the BEST team in the City. Take Fox or Johns off SHC and they fall to either 3rd or 4th in the City.

      • jbalan says:

        I’m not going to comment on who our player of the year is (that will come out on Thursday), but I’m confused why you assume player of the year is the best player on the best team… It’s an individual honor… Sacred Heart has already been named our best team in our final top ten.

        • Shooter says:

          Well using your logic that kid Glapion should be POY. I would also think team success factored into POY voting..

          • jbalan says:

            Again, not going to give anything away, but team success certainly factors into it, just not all of it… The idea that player of the year should only go to the best player on the best team is not how it works, at least for us… It is the PLAYER of the year…

            • Johnny Drama says:

              First team should be Fox, Johns, Noah, Mrlik and Glapion with Glapion or Fox as POY. Nobody put up Glapions’ numbers and his team won league. Fox was SHC’s best player and his numbers were also good. It will be hard to argue with SFP’s choice, they are usually spot on!

  18. jbalan says:

    Looks like we’re switching things around… We’re putting the girls All-City teams up on Thursday morning and the boys on Sunday…

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