Every week, we will be publishing our take on 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.
1. St. Ignatius (2010-2011 record: 24-8. Final ranking last season: 1)
The Wildcats only lost two players to graduation and should return seven seniors from last year’s top team, including forward Maria Kemiji-McDonald, the early favorite for City Player of the Year.
2. Sacred Heart Cathedral (2010-2011 record: 16-13. Final ranking last season: 2)
The Irish upset rival St. Ignatius in Central Coast Section Division III championship game last season, where then-freshman GeAnna Summers-Luaulu came of age. Add a year of experience, and the still-youthful Irish could do some serious damage.
3. Lowell (2010-2011 record: 28-5. Final ranking last year: 3)
The Cardinals return 17 players from last season’s Academic Athletic Association championship team, including league Player of the Year Lorna Tuufuli and fellow junior Katarina Lum.
4. Mercy (2010-2011 record: 20-9. Final ranking last season: 6)
The Skippers have fallen just short of a CCS Division IV championship for the past three years, but their two best players, Mariah Masoli and Courtney Sabahi, are in their senior years and Mercy could be on the brink of a section title.
5. Washington (2010-2011 record: 24-11. Final ranking last season: 3)
The Eagles lost a host of graduating players from last season’s squad that went undefeated in the AAA regular season, but first-team All-AAA guard Raelyn Cheung-Sutton is back and should lead Washington to another league championship appearance.
6. International (2010-2011 record: 20-9. Final ranking last season: 8)
The Jaguars are returning every starter from last season’s team that broke out for 20 wins.
International will feature a cold-blooded scorer in senior shooting guard Denia Ebersole and a dynamic point guard in sophomore Natalie Kelly.
7. University (2010-2011 record: 16-12. Final ranking last season: 9)
The Red Devils have a ton of speedy young guards and the best shot-blocking center in the City, Amelia King.
8. Convent (2010-2011 record: 19-11. Final ranking last season: 5)
The Cubs won their second-consecutive Bay Counties League West title last season, but will lose City Player of the Year India Pearce and four other seniors. Convent will need to lean heavily on junior guards Isabella Borges and Bianka Quintanilla-Whye, the Cubs two leading scorers returning.
9. Galileo (2010-2011 record: 16-10. Final ranking last season: 10)
The Lions started four freshman last year and will be improved, but could struggle in the frontcourt with the loss of graduated first-team All-AAA forward Bianca Hussein.
10. Lincoln (2010-2011 record: 16-13. Final ranking last season: NR)
The Mustangs were upset by Wallenberg in the first round of the AAA playoffs last season, but return their top three scorers in senior center Jessica Garrett (9.8 points per game), junior forward Michelle Wong (9.1 ppg) and sophomore guard Ezra De Asis (9 ppg).