Boys Basketball Top 10: Balboa and Bay move in

The Lowell boys basketball team celebrates with the Blue and Gold Tournament trophy on Friday at Jefferson High School in Daly City. (Photo by Devin Chen)

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. Sacred Heart Cathedral (1-0, preseason ranking: 1)

The Irish didn’t play until Saturday night, but made an impression in their first game of the season. Sacred Heart took down last year’s Division III state semifinalist El Cerrito (2-2) with relative ease in a 71-53 win.

2. Mission (2-1, preseason ranking: 2)

The Bears opened their season in Riordan’s Crusader Classic and won two close games against St. Mary’s (0-3) and Drake (1-2), but dropped a game to Burlingame (2-1).

3. St. Ignatius (1-2, preseason ranking 3)

The Wildcats didn’t start off very well in the Father Barry Tournament in Carmichael, with two losses to Sheldon (3-1) and Oakland Tech (1-3), but left the Sacramento area on a positive note, beating Bishop Manogue (0-3), which was a Nevada Class 4A finalist last season.

4. University (4-0, preseason ranking: 5)

Eyebrows were raised when the Red Devils only beat an undermanned Marshall (1-2) squad by three points in their season opener, but University moves up a spot this week on the strength of its performance in the Redwood Christian Tournament. The Red Devils won three tournament games against St. Elizabeth (1-3), More (2-1) and Redwood Christian (3-1) last week by an average of 30 points.

5. Stuart Hall (3-1, preseason ranking: 7)

The Knights were trounced in the Boonville Classic championship game by Pinewood (4-0), but started the tournament on fire, beating South Fork (1-2), Point Arena (2-1) and St. Vincent de Paul (2-2) by a combined score of 224-158.

6. Lincoln (1-2, preseason ranking: 4)

We’ll get a better look at the Mustangs this week, but they drop two spots after a 1-2 performance in the Jeremy Jack Tournament. Lincoln started off well with a win over Richmond (0-4), but was pounded by host Salesian (3-0) in the second game and suffered a one-point loss to De Anza (4-1) in the third-place game.

7. Riordan (1-2, preseason ranking: 6)

The Crusaders dropped their Crusader Classic opener against Burlingame, then beat St. Mary’s and lost a heartbreaker to San Ramon Valley (2-1). Riordan is noticeably small in the frontcourt and that probably won’t bode well in the WCAL, but junior Geru Mabrey is one of the most talented guards in the City.

8. Lowell (3-1, preseason ranking: 8)

The Cardinals won the Blue and Gold Tournament with wins over Aragon (2-1), Washington (3-2) and Galileo (2-1), but didn’t always look great in doing so. Lowell played its best game of the still-early season in the championship against Galileo, but the overall strength of the tournament is the reason the Cardinals are staying put.

9. Balboa (3-0, preseason ranking: NR)

The Bucs won the Lick-Wilmerding tournament with victories over Athenian (4-2), Lick (3-2) and Head-Royce (2-1). Balboa will get a serious test this week, playing five games in five days, capped by the Cardinal Classic at Lowell.

10. Bay (5-0, preseason ranking: NR)

The Breakers are undefeated and have beaten opponents by an average of over 23 points, but should be taken with a grain of salt. Bay hasn’t played many quality opponents, with wins over Wallenberg (0-4), Chinese Christian (1-6) Archbishop Hanna, Alma Heights (3-1) and Pacific Collegiate (2-2).

On the brink: Lick-Wilmerding (3-2), Washington (3-2), Urban (2-1), Galileo (2-1), Burton (2-1).

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  1. ARHS Stats says:

    I think Lincoln should still be the fourth ranked team in San Francisco.

    Neither University or Stuart Hall played a team that is as highly ranked as Salesian is.

    None of the teams that University or Stuart Hall played is considered a threat to beat higher division teams, even the better higher division teams.

    Pinewood would be able to compete with some higher division teams and maybe some of the better higher division team. But Salesian has beaten the better higher division teams the last couple of years, maybe not the Top 5 Bay Area Teams, but close to that.

    I don’t remember Pinewood playing any W.C.A.L. Schools last year.

    • Kezar for Keeps says:

      I agree you can throw the Salesian game out, but the loss to De Anza was bad. I think they won only two or three games last year.

      • ARHS Stats says:

        But so far DeAnza is 4-1 this year, and Lincoln played them the day after Salesian

        • red says:

          just remember to be high in rankings you have to win and does lincoln win no they are 1 and 3 SHHS is 3 and 1 and UHS is 4 0 how is that even an arguement

          • ARHS Stats says:

            yes, if Lincoln had played the teams Stuart Hall and University played last week, they would be undefeated, too

          • AAA says:

            It’s still early but in a perfect world the more wins you have theoretically the higher ranking you should have. For instance, last year Riordan was ranked at least anywhere from 6-8 for almost the entire season and they only had 9 wins total for the year. I’m pretty sure that there were a bunch of teams that almost had 2x the wins Riordan had last year.

      • SF NINERS says:

        i was at the salesian game between lincoln and salisian. sal had bigger and taller player than lincoln. lincoln lost but never back down. those kids on the lincoln team played hard esp. the 3 guards.

  2. bryan says:

    what about Gateway High School? watchout!!

    • Kezar for Keeps says:

      Gateway lost to Lick by 10.

      • Anonymous says:

        gateway might have the most potential out of any team in the city

      • Anonymous says:

        the gators were winning 3/4ths of the entire game. Had a minor meltdown but are a team to beat now on a 4 game win streak, After upsetting Urban tonight!

        • Anonymous says:

          i don’t see how gateway is in any way a team to beat. i watched their game against lick their not athletic enough to compete with probably even the top 15 in the city, much less top 10. The teams they have beaten they should beat, but they were outplayed by an early season Lick team and that’s telling that they don’t have anywhere close to a top 10 future. Put them up against balboa, lowell, even bay and they would unquestionably lose and lose bad. I might give them the bay game since it’s bay and they have no place in this top 10, but neither does gateway

  3. Feel the Pain says:

    Rankings are right on except for the Lincoln slippage to #6. Didn’t they pound University in the scrimmage earlier in the season by 30? They will take their lumps this pre-season as they battle Rodriguez of Fairfield and DeLaSalle. They will be ready come AAA season and imo are the 2nd best team behind Mission. Only time will tell! Great job with the rankings JB!

  4. SI Cats says:

    Regarding SI, keep in mind that they were playing without Domingo who is out with a wrist injury. He should be back in time for league opener in January. Maybe would not have made a difference in Fr. Barry tourney but who knows?

    • AFitzsimon says:

      SI does indeed have a pretty good team. They played without Kevin Watters and Domingo, both people that should contribute heavily, not to mention five other football players. However, a voice of concern is that the Sheldon game I saw was against a team that was very lanky the three guard front was 6-1, 6-3, and 6-6 and the front court was 6-4 and 6-6, like many WCAL teams and they struggled a lot with the size of Sheldon, granted they had no Domingo. It was a tough tournament and they got out with a win and got to see some real solid competition, they should be well prepped for WCAL after the Sand Dunes Classic and this one.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Whos top 3 scorer at lincOln

  6. Anonymous says:

    bay over lick? lick’s better than any other team in the bcl west, and when they beat uni at oracle in january we’ll all see that

  7. 1993 BUC says:

    I live in the Sunset and Came out to watch Lincoln play against Rodriguez today, i was also pretty excited to watch Rae Jackson, with all the mix tape hype on Rodriguez and Jackson. Lincoln played phenomenal, I was expecting a blow out by Rodriguez but Lincoln did NOT look like a triple A team at all. Probably even better then S.I!

    • GCJ01 says:

      What exactly does a AAA team look like in your opinion? You make it seem as if there are no skilled players or teams in the AAA….

  8. Anonymous says:


  9. bb fan says:

    i am very impressed with how lincoln team came together tonite. they are playing extremely well and remember, they are young and restless. they have a lot to prove this year and with that asian kid playing at #2, oh damn, here comes the mustang, ready and better. they are playing tough teams right now and every game they came close to taking it. from what i see tonight, this is an explosive team.

  10. bb fan says:

    btw, did this kid #5 ever play in AAU? anyone knows? he’s a great guard. i will be coming to lincoln games more now after i have seen what he can do.

    • Feel the Pain says:

      I’m not sure where he plays in the off season, but he’s developed his game by leaps and bounds since he started in the same backcourt with Trevor Dunbar (SI) back at Aptos middle school 4 years ago. Great team player who can create for himself and teammates.

      • Rick says:

        He was planning on playing with the Bay City Elites but decided not too. He is a great all-around player and i’m excited to watch him go off this season! Lets go Mustangs!!

      • aptos alumni says:

        i remember when chris was at aptos. good all around player. unselfish and good ethics when it comes down to practice. he practice hard and never complains. great kid.

  11. ccsf student says:

    man, came to see this lincoln team and they were like people say, “fun to watch”. then i thought for a moment about our city team. what if coach labaugh had this kid on his team. he could turn this kid into a fantastic “asian” player. i don’t mean to be racist but not many asian kid can handle ball like the one from lincoln. he know the game and maybe need a little adjustment but what if city had him on next year when our guards are moving on. CCSF would probably again bring something very interesting. from what i saw and so many others as well, they had to double and triple team him> now, come on!!! man, just think about it coach. what if? how can i bring this kid to the next level? he has the fundamentals and especially the speed. size? (you have support to get him there). confidence? (no probs) distraction by other team? (hell ya!)

  12. ccsf basketball fan says:

    Lincoln played very well, i thought., and so did Rodriguez.. I was in awe Monday when i saw how good Lincoln guards were. Their 2 or 3 seniors played extremely well and to underestimate Lincoln out of the playoff run is OVERRATED. They should have no problems when they play the others AAA teams. Imo, Mission will have a big challenge. From what i saw today, Mission and Lincoln are very good teams but if i have to go for one team to take their Division, it got to be Lincoln.

  13. Phil LeGrand says:

    St. Ignatius plays Pinewoood tomorrow. We’ll learn a lot from that one!

  14. BCL Fan says:

    I just read that the Boys Coach who was at Marin Academy is now at Tamalpais HS

  15. Coach Sylvestri says:

    Boy, I wish there could be a SI vs Lincoln game. Want to see my boys Chris and Trevor from Aptos go at it, would be a great game. Hopefully they will play each other this season!

  16. anaymous says:

    hat about leadership who are 5 And 2

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