Boys Basketball Top 10: Balboa and Lick make big moves

Balboa senior guard DiJon Jones (left) and the undersized Bucs are the biggest surprise of the early season and have the most wins in the City. (Photo by Eric Luis)

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 (4-0, ranking last week: 1)

The gap keeps getting wider between the Irish and the rest of the pack. Sacred Heart continued its solid start with lopsided wins over quality opponents Menlo-Atherton (3-1), Dougherty Valley (6-1) and San Ramon Valley (3-3).

2. St. Ignatius (2-2, ranking last week: 3)

The Wildcats needed to come from behind to beat Pinewood (7-1) in their only game of the week. Pinewood may not be as strong as last season’s Central Coast Section Division V championship squad, but it was still its first loss of the season.

3. Mission (3-4, ranking last week: 2)

A rough week for the Bears drops them a spot, with a close loss to El Cerrito (4-2), an overtime loss to Oak Grove (3-1), and another to Cupertino (4-2). Mission ended the week with a blowout win, though, against Anchorpoint Christian (0-5).

4. Balboa (7-1, ranking last week: 9)

The undersized Bucs figured to show some fatigue last week with five games in five days and they receive their first loss to Half Moon Bay (5-1), but beat San Rafael (2-4), Tamalpais (3-3), No. 8 Stuart Hall and Carlmont (4-2).

5. Lincoln (3-4, ranking last week: 6)

The Mustangs dropped their first two games of the week against solid Rodriguez (3-2) and Sacred Heart Prep (3-1) teams, then came back with two decisive wins over Fremont and Terra Nova (1-2).

6. Riordan (2-2, ranking last week: 7)

The Crusaders got a win in their only game of the week against Westmoor (2-3), but it was far from comfortable. The Rams had a sizable early lead, but Riordan proved to be the better team in the second half.

7. Lick-Wilmerding (6-3, ranking last week: NR)

After a week out of the Top 10, the Tigers won three straight games over College Prep, Carlmont and No. 9 Lowell, before a loss to Half Moon Bay in the Cardinal Classic championship game.

8. Stuart Hall (5-3, ranking last week: 5)

The Knights dropped three spots after an up-and-down week. Stuart Hall sandwiched two losses to Piedmont (4-1) and No. 5 Balboa with wins over Crystal Springs Uplands (2-3) and previously-ranked Bay (5-4).

9. Lowell (4-3, ranking last week: 8)

The Cardinals took a step back last week, beating Bay (5-4) before consecutive losses to No. 7 Lick and Piedmont in the Cardinal Classic.

10. Galileo (4-3, ranking last week: NR)

Even though the Lions already have a 17-point loss to Lowell in the books, they are into the Top 10 for the first time this year on the strength of a win over last week’s No. 4 team, University. Galileo also had a loss to a very good San Leandro (4-0) team, a loss to Berkeley and a win over Irvington.

On the brink: University (4-3), Marshall (4-3), Gateway (5-1).

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  1. Anonymous says:

    common opponent between lick and riordon is westmoor and lick demolished them. dont know how the two would match up against won another but based on common opponents lick has the advantage and should be ahead. their three losses are to balboa, redwood and half moon bay who beat balboa so its hard for me to see say that they shouldnt be number 6

    • JJ says:

      Using this kind of argument is kinda useless, cause the New Orleans Saints lost to the St. Louis Rams, so does that mean St Louis is better than the NY Giants? Teams have bad games, every now and then…..

      • Anonymous says:

        i understand that teams have bad games. but when the only thing that can be compared in this situation is a common opponent in westmoor who lost by 20 to lick and riordan needed a comeback win to beat the same team its hard for me to place riordan above them. also with only one win in the week while lick won three one of which against a ranked opponent i think they deserve to be placed of ahead of riordan.

        • Feel the Pain says:

          This will all be a moot point when Riordan and Balboa hook up at the Crusader Forum on the 23rd. When Riordan wins that game by double digits, the Westmoor comparison won’t mean that much. Riordan dominated from start to finish last year winning by about 35 or so. Balboa is run by their guards, which Riordan has plenty of to match up. Crusaders by 20+.

          • JJ says:

            The BAL-Riordan game says “practice game”, so does that mean the game will be like a scrimmage?

            • ARHS Stats says:

              It is a regular non-league game, preceded by the Balboa JVs vs.Riordan Freshman B’s.

              The Riordan Freshman A’s start the night off at 4:00 PM against the Woodside JVs.

              Three games on the 23rd 4:00 PM, 5:30 PM, and 7:00 PM Varsity Game.

              On December 22nd Riordan plays University (SF) at the same times.
              Riordan Freshman A’s vs. University F/S at 4 PM
              Riordan JV’s vs. University JVs at 5:30 PM
              Riordan Varsity vs. University Varsity at 7 PM

        • JJ says:

          Just be happy that Lick is ranked. last week, they weren’t ranked. if Lick keeps winning games, then Lick will be ranked in the top 5 very soon. Like the other guy said, wait till the 23rd when Lick plays Riordan, and we will see if this Lick ranking is right or wrong.

    • ARHS Stats says:

      Ok, let’s check out who Lick-Wilmerding played:

      Beat Bentley (3-2), Bentley beat Bay (5-4), Rincon Vlly Chr. (3-1) and Valley Chr. (Dublin) (1-3)

      Beat Gateway (5-1); Gateway beat Urban (3-2), Leadership (5-2), Athenian (4-4), Drew (1-6), and O’Connell (0-1)

      Beat Westmoor (2-3); Westmoor beat Wallenberg (1-4) and Hillsdale (1-3)

      Beat College Prep (3-4); College Prep beat St. Lawrence (2-3), South Fork (1-4), and Anderson Valley (1-5)

      Beat Carlmont (3-2); Carlmont beat I. S. A. (1-4), Burton (2-2), and Bay

      Beat Lowell (4-2); Lowell beat Aragon (3-3), Washington (4-4), Galileo (3-2), and Bay

      Lost to Redwood (4-3); Redwood beat Lic-Wilmerding, Vista del Lago (0-7), Petaluma (2-4), St. Mary’s (Berkeley) (1-6), and Lost to Monte Vista (2-1), Casa Grande (2-2), and Rancho Cotate (2-3)

      Lost to Balboa (7-1); Balboa beat Athenian, Lick-Wilmerding, Head-Royce (3-2), San Rafael (2-4), Tamalpais (3-3), Stuart Hall (5-3), Carlmont, and Lost to Half Moon Bay

      Lost to Half Moon Bay (5-1); Half Moon Bay beat Balboa, Gunderson(3-2), King’s Academy (2-2), Lick-Wilmerding (6-3), Piedmont (4-1), and Lost to El Camino (6-0)

      A lot better schedule played than Gateway.

    • ARHS Stats says:

      RIordan’s Games Played

      Lost to Burlingame (5-1); Burlingame beat Riordan (2-2), Mission (3-4), San Mateo (1-3), Marshall (4-3), Sacred Heart Prep (3-1), and Lost to Righetti (4-0)

      Lost to San Ramon Valley (3-3); San Ramon Valley beat Castlemont (2-2), Riordan, Pittsburg (2-5), and Lost to Righetti, Heritage (5-0), and Sacred Heart Cathedral (4-0)

      Beat St. Mary’s (Berkeley) (1-6); St. Mary’s beat Montgomery (4-3)

      Beat Westmoor (2-3); see other post

    • ARHS Stats says:

      Both teams played Westmoor

      Lick-Wilmerding played Westmoor at Lick-Wilmerding. [21 point win]
      Riordan payed Westmoor at Westmoor. [8 point win]

      Both teams beat Westmoor, but since almost all teams play better on their home court, I would have to give the edge to Riordan (even though their game was closer)

      The only other team either team or their opponent’s played so far is St. Mary’s (Berkeley).

      Lick-Wilmerding lost to Redwood, Redwood beat St. Mary’s (B) on a neutral court. [Redwood 6 point win over SM] [Redwood 24 point win over LW]
      Riordan beat St. Mary’s (B) on their home court in the Crusader Classic. [23 point win]
      If Lick had beaten Redwood, the edge for this game would have gone to Lick, but since they did not. Riordan gets the edge here also.

      Looking at the strength of each team’s schedule

      Gateway and Lowell are Lick-Wilmerding’s best wins by the opponent’s record, so far. But most of the schools LW played and beat are Division IV and V schools. And none of them are or have been considered some of the Top Bay Area Schools for basketball.

      Westmoor is the best win by opponent’s record, so far. But Riordan has played three teams that have been considered as some of the Top Bay Area Schools the last couple of years.

      San Ramon Valley has played De La Salle tough in league, and I think they may have even beaten the DLS Basketball team.

      Burlingame has been playing for the Division III C.C.S. Championship the last two or more years.

      Saint Mary’s (B) has been playing Salesian the last two years for the Nor-Cal Division IV Championship, and they won a few previous to Salesian’s rise.

      • JJ says:

        Burlingame’s best player is a sophomore. They don’t have that “25 yr old” senior anymore….totally different team. Wait till Riordan starts their WCAL season, their losses could start racking up, while Lick’s wins in league play will be adding up. This will help Lick rise to the top of the polls, while Riordan could drop out of the polls, but highly unlikely because of their “reputation” as a basketball school.

        • Ari Gold says:

          @ JJ, 25 is way too generous! That guy was at least 40. I think he suffered from Otis Nixon disease. Will expect to see Burlingame in the final 4 of CCS Div 3 with SH, SI, and some other team. But SH is head and shoulders above any team in Div 3.

      • Anonymous says:

        I might go with lick over riordan just because theyve proved they can win over a 9 game schedule whereas riordans had just 4 games, they really havent proved anything yet against two teams with a combined 3-9 record.
        Lowell on the other hand shouldnt even be in the top 10 for me, I think marshall deserves it more and Lowell dropped essentially 3 games by not blowing Bay out of the water like everyone else in the top 10 can

      • Nick says:

        Arhs stats is ridiculous. Don’t you have anything better to do then sit here and do all this? Sf preps commenter of the year no doubt. Or perhaps ari gold?

  2. Phil LeGrand says:

    This Pinewood team better than last year’s Pinewood team.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You are sleeping on Marshall, Marshall plays a tougher schedule every year; than most of these AAA teams on this list, not to mention, they just won the consolation game at the Burligame invitational, a tournament in which the level of competition is much higher than the Lowell tournament, the Lick Tournament.

    Marshall only lost to Burlingame and blew out the other two teams they played, they beat Fremont out of Oakland which I see teams on this list is credit for beating also, I was at the University game Marshall played that game with five guards, There big men were not present.

    I have seen Galileo, Balboa and Lincoln play, Marshall is a better team than all them hands down. It was obivious, Marshall was one of the top teams in the Burlingame Tournament.

    • Feel the Pain says:

      Marshall is in my top 10 and I like that they have bigs that not alot of AAA teams have. Can’t wait to see them in AAA matchups so we can put all these rankings to rest.

  4. WCAL Fan says:

    Come on Riordan. Stay strong.

  5. Tam says:

    Will there also be baseball rankings jbalan?

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is completely unrelated, but when will the article on the All-City Football Team come out, JB? Not to be impatient, but it has been like a week since the WCAL came out with their All-League list.

  7. JImmer Ferdette says:

    Just after being welcomed to the Kings I’ve been taking a coastal vacation
    in California. After watching some tournaments around the city, I believe Lick-Wilmerding
    deserves to be in the top 5. Not only do they have a big 3, in Isaiah “Gimme dat” Boone,
    Ben “the schnoz” Schneider, and PJ “smooth talk freddy” Stone, but they also have some key
    x-factors. Anthony “handsome baby” shaw has to be considered the most clutch player in the league,
    and off the bench the Tigers have a literal dog and tyranasourus rex. Although they could
    use the range of a pro-baller like myself, I’d say the Tigers have a good chance to win it all this year.

    • Waka Flocka Flame says:

      Can i has autograff????

    • Balleraholic says:

      hahahahah the schnoz and smooth talk freddy need to put the ball in the bucket

    • JJ says:

      This Jimmer Fredette” is a fraud, because NBA training camp already started, so why would the “Jimmer Fredette” be on a coastal vacation?? Would the real Jimmer please stand up?

      • JImmer Ferdette says:

        As a a matter of fact, the Kings began training camp on Sunday. I was able to watch the Lick vrs. Lowell Game before I went back to Sac-town. It was a fantastic way to round up a vacation where I viewed the awesome stuff this new beautiful state has. If you don’t believe this is me, that’s fine. Just understand you got jimmer’d

      • Anonymous says:

        No I saw Jimmer Fredette at the Lowell vs. Lick game. Apparently he’s a big Lick fan. I saw him asking for this player’s autograph after the game. I believe the player’s name was Evan “Quaker Oats” Korn.

  8. anonymous says:

    How come there are no more players of week?

  9. Anonymous says:

    peanut head doing it big

  10. Anonymous says:

    that guy burnoski for bal is a stud

  11. Anonymous says:

    Lick-Wilmerding lost by only 6 points to a Half Moon Bay team that destroyed Balboa by ilke 30 points…

    • JJ says:

      BALBOA beat Lick in a head to head matchup, so they are the better team, in my opinion. If LICK is better than BAL, how come they lost?

      • Anonymous says:

        brah im just gonna quote you from earlier “Using this kind of argument is kinda useless, cause the New Orleans Saints lost to the St. Louis Rams, so does that mean St Louis is better than the NY Giants? Teams have bad games, every now and then…..”

      • Anonymous says:

        That was easily Lick’s worst game. P.J. Stone only had 3 points

        • Kezar for Keeps says:

          You are ridiculous. They lost head to head. They have no argument to be ranked higher. It’s not complicated.

          • Anonymous says:

            Kezar for Keeps consistently sips on a 40 of haterade. To say there is “no argument” to be ranked higher is false. If Balboa and Lick play mid season then there is no excuse, but this was a game played in the first games of the preseason for both teams. Itwould be interesting to see them play again mid season, then the team’s true colors would show. Balboa lost to a solid Half Moon Bay team by 30. Lick lost by 6. To say there is “no argument” is false. It’s not like Balboa blew Lick out whey they played, Balboa won by 4.

            • Kezar for Keeps says:

              Yes, I’m the hater. Not the people who are suggesting that a team that lost to another team when they actually played ON THE COURT, should be ranked higher.

            • Kezar for Keeps says:

              By your logic, Urban should also be ranked higher than Bal because they beat Athenian by 21 and Bal only beat them by 14. URBAN IS NOW #4!

              • Anonymous says:

                I don’t understand why this dude (kezar for keeps) consistently gets worked up over stuff that doesn’t concern him?

        • JJ says:

          I get your point, but BAL lost only 1 game all year, Lick lost how many games? 3!! That’s 3 losses (more losses than BAL) and guess what team one of those losses were against? BALBOA! Look at overall record, and head-to-head matchup, strength of schedule, not just we lost by 6, and you guys lost by 20, so we are better? Look at the overall picture. I bet Half Moon Bay could’ve beat LICK by 20, if they wanted to. HMB’s coach probably inserted the benchwarmers when the game was already won.

          • Anonymous says:

            No coach inserts benchwarmers when a game is within 6 points.

            • JJ says:

              How do you know HMB wasn’t up by 15 with a minute to go, they insert their benchwarmers, then Lick hits a 3, cuts the lead to 12, fouls, HMB benchwarmer misses his free throws, Lick hits another 3, cuts the lead to 9, then fouls again, and HMB benchwarmer misses his FT’s again, then Lick hits a 3 at the buzzer to only lose by 6?

              • Kezar for Keeps says:

                Because he’s a Lick player or parent. He was on the court or in the stands. That’s why he’s whining that Lick isn’t ranked higher than Bal.

              • Anonymous says:

                Because I was at the game. The Coach played the same 7-8 guys the whole game. No benchwarmers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lick losing to Balboa made them better. Too bad they couldn’t have a rematch at Lowell….

      • Anonymous says:

        Athenian is not a legitimate common opponent because I highly doubt Balboa had their starters in for more then half the game. After losing their shooter, Athenian is definitely having an off year.

        • Kezar for Keeps says:

          I was being sarcastic about your ridiculous argument. Obviously two games against Athenian mean nothing, because Bal beat Lick ON THE COURT. If you’re a Lick player or parent, just get over it. You lost. Don’t come on here whining about it. Just try to get better.

          • Anonymous says:

            Fair enough. One question about your name, who has the “keeps” on kezar?

          • ALRIGHTY says:

            Hm ok kid, your emphasis of beating someone “ON THE COURT” is way tooo far. Where else can you beat a team? If you’re not a Lick/Bal player or parent, stop talking about it because you didn’t watch the Lick vs Bal game nor did you watch all/close to all of their games this season. Don’t come on here whining about other people’s comments. Just try to improve your posting etiquette and logic.

            • Kezar for Keeps says:

              Yeah, it is obviously illogical to think that if one team beats another, the winning team is better.

              • Anonymous says:

                I’m glad you finally understand… phew

              • jbalan says:

                This argument is getting tiresome.

                It is clear why I ranked Balboa higher. At this point of the season, Balboa beating Lick on Lick’s home court trumps any other factor.

                Can Lick eventually overtake Balboa at some point this season? Absolutely, but at this point, Balboa is the better team.

      • JJ says:

        Based on this reply, you probably are a player or parent. My point is looking at just the final score can be deceiving, because you don’t know if HMB took off their foot off the gas pedal. Or whether Lick made a huge comeback to make the game close, unless you were there….
        BAL has a better record, beat LICK head to head, the only argument LICK has is “we lost by 6, u guys lost by 30”

        • Anonymous says:

          its obvious why lick is ranked lower at this point. they lost to balboa. if anyone read the article by sanfranpreps it was due to a stingy zone defense that took away licks big man. playing against a zone take practice. do i think balboa will drop off as the season starts. yes. an all guard lineup is hard to overcome every game. but if lick continues to play well they will win and move up in the rankings.

          as for JJ and Kezar for Keeps if you read carefully it is not stated that bal be ranked before lick but only points out a certain argument made by JJ earlier. but as the two of you read the comment you subconsciously thought that they were attacking you instead of defending their argument, thus the hostility and if youve noticed theyve been really joking around the whole time. they really do not care what you think they know if they are better or not.

          but as you said JJ the rams beat the saints does that mean they are better?

          • JJ says:

            The Rams did beat the Saints, but they are not better because the Saints have a better record. Balboa not only beat LICK, but they also have a better record. Balboa had the tougher schedule too. The only argument that Lick has over Balboa is “we lost by 6 and you guys lost by 30” to a common opponent. Plus, Balboa beat LICK in their own homecourt, and beating someone on their homecourt is like the equivalent to 2 wins. So, using your argument, Balboa would’ve won by 12 points if the game was at BAL, and if it was a neutral court, they would’ve won by 8

  12. men says:

    catch us if you can

  13. anonymous says:

    soo watsup with the Player Of the Week Jbalan???

  14. keeping it says:

    balboa went into lick and obviously beat them so their should be no question who should be ranked higher if you got beat on your home floor in your own tournament

  15. lady bucs says:

    im glad dijon and john transfered over this year they are 2 starters that helped make this team better and they both are cute

  16. Scott says:

    What happened to Yanoj Jackson, of Sacred Heart, he is not on the team this year? He was only a sophmore?

  17. Frisco Finest says:

    Yanoj Jackson is out on an injury. Hope to see him back soon.

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