Boys Basketball Top 10: Riordan leaps ahead

The Crusader Forum saw some impressive Riordan wins this week, as the Crusaders move up to the third spot in this week's Top 10. (Photo by Doug Ko)

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 (6-0, ranking last week: 1)

The Irish sent shock waves through Northern California and increased an already sizable gap between themselves and the field of top City teams with a rout of Jesuit (8-2) last week. The Marauders are ranked by some as a Top 100 program nationally and are still considered one of the best teams in NorCal.

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

The Wildcats hold onto the No. 2 spot after defeating a down Washington (5-8) squad by 38 points last week. With a healthy Stephen Domingo, it will be interesting to see how SI will handle some quality opponents at the Sand Dune Classic this week.

3. Riordan (5-2, ranking last week: 6)

The Crusaders may not have the size up front to compete with the big guns in the WCAL, but they certainly have a group of solid guards, including junior Geru Mabrey (averaging 14.4 points per game) and up-and-coming sophomore Bobby Arenas, who is averaging 13.7 points in his first three varsity games. Riordan is playing better and better, evidenced by lopsided wins over University (4-5) and No. 5 Balboa last week.

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

The Mustangs may not have an impressive record and didn’t play last week, but they pass the eye test. Their group of athletic and accurate-shooting guards will hopefully be complemented by 6-foot-7 sophomore center Seth Snoddy soon, once he gets acclimated his role as a starter.

5. Balboa (10-3, ranking last week: 3)

The Bucs drop two spots after their first losing week of the season, with a win over Novato (5-5) sandwiched between two losses to Piedmont (10-1) and No. 3 Riordan.

6. Stuart Hall (9-3, ranking last week: 5)

The Knights only drop a spot due to Riordan’s big move up, but did pick up a win over College Prep (3-7) in their only game last week.

7. Mission (6-5, ranking last week: 7)

The football rust might finally be coming off for the Bears, who are starting to reverse their fortune in close games. Four of their early losses have been by single digits, but the Bears beat both Los Gatos (5-4) and Menlo (3-2) in games that came down to the final possession last week.

8. Lick-Wilmerding (7-4, ranking last week: 8)

The Tigers were the seventh City team to drop a game to Piedmont with a loss to the Highlanders last week, but they did get a win over International (2-4) earlier in the week.

9. Lowell (5-6, ranking last week: 9)

The Cardinals have gone 4-1 against City opponents this season, but did not have a very good trip to Orlando, Fla. last week, with three losses in tournament play to out-of-state teams with a combined record of 22-11.

10. Gateway (6-1, ranking last week: 10)

The Gators didn’t play last week, but no other Top 10 contenders did anything to warrant a move to the final spot.

On the brink: Galileo (4-7), University (4-5), Marshall (4-6), Burton (4-5), Waldorf (3-3).

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  1. Austin Hedani says:

    wheres Washington…?

  2. Fan j says:

    Mission and lincoln are starting to pick it up. If Riordan and say Mission played for the third stop, Mission I think would have the better out come. But Riordan is doing a lot better since DJ came back

    • Feel The Pain says:

      Mission can make a case in this week’s Sand Dune Classic. They open with Oakland Tech. and would have a date with the Burlingame/Jesuit winner in the Semi’s. Don’t think the Bears can hang with either of those teams but a good showing can substantiate where they end up in the rankings. Good luck to the Bears, represent the AAA!

      • ARHS Stats says:

        Burlingame already beat Mission

        • Feel The Pain says:

          Thanks ARHS Stats, I am aware of their previous meeting at the Riordan Tournament. Mission had football players returning from Turkey Day and could’nt handle Burlingame at the time. Jesuit and SI should meet barring any suprises, but with a good showing Mission can re-assert themselves as a top 3 candidate. BTW did you play for coach Haney when you were at Riordan?

          • ARHS Stats says:

            Don’t remember any Coach Haney at Riordan.

            • Feel The Pain says:

              My mistake, that was one of my coaches. It was during the Marty Storti/Steve Sewell era, but forgot his name.

              • ARHS Stats says:

                Dan Hayes was the Head Coach of the Riordan Football team, when Marty Storti and Steve Sewell were Seniors.

                Mike Seagram was the QB that year, John Calvello was QB the previous season.

              • Feel The Pain says:

                Knew Hayes was a coach but not the Head Coach. I remember Seagram, he transferred from Sacred Heart. Thanks for the info.

              • ARHS Stats says:

                Yes, I was on Coach Hayes team.

                Coach Hayes was at the Football Awards Dinner this year, when Bill Blanchard presented the Bill Blanchard award at the Dinner.

                He came over after the City College Football Practice was over.

  3. WCAL Fan says:

    Glad too see the Crusader moving up.

  4. tri school mass says:

    Great pic of the Crusader Forum! And you say renovations for next season will start this spring? Outstanding!

    • BballFan says:

      The new K Restani expansion will be done in about two years. Looking forward to it!

      • wcalsf says:

        Best hs gym in the bay area. Plus there’s a great snack bar and you can eat right in your seats. Yeah, the plans for the renovation look awesome! Also, the plans for the new field/faciliities and fitness center also look impressive.

        • Feel The Pain says:

          I totally agree! I’ve been going to Riordan games at the Forum since I was a kid in the mid 70’s. Glad to see that they will be doing some renovations for their Athletic teams, it should look awesome. Looking forward to it as well.

          • JJ says:

            Just curious, but did Riordan get a big donation from some philanthropist? Is that why they are making upgrades to their facilities? I know SI gets tons of money from rich alumni, that’s why they keep upgrading to nicer facilities.

            • Johnny Drama says:

              President Daly is making a huge difference…..ask and you shall receive. Apparently, nobody used to ask!

            • ARHS Stats says:

              The Class of 1970 wanted to get something done on campus in memory of Kevin Restani.

              As soon as I heard about Kevin Restani died with in a month or two, I heard there was going be a push by the Class of 1970 to rename something around the Gym after Kevin Restani.

        • IC Stars says:

          No it’s not.

          • Johnny Drama says:

            Absolutely it is…name one better and please don’t say that sterile SHC gym that is always empty.

            • IC Stars says:

              OK, I won’t say it. It wasn’t empty for that Jesuit game. At least 600 were there.

              • Bonta Hill says:

                I covered that SHC-Jesuit game and their was not 600 people there. Maybe 200-250…

              • Johnny Drama says:

                Thanks Bonta…that’s more like it. I came in right before tip off and had no problem finding a seat. When I say Riordan is the bst gym in the city to watch a game I am referring to the all around environment. They usually have the band playing and the food is best concession food in city. The pit floor is also awesome. Just a good city gym, not the newest but overall the best.

                I don’t get what’s wrong with the SHC fan base. They’ve had very good teams the past 4-5 years yet they don’t fully support their hoops. They definitely don’t travel well either. They basically have no home court advantage other than knowing the rims and the sweet spots. I don’t get it. IC…please pontificate.

            • Ari Gold says:

              @ Drama, you know as well as I do that parking is always an issue and its not necessarily in the best neighborhood. If we had a 36th avenue to park on, there would be more people coming to watch. But who are we kidding? Its just high school basketball, not the NBA. Its not “MUST SEE TV”.

              • wcalsf says:

                lack of parking doesn’t fly Ari…just look at the BM and everybody flocks even though there’s no parking at both USF or Kezar. i would say attendance @ SI games are also relatively sparse. i think it all started when both schools turned co-ed. You definitely see more attendance and passion in the stands whenever you’re at a riordan, serra or bellarmine game. SHC and SI are going to be very good this season and I hope their fans and alumni turn out to support their teams…Though Riordan has been down in both hoops and football over the past few years, they definitely have a good turnout for all the SHC and SI games – home and away!…Definitely looking forward to the WCAL opener SI vs. Riordan – great atmosphere as the band surrounds the court as the teams come in (a la Cal style). Very cool to also have courtside seats and along the far baseline.

              • Ari Gold says:

                @wcalsf …. the BM game is the exception and parking is no issue because both schools have the SFPD and USF police in their back pocket. Come on, you know how it is. Forget college, off to the police academy for our graduates!

                I cant explain the attendance for other schools. And since when does anyone care about who or how many attend the games? These arent pro teams that count on fan attendence revenues, concession revenues, and souvenir purchases. Its freakin’ high school basketball!

              • IC Stars says:

                It’s really a lack of an organized cheering section (I don’t mean that old guy with the Ireland flag) like we used to have for every game, no matter who the opponent was. Nowadays, we’ll make a great play and I’ll be the only one applauding, look around and see a silent crowd. See you guys at USF.

              • Irishi Italian says:

                How about the fact that the game was three days before Christmas and the school had just finished finals Tuesday? Thursday night was a big Christmas party night. I would have attended the game with my kids but had a Christmas party to attend.

  5. Scott says:

    Now why did Arenas transfer out of SHC again, this guy would do well at SHC, the basketball team could have used him if not football.

    • Fan says:

      Not that it really should matter, he is doing a good job at Riordan and obviously doing fine in Coach Buck’s system, but probably he wasn’t going to get any love from the SH coaches. I believe his brother is still at SH but not playing which is a shame cause he is a heck of a three point shooter.

      • Scott says:

        Is his brother good? If so, could he be playing in the future at SHC? What class is he in? Hate to see talent and potential wasted. Thank you

        • Fan says:

          Is brother is a year older, a junior. Maybe next year he will play. He is a shooter like his dad was but with better accuracy behind the three point line. Bobby is deceiving in that he can shoot and bang inside because he is strong. He hasn’t yet grown into his body because he is kind of a loafer the way he gets up and down the floor.

  6. DOORAG says:

    where’s University and Wash? i thot they would be at least #9 or #10 each. Tell me if I am wrong

      • AFitzsimon says:

        Doorag, this is the deal: Washington has lost 6 of 7 the only win coming by one point by a point against a lowly carlmont team. University lost to Riordan by 23 points last week and also have a loss to Galileo. This is not last year, teams change, both of these teams lost a lot of leaders particularly Washington. It’s a rebuilding phase for both squads.

    • ARHS Stats says:

      The Cal Preps Computer has the same ten teams ranked as the Top Ten Teams in San Francisco.

      Teams ranked number #4, #5, #6, and number #7 change positions for the computer rankings

      With Washington at #11, followed by #12 Waldorf, #13 Burton, and then #14 University

      • Feel The Pain says:

        Washington is a questionable #11. I don’t know where Marshall is but they beat Washington by 17 at the Burlingame tournament, in a head to head. Unless Washington beats an upper tier squad, they don’t sniff the top ten.

        • ARHS Stats says:

          11 Washington [George] (San Francisco, CA)
          San Francisco Academic – Lang
          1 5-8 0-0 3-4 3.3 6.2 58-50

          WINS: #3850 Skyline (Oakland, CA) (42-39), #7164 Carlmont (Belmont, CA) (44-43), #9358 Fremont (Oakland, CA) (46-42), #13692 Jefferson (Daly City, CA) (53-22), #14853 Oceana (Pacifica, CA) (62-45),

          LOSSES: #1522 Piedmont Hills (San Jose, CA) (55-37), #1628 St. Ignatius (San Francisco, CA) (68-30), #2501 Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton, CA) (56-51), #4392 Montgomery (Santa Rosa, CA) (52-51), #6097 Homestead (Cupertino, CA) (52-41), #6248 Lowell (San Francisco, CA) (32-29), #8833 Marshall [Thurgood] (San Francisco, CA) (49-32), #9926 Sequoia (Redwood City, CA) (44-33)

          15 Marshall [Thurgood] (San Francisco, CA)
          San Francisco Academic – Lang
          4 4-6 0-0 0-0 1.6 4.8 39-51

          WINS: #7984 Washington [George] (San Francisco, CA) (49-32), #9358 Fremont (Oakland, CA) (70-62), #9926 Sequoia (Redwood City, CA) (51-50), #12582 Terra Nova (Pacifica, CA) (71-41),

          LOSSES: #1611 Burlingame (CA) (76-33), #2682 Enterprise (Redding, CA) (69-64), #4023 Castlemont (Oakland, CA) (59-40), #6346 Pleasant Valley (Chico, CA) (43-24), #8788 University (San Francisco, CA) (67-64), #12623 Paradise (CA) (43-41)

          • Feel The Pain says:

            Thanks for the in depth analysis from the CalPreps Computer. It looks like it takes into account strength of schedule and the opponents records. As for SF rankings the only thing that matters is Marshall def. Washington by 17 head up.

  7. bball says:


  8. wcalsf says:

    The Olympic Club is also kicking in ~ $1M as he was a longtime member and there are many ties to the school.

  9. Ari Gold says:

    Im convinced SH is going to beat every team except Mitty handly after seeing the ESPN CA state rankings. Thats all of CA folks.
    Yes that includes beating SI to bring the BM trophy home.

    • Johnny Drama says:

      @Ari…your team is good, they may just do that. Wouldn’t surprise me if they split with Mitty. We caught them napping last year so SHC can do the same. Serra will be good also but SHC is a better team.

      I can’t believe you are actually bringing up a BM victory? Must be since we beat you in the CCS football ‘ship! You know I couldn’t resist my friend!!

      • Feel The Pain says:

        The Irish rolled over Eastlake of Washington in the opener 73-57!

        • Feel The Pain says:

          Irish had no trouble leading 22-10 after 1st Q, 49-20 at the half, and 62-37 after the 3rd Q. Will play the winner of San Marino (Ca.)/Scottsdale Christian (Az.) going on right now.

      • Ari Gold says:

        @Drama… SI football was on a mission. Coming from behind in the 2 previous games and then the revenge factor against SH was just too much momentum. Throw in John Lee’s (and a SH staple of predictable play calling), a dumb fake punt in its own territory, an injury to Miles, a no penalty call on the SI LB for celebrating before crossing the goal line and you have a tremendous SI CCS title. I look forward to Jack Stinn next year breaking the all-time passing records in SI history.

        Dont know if youve been following Aaron Gordon, but he is just destroying everyone. He dropped a 40 pt game and a 30 pt game already this year. I think you and I drama should form our own agency and sign this guy! He will be our Vince!

        • Johnny Drama says:

          He’s been on a tear since the summer pro-am league where he was dropping 26-30 points against grown men who can play. He is quite simply a man among boys in WCAL play. I believe he is a future pro if he keeps on his current pace of development.

          • JJ says:

            ZAC LEE was better than JACK STINN. How will JACK break the SI passing records when he threw for 0 yards in the CCS TITLE game?

            • Ari Gold says:

              @JJ, Zac Lee could not lead Nebraska offense in the right direction. He benefitted from handing off to good RBs, a dominant defense, and great field position. I watched the Big 12 Championship vs Texas and he stunk like 50 baby diapers. … and Im sure Jack Stinn wasnt telling the coach to let him throw more vs SH in the title game when they kept getting 3.5 yards every handoff.

              • Johnny Drama says:

                Ari…how will you guys do without miles? He has been approximately 99.4567345% of your offense for the past 2 years. When he was out you guys were worse than Riordan. Is it rebuilding time or do you have some ringers coming in?

              • Ari Gold says:

                @Drama, Brett Rasso is multi-versatile. I liked what I saw of him in the CCS title game. I see him as next year’s Zach Tapel except without Tapel’s bulk. Kelvin Sanders is going to be a D1 DB/S and he should only play on the defensive side of the ball. Lastly Jerry Peralta will be the QB. They should return to the wing-T option offense which will be useless against SI unless SH returns a very good O-line because John Lee lacks any offensive play calling imagination and lets his RBs get punished game after game. But that may not be his fault because it doesnt matter vs teams like Bellarmine, St. Francis, Serra, Mitty because their O & D lines are just way too big and seasoned.

  10. Anonymous says:

    please explain how a team with a losing record (i.e. Licoln) is 4th in the city?!?!?!

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