Boys Basketball Top 10: Urban on the move

One of the reasons for Urban's recent hot streak has been the dynamic play of standout junior guard Nate Cohen (right). (Photo by Doug Ko)

Every week, we will be publishing our take on the top ten 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 (18-3, last week’s ranking: 1)

The Irish may have had their most physically challenging stretch of games last week. They only played two games, but they were only 20 hours apart. After a blowout road win over Valley Christian (11-11) and a long ride home on Friday night, Sacred Heart needed overtime and a last-second dunk from senior forward Taylor Johns to take down St. Francis (12-9) on Saturday afternoon.

2. Mission (17-8, last week’s ranking: 2)

The Bears were not challenged in wins over O’Connell (1-12) and ISA (6-14) last week, but will head into one their most challenging weeks yet, with matchups against Marshall and No. 4 Lincoln. The date with the Mustangs on Friday will likely decide the top seed in the Academic Athletic Association’s Lang Division.

3. St. Ignatius (9-11, last week’s ranking: 3)

The Wildcats are healthy again after every player and almost the entire coaching staff came down with the stomach virus that hit SI last week, and will look to end the West Catholic Athletic League season on a high note, starting with rival Sacred Heart Cathedral tonight. The Wildcats will play four games this week, but took down Valley Christian in their only game last week.

4. Lincoln (15-11, last week’s ranking: 4)

The Mustangs, like Mission, were not challenged in wins over ISA and Wallenberg (4-18) last week. The Lang Division showdown with Mission on Friday will likely be one of the most important games of the regular season.

5. Riordan (9-13, last week’s ranking: 5)

Granted, none of their defeats have been blowouts, but the Crusaders have still dropped seven straight WCAL games, including losses to Serra (17-3), Mitty (17-3) and Bellarmine (12-10) last week.

6. Urban (14-8, last week’s ranking: 8)

The Blues leap up for the second week in a row after a week featuring double-digit wins over No. 7 Lick and Drew (3-19). Urban is tied for first place in the Bay Counties League West, and like the league standings, the teams in the bottom half of our Top 10 are ridiculously close.

7. Lick-Wilmerding (15-9, last week’s ranking: 6)

The Tigers fell out of first place in the BCL West with a loss to No. 6 Urban last week, but bounced back with a one-point win on the road at Marin Academy to stay within striking distance of the top spot.

8. University (14-10, last week’s ranking: 7)

The Red Devils slip back a spot due to no fault of their own, but as a result of Urban’s recent surge. University took down Drew and No. 9 Stuart Hall last week, and beat the Blues earlier in the year, but their matchup with Urban on Tuesday could decide the BCL West regular-season champ.

9. Stuart Hall (17-7, last week’s ranking: 9)

The Knights won comfortably on the road against Marin Academy to start the week, but fell to No. 8 University to wrap it up. Still in fourth place (up by just a game over MA), Stuart Hall needs a win over Lick or Urban this week to secure the final BCL West playoff spot.

10. Gateway (15-2, last week’s ranking: 10)

The Gators remain in the No. 10 spot, holding off a host of AAA contenders, after a win over Leadership (10-14) in their only game last week. Gateway could seal the top seed in the Bay Counties League Central playoffs with wins over Waldorf and International this week.

On the brink: Marshall (10-11), Lowell (13-10), Washington (13-13), Balboa (17-8), Galileo (11-12)

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  1. anon says:

    why isn’t bay at least on the brink? they beat gateway by 23 at home and lost by 7 away.

  2. bubba says:

    gateway beat Urban

    • bballobserver says:

      Urban lost to Gateway by 3 points on December 9 (38-41). At that point in the season, Urban’s defense had was on and off. Urban was making mistakes, even though they were generally winning. And Urban’s core three had not consolidated their offense (Nate Cohen had 9 points, while averaging something like 15 for the other early season games, and Matt Monges and Julian Matulich just weren’t there yet. Gateway played a wonderful game against a team that wasn’t together. Credit Skiffer for pulling the thread through on this team. Credit the players for toughing out tough times.

  3. bballoldtimer153 says:

    a big part of urban’s recent success has to do with the play of “surging sophomore” seth rosner. this kid is smooth as a locomotive and he has one gear: GO. along with an array of offensive moves, seth is literally a living, breathing tank. have you seen him in warmups? i haven’t. because he’s always warm and ready to go.

    if urban beats university tomorrow for the first time since 2004, you can base it largely on this phenomenon: 2004 = 20 + 04. the 20th letter of the alphabet is T. the 4th letter of the alphabet is D. put that together, you get TD, aka Too Dope. this urban team? too dope.

  4. WCAL Alum says:

    bb. Huh? Maybe Im getting too old. However, I like what I see at Urban. A well balanced team. Cant believe the Cohen kid is a junior; a man body. He is tough to guard in the BCL arena. The BCL is very entertaining this year with SH, LW, Univ. and Urban. Dont have the depth of WCAL teams, but definately not pushovers. Again comparing apples to apples, this would be a nice playoff season for any fan of SF Prep ball to attend.

    • bballobserver says:

      As a Freshman, Nate was 235lbs and was quick. He’s now 210 lbs and is again learning to play the game. Skiffer has taught him to love defense.

  5. M Air J says:

    My money is on Urban, simplay because in the pic above, Cohen looks like a grown man!

    • G-Money says:

      M Air J
      I’m with you! Urban is my pick also. Has anybody really watch Cohen play? He is the sleeper of the Bay Area!! Built, Fast and can play defense withe best of them!!! I never seen any college coaches at any of his games. If he was in the WCAL colleges coaches would be all over him!!

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