Boys Basketball Top 10: Riordan jumps to the top

Riordan showed its best while Mission struggled in the Crusader Classic last week. (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. Riordan (3-0, preseason ranking: 2)
The Crusaders move into the top spot for one big reason. With its win over St. Joseph Notre Dame (3-1) in the Crusader Classic championship game on Saturday, Riordan did something preseason No. 1 University hasn’t been able to do in the last two seasons. The Pilots have been the Red Devils’ nemesis in Division V (in both NCS and state-tournament play) and have beaten University seven four straight times in the last three two seasons. Riordan also trounced No. 7 Mission and Burlingame (1-2) in the Crusader classic.

2. University (3-0, preseason ranking: 1)
The Red Devils dropped out of the top spot by no fault of their own, but will have an immediate opportunity to get back to No. 1 if they can beat Encinal in the first round of the Island Classic, then get past host St. Joseph Notre Dame in the second round. University looked plenty good during the Redwood Christian Invitational tournament, routing Oakland Military (1-2), College Prep (2-1) and No. 8 Lick-Wilmerding.

3. Sacred Heart Cathedral (0-0, preseason ranking: 3)
The Irish haven’t played yet and will open their season on the road against Hillsdale on Tuesday. Sacred Heart will also play in the John May Invitational tournament on Friday and Saturday.

4. St. Ignatius (1-0, preseason raking: 6)
The Wildcats showed no ill effects from the departure of Stephen Domingo in their opener against Clovis West of Fresno on Friday night. St. Ignatius beat the Golden Eagles (0-1) – a Central Section Division I finalist last season – by 10 points on Friday. The Wildcats will face undefeated Westmoor in their next game on Tuesday.

5. Marshall (1-1, preseason ranking: 4)
The Phoenix defeated host Antioch (0-2) in the Straw Hat Pizza Classic last week and fell in the tournament championship game to Concord (2-0), but scored just 39 points in each game. Marshall won’t play again until Dec. 12, when it hosts Kennedy of Richmond.

6. Stuart Hall (4-1, preseason ranking: 7)
The Knights took down Lowell (2-2) in their season opener, then had a good run through the packed Redwood Classic tournament, defeating California School for the Deaf, Marin Academy and Bradshaw Christian (2-2). Their only loss of the tournament came to Branson (3-1), which they will play again in the first round of the Island Classic on Thursday.

7. Mission (0-3, preseason ranking: 5)
The Bears had a horrendous run in the Crusader Classic last week, with an overtime loss to St. Mary’s (2-1) sandwiched between two ugly losses to No. 1 Riordan and Drake (1-2). Traditionally a slow starter, Mission will need to get more out of the players surrounding standout senior point guard Antoine Porter, who is averaging 15.7 points per game.

8. Urban (2-0, preseason ranking: 9)
The Blues haven’t faced prime competition (their two wins are over teams that had a combined 19-35 record last season), but they have been impressive. Urban defeated Leadership (1-2) and Crystal Springs Uplands (1-2) by a combined score of 143-66.

9. Lick-Wilmerding (3-1, preseason ranking: 10)
The Tigers looked unstoppable in their first three games – blowout wins over Leadership, St. Elizabeth (1-4) and Redwood Christian (1-2) – then faced off with No. 2 University in the Redwood Christian Invitational championship game. Lick struggled to handle the Red Devils’ press and was routed by University, 80-50.

10. Lincoln (0-2, preseason ranking: 8)
The Mustangs have one of the toughest non-league schedules in the City and will likely have an ugly record heading into Academic Athletic Association play, but head coach Matt Jackson is hoping the tough, early tests will pay dividends in the new year. Last week, Lincoln struggled in double-digit losses to Berkeley (1-1) and San Marin (1-2).

Best of the rest: Gateway (3-0), Galileo (2-1), Bay (3-1)

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9 Comments

  1. M Air J says:

    Riordan is on top where they belong. Mr. Balan gets this right. I was not aware of the domination SJND has over UHS but his logic makes sense. As SHC and SI begin to play, will we see some movement at the top?

  2. A. Wong says:

    The SH vs Hillsdale is going to be a good game, but I think the upcoming Galileo Lions vs the dominant University Red Devils will be a great game to watch. I was there at the game last year when Galileo had upset them.

  3. bubba says:

    it’s pretty funny that there are two teams in the top 10 without wins. i totally agree with it though.

  4. Ari Gold says:

    Whos that Mission player with the full-on beard in the picture above? Is that Kurt Rambis’ son?

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