Boys Basketball Top 10: Gateway in, Lincoln and Mission slipping away
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 (4-0, last week’s ranking: 1)
The Crusaders’ 64-48 win over previously-undefeated Westmoor (4-1) in their only game last week looks a whole lot better considering the Rams shocked No. 5 St. Ignatius in overtime earlier in the week. What may be most impressive is Riordan’s defensive effort early in the season. The Crusaders have limited opposing teams to just over 40 points per game.
2. University (6-1, last week’s ranking: 2)
The Red Devils may have been looking ahead to a matchup with host St. Joseph Notre Dame during a three-point loss to Encinal (2-2) in the first round of the Island Classic last week, but responded impressively in the final two games of the tournament. University closed out the week with a double-digit win over Rodriguez (3-5) then thrashed No. 6 Stuart Hall 74-47. The Red Devils also handled Galileo (3-3) earlier in the week.
3. Sacred Heart Cathedral (3-0, last week’s ranking: 3)
The Irish went undefeated in their first three games of the season last week, but their fans should not be overly encouraged with the wins. Hillsdale (3-2), Pittsburg (1-4) and San Ramon Valley (2-3) all had records well below .500 last season and none of the victories were routs. Sacred Heart will get tested this week, however, with tough Oakland squads Skyline and McClymonds on its schedule.
4. Marshall (1-1, last week’s ranking: 5)
The Phoenix didn’t play last week, but will get back to the court against Fremont of Oakland on Wednesday.
5. St. Ignatius (2-1, last week’s ranking: 4)
The Wildcats took a big step back with a loss to Westmoor (4-1) last week, the same squad that No. 1 Riordan beat by 16 points, but were missing three starters (one to injury, two to football). With the football players back, albeit in limited roles, St. Ignatius wrapped up its week with a 24-point win over over Mountain View (2-2).
6. Stuart Hall (5-3, last week’s ranking: 6)
The Knights hold on to the No. 6 spot after a 1-2 performance in the Island Classic. Stuart Hall dropped its second meeting of the season against Branson (5-2) in the first round, beat No. 10 Lincoln by 10 points in the consolation bracket, then lost handily to No. 2 University. The Knights’ success appears to be closely tied to the performance of standout sophomore forward Armani Collins, who has averaged 15.8 points per game in wins and 8.3 in losses this season.
7. Lick-Wilmerding (6-2, last week’s ranking: 9)
The Tigers’ only blemish in a four-game week was a 22-point loss to undefeated Half Moon Bay (6-0), sandwiched between wins over College Prep (3-3), Jefferson (1-5) and Lowell (3-5). Lick’s trio of senior forwards have been a strength, but freshman guard David Peletz has also been among its leading scorers multiple times this season.
8. Urban (5-1, last week’s ranking: 8)
The Blues just missed out on the winner’s bracket with a first-round loss to Carlmont (2-1) in the Cardinal Classic, then went on to beat Bay (4-3) and Balboa (3-3) convincingly in the consolation bracket. Urban also took down Lowell (3-5) today.
9. Gateway (4-0), last week’s ranking: NR)
The Gators have been a fringe Top 10 team since the start of last season and have worked their way back in with an early undefeated record. Gateway hasn’t played a tough schedule – its best win was a 64-56 win over Galileo last week – but it will be the runaway favorite to win the Bay Counties League Central this season.
10. Mission (0-6), last week’s ranking: 7)
The final spot was basically a coin flip between the winless Bears and Lincoln. Each team has played a tough schedule, but Lincoln hasn’t come close to victory, losing every one if its games by double digits. The Bears have been close, with an overtime loss to St. Mary’s in the Crusader Classic and a two-point loss to Cupertino (1-4) last week. Mission’s other two losses in the Fukushima Invitational last week, to Palo Alto (3-1) and Evergreen Valley (5-2), were not so tight. Senior guard Antoine Porter is leading the City in scoring with 20 points per game, but is doing so with a high quantity of shots. No other Mission player is averaging more than seven points.
Best of the rest: Lincoln (0-5), Galileo (3-3), Balboa (3-3), Lowell (3-5), Bay (4-3)