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. St. Ignatius (2-1, last week’s ranking: 1)
The Wildcats didn’t play last week, but will hit the floor immediately this week, taking on Clayton Valley tonight. Even without standout sophomore center Josie Little, who has missed the first three games of the season while recovering from a concussion she sustained over the summer, the rest of the heralded 2015 graduating class has picked up the slack. Forward Sydney Raggio is averaging 14.3 points per game and 5.3 rebounds (both team highs) and the Wildcats’ next three top scorers are also sophomores.
2. Sacred Heart Cathedral (4-1, last week’s ranking: 2)
The Irish were handed their only loss of the season last week, a 21-point loss to East Bay powerhouse Carondelet (2-0), which went 27-4 and won the North Coast Section Division II title last year. The Irish will take on solid local opponents this week (Westmoor and Terra Nova) and will be favored significantly in both games
3. International (8-0, last week’s ranking: 4)
The Jaguars have appeared to hit their stride after a shaky, last-second win over Galileo early in the season, and are starting to look like the favorite in NCS Division V. International was dominant in the Lick-Wilmerding Tournament last week and took down Drew (3-4), No. 8 Lincoln and No. 6 Mercy all by 20 points or more.
4. Lowell (5-1, last week’s ranking: 3)
The Cardinals have gone undefeated since a lopsided loss to No. 2 Sacred Heart Cathedral in their season opener, including double-digit wins over San Mateo (0-3) and Valley Christian of Dublin (2-2) last week. The Lowell rotation is deep, with eight players averaging more than three points per game, but the biggest surprise has been shooting guard Angie Ng. The senior has carried most of the offensive load and is averaging a team-high 9.2 points per game in the absence of injured point guard Katarina Lum.
5. Galileo (5-1, last week’s ranking: 5)
The Lions are still the only team that has really challenged International (Galileo’s only loss) and have dominated nearly every other opponent (the lone exception was a close 57-51 win over No. 7 Convent). Last week, Galileo took down Oceana (2-1) on the road, routed Gateway (1-5) by 51 points and defeated No. 9 Urban impressively by 26 points. Three Galileo players are averaging 10 points or more, led by sophomore guard Karen Wong (10.8). Sarah Lim is averaging 10.2 and Cassidy Chan is averaging 10.
6. Mercy (4-2, last week’s ranking: 6)
The Skippers ran into the International buzz saw at the end of the Lick-Wilmerding Tournament last week, but looked fine in the first two rounds with wins over Mission (1-7) and San Domenico (3-4). Mercy guard Christina Haight is making an early case for City Player of the Year with the most impressive all-around stat line in San Francisco. The senior is averaging 13 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 4.2 steals and four blocks per game this season.
7. Convent (5-1, last week’s ranking: 7)
The Cubs aren’t doing it by much, but they keep winning. While the teams ahead of them are taking down opponents by double digits regularly, the Cubs have yet to blow anyone out. Convent opened last week with a 13-point win over College Prep (the largest margin of victory this season), then defeated Head-Royce (3-3), for the second time this season, by just three points. No one in the City is scoring more than junior shooting guard Jaime Hum-Nishikado, who is averaging 17.2 points per game.
8. Lincoln (4-4, last week’s ranking: 9)
The Mustangs’ record may appear to be schizophrenic and their high-shot-quantity offense has been hit-or-miss at times this season, but they have shown a knack for beating Top 10 opponents. Other than a blowout loss to International and another to San Domenico last week, Lincoln beat Aragon (0-5) and No. 10 Lick-Wilmerding. The presence of scoring guards Maggie Chen, Michelle Wong and Ezra DeAsis, as well as freshman forward Nina Joyner (9.9 points per game), should help the Mustangs challenge Lowell and Galileo in Academic Athletic Association play.
9. Urban (3-2, last week’s ranking: 10)
The Blues started the week off right, with a huge win over two-time defending NCS D-V champ St. Joseph Notre Dame (0-2), but took a step back with a lopsided loss to No. 5 Galileo, although they were missing two starters. Urban got back on track with a decisive win over ICA (4-2) to wrap up the week.
10. Lick-Wilmerding (7-2, last week’s ranking: 8)
The Tigers slip two spots despite a 3-1 week, because their one loss came to Lincoln, which took over the eighth spot. Lick started the week with a close win over Terra Linda (0-4) and also had victories over Drew and Balboa (5-6) in the Lick-Wilmerding Tournament consolation bracket.
Best of the rest: University (4-2), Balboa (5-6), Washington (2-3)