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 (6-0, last week’s ranking: 1)
It’s looking more and more like the Crusaders will head into West Catholic Athletic League play undefeated after a two-win week where they really weren’t challenged. Riordan didn’t get much of test in blowout wins over Balboa (4-5) and Mills (5-3), but could get their toughest matchup since the Crusader Classic against Moreau Catholic on Saturday. The Mariners are 7-2 and their top three scorers are freshman, led by 6-foot-5 wing Oscar Frayer, who is averaging 14.6 points per game.
2. University (8-1, last week’s ranking: 2)
The Red Devils started last week with a 12-point win over Mission (0-8), which really wasn’t as close as the score indicated, then trounced Leadership (3-6) by 64 points. University is losing ground to No. 3 Sacred Heart Cathedral, which keeps winning against better opponents, but could make a case for the top spot with a good showing in the loaded Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic next week.
3. Sacred Heart Cathedral (5-0, last week’s ranking: 3)
The Irish bolstered their résumé with their best win of the season – a six-point victory over McClymonds (3-4) – as well as their most lopsided one – a 24-point victory over Skyline (4-4). Regardless of the margins, if the Irish keep winning, they likely won’t be at No. 3 after New Year’s Day.
4. St. Ignatius (5-1, last week’s ranking: 4)
The Wildcats may not be playing their best basketball, but they have now won four straight games since their only loss of the season to Westmoor. St. Ignatius didn’t earn a lot of style points against Sacred Heart Prep (2-4), Aragon (6-3) and winless Lincoln, but they were all wins. What comes next for SI could be its toughest matchup of the season. The Wildcats will enter a hostile environment on the road against El Camino on Thursday, the same team that beat them in the Central Coast Section playoffs last season.
5. Stuart Hall (8-3, last week’s ranking: 6)
The Knights have won three straight games after a disappointing loss to University two weeks ago, but still haven’t defeated a quality opponent. All of Stuart Hall’s wins have come against teams that currently have a .500 record or below and its three losses have been to winning teams (two losses to Branson and one to University). Last week, their three wins came against Bay (4-4), Crystal Springs Uplands (3-5) and Mission.
6. Marshall (1-2, last week’s ranking: 4)
The Phoenix haven’t had a ton of time on the court and their most recent performance was a rough one. In a loss to an undersized, but fast-paced Fremont of Oakland (6-4) team, Marshall allowed 92 points. It is the highest point total allowed by the Phoenix since the 2010-2011 school year, when they allowed 97 points against University and 93 to Mission.
7. Lick-Wilmerding (6-3, last week’s ranking: 7)
The Tigers have gone down a similar path as No. 5 Stuart Hall, beating up on sub-.500 teams, while struggling to take down squads with winning records. Lick still hasn’t beaten a team that currently has a winning record and its losses are against teams with a combined record of 17-3. In their only game last week, the Tigers lost to Piedmont (3-1) by 26 points.
8. Urban (7-1, last week’s ranking: 8)
Urban and Lick are arguably a coin flip at this point in the season, although the Blues have a better record and beat a common opponent in Lowell (3-7) last week. Urban beat Lowell by six points last week without one of their top scorers, shooting guard Matt Monges, while the Tigers beat the Cardinals by eight earlier in the season. Urban also defeated Oakland Military (3-4) last week.
9. Gateway (5-0, last week’s ranking: 9)
The Gators remain undefeated and weren’t challenged in their only game last week, a 57-28 win over International Studies Academy (0-1), but will have an opportunity to really shake up the Top 10 if they can beat Piedmont on Thursday, a team that beat No. 7 Lick handily a week ago.
10. Lincoln (0-6, last week’s ranking: NR)
The Mustangs move back into the Top 10 and flip-flop with Mission entirely due to their close loss to No. 4 St. Ignatius. Other than a lopsided second quarter, Lincoln largely outplayed the Wildcats and will be a championship contender in the Academic Athletic Association.
Best of the rest: Mission (0-8), Galileo (3-4), Balboa (4-5)