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 (9-1, last ranking: 1)
The Wildcats are now ranked 16th in the state and 57th in the nation by MaxPreps.com’s computer rankings, but got all they could ask for from No. 3 Lowell – a team that lost to Sacred Heart Cathedral by 35 points earlier in the season – in the Sand Dune Classic championship game. The margin over Lowell may have been slim, but it was St. Ignatius’ seventh win in a row, preceded by wins over state finalist Berkeley (4-5), Skyline (9-5) and St. Patrick-St. Vincent (5-7).
2. Sacred Heart Cathedral (8-2, last ranking: 2)
The Irish took down Christian Brothers (7-6) and Washington (5-8) since our last rankings, but were considered for the No. 1 spot for the first time this season due to Lowell’s close loss to St. Ignatius. The Cardinals went toe-to-toe with the top-ranked Wildcats on Saturday, but were outmatched against the Irish earlier in the season. Still, we’ll wait until Jan. 8 to see if the Irish are really better than St. Ignatius.
3. Lowell (10-4, last ranking: 4)
The Cardinals move up a spot and appear to be hitting their stride after a solid effort in the Sand Dune Classic. The close loss to No. 1 St. Ignatius may resonate most, but a lopsided win over a very good Pinewood (8-3) squad should not be overlooked. The Cardinals also beat University Prep of San Jose by 45 points in the first round of the tournament.
4. International (11-1, last ranking: 3)
The Jaguars were a dark-horse candidate to be the City’s top until Saturday, when they lost to Valley Christian of Dublin (10-2) in the West Coast Jamboree Onyx Division championship game. No. 3 Lowell defeated the same team by 20 points in early December. International got to the tournament championship game with lopsided wins over West Campus (8-8) and Turlock Christian (10-3).
5. Galileo (12-2, last ranking: 5)
The Lions may have played their worst game in a blowout loss to Pinewood in their Sand Dune opener, but responded with force, routing University Prep of San Jose and defeating Skyline in the consolation bracket championship game. Junior forward Sarah Lim was arguably the team MVP for Galileo in the tournament, averaging 15 points per game.
6. Mercy (5-6, last ranking: 6)
The Skippers went winless against out-of-state competition during the Sisters of Mercy Tournament in Baltimore, but all three losses came against teams with winning records. The Skippers lost the three games to Mercyhurst Prep (5-2), Merion Mercy (6-4) and Mother of Mercy (8-2) by an average of 10 points.
7. Lincoln (6-7, last ranking: 7)
The Mustangs’ up-and-down season continued in Southern California last week. Lincoln sandwiched double-digit wins over SoCal opponents Garden Grove (5-7) and Estancia (8-6) between losses to Rosary (9-5) and Sunny Hills (8-8) in the Garden Grove Tournament, and still appears to be one of the only Academic Athletic Association teams capable of dethroning Lowell this season.
8. Urban (10-2, last ranking: 8)
The Blues went undefeated and won their division during the SoCal Holiday Prep Classic in San Diego last week, but none of their four wins came against teams with winning records. Urban defeated Canadian foe Heritage Park, Valley Center (3-7), Patrick Henry (1-7) and out-of-state opponent Metairie Park (5-7) by an average of 25.8 points.
9. Convent (8-5, last ranking: 9)
The Cubs haven’t played with a full squad in a while, with injuries and players on vacation during the holidays, and it showed in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Eastside Prep. Convent largely played with a five-player rotation during the tournament and lost in blowout fashion to Eastside Prep (8-5) and Lynbrook (10-2). The Cubs did get a win in the tournament, against Canadian opponent Gleneagle.
10. Lick-Wilmerding (9-3, last ranking: 10)
The Tigers hold firm in the final spot of our rankings after a 21-point win over San Rafael (4-8) in their only game last week.
Best of the rest: University (7-5), Balboa (6-7), Washington (5-8)