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 (9-1, last ranking: 1)
The Crusaders appeared to be on cruise control in the final stages of non-league play, until they were derailed by Eastlake (6-4) of Washington state – the same team that beat unranked Galileo by five points the night before – in the second round of the South San Francisco Tournament. The one-point loss probably doesn’t worry Riordan faithful as much as the now-eligible transfers that will likely mix up an already-cohesive unit. There is no doubt Riordan has the most talent in the City, now we’ll see how they play together.
2. Sacred Heart Cathedral (7-3, last ranking: 3)
The Irish played well at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic last week in Palm Springs and advanced to their division’s championship game, where they lost to JW North (14-2) by six points, a top-25 team in the state according to MaxPreps.com’s computer rankings. Sacred Heart got to the division title game behind wins over Perris (7-6) and El Toro (13-4), but also dropped its tournament opener to Green Valley (5-9) of Nevada.
3. University (10-3, last ranking: 2)
The Red Devils faced their best competition yet in the loaded Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic last week and had mixed results. University entered the winner’s bracket with a blowout win over Centennial of Compton (7-6), then lost handily to El Camino of Woodland Hills (12-2), which is currently the 13th-best team in the state according to MaxPreps.com’s computer rankings. The Red Devils finished the trip with a 13-point loss to Central of Fresno (10-2) and a win over Sylmar (7-9). University played a similar level of competition and had similar results as No. 2 Sacred Heart did in its tournament last week, but lost by significantly larger margins.
4. St. Ignatius (9-1, last ranking: 4)
The Wildcats may be riding high after winning the Sand Dune Classic last week with wins over Burlingame (5-7), Santa Cruz (5-7) and Jesuit (8-6), but their overall résumé still doesn’t quite stack up to the teams ahead of them in our rankings. St. Ignatius’ best win is still a road victory over El Camino, but that could all change if the Wildcats shock Riordan tonight in their West Catholic Athletic League opener.
5. Stuart Hall (11-3, last ranking: 5)
The Knights have the most wins in the City, but haven’t been challenged in most of them. Their most recent challenge was a come-from-behind win over Woodside Priory (3-5) two weeks ago, which was followed by two blowout wins over Leadership (3-7) and winless Wallenberg.
6. Urban (10-1, last ranking: 8)
The Blues make the biggest jump this week after an emphatic 16-point win over No. 8 Lick-Wilmerding, which was previously ranked ahead of them, in the Head-Royce Holiday Classic. Urban got to the tournament championship game with double-digit wins over Bay (4-7) and Oakland Military (5-7), and Nate Cohen, arguably the best all-around guard in the San Francisco, is quietly making a case for City Player of the Year.
7. Marshall (4-4, last ranking: 6)
The Phoenix haven’t played since a 2-2 performance in the Rail City Classic in Reno, Nev. two weeks ago, where they beat out-of-state opponent Silver State Academy (7-4) and Rodriguez of Fairfield (4-8), a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff team last season. Marshall’s losses in Reno came against Placer (12-4) and Reed of Sparks, Nev. (6-5).
8. Lick-Wilmerding (9-4, last ranking: 7)
The Tigers took a step back with a double-digit loss to No. 6 Urban last week, but got to the tournament championship game with a close win over California School for the Deaf (3-4) and a double-digit victory over host Head-Royce (8-4). It won’t be long before Lick gets another shot against Urban. The two teams will face off on Tuesday in their Bay Counties League West opener.
9. Lincoln (3-11, last ranking: 10)
The Mustangs finally got in the win column after starting the season 0-7 with two victories in the Mel Goode Tournament two weeks ago, but took another slide in their tournament last week. When Lincoln blew a fourth-quarter lead to University of Irvine (5-10) in the first round of the Don Bambauer Holiday Classic at Marin Catholic, it shifted from a trip to the winner’s bracket to a spot in the last-place game after losses to Terra Linda (6-6) and Mills (7-5). The Mustangs ended the week on a high note, however, by throttling Berean Christian (2-11).
10. Mission (2-11, last ranking: NR)
Like their Academic Athletic Association counterparts in the Sunset, the Bears are finally in the win column with victories over winning teams Los Gatos (7-5) and Branson (7-5). The Branson win came after losses to Oakland Tech (10-3) and Skyline (7-6) in the first two rounds of the Sand Dune Classic.
Best of the rest: Galileo (4-6), Balboa (6-10), Lowell (4-9), Gateway (6-2)