Girls Basketball Top 10: Sacred Heart Cathedral ends St. Ignatius’ streak at the top

The Sacred Heart Cathedral girls basketball team celebrates after its win over rival St. Ignatius on Tuesday at the University of San Francisco. (Photo by Doug Ko)

The Sacred Heart Cathedral girls basketball team celebrates after its win over rival St. Ignatius on Tuesday at the University of San Francisco. (Photo by Doug Ko)

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. Sacred Heart Cathedral (12-3, last week’s ranking: 2)

The Irish move to the top after a win over St. Ignatius on Tuesday at the University of San Francisco and ended the Wildcats’ impressive run at the top of our rankings. Sacred Heart followed the rivalry win with a blowout victory over Valley Christian (8-8) and took a step back with their first West Catholic Athletic League loss at home to St. Francis (12-4).

2. St. Ignatius (12-3, last week’s ranking: 1)

Since we started our rankings three seasons ago, the Wildcats have been at the top of them – until this week. St. Ignatius dropped due to its Bruce-Mahoney loss to No. 1 Sacred Heart Cathedral, but got back on track with a road win over St. Francis (which then went on to beat Sacred Heart) and a home victory over Valley Christian.

3. Lowell (12-4, last week’s ranking: 3)

There’s no reason to move the Cardinals from the No. 3 spot after they won their first Academic Athletic Association games over Balboa (7-8) and No. 5 Galileo. The win over the Lions was by single digits, but on the road, and Lowell will probably have to wait a week for another challenge in AAA play, when they host No. 7 Lincoln.

4. International (14-2, last week’s ranking: 4)

The Jaguars reinforced that they are the Bay Counties League West favorite with double-digit road wins over No. 9 Convent and No. 8 Urban last week. Up next for International is Marin Academy and defending league champion University this week.

5. Galileo (13-3, last week’s ranking: 5)

The Lions tipped off AAA play with a blowout win over Wallenberg (1-9), then gave No. 3 Lowell a stiff test in a single-digit loss that could be a preview of the AAA championship game to end their first week of league play.

6. Mercy (7-7, last week’s ranking: 6)

The Skippers started their West Bay Athletic League season off with a victory over Castilleja (3-11), then gave Pinewood (12-3) a scare on the road in a five-point loss. If Mercy can have another solid road outing against Eastside Prep this week, it should bode well for the rest of its season.

7. Lincoln (8-9, last week’s ranking: 7)

The Mustangs still aren’t above .500, but should after this week, when they face three lower-level AAA programs. Lincoln should be undefeated heading into back-to-back games against No. 3 Lowell at the end of the month, but showed some vulnerability in a three-point win over unranked Burton (5-2) last week, which was preceded by a 20-point win over Mission (3-13).

8. Urban (12-3, last week’s ranking: 8)

The Blues had mixed results in their first week of BCL West play. They dominated Lick-Wilmerding (9-7) in a 40-point, league-opening win, then fell to No. 4 International on their home court at Kezar Pavilion. Forward Charlotte Blanc, one of two seniors on the team, is averaging 16.4 points and 10.3 rebounds on the season.

9. Convent (9-6, last week’s ranking: 9)

The Cubs trailed by 20 points heading into the fourth quarter before cutting the lead down in a 10-point loss to No. 4 International in their BCL West opener, then got into the win column with a 19-point road win over Marin Academy (4-9). Unless there are some significant upsets, International should be locked into first place in the league, but the next three playoffs spots will be tightly contested.

10. University (10-7, last week’s ranking: NR)

The Red Devils reenter the Top 10 after several weeks off and did so by force. University sits in the final spot of our rankings almost entirely due to a 26-point win over last week’s No. 10 team Lick-Wilmerding, which avenged a tournament loss to the Tigers in early December. The Red Devils also had victories over Marin Academy and Castilleja last week to push their win streak to three games.

Best of the rest: Washington (6-9), Lick-Wilmerding (9-7), Balboa (7-8), Burton (5-2), Bay (8-6), Waldorf (6-3).

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