Boys Basketball Top 10: St. Ignatius moves to the top after Bruce-Mahoney win

St. Ignatius junior point guard Trevor Dunbar makes a block (or commits a foul, we can't remember for sure) against Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday at the University of San Francisco. (Photo by Doug Ko)
St. Ignatius junior point guard Trevor Dunbar makes a block (or commits a foul, we can't remember for sure) against Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday at the University of San Francisco. (Photo by Doug Ko)

St. Ignatius junior point guard Trevor Dunbar makes a block (or commits a foul, we can’t remember for sure) against Sacred Heart Cathedral 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. St. Ignatius (12-3, last week’s ranking: 3)

The Wildcats appear to play up and down to their competition (except for a blowout loss to Mitty), but are the unquestioned kings of the City, for the moment at least, after the first round of West Catholic Athletic League play. St. Ignatius started the week off with a 10-point win over last week’s No. 1 team Sacred Heart Cathedral, then sputtered in a close road loss to St. Francis (6-8) before wrapping up the week with a single-digit home win over Valley Christian (5-10), the same team Riordan beat by 39 points and Sacred Heart beat by 21.

2. Sacred Heart Cathedral (11-4, last week’s ranking: 1)

The Irish were outplayed by No. 1 St. Ignatius to start the week, but if not for the head-to-head loss to the Wildcats, would probably have the the best overall resume of any team in the City. Their road win over Serra is still likely the best win by any City team this season and they added to their victory total with wins over Valley Christian and St. Francis last week.

3. Riordan (10-5, last week’s ranking: 4)

The Crusaders move up a spot despite a three-loss week, but at least two could – or should – have been wins. Riordan had two-time defending state champion Mitty on the ropes at Crusader Forum before falling to the Monarchs by five points, then lost to Bellarmine by one point on the road. The close losses were preceded by a 11-point road loss to Serra.

4. University (12-5, last week’s ranking: 2)

The Red Devils’ one-point loss to Marin Academy (6-6) in their Bay Counties League West opener may look peculiar at first, but University had a 20-point lead in the first half and the Wildcats only lost to Division V powerhouse St. Joseph Notre Dame by four points in non-league play. The Red Devils got back on track with an 18-point win over No. 9 Lick-Wilmerding at Oracle Arena to wrap up their week.

5. Stuart Hall (13-4, last week’s ranking: 5)

The Knights coasted to to an easy win in their BCL West opener against International (4-8), but like University, fell victim to Marin Academy, also by a single-point margin. Stuart Hall has been pretty comfy in the No. 5 spot for a while, but there could be a significant shakeup if the Knights fall to Urban or Lick-Wilmerding – or both – this week.

6. Urban (13-2, last week’s ranking: 6)

The Blues are tied for first place in the BCL West after wins over No. 9 Lick-Wilmerding and International in the opening week of league play, but should get tested a bit more by University and Stuart Hall this week.

7. Lincoln (6-11, last week’s ranking: 8)

The Mustangs move up a spot because their convincing wins over No. 10 Mission and Burton (4-7) in the first week of Academic Athletic Association play look slightly better than Marshall’s two wins last week, but they may not last long if the Phoenix can beat them Tuesday.

8. Marshall (6-5, last week’s ranking: 7)

The Phoenix got a lot of attention – not necessarily in a good way – for dropping 105 points on hapless Jordan (0-2), then had a close call on the road against Washington (4-13), but survived to force a first-place showdown with Lincoln.

9. Lick-Wilmerding (10-7, last week’s ranking: 9)

It’s still very early in the season, but the defending BCL West champions are starting to look like the last team out of the league’s playoff picture. Only four teams get into the BCL West playoffs and after a 0-2 start – losses to Urban and University last week – they will need to make up ground with an upset or two against Stuart Hall and Marin Academy this week.

10. Mission (4-12, last week’s ranking: 10)

The Bears’ chances of repeating as AAA champions took a hit with a double-digit loss to No. 7 Lincoln last week, then they came back to beat Balboa (6-11) by 19 points two days later. With senior guard Kevin Murray back from a team suspension, however, Mission should still be a threat come playoff time.

Best of the rest: Lowell (8-9), Balboa (6-11), Gateway (7-2), Galileo (6-8)

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44 Comments on "Boys Basketball Top 10: St. Ignatius moves to the top after Bruce-Mahoney win"

  1. You should consider the games where SI lost to St. Francis and SHC beat them handily. In any event, you’ll have a change by the end of the month.

    • A head to head win is more significant than “we beat team X more than you did.”. Just cause you like to run up the score, doesn’t mean you are better. If scoring differential mattered, Riordan would be ranked #1 because most of their wins are by 30, while SI’s wins are usually under 10 pts.

  2. It’s a toss up between SHC and SI but the SI win in the BM game should merit a number one ranking, at least this week. Will there be more leap frogging after tomorrow nights game on Ellis?

    • That should be a good one.

      • Looking forward to finally seeing the Irish play as they have put up an impressive record so far. Riordan is still struggling in WCAL as they are still trying to settle in with their new lineup/rotations. Should be a good one with the guard play of both teams.
        Stars, do you anticipate a good turnout tomorrow night? Should fans arrive by the JV game?

        • I think you will be o.k. SHCP does not travel well. A big reason for the crowd v. Mitty was the Gordan factor and a lot of outside interest. Still will be a decent crowd and parking is iffy the later you go.

        • I think it will be a good turnout. I hope more students than parents for a change. You can find parking along Van Ness evenings. If you really can’t find a spot, try that theatre lot nearby or Japan Center.

  3. IC stars, yep, also the jungle game will be a big decider on Wednesday for SI. As long as SH beats Riordan on Wednesday and SI the second game around, I don’t see anyone dethroning SHC for the # 1 spot in the city this year.

    • SHC may have their hands full this week. I think this might be the game Riordan comes together. They then face the AG machine next game. SHC couldn’t beat him with the twin towers so this game will be even more challenging.

  4. The BCS (Balan Computer Score) is out and with an impressive 3 loss week, Riordan moves UP in the rankings!!! Tremendous! This poll is definitely fun Jeremy. Honestly, polls get the fans talking and chirping. But if you were to replace the weekly poll with an article on one city athlete and their story like some E:60 piece, that would be awesome.

    • That’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but those pieces take a long time. We actually have a couple coming after the All-City football team comes out Thursday morning.

  5. Just some facts | January 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM |

    Totally love the comment on the photo (photo above by Doug Ko).

  6. Just some facts | January 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM |

    I am a bit confused as to when SI is playing up or playing down. Did they play up or down when they played MITTY and had a blow-out loss (while according to JB:” Riordan had two-time defending state champion Mitty on the ropes at Crusader Forum before falling to the Monarchs by five points”)

    Did they play down or up when they beat VALLEY CHRISTIAN by only 9 points? – (when Riordan had a VC blow out with their second string and reserves playing with a Riordan win by 39 points and SHC had a win by 21 points).

    Then did they play down for ST. FRANCIS while SHC beat St. F?

    • Just some facts | January 15, 2013 at 12:52 PM |

      Did SI play up or too down that they had a close loss to St. Francis while SHC beat St. Francis?

      • Apparent;y they played up when they beat Riordan and SHC.

      • Examples of SI playing down to their competition: Westmoor, Aragon, Burlingame, Valley Christian.

        Examples of SI playing up to their compeition: Riordan, SHC, maybe Jesuit and El Camino too.
        The St. Francis loss sounded like it was all Trevor Dunbar, and hardly any production from his teammates. Also, St. Francis had a nice lead at halftime due to 7 treys in the 1st half.

        • Just some facts | January 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM |

          I am still confused:

          They played down with Westmoor and lost. I thought playing it down occurred when the team doesn’t work hard because they expect to win and maybe even have the reserves playing instead of the “first” team starters. Who played for the VC game- who got the minutes? – what about the Westmoor game? and the Mitty game? Who played then?

          So did they really really played down with Mitty and got blown-away? JJ and M Air J, you don’t say whether it was a play-down or play -up game then.

          So they played down (all but Trevor D played down, that is) and lost to St., F.?

          Is playing down for SI when only Trevor D plays well but the others players “just call it in” for that “play down” game?

          It kinda is a response to the question of the stoic AG. He does his “own world” thing and so he doesn’t have to play down or up. BTW he and his parents may be reserved and withdrawn, maybe due to pressure over the years for recruiting – and then again they are not as secretive as SD and his parents were to SI.

          • I couldn’t tell you sir, when they play up or down. I have seen Riordan play more games than SI and have only been to one SI game, against Riordan. All I know is that SHC is 4-1 in league, and in 2nd place, while SI is 3-2 and tied for 3rd and Riordan is 1-4 in 7th place. That’s really all that matters in my book. All these scenarios as to who beat who by this many don’t really matter in league standings.

            I will be at SHC tonight and I expect a helluva game. I believe this is the game where Riordan will get over the hump.

          • I don’t think you understand the concept of “playing up or playing down”. Playing up involves diving for loose balls, running hard, playing hard defense, making the extra pass, etc. Playing down means soft defense, standing around on offense, playing one-on-one basketball, etc. because you think you will win just by showing up. Playing up and down is very common in the NBA because the players don’t take every game as seriously as the next one. I think SI may have this problem. As for the Mitty and St Francis games, I don’t know if they played up or down as I wasn’t there, but Coach Reardon said they played “poorly” against the Lancers, so I assume they played down?? The Mitty game, they were most likely out-coached, according to Hoosier.

  7. Feel The Pain | January 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM |

    Correction on Riordan’s game with Serra. They were at home and not on the road.

  8. I enjoy watching Aaron Gordon like the next guy and he’s all business. Chewing his gum nonchalantly, he barely ever cracks a smile. His facial expressions communicates that he is going to be one of those assassins on the court. I do enjoy a Dwight Howard / Magic Johnson type that smiles on the court and looks like hes just having fun. Has anyone had any experiences approaching him in the stands? Ive seen him many times from afar and he barely talks to anyone. He just chews gum and has this blank stare on his face. Not looking forward to him putting up 20 and 20 against SHC on friday night.

    • My ten year old son was chatting with AG32 before last year’s CCS showdown against SHC at Foothill College last year. AG32 was cool towards my son and didn’t blow him off or big-time him.

      He also gets a lot of abuse at road games from students / fans and gets constantly double or triple teamed and hacked mercilessly as not many stand a chance to stop him without fouling! Despite these circumstances, I have personally never seen him lose his cool. Lastly, he acts like a coach on the floor pumping up his teammates and leads by example.

      Great, great player and I for one will miss watching up close and personal which is only possible at the high school level. Good luck getting within 10′ of him at the next levels.

      • Mikey-Great story. AG32 used to be compared to a kid that was in his grade (SD) over in the Sunset district. Over the past few years say from 2005 on, who really goes down in history. I mean were talking big time players. Who do you all remember and who will you always remember(WCAL,ideally)? For me personally I saw a lot of Rob Jones-Drew Gordon teams go head-to-head but little brothers the one I’m telling the grandkids about, AG32 for me.

        • When I was a kid I used to go to the Riordan games with my older brother in the mid-80’s. I remember Terrence Mullins of Riordan going against Gary Payton and his Skyline team. I can’t recall seeing two teams with amazing talent at the same time at the local high school level. I mean Riordan had Chris Munk another prep all-american going against 6’11” Greg Foster. These players were the real deal and all had success at the college level and for Munk, Foster and Payton at the NBA level – with Payton being one of the best defensive pgs in the game. Terrence Mullins, I believe, is the only local player to ever play in a NCAA Title game. He did this playing for Oklahoma during the Billy Tubbs years losing to Kansas (Danny Manning).

          • Just for the record, Bill Russell (the Boston Celtic) won 2 NCAA championships for USF. He went to McClymonds in Oakland.

  9. Just some facts | January 15, 2013 at 7:12 PM |

    Refresher Summary on SF WCAL games:

    Lets see:
    SI plays 5 WCAL games
    Riordan 54-49 win by 5 points (Home)
    Mitty 43-71 loss 28 point loss (Away)
    SHC 56-46 10 point win (Away)
    St. Francis 46-52 4 pt loss (Away)
    Valley Christian win by 9 pts.
    Comment: SI hasn’t played Serra or Bellarmine

    SHC plays 5 WCAL games:
    Serra 58-52 win 6 pts Away
    Bellarmine 46-40 win 6 pts Home
    SI 46-56 loss 10 pts (away) (USF gym)
    VC 54-33 win 21 pts (away)
    St. F 61-49 win 12 pt Home
    Comment: SHC hasn’t played Mitty or Riordan

    ARHS plays 5 WCAL games
    SI 49-54 5pt loss away
    VC 67-28 win 39 pt Home
    Serra 48-59 11 pt loss Home
    Mitty 52-57 5pt loss Home
    Bellarmine 55-56 1 pt loss Away.
    Comment: Hasn’t played SHC or St. Francis
    PS Win St..Jos Notre Dame 52-40 12 pts

    • SHC’s opening night win @ Serra is the most impressive win of all the SF WCAL schools so far…

      • st.joe not wcal

      • Just some facts | January 16, 2013 at 11:38 AM |

        Next best performance was Riordan’s game against Mitty with only a 10 point loss.

        • Feel The Pain | January 16, 2013 at 1:57 PM |

          That was actually a 5 point loss ending in Gordon’s emphatic dunk. Agreed that the game was the best Riordan had played all season. We’ll see if they can finish a game, when they travel to Sacred Heart today. Good luck Crusaders!

      • Just some facts | January 16, 2013 at 11:53 AM |

        Although I agree that SHC’s win over Serra (by only 6 points) was the best win – you do see that SI’s 10 point win over SHC counted more apparently. It even wipes out SI’s loss to Mitty by 28 points and SI’s loss to St. Francis apparently. Even when you throw in SHC’s win over Bellarmine, it seems SI ranks higher mostly or entirely for its 10 pt win over SHC. I am not sure I agree on that ranking. You see I still look at the numbers – like close loss or win – and a wipeout game loss like SI at Mitty still counts for me as to which is a better team. SI hasn’t proven itself until they play Serra and Bellarmine and SHC haven’t proven themselves until they play Mitty. In my mind the close losses against a team like Mitty counts a lot – compared to a blow-out loss. – or close wins. Everyone has his own opinion, right?!

        • The rankings are only for San Francisco basketball teams, so considering SI is undefeated against other San Francisco teams, the #1 ranking seems to be just. Riordan and SHC are not undefeated against SF teams, as they both LOST to SI. The main criteria to be #1 is head to head wins and SI takes the cake in that category. Besides, the goal is to be ranked #1 at the end of the basketball season, not in mid-January.

        • Not sure how a loss can be considered the “next best” performance. Riordan needs to win these games. Sharing the WCAL cellar with VC isn’t what was expected of the Crusaders. Hopefully Round 2 of league brings more wins.

          • Just some facts | January 17, 2013 at 10:05 AM |

            You have to take into consideration the competition. I find that to be obvious. The best competition is Mitty and maybe after that Serra. Lets see how SHC does against that – but clearly SI was in the “basement” at Mitty for that game and Riordan was not. Numbers, numbers – it is not all there is.

          • Just some facts | January 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM |

            What do you think was the next best performance?

  10. Urban is tied for first in there league, why arent they ahead of both uni and stuart hall?

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