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)