Saints, Dons set to clash for Western League lead
St. Augustine and Cathedral Catholic head into another Holy War this Tuesday with high stakes.
The Saints (13-6) come into the week undefeated in the Western League with wins over San Diego and Mission Bay, while Cathedral Catholic (15-5) also comes in undefeated with wins over San Diego and Coronado.
Winning this game will go a long way for either team to get an early edge in the rugged Western League, while also solidifying their seeding position in the Open Division playoff bracket.
Several other teams have critical league matchups, as teams try to round into playoff form after a spate of COVID-19 related cancellations the past few weeks.
San Marcos and Mission Hills are on a collision course for the lead in the Palomar League race on Friday night if the Knights can get past Del Norte and Mission Hills gets by Rancho Bernardo on Wednesday.
Francis Parker, which re-enters my Top 10 this week, was set to face top Coastal League challenger Santa Fe Christian on Wednesday before the game was postponed Tuesday afternoon due to a non-COVID issue.
And No. 4 Torrey Pines faces a gauntlet of a week in the Coastal NC league with games Tuesday against No. 9 Carlsbad and Friday against No. 6 La Costa Canyon. If the Falcons' games against the teams during the summer and fall are any indication, these games could be tightly contested.
Here's the rest of The Full-Time Hoops Top 25:
The Top 10
1. St. Augustine (13-6) - Statement week for the Saints, who mowed through 3 of the section's Top 15 teams
2. San Marcos (12-3) - Four-win week (including key out-of-section wins against Windward and Rancho Verde) sets up critical Palomar League two step with Del Norte (Wednedsay) and Mission Hills (Friday)
3. San Ysidro (12-5) - Five-game winning streak heading into Wednesday league matchup against Mater Dei Catholic
4. Torrey Pines (12-4) - Falcons have a big week against primary league challengers Carlsbad and La Costa Canyon
5. Mission Hills (13-5) - Dominant win over Del Norte part of a 2-0 week in Palomar League
6. La Costa Canyon (12-4) - Wins over CCA and Vista
7. Cathedral Catholic (15-5) - Blowout wins over San Diego and Coronado
8. Mission Bay (14-5) - 2-1 week included blowout of Coronado, a loss at league-leading Saints, and a win over Mater Dei Catholic in the belated championship game of the Lions Club Classic.
9. Carlsbad (11-7) - Lancers get huge week from Jake Hall to start 2-0 in the Coastal NC
10. Francis Parker (8-4) - Fresh off COVID-19 pause, Lancers get critical win over La Jolla Country Day and a blowout against Army Navy
The next 15
11. La Jolla Country Day (10-5) - Win over Bishop's against losses to Parker and Saints
12. Santa Fe Christian (11-7) - Eagles riding 4-game win streak, take down Orange Glen, Bishop's and Army Navy
13. Mater Dei Catholic (9-5) - Shorthanded Crusaders get narrow win over Otay Ranch, narrow loss over Eastlake before losing to Mission Bay in the Lions Club title game.
14. Montgomery (13-4) - Big league opening win vs Eastlake followed by losses to San Ysidro and Victory Christian (sans three starters)
15. Del Norte (14-5) - 1-1 week featured a blowout loss to Mission Hills and a tight win over Poway
16. Scripps Ranch (13-6) - Shorthanded Falcons drop road contest to Point Loma, rebound with road win over San Diego
17. San Diego (11-5) 2-3 week (including Olympian win Monday) saw Cavers lose 3 starters to COVID-19 and drop home contests to Saints, Cathedral and Scripps Ranch, win vs Helix.
18. Orange Glen (11-5) - Patriots score wins over Foothills Christian, Lincoln, Army Navy and Escondido Charter and drop close one to SFC.
19. Bishop's (12-6) - Knights drop games to Country Day and SFC before righting the ship against Foothills Christian
20. Hoover (11-7) - Bounceback week with wins over Lincoln and University City.
21. Madison (12-6) - Key divisional wins against Central and Ramona
22. Patrick Henry (11-10) - Double OT loss to Point Loma, but rebounded with buzzer-beating win over El Camino
23. San Dieguito Acadeemy (7-6) - Key league win against Oceanside, followed by big win over Mt. Carmel
24. Otay Ranch (11-7) - 3-game losing streak with losses to Mt. Carmel, Bonita Vista and Mater Dei Catholic
25. Sage Creek (9-7) - Long COVID-19 pause ends this week
Team of the Week
The Lancers returned from a long COVID-19 pause and took down the team that had overtaken them as Coastal League favorites, La Jolla Country Day. A big showdown against SFC this week was postponed, but the Lancers will have a chance to keep their hot streak going against Foothills Christian and San Diego in a big nonleague matchup on Jan. 22.
Player of the Week
Jake Hall, 2025 G, Carlsbad
Hall has been on a tear all season, but took his play to another level last week to start Coastal NC Play. He scored a career-high 44 points in an 84-71 win over Vista and 36 in a 72-55 win over El Camino. He's making a strong push to become the first freshman to make an All-CIF team since Mikey Williams in 2019.
Play of the Week
Cam Marshall's buzzer-beater over El Camino
With the game tied at 42 with seconds remaining, El Camino missed a pair of go-ahead free throws, Cam Marshall took the ensuing outlet pass down court and launched a running bank at the buzzer for the win, and was mobbed by his teammates and classmates. One of the top plays you’ll see all year