There is a different dynamic in place in West Catholic Athletic League boys basketball this season.
With Aaron Gordon off to college at No. 1 ranked Arizona, some observers expected Archbishop Mitty's run as the dominant team in the WCAL to come to an end.
The balance of power was supposed to have shifted north to San Francisco, where Sacred Heart Cathedral, St. Ignatius and Archbishop Riordan all looked strong. Reports of Mitty's demise were premature. The Monarchs have definitely found a way to succeed in the post-Gordon era.
But that being said, after two weeks of league play and with the first grueling three-game week in the books, it is clear that the WCAL is not a one- or two-team race this season. Mitty (12-3 overall), Serra (11-4) and St. Ignatius (12-3) are tied for first at 4-1. Sacred Heart Cathedral (11-4), possibly the most impressive team of the bunch in the nonleague portion of the schedule, is 3-2. Riordan (9-6) is 2-3, but not to be counted out.
The Crusaders were dominated at home by Mitty 52-31 in their second league game following a double-overtime loss at Serra in their opener. But they came back to give St. Ignatius its first loss last Thursday. S.I. then redeemed itself with a 48-40 win at home over Mitty on Saturday, making it a three-way tie for the top spot.
The common denominator among the top teams is guard play.
Mitty has been led by its senior backcourt of Matt McAndrews and Connor Peterson. Serra is getting the lion's share of its offense from the 3-point shooting of guards Danny Mahoney and Sean Watkins. All three San Francisco teams boast outstanding individual guard play -- from Riordan's Jiday Ugbaja to S.I.'s Trevor Dunbar to Sacred Heart Cathedral's Deondre Otis.
"The competitive balance night in and night out makes for a fun league,'' Mitty coach Tim Kennedy said. "You've got to bring it every night or get knocked off.''