Riordan basketball runs the City, capturing WCAL title


Alex Hsing ’21

Varsity player Mor Seck ’22 slam dunks against Mission High School.

Cameron Bevan-Abel '22, Sports Editor

The Archbishop Riordan varsity basketball team had sky- high expectations going into the 2019-2020 season and yet those expectations may have even been surpassed, at least in the regular season.

Riordan started the season off with a huge non conference win against a very good J Serra team.

Afterward, they won the 61st annual Crusader Classic tournament by beating Mills, Mission, and San Ramon Valley.

The Crusaders started 9-1 going into the WCAL portion of their schedule.

Archbishop Riordan lost to Serra, but then went on a 9 conference game winning streak, their most in the last 15 years.

They swept their rival, Saint Ignatius, for the rst time in the regular season since 2007.

They also swept Sacred Heart in a blowout win, in which Je’lani Clark scored 38 points and team manager Dominic Stevens or “D Steves” made two 3’s late, playing in his first varsity game.

Riordan has just not had many weaknesses this season. They have two stars in the backcourt who can score in a hurry, defensive stars like Lee Hubbard III ’21 and Dominic Wilson ’20, and great depth at the big man position. As a team, Riordan is an insanely clutch team. In the first 18 of them, they outscored their opponent in the second half. They were also 7-1 in one-score games and 2-0 in overtime games.

Archbishop Riordan’s starting backcourt can compete with any others in Northern California with Bryce Monroe ’20 going to Sam Houston State and Clark going to Nevada. Bryce Monroe is the leading scorer of the team and most consistent player, and Clark can get any crowd on its feet with his thunderous slam dunks.

“Dom Wilson and Lee Hubbard… both of those guys are really talented players and were expected to contribute, but they have been really good and even great at times. Obviously, Je’lani and Bryce are players who everyone knows about and they have been even better this season than last, so for guys like Lee and Dom to shine themselves at times, even among the other great players, has been nice to see,” Athletic Director Bob Greene said.

Monroe and Clark may have been a huge part of the improvement this season, but the supporting pieces were the ones to complete the puzzle with Wilson and Hubbard having seen increased roles, while sophomore center double double machine Mor Seck ’22 has burst onto the scene.

With this supporting cast, along with star guards Clark and Monroe, Archbishop Riordan won the WCAL in a three-way tie with Bellarmine and Archbishop Mitty. This was the first time the varsity basketball team has won the WCAL since 2007.

The Crusaders set up to play Saint Francis on Feb. 21 to start postseason play. They came in as the second seed. Saint Francis beat them 66-60, a heartbreaking loss for Archbishop Riordan.

The season will still go down in the books for Archbishop Riordan, as the Crusaders won the WCAL for the first time in 13 years and were 6-0 against schools in San Francisco.

“This year’s team is clearly different than last year’s, if for no other reason than its overall size,” Greene said.

“Our team last year was really talented, but this team has many more front court options, which makes it far different than last year.”