For the first time since 2012, the Sacred Heart Cathedral Fightin’ Irish will take to the hardwood with a chance to win the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy.
A 21-14 win on the football field on Sept. 22 has SHC leading the Bruce-Mahoney Series, giving the Irish a chance to win the tri-sport trophy on Tuesday night against St. Ignatius in the annual basketball game played at USF.
Last year, the whereabouts of the trophy were hardly in doubt as St. Ignatius cruised to a 64-48 win over a SHC hoops team learning its identity under first-year head coach Sean MacKay.
The Fightin’ Irish found their direction soon thereafter and pushed SI to the brink in a 59-56 defeat three weeks later, the type of nail-biter that fans have come to expect between the two.
St. Ignatius (8-4, 1-1 WCAL) will still be the favorites Tuesday night, but a game like the 2015 and 2016 editions, one-point battles that came down to the final shot, should be expected when the two schools meet in the oldest high school rivalry in the West.
Though injuries have hindered the Wildcats, coach Rob Marcaletti has a trio of three-year guards in Darrion Trammell, Brandon Beckman and Matt Redmond. Trammell hasn’t actually been in the starting lineup in over a month due to how dominant he’s been in a bench role. In his first game as a reserve, he scored 31 points against Marin Catholic.
Trammell, a Marin City native, is one of the members of SI’s “Marin 5”, a group that also includes Beckman and 6’4 Teddy Snyder. Snyder has excelled as one of the few healthy Wildcats in the post, with 16 points in each of SI’s first two league games.
Sacred Heart Cathedral (10-2, 1-1) has a dynamic backcourt as well with Gary Hudson and sophomore Bryce Monroe. Monroe looks like one of the best sophomores in Northern California, highlighted by a 21-point, nine-assist performance in a league-opening win over Mitty. Amin Oglesby and E.J. Neal, who also scored 21 against Mitty, round out the lineup.
Should St. Ignatius win Tuesday’s game, the trophy will be awarded to the winner of the St. Patrick’s Day baseball game, which will be played at AT&T Park.
The lucky ones who have tickets for Tuesday night’s extravaganza will want to arrive by 6 p.m. for the girls’ game. The SHC girls own a three-year Bruce-Mahoney winning streak, and a 4-8 start for the Irish is much more reflective of a killer schedule than of a lack of talent on LyRyan Russell’s team. The St. Ignatius girls are 10-3 and have a serious presence in the paint in 5’10 junior Madelene Ennis.
Prep Focus writer Ethan Kassel covers high school sports throughout the Bay Area. If you have a story tip, game to watch or player to track, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.