HomeBlocksFront-GridGolden Knights Eye a Deep Run in CIF Playoffs

Golden Knights Eye a Deep Run in CIF Playoffs

First published in the Nov. 17 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The St. Francis High School varsity boys’ basketball team is getting ready to hit the court for the 2022-23 season with hopes of competing for a Mission League title and making another deep run in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
“I think everyone’s expectation is to win some games and a championship; I think that’s easy for everybody to say,” SFHS head coach Todd Wolfson said. “For us, it’s more about having fun, enjoying each other’s company, having a great season and getting some of these guys to go play in college — I think that’s our No. 1 goal.”
The Golden Knights compete in a tough Mission League that features powerhouses such as last year’s CIF-SS Open Division runner-up Harvard-Westlake High of Studio City and Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks. SFHS beat Notre Dame but lost to Harvard-Westlake last season en route to a third-place finish in the league standings with a 4-2 record (25-6 overall). The Golden Knights advanced to the CIF-SS Division I semifinals before being stopped by the eventual runners-up JSerra Catholic High of San Juan Capistrano.
“Everyone knows the Mission League is great and competitive,” Wolfson said. “Our goal is just to make playoffs, so get one of those top four spots. If we win it, awesome, obviously we want that, but winning for us is not the end all, be all.”
Wolfson revealed the projected starting rotation for St. Francis, noting the possibility of change as the season progresses. Seniors Jackson Mosley, Luke McGrath, George Tupy and Brandin Dantzler are all expected to start this season. All four varsity returners averaged double-digit minutes on the court as they rotated and started with last year’s standouts Jake Goldberg and Buckley DeJardin. Jackson Mosley averaged 7.8 points, 3.7 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game, Dantzler averaged 6.1 points and six rebounds, McGrath averaged 5.4 points and 2.8 boards, and Tupy averaged 5.3 points and three rebounds.
“Jackson Mosley is a phenomenal young man and has a couple [college] offers. He’s taken a back seat to the guys we had last year but this is his year. Luke McGrath is probably one of the best ball defenders I have and he’s a phenomenal leader; we’re really looking for his glue and intangibles that he brings to the table,” Wolfson said. “George Tupy has all the tools in the world but he’s been battling injuries. Now he’s finally healthy so we’re excited to see what he can do for us. Brandin Dantzler is a ‘hard hat’ guy; he’ll get you 10 offensive rebounds in a day. He’s one of our team captains and the guy we always look to.”
The Golden Knights also welcomed sophomore transfer Mazi Mosley from Heritage Christian High of Northridge, who is expected to round out the starting rotation.
“We’re excited with [Madi Mosley’s] progress and he’s a guy that can fill it up with 30 in a game; he’s an explosive, dynamic scorer,” Wolfson said.
St. Francis also has versatile weapons off the bench in junior Ethan Childs, sophomore Joe Hickey and sophomore Aaron Matthews. Wolfson said they can play huge roles for the Golden Knights this season as they continue to refine their abilities.
While the league schedule, Loyola High of Los Angeles and the senior night game, among others, stand out on the SFHS schedule, there is one game in particular Wolfson and the Golden Knights have circled on their calendar — the local intracity rivalry at La Cañada on Dec. 15.
“The La Cañada game is just great for the city and I think the past three or four years we’ve sold out on both sides,” Wolfson said. “We have a good rivalry; [LCHS head coach] Tom Hofman and I are great friends. Our boys know their boys and they probably go get pizza after the game together. It’s good for the community even though we’re wearing different jerseys.”
St. Francis opened the regular season this week by competing in the Cantwell-Sacred Heart Tournament; the results will be included in next week’s issue.


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