2017-18 New York City boys basketball (trough Dec. 30)
The weekly look at the New York City metro area's PSAL, CHSAA and AIS schools for the New York State Sportswriters Association is compiled by Mike Libert:
1) Christ the King (6-2)- The Royals move up to the top spot this week off of
what could only be described as superb play as of late. They didn't play this
past week but are rolling with wins over two very talented teams in Long Island
Lutheran and Thomas Jefferson on the road, a good St. Raymond group at home.
Having come together after an early season struggle Christ the King look to be
firing on all cylinders and will look to keep it going this week when play St.
Joseph's of New Jersey on Saturday at the Shooting Stars Showcase on Long Island.
2) Archbishop Molloy (4-3)- It was a crazy week for the Stanners who played
shorthanded against All Hallows on the road and fell on Wednesday. People were
wondering what was happening to Molloy all of a sudden, but they stopped all
that chatter with a 21-point drubbing of Cardinal Hayes with everyone back and
healthy on Friday. A true eye opener for how good the Stanners can be, they will
also next play on Saturday at the Shooting Stars Showcase where they will square
off with one of Long Island's top public schools in Amityville.
3) Cardinal Hayes (7-3)- You can take the top three and basically put them in
any order and no one could say you are right or wrong as the Cardinals are def-
initely still a team to beat in the CHSAA this season as wins against Stepinac
and Christ the King back up, but a tough loss to Chaminade a few weeks back com-
bined with the 21 point defeat to Archbishop Molloy push Hayes down to the No. 3
spot this week. They will look to get back to the top with games in the week
ahead against All Hallows and St. Raymond, both to be played at home.
4) Thomas Jefferson (10-3)- While the Orange Wave have three losses heading
into 2018 none are against PSAL competition. They fell to Christ the King, MLK
of Philadelphia, and to Cypress Bay of Florida. An uptempo team who likes to get
up and down the court fast, Jefferson have looked fantastic against local Brook-
lyn AA foes and will look to continue that this week when they hit the court on
Saturday to take on George Westinghouse in their lone game of the week.
5) Abraham Lincoln (8-1)- With what the Railsplitters accomplished this week
they are deserving of the bump up in the rankings that they received. Heading
down to North Carolina to play in the Hoodies House of Hoops Classic, Lincoln
would beat Edgewater of Florida in the opening round, Philadelphia power Neu-
mann-Goretti in the semifinals, and then down St. Frances Academy of Maryland to
take home the title. It was a great feat for the Railsplitters to come away with
the championship against such stiff competition and they will look to do it
again this week as Lincoln heads down to Louisiana to take part in the Sugar
Bowl Basketball Classic.
6) Curtis (10-1)- They have dominating wins over Staten Island competition and
have looked good against the likes of Paul Robeson when they come over to play
teams from other boroughs but the Warriors will be tested in one of the true
games of the week when on Saturday they come to Queens to face off with Cardozo
in the PSAL Steve Simms Mid-Winter Showcase. It will be a great test for both
teams who are each looking for marquee wins as Curtis will have both the Judges
and Port Richmond on the schedule this week.
7) Cardozo (8-0)- Much like we just mentioned about Curtis, Cardozo is also a
team that will see their schedule begin to pick up as 2018 is now soon upon us.
They took down James Monroe on Saturday at the Queens Jam Christmas Classic in
what was an impressive win over one of the best in the Bronx AA this season, but
with home games against H.S. for Construction and Curtis coming on Friday and
Saturday this will be the real test for the Judges to see how they fair against
some of the true best in New York City.
8) St. Raymond (4-3)- There is a saying that time can heal all wounds and the
Ravens will certainly hope that is true as they lost their last two games before
a Christmas break to Iona Prep and Christ the King. They have the talent to com-
pete with the very best in the CHSAA and will look to continue proving that as we
head now into the new year. A big game on the road against Cardinal Hayes on Fri-
day will be a great test for St. Ray's, and then it's The Knox School from Long
Island on Saturday at the Shooting Stars Showcase to finish out the week.
9) Thurgood Marshall Academy (7-0)- After being off since the 19th of December
the Panthers finally get back to action this week, and they will be very busy as
it's going to be a three game week for Thurgood Marshall. All three will see them
traveling as well with a date against Manhattan Center starting things off on
Thursday, then it's a road game on Friday with Harry Truman before making the
trip to Queens to play in the PSAL Steve Simms Mid-Winter Showcase on Saturday
against a challenging and dangerous Springfield Gardens team.
10) H.S. for Construction (10-0)- An unblemished perfect record is nothing to
sneeze at as the Red Hawks performed better during the month of December than
anyone could've imagined at the start of the season. They beat the teams they
were expecting to beat, and then knocked off Baldwin on the road in mid-December
as well. The schedule now will begin to pick up as they will head to Cardozo on
Friday in a game that will no doubt challenge their perfect record, and then
it's a rematch game with Brooklyn Collegiate on Saturday at the PSAL Steve Simms
11) South Shore (4-4)- Having lost four in a row just before Christmas the Vik-
ings got a big win over Bishop Loughlin to get them back on the winning track on
the 22nd to show that while things looked suspect for a little bit they are still
a team that will be making noise throughout the rest of the season. They will
host Eagle Academy II on Thursday in what will be South Shore's first game since
the win over the Lions, and then it's a matchup with St. Mary's of New Jersey on
Saturday at the LuHi Invitational on Long Island to close out the week's action.
12) Boys and Girls (8-3)- Traveling outside of New York City is never easy but
the Kangaroos, after an impressive win over Brooklyn Law and Tech, went to the
Garden State and won the PCSST Holiday Tournament by knocking off Dwight Morrow,
Passaic Tech, and Paterson Charter, each by double digits to bring home the champ-
ionship. It was a great way for Boys and Girls to close out 2017 and they will
now ring in 2018 on Thursday with a tricky road test against a young but talented
Brooklyn Collegiate team.
13) St. Peter's (8-3)- After winning 7 in a row, the Eagles dropped the champ-
ionship game of the Josh Palmer Holiday Inn Classic on Saturday to Ohio power
Benedictine 59-55 in a game that proved St. Peter's can compete with anyone.
They knocked off McDonogh from Maryland in the semifinals, a team that features
a commit headed to Florida, and combine that with an earlier win over Long Is-
land power Chaminade and the ability to make noise in the CHSAA is there for
the Eagles. Just one game on the schedule this week for St. Peter's as on Satur-
day they will travel to take on All Hallows.
14) Wings Academy (5-3)- So far this season it's been a lot of up and down for
an inexperienced Wings team. They have looked overpowering and dominant at times,
but then there are times where they just don't have it like Wings teams of the
past. They already have a loss at home to James Monroe this season and now will
look to get revenge as in Wings only game of the week they will travel on the
road to take on the Eagles as they look to prove they are still the kings of the
15) Paul Robeson (8-5)- Since a loss to Thomas Jefferson back on Dec. 7 the
Eagles have reeled off 6 wins out of 7 games propelling them back in the rankings
this week. They punctuated 2017 off with a tournament win down at the Chris Sole
Holiday Classic in Maryland defeating North Point (MD) and St. Charles (MD) hand-
ily to bring home the crown. League play picks back up on Thursday for Robeson
when they host George Westinghouse before then playing on Saturday in the PSAL
Steve Simms Mid-Winter Showcase against James Monroe of the Bronx.
Honorable Mention: Bishop Loughlin (4-6), James Monroe (8-4), Eagle Academy
(8-3), Brooklyn Collegiate (5-5), George Westinghouse (5-4)
1) Nazareth (7-1)- It's been a fantastic start to the season for the Kingsmen
who knocked off Brooklyn Law and tech in the Msgr. King Tournament semifinals to
move up to the top spot in Class A this week. They followed that impressive win
with a title game victory over Florida power Tampa Catholic to take home the
trophy on Saturday night. With just one loss this season, a road defeat to Buff-
alo power Canisius, Nazareth look to be the class of Class A at this part of the
season. A trip to St. Anthony's will be another tough test for the Kingsmen on
Wednesday, and that will be followed by games with St. Edmund Prep and Port
Richmond to close out the week.
2) Lehman Campus (11-0)- With wins so far this season over Roosevelt Educat-
ional Campus, Evander Childs, and KIPP NYC College Prep, the Lions have shown
that they are the real deal and a force in the PSAL this season. They are gett-
ing it done at both ends of the floor and are in good shape to keep the winning
ways going this week as they get back to action after the holiday break with a
road game at Adlai Stevenson on Wednesday, and then it's a home date with Bronx
Science on Friday.
3) Brooklyn Law and Tech (8-2)- Losing their first game of the season to Boys
and Girls was one thing as we kept the Jets in the top spot after that defeat
but a 57-48 loss to Nazareth on Friday bumped Law and Tech down to #3 this week
as they showed that they can be contained more so than they have been in the past
couple of seasons. They got their second win of the season over Bedford Academy
to ultimately finish in 3rd place at the Msgr. King Holiday Tournament in Brook-
lyn on Saturday and will look to built on that this week with games against
Millennium and Susan McKinney.
4) Roosevelt Educational Campus (10-1)- One of the best pure shooting teams
from the outside in the PSAL are the Bears as they shot the lights out against
a young Canarsie team on Saturday at the Queens Jam Christmas Classic in what
ended up being a 15 point win for the Bronx power. It showed off how dangerous
Roosevelt can be when they start heating up from behind the arc as they have
multiple shooters who can hurt you on any given day. The week ahead will just
one game for the Bears as on Friday they will square off on the road with
5) Beacon (9-0)- Flying under the radar still are the Blue Demons as even
with wins over the likes of Louis Brandeis, MLK Jr, and Campus Magnet, Beacon
seems to just be going about their business without much fanfare in Manhattan.
That will start to change the longer they keep their undefeated record in tact
as they will look to add two more wins to their total this week when they host
Harlem Village Academy on Wednesday and Percy E. Sutton on Friday.
6) William Grady (10-2)- After losing their opening two games of the season
to Class AA power Boys and Girls and 2015-2016 PSAL Class A champions Tele-
communication there was a question of was this going to be another down year
for the Falcons. Since that point though Grady has reeled off 10 straight wins
to assert themselves as a top contender in the PSAL this season. They hosted
their holiday tournament this past week and took down West 50th Street, August
Martin and Aspiration to get to 10-2, and with another solid out of area victory
over Philadelphia's Simon Gratz you have to believe the Falcons will keep the
strong play going when they host FDR on Friday.
7) Transit Tech (8-1)- It's been 10 days since Transit's last game, a loss to
Harry Van Arsdale, and the Express are surely raring to go and get back on the
court to get revenge for their lone defeat of the season. It won't be easy
though as a road game with a strong Brooklyn Tech team is first up to start 2018
for Transit Tech, and then it will be another road date with Automotive to close
out the week as the Express will look to right the ship and get back on track in
the Brooklyn A4 Division.
8) John Dewey (10-1)- Just before the break the Dragons lost their first game
of the season when they fell at home to Grady. It was a loss that could've set
them back in a major way but John Dewey proved that they are still a team that
should contend when they took down Seward Park 56-52 on Thursday at the BCAM
Holiday Classic in Brooklyn. It was a great win to get the Dragons back into the
rankings and among the best in the PSAL this season. The PSAL Brooklyn A is
among the toughest Class A leagues in New York State right now so tough games
come on a regular basis and Dewey will be challenged this week on Friday by a
solid Telecommuncation team.
9) Seward Park (9-1)- Dropping down the rankings this week are the Bears who
went into Brooklyn to play at the BCAM Holiday Classic and fell for the first
time this season, losing to John Dewey 56-52. With a solid road win earlier this
season over Bayard Rustin, and a good home victory over Murry Bergtraum, Seward
Park has had strong moments so far this season but they will now hope to get
back on track with a road game against East Harlem Pride on Tuesday before host-
ing Bayard Rustin in the return matchup of a close game earlier in the season.
10) Harry Van Arsdale (5-1)- When they knocked off Transit Tech just before
the holiday break it really made us seriously look at the talent that the Card-
inals have this season. They are a big and physical team inside, yet can also
shoot it well when necessary as they proved against the Express on the road in
their victory on the 21st. They have been off since that win but they bring a
ton of confidence into 2018 with them as they will look to built off that win
this week as they get back to action on Thursday against Wingate before going on
the road to take on a deep and talented Bedford Academy team on Friday.
Honorable Mention: Erasmus Hall (10-1), Bedford Academy (6-4), Msgr. Farrell
(6-7), Msgr. McClancy (8-4), St. Edmund Prep (8-3).
1) LaSalle Academy (7-2)- For the second week in a row the Cardinals fell to
defeat as they lost their opening round game at the Slam Dunk Tournament at the
Westchester County Center to Somers. It was a tough loss to a strong Class A
program, but LaSalle impressively responded with a win over Class AA school
Clarkstown South one day later to help them retain the top spot in Class B. A
trip down to Miami, FL this week awaits the Cardinals as they look to stay on
the winning track when they play in the Belein Jesuit New Year's Tournament.
2) Maspeth (11-1)- When Maspeth went out to Long Island this past week and
knocked off a pair of Class A schools in Kellenberg and Island Trees to win the
South Side Holiday Classic they looked poised to take over the top spot in the
New York City Class B rankings. A loss though to Msgr. McClancy on Saturday
though set them back as they will now have to wait at least another week to
make that climb to No. 1. Still one of the top teams in Class B in the state,
Maspeth will look to get back to the winning ways when they host Academy of
American Studies on Thursday in what should be a compelling Queens B matchup.
3) Fannie Lou Hamer (11-2)- Continuing to roll through PSAL Bronx B opposi-
tion, the Panthers stepped out of league play on Saturday to take on Queens B
school Pathways at the NYIT Holiday Showcase on Long Island. Fannie Lou made
quick work of their opponents to win by 37. Coming up for the Panthers will be
a solid chance to get a good win when they host Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy
on Friday as over the next three weeks the schedule will really step up giving
us a chance to see Fannie Lou in a number of top quality contests against other
top Class B programs.
4) Medgar Evers College Prep (8-2)- Still unbeaten against New York competi-
tion, Medgar Evers only two losses are when they went to Massachusetts and fell
in close contests to two bigger classification schools from that state in Burke
and Cathedral. Having been off now since the 20th the Cougars will get back on
the court on Wednesday when they take on All City Leadership Secondary School
in what will be Medgar Evers only game of the week.
5) Jane Addams (8-0)- Another strong team out of the Bronx B Division in the
PSAL, the Jaguars are also now the lone unbeaten team in the Class B New York
City rankings as they have made quick work of the teams on their schedule so far
this season, though the level of opposition will be taking a step up in the very
near future. This week though will see Jane Addams host Bathgate to get the
schedule back going again on Tuesday before then going on the road on Thursday
to finish the week when they face off against Bronx Leadership Academy.
6) Community Health Academy of the Heights (10-1)- With a number of impressive
victories on the schedule already so far this season, Community Heath keeps shin-
ing as they played in the BCAM Holiday Classic on Thursday and knocked off the
host school in BCAM 75-72 to prove that they are a team that can go anywhere and
be as competitive as anyone in Class B. They have a solid win from earlier in the
season on the road against a good Class A team in Flushing, and will keep testing
themselves in the non-league as January moves forward. This week though will have
Community Health going on the road on Wednesday to take on Academy for Social
Action before hosting Democracy Prep on Friday in a game with a lot of rankings
7) Fieldston (6-1)- With victories so far this season over both Dalton and
Poly Prep, it's the Eagles of Fieldston who head into 2018 as the favorites in
the NYSAIS though there certainly is a lot of competition to come for them to
hold onto that spot. Tough non-league games will only help the Eagles built up
confidence in the bigger moments come playoff time and that is clearly what this
week is about as Fieldston will head up to the Albany area to take on Mekeel
Christian on Friday before taking on Albany Academy on Saturday in what should
be two very challenging games.
8) BCAM (7-2)- The Lions have only lost two games this season, and both the
losses have come to teams now ranked above them in the New York City Class B
rankings. A 4 point loss earlier this season to Medgar Evers, and then a loss on
Thursday by 3 to Community Health Academy of the Heights so while they have
fallen twice, both are against top quality competition in what were close games
throughout. They would like to get over the top in those tough games soon but
will just look to get back in the win column this week when play School for the
Classics on Tuesday and Uncommon Charter on Thursday.
9) Dalton (7-1)- Having not played since winning the Loyola Holiday Classic on
the 22nd, Dalton will wait a little bit longer to get going as once again they
will have no games this week. It won't be until Monday the 8th that the Tigers hit
the hardwood again, though they will have a scrimmage against Staten Island Acad-
emy to hopefully for them knock off the rust because with Poly Prep awaiting when
they start up again it means right back into the tough part of the schedule.
10) Poly Prep (5-2)- It was a Christmas break for the Blue Devils like many of
the other NYSAIS teams but now it's back to work. They proved the caliber of team
they are just before the holidays by hanging with Class AA PSAL school Brooklyn
Collegiate, and they will look to keep the momentum going with two more very
tough games this week when they travel to face off with perennial New York State
power Long Island Lutheran on Wednesday before coming home on Friday to take on
Delbarton School out of New Jersey.
Honorable Mention: Morrisania Edcational Campus (8-1), Moore Catholic (7-4),
South Bronx Prep (7-4), Staten Island Academy (7-2), Eagle Academy III (6-0)