2017-18 New York City boys basketball (trough Jan. 21)
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 (11-4)- Without question it was one of the wackiest weeks
in recent memory in New York City as 12 of the 15 teams from last week's Top
15 there was going to be a solid amount of movement and they fact the Royals
only had one game, a 63-48 victory over Mount St. Michael on the road, played
to their advantage as they now find themselves in the top spot once again. This
week it will be a pair of games for Christ the King as on Sunday they will host
Xaverian, before going on the road on Friday night to take on Holy Cross.
2) Abraham Lincoln (16-3)- In what was one of the crazier weeks in Class AA in
some time, the Railsplitters manage to stay in the No. 2 spot even though they
fell on Tuesday to Brooklyn Collegiate 62-59. It's the second time Lincoln has
fallen to Brooklyn Collegiate, the only team in NYC to have defeated them this
season. They have looked dominant against most but the Lions just seem to have
their number. The Railsplitters did knock off both Msgr. Scanlan and George
Westinghouse to go 2-1 this week, though this coming week, like many others in
the PSAL due to midterms, they will be out of action until the 28th.
3) Thomas Jefferson (16-5)- Another team who at times this week looked near
unbeatable, until they were beaten. Jefferson blew out Cardozo 78-55 in convin-
cing fashion this past Sunday at the MLK Jr. Basketball Showcase going up by as
many as 32 in the game, but then on Thursday lost to South Shore 85-73. Going
on the road in the PSAL though is never easy, especially in Brooklyn as was
proven time and time again this week it seemed. Like Lincoln in front of them,
Jefferson due to midterms will be off this week with their next game scheduled
for the 30th against Westinghouse.
4) Cardinal Hayes (11-5)- Playing quite possibly the two teams who will be
their main competition for a CHSAA title this season the Cardinals fell both
times losing at home on Monday to Iona Prep 64-56, and then traveling to Step-
inac on Friday where they again fell in a heartbreaker 75-71. Things won't get
much easier this week for Hayes as on Tuesday they host St. Raymond, and then
it's two games at the SNY Invitational where they will open with Hudson Cath-
olic (NJ) on Friday before a date with either Archbishop Molloy or Long Island
Lutheran on Saturday.
5) South Shore (10-5)- With so many teams falling this past week the team that
makes one of the biggest jumps is the Vikings as on paper they have a ton of
talent, but this week they seemed to finally put it all together. They blasted
Eagle Academy 78-47 at the MLK Jr. Basketball Showcase on Sunday and they downed
Thomas Jefferson 85-73 on Thursday proving that when they are playing together
and everything is clicking, they are as tough to beat as anyone in the PSAL.
Sunday at the Empire Invitational at Adelphi University will see South Shore
look to make another statement when they face off with Long Island Lutheran in
what will be the Vikings only game of the week.
6) Cardozo (16-1)- Going into the game on Sunday with Thomas Jefferson unbeaten
and with a ton of confidence, the Judges struggled from start to finish in what
was a 78-55 defeat to the Orange Wave. Cardozo did show resolve though on Friday
when against H.S for Construction as they fell behind by 23 points at the half
only to rally back and win 80-77 in regulation in a stunning comeback for the
Judges. They then comfortably knocked off WHEELS 81-61 on Saturday to finish out
the week. A home game on Friday against Campus Magnet will be the Judges lone
game over the next seven day.
7) Curtis (18-4)- Making quick work of Wings Academy by an 80-61 final at the
MLK Jr. Basketball Showcase on Sunday, Curtis showed and proved once again that
they can compete with nearly anyone in the PSAL this season. They moved back to
local Staten Island play during the week in wins over McKee/Staten Island Tech,
Susan Wagner and Port Richmond, but the Warriors closed the week on Saturday
with a tough 72-56 loss that saw them in the game within single digits until
late in the 3rd quarter before the Crusaders pulled away. This week will see
Curtis off as they will not hit the hardwood again until a matchup with Totten-
ville on the 29th.
8) Archbishop Molloy (8-6)- Still without the services of star guard Cole
Anthony because of a foot injury, the Stanners are limping around as a team as
they fell twice this week. Going up to Massachusetts and losing to DeMatha (MD)
at the HoopHall Classic is one thing, but on Friday night the Stanners lost to
Holy Cross 63-61 in a result that gave Molloy their second league loss of the
season. Sunday will see Molloy try to rebound against Bishop Loughlin, then it's
Iona Prep coming to them in a big CHSAA showdown on Tuesday, and to close out
the week the Stanners will play in the SNY Invitational on Friday and Saturday
first going up against Long Island Lutheran, and then getting either Cardinal
Hayes or Hudson Catholic (NJ).
9) St. Peter's (12-3)- One of the rare teams that went unbeaten last week, the
Eagles first knocked off rivals Msgr. Farrell at home in OT 58-51, that was then
followed up by a 9 point win on the road in the non-league at Holy Trinity, and to
close out the week it was another OT win, this time at St. Joseph by the Sea. St.
Peter's are finding ways to win and that's the most important thing this time of
the season though the schedule does get much harder this week as on Tuesday they
will host Stepinac before going on the road on Friday to square off with New Dorp
in an All-Staten Island contest.
10) Brooklyn Collegiate (10-7)- Going from being a fringe team on the honorable
mention all the way to the #10 spot is impressive but what Brooklyn Collegiate
did this week was the definition of impressive. They opened up with their second
victory over Abraham Lincoln of the season going on the road to take a 62-59 win,
then took down a solid Robeson team at home by 8, and they closed it out on Friday
and Saturday with a pair of really strong non-league wins over Lincoln Academy
(GA) and Lawrence Woodmere. A week like this can really change the fortunes of a
team, and Brooklyn Collegiate will look to keep the momentum going on Sunday when
they play in the Empire Invitational at Adelphi University against NSCHSAA power
St. Anthony's, and then it will be a Saturday league date at home against Boys
11) Boys and Girls (14-5)- Losses to both Queens H.S of Teaching in a shocking
double OT performance and South Shore pushed the Kangaroos out of the Top 10 and
down to #11 this week as they consistency just isn't where you want it to be at
this point in the season. It's a veteran team that Boys and Girls has and while
they did knock off Eagle Academy II and H.S. for Construction this past week there
just needs to be more consistent play especially as the difficultly of the
schedule is once again about to pick up. It will just be a one game week for the
Kangaroos this week but it will be a tough road game at Brooklyn Collegiate on
Saturday that will be awaiting Boys and Girls in what should be one of the marquee
matchups of the week.
12) Eagle Academy (14-4)- The week started out less than stellar for Eagle
Academy as they fell to South Shore 78-47 at the MLK Jr. Basketball Showcase,
but they rallied from that defeat to go on the road to take down James Monroe in
a low scoring, defensively 39-38 contest. The frontrunners in the PSAL Bronx AA
also were able to make quick work of Manhattan Center 71-49 in what will be the
Eagles final game until the 30th of the month when they host Wings Academy in
what will surely be the game to determine who will be the regular season cham-
pion in the Bronx.
13) St. Raymond (7-6)- League wins over both Holy Cross and Bishop Loughlin
this past week allow the Ravens to once again get over the .500 mark as this
young and inexperienced seems to be figuring out how to win the close games now
as we stride toward February. They did fall a spot based off of a non-league
loss to Lawrence Woodmere Academy on Monday, but in league they are starting to
really turn a corner it now seems. Two tough games away this week though as the
Ravens will go on the road for games against both Cardinal Hayes and Stepinac in
the always brutal CHSAA.
14) H.S for Construction (13-4)- Almost isn't ever good enough but the Red
Hawks showed just the kind of ability they have this past Friday when they went
up by 23 on the road against Cardozo at the half. They couldn't hang on though as
the pressure got to the guard as the game slowly slipped away in what ultimately
was an 80-77 loss that will haunt Construction for some time. They also fell to
Boys and Girls on Saturday, though they did pick up a pair of wins over Bayside
and Beach Challenge during the week as well in league play. The only game this
coming week for the Red Hawks will see them go to the Brown vs. Board of Ed Show-
case at Thurgood Marshall Academy where they will go up against Msgr. Scanlan of
15) W.H.E.E.L.S. (10-7)- New to the rankings for the first time this season,
WHEELS enters on the back of a 55-54 road victory on Friday over Wings Academy.
They were able to take down Thurgood Marshall Academy by a 69-68 score the pre-
vious week so when they play top contenders from both Bronx and Manhattan they
have risen to the challenge and brought their best in close contests. The Wolves
did fall on Saturday in a non-league contest 81-61 to Cardozo but WHEELS was with-
out two starters in what was a tough result 24 hours after a big win over the de-
fending Bronx AA champs. IN what will be WHEELS only game of the week they will go
to Uniondale to take on one of Long Island's best in an intriguing non-league
clash on Thursday.
Honorable Mention: Thurgood Marshall (11-3), Paul Robeson (9-9), James Monroe
(10-8), Holy Cross (7-8), Wings Academy (8-5).
1) Brooklyn Law and Tech (16-2)- Talent wise without question the Jets are the
clear top team in Class A not just in New York City, but quite possibly in the
state overall. They didn't exactly play like it at times towards the end of
December but they look to be putting it all together now as we head toward Feb-
ruary and the playoff stretch. Beating Bedford Academy by 33, Wingate by 37, and
Benjamind Banneker by 61 showed just how dominant Law and Tech can be as they
look to be turning the intensity up. Only one game this week of the Jets as on
Friday they will host a solid Brooklyn Tech team as Law and Tech looks to remain
undefeated in PSAL play.
2) Beacon (21-0)- Speaking of unbeaten in PSAL play, the Blue Demons are the
first team in New York City this season to eclipse the 20 win mark as they did
that by blowing Graphics Campus 63-40 and West 50th Street Campus 58-31. They
are playing exquisite defense, and are also turning up the offensive skills when
they need to as well as Beacon looks to be a team who can challenge for an unde-
feated record deep into February if they can get by a tough Harry Van Arsdale
team on Thursday in what will be the Blue Demons only game of the week.
3) William Grady (15-2)- Really clicking on all cylinders at this part of the
season the Falcons disposed quickly of both. Lafayette and Canarsie winning each
of their league games this week by 35+ points showing their dominance in the
Brooklyn A3 Division. They also stepped out of league on Saturday and knocked
off a solid New Dorp team from Staten Island 60-49 as after losing their first
two games of the season Grady has now reeled off an impressive 15 in a row. No
games this upcoming week for the Falcons with the next time they are due to take
the court coming on the 29th when they will go on the road to take on a solid
John Dewey team.
4) Roosevelt Educational Campus (14-2)- In what was the only game of the week
for Roosevelt they went on the road to Long Island to take on current Suffolk
County power The Knox School. Offensively the Bears were just fine but down the
stretch they couldn't get the stops they needed in what was an 87-84 loss. It
was a disappointing defeat for Roosevelt but they showed the ability to go on the
road and compete against non-league opposition. No action this week for the Bears
but the next time they take the court it will be on Sunday the 28th at Nassau
Coliseum against one of Long Island's best this season in Bellport.
5) Nazareth (11-4)- Going up to play in the Juggler Classic in Utica, NY this
past Sunday and Monday saw Nazareth make quick work of Telecommunication of the
PSAL in NYC before falling 66-62 to the host team of Notre Dame. It was a tough
loss for the Kingsmen who were leading at the half but they came back home on
Tuesday and got back on the winning track with a 65-53 league win over Cardinal
Spellman. It's only a one game week ahead for Nazareth as they will head north of
Sunday to take on Kennedy Catholic in league play and look to take firm control
of the of the CHSAA A Division.
6) Transit Tech (13-2)- Three games meant three wins for the Express this past
week as they made quick work of Prospect Heights, Automotive, and Millennium,
each game by 25+ points. It was a strong week as Transit Tech looks to be among
the cream of the crop in the PSAL A Division this season, though this coming Sat-
urday they will look to challenge themselves against AA competition when they go
to the Brown vs. Board of Ed Showcase and take on the host school Thurgood Mar-
shall Academy in what will show a lot about just how good and talented this Ex-
press team is.
7) James Madison (14-3)- Coming into the rankings for the first time this
season, the Golden Knights are an unbeaten 12-0 in league play this season to
assert their dominance, especially after a major 79-67 victory on the road at
Erasmus Hall this past Wednesday. They followed that up with a win at home
over Frank Macchiarola Educational Complex to remain unblemished in Brooklyn A1
this season. Madison's only game this week will come on Friday when they hit
the road to take on what looks to be an overmatched Tilden team.
8) Susan Wagner (10-6)- Sometimes you forget just how deep that Staten Island
is but the Falcons proved that they are a clear contender in Class A this season
after taking down Lehman 66-60 in a non-league date this past Sunday. Wagner has
proved to be competitive with AA power Curtis as in the two games they played
with the Warriors the Falcons were within single digits late in both before fall-
ing, and they also have an OT loss on the resume against another AA team in James
Monroe. Another proving ground game will come this coming Friday when Wagner goes
on the road to take on McKee/Staten Island Tech in one of two games this week for
the Falcons with the other coming on Sunday against Queens A school August Martin.
9) Msgr. McClancy (11-5)- After a rough patch at the end of 2017 it looks as if
the Crusaders are back in business as a team to watch for in the playoffs in the
CHSAA. McClancy only had one game this past week but it was a statement making 69-
42 victory on the road at previous ranked St. Edmund Prep. They controlled the
game from start to finish and look to be peaked at just the right time as we soon
head into February. This coming week will see two more road games for the Crusad-
ers as on Tuesday they will go to Kennedy Catholic before closing out the week on
Saturday with a road matchup at Salesian.
10) Lehman (16-3)- Holding onto a spot in the Top Ten, but just barely. Lehman
looked to be among the best in Class A overall as we turned the page on 2017 but
over the past few weeks the Lions have looked more vulnerable having recently lost
to Evander Childs, and then this past Sunday losing to Susan Wagner 66-60. They
rebounded with victories during the week over Morris and Grace Dodge to stay at
No. 10, and with two games this week they will look to really right the ship as
they go to Walton on Friday in league play before going out of league on Saturday
to take on Frederick Douglass Academy.
Honorable Mention: Seward Park (14-2), Bedford Academy (11-6), Fordham Prep
(10-6), Evander Childs (12-4), Far Rockaway (13-0).
1) LaSalle Academy (11-2)- It was a busy three game week for the Cardinals but
they passed with flying colors as they downed Cristo Rey, St. John's Prep, and
Sacred Heart to remain unbeaten in the CHSAA play this season. Sacred Heart on
Friday proved to be the most challenging game of the week but LaSalle hung tough
at home and took a 73-68 victory to stay atop the B rankings. Just one game com-
ing up over the next seven days for the Cardinals but it's a big one as they will
step out of league on Saturday to take on our #3 Fannie Lou Hamer in the Brown
vs. Board of Ed Showcase at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Harlem.
2) Maspeth (17-1)- Taking down Energy Tech in dominant fashion 90-29 opened up
an impressive week for Maspeth, but what was even more impressive was a 68-38 vic-
tory over Adams Street Academy in the PSAL B Division Showcase on Saturday. It was
a performance that saw Maspeth control play from start to finish as they once
again proved they are among the best of the best in Class B this season. Two big
games are scheduled upcoming this week for Maspeth as on Tuesday they will host
our No. 4 Community Health Academy of the Heights in a marquee non-league matchup
before then hosting Academy of American Studies on Friday to finish the week out.
3) Fannie Lou Hamer (18-2)- The Panthers blew out both Explorations Academy and
The Annex Campus on Wednesday and Friday of this past week, but those wins in lop-
sided fashion were expected. Fannie Lou easily going past BCAM in the PSAL B Div-
ision Showcase on Saturday 79-48 was more surprising though as it was a pair of
the best in the PSAL going against one another but the Panthers proved to be in a
different class this season in the blowout victory. It's a one game week for Fannie
Lou Hamer as they will be taking on No. 1 LaSalle Academy in the Brown vs. Board of
Ed Showcase on Saturday at Thurgood Marshall Academy in a hotly anticipated matchup
between two of Class B's best.
4) Community Health Academy of the Heights (16-1)- Rolling in league play once
again this week, Community Health dominated Gregorio Luperon on Friday 82-61 as
they pretty much locked up the top spot in the Manhattan B North this week with
the victory. CHAH then went to the PSAL B Division Showcase and took on Eagle
Academy III, and in a hard fought back and forth game pulled out a 54-51 win.
Coming up will be among one of the more difficult and challenging seven day
stretches you will see any team play as on Tuesday Community Health will travel
to take on #2 Maspeth before going up to Syracuse to play a pair of Section 3
powers in Westhill and CBA-Syracuse on Friday and Saturday to finish out the
rough three game week.
5) Morrisania Educational Campus (13-1)- Another team that really make their
mark at the PSAL B Division Showcase on Saturday, Morrisania opened things up
this week with easy wins defeating Metropolitan 80-53 and Archimedes/Maleska
Campus 78-64. The Knights then went to the Showcase where they took on Medgar
Evers, a team that had not lost to a team from New York so far this season.
Morrisania though led from start to finish in a 68-58 victory that pushes them
up the rankings up to the #5 spot this week. It was a great win for the Knights
who now look to keep things going when on Saturday they again step out of league,
going on the road to take on Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice.
6) Staten Island Academy (13-2)- Taking down Grace Church, St. Ann's, and CSI/
McCown this week pushes SIA all the way up to No. 6 this week as this is becoming
a season to remember for the Tigers who in recent memory have become more known
for their girls basketball team. The boys though are making a lot of noise this
year and they will look to keep things going when they host Leman Prep on Monday
before going on the road on Saturday to take on Berkeley Carroll in a matchup pitt-
ing two of the top teams in NYSAIS Class B this season.
7) BCAM (12-3)- While the Lions got a nice road win in league over Cobble Hill
School of American Studies 71-68 it was a difficult close to the week as BCAM
went to play in the PSAL B Division Showcase playing in a marquee game on Saturday
against Fannie Lou Hamer. It looked to be a competitive matchup on paper but the
Panthers controlled throughout in what was a 79-48 loss for BCAM pushing them down
to the #7 spot this week. Not the result that the Lions were looking for they will
get back into the gym this week and look to straighten things out as they are off
until the 30th when BCAM squares off with Urban Dove Team Charter School.
8) Medgar Evers College Prep (11-4)- Easily taking down Science Skills Center
75-45 on Wednesday was a good start to the week for the Cougars who were unde-
feated against New York schools on the season, but that ended on Saturday at the
PSAL B Division Showcase as Medgar Evers fell to Morrisania 68-58. For the first
time this season the Cougars fell to PSAL competition, and now they will take
the next seven days off as it's a slow week overall in NYC for midterms with Med-
gar Evers getting back to action against Brooklyn College Academy in a big Class
B showdown on the 29th.
9) Eagle Academy III (11-2)- Playing a schedule in the Queens B that hasn't been
the most challenging to date meant that Eagle Academy III's big date at the PSAL B
Division Showcase was even bigger for them to prove that they could compete against
one of the best from the Bronx in Community Health Academy of the Heights. The
Eagles did just that as they were in the game from start to finish though ultimate-
ly fell 54-51. Eagle did knock off The Scholars Academy 50-45 in their other game
of the week as they showed they are a team who will be in contention for a title
come March. No games this coming week for Eagle Academy III with the next time they
will hit the floor being the 30th in a game against Robert Goddard.
10) Dalton (10-2)- Once again it was chaos in the NYSAIS as the Tigers lost their
only game they played this past week falling to Berkeley Carroll at home on Tuesday
69-67 in OT. It was only Dalton's second loss of the season, and first since Dec. 8
as they still look to be among the best and favorites in the Private School league
this season. Just one game this week for the Tigers and it will be a tricky one as
they will go on the road to take on an improving and young Collegiate School team
that should be a good test for Dalton to get back on track.
Honorable Mention: South Bronx Prep (12-6), Brooklyn College Academy (11-1),
Trinity (8-3), Berkeley Carroll (9-5) Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice