2017-18 New York City boys basketball (through Feb. 11)
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 (18-4)- The Royals maintain their perch atop the Class AA
rankings this week after easily knocking off Bishop Loughlin and Holy Cross at
home, before then going on the road on Friday night to down Archbishop Molloy
on a buzzer beater 61-58. Christ the King assured themselves already of the top
seed in the upcoming CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocese playoffs, but a non-league
out of state test will be coming on Sunday when the Royals square off with the
No. 1 team in the country in Montverde Academy (FL) at the Metro Classic in New
2) Cardinal Hayes (17-6)- It wasn't easy this past week but the Cardinals
managed to keep the winning ways going by going on the road for a pair of wins.
They first went to All Hallows on Tuesday and pulled away late for a 72-62 vic-
tory, and then on Friday it was a buzzer beating drive that allowed Hayes to
pull out a hard fought 65-64 win over St. Raymond. This Tuesday will be the
decider for who gets the #1 seed in the upcoming CHSAA Archdiocese of New York
playoffs as Cardinal Hayes will travel to Iona Prep with the winner getting the
coveted top spot for the start of next Sunday's playoffs.
3) Cardozo (21-1)- Clearly the top team in the PSAL Queens AA, the Judges
took down Campus Magnet in their lone game from this past week as they easily
downed their former major rivals. The brackets for the PSAL Borough Playoffs
came out on Saturday and as the top seed Cardozo will square off in the quar-
terfinals on Tuesday against the winner of a game Monday between a pair of
Class A teams Flushing and Hillcrest before getting a Thursday semifinal berth
against either Springfield Gardens of Far Rockaway in their path to the borough
4) Curtis (21-4)- Having been idle this past week because they were a top 4
seed in the SIHSL Tournament, the Warriors finally get back to work on Sunday
when they take on Tottenville in the quarterfinals of the Staten Island play-
offs, and while Curtis is the clear favorites to take home the title they can
expect a tough challenge from the likes of St. Peter's, Susan Wagner, and
McKee/Staten Island Tech if they want to bring home the championship before
entering the PSAL City Playoffs in 3 weeks time.
5) South Shore (13-7)- It was a home and home matchup with Eagle Academy II
this past week as the Vikings finished up the regular season with a pair of
games against the last place team in the Brooklyn AA. They easily got past
Eagle II scoring 102 and 94 points in the two games to win each in comfortable
fashion. With the wins South Shore garnered the #2 seed in the Brooklyn Borough
playoffs this week but should get a tough test in the quarterfinals in the No.
7 seed Brooklyn Collegiate. Even with a win there things won't get easier in
the semifinals where they could see the No. 3 seed in a tough Abraham Lincoln
6) Thomas Jefferson (18-6)- In a game that for all intensive purposes decided
the No. 1 seed in the Brooklyn Borough playoffs, the Orange Wave fought back a
late rally from Abraham Lincoln to come away with a 61-59 victory on the road to
secure the top spot. What the win does is it allows Jefferson to next face off
with the winner of a game between two ranked Class A teams in Transit Tech and
James Madison on Tuesday in the quarterfinals before getting either Boys and
Girls or Brooklyn Law and Tech in the semifinals in what should be a very in-
triguing week in the borough of Brooklyn.
7) Boys and Girls (16-7)- While they only had one game this past week it was
a big one for the Kangaroos as they stopped Brooklyn Collegiate's winning
streak at 9 and took down the Lions convincingly 75-58. It was a statement mak-
ing win more than anything else as they victory proves that Boys and Girls can
compete against the very best in Brooklyn. The win slid the Kangaroos into the
No. 4 seed in the Brooklyn Borough playoffs where they will next host our top
team in Class A in Brooklyn Law and Tech in the quarterfinals on Tuesday before
possibly getting Thomas Jefferson in the semifinals.
8) Brooklyn Collegiate (15-9)- It's been an absolutely crazy year so far for
the Lions who have knocked off Abraham Lincoln twice, and taken Long Island
Lutheran to their closest game in some time on Wednesday when they fell 59-51,
but then it was a blowout loss to Boys and Girls 75-58 that saw Brooklyn Col-
legiate finish the regular season at 7-7 in league. That league record meant
that the Lions would slip to the #7 seed in the Brooklyn Borough playoffs and
have to play an outbracket game on Monday against Dr. Susan McKinney. A win
there gets them a date 24 hours later on Tuesday against South Shore in the
quarterfinals meaning it will take a major effort for the Lions to make a deep
run to the title game this week.
9) Abraham Lincoln (18-6)- Missing key pieces and still looking to find their
cohesiveness the Railsplitters first fell on Tuesday to Thomas Jefferson 61-59
in a game that could've gone either way. They then went out of league on Satur-
day to play in the Primetime Shootout in New Jersey where Lincoln lost to Rock
Creek Christian (MD) 66-49. If the Railsplitters want to make a Brooklyn Borough
playoff run they will need to figure out a rhythm very soon as they get Paul
Robeson in a No. 3 vs. No. 6 battle on Tuesday before possibly having to go on
the road in the semifinals to take on an strong and improving South Shore squad.
10) Eagle Academy (20-4)- The top seed in the Bronx Borough playoffs, Eagle
Academy solidified that spot this past week when they Gompers and Thurgood Mar-
shall Academy, each by double digits to finish league play 14-1, the best mark
in Eagle Academy history. The Eagles as the No. 1 seed will get a date with
either Class A school Evander Childs or Class B power South Bronx Prep in the
quarterfinals on Tuesday, with a semifinal appearance against either Roosevelt
Educational Campus or Lehman, each Class A schools, awaiting them if they get
there in the semifinals on Thursday.
11) Archbishop Molloy (11-11)- When you think about the amount of talent the
Stanners have it's truly amazing to think they are .500 overall heading into
this week. They went 0-2 over the past seven days when they lost on the road at
Stepianc 89-76 before coming home and losing on a buzzer beater to our NYC No. 1
team Christ the King 61-58 in a game that saw Molloy fight back from a major
deficit just to lose at the end. It's been an up and down year for the Stanners
but with a pair of league games against St. Francis Prep and Xaverian this week
before the playoffs begin you can expect to see them take some momentum before
what Molloy hopes in a deep postseason run.
12) H.S for Construction (20-4)- Defeating Springfield Gardens and John Bowne
to close out league play this past week, the Red Hawks secured the No. 2 seed
in the Queens Borough playoffs with their two wins. Construction has been a con-
sistent force all season long with their four losses in total coming to Boys and
Girls, Brooklyn Collegiate, and two to Cardozo. They have been in every game
they have played losing just two of the four by double digits making them a team
to watch going forward. Either John Bowne or The Metropolitan Campus await in the
quarterfinals, while in the semifinals it will be Francis Lewis or Class B power
13) Paul Robeson (15-9)- Finishing out the regular season with a dominating
road victory at George Westinghouse, the Eagles enter the Brooklyn Borough play-
offs as the #6 seed and will go on the road to take on Abraham Lincoln in the
quarterfinals on Tuesday. It's not the same Railsplitters team that Robeson has
fallen to twice so far this season so they have a chance to move on where they
would more than likely see South Shore on Thursday if they advance to the semi-
finals in another game that would take place on the road.
14) St. Raymond (9-11)- With a record like 9-11 you wouldn't necessarily think
that the Ravens are a team who can make noise in the CHSAA playoffs but when you
analyze it more you see that St. Ray's are a team that is very capable. In their
two losses this past week they would fall by a combined 3 points to Iona Prep and
Cardinal Hayes, two of the better teams in New York State overall, while seven of
their 11 losses have come by 7 of less points proving they are in nearly every
game they play. This could be a momentum shifting week for St. Raymond as well as
to finish out the regular season the Ravens will host Msgr. Scanlan on Sunday be-
fore going to Mount St. Michael and Poly Prep to close things out on Tuesday and
15) James Monroe (16-9)- The #2 seed in the Bronx Borough playoffs, the Eagles
knocked off Wings Academy earlier this past week for a second time this season,
the first time Monroe has ever defeated Wings twice in a season. They locked up
the two seed and then promptly lost to Wadleigh to finish out the regular season.
In the boroughs Monroe will first see either Morris or JFK in the quarterfinals
before a tricky semifinal could await in either Wings Academy or Class B power
Fannie Lou Hamer for the right to advance to Saturday's title game day.
Honorable Mention: Wings Academy (12-7), St. Peter's (16-5), Thurgood Marshall
Academy (14-6), McKee/Staten Island Tech (14-6), Francis Lewis (15-6).
1) Brooklyn Law and Tech (22-2)- The Jets just keep on flying as they made
quick work of both Millennium and Prospect Heights in league play to finish the
regular season on a high note. They nabbed the No. 5 seed in the Brooklyn Bor-
ough playoffs off of an undefeated 18-0 league play record in the Brooklyn A6
and will see Boys and Girls on Tuesday in the quarterfinals, a rematch of a
game from just before Christmas that saw the Kangaroos win at the buzzer to
give Law and Tech one of their two losses on the season.
2) Beacon (25-0)- Taking down MLK Jr. to close out their first undefeated
regular season ever, the Blue Demons were rewarded with the #3 seed in the
Manhattan Borough playoffs. They were the only Class A school to get a three
seed showing just how the PSAL valued their season, and with the No. 3 Beacon
will next take on Class AA perennial power in Wadleigh in an intriguing 3/6
matchup with the A school hosting. A win there would put the Blue Demons in the
semifinals will a road game at WHEELS deciding if they get to win 27 and a
berth in the borough title game.
3) Roosevelt Educational Campus (20-3)- Another Class A team who will be play-
ing in the Bronx Borough playoffs this week, Roosevelt Educational finished out
the regular season with three wins this past week to get to 20 wins for the first
time in school history. It was an impressive feat without question but the Bears
will look to make even more history on Tuesday when they face off with fellow
Class A school, and out No. 5 ranked Class A team Lehman in the quarterfinals.
It was be a fantastic matchup that will have the winner advancing to the semi-
finals on Thursday to more than likely play top tanked Bronx school Eagle Academy.
4) James Madison (19-4)- In what could be looked at as a game that determined
who would make the Brooklyn Borough playoffs, Madison went on the road and ended
Grady's 18-game winning streak on Thursday by taking an 81-73 victory. It was a
major victory for the Golden Knights as it helped land them the No. 8 seed in the
boroughs meaning they will play Transit Tech in the outbracket on Monday with the
winner getting the right to go and play Brooklyn top seed Thomas Jefferson on
Tuesday in a game that will be played with house money before the Class A PSAL
5) Lehman (21-3)- Getting revenge on Adlai Stevenson after falling to them ear-
lier in the season, the Lions were rewarded with the No. 4 seed in the Bronx Bor-
ough playoffs and a home game on Tuesday against Roosevelt Educational Campus.
It's a rematch of a game from earlier in December that was won by Lehman, though
this one could go either way in what should be an excellent quarterfinal game,
with the winner getting Bronx top dogs Eagle Academy in the semifinals on
6) William Grady (20-3)- It all boiled down to Thursday's game at home against
James Madison. The winner was going to make the Brooklyn Borough playoffs, while
the loser was going to be on the outside looking in. It was a back and forth
contest nearly from the start but Madison was able to pull away late and shock
the Falcons 81-73 meaning Grady now will be forced to sit on the sidelines and
watch the boroughs be played without them as Grady won't take the court again
until the Class A PSAL City Playoffs begin in just over two weeks time.
7) Transit Tech (18-4)- Hitting the road and knocking off John Jay and Brook-
lyn Tech was a great way for the Express to close out a great regular season.
They were in each of their 4 losses this season are seemingly peaking as we hit
the playoffs here, with Transit Tech the #9 seed in the Brooklyn Borough play-
offs. That puts them in a Monday outbracket game against James Madison in a
matchup of ranked Class A powers. If Transit does win they will come back 24
hours later and take on top seeded Thomas Jefferson in a game that will see the
Express play with no pressure as they would go out and just try and impress
against one of NYC's best.
8) Nazareth (16-5)- After a bit of a struggle in the middle part of January
things are certainly looking up again for the Kingsmen who went on the road
this past week and got two nice wins over Cardinal Spellman and St. Edmund Prep
to really right the ship and solidify themselves as the clear favorites in Class
A in the CHSAA this season. Unlike all the teams in the PSAL, Nazareth and the
rest of the CHSAA still have one more week of league action to go as the Kings-
men will look to finish the regular season strong when they host Kennedy Catholic
on Sunday and Xavier on Tuesday.
9) Seward Park (20-2)- Taking down East Harlem Pride to finish out the regular
season was the perfect ending for Seward Park as it allowed them to get revenge
on their lone league loss of the year, righting what they considered to be a
wrong and helping them snag the No. 5 seed in the Manhattan Borough playoffs.
The five seed allows the Bears to take on No. 4 Manhattan Center in a AA vs. A
matchup on Tuesday with the winner moving on to play on Thursday in the semi-
finals against the top seed in Manhattan, Thurgood Marshall Academy.
10) Susan McKinney (18-6)- Everything really began to turn around for the Kings
when they finished January with a road win at Bedford Academy. That really pro-
pelled McKinney as they took confidence with them the rest of the way as they
finished league play with 6 straight wins, which helped them get the 10th and
final seed in the Brooklyn Borough playoffs. As the #10 seed Susan McKinney will
go on the road in an outbracket game on Monday to face off with highly ranked
Class AA school Brooklyn Collegiate so it won't be easy though just getting to
this point after a tough start to the season could be considered a win for the
newly ranked in Class A Kings.
Honorable Mention: Far Rockaway (18-1), Fordham Prep (14-8), Susan Wagner
(17-7), Bayard Rustin (14-3), Msgr. McClancy (14-8).
1) LaSalle Academy (16-2)- Going on the road on Saturday to play Sacred Heart
the second-place team in the CHSAA Class B, the Cardinals dug deep and pulled
out an 80-76 victory that showed why both of these teams will more than likely
square off one more time come early March for the league title. LaSalle has
been coasting in 2018 as they haven't been challenged much until Saturday,
though a tough game like this could just make them that much tougher going for-
ward. To finish out the regular season LaSalle this week will get Salesian and
St. John's Prep at home before going to Regis to finish it out on Friday after-
2) Maspeth (24-1)- As one of just 3 Class B teams to make the borough play-
offs, Maspeth finished the Queens B West season undefeated which in turn earned
them the No. 6 seed in the Queens Borough playoffs where they will see Class AA
school Francis Lewis on Tuesday in the quarterfinals. It's certainly a winnable
game for Maspeth who would get H.S. for Construction if they do pull off the
shocker and move on, which isn't out of the question for a team that has now
won 13 games in a row.
3) Fannie Lou Hamer (22-3)- Along with Class B bubble team South Bronx Prep,
Fannie Lou Hamer is one of two teams from Class B to make the Bronx Borough
playoffs. The Panthers though like Maspeth don't have to play an outbracket
game as they will be going straight to the quarterfinals to take on perennial
power Wings Academy in a game that could be considered a toss up with how Fan-
nie Lou is playing heading into the playoffs here. Regardless of how the bor-
oughs turn out for the Panthers expect them to be a top seed come the PSAL
Class B City Playoffs which begin in two weeks.
4) Community Health Academy of the Heights (21-3)- After closing out the sea-
son with just three losses overall, one to Maspeth, one to Westhill of the Sec-
tion 3 region, and one to John Dewey, you could make a case that Community
Health was snubbed of a Manhattan Borough playoff appearance. They were one of
the first teams left out and will have to hang their head on being the only
undefeated team in league play to not make the borough field. CHAH will now
have a couple weeks off before the start of the Class B PSAL City Playoffs get
5) BCAM (16-3)- In what could only be considered BCAM's best performance of
the regular season, the Lions took apart of a good Adams Street Academy team to
close out the regular season on Thursday 84-62. They jumped out to a quick
double digit lead and never looked back in a great two way performance. With
such impressive depth in Brooklyn in Class AA and A the Lions didn't get a bid
into the borough playoffs for this week so they will next hit the court in a
couple weeks time when the PSAL playoffs for Class B get going.
6) Medgar Evers College Prep (15-4)- Another team in Class B that finished the
regular season on a high note with a strong road victory, the Cougars were able
to knock off Leon Goldstein 57-50 to close out one of the best regular seasons
in recent memory for Medgar Evers. The Cougars now will take the next couple
weeks off and get back in the gym looking to sure some things up before the
Class B playoffs begin in a couple weeks where Medgar Evers will surely be a top
7) Bronx School for Law, Government, & Justice (18-1)- After losing 3 games in
league play a year ago, the Jaguars bettered that this year with just one loss
after what could only be considered a phenomenal regular season. Defeating Bath-
gate on the road and then knocking off Frederick Douglass Academy III to finish
the regular year, Bronx School for Law, Government, & Justice has been playing
as good as anyone in 2018 in the PSAL and will surely be a very high seed in the
Class B PSAL playoffs when they begin in a couple of weeks.
8) Dalton (15-3)- In a game featuring two of the top teams in NYSAIS this sea-
son, the Tigers were able to hold on and take down Fieldston on Friday 54-49 in a
hard fought defense first contest. That was Dalton's second win of the week as on
Wednesday they dominated Hackley 74-32 to take a commanding lead for the No. 1
seed in the Ivy League playoffs. There is still one more week of the regular sea-
son though for the Tigers as they will finish league play with a home game on Mon-
day with Riverdale, a road game on Wednesday with Horace Mann, and then two games
at the Collegiate Invitational on Thursday and Friday.
9) Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy (16-2)- Blowing out Marie Curie School to open
up the week, the Tigers closed out the regular season by going on the road and
downing Albert Tuitt 73-64 in a game that saw Riverdale/Kingsbridge trail at the
half, only to use a strong 3rd quarter to take the lead and pull away for the win.
A solid and balanced team up and down the roster, the Tigers will be a no doubt
team to watch in the PSAL Class B Playoffs when play gets underway come Feb. 27.
10) Morrisania Educational Campus (17-3)- With a chance to make a statement at
home to finish out the regular season the Knights fell flat in what was a 67-37
loss to Class B power Fannie Lou Hamer. It was disappointing because Morrisania
was riding high having won 13 of their past 14 before the loss to the Panthers,
but having only lost to Fannie Lou and Bronx School for Law, Government, & Jus-
tice this season, that proves that the Knights will be a tough out in the Class B
PSAL City Playoffs while they start in just two weeks time.
Honorable Mention: Regis (15-6), Fieldston (13-7), Jane Addams (17-5), Staten
Island Academy (17-5), South Bronx Prep (15-9).