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) Cardinal Hayes (18-6)- In taking down Iona Prep on the road 60-58 the
Cardinals locked in the No. 1 seed in the CHSAA Archdiocese of New York
Tournament that begins on Sunday. It is the second straight year that Hayes
will enter the start of the postseason as the top seed, this time squaring
off with Msgr. Scanlan on Sunday at St. Raymond before possible trips to the
semifinals on Tuesday, with the championship game scheduled for Saturday
2) Christ the King (19-5)- After losing to the No. 1 team in the nation in
Montverde Academy (FL) the Royals slip one spot, though they did rally back
on Friday night to defeat PSAL Class A Division school Harry Van Arsdale in
convincing fashion 84-60. The No. 1 seed in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Dio-
cese Tournament that gets underway on Monday, Christ the King has a bye into
the semifinals on Wednesday where they will play either Holy Cross or St.
Francis Prep, before a possible title game matchup on Friday against Arch-
bishop Molloy in a game to be played at St. Francis Prep.
3) Cardozo (24-1)- The PSAL Queens Borough champions, Cardozo rolled through
the first two rounds in blowing past Flushing and Springfield Gardens before
getting a challenge in the title game against H.S. for Construction. It was
just a 1 point lead for the Judges at the half but they pulled away late for a
64-55 victory to secure the championship. It was redemption for Cardozo after
a rough 2016-2017 season with the Judges now awaiting what their seed will be
in the PSAL City Playoffs when that bracket gets revealed on Monday.
4) South Shore (16-8)- Champions of Brooklyn are the Vikings as they knocked
off Brooklyn Collegiate, Paul Robeson, and Boys and Girls to be crowns the best.
They struggled to a 2 point win in the semifinals over Robeson but took a com-
manding 35 point lead after three quarters against Boys and Girls in the champ-
ionship game before coasting home to a 72-52 win. It's the first borough title
in school history for South Shore who next will play in Timbercreek (NJ) on Mon-
day in the non-league South Shore Classic that they host before the start of the
PSAL City Playoffs.
5) Eagle Academy (23-4)- Another borough champion, Eagle Academy did what many
thought wasn't possible when they defeated Wings Academy for the 3rd time this
season on Saturday, 62-59 in 2OT's to win the Bronx title. It wasn't easy as the
Eagles were down 30-10 midway through the second quarter but they never quit and
were able to rally back for the title. Eagle also defeated South Bronx Prep of
the B Division, and Lehman of the A Division in the quarterfinals and semifinals
respectively to get to the championship game. Next up will be the PSAL City Play-
offs as on Monday Eagle will find out their seed.
6) Boys and Girls (18-8)- After getting a huge win in the Brooklyn Borough quar-
terfinals against Class A power Brooklyn Law and Tech 59-57, the Kangaroos were
able to make another statement in the semifinals when they went on the road and
knocked off Thomas Jefferson in OT by a 92-83 score. That win sent Boys and Girls
to the Brooklyn title game against South Shore though they were out of gas in what
was a 72-52 loss for the Kangaroos. It was a great run and just getting to the
championship game puts Boys and Girls in a great spot to be a high seed in the up-
coming PSAL City Playoffs.
7) Thomas Jefferson (19-7)- Blowing past James Madison in quarterfinals of the
Brooklyn Borough quarterfinals the stage was set for Jefferson to once again be
crowned as Brooklyn champs, but Boys and Girls in the semifinals had other ideas
as the Kangaroos led most of the way to upset the Orange Wave 92-83. It was the
end of the road there for Jefferson as they now hope their regular season title
in the Brooklyn AA gives them enough leverage to be a top seed in the PSAL City
Playoffs which begin in just under two weeks time.
8) Archbishop Molloy (13-11)- An up and down regular season came to a close
for the Stanners as they took down both St. Francis Prep and Xaverian in blow-
out fashion to give Molloy some confidence heading into the postseason. They
may not have the best overall record but talent wise the Stanners are second to
none as they open up the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocese Tournament in the semi-
finals on Wednesday where they will more than likely get Bishop Loughlin before
a possible showdown on Friday night against Christ the King for the B/Q title.
9) H.S for Construction (22-5)- Defeating John Bowne and Class B power Maspeth
in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the PSAL Queens Borough Tournament, the
Red Hawks would meet up with their rivals in Cardozo for the title on Saturday.
It was a game that Construction was in from start to finish as they never trail-
ed by double digits in the second half, but could never get over the top in what
would be a 64-55 defeat. A disappointing loss for sure but a loss they can build
on going into the PSAL City Playoffs where the Red Hawks could be a team to make
10) Brooklyn Collegiate (16-10)- Talking about teams that could make noise in
the PSAL City Playoffs, the Lions are a team that no one wants to face as they
have the size inside along with strong guard play on the perimeter that could
give anyone fits. They did lose in the Brooklyn Borough quarterfinals to South
Shore 74-55 to end their title run there but going into the city's now with
everything on the line, expect to see Brooklyn Collegiate as a team that upsets
some teams to make a deep run in the win or your done tournament.
11) Paul Robeson (16-10)- Brooklyn teams have proven all season long to be the
class of the PSAL and Paul Robeson is another team that looks ripe for a deep
run as they knocked off Abraham Lincoln on the road 59-47 in the Brooklyn Borough
quarterfinals. It was a strong win for the Eagles who then went on the road again
to take on South Shore, a game that saw Robeson lead until the final minute of
the game as the Vikings would rally to take a 62-60 win. The borough road may
have come to an abrupt end but expect to see the Eagles for a while in the up-
coming City Playoffs in the PSAL Class AA.
12) St. Raymond (12-11)- Maybe it's all finally starting to come together for
the Ravens who have great talent but could never seem to win the close game. This
past week though St. Ray's got three wins over Msgr. Scanlan, Mount St. Michael,
and a non-league road win over Poly Prep to give them a solid winning streak head-
ing into Sunday's quarterfinals in the CHSAA Archdiocese of New York Tournament.
Playing at home, the Ravens will matchup with St. Peter's in the quarterfinals be-
fore a possible semifinal date against Cardinal Hayes on Tuesday.
13) St. Peter's (18-5)- One of the hottest teams entering the CHSAA Archdiocese
of New York Tournament, St. Peter's would defeat Msgr. Farrell and Susan Wagner
in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively of the SIHSL Tournament, with
both wins coming in OT. The title game was a much anticipating matchup between the
Eagles and PSAL power Curtis on Thursday and it proved to be no contest as St.
Peter's ran away to a 74-43 victory to give them their second straight SIHSL
title. St. Raymond now is next on Sunday in the Archdiocese Tournament as the
Eagles look to show they are among the CHSAA's best.
14) Curtis (23-5)- With easy wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the
SIHSL Tournament it seemed that the Warriors were without question the favorite
to take home the title on Thursday when they took on St. Peter's. They defeated
the Eagles earlier in the season 65-61, but this ended up being a much different
result with Curtis never getting into the game, losing 74-43 in one of the more
lopsided SIHSL title games in recent memory. It wasn't the way Curtis wanted to
enter the PSAL City Playoffs but they still will be a team that no one wants to
face and a fairly high seed going in as well.
15) Abraham Lincoln (18-7)- Talk about a team plummeting down the rankings,
the Railsplitters are still without three starters due to a PSAL investigation
and that has left them extremely vulnerable as Lincoln would fall in the Brook-
lyn Borough quarterfinals this past Tuesday to Paul Robeson 59-47 in a game
that the Railsplitters trailed in for the entire second half. They have now
lost four of their last five games and will go into the PSAL City Playoffs a
team that has lost it's way, and a team that need some sort of spark to get
back on the winning track.
Honorable Mention: Wings Academy (14-8), WHEELS (14-13), McKee/Staten Island
Tech (15-7), Thurgood Marshall Academy (16-7), James Monroe (16-10).
1) Brooklyn Law and Tech (22-3)- Getting a chance at revenge for an earlier
loss this season to Boys and Girls, the Jets met up with the Kangaroos for a
second time in the Brooklyn Borough quarterfinals. The result though proved to
be eerily similar as Boys and Girls made a jumper in the closing seconds to
once again steal a win from Law and Tech as the Jets would fall in heartbreak-
ing fashion 59-57. The loss ended Law and Tech's run in the boroughs but they
still are the clear best in Class A right now, and look to be a lock to land
the No. 1 seed in the upcoming PSAL City Playoffs.
2) Lehman (22-4)- In one of the better borough quarterfinal games you will
find, Lehman met up with Roosevelt Educations Campus in what turned out to be
a barnburner which was won late by the Lions 62-58. The win gave Lehman the
chance to take on eventual Bronx champions Eagle Academy in the semifinals,
and with less than a minute left the Lions were within 65-63 before the Eagles
scored the last 4 points to take a 69-63 victory. It was a solid showing though
for the Lions who now await their seed for the PSAL City Playoffs which begin
in just under two weeks.
3) James Madison (20-5)- Another team that had a solid showing in the
boroughs, James Madison took on Thomas Jefferson in the Brooklyn quarterfinals
this past Tuesday with the Golden Knights keeping it close for a half before
eventually succumbing to the athleticism and pressure of the Orange Wave 93-66.
Just getting the chance to play a big Class AA school meant a lot to Madison
who head into the PSAL City Playoffs with a lot of confidence, and the belief
that they can be a title contender.
4) Roosevelt Educational Campus (20-4)- Going on the road to take on Lehman
in the Bronx Borough quarterfinals, Roosevelt had their chances to get the vic-
tory but faltered later in what ended up being a 62-58 tough loss for the Bears.
That ended Roosevelt Educational's borough title hopes but with 2 wins this sea-
son over Class AA teams, the Bears look primed and ready to be a team to reckon
with when the PSAL City Playoffs get underway.
5) Beacon (25-1)- As the No. 3 seed in the PSAL Manhattan Borough playoffs,
the Blue Demons played host to Class AA school Wadleigh in the quarterfinals.
An undefeated 25-0 coming into the game, Beacon couldn't match up with the
strength and toughness down low that the Tigers brought as for the first time
this season Beacon fell to defeat, losing to Wadleigh 75-70. It wasn't the
finish to the borough tournament that the Blue Demons wanted, but they still
had a great regular season and should be among the top few seeds in the PSAL
City Playoffs in Class A.
6) Nazareth (18-5)- Finishing out the regular season strong with wins at home
this past week over Kennedy Catholic and Xavier, the Kingsmen enter the CHSAA
Class A Tournament as the No. 1 seed. They have a ton of confidence knowing
they are the clear favorites, and look primed to prove that they are a title
contender and the team to beat when they next take to the court in the quarter-
finals next Saturday against the winner of a game between Cardinal Spellman and
7) Transit Tech (18-5)- Going on the road in an opening round Brooklyn Borough
playoff game, the Express took on James Madison for the right to play Thomas
Jefferson in the quarterfinals. Transit played a solid first half to be down by
just one, but the 3rd quarter saw the game get away from the Express a bit as
even though they did make a valiant rally late it wasn't enough as Transit Tech
fell 75-70. With the boroughs now in the rear view mirror, the Express will look
to see what they can do in the PSAL City Playoffs as they await to find out what
their seed will be this coming Monday.
8) Grady (20-3)- Quite possibly the team with the biggest gripe that they
didn't make the borough playoffs, if the Falcons were in any other borough be-
sides Brooklyn they almost definitely would have qualified but because of Brook-
lyn's depth and talent Grady was the last team left out. They will have had a
good amount of time off before the PSAL City Playoffs get underway in just about
two weeks time, but when they do get going expect a hungry and motivated Grady
team to be a force to reckon with.
9) Susan Wagner (18-8)- A quarterfinal win over New Dorp in the SIHSL quarter-
finals put the Falcons in the position to square off with St. Peter's in the
semifinals. Going up against the eventual champions, Wagner had a lead midway
through the 4th quarter and looked primed to knock off one of the best in the
CHSAA Class AA, but a late lead ended up being squandered as the Falcons would
fall 48-45 in a game they will try and forget. With wins over Lehman and Evander
Childs this season though expect Wagner to be among the very top seeds in the
upcoming PSAL City Playoffs.
10) Seward Park (20-3)- Squaring off in the PSAL Manhattan Borough quarter-
finals against Class AA school Manhattan Center, the Bears held a 1 point lead
after the opening quarter. That was the last lead Seward Park held though as
they struggled against the zone of their opponents, not shooting the ball well
enough when they had open looks in falling 52-45. The Bears did have their
chances, and after a 15-1 regular season in the Manhattan A-I league, expect
them to be a solid title contender when the PSAL City Playoffs get underway.
Honorable Mention: Susan McKinney (18-7), Fordham Prep (16-8), Far Rockaway
(18-2), Frederick Douglass Academy (15-9), Evander Childs (16-7).
1) LaSalle Academy (19-2)- The school in New York City with the longest winning
streak is now LaSalle as they closed out the regular season with over Salesian,
St. John's Prep, and Regis to secure the No. 1 seed in the soon to begin CHSAA
Class B Tournament. As the defending champions and the overwhelming favorites the
Cardinals will get things going with a quarterfinals matchup against Cathedral
Prep on Wednesday in a game to be played at Msgr. McClancy in Queens.
2) Maspeth (25-2)- In what may be the best win in Maspeth school history, the
Argonauts went on the road in the PSAL Queens Borough quarterfinals on Tuesday
and knocked off Class AA school Francis Lewis 45-40 by playing great defense
late, and scoring the last 5 points of the game to secure the victory. They then
went to H.S. for Construction in the semifinals and got within 4 on a pair of
occasions late though ultimately would fall 71-67 in a game that did nothing but
enhance Maspeth's reputation around New York City. A great borough run now be-
hind them, expect the Argonauts to be a top 2 or 3 seed in the PSAL City Play-
3) Fannie Lou Hamer (22-4)- Another team in Class B who competed in the borough
playoffs, Fannie Lou went up against Wings Academy in the quarterfinals in the
Bronx and gave a strong effort before falling 58-45 to a Wings team that just had
too many chances around the rim. The Panthers did show and prove that they could
compete with the very best in the Bronx which has to give them confidence heading
into what should be a Class B City Playoffs that Fannie Lou could win.
4) Community Health Academy of the Heights (21-3)- Community Health was off this
week as they didn't quality for the Manhattan Borough playoffs but they are a clear
top team in New York City in Class B as was proven by their solid wins over 3 Class
A teams, and a Class AA team from the Section 3 area in Syracuse. It will be a
fairly long break for CHAH before they hit the court for the City Playoffs but when
they do expect to see them come out with a lot of intensity and fire as one of the
favorites to take it all.
5) BCAM (16-3)- Only 3 teams in the PSAL from Class B made the borough playoffs
so BCAM like most did not quality but they have a solid resume from top to bottom
which should bode well for their seed in the PSAL City Playoffs. They will find
out what their seed is on Monday afternoon and when they do you should expect it
to solidly be in the top 5 or 5 as the Lions have the size and speed to give any
6) Medgar Evers College Prep (15-4)- With 3 of their 4 losses this season com-
ing to out of state teams, Medgar Evers has shown that they are a definite top
quality team in Class B in New York State. They will also be a top seed when the
seeds are released on Monday for the PSAL City Playoffs, and while they may not
be a team with a ton of size, they should have enough down low to mix it up and
be able to compete with just about anyone they are matched up against.
7) Bronx School for Law, Government, & Justice (19-1)- While the Jaguars didn't
qualify for the Bronx Borough's they did have a non-league game with defending
Class A PSAL champions Walton. Law, Government, and Justice showed that they were
up for the task as well as they went on the road and took a 65-55 victory. It was
yet another statement making win for one of the more up and coming teams in the
PSAL, and a team that head into the PSAL City Playoffs as winners of 12 in a row.
8) Dalton (19-3)- Closing out the Ivy League regular season with wins over
Riverdale and Horace Mann, the Tigers went on Thursday and Friday of this week
to play in the regular season ending Collegiate Invitational. They opened up
with an easy 59-35 victory over FDR before getting the host school Collegiate on
Friday for the title. It was a back and forth game from the start, but with
clutch shots late Dalton was able to beat Collegiate for the 3rd time this sea-
son in taking the 67-64 OT victory and the championship. Landing the No. 2 seed
for the upcoming NYSAIS Class B playoffs, Dalton will get Poly Prep in the quar-
terfinals on Thursday and then possibly Collegiate for a 4th time in the semi-
finals on Saturday.
9) South Bronx Prep (16-10)- The 3rd and final PSAL Class B team to make the
borough playoffs, South Bronx Prep won their opening round play in game as they
defeated Class A school Evander Childs 80-70 to pit the Cougars in the quarter-
finals of the Bronx Borough's against the team that would eventually win it in
Eagle Academy. South Bronx Prep put up a fight for a while but Eagle had too
much in the end as the Cougars would fall 88-60. It was a great test for South
Bronx Prep though as they now ready for the PSAL City Playoffs.
10) Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy (16-2)- Another solid Bronx team that also
can make some noise in the PSAL City Playoffs, the Tigers have won 8 in a row
heading into the playoffs as momentum is without question on their side. They
match up well with most teams they face as Riverdale/Kingsbridge has a solid
sized frontline, and when the guards are making shots the Tigers could be a
team that makes a very deep run to a possible quarterfinal or semifinal
Honorable Mention: Morrisania Educational Campus (17-3), Dwight (17-8),
Collegiate (15-10), Democracy Prep (14-4), Eagle Academy III (15-4).