2017-18 New York City boys basketball (through March 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) Cardozo (26-3)- The magical run for the Judges continues as they have now
ascended to the No. 1 spot based off of a 79-67 victory over Thomas Jefferson
in the PSAL Class AA Semifinals on Sunday afternoon. Cardozo got in front early
and never panicked or got rattled late to pull away for the 12 point victory
that will now put the Judges into Saturday's PSAL Championship Game at Barclays
Center where they will take on another Brooklyn power in South Shore.
2) South Shore (19-8)- Taking a 9-0 lead right out of the gate in Sunday's PSAL
Class AA Semifinals against Curtis, the Vikings never looked back as they jumped
on the Warriors early and often in blowing out the Staten Island power, 75-48.
South Shore with how they have played over the past month will look to finish
the job on Saturday at the Barclays Center when they take on Cardozo for the
PSAL Class AA City Championship.
3) Christ the King (23-6)- With confidence on their side it seemed as if the
Royals were the favorites to walk away on Sunday afternoon from Fordham Univer-
sity with the CHSAA Intersectional Championship. They would go up early leading
by as much as 9 in the opening half but Stepinac proved to be too good as they
controlling the game from the perimeter and took away the Royals guards from
shooting from long range in what a game that would end Christ the King's season
losing in the title game 74-65.
4) Cardinal Hayes (21-8)- Going against a bigger and more physical Christ the
King team in the CHSAA Intersectional Semifinals this past Thursday, the Card-
inals fell behind by as many as 19 in the opening half before a late rally got
Hayes within 5 early in the 4th quarter. It was as close as the defending CHSAA
champs would get though as Cardinal Hayes' season ended with a 72-64 loss.
5) Thomas Jefferson (21-8)- Having defeated Cardozo by 30 early this season in
January it was not a surprise that the Orange Wave were confident heading into
their PSAL Class AA Semifinal showdown with Cardozo. The Judges came out ready
though and they locked down Jefferson from getting out in transition, limiting
their opportunities and ultimately costing the Orange Wave a chance at the title
game as Jefferson's season ended with a disappointing 79-67 loss on Sunday to
6) Archbishop Molloy (15-13)- When you get to the CHSAA intersectional semi-
finals it's hard to classify it as a disappointing season but the Stanners fell
short of their goal of a city championship as they fell on Thursday night 88-84.
Neither Molloy or Stepinac led by more than 5 points at any point throughout the
game but the Stanners couldn't get the big stop when they needed it, ultimately
falling one game short of a chance at the title.
7) Curtis (25-6)- A solid season for the Warriors ended on Sunday as they were
overmatched and outgunned against a bigger and better South Shore team 75-48.
Curtis fell behind 9-0 at the very start and were down double digits less than
five minutes into the game. It was an early hole that the Warriors couldn't re-
cover from in the loss but it still has to be remembered as a strong and im-
pressive season for Curtis as they reached the PSAL Class AA Semifinals, an
achievement in itself for sure.
8) Boys and Girls (19-9)- Losing in the PSAL Class AA Quarterfinals last week,
the Kangaroos had their chances as they led by double digits early against Car-
dozo before faltering down the stretch in a 60-55 loss. It was a game that Boys
and Girls had firm control of for over a half but they struggled to score in the
halfcourt late which is something that will need to be watched going forward as
the Kangaroos will graduate 4 starters from this year's team.
9) St. Peter's (20-7)- Analyzing the Eagles finish to the season and looking at
the fact they blew out Curtis for the SIHSL Championship, and then losing to
Cardinal Hayes and Christ the King by a combined 5 points in the Archdiocese and
CHSAA Intersectional Playoffs, it shows that there is a lot of positives to take
out of St. Peter's season. They bring back 3 starters next season and should be
a force once again in the CHSAA.
10) Eagle Academy (24-5)- Winners of the Bronx Borough Championship and losing
just one game in league play this season, the Eagles had what is clearly their
best season in schools history. They fell to Thomas Jefferson in the PSAL city
quarterfinals last week 56-38 in a game where they struggled against the Orange
Wave pressure, but Eagle Academy will bring back a strong core from this season
next year and should once again be among the favorites in the Bronx.
11) Paul Robeson (18-11)- An up and down regular season that saw the Eagles
struggle at times against the best in the Brooklyn AA led ultimately to a strong
postseason run. They made the Brooklyn Borough Semifinals after beating Lincoln
in the quarterfinals, and then went on the road to beat H.S. for Construction to
advance to the PSAL City Quarterfinals. They will bring back their interior size,
along with their main scoring guard meaning another solid run next season could
be in the cards.
12) Abraham Lincoln (19-8)- Playing without 3 starters who were ruled ineligible
by the PSAL in mid-February the Railsplitters showed a lot of heart and determin-
ation in taking down Wings Academy to advance to the PSAL city quarterfinals.
They would have their chances there as well in what would be a buzzer beating
53-52 loss to Curtis to end Lincoln's season. Depending on who returns next sea-
son you can expect the Railsplitters to be back among the PSAL's best next
13) H.S. for Construction (23-6)- Coming in second place in the Queens AA this
season you can only classify their performance as a whole this season as a
success. The Red Hawks were a great unknown coming into the year but they would
get solid guard play all around as one of the better perimeter shooting teams in
the PSAL, though their season would come to an end in the Round of 16 to Paul
Robeson, a disappointing result for a team that had biggest aspirations.
14) Brooklyn Collegiate (17-11)- While there were rumors all season long that
this would be it for the Lions as many thought the school was on the verge of
being closed by the city, Brooklyn Collegiate will be back next year as the
school announced they will remain open. That's good news for the basketball
team as they will bring back a good amount of talent from a team that proved
throughout the year that they could compete with anyone in the PSAL.
15) McKee/Staten Island Tech (16-8)- It was a great year for Staten Island bas-
ketball as three teams made the Top 15 in Class AA this season with the Seagulls
just sneaking in to claim the last spot. They have their ups and downs during
the regular season but nearly knocked off St. Peter's in the SIHSL semifinals,
and then fell in OT on the road at Cardozo 75-74 in the PSAL city round of 16 in
a heartbreaker that showed just what kind of talent McKee/Staten Island Tech had.
Honorable Mention: St. Raymond (13-13), WHEELS (15-14), Wings Academy (15-9),
James Monroe (17-11), Wadleigh (14-11).
1) Brooklyn Law and Tech (25-3)- Proving so far to be the class of Class A in
New York City, the Jets made quick work of Martin Luther King Jr in the PSAL
round of 16 winning 70-41, and then against a solid Transit Tech team in the
quarterfinals on Saturday, Law and Tech took a quick 20 point lead at the half
to coast to a 68-53 victory. Up next for Brooklyn Law and Tech will be a semi-
final date against an upstart Erasmus Hall on Wednesday with the title game to
take place next Sunday.
2) James Madison (23-5)- After squeaking by Evander Childs 85-77 in the round of
16 in the PSAL Class A Playoffs the Golden Knights were able to get things done
in a lot easier fashion in the quarterfinals on Saturday as they rolled past New
Dorp 81-57. It's been a fantastic close to the season and a huge rise to near the
top of the rankings as Madison will now take on Roosevelt Educational Campus in
the semifinals on Wednesday, with a win there advancing them to next Sunday's
3) Roosevelt Educational Campus (23-4)- Nearly eliminated in the round of 16,
Roosevelt needed OT to hang on and take out Tottenville 86-85. Getting that win
seemed to give the Bears confidence going into the quarterfinals on Saturday as
they put together a much more complete performance in downing Bedford Academy
65-52. It's now onto the semifinals for Roosevelt Educational as they will square
off with James Madison on Wednesday with a title game berth awaiting the winner.
4) Erasmus Hall (20-6)- When the regular season ended it looked as if the Dutch-
men would be a quick out as they were given the No. 21 seed in the PSAL Class A
playoffs, but Erasmus has proven to be this season's Cinderella as they are now
on their way to the semifinals after defeating Lehman on the road 56-53 in the
round of 16, and then easily taking care of Susan Wagner 70-55. Getting hot at
the right time the Dutchmen will take on Brooklyn Law and Tech on Wednesday for
the right to play for the title.
5) Nazareth (21-6)- It was an great run for the Kingsmen who came out of nowhere
to start the season on fire and power their way to the CHSAA New York City Class
A championship. They had great wins throughout the season in dominating the Cath-
olic League in NYC but their season would come to an end on Sunday as they fell
in the CHSAA Class A State Championship Game to The Park School of Buffalo 65-50.
They were up early but the interior size proved to be too much in a game that
ending Nazareth's season.
6) Lehman (23-5)- After playing so well all season long the Lions year ended in
heartbreak as they fell in the Round of 16 to Erasmus Hall 56-53. It wasn't the
way they envisioned the year ending as after a great regular season and begin to
their playoff run Lehman came up short of their goal. They led Erasmus for much
of the game before coming up short late to end what still can only be considered
a strong overall year for the Lions.
7) Transit Tech (20-6)- It was a great season for the Express as they blew past
expectations to get to the PSAL Class A Quarterfinals on Saturday where they end-
ed up losing to Brooklyn Law and Tech 68-53. They showed no quit after getting
down by double digits early on against the Jets as they hung around for much of
the game before falling to defeat in ending their season.
8) Evander Childs (18-8)- In what was one of the better round of 16 matchups,
Evander Childs would fall on the road at James Madison 85-77 in a game that high
paced and full of offensive action throughout. The Tigers had a great year where
they were one of the top teams out of the Bronx in Class A and really did a phe-
nomenal job in coming together as a young group that should continue to make noise
coming next season.
9) Fordham Prep (18-9)- Playing one of the tougher non-league slates of any team
in Class A this season, the Rams used their losses to become a stronger and better
team for the postseason which allowed them to get to the CHSAA Class A city champ-
ionship Game where they would fall to Nazareth 58-48 in a game where Fordham Prep
led at the half. A strong showing from a solid Rams team, Fordham Prep should
definitely be back in the mix next year once again for a top 10 spot.
10) Susan Wagner (20-9)- After Lehman lost in the PSAL Class A Round of 16 it
seemed as if the Falcons were a clear favorite to get to the semifinals with a
quarterfinal berth against Erasmus Hall standing in their way. Wagner though
picked a rough day on Saturday to struggle as they never could contain the
Dutchmen's offense in what was a 70-55 loss to end the Falcons season just
short of the semi's.
Honorable Mention: Bedford Academy (20-8), Flushing (24-6), Telecommunication
(19-8), St. Joseph by the Sea (14-11), William Grady (20-5).
1) Fannie Lou Hamer (25-4)- They may be playing with fire but the Panthers are
now the new No. 1 team in Class B as they have made their way to the PSAL Class
B Semifinals. At home on Tuesday in the Round of 16 the Panthers struggled to
take care of business before pulling out a 57-54 win, then in the quarterfinals
on Saturday it was another late rally to come away with a 54-52 win over Medgar
Evers College Prep. Next up will be Community Health Academy of the Heights in
the semi's with the winner moving to the title game as the favorite to take home
the PSAL hardware.
2) Community Health Academy of the Heights (24-3)- In what will be an electric
PSAL Class B Semifinal, Community Health has set up a date with #1 Fannie Lou
Hamer as CHAH was able to pull away from Jane Addams late in their quarterfinal
game on Saturday, 83-75. It was a high scoring affair that Community Health pulled
away late in for the victory to put them up with Fannie Lou in Tuesday's semi-
finals, with a championship game berth after that for the winner on Sunday.
3) BCAM (19-3)- A strong year since the start for the Lions, they were matched
with our previous #1 team Maspeth in the PSAL Class B Quarterfinals on Saturday.
It was a game that BCAM trailed for nearly all of 3 quarters, but when push came
to shove it was the Lions who made the important plays late to help push them by
the Argonauts 65-59. The win really showed just how solid a team the Lions are
as they will now move onto Tuesday's semifinals where they get a showdown with
South Bronx Prep and a championship game appearance in the cards for the winner.
4) Regis (19-8)- The champions of the CHSAA Class B in New York City, the Raid-
ers had to go up to Buffalo on Sunday to play for the Class B state championship
against Niagara Catholic. Things looked good for a while as Regis was up for
nearly the entire game before a buzzer beating three by Niagara Catholic sent
the game in OT. It seemed as if momentum was all on Niagara's side but the
Raiders found a way to pull through late for the 64-59 victory to send them in
two weeks time to Glens Falls as the CHSAA representative in Class B for the NYS
Federation Tournament of Champions.
5) South Bronx Prep (19-10)- Even with 10 losses during the regular season it
was clear that South Bronx Prep was a dangerous team entering the PSAL Class B
city playoffs. The Cougars losses for the most part came to Class AA and A com-
petition out of league and that quality opposition during the year did them well
as they were able to fight back from a late deficit to down Bronx School for
Law, Government, & Justice in the quarterfinals 70-68. The win moves South Bronx
Prep to Tuesday's semifinals against BCAM for a right to play on Sunday in the
PSAL title game.
6) Maspeth (27-3)- Coming in at No. 1 last week the Argonauts had as good a sea-
son as anyone in Class B as they hadn't lost to a team all season in the B class-
ification, that was until Saturday in the PSAL Class B quarterfinals. That is
where Maspeth lost a 6 point halftime lead to fall to defeat against BCAM, 65-59.
It wasn't the way the Argonauts wanted to end their season but it was a strong
year nonetheless for Maspeth who had a very strong run.
7) LaSalle Academy (21-3)- From the start of the regular season until nearly the
very end it seemed as if LaSalle was destined to finish at #1, but slipping up in
the CHSAA Class B City Championship game against Regis 44-42 ended their season
abruptly causing them to slip in the rankings and finish 1 win short of back to
back titles. It was a rough way to end the year but with a number of important
pieces coming back you can expect another strong season for the Cardinals come
8) Medgar Evers College Prep (17-5)- There should on be excitement about the
future of Medgar Evers basketball as they were able to easily get past NEST+M in
the PSAL Class B Round of 16 this past Thursday before a matchup with Fannie Lou
Hamer ended up ending the Cougars season. For a long past of the game it seemed
as if Medgar Evers would get the win but a buzzer beater just before time
expired gave Fannie Lou the 54-52 victory to end the Cougars year.
9) Bronx School for Law, Government, & Justice (21-2)- Going into Saturday's PSAL
Class B Quarterfinals against South Bronx Prep it was a battle of Bronx powers
for the right to go to Tuesday's semifinals. Things looked good for three quar-
ters but the Jaguars ran out of steam in the closing minutes as they lost the
lead and ultimately fell 70-68 in what was a dramatic finish to close out Law,
Government, & Justice's season.
10) Collegiate (17-11)- An achievement in itself by just having the Dutchmen get
to the NYSAIS Class B title game it was a strong final month of the season for
Collegiate as they beat both Poly Prep and Leman Prep to get to the championship
where they hung tough but fell to a bigger Lawrence Woodmere Academy team 51-44
to end their season just over two weeks ago.
Honorable Mention: Jane Addams (19-6), Morrisania Educational Campus (18-4),
Dwight (18-9), Adams Street Academy (18-8), Achievement First Brooklyn High