2018-19 New York City boys basketball (through March 2)
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) South Shore (24-4)- From beginning to end in the Vikings PSAL Class AA
City Playoff opener on Friday against Boys & Girls it was all about the duo
of Kadary Richmond '19 and Femi Odukale '19 as each had 20 points in South
Shore's 79-45 Second Round victory. The win has the Vikings into the quart-
erfinals which for them will be on Thursday against Queens Borough champs
John Bowne, with a possible semifinal game to follow on Saturday.
2) Cardinal Hayes (23-5)- It may not have been the prettiest game in Sun-
day's CHSAA Intersectional quarterfinals but the Cardinals had one of their
better defensive efforts of the season in stifling Mount St. Michael and
coming away with a 54-42 victory. Joe Toussaint '19 had a team high 15
points to lead Cardinal Hayes into the semifinals where they will take on
an improving Archbishop Stepinac team on Thursday evening with a Sunday
title game berth to be on the line.
3) Thomas Jefferson (21-7)- It was as nerve wracking performance as could
be for the Orange Wave as they were trailing by 6 at home in the Round of
16 in the PSAL Class AA Playoffs on Thursday against James Monroe. If not
for Kareem Welch '19 it may not have been meant to be for Jefferson but he
scored 33 points to help the Orange Wave rally late for a 75-74 win. Tues-
day will see them take on Eagle Academy in a quarterfinal matchup, with a
win their putting them into the semifinals on Saturday to be played at
4) Bishop Loughlin (23-3)- Another CHSAA power that didn't play their best
but still found a way to win were the Lions who took down Iona Prep in the
final game of four Intersectional quarterfinals on Sunday 59-47. Julian
Champagnie '19 had 21 points to lead all scorers in the victory for Lough-
lin who will now head into Thursday's semifinals with a lot of confidence
against Christ the King, a team that has traditionally given the Lions a
lot of problems, but they are all that's between Bishop Loughlin and a
championship game appearance.
5) Brooklyn Collegiate (18-8)- On paper it looked as if it would be a very
difficult Round of 16 game for the Lions as they were put against JFK, the
Bronx Borough champions. That wasn't the case though as it was all Brooklyn
Collegiate all the time as Amahrie Simpkins '20 led five Lions in double
figures with 20 points in what would be a 95-53 Brooklyn Collegiate win. The
win puts the Lions into Tuesday's quarterfinals against Benjamin Cardozo
with a win there sending them into the sending them into Saturday's semi-
6) Christ the King (17-10)- Just when people started to count out the Royals
here they are in the CHSAA Class AA Final Four. Their second round game
wasn't easy as it took a 22 point and 14 rebound effort from big man Moussa
Cisse '21 who is back from injury to help Christ the King squeak by Msgr.
Scanlan on Wednesday, 63-62. Surprisingly the quarterfinal game on Sunday
went a bit smoother as led by Cisse and Nick Molina '20 it was the Royals
leading most of the way in a 71-55 upset win over St. Raymond that puts them
into Thursday's semifinals against their rivals from Bishop Loughlin.
7) St. Raymond (20-7)- After a sensational and fabulous regular season it is
about as tough a way to finish out the year for the Ravens as they looked
primed for a deep Intersectional Playoff run before struggling to find any
sort of offensive rhythm in the quarterfinals against Christ the King, fall-
ing behind and never finding their way back in a 71-55 defeat. Gary Grant '20
paced the way for St. Raymond's whose season officially now has come to an
8) Xaverian (20-8)- Taking on a fully healthy Archbishop Stepinac team in the
CHSAA Intersectional quarterfinals on Sunday, the Clippers got out of the
gates quick and took a 41-35 lead into halftime. That offensive pace though
was favoring Stepinac though as Xaverian found they couldn't keep up that kind
of rhythm in the second half as even with four players in double figures it
wasn't enough as the Clippers season came to an end on Sunday with an 83-63
defeat to the Crusaders.
9) Mount St. Michael (16-11)- Bryant bound guard Mike Green '19 did all he
could for the Mountaineers this season, and he kept that up on Sunday after-
noon in the CHSAA Intersectional quarterfinals as he poured in 23 points,
but with the rest of the Mount offense struggling against a harassing Card-
inal Hayes defense it wasn't meant to be as the Mountaineers fell 54-42 to
bring an end to a season, and for Green a fantastic all around high school
10) John Bowne (20-7)- With many of the young stars for the Wildcats start-
ing to really come of age there may be no more dangerous team right now than
John Bowne as on Friday they showed to be especially tough as Tyshawn Trail
'21 had 23 points to pace the way for the Wildcats in a 77-64 win over McKee/
Staten Island Tech in a Round of 16 duel. Thursday's quarterfinal against No.
1 overall seed South Shore will be very tough but with the way Bowne is
currently playing you absolutely can't rule them out of pulling off the
11) Benjamin Cardozo (22-3)- Ever since the return of Taj Anderson '19 it
seems as if the Judges have a new found offensive confidence. That was backed
up in Cardozo's Round of 16 game on Thursday as Anderson had 38 points to
lead the Judges in a dominating 97-73 win over WHEELS to put them into Tues-
day's quarterfinal round against another hot offensive team in Brooklyn Col-
legiate, though with the game to be played at Queens College a home court edge
could help the Judges in what should be a very tight game that could go either
12) St. Peter's (19-8)- After winning the SIHSL Playoffs the Eagles struggled
against some of NYC's best, losing to Cardinal Hayes in a close one in the
opening round of the CHSAA Archdiocese of New York playoffs a week ago, and
then it was a 91-80 defeat to a dangerous Archbishop Stepinac team on Thursday
in a game that saw both Chris Clancy '19 and Jamal Achille '19 each score 22
points to end a very special and memorable season for a talented St. Peter's
13) Eagle Academy (17-10)- Heading into the fourth quarter in their PSAL Class
AA Round of 16 game against Francis Lewis tied it was DaMarco Watson '20 who
scored nine of his game high 17 points down the stretch to help the Eagles pull
away for a 62-58 victory, moving them into Tuesday's quarterfinals against
Thomas Jefferson. It will be a very tough matchup coming up here for Eagle Acad-
emy, but after winning the regular season Bronx title the Eagles are playing
very good ball heading into their biggest game of the year.
14) Wings Academy (17-9)- Another team out of the Bronx, Wings has not had a
prototypical Wings type of season. They are perennially not just among the best
in the Bronx, but also among the best in New York City. That wasn't the case
this season though as they went 3-4 in their last 7 games heading into the City
Playoffs. They easily got by Eagle Academy II 61-37 in the Opening Round on
Wednesday, and then on Friday went to Staten Island and shocked No. 5 seed
Curtis 65-56 as Mahamadou Nimaga '19 had 23 points to lead Wings who now will
meet Abraham Lincoln on Thursday in a quarterfinal of teams not many expected
to be here.
15) Abraham Lincoln (12-14)- This season has seen a lot of changes for Lin-
coln, with a good amount of struggles along the way as well for the Rail-
splitters. They were the #13 seed going into the PSAL City Playoffs and
gained some confidence in a 77-51 win over Campus Magnet in the Opening
Round with Jaheim Williams '20 scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
That win propelled Lincoln to a massive upset on Friday as the Rail-
splitters were able to get by #4 seed Thurgood Marshall Academy on the road
in OT 82-76 to put them into the quarterfinals on Thursday where they will
see another high seeded team with high hopes in Wings Academy.
1) Brooklyn Law and Tech (22-4)- Starting out their run to what the Jets hope
will be another PSAL Class A title it was Davonta Cook '19 who poured in 30
points while dishing out 10 assists as Law and Tech downed MLK Jr. 71-59 in
the Second Round of the PSAL Playoffs. That win now puts the Jets into the
Round of 16 which will take place on Wednesday against Far Rockaway putting
Brooklyn Law and Tech just one step closer to their ultimate goal.
2) Msgr. Farrell (22-5)- Things were absolutely looking bleak for the Lions
as they were trailing for nearly the entire game against Fordham Prep, rally-
ing late in the fourth quarter to send the CHSAA Class A Championship into OT.
Chris Edwards '19 would score the game winning runner in the extra session as
he led Farrell with 15 points to help carry them to a 53-51 victory and the
title. Next up will be the CHSAA Class A State Championship Game on Saturday
at Fordham University where they Lions will take on The Park School out of
3) Frederick Douglass Academy (20-6)- One of the favorites in contention for
the PSAL Championship, the Lions got off to a strong start in their playoff
run as they made quick work of Brooklyn Tech in the Second Round on Wednesday
58-33. Derek Mejia Hernandez '21 had 16 points in the win that now has FDA
into the Round of 16 where they will take on Adlai Stevenson on Tuesday after-
noon for the right to move onto Sunday's quarterfinals.
4) Fordham Prep (21-6)- It was a shot to remember for senior Avni Mustafaj '19
as he would bank in a three ball at the buzzer on Tuesday to help the Rams down
title favorites Nazareth 56-55 to move them onto Friday's title game. For as
much excitement as Fordham Prep felt after that semifinal win it was just as
tough on Friday as the Rams led nearly the entire way before losing a late
lead and then ultimately falling into OT 53-51 in the CHSAA Class A Champion-
ship Game to end what was a very strong season.
5) Nazareth (19-7)- Playing without their star in T.J. Morris '21 it was the
Kingsmen who still looked as if they were in good shape in the CHSAA Class A
semifinals against Fordham Prep as Khalil Brantley '21 had 18 points for Naz-
areth, but up by 2 in the closing seconds it was a three pointer at the buzzer
by the Rams to end the Kingsmen's season 56-55 leaving Nazareth just short of
their goal of back to back Class A titles.
6) Lehman (24-3)- Getting a big time effort from big Bismark Nsiah '20 as he
put in 21 points while grabbing 11 rebounds it was the Lions who were able to
down Metropolitan on Friday 59-46 in the Second Round of PSAL Class A Play-
offs. Leading from start to finish, Lehman now has themselves in good pos-
ition as it's the Round of 16 up next for the Lions on Wednesday where they
will host one of the best on Staten Island this season in Port Richmond.
7) New Dorp (17-5)- Speaking of one of Staten Island's best, the Cougars
showed on Thursday why they are a sure fire title contender as they defeated
KIPP NYC College Prep 68-55 behind the 19 points from sophomore David
Shkolniy '21. New Dorp may not get the attention of some others in the PSAL
but they are a team to reckon moving forward as its Seward Park next up in
the Round of 16 coming up on Tuesday evening.
8) Beacon (23-2)- One of the more consistent programs in the PSAL this season,
the Blue Demons were found themselves in a struggle on Thursday afternoon in
a Second Round game against Susan Wagner out of Staten Island. Beacon did lead
for much of the way, and with Raven Ennis '19 scoring 12 points it was the
Blue Demons doing just enough to take a 43-37 win and move themselves into
Tuesday's Round of 16 where they will go up against Erasmus Hall looking for
the schools first quarterfinal berth.
9) Benjamin Banneker (21-4)- Using their depth and size to their advantage,
the Warriors got out to a fast start on Friday against Long Island City to
get a quick lead and never look back as Tyler Gordon '20 was one of two
Banneker players to finish with double-doubles in a 58-42 win. Wednesday
will see the Warriors next hit the court in the PSAL Class A Round of 16
where it will be fellow Brooklyn power Bedford Academy waiting for them in
a marquee showdown.
10) Canarsie (21-6)- Having held a spot for most of the season in the Class
A Top Ten it's a welcome back to the Chiefs this week as are coming off a
Friday afternoon PSAL Class A Second Round win over Harlem Village Academy
52-41. Khadafi Julio '19 had 17 points to lead Canarsie in the win who seem
to have found their groove yet again and will next match up with Louis Bran-
deis in the Round of 16 coming up this Wednesday with a quarterfinal berth
on the line.
1) Uncommon Charter (21-2)- As the overall #1 seed in the PSAL Class B Play-
offs the Sabers were able to get 26 points and 12 rebounds from Ahzariah
Douglas '20 to take a 58-42 win over Robert Goddard in the Second Round of
their playoff run. It was a great start for Uncommon Charter who will face a
tough Community Health Academy of the Heights team on Tuesday at home in what
will be another step in their journey to the title.
2) South Bronx Prep (24-3)- With young sophomore Steven Turner '21 taking off
to the tune of 24 points and 12 rebounds it was the Cougars dispatching of a
tough Cambria Heights Academy 74-61 in the Second Round of the PSAL Class B
Playoffs on Thursday. The win now puts South Bronx Prep into the Round of 16
which will be played for them on Tuesday in a matchup of Bronx powers with the
Cougars going up against Bathgate.
3) Fannie Lou Hamer (22-4)- Making quick and easy work in their opening play-
off game this season, Fannie Lou got 21 points and 13 rebounds from do it all
wing Anthony Rose '20 in a 72-35 win for the Panthers over East Side Community
in the Second Round on Friday. Looking to keep up their dominating ways,
Fannie Lou Hamer will get back to the court on Tuesday where they will get a
matchup against Adams Street Academy.
4) Achievement First (22-4)- A PSAL Second Round playoff game on Friday
proved to be no issues at all for Achievement First as they got 20 points
and 12 rebounds from Jalen Fenton '19 in what would end up being a 72-39 win
for Achievement over Bronx United. It was a solid way to open their playoffs
as next up it will be Lab Museum United in their quest for a deep postseason
5) Summit Academy (19-2)- Never question the offensive firepower of the
Eagles as they once again showed on Friday why they are among the more po-
tent teams you will find anywhere. Getting 31 points from guard Jordan
Council '20 it was a complete all around performance with Summit Academy
taking a 92-61 victory over South Bronx to open their playoffs. The Round
of 16 is next for the Eagles and that game will be on Tuesday when they face
off against EBC/Bushwick at home.
6) Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice (19-2)- In a Second Round
matchup against another strong Bronx program it was the Jaguars doing a
strong defensive job in limiting Morrisania to just 16 first half points,
shutting them down most of the way overall as well in a 52-40 win that saw
big Frantz Jean-Pierre '19 scoring 13 points and grab 16 rebounds in the win.
Up next for Law, Government, and Justice will be Spring Creek Campus on Wed-
nesday in a big Round of 16 game.
7) Regis (20-5)- As the class of the CHSAA Class B for most of the season,
things did look rough for the Raiders in Friday's title game against Salesian
as Regis was trailing by 7 heading to the fourth quarter. When you have some-
one like Joe Manfredi '20 on your side though you always have to consider
yourselves in good shape though as their Tournament MVP finished with 19
points and 10 rebounds in a come from behind 43-40 win to give Regis the Class
B CHSAA championship. That was just a city title though as this Saturday will
be the CHSAA Class B title game at Fordham University against a very good Card-
inal O'Hara team out of the Buffalo region.
8) Dalton (21-5)- When you consider the road they had to go through it was an
accomplishment in itself just to get to this past Sunday's NYSAIS Class B
Championship Game. Mark Engel '20 carried the Tigers for much of this season
offensively, but against a bigger and strong Lawrence Woodmere Academy team
it just proved to be too much to overcome as Dalton would fall 51-39 just one
game short of their goal, but nonetheless it was a great season to remember
for a young and talented Lions team that promises to be back in a years time
again fighting for the league crown.
9) Epic H.S. South (20-4)- Unlike everyone else in the PSAL, Epic South will
have to wait a little bit longer to get their playoffs started as they wont
hit the court for their Second Round game against Juan Morel Campos until Mon-
day, and that game won't be at Epic South which is the No. 9 seed, it will be
on the road at No. 41 seed Juan Morel Campos which could make things tricky,
though a win there would put Epic into the Round of 16 on Wednesday against a
waiting Jane Addams.
10) Poly Prep (17-7)- After falling in the NYSAIS Class B semifinals to the
eventual champions in Lawrence Woodmere Academy it was clear that the Blue
Devils put together an overall fantastic season. They showed to have a lot of
depth inside, and with freshman lead guard Max Ragusa '22 leading the way on
the perimeter there is no question at all that there are going to be a lot of
bright moments ahead from a very promising young Poly Prep team that will be
among the best in the NYSAIS and the Ivy League once against next season, and
for many years to come.