play in the KSA Holiday Showcase. The event got underway on Friday with convincing 61-44 victory over a solid Cass team out of Florida. 24 hours later it was an even more dominant performance as Justin Zieris '20 scored 25 points to lead Farrell to an 81-50 semifinals victory over Poolville from Texas. The title game was on Monday morning against another New York team in Class AA school out of Section 1 in New Rochelle with the two schools meeting 1,500 miles from home before Msgr. Farrell comes back to CHSAA league play on Friday when they will go to Brooklyn to take on St. Edmund Prep.
3) Murry Bergtraum (9-1)- There were no games on the docket this past week for Bergtraum who have continually tested themselves out of league this year. Led by Dior Davis '21 who is averaging a triple-double so far this season after averaging one for the season last year for the Blazers as a sophomore, Bergtraum look to be in prime position for big things going forward the rest of the way as they get back to action for the first time in a couple weeks on Friday when they will host a Norman Thomas team looking to shock the PSAL Manhattan A1 Division and pull the upset.
4) KIPP NYC College Prep (11-1)- It was a successful trip to New Jersey for the Bulldogs who went to play in the Newark Collegiate Holiday Classic on Thursday and Saturday and eventually brought the title back to the Bronx. They first knocked off West Orange in a thriller 55-53 in a game that saw Amar Ndiaye '20 score 16 to lead the way in the come from behind victory after KIPP trailed by 4 going to the fourth. The home team Newark Collegiate was the opponent for the title and it was a big double-double inside from Mohamed Soumahoro '22 with 14 pints and 13 rebounds that would pace the way in a dominating 65-34 win for KIPP whose only loss remains to Class AA ranked school Mount St. Michael. Friday will see the Bulldogs take on Harry Van Arsdale in a non-league date at the Barclays Center in bright lights big court game.
5) Bedford Academy (11-2)- Drawing one of the better teams in Holy Cross to start the Msgr. King Christmas Tournament was a bit of a bad break for Bedford who may have been a title contender had they drawn an easier first round game, but even so Ethan Edwards '20 would nearly lead the Panthers to the win anyway as he had 38 points though they came up just short in a 77-74 loss to the Knights in 3OT's. Bedford would an easy victory in their consolation game against Newtown and will now draw Valley Stream Central in the 5th Place Game of the tournament on Monday before going back into league play on Friday evening at home against Boerum Hill.
6) Beacon (13-1)- There were no games this past week for a Blue Demons team that has been very busy this season having already played 14 games before the start of 2020. Led by junior shooter Sam Pohlman '21 and big man Theo Ghartley '20 inside, Beacon have been a team that has hurt their Manhattan A Northwest-II opponents both in the paint and on the perimeter making them a very difficult team to contain wherever they decide to attack. There only loss for far this season was a 10 point defeat to out #1 Banneker team with the Blue Demons getting back to action this week with a Friday contest at home against Percy E. Sutton.
7) Graphics Campus (11-1)- Playing in the same PSAL Manhattan A Northwest-II league as Beacon, the 49ers had the holiday's off to rest and get themselves ready for what will surely be a busy January ahead as they already this year have gotten strong outings from the likes of Damani Claxton '20, who is averaging near 24 points per game, and Joselito Rosario '22 who is a promising young sophomore averaging 17 points per. The action will get back going for Graphics Campus this Friday when they host Harlem Village Academy back in league play with the date January 13th surely circled on their calendar for their return match on the road at Beacon after falling to the Bulldogs by 8 earlier this season.
8) St. Edmund Prep (6-2)- Taking their opening game of the Msgr. King Christmas Tournament with relative ease over Valley Stream Central by a 72-41 score in a game that saw Shemar Latty '20 score 28 and dish out 8 assists, the Eagles got our #1 Benjamin Banneker team in the semifinals. It was a close game for half with St. Edmund trailing by just 3 at the break, but the second half saw more pressure applied and Banneker pull away to defeat the Eagles 65-48. That pushed St. Edmund Prep into Monday's 3rd Place Game where they will take on McKee/Staten Island Tech before going back into CHSAA play on Friday for a big top of the table contest at home against Msgr. Farrell.
9) Msgr. McClancy (7-1)- Hosting Class B private school Martin Luther on Sunday afternoon had the Crusaders come back from an 8 day layoff to lead from start to finish in a 79-66 victory for McClancy to send them into 2020 playing great basketball and ready to prove themselves as among the best in the CHSAA this season. Before CHSAA play gets underway though it's the Crusaders heading down south to the Sunshine and Miami, Florida to take part in the Belen Jesuit Holiday Showcase which gets underway Thursday. They will face the home team on Thursday, Msgr. Pace of Florida on Friday, and then St. John's Jesuit of Ohio on Saturday in a three games in three days tournament in the warm temperatures.
10) Erasmus Hall (10-2)- The Dutchmen made the short trip from Brooklyn to Queens on Saturday to play in the Queens Jam Christmas Classic to take on Bronx AA school Samuel Gompers. Behind the play of Wayne Longmore '21 and Chris Erskine-Gidding '22 who each had 14 points it was a great afternoon of play for Erasmus who got the Class AA win they craved with a 56-52 win over Gompers. That win should give the Dutchmen a lot of momentum to build with the rest of the way as even though they will be off the rest of this week you can expect a busy schedule for much of the year after that moving forward for a still improving Erasmus Hall team.
1) Poly Prep (4-1)- After nearly shocking New York City basketball circles with an OT loss to our Class AA #1 school Brooklyn Collegiate just before Christmas the Blue Devils a have been off since as they get back to work in the gym preparing for what will be a busy and tough Ivy League schedule ahead. Before Max Ragusa '22 and the rest of the Poly Prep team get back to league play though they will take on Eagle Academy II at home in a non-league clash on Tuesday afternoon before a Saturday afternoon date at the Real Scout New Year's Jamboree against another top AA team in John Bowne with a couple more chances here for major statement victories.
2) Uncommon Charter (12-0)- So far it's been a perfect season for the Sabers who have one of the best players in the PSAL on their side in Ahzariah Douglas '20 who this season is averaging 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists a game as one of the top all around performers that anyone will see in New York City. They have some tough non-league games that will challenge them in the weeks to come that everyone should be on the lookout for, but for this week it's continued time in the gym before hitting the hardwood for games again starting on Tuesday the 7th.
3) Fannie Lou Hamer (11-1)- Falling in their final game before Christmas to LaSalle Academy of the CHSAA Class A Division 52-49, Fannie Lou, paced by Anthony Rose '20 who recently went over the 1,000 career points mark, will get back to action on Monday afternoon with a tricky road game in non-league play against Maspeth, with another tough non-league game to come after that in Manhattan against Commnity Heights Academy of the Heights. Those two tests finish out this week before league play gets underway beginning for good on Tuesday.
4) Brooklyn College Academy (11-1)- With another of impressive wins on the resume so far this season over the likes of Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice, Medgar Evers, and BCAM, things will only get more difficult and tough for Deon McLaughlin '20 and the rest of his Bobcat teammates. They will head on the road on Friday to play Adams Street Academy, a team strongly considered for the Top Ten in Class B this week, with a win there for Brooklyn College Academy truly solidifying themselves as a no doubt title contender in the PSAL this season.
5) Summit Academy (11-4)- Another team with an impressive early season resume are the Eagles who have a win over a ranked Class A team in Eramsus Hall. They went down to North Carolina over the holidays and while they went 1-2 during their three games competed strong and nearly knocked off a very good and unbeaten Woodbury Forest team out of Virginia. Nick Mickens '20 is the leader of what is a very veteran group from Summit Academy who again look poised for a big PSAL run after testing themselves in the non-league with East New York Family Academy coming to them on Friday evening as the Eagles get back to league action.
6) South Bronx Prep (11-2)- When it comes to league action there may not be a more potent team offensively than the defending PSAL Class B champions in South Bronx Prep. Steven Turner '21 is one of the more dynamic backcourt weapons as he is nearly averaging a triple-double as he is as good a playmaker and facilitator as he is a scorer. The Cougars nearly knocked off one of New Jersey's better teams in the southern part of the state in Trenton losing by just 8 at the Tim Thomas New Jersey Hoops Showcase on Saturday showing that even out of conference and against top flight competition South Bronx Prep can compete with anyone. It's a week off coming up here again for the Cougars who get back to action next on the 15th.
7) Dalton (8-1)- As good of a close to the 2019 calendar year as the Tigers could've hoped for when just before Christmas they defeated both Berkeley Carroll and Rye Country day on back to back days to win the Rye Country Day Holiday Classic. It was a great momentum boost as Dalton's only defeat so far this season was to the #1 team in Class B in Poly Prep. They will be off now the rest of this week as well though beginning this time next week it will be busy, busy, busy for Dalton as they will be taking on some of the top teams in Class A and Class B in and out of league play from here on out.
8) Achievement First (9-3)- With their three losses coming to teams all of whom are ahead of them in the rankings or in a higher classification, it's been a very solid beginning to this season for Achievement First as they hung tough earlier this year on the road at Boys & Girls only falling 75-66 to the Class AA school. They are paced and led by Emmanuel Smith '20 who is an active and lanky big man inside, while Nyah Sam '20 has a 35 point game on his resume so far this season and is averaging over 16 points per game as well. Achievement First will be off until next Tuesday and will be staying in the gym preparing for a tough and busy slate ahead.
9) Bathgate Educational Complex (10-3)- Bathgate is another team that has had off for a while now and will continue to sit until this time next week. In between games it will be three weeks off for the Bulldogs which could mean that Jeffrey Agyeman '20, Michael Boafo '20 and the rest of the Bathgate team may be a bit rusty out of the gate when they do get back to playing in games starting on Tuesday, January 7th, but with the amount of talent they have you can expect them to get back in the groove quick and be a major force in the PSAL the rest of the season.
10) Riverdale (3-1)- With Brown commit Sam Klores '20 leading the way alongside with Noah Seeherman '20 it's one of the better backcourts that you will see in the prestigious Ivy League. They like many of the other teams in Class B have had off for a bit here and won't play again until January 10th when they have what may be the game of the year in Class B against Poly Prep on the road giving Riverdale a good amount of time to prepare and get ready for what will be a stiff challenge, but not one that the Falcons will find overwhelming as it will certainly be a must see contest between two of NYSAIS's best.