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) Benjamin Cardozo (24-0)- Perfect is the only word to describe the Judges regular season as Cardozo was able to close things out on an unbeaten note when they went to Francis Lewis and took an early lead and never really looked back in what was a 56-42 victory. Errol White '20 put together a double-double inside for Cardozo who are now the #1 seed in the PSAL Queens Borough Playoffs and will open things up there on Tuesday with a quarterfinal matchup against either H.S. for Construction or Forest Hills in their quest to remain undefeated on the year.
2) St. Francis Prep (14-6)- When the season began not many could have pegged the Terriers to be among the best in New York City yet here we are. Friday saw the second installment of the season of the Battle of the Boulevard as St. Francis Prep went on the road this time to take on Holy Cross. Latiek Briscoe '22 had yet another clutch fourth quarter against the school just 2 miles away as he helped the Terriers overcome an early final stanza deficit to win their 7th in a row, 46-44. It won get much easier now for SFP as on Tuesday they will host Iona Prep, then it's another home game on Friday with Molloy, before going on the road on Saturday to take on Msgr. Scanlan.
3) St. Raymond (17-4)- Everything was looking great for the Ravens who while still among the best of the best in NYC fell for the first time in 11 games when on Sunday they lost on a buzzer beater on the road to Msgr. Scanlan 70-69. St. Raymond also had wins this week in blowout fashion over both Mount St. Michael and Iona Prep by 20+ points each, but the loss means the Ravens fall one spot this week. St. Ray's will look to get back on the winning track on Tuesday when they host Xaverian but another big game closes the week on Sunday when St. Raymond goes to Queens to take on a much improved Christ the King team.
4) South Shore (16-8)- Going on the road in the Brooklyn AA is never an easy task but the Vikings were able to squeak one out to close out regular season play this past Tuesday when South Shore got 18 points from Dontae Prescott '20 in what was a 66-63 win over Canarsie. The win ensured South Shore the #2 seed in the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs as they will next play on Tuesday in the quarterfinals against the winner of Monday's game between Bedford Academy and Eagle Academy III. A win there puts them in Thursday's semifinals with a Saturday title game appearance a definite possibility.
5) John Bowne (18-3)- While it was far from easy the Wildcats got just enough from lead guard Amadou Diallo '21 as he had 16 points, including 7 in the fourth quarter to help John Bowne close out the regular season on a good note with a 44-43 comeback victory on Tuesday over H.S. for Construction on the road. With just 3 overall defeats on the season, Bowne will enter the PSAL Queens Borough Playoffs as one of the team's no one wants to face as they will begin their run on Tuesday with a matchup between either Eagle Academy III or Epic South in the quarterfinals before the rest of the contests in borough play continue on Thursday and Saturday to determine a borough champion.
6) Cardinal Hayes (13-8)- A two game week meant two wins for the Cardinals this past week as they were able to pull away in the second half from Murry Bergtraum in a non-league contest to take a 74-57 victory before a strong CHSAA win came on Friday when Hayes was able to make quick work of Bishop Loughlin 68-49 as Shemani Fuller '20 was a massive force inside in both contests securing 29 and 24 points in the Cardinals two wins this past week. Coming up here this week will see Hayes with two home league games on Tuesday and Friday against Mount St. Michael and Iona Prep respectively.
7) Boys & Girls (17-6)- Hitting the road this past Tuesday were the Kangaroos as they went to Brooklyn Collegiate with the #1 seed in the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs on the line, and with Khalil Brantley '21 doing it again to the tune of 37 points including a game winning three at the buzzer it was Boys & Girls taking the 66-63 road win, and the top seed in the upcoming boroughs. Being the #1 seed means on Tuesday they will open the borough playoffs against the winner of Monday's game between Class B power Uncommon Charter and Abraham Lincoln, with Thursday and Saturday the dates for the semifinals and championship contests.
8) Christ the King (12-8)- From where the Royals were around a month ago to where they are now shows the work and dedication the coaching staff have put in as everyone has gotten better around the Christ the King program which helped them to 4 huge wins this past week over Msgr. Scanlan, Archbishop Stepinac, Archbishop Molloy, and Xaverian, none of which seemed remotely possibly just a few weeks ago. Ryan Myers '20 and Sterling Jones '21 have been leading the comeback in the backcourt as they will look to keep it going over the next seven days with with three more big games, Tuesday at Holy Cross, Thursday at Mount St. Michael, and then Sunday at home against a very good St. Raymond squad.
9) Xaverian (16-5)- If the Clippers just didn't have to play the teams from Queens they would be alright as 4 of their 5 losses this season have come from CHSAA opponents from Queens. Tuesday saw Xaverian go on the road to rake on Archbishop Molloy and fall 57-54, and then it was Christ the King on Sunday that did them in with a 52-48 defeat. Their 4 losses to Queens foes have come by a combined 9 points showing just how close Xaverian to being near perfection. This week will have Nick Folk '21 and company go to St. Raymond on Tuesday in a big one to watch, then it will be on the road at Bishop Loughlin on Friday before a home date on Sunday with Holy Cross.
10) Wings Academy (14-7)- Jose Cuello '20 led Wings with 17 points in their finish to the regular season on Wednesday in what would be a 54-44 win over JFK to clinch the #2 seed in the PSAL Bronx Borough Playoffs. Being the #1 seed will mean that Wings Academy will hit the court next on Tuesday with a game in the quarterfinals against either Harry Truman or Bronx H.S. of Science with those two meeting on Monday for the right to play Wings. Thursday will then be the semifinals with the Bronx title game to be decided on Saturday afternoon.
11) Eagle Academy (16-8)- Even though the Eagles had locked up the #1 seed in the PSAL Bronx Borough Playoffs before Tuesday's game with James Monroe they still wanted to make a statement to show they truly were the best heading into the postseason. That's exactly what Eagle Academy did as well as DaMarco Watson '20 put together another brilliant effort in the backcourt to lead his team to a dominating 85-62 win to send Eagle into the playoffs with confidence. As the #1 seed the Eagles will square off with either James Monroe again or Class B power Bathgate in the quarterfinals of the borough playoffs on Tuesday with the rest of the tournament to play out on Thursday and Saturday to crown a champion.
12) Msgr. Scanlan (11-10)- There was a time a couple weeks ago that the Crusaders were in what had to be looked at as a free for all as they had lost 7 in a row and their prospects the rest of the way were looking bleak to say the least. They slowly but surely started to turn things around though, and Sunday's 70-69 victory over St. Raymond was the proof that Scanlan will be a tough team to take on the rest of the way as Koby Brea '20 knocked down a 15 footer just before the final buzzer to give the Crusaders the win propelling them into our Top 15. This week here will see Scanlan hosting Stepinac in another big one on Tuesday before an even bigger one to come on Saturday at home against our #2 St. Francis Prep.
13) Thurgood Marshall Academy (15-7)- The Panthers had already clinched the #1 seed in the PSAL Manhattan Borough Playoffs but Tuesday was a chance for TMA to solidify themselves as the no doubt team to beat. They accomplished their goal as well as Kevin Dinkins '20 had 23 points as Thurgood Marshall overcame a 12 point halftime deficit on the road to take down WHEELS on Tuesday in dramatic fashion, 71-70. As the #1 seed in the borough playoffs the Panthers will open up in the quarterfinals on Tuesday by taking on the winner of a game between Class A teams Percy Sutton and Seward Park before hoping to roll the rest of the way to the championship.
14) WHEELS (15-9)- If you just judged things by how they were going at halftime everything was going great for WHEELS who were leading Thurgood Marshall Academy by 12 at the break in their final regular season game on Tuesday. Things eventually fell apart though for the Wolves in what would be a 71-70 defeat in their final game before the PSAL Manhattan Borough Playoffs. The Wolves are now the #2 seed in the borough playoffs and will get a game in the quarterfinals on Tuesday against either Louis Brandeis or Washington Irving with the semifinals set for Thursday, and a possible title game spot scheduled for Saturday.
15) Brooklyn Collegiate (15-9)- You can look at many of the Lions games in their past month and say what could've been as after Tuesday's 66-63 loss to end the regular season against Boys & Girls it will be Brooklyn Collegiate going into the postseason now having lost 8 of their last 10 as they looked for a long time as if they could've been the #1 seed, but now drop to the #3 spot. Tuesday will see them open their borough playoff run at home against a dangerous Canarsie team, with a possible road game in the semifinals on Thursday against South Shore set up for the right to move into Saturday's borough title game.
1) Benjamin Banneker (23-1)- The Warriors closed out PSAL play on Wednesday perfect as they were able to break open a close game at the half and run away to an 85-70 win behind a 24 point, 17 rebound effort inside from big man Tyler Gordon '20 as Banneker rolled through the Brooklyn A5 Division with ease which in turn helped them get the #4 seed in the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs, earning themselves a home game in the quarterfinals on Tuesday with perennial Class AA power Thomas Jefferson. A win there would put them in the semifinals against the #1 seed in Boys & Girls as the Warriors have to be dreaming of a special postseason run.
2) Msgr. Farrell (17-3)- Playing now in the SIHSL playoffs it was Justin Zieris '20 in the quarterfinals on Sunday that helped the Lions easily blow past Port Richmond by 20 in a game that saw the senior pour in 26 points to help lead the way for his team to make yet another semifinal appearance. The semifinals will be on Wednesday where Farrell will be going up against New Dorp, with a win there putting them in the SIHSL Championship to go up against either St. Peter's or Curtis before going back into CHSAA league play on Sunday with a home date against LaSalle awaiting them then.