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Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020: Weekly New York City boys basketball update

   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:

Class AA

1) Benjamin Cardozo (19-0)- Remaining perfect on the season are the Judges who got a pair of wins in league play over Campus Magnet and Martin Van Buren this past week before going to the South Shore MLK Showcase on Saturday and leading from start to finish in a 55-43 victory over JFK of the Bronx. It's a two game week ahead for Cardozo as they will look to retain their top spot in the rankings with a league contest on Friday at H.S. for Construction before going out to Long Island for the Battle at the Bay on Sunday where they will face off with Section 1 school New Rochelle.

2) St. Raymond (11-3)- The clear top team this season in the CHSAA AA, the Ravens were able to dominate Iona Prep on the road to the tune of a 76-56 victory in their lone game of this past week as Luis Kortright '20 had 26 points to lead the way for St. Ray's in the win. Monday will see St. Raymond play host to Archbishop Molloy and then it's a Friday road date at Bishop Loughlin in a battle of two of the Catholic League's premier programs.

3) South Shore (13-6)- Two tough games this past week led to two tough wins for the Vikings who were able to squeak by Boys & Girls on the road on Tuesday 60-56, and then it was a Double OT 100-96 victory against Thomas Jefferson in a game that saw Dontae Prescott '20 score 17 points in clouding the game tying bucket at the first extra session to lead South Shore to the win. This week will see the Vikings play just one game in their South Shore MLK Showcase on Monday against one of the best in Massachusetts in Lynn English.

4) Boys & Girls (14-6)- Even with Khalil Brantley putting up a massive 32 points performance it was South Shore finding a way past the Kangaroos 60-56. Boys did rally after that on Thursday with a 75-71 win over Westinghouse, and then it was an 85-54 victory in their Frank Mickens Classic on Saturday over a Class A school in Forest Hills. There are no games coming up this week for the Kangaroos as many of the PSAL teams will be off for this regents week.

5) John Bowne (15-2)- Playing host to Queens H.S. of Teaching on Thursday saw the Wildcats get 13 points a piece from Tyshawn Trail '21 and Cherif Diarra '20 as Bowne took a 69-45 contest. Saturday then saw a trip to Brooklyn for the Wildcats where they eased past Monroe to make it a two win week for John Bowne. Friday will see them get back to action as after the regents exams it will be the Wildcats playing host to Springfield Gardens.

6) Xaverian (14-3)- For as good and talented a team as Xaverian is they sometimes are showing to have blips when they go on the road. Case in point is the Clippers comeback victory on Friday over Cardinal Hayes in a game that Shawn Fulcher '21 had 17 points in what was a 52-48 victory for Xaverian. Sunday then saw the Clippers go on the road to take on St. Francis Prep, and even after a late rally for Xaverian it was a 58-57 loss that gave them their third loss of the year. It's a one game week for Xaverian coming up with a big home date on Sunday afternoon to come against Stepinac.

7) Thurgood Marshall Academy (12-4)- Last week we had the Panthers will 5 losses which was inaccurate as it was actually just 4 defeats on the season for TMA who would play just one game this past week, a road victory over a solid Manhattan Center team on Tuesday 63-53 as it was a 16 point effort from Kevin Dinkins '20 to pace the Panthers. Thurgood Marshall will be going to Queens to play in the Gotham Hoops Classic on Sunday where it will be a matchup with one of Long Island's best against Baldwin.

8) WHEELS (13-7)- One of the craziest teams to understand are the Wolves who week in and week out prove themselves to be able to compete against high level teams as they got another big road league win on Thursday over JFK 48-47, but even with wins on the season over Brooklyn Collegiate and John Bowne it was a tough end to the week with WHEELS losing to George Westinghouse on Sunday at the South Shore MLK Showcase. With the regents scheduled for this week it will be a week off coming up for the Wolves who will stay in the gym looking to get back to the winning ways.

9) Cardinal Hayes (8-6)- Another close call for the Cardinals saw them come up just short on the road on Friday when they hit the road to take on Xaverian. Shemani Fuller '20 had 18 points for Hayes as they led after three but couldn't close the game out late with the Cardinals losing 52-48. Monday will see Hayes hit the road again against Msgr. Scanlan, with the road warriors keeping it going on Friday with a trip to Westchester to take on Stepinac, one of the state's best.

10) St. Francis Prep (9-6)- The Prep was able to hang close on Tuesday afternoon with Archbishop Stepinac, trailing by just 6 heading to the fourth quarter before eventually falling 68-55, and whole they came close before falling short on Tuesday it was a 58-57 win on Sunday at home over Xaverian in a game where Chance Morrish '22 led the way in the win that keeps the Terriers near the top of the standings in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocese. The Battle of the Boulevard is coming up on Friday with St. Francis Prep hosting Holy Cross before a Saturday game at the Tom Crotty Classic out of league against Holy Trinity.


11) Eagle Academy (14-5)- For the favorites in the Bronx AA it was a fairly easy week of play as DaMarco Watson '20 had 41 points, which isn't even a season high for him, to lead the Eagles past JFK on Tuesday 80-65. A matchup with Wadleigh was next on Thursday but that game was a forfeit win for the Bronx power. Sunday was a star matchup against Brooklyn Collegiate, with Watson again showing his skills in the backcourt to pick up the victory. The Battle of the Eagle's is next as on Monday Eagle will play Eagle Academy II in a non-league contest before getting Mount St. Michael on Saturday at Stevenson in the Bronx Showcase.

12) Holy Cross (7-7)- After losing by 26 the first time the two teams met it was a much different result on Friday when the Knights went on the road to take on Archbishop Molloy as Tyler Chapman '20 went for 19 points as Holy Cross took down the Stanners 73-66. Going along with wins over Xaverian and Christ the King this season it's looking like a year where the Knights could make a good amount of noise playoff time. Monday will see Holy Cross host Adlai Stevenson in the non-league before a Friday road tilt against their main rivals on the road at St. Francis Prep.

13) Brooklyn Collegiate (13-4)- A shorthanded Lions team playing all week without floor general Majesty Johnson '20 meant 3 losses as Brooklyn Collegiate fell to Canarsie, Eagle Academy II, and Eagle Academy. Amahrie Simpkins '20 led the Lions in scoring in all three games for Brooklyn Collegiate who have hit their first dry spell of the season and drop nearly 10 spots in the rankings. Two out of area teams await the Lions this coming week as on Saturday it's a trip to NJ to take on Gill St. Bernard's before heading even further south on Sunday to face off with Archbishop Wood of Pennsylvania.

14) Archbishop Molloy (10-5)- Starting out the week strong were the Stanners who knocked off Mount St. Michael with ease 73-51 as Christian Bliss '23, one of the best freshmen in New York, had 21 points. A home game against Holy Cross on Friday though tripped up Molloy as they struggled on the defensive end to the tune of a 73-66 loss to the Knights. A trip to the Bronx on Monday will be next as Molloy will take on St. Raymond then before another road game on Friday with Christ the King before hosting Iona Prep to finish the week out on Sunday.

15) Canarsie (9-8)- Don't look at the amount of losses the Chiefs had one of the tougher teams in the PSAL this season as proven by their 77-66 victory on Thursday over Brooklyn Collegiate. A'Mag Tate '20 and Alpha Bah '21 each had 27 points for Canarsie in the win that propels them now back into the rankings as they now take a week off to focus on their work in the classroom with regents week here before getting back to PSAL play in just over a week where they again will look to put teams in the league on notice.

Class A

1) Benjamin Banneker (18-1)- Getting three wins on the week wasn't easy for the Warriors who opened up with a tough 76-74 road win over Susan McKinney as Tyler Gordon '20 had a strong double-double down low with 24 points and 15 rebounds to help control the paint and allow Banneker to the win. Two more wins over automotive and Midwood followed for Banneker who will next be on the court on Friday at home when they take on a very talented and tough Erasmus Hall team.

2) Msgr. Farrell (13-2)- It was rivalry Friday on Staten Island this past week with the Lions hosting St. Joseph by the Sea in a game that sold out the Lions Den. Justin Zieris '20 would break open a tight game in the second half as he had

23 points to pace all scorers as Farrell knocked off Sea 70-53. It was a slower week last week but these next seven days will see the Lions playing host to a very good Xavier team on Monday before a road date in another Staten Island clash on Friday with AA school St. Peter's.

3) Xavier (11-2)- Winners now of 9 in a row are the Knights who won a pair of games this week over All Hallows at home 65-46 on Tuesday and then it was a 61-50 road victory over Cardinal Spellman in the Bronx. Blair Thompson '21 has asserted himself as one of the top talents in Class A this season with another season to go as Xavier will look to keep their winning run going on Monday in one of the top Class A matchup's of the year against Msgr. Farrell on the road. Friday will see Xavier go to Regis in a big Manhattan rivalry game before a game on Saturday against Dalton finishes out a busy week of action.

4) Murry Bergtraum (15-2)- While their big game with Seward Park was postponed for now it was still a two win week with Dior Davis '21 securing triple doubles in both games as the Blazers took down Eleanor Roosevelt and Stuyvesant 101-65 and 89-53 respectively. A road contest will be next up for Bergtraum as they will go up against Bayard Rustin in a game that could be one of the last true tests of the regular season for a Blazers team with a lot of postseason aspirations.

5) Beacon (21-1)- The first team to the 20 win plateau this season in New York City are the Blue Demons who were able to win their big Manhattan A Northwest matchup on Tuesday against Graphics Campus 66-61 as Fauzi Cismesjia-Ulmer '20 had 18 points to pace Beacon. A blowout win in league over Environmental Studies followed that on Friday, and a non-league victory over Lehman by 3 enabled the Blue Demons to continue pushing their way up the Class A rankings. Just one game on the slate this week for Beacon when on Saturday they play host to Class B power Fannie Lou Hamer in another non-league clash.

6) Bedford Academy (16-3)- In the lone game of last week for Bedford it was a convincing and easy performance with Carson Small '20 securing another double-double for the Panthers as he had 12 points and 15 rebounds Ina 94-49 victory for Bedford. 6 Panthers were in double figures scoring in the win with Bedford now going into a two game week with a road game at Telecommunication up first on Friday before a home date with their big Brooklyn A6 rivals in Brooklyn Law & Tech coming up on Saturday afternoon.

7) St. Edmund Prep (10-4)- After losing three of four games the Eagles responded with a very strong couple of games last week as they would defeat a pair of Staten Island foes, knocking off St. Joseph by the Sea 73-36 at home on Tuesday before easily taking down Moore Catholic on Friday 80-55. Both wins were led by the play of Shemar Latty '20 who had 24 and 22 points in the two St. Edmund games. Tuesday will be the Eagles next game action when they host Fordham Prep before another home game on Sunday against Msgr. McClancy finishes the week.

8) Graphics Campus (18-2)- Having lost earlier this season to Beacon it was the 49ers chance for revenge this past Tuesday when they went to play the Blue Demons. It was a very similar performance from the first time around with Graphics hanging around most of the way but were never able to overcome an early deficit in a 66-61 loss. They did rebound well after that with double digit wins over West 50th Street and Frederick Douglass Academy and still looking to be a force the rest of the way though they will be off this coming week due to regents exams.

9) KIPP NYC College Prep (17-3)- Going out of league last weekend to lose to our #1 Banneker team, KIPP rebounded nicely on Monday and Wednesday as they knocked off both Morris and Grace Dodge in league play with Damir Brooks '20 scoring 18 points in both wins to lead the way for the Bulldogs. Friday will be the lone time this week when KIPP NYC College Prep hits the hardwood when they go on the road in Bronx A Central play to take on Alfred E. Smith.

10) Transit Tech (17-3)- Entering the Top Ten in Class A for the first time this season are the Express who are being led this season by one of NYC's top scorers in Jeremy Moranta '20. Getting wins this week over Frank Macchiarola, Lafayette, and Wingate helped propel Transit to the victory as Moranta's big game of the week came against Wingate on Friday where he scored a season high 46 points. There are no games this coming week for Transit who will look to continue their strong push toward the playoffs.

Class B

1) Uncommon Charter (16-2)- Defeating Teachers Prep and All City Leadership this week by a combined 68 points, Uncommon got 26 and 21 points in the two games from Ahzariah Douglas '20. They did go to New Jersey on Friday to play one of the Garden State's best teams in an unbeaten Watchung Hills where the Sabers lost for just the second time on the season, but playing such a strong level of competition means they stay in the top spot this week.

2) Summit Academy (16-4)- Continuing on their track to the top of Class B, the Eagles took down Brooklyn Collaborative on Monday 102-55 as Jeremiah Hewitt '20 had a career night with 32 points and 22 rebounds for Summit. Wednesday saw another easy win over BCAM to close out the week as the Eagles soar to near the top of the rankings as they are now winners of 9 in a row, and 11 of their last 12. With regents this week Summit will be off, coming back again next on the 29th.

3) Poly Prep (10-3)- Starting the week off on the wrong note were the Blue Devils who went to Manhattan on Monday and fell 62-60 on Monday. We didn't penalize Poly Prep too much though because they responded with a road win over Horace Mann as Max Ragusa '22 scored the game winner for the Blue Devils, and then on Saturday at the South Shore MLK Showcase it was Poly getting 18 points from Nasir Muhammed '23 to help them to a come from behind 58-56 victory over St. Mary's of Long Island. Wednesday will next year see the Blue Devils taking on Fieldston at home before a contest against Riverdale on Saturday, and a date at the Msgr. Scanlan Classic on Sunday.

4) Academy of American Studies (13-1)- Even though last week we had American Studies for two losses we were advised it was just one on the season to date for the Eagles. It was a comfortable pair of victories this past week for them as American Studies easily downed Energy Tech on Tuesday 84-53 before blowing past Renaissance on Thursday 65-36. Amit Singh '20 had double-doubles in each game for the Eagles with a 29 points, 17 rebound effort coming in the Thursday win. American Studies will be off this coming week, facing off next with Frank Sinatra School of the Arts on the 28th.

5) Riverdale (11-2)- Taking on Trinity, Hackley, and Regis this week meant three challenges, but it also meant three wins as Reid Slott '20 led the Falcons in scoring in two of the three games this week to help push Riverdale to the #5 spot in our Class B Top Ten. Upcoming this week for the Falcons will be a tricky Wednesday home contest against Collegiate School, then it's a Friday home game against Fieldston, before one of the bigger Class B games of the season against Poly Prep at home on Saturday night.

6) Maspeth (14-3)- The rivals to Academy of American Studies in the PSAL Queens B West Division, the Argonauts won't face the Eagles again until early-February and are in cruise control it seems until then with two blowout league wins over Baccalaureate School for Global Education and Newcomers in league play, but then it was a 20 point game for Maximllian Egner '20 on Saturday in a close call against Pace in the non-league with Maspeth holding on for a 38-36 win. Thursday will see Maspeth stay in the non-league when they host Community Health Academy of the Heights.

7) Brooklyn College Academy (15-3)- Losing to Medgar Evers was a bad way to start the week for the Bobcats, but with a couple of tough games to come after that BCA responded extremely well with a 63-60 victory over East New York Family Academy in a game that saw Deon McLaughlin '20 score 31 in the win, and then it was a 60-56 non-league win against South Bronx Prep in the James Monroe MLK Showcase on Saturday. A road game against CHSAA A Division school Nazareth is coming up on Thursday in the Bobcats lone game of this week.

8) Achievement First (14-4)- After taking down William Maxwell with ease on Tuesday 91-32 it was a much tougher end to the week for Achievement First when they went to Juan Morel Campos on Thursday. They were trailing by 6 at the half but rallied down the stretch as Emmanuel Smith '20 had 21 points and 16 rebounds to help Achievement come back for a 73-68 win. No games this coming week for the Brooklyn B East team who will next play on the 28th against a goo Spring Creek Campus team.

9) South Bronx Prep (14-3)- With do it all guard Steven Turner '21 leading the way for the Cougars they good a pair of strong offensive outings overall in a 91-67 win over Bronx Early College Academy, and then it was a 78-68 road win at Jane Addams with Turner going with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in the winning performance. It's one game coming up for South Bronx Prep this week when on Saturday they go to Queens to play in the Gotham Hoops Classic against a Long Island Class B power in Center Moriches.

10) Fannie Lou Hamer (17-2)- Congratulations are in order for Panthers coach Marc Skelton who on Thursday won his 300th career game in Fannie Lou's 92-52 win over Hyde Leadership with senior Anthony Rose '20 going for 28 points and 13 rebounds in the win. Now winners of 6 in a row, the Panthers will look to keep the good play going in the non-league this week when they play their only game on the road on Saturday against a Beacon team that are among the best in Class A this season.

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