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) St. Raymond (19-4)- It was a strong 2-0 week for the Ravens to catapult them back into the #1 spot. They easily dispatched of Xaverian at home on Tuesday 89-73, and then on Sunday went on the road and defeated Christ the King 75-66, with this being the first time in 10 years that St. Ray's has defeated the Royals in Middle Village. Monday will see the Ravens host their senior night when they take on the last team to beat them in Msgr. Scanlan before the CHSAA Archdiocese of New York playoffs get underway.
2) South Shore (19-8)- Going into the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs as the #2 seed it was the Vikings who came out on top as they found a tricky opponent in the semifinals on Thursday in Brooklyn Collegiate, though South Shore rallied for a 102-94 OT victory before cruising past Class A upstart Benjamin Banneker 97-61 in the title game on Saturday. Next up will be the PSAL Class AA City Playoffs which will get started in just about a weeks time.
3) John Bowne (22-3)- Even after losing twice during the regular season to Benjamin Cardozo it's the Wildcats who come out on top in the Queens Borough championship as the Judges were knocked out early allowing Bowne to take advantage as they rolled past Eagle Academy III, Francis Lewis, and Queens H.S. of Teaching each by 30+ points en route to claiming the title. Bowne will go this weekend to play in the LuHi Invitational with Friday seeing them open up with Albany Academy before getting a date with either Long Island Lutheran or Lehman on Saturday.
4) Cardinal Hayes (15-8)- Getting two wins this past week at home over Iona Prep and Mount St. Michael secured the #3 seed in the upcoming CHSAA Archdiocese of New York Tournament for the Cardinals but even more important than that was the return on Friday of Jalen Smith '20 to the Hayes lineup as the football star got hurt during the season on the gridiron but is now fully recovered and back on the hardwood as Hayes will face off on Tuesday in an intriguing battle with St. Francis Prep to end the regular season.
5) St. Francis Prep (16-7)- Finding ways to win has been the Terriers mindsets all season. That was displayed in spades on Friday night as St. Francis Prep was down 31-9 in the second quarter and were down 41-25 at the half before rallying on a last second three at the buzzer to defeat Archbishop Molloy 64-62. It was a fantastic ending for the Terriers who even with Sunday's loss to Msgr. Scanlan on the road wrapped up the #1 seed in the upcoming CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocese Tournament, though one regular season game at Cardinal Hayes on Tuesday is still to come.
6) Wings Academy (17-7)- When Wings started the season 1-2 it looked as if this was going to be another down year for the perennial Bronx power. They made sure that wasn't the case though as Wings came into the Bronx Borough Playoffs as the #2 seed but left as champions as paced by Jose Cuello it was Wings grinding out a defensive battle over their rivals from Eagle Academy in the title game on Saturday, winning 49-40. The win should have Wings as a high seed in the PSAL Class AA City Playoffs as they will get going in just over a week.
7) Benjamin Cardozo (24-1)- The issue all year when talking about the Judges was their lack of challenges out of league. Cardozo didn't play anyone of major note in the non-league and it came back to bite them a bit when the PSAL Queens Borough Playoffs began as in their opener Cardozo fell at home in the quarterfinals to H.S. for Construction 85-69 with the Red Hawks dominating the second half to run away with things as the Judges will now wait until Tuesday to find out their seed for the soon to begin PSAL Class AA City Playoffs.
8) Msgr. Scanlan (13-10)- There may be no more dangerous team right now in NYC than the Crusaders as in the past 10 days they have defeated St. Raymond, Archbishop Stepinac, and St. Francis Prep, with the latter two being dominating performances that Scanlan won by double digits. Koby Brea '20 did look to re-injure his ankle in Saturday's win over St. Francis Prep so if he is out for an extended period of time that would hurt the Crusaders chances moving forward, though they have one regular season game left at St. Raymond in a big one on Monday.
9) WHEELS (18-9)- Having lost both regular season matchup's to Thurgood Marshall, the Wolves got their revenge in the PSAL Manhattan Borough Championship as they were able to jump out to a quick lead and never trail the entire way in knocking off TMA 63-56 for the title. WHEELS also defeated a very good Murry Bergtraum team in the semifinals in come from behind fashion as they now look to be a very high seed in the upcoming PSAL Class AA City Playoffs.
10) Christ the King (14-9)- Earlier this season we would've laughed if you had said at this point of the season the Royals would've been a Top Ten team. They massively struggled to begin the season but have rebounded to be one of the better teams now in the CHSAA. Christ the King began this past week with wins over Holy Cross and Mount St. Michael but would end the week with a home defeat against St. Raymond 75-66 as they will now enter the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocese Tournament as the #3 seed and open with Bishop Loughlin on Monday the 24th.
11) Boys & Girls (18-7)- If there is an issue with the Kangaroos its that they at times rely too much on their junior star Khalil Brantley '21. He had 37 points in a tremendous PSAL Brooklyn Borough semifinals performance but it was in a 71-69 loss to Benjamin Banneker to end Boys & Girls's run as the #1 seed in that tournament. They will now await to hear what seed they get in the upcoming PSAL Class AA City Playoffs as the Kangaroos are still without question thought of as one of the best teams coming into the tournament.
12) Eagle Academy (18-9)- Eagle went in as the #1 seed in the PSAL Bronx Borough Playoffs and made quick work of their first two foes in that tournament when they knocked off both James Monroe and KIPP NYC College Prep. The Eagles split the regular season contests with their title game opponent and rivals in Wings Academy, though with DaMarco Watson '20 being held to a season low 11 points it was Eagle Academy not mustering up enough offense in a 49-40 loss with the Eagles now waiting to hear what their PSAL Class AA City Playoffs seed will be.
13) Thurgood Marshall Academy (17-8)- Much like Eagle Academy before them in our rankings, Thurgood Marshall were in position to really cement themselves as one of the best in NYC heading into the PSAL Manhattan Borough title game against WHEELS. They had defeated the Wolves both times during the regular season and a Saturday win for the third time could've had them in the conversation for the #1 seed in the PSAL Class AA City Playoffs. The Panthers never led though as they got off to a less than stellar start and would fall 63-56 as they now await to see what their City Championships seed will be.
14) Brooklyn Collegiate (16-10)- When the Lions were missing the services of guard Majesty Johnson '20 for most of January they were not competitive against the best the Brooklyn AA had to offer, but with him now back Brooklyn Collegiate looks back to normal as they knocked off Canarsie in the quarterfinals of the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs, and then nearly took down the eventual champs in South Shore on the road losing in OT, 102-94 in the semifinals. The PSAL Class AA City Playoffs are next where the Lions should be as dangerous as anyone.
15) Xaverian (17-7)- Just a few weeks back Xaverian was at the very top of our rankings and now here they are after two losses this past week, a 89-73 loss to St. Raymond and a 74-58 defeat to Holy Cross, just barely hanging on. They were looked at as one of the best defensive teams in the CHSAA for much of this season but now enter the postseason with a number of question marks to their name. The Clippers will begin the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocese Tournament as the #2 seed and won't play until Wednesday the 29th against either Christ the King or Bishop Loughlin.
1) Benjamin Banneker (25-2)- If anything this past week showed just how good and talented the Warriors truly are as they entered the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs with many wondering how they would do against the big boys from the Brooklyn AA. Wins over Thomas Jefferson and Boys & Girls on the road answered those questions quickly as Banneker won those first two to earn a Brooklyn Borough title game appearance against South Shore. The Warriors would lose their 97-61 but more than showed the type of team they are as Banneker are now the #1 seed in the PSAL Class A City Playoffs and are off now until the 28th of February.
2) Murry Bergtraum (21-5)- Going into the PSAL Manhattan Borough Playoffs there was a lot of thought that the Blazers could be a team to do serious damage. They win their quarterfinal with Graphics Campus 102-92 before going on the road to take on WHEELS in the semifinals. Bergtraum led nearly the whole way before letting the game get away from them down the stretch in what will be a tough for them to get over 91-88 semifinal loss to the Wolves. Bergtraum will now be off until the 28th when they begin their PSAL Class A City Championship road as the #2 seed behind only Banneker.