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- Cardinal Hayes (6-0)- Like nearly every team in the New York City rankings, the Cardinals saw a game postponed this past week when their matchup with Mount St. Michael was put on hold for another day. Hayes are now nationally ranked by nearly every media organization which says a ton about the group that the Cardinals have led by Ian Jackson ‘24. Many teams are having the same issue again keeping games on the calendar because of COVID but for now Cardinal Hayes will head to Queens on Wednesday for a marquee CHSAA league battle with Christ the King.
2- Christ the King (4-1)- It was a planned week off for the Royals who didn't lose any games last week to COVID and will look to get back into a groove this week when they take on or #1 Cardinal Hayes in an early season game of the year matchup. Christ the King doesn't have a ton of experience in the big games yet with a young core of players such as Brandon Williams and Markell Alston, but make no mistake about it, the talent is there for the Royals to be back at the top of the CHSAA this season.
3- St. Francis Prep (5-1)- The Terriers went down to Florida to participate in the Kreul Classic and came home with the championship trophy, even though St. Francis Prep did bring home their first lose of the year. It started with a nice win over Mater Dei of California, blowing out the West Coast power 80-45. The next contest saw SFP fall to one of Florida's best in Westminster Academy 73-63, but because of tiebreakers the Terriers did bring home the Kreul Classic title back to Queens. A supposed home game with Holy Trinity on Monday was postponed so it will be a week off here for one of the CHSAA's favorites.
4- South Shore (7-2)- In a competitive PSAL this season you have to at the very least consider Max Ragusa and the rest of the Vikings the slight favorites for the Class AA title. hey had a couple games postponed last week due to the ongoing COVID pandemic and are hoping to get back on the court this week when they partake in the Hoopin to the New Year Invitational being hosted by Brooklyn Collegiate. South Shore on Wednesday would open up the two day event with Curtis before getting a matchup with John Bowne on Thursday in what would be a pair of very intriguing games if they come off.
5- Mount St. Michael (4-0)- It was suppose to be a big one last Wednesday when the Mount took on Cardinal Hayes in a major CHSAA Bronx rivalry battle but COVID had other idea forcing this one to be postponed until a later date. Things would get worse for the Mountaineers as Noah Best and the rest of the Mount team will now be sidelined this week coming up here as well as the Josh Palmer Fund Elmira Holiday Inn Classic, the Mountaineers next stop, was cancelled meaning another week off for the CHSAA squad.
6- Brooklyn Collegiate (4-2)- Another team to watch in the PSAL that found it tough to get on the court last week were the Lions. They have the talent to compete against anyone with Zaquan Jones and Trey Skeete leading the way and they hope after nearly two weeks off to play again in the Hoopin to the New Year Invitational that Brooklyn Collegiate are hosting. On Wednesday the Lions are scheduled to take on Eagle Academy, and then on Thursday its a date with James Monroe as Brooklyn Collegiate looks to get past a couple of Bronx powers this week.
7- Susan Wagner (11-0)- It's been quite the breakout season for Wagner who have long been considered a middle of the pack team on Staten Island in the PSAL. They made a statement over a week ago with their double digit win on the road at Curtis behind the play of Xavier Barrow but weren't able to follow up on that as the Falcons have, like many others, had games postponed due to COVID. They are off here this coming week as well as games are few and far between it seems.
8- Forest Hills (7-0)- Another one of the bigger stories of the early season have been the Rangers who were a Class A team the past few years but have started the 2021-2022 campaign undefeated which includes a road win at John Bowne. Forest Hills did have games this past week against both Benjamin Cardozo and Francis Lewis postponed due to COVID, and the Transit Tech Christmas Classic was postponed for this week meaning another week of no games coming up here for a Rangers team raring and ready to go.
9- St. Raymond (2-2)- With the young Ravens who losses coming to our #1 and #2 teams in the NYC rankings the fact remains that St. Ray's has already played some of the very best, and that kind of experience will only help a team who rely and start two freshmen in Brandon Stores Jr. and Tai Turnage. After a week off last week St. Raymond will hopefully be heading to Miami, Florida to play in the Junior Orange Bowl Classic where on Tuesday they would open up the tournament with Southridge of Florida with the Ravens hoping to bring the trophy home to the Bronx.
10- Curtis (7-1)- One of the toughest things to do is to lose and then have to go an extended period of time without hitting the court. That's the pain that the Warriors are currently feeling as they have had three games wiped out due to COVID since losing to Susan Wagner already over a week ago. Qadir Martin and the rest of the Curtis squad are more than ready to get back on the floor which is why they are hoping the Hoopin to the New Year Invitational goes off because of Wednesday they are scheduled to take on South Shore, with another old one awaiting them on Thursday against Eagle Academy II.
11- Archbishop Molloy (3-1)- Since falling to Fordham Prep over a week ago it's been a lot of waiting and hoping to play as the Stanners are looking to get back in the win column. That chance wont come soon enough though as their trip to the Southern Tier Region to play in the Josh Palmer Fund Elmira Holiday Inn Classic is off a the tournament was called off due to COVID concerns meaning Chase Robinson and the rest of Molloy's group wont be on the court again until 2022.
12- Xaverian (2-3)- The trend continues here of teams who lost their last game before what has been a COVID outbreak forcing multiple games all over to be postponed. Led by Nico Pena it was looking like post-Christmas would mean a trip to Washington D.C. and the Governor's Challenge where the Clippers were due to take on Lake Norman of North Carolina and Msgr. Bonner from Pennsylvania. Again though COVID issues have cancelled that tournament meaning an even longer break for Xaverian.
13- John Bowne (7-3)- Already having showcased themselves to be one of the best in the PSAL in Queens this season, Raesean Greer and the rest of the Wildcats are hoping to this week show themselves to be among the best the PSAL has to offer as a whole. If the tournament goes off it will be Bowne playing in the Hoopin to the New Year Invitational where they will get a pair of Brooklyn powers with Eagle Academy II waiting on Wednesday, and then it would be South Shore on Thursday at the tournament being held at Brooklyn Collegiate this year.
14- Francis Lewis (4-2)- A team that is on the move up since knocking off Benjamin Cardozo ten days ago, the Patriots may not have a go to star player but what they do have is talent and depth, and when you put those two things together good things can happen. Francis Lewis are currently tied for first place in the PSAL Queens AA Division and will look to continue their solid play when they step out of league play to host Adlai Stevenson, a first year AA team from the Bronx, on Thursday.
15- Benjamin Cardozo (7-2)- Even with a pair of losses on the season, including one in league play, it's still an expectation moving forward throughout the season that the Judges are near the top of the PSAL. Ryan Hudson, Cardozo' go to scorer who transferred in for his senior season from Holy Cross, is now healthy after missing a couple weeks, and with an array of other scoring options across the board, it will be intriguing to see how good Ron Naclerio's team can be when they get back to play in 2022.
16- Wings Academy (6-2)- Our final team in the rankings here is the Bronx favorites in the PSAL as they have a lot of new faces this season, but with Billy Turnage at the helm there is a winning mentality built in to putting on the Wings Academy uniform. The past 10 days has seen a pair of games lost to COVID postponements but when the Wings get back onto the court come the first week of January you can expect to see dominating play against the Bronx AA, and a chance to complete against anyone overall that the PSAL has to offer.
Bishop Loughlin (3-4)
Eagle Academy II (4-2)
Eagle Academy III (4-2)
Msgr. Scanlan (2-1)
Thomas Jefferson (3-3)
1- Msgr. Farrell (5-1)- It may never be pretty the way the Lions play but boy are they the definition of successful. They nearly knocked off Archbishop Molloy on the road, losing in Queens by 5 to the Stanners in their lone loss of the year, while dominating the rest of their competition so far, including a AA win over St. Peter's. Msgr. Farrell will make a trip to Orlando, Florida this week to play in the KSA Holiday Classic taking on Tate of Florida in their opener before more challenges come after that.
2- Transit Tech (9-1)- In a prove it of sorts game, a rare game to be played this past week, the Express got 16 each from Troy Graham and David Ellington in what would be a blowout 76-48 win for Transit Tech over a previously ranked Benjamin Banneker. That win solidified the Express as a favorite for the PSAL A crown this year for sure, and while they were scheduled for three tough games in the Express Holiday Classic coming up this week, COVID had other ideas meaning this will be an off week for Transit Tech.
3- Murry Bergtraum (7-1)- Dominating the Manhattan A Division to the tune of winning games by an average of 60 points, Donnell Campbell and the Blazers look to be a team on a mission early on this season. Bergtraum did have two games postponed due to COVID last week, including the big one against Bayard Rustin, but even with the time off it just means waiting a little bit longer to see the Blazers do their thing and put the PSAL on continued notice.
4- Fordham Prep (5-2)- Paced by Omari Ward who is showcasing himself to be one of the more underrated and under-appreciated players in New York City, the Rams have become a power in the CHSAA A Division, stepping out of league play and knocking off Archbishop Molloy to really put everyone in NYC on notice of what Fordham Prep can do. This week will see the Rams participating in the Albertus Magnus Holiday Tournament where on Tuesday they will open with Pine Bush of Section 9 before possibly getting a shot against the host team on Wednesday with a win.
5- Paul Robeson (10-0)- The Eagles kept up their fine play last week with blowout victories over both John Dewey and Tilden as they are comfortably in control of the Brooklyn A1 Division in the PSAL. Anthony Williams paced the way in both games for Robeson who hope to play on Tuesday in an interesting road non-league contest on Staten Island against McKee/Staten Island Tech.