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Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022: 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

2- Christ the King (4-1)- Our #2 ranked team was supposed to take on our #1 Cardinal Hayes team this past week in a game that eventually got postponed due to COVID. The Royals have talent across the floor with Dwayne Pierce and Brandon Williams leading the way for a young Christ the King team that should be near the top of the CHSAA for years to come. Tuesday will see Christ the King back on the court in a home league contest against Iona Prep before going on the road on Friday for a rivalry matchup with Archbishop Molloy. Sunday will then see the Royals go out of league when they play in the Gary Charles Tip of the Hat Classic against Long Island power Holy Trinity.

3- St. Francis Prep (5-1)- Nearly everyone in the NYC has lost games because of the COVID-19 situation with the Terriers being no exception as after coming back from a tournament win in Florida, St. Francis Prep had their non-league game with Holy Trinity last Monday called off. Latiek Briscoe and Josh Pascarelli are leading the charge for the Terriers who will get back on the court this Tuesday with a home game against Msgr. Scanlan in SFP's lone game of this coming week.

4- South Shore (7-2)- In the rough and tough PSAL Brooklyn AA it's South Shore who early on this season are perfect in league play as they look to continues their dominance in New York City. Max Ragusa runs the show for the Vikings who were off this past week while Kyrone Alexander and Nivek Borden are controlling things inside for a balanced and solid all around South Shore team. A road game at Boys & Girls opens 2022 up on Tuesday for the Vikings before a big home date on Thursday with Brooklyn Collegiate.

5- Mount St. Michael (4-0)- Still one of the more underrated teams in New York City by many, the Mountaineers didn't get a chance to showcase what they could do at the Josh Palmer Fund Elmira Holiday Inn Classic last week as the Binghamton area tournament was canceled this year because of the COVID situation. Led by Noah Best, Mount St. Michael are ready to get back out and show the Empire State that they are contenders for a CHSAA title. Tuesday will see them back in business on the road at St. Raymond, before playing in the Shooting Stars Showcase this Saturday again a perennial Long Island power Brentwood.

6- Brooklyn Collegiate (4-2)- A rare team that did have games over the past week, Brooklyn Collegiate hosted the Hoopin to the New Year Invitational with the Lions playing a pair of Bronx teams over the two day event, Eagle Academy and James Monroe. Both were games that came down to the wire, but led by Zaquan Jones it was the Lions pulling out a pair as they defeated Eagle 80-78, and James Monroe 75-72. The balance and depth of Brooklyn Collegiate was fully on display as well as the Lions will look to keep the good vibes going when they host Canarsie on Tuesday before going to South Shore for a big PSAL Brooklyn AA battle on Thursday. The week will finish up after that on Saturday with a home non-league game with Queens H.S. of Teaching.

7- Susan Wagner (11-0)- Paced by Xavier Barrow and Mekhi Jackson it looks like it will be the Falcons leading the charge on Staten Island this season. Wagner has already knocked off Curtis on the road and have quality non-league wins to the tally this season as well. They have been off over the Christmas break but the Falcons will get back to action here on Monday when they go to New Dorp, and then it will be another road contest to finish the week when Wagner goes to CSI/McCown on Friday.

8- Forest Hills (7-0)- The best this early season in the PSAL Queens AA, the Rangers had a couple of solid games planned over the break last week at the Transit Tech Holiday Tournament, though COVID ended those games before they could take place. Perfect on the season to date led by Brandon Sun in the backcourt, Forest Hills will get back to league play on Thursday when they go to Springfield Gardens before playing in the New Year's Jamboree event on Saturday against Eagle Academy from the Bronx.

9- St. Raymond (2-2)- Heading down to Miami, Florida last week were the Ravens who went 2-1 and took home the 3rd Place Trophy at the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl Classic. Brandon Stores Jr. led St. Raymond in scoring in all three games as the Ravens took wins over Southridge (FL) and Miami Palmetto (FL), losing in between to Lakota East of Ohio in a game that was tied with three minutes to go. Tuesday will see St. Raymond back in action against Mount St. Michael at home in CHSAA league play, but then its a pair of non-leagues over the weekend as St Ray's will take on Windsor of Connecticut at the Shooting Stars Showcase on Saturday before closing the week out on Sunday at the Tip of the Hat Classic against Chaminade out of Long Island.

10- Curtis (7-1)- With their lone loss coming at the hands of Susan Wagner over three weeks it's time for the Warriors to finally get back to action as Qadir Martin and the rest of the Curtis squad have not played since that defeat because of COVID protocols. It's finally time for Curtis to get back to play as it will be a three game road trip in league play as on Monday they will go on the road to take on Petrides, then it's a trip to New Dorp on Wednesday, before going to Port Richmond on Friday. Things won't end there though as on Sunday the Warriors will square up against Eagle Academy III of Queens in the New Year's Jamboree.

11- Archbishop Molloy (3-1)- Much like Mount St. Michael, the Stanners lost their opportunity to showcase themselves over the Christmas break when the Josh Palmer Fund Elmira Holiday Inn Classic was cancelled for the year over COVID concerns. Malachi MacMillan will look to have Molloy getting back to their winning ways come Tuesday when they go on the road to take on our #1 Cardinal Hayes though it wont get much easier after that with a home game against our #2 Christ the King awaiting after that on Saturday before game on Saturday at the Shooting Stars Showcase closes the week out.


12- Xaverian (2-3)- A trip to Washington D.C. and the Governors Challenge was cancelled because of COVID meaning three good games were taken off the schedule for the Clippers who have gotten great leadership on the ball so far this season from Aaron Goldstein. Xaverian has lost all three games so far this season by single digits and they will look to get on the winning path this week when they go to Archbishop Stepinac on Tuesday. Friday will see a non-league game against St. Peter's on Staten Island for the Clippers, and then it will be a matchup against Notre Dame of Connecticut on Saturday at the New Year's Jamboree, before closing out a busy week on Sunday at the Prudential Center in New Jersey against Mater Dei of NJ in the New Year's Hoop Fest.

13- John Bowne (7-3)- It was scheduled to be a pair of tough games, including a date with South Shore, at the Hoopin to the New Year Invitational for Bowne. COVID protocols ended up scrapping the Wildcats pair of games meaning they like many others were off this past week during Christmas. Tough PSAL Queens AA action will await the Wildcats this week as Bowne gets back to league play on Tuesday when they host Francis Lewis before going to August Martin on Thursday. The New Year's Jamboree will close the week out for Christopher Judge and the John Bowne team on Saturday when they take on James Monroe.

14- Francis Lewis (4-2)- They may not field a team of marquee well known names around New York City, but the Patriots are continuing to get the job done as led by Kelvyn Sanchez inside its been Francis Lewis who have gotten some pretty big wins under their belt so far this season. They have a victory over Benjamin Cardozo already under their belts and will look for more this coming week when on Tuesday the Patriots go to John Bowne, before the week culminates on Thursday with a home date against another longtime Queens AA power in H.S. for Construction.

15- Benjamin Cardozo (7-2)- Ever since getting Ryan Hudson back from injury the Judges look like a team no one wants to face off with as they go 18 from their senior guard in what was a 74-33 win over Samuel Gompers at the Ballin4Peace Holiday Classic this past Thursday. A pair of home league games will take place during the week with Tuesday seeing Queens H.S. for Teaching come in, and then on Thursday it will be a visit from Eagle Academy III. The week will end then on Saturday with a game at the New Year's Jamboree against tough Brooklyn AA school Canarsie.

16- Wings Academy (6-2)- A team with a lot of upside and potential would be Wings who are out in front in the PSAL Bronx AA early on this season behind the play of Mohamed Kante who has been a dominant scorer around the rim so far. Wings was off during the Christmas break and will now be returning to the court on Tuesday at Samuel Gompers. Saturday will see Wings step back out of league play to go take on Boys & Girls on the road, and then Sunday it will be a New Year's Jamboree game against H.S. for Construction out of Queens.

Bishop Loughlin (3-4)
Eagle Academy (7-4)
Eagle Academy II (4-2)
Eagle Academy III (4-2)
Msgr. Scanlan (5-1)

Class A

1- Transit Tech (9-1)- A busy week turned into a slow week for the Express, out new NYC #1 team. Transit was supposed to host the Express Holiday Tournament last week though like many other games those were taken off the schedule de to COVID. Troy Graham is averaging a double-double on the year for Transit Tech who will get back to action this week on Tuesday when they go to Bushwick Campus. That won't be it though as on Thursday the Express will host Grand Street Campus before hitting the road again on Friday to take on Brooklyn Tech.

2- Msgr. Farrell (7-2)- One of the few teams who got to hit the court over the Christmas break, the Lions went down to Orlando, Florida to play in the KSA Holiday Tournament. They came back with the 3rd Place Trophy beating Tate out of Florida and Barren County of Kentucky, losing only in the semifinals by 7 to eventual champions Bentonville from Arkansas. In Farrell's lone game this coming week it will be a home date on Monday with another Class A up and comer in St. Edmund's Prep as Matt Hanley and the Lions will look to stay perfect in league play.

3- Murry Bergtraum (7-1)- As one of the more potent offensive teams you will see in NYC, the Blazers are nearly averaging 100 points per game in PSAL Manhattan A1 play behind Donnell Campbell. A pair of home games open league play back up here this week for Bergtraum as they will host Washington Irving on Monday and Eleanor Roosevelt on Tuesday before hitting the road on Thursday at Hunter College High School.

4- Fordham Prep (7-2)- After showing what they could do by knocking off ranked AA school Archbishop Molloy, over Christmas it was Fordham Prep continuing to show what they could do as they went up to Westchester County and won the Richard McNichol Christmas Tournament at Albertus Magnus. Charlie O'Sullivan had 29 points in the title game win over the hosts, while also being a key cog in the Rams 57-53 semifinal win in OT over another AA school in Pine Bush out of Section 9. A good one between two ranked teams is next for Fordham Prep as they host Nazareth on Tuesday before then hosting Cardinal Spellman on Friday in what is a two game week for the Rams.

5- Paul Robeson (10-0)- Undefeated on the season including a AA win over August Martin just before the Christmas break, the Eagles have been led in part of the play of Kentrell Evans who has been a tough force both inside and outside for Robeson so far. Wednesday will see one of the Eagles' first real league challenges when they go on the road to Fort Hamilton before a Friday home game with Sunset Park. Non-league action will finish the week out for the Eagles when on Saturday they go to Manhattan to take on Thurgood Marshall Academy in another AA test.

6- LaSalle Academy (4-0)- It was suppose to be LaSalle heading to the Syracuse region over Christmas where they were set to play in the Manny Leone Christmas Classic at CBA Syracuse. COVID though had other ideas, keeping the Cardinals from taking the court. Carlos Lorenzo and the rest of LaSalle are itching to hit the court again and keep their undefeated record in tact as it will Thursday when they go to Salesian that they will take to action. It wont end there though as on Saturday LaSalle will be back at it on the road at Nazareth in a ranked battle before finishing the week out on Sunday with a home date versus Cardinal Spellman.

7- KIPP NYC College Prep (6-0)- December 13th, that's the last time Zahir Caldwell and the rest of the Bulldogs have taken the floor. It's been far too long for their desires meaning when they get out there again finally on Monday at Grace Dodge you can expect a primed and ready to go group from KIPP waning to make a big statement. Wednesday is the big one for the week though when they host Lehman in a big ranked battle with major implications for the rankings here in one weeks time.

8- William Grady (6-1)- We are still awaiting a number of results from Grady that have yet to be posted. Results from games from the 17th and 20th of December seem to be MIA as head coach Karl Sanders continues not to update things for public consumption on the Falcons side. We know they have a very talented team this year led by Mosi Clayton, we just hope things can be updated this week when Grady takes on Frank Macchiarola on Wednesday at home in the Falcons only game of this week.

9- Nazareth (2-0)- Sometimes a loss isn't a terrible loss which is exactly the type of result that happened for the Kingsmen this past week. A game with Holy Cross was canceled because of COVID issues within the Queens AA school's program so a late minute replacement was an even better CHSAA AA team in Iona Prep. Andre Prescott helped Nazareth stay right there until the very end with the Kingsmen falling 46-44 in a great back and forth battle that only secured Nazareth's spot as one of the best in Class A this season. It's another challenging week to come for Nazareth as they go to Fordham Prep on Tuesday, then host Xavier and LaSalle respectively on Thursday and Saturday in a seven day stretch that should again tell us a lot about this season's Kingsmen group.

10- DeWitt Clinton (9-0)- It was a dominating Lehman Holiday Festival for the Governors as they ran right through South Bronx Prep and Longwood Prep, winning the two games by scores of 88-56 and 81-45. Jason Coachman and Jayson Jones West both had impressive outings in both games for Clinton who moved to 9-0 with the wins over the past week. This week ahead here will be back to PSAL Bronx A3 play when on Wednesday they go to Bronx H.S. of Science in the Governors only game during this week stretch.

11- Bayard Rustin Educational Complex (6-0)- A team who is looking to prove itself among the top tier in the PSAL, the Titans have taken care of business in each game put in front of them so far. They have had two league games postponed due to COVID, and it's their two biggest league games in Murry Bergtraum and Seward Park. While Eugene Benn and the rest of the Titans wait to make those games up, the week ahead here will have Bayard Rustin hosting Stuyvesant on Monday, then it will be Hunter College High School 24 hours later on Tuesday on the road, before finishing up on Thursday with Washington Irving at home.

12- Lehman (6-1)- Hosting their Lehman Holiday Festival meant that the Lions had chances over the Christmas break to showcase their abilities on the court, unlike many others who saw COVID dash any hopes of games over the time of. Tuesday saw the Lions roll past George Washington convincingly 84-35, before a tougher game against Seward Park saw Jalen Elfe rise up big again in a 66-64 hotly fought one for the victory. Lehman will now get back to league play starting on Wednesday with a big road date against KIPP NYC College Prep before coming home on Friday to host Taft.

13- Evander Childs (5-1)- After losing a heartbreaker to Lehman late in December, Evander Child came back to defeat Alfred E. Smith handily just before the Christmas break. The Tigers were a team who didn't have another scheduled for the time of giving Adonis Nina and the rest of Evander Childs a nice chance to rest up before league play really gets going starting this week. Wednesday will kick things off as the Tigers go to Taft, and then its games on back to back days as Childs will host Grace Dodge and Bronx H.S. of Science on Friday and Saturday respectively to end their three game week.

14- Louis Brandeis (9-1)- A game with New Dorp on the road that Brandeis had scheduled for last Thursday was postponed and will be made up later on in January meaning that the Bulldogs are another team with a lot of time off who are raring to get back onto the floor. Faly Sylla and the rest of the Brandeis team will get back to action Monday with a tough one on the road at a good Beacon team. Friday will then mean a trip to West 50th Street Campus before non-league battle at the New Year's Jamboree against longtime Class A power Brooklyn Law and Tech on Saturday.

15- St. Joseph by the Sea (3-3)- Heading down to South Jersey to take part in the Wildwood Christmas Classic saw the Vikings go 1-1 as they fell in their opener against St. Thomas Aquinas (NJ) 54-43 in a game that saw Sea struggle to get anything going from the perimeter. They rebounded well a day later though as Daniel Marinaccio had 15 points to lead St. Joseph by the Sea to a 66-52 victory over Winslow Township (NJ). Another non-league matchup is next for the Vikings who head to Baldwin mid-week to take on the Bruins on Thursday before getting back to CHSAA league play on Saturday with a road game at Xavier.

16- A. Philip Randolph (8-1)- For Cheikh Seck and the rest of the Cougars it was a great way to go into the Christmas break as they knocked off MLK Jr. on the 22nd of December 64-63. Randolph has proven to be one of the more surprising teams so far on the season as they have all the parts to be a PSAL Class A title contender. Getting back to action this week will see the Cougars on Monday going to H.S. for Environmental Studies in PSAL Manhattan A2 action, and then on Wednesday it's a home contest with Graphics Campus, before ending the three game week on Friday at Fiorello LaGuardia.

Beacon (8-2)
Benjamin Banneker (5-3)
Brooklyn H.S. for Law and Technology (8-3)
Fort Hamilton (7-1)
St. Edmund Prep (3-1)

Class B

1- Community Health Academy of the Heights (10-1)- It's been a slow go as of late for our #1 team in Class B as Community Health, led by John Harrington, will be finally getting back to action here this week when they host Columbia Secondary on Wednesday and go to Esperanza Prep Academy on Friday in a pair of PSAL Manhattan B2 games. Saturday will see the Phoenix really get their shot to shine though when they step out of league to host Bronx AA school Samuel Gompers in one of CHAH's biggest games of the season.

2- Poly Prep (4-0)- After going nearly a month between games it is finally game time again for Phillip Lawrence and the rest of the Blue Devils. They are among the favorites in a pool of deep and talented NYSAIS squads meaning each game out has serious implications for rankings purposes, and in terms of the NYSAIS standings. The week will see Poly Prep have just one game, but it is a big one as they take on rivals Fieldston in a Friday night showdown.

3- BCAM (5-1)- With great guard play coming from Earl Morgan, and some dominating interior outings from Lennox Holder Jr., it has been near the perfect balance for this BCAM team that looks poised to contend for the PSAL Class B title. They have had some time off here with Christmas but the Lions will get back to work on Tuesday when they host Brooklyn Studio Secondary School before taking the court on back to back days on Thursday and Friday, first at Spring Creek Campus, before finishing up at home with a solid Medgar Evers team.

4- Berkeley Carroll (3-0)- Another team contending for a NYSAIS title this season, the Lions have a number of quality wins under their belt already this season and are looking forward to a big start to the 2022 campaign. Wednesday will see Berkeley Carroll hosting Packer, before another home game, against Brooklyn Friends Academy, closes out the week for the Lions on Friday evening.

5- Maspeth (5-1)- In the Argonauts last game that they played they fell to Community Health on December 17th. Since that game Maspeth has had time to do nothing but stew over what was their first and only loss on the season. Since then they have had 5 straight postponements due to COVID, including this coming Tuesday's matchup with Academy of American Studies, a game postponed early. That means for Sean Lopez and the rest of the Argonauts, there first game back will take place Thursday at home against Baccalaureate School for Global Education in their only game this week.

6- Dwight School (4-1)- There may not be a team bigger and mor physically imposing inside than the Lions who are paced by Division 1 recruit Richard Nweke. They fell earlier in the season to Berkeley Carroll, but soon enough will have a chance to get revenge on that defeat. For now though it will be a one game week when on Thursday it's Dwight heading to Lower Manhattan for a league matchup with Leman Manhattan Prep.

7- Achievement First (4-0)- Getting 29 points just before the Christmas break from Malaki Clarke Braithwaite in a 60-55 win over EBC/Bushwick Leaders meant a happy holiday season for Achievement First who again this season are among the top class of the PSAL Class B Division. Monday will see the action get going again when Achievement plays host to School for Classics, and then on Friday it will be another home date, this time with All City Leadership Secondary School as they will look to stay unbeaten on the season.

8- The Scholars Academy (10-0)- Mowing down everyone in their path, Scholars got another big win at the Ballin4Peace Holiday Classic on Thursday when they blew past PSAL Class A school Graphics Campus with ease behind the 18 points of Raphael Tawil. The Seawolves seem to be the clear class of the PSAL Queens B2 Division, and will look to continue showing they are among the best in the PSAL overall this week when they go to Cambria Heights Academy in Scholars Academy's only game of the week.

9- Fannie Lou Hamer (7-2)- It was an anticipated matchup this past Thursday with fellow Class B power Maspeth, but that game was called off due to COVID protocols meaning Fannie Lou has been off since a pre-Christmas loss to Samuel Gompers. That loss doesn't sit well with Khalil Lloyd and the rest of the Panthers so they are excited to get back to action this week here with a road game against Explorations Academy on Monday. That will be followed up by another road contest at Metropolitan High School on Wednesday, with a home matchup against Archimedes/Maleska Campus finishing out the play for this week on Friday.

10- Trinity School (6-0)- Nick Allen and the rest of the Tigers are ready to get going again after a matchup against Germantown Academy out of Pennsylvania was canceled over the Christmas break because of COVID protocols. Trinity will actually have to wait a bit longer to get back going as a game on Thursday at Trevor Day has already been postponed because of COVID meaning that a Saturday afternoon matinee at home with Dalton School will be their lone time to hit the court this week.

Academy of American Studies (6-1)
Bard H.S. Early College (7-0)
Baruch College Campus (7-0)
Lab Museum United (4-0)
NEST+M (5-0)

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