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Tuesday, Feb. 8, 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

1- St. Francis Prep (16-1)- Remaining in the top spot this week are the Terriers who won a game of the year matchup on Sunday afternoon against Cardinal Hayes 61-56. St. Francis Prep took an early lead and played some of their best defensive basketball of the season to claim the five point victory and state their claim to deserving of national attention now. Josh Pascarelli had 18 points to lead St. Francis Prep who continue to roll as the clear favorites now in the CHSAA. Tuesday this week will see another tricky one when the Terriers head to Middle Village to take on Christ the King which will be followed by the second installment of the Battle of the Boulevard on Friday when Holy Cross makes the trip in. The weekend will see two non-league games against lower level PSAL competition when St. Francis Prep finishes the week at home on Saturday and Sunday with Epic South and Bryant respectively.

2- Cardinal Hayes (17-2)- After easily taking down Portledge in a home non-league clash on Thursday, the Cardinals went to St. Francis Prep on Sunday for a huge CHSAA showdown. Cardinal Hayes though struggled from the floor nearly the entire way shooting it at just 25% overall for the game as even with Tarique Foster pouring in 15 points it was the Terriers who were able to come out on top 61-56 to dethrone the Cardinals. This was Hayes' second loss in 10 days, and second loss of the season as they will now look to regroup this week when they host Xaverian on Tuesday, Mount St. Michael on Wednesday, and St. Raymond on Friday before going on the road to end the week on Sunday at Msgr. Scanlan.

3- South Shore (19-2)- While it was more difficult than the first time around the Vikings on Thursday defeated Eagle Academy II 76-71 to finish the PSAL Brooklyn AA regular season perfect. Davin Francis had a career high 28 points for South Shore in the win, one of two on the week as they also went to Albany on Sunday to play in the SLAM North/South Classic where they downed Albany Academy 69-64 to pick up solid road victory. That puts a cap to the regular season for South Shore who will now await and see their matchup for the start of the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs which will begin next week.

4- Susan Wagner (23-1)- Back up to #4 this week are the Falcons who are one of the toughest teams to gauge in New York City. They completely dominated the Staten Island Division of the PSAL defeating Curtis twice, but out of league they didn't have a ton of challenges. They defeated WHEELS and John Bowne, their only other likely AA wins over a playoff bound teams, while beating a number of very good A teams in Transit Tech, Brooklyn Law and Tech, and Grady. Led by Xavier Burrow, the Falcons are a team no one will want to play come playoff time because of the unknowns surrounding them and all they bring to the table. With no games here for a while it's rest up time for what looks to be a very good Susan Wagner team.


5- St. Raymond's (12-6)- It was another strong week or the Ravens who are winners of four in a row after road wins over Mount St. Michael 60-52, and Msgr. Scanlan 67-56. The young backcourt of Brandon Stores and Tai Turnage continue to blossom for St. Ray's with the duo combining to average 37 points this past week as they look to become a major part of the resurgence of St. Raymond this season. Just two games await this week for the Ravens as on Tuesday they will head to Queens to face off against Holy Cross, before a massive showdown on Friday on the road again, this time against one of NYC's best, and their main rivals in Cardinal Hayes.

6- Eagle Academy II (14-5)- Have yourself a week Jaquel Morris as the senior forward had 10 points and 17 rebounds in a 65-50 dominating win over Brooklyn Collegiate on Tuesday, and then while it was in a 76-71 loss to South Shore, Morris still completely controlled the game inside to the tune of 10 points and 28 rebounds. That's the kind of effort that could help carry Eagle II to a deep playoff run, a run that will begin next week when the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs get underway for them.

7- Campus Magnet (17-3)- Give credit where credit is due as Eric Barrett may be known more as the football coach of the Bulldogs, but what he has done with the basketball team this season is truly remarkable. Campus Magnet haven't been a major part of the basketball conversation in a number of years now, but after Friday's 47-40 victory in OT on the road at Francis Lewis it's now clear that they are currently the top team in the Queens AA. Leverson Tulien had another impressive individual performance in the win over Lewis with 12 points and 16 rebounds to help lead the way. Next up will be the Queens Borough Playoffs which after a week off here will get underway next week.

8- Wings Academy (19-3)- After falling to their rivals Eagle Academy the prior week, the rematch came over this past seven days with Wings cementing their flag back into the ground as the best in the Bronx AA this season with a 61-51 win on the road behind the 21 points from C.J. Riley. That victory was followed up by another strong win, this time over Curtis on Sunday 65-58 with Mohamed Kante putting together yet another double-double in what has been a dominating season for the Wings big man. The Bronx Borough Playoffs await next for Wings Academy as they continue to look like a true City Championship contender moving forward.

9- Thomas Jefferson (12-9)- For a team that we consider to be Top Ten in NYC things are certainly getting dicey for Jefferson who lost two close rod games this past week to Canarsie 72-68 and Brooklyn Collegiate 89-85 meaning at 6-8 in league play there is a chance the Lawrence Pollard coached team doesn't even qualify for the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs that begin next week. For a team with as many quality wins as the Orange Wave that would be a tremendous disappointment, and a big omit from the PSAL were it to happen, especially since three of their losses in league play came by forfeit. No games are upcoming this week so Jefferson just will now to find out their fate.

10- Curtis (19-4)- The Warriors got a pair of league wins to close out the regular season league play over Tottenville and CSI/McCown as Michael Oyekanmi ha 22 points and 13 rebounds over CSI to lead the way in that victory. On Sunday to finish out the regular season overall it was a trip to the Bronx where Curtis squared off with Wings Academy. It was a big game that could have a lot of seeding implications come City Playoff time, but when though the Warriors hung close most of the way they would ultimately fall on the road 65-58. Like we said there are no more games scheduled here for Curtis who will now wait for the PSAL City Playoffs to begin.

11- Francis Lewis (13-7)- After blowing out Queens H.S. of Teaching 67-42 on Thursday behind the 17 points of Williams Guzman, the Patriots had their biggest game of the year to date on Friday when they hosted Campus Magnet to close out the regular season. Leading by 6 going into the half, Francis Lewis struggled late as they scored just 5 points in the fourth quarter and only 1 point in OT as the Patriots struggles late cost them in a 47-40 OT loss to Campus Magnet. It was a tough los for Francis Lewis but they still should be a very high seed come PSAL Queens Borough Playoffs time starting next week.

12- James Monroe (17-6)- It's been a strong close to the regular season for the Eagles who are ranked for the first time this season off of a strong efforts in a 68-53 win over WHEELS and a 71-43 victory over Canarsie this past week. Donzell Hamilton had 20 point to pace Monroe to the win over WHEELS, with Harry Bonilla scoring 23 in the controlling victory over Canarsie in a game that had to open the eyes of PSAL observers around New York City. Up next will be the PSAL Bronx Borough Playoffs where the Eagles will be a team no one wants to face off with as they look to be rounding into form and playing their best basketball of the season.

13- Eagle Academy (16-8)- Getting 16 points from Jaden Zimmerman enabled Eagle to roll past Adlai Stevenson on Wednesday by a 76-55 score, but the biggest game of the season for Eagle took place 24 hours later when they hosted Wings Academy. Wings jumped out 21-8 after one quarter to stifle any momentum and hope that Eagle may have had coming in as the home team was never able to fully get out of that hole in what would be a 61-51 Eagle Academy loss. Zimmerman again was high man with 18 points, though off that loss it will be Eagle waiting and hoping to get revenge with the Bronx Borough Playoffs starting next week giving them that chance.

14- Christ the King (12-7)- It has been nothing short of a roller coaster this season for the Royals who went 2-1 this week with a 40 point win over Holy Cross and a dominant performance over Nazareth, but in between that was an 83-76 road defeat at Bishop Laughlin. Brandon Williams has continued to be a major impact performer though as he had double-double's in each of Christ the King's three wins this week, with the Royals also getting solid play from talented young guar Markell Alston. Things wont get much easier this week as the Royals will welcome in our #1 St. Francis Prep team on Tuesday for a big game, before Molloy comes in on Friday. Saturday will then see Christ the King host Long Island Lutheran in an intriguing non-league contest to finish out the week.

15- Brooklyn Collegiate (14-8)- If you are to go by nothing else but our talent then Brooklyn Collegiate would be a top five team no questions asked. Led by Zaquan Jones and Jamal Smith, there are few that have the depth that the Lions have, it's consistency that is still waiting though for this group as demonstrated by their play this past week. Brooklyn Collegiate struggled in their opener of the week in a 65-50 loss to Eagle Academy II but then responded with Jones putting up 28 points and 15 rebounds, and Smith adding 23 points in an 89-85 win over Thomas Jefferson. If that Lions team shows up more consistently then a big run in the Brooklyn Borough Playoffs which starts next week could be in line.

16- Xaverian (10-9)- After opening the week with a comfortable win over CHSAA doormat Holy Cross, the Clippers went up to Albany on Sunday evening to take part in the SLAM North/South Classic where they took on a previously 13-0 Green Tech team out of Section 2. Green Tech are undefeated no more as the Clippers were able to control the game with Aaron Goldstein in the backcourt and handle their opponents down the stretch 66-61. It's a win that Xaverian will hope gives them a boost the rest of the way here as this week it will be the Clippers going to Cardinal Hayes on Tuesday before closing out the regular season on Friday on the road again at their Brooklyn rivals from Bishop Loughlin.

Benjamin Cardozo (18-6)
Bishop Loughlin (9-9)
John Bowne (13-8)
Msgr. Scanlan (11-8)
Mount St. Michael (10-7)

Class A

1- Transit Tech (23-1)- The Express finished out the regular season in style as they got 24 points and 27 rebounds from Ashton Reynolds in their 86-50 victory over Boerum Hill to head into the playoffs undefeated in league play. As one of the best offensive groups that you will see, Transit Tech should be in line for a home game in the upcoming PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs where Transit Tech should have the opportunity to test themselves against some of the best AA ranked teams and truly see what they are made of against the best of the best in a higher classification.

2- Fordham Prep (16-4)- Two big games meant two more big wins for the Rams this past week as they went to Nazareth on Tuesday and opened up a close game in the second half to run away with the 70-55 victory. Tom Whelan had 21 points and 10 rebounds to pace things for Fordham Prep who weren't done there. Thursday saw them back at home to host St. Edmund Prep, and while it wasn't as fun offensively, it was the defense that allowed the Rams to take a 48-34 win with Whelan again pacing things with 13 points for the winners. Coming up this week it will be two road games with a trip to Cardinal Spellman first up on Tuesday before going to Xavier on Friday in what is a big rivalry game that should have the Knights fans ready to spoil Fordham Prep's parade.

3- Paul Robeson (19-0)- Another top level team in the A Division who come from Brooklyn are the road warriors from Robeson. 19 wins and 19 road winter for the team without a home gym this season, the Eagles concluded their dominant regular season on Friday with a 65-52 win over Frank Macchiarola as Anthony Williams had 24 points to lead the way and help Robeson to their first undefeated regular season in years. The fun begins ow for the Eagles who should qualify for the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs, with the reveal of that bracket coming possibly by the time this story gets released as Paul Robeson will have a shot them to showcase what they can do against AA level competition beginning next week.

4- DeWitt Clinton (20-0)- Going into their last game of the regular season looking for a perfect record it was Evander Childs standing in their way, an Evander Childs team that looking to be peaking and playing some of their best basketball of the season as of late. It was no match for the Governors though came out from the start and left no doubt who would be winning this one as Vosco Hicks Jr. had a career high 22 points to lead Clinton in a thoroughly dominating 77-50 win. That is a great way for the Governors to head into the playoffs with the PSAL Bronx Borough Playoffs set to get going next week with Clinton on the lookout to shock some AA schools along the way.

5- Murry Bergtraum (17-2)- With Cristian Davis nearly securing a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists, Bergtraum closed out a perfect league schedule after a 106-36 win on Friday evening over East Harlem Pride. Overall the Blazers had four players with double-doubles on the night to move to 15-0 in the league. Saturday did see Bergtraum fall in non-league play to Dwight School, but even with that loss there are many who could see Bergtraum is the favorite heading into the PSAL Manhattan Borough Playoff that will start up next week.

6- Lehman (16-1)- When you take on Bronx Science things are never going t be easy. They are a tough and hard nosed team which is something Lehman found out this past Friday when they went on the road to challenge the Wolverines. It wasn't pretty but the Lions got 10 points and 8 rebounds from Angel Arce to squeak out a 48-41 victory. That ended Lehman's regular season so it's playoff time now with a likely appearance in next week PSAL Bronx Borough Playoffs where the Lions will get the chance to challenge themselves against some top quality AA Division teams before the City Playoffs get going in three weeks time.

7- St. Joseph by the Sea (11-4)- There were two games this past week that solidified the Vikings place as one of the best in the CHSAA Class A Division this season. First it was Sea grinding one out as Danny Marinaccio had 15 points to help the Vikings to a 56-49 win over their rivals from Msgr. Farrell. That was a great start to the week, but Saturday then saw an even more dominating performance when Sea got a near flawless effort from the entire team in what was a 64-36 victory over a previously ranked LaSalle Academy team. This week here will see more challenges as Monday will see St. Joseph's hosting Suffolk County power Deer Park in an intriguing battle, with that to be followed up by two more home games on Wednesday and Thursday against Cardinal Spellman and fellow Staten Island power St. Peter's.

8- Brooklyn High School for Law & Technology (21-5)- With Gregory Ricketts proving himself to be one of the best true floor generals in the PSAL, and D'Mair Williams solidifying himself as a solid pure scorer it's no surprise that the Jets are looking to be one of the best the A Division has to offer once again this season. Ricketts had 15 assists while Williams had 26 points in what was a 72-70 win over Bedford Academy for the Jets as they closed the season with a 17-1 league mark, with the lone loss being a 5 point defeat back in December to our #1 Transit Tech. The Brooklyn Borough Playoffs are up next starting next week with that being a chance for Law & Tech to open eyes once again throughout New York City.

9- Beacon (19-3)- Seemingly always getting the job done when it's needed, Beacon had a huge Manhattan A3 league game this past Monday against Louis Brandeis. It was a game that would determined the league regular season winner, and with Robert Sec going for 18 point it was the Blue Demons securing the 65-53 victory. They would also go on to beat Environmental Studies this week as well as Beacon closed out the season strong, with a berth in next week PSAL Manhattan Borough Playoffs starting next week a very high probability.

10- Msgr. Farrell (14-5)- It was something of a rare down week for the Lions who saw themselves lose back to back games to St. Joseph by the Sea and St. Anthony's out of Long Island. The defense was still there in both games, but the offense has been a bit suspect in the defeats. Sunday did see Farrell get back to their winning ways with a 61-41 win on the road over Cardinal Spellman as Matt Hanley had 16 points and 10 rebound in that victory. Two non-league games are coming up here this week for Msgr. Farrell when on Thursday they go to Red Bank Catholic in New Jersey before coming home on Sunday for a pre-Super Bowl Showdown against Holy Trinity.

11- Louis Brandeis (17-4)- We just talked about what Beacon did as they were able to knock of Brandeis 65-53 last Monday to clinch the Manhattan A3 regular season title. It was not the way the Bulldogs wanted that game to go with star scorer Dylan Crooke being limited to just 17 points in the defeat. To Brandeis' credit they did rally back the rest of the week with a pair of wins over Percy E. Sutton and Frederick Douglass to regain a good amount of momentum heading into what will surely be an appearance in next weeks PSAL Manhattan Borough Playoffs.

12- McKee/Staten Island Tech (15-8)- Every year the top two finishers in the PSAL Staten Island Division head up to the AA playoffs, with the 3rd place team getting put into Class A which is why the Seagulls make their first appearance of the season here. McKee is a high quality team led by Masiah Gilyard and will be one of the top teams to reckon with come City Playoff time. MSIT has wins this season over the likes of AA teams Abraham Lincoln, Boys & Girls, and WHEELS, and with a few weeks to prepare you can expect big things ahead for the newest ranked Class A squad.

13- Evander Childs (11-5)- Things started out great for Evander as paced by the 27 points and 17 rebounds of Ricardo Dixon it was the Tigers grabbing a 79-75 road win over KIPP NYC College Prep to set themselves up for an even bigger showdown against Clinton on Friday. It wasn't meant to be a 2 for 2 week though for the Tigers as Clinton jumped out early while doing a good job containing Dixon inside in what would be a 77-50 loss for Childs in their final game of the regular season. There is still a strong chance the Tigers are included in the PSAL Bronx Borough Playoffs field to begin next week which will give them another chance to prepare for the big show, the upcoming PSAL City Playoffs.

14- Nazareth (10-6)- Yes, the Kingsmen did have a pair of losses this week coming to one of the A Division's best in Fordham Prep and to longtime AA power Christ the King on the road. Neither of those losses are ones to hold your heads down about and the real tests were the other two games on the docket which Nazareth handled with ease. They went to Xavier and took car of business 62-43 on Friday, and then on Sunday easily dispatched of St. Edmund's 57-44. They are young and still coming together but Nazareth has all the makings of a team that will be an incredibly tough out come playoff time. Until then this coming week will have the Kingsmen going to Salesian on Wednesday before coming home to play All Hallows on Thursday and Cardinal Spellman on Saturday in what is a three game week ahead.

15- KIPP NYC College Prep (10-3)- It's been a weird and wacky year for KIPP who got off to a 7-0 start, but have seen things turn the other way as of late with losses coming in the past two weeks to Evander Childs and DeWitt Clinton, both of which came at home. With cancellations as well the Bulldogs haven't actually won a game since January 19th when they knocked off Morris. Zahir Caldwell is still playing some excellent basketball but there is doubt as to if KIPP will make it into the PSAL Bronx Borough Playoffs field, and if they don't it will mean a long time between games for a team who still has a ton of potential to watch for.

16- William Grady (13-4)- Finishing out their regular season was an up and down proposition for the Falcons who on Friday took a solid 89-59 win over and overmatched James Madison team with Tyee Clayton scoring 21 points to lead 4 Grady players in double figures in the victory. 24 hours later though the Falcons went to Staten Island and fell to McKee/Staten Island Tech 64-51. Certainly that isn't how Grady wanted to finish the regular season but with Clayton and a number of other solid weapons to watch out for this is a dangerous team to watch for come City Playoff time.

A. Philip Randolph (15-4)
Bayard Rustin Educational Complex (12-3)
Flushing (15-3)
Graphics Campus (18-3)
LaSalle Academy (10-7)

Class B

1- Community Health Academy of the Heights (22-1)- The regular season ended up with another strong effort from the Phoenix as Sayvior Carroll had 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in a fantastic all around effort to help his team to the 66-52 win over Gregorio Luperon. It was about as good of a regular season as Community Health could've ever imagined before the season began, and now with a possibly chance to play and make some damage in the PSAL Manhattan Borough Playoffs here to come, the playoff run may make this season just that much more memorable.

2- Dwight School (15-3)- First it was as good a NYSAIS win as you could have in a 57-51 road win for Dwight over Poly Prep. Richard Nweke was unstoppable to the tune of 32 points and 23 rebounds in that win, which wasn't even the Lions best win of the week. That came Saturday when Dwight hosted Class A power Murry Bergtraum with Nweke again asserting his dominance with 30 points and 25 rebounds in a victory over the Blazers. Dwight seems to be only getting better and better as a group overall as well with games this coming week against Staten Island Academy on the road on Monday, a home date with Packer on Wednesday, and then a big home game with another Class A power in Albany Academy on Saturday.

3- Maspeth (15-1)- With Jonathan Encalada scoring 26 points, a season high, it was the Argonauts finishing league play with an easy 78-47 victory over Newcomers on the road this past Friday. For the most part Maspeth made quick work of just about everyone put in front of them this season which is why the two non-league games on the docket for this coming week are so intriguing. First up on Monday afternoon will be a home date with a fellow ranked foe in Lab Museum United, and then on Thursday it will be Cambria Heights Academy who make the trip in for what should be another sneaky good under the radar matchup.

4- NEST+M (15-0)- Thursday was a game against Bard H.S. Early College with the winner claiming the Manhattan B3 regular season crown. Unlike the first contest that went to NEST+M in close one, this was all Eagles from the start as Andrew Basnet had 21 points to lead all scorers in what would be a 74-57 win for NEST+M as they finished off a perfect regular season. What happens from here is still unknown. It would be great to see NEST+M get a chance to suit up and play in the PSAL Manhattan Borough Playoffs which start next week, but if they don't you can be sure that they will be a force to be reckoned with come PSAL Class B City Playoff time.

5- Poly Prep (13-1)- For the first time this season Poly Prep took a loss as they fell on Wednesday at home to Dwight Schoo 57-51. That isn't to say the Blue Devils didn't have chances as they led by 5 at the half but struggled to contain the size inside of Dwight as the game wore on. Poly did grab a pair of road victories at Fieldston and at Riverdale this past week to keep them solidly as a top five team in Class B heading into this coming week where more challenges will come. Wednesday will be the first of the week when the Blue Devils host Hackley before a home date with Trinity on Friday finishes out the two game week.

6- The Scholars Academy (21-1)- A close game to finish out the regular season on Wednesday against Pathways was blown wide open as Scholars outscored their opponents 33-11 in the third quarter to run away with a 72-44 victory with Michael Bowman scoring 26 points to lead all scorers in the win. That was the end of the regular season for the Seawolves who are hoping for a berth in the PSAL Queens Borough Playoffs. If that doesn't come it will be around three weeks off for Scholars who will surely be one of the favorite in the PSAL Class B City Playoffs.

7- Lab Museum United (16-1)- Finishing out league play with two games last week against Julia Richman meant two wins for the Gators as they won on Monday 65-48, and then again on Thursday 57-45. Bodee Bacal had 20 points and 20 rebounds in Lab's first win on Monday, and then he would add 14 points and 18 rebounds in the second contest as Bacal completely had his way. Two non-league games are coming up this week for the Gators as they will head to Queens on Monday to face off with our #3 Maspeth team, and then it's a Wednesday home date with Institute for Collaborative Education.

8- Achievement First (9-1)- It's tough to get a real read on Achievement First as they haven't posted any non-league games and even league games are entered sporadically. Their game from this past Friday against School for Classics is still not posted as of this Monday deadline, though Wednesday's 88-59 win over Teachers Prep is entered as Achievement put together a mighty fine performance there as Jeury Torres led five Achievement players in double figures scoring with 17 points. It's highly unlikely Achievement will make the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs so expect to see them back in three weeks as a very high seed come City Playoff time.

9- Fannie Lou Hamer (18-3)- When you have one of the best coaches in the game in Marc Skelton you have to know that tactics and adjustments will be made each game out. After losing the prior week here to South Bronx Prep it's no surprise that on the road it was Skelton and his Fannie Lou squad that made all the right adjustments in what ended up on Friday as a 55-47 win for the Panthers. Amir Hughes, who is just a sophomore, had 26 points and 11 rebounds for Fannie Lou in the victory. Next up here will be a Saturday morning non-league clash against Class AA school JFK as the Panthers wait to see just where they will be placed in the PSAL City Playoffs in Class B.

10- Trinity School (12-2)- In what was something of a shock, Trinity fell on the road this past Friday in their only game of the week to Dalton 50-47. Nothing went right for the Tigers who fell behind by double digits in the firs t half, only to see a late rally fall short in the loss. Still with a solid 12-2 record on the year, Trinity will look to regroup here this week when they get things back underway on Wednesday when the Tigers host Horace Mann before hitting the road again on Friday to close out an important two game week at our #5 Poly Prep.

Bard H.S. Early College (16-2)
Baruch College Campus (15-2)
Comprehensive Model School (15-0)
Packer Collegiate (10-5)
Summit Academy (12-5)

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