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Tuesday, Feb. 15, 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- Cardinal Hayes (22-2)- Back up to the top spot are the Cardinals who were crowned the Archdiocese of New York regular season champions. They are now into the playoffs and the Archdiocesan of New York postseason bracket which will see Cardinal Hayes get going on Thursday. They had an opening round bye on Sunday and will take on Msgr. Scanlan in a matchup of two of the best from the Bronx. Big man Tobe Awaka was named CHSAA MVP and the 6'9" forward will hope to lead his team past the Crusaders and into Saturday's title game against either Stepinac or Iona Prep.

2- St. Francis Prep (19-3)- Still without the services of Chance Morrish who is sidelined with a broken wrist, the Terriers went on the road on Tuesday and fell at Stepinac 71-57 before coming back on Thursday and knocking off Bishop Loughlin handily 72-48. Both Jaden Daughtry and Latiek Briscoe were named to the CHSAA All-League 1st Team, while head coach Jimmy Lynch was name CHSAA Coach of the Year as they will all lead St. Francis Prep into the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Playoffs which for the Terriers will get going into the semifinals on Wednesday against either Xaverian or Molloy, with the title game to come on Friday evening.

3- South Shore (21-3)- The best team all year in the PSAL fell in OT in the Brooklyn Borough Championship to Eagle Academy II 74-69, but that didn't stop the Vikings from still landing the #1 seed in the PSAL City Playoffs. Led by Davin Francis and Kyrone Alexander, South Shore will open their playoff run on March 4th where they will get the winner of a game between WHEELS and Forest Hills as head coach Shawn Mark and his group get going to what they hope will be a championship winning stretch.

4- Eagle Academy II (17-5)- Getting 20 points from Eric Acker, and a big 12 point and 17 rebound effort from Jaquel Morris allowed Eagle II to knock off South Shore and take the Brooklyn Borough Championship 74-69 getting their big signature win of the season, and a ton of momentum heading into the upcoming PSAL City Playoffs. There the Eagles will be the #3 seed and will hit the floor come March 4th where they will get the winner of a game between H.S. for Construction and Harry Truman in the Round of 16.

5- Susan Wagner (26-1)- It's been a season to remember so far for the Falcons who had a thrilling 41-40 victory over Curtis on Saturday to be crowned Staten Island Borough Champions. It was Wagner's third win over the Warriors on the year, a feat no other team has ever accomplished against Curtis, with that being a big reason why Susan Wagner were awarded the #2 seed in the PSAL City Playoffs. The competition level will definitely be picking up but the Falcons seem ready to fly as they will start things off on March 4th against the winner of a game between Thurgood Marshall Academy and Canarsie.


6- Campus Magnet (20-3)- Starting off the season 1-3 things didn't look good for the Bulldogs, however 19 straight wins late and Campus Magnet are considered among the best in New York City, and are PSAL Queens Borough Champions after knocking off Francis Lewis in the title game 52-49 as Leverson Tulien had 13 points and 15 rebounds to lead the charge for the Bulldogs who will now enter the PSAL City Playoffs as the #4 seed. As the #4 seed they will next play on March 4th in the Round of 16 against either Thomas Jefferson or Springfield Gardens.

7- Eagle Academy (18-8)- A new coach in Roosevelt Byers but it's the same result for Eagle Academy as they were once again crowned PSAL Bronx Borough Champions on Saturday by defeating James Monroe for the title 63-60 as Asa Kone had 16 point to lead all scorers in the win that helped propel the Eagles to the #7 seed in the PSAL City Playoffs. As they #7 seed Eagle Academy will take on either John Bowne or Eagle Academy III in a Round of 16 City Playoff game upcoming on March 4th.

8- Wings Academy (20-4)- Even though Wings fell in the PSAL Bronx Borough Semifinals in heartbreaking fashion to James Monroe 64-63, they don't have to fret too much as head coach Billy Turnage and his group were still rewarded for a fantastic regular season with the #5 see in the PSAL City Playoffs. While the high seed was nice it still will be a tricky road to get to the promise land and the championship as Wings will open up on March 4th against more than likely Brooklyn Collegiate as the Lions will take on JFK to determine who Wings gets to play.

9- Christ the King (14-9)- It was just a one game week last week for the Royals who were knocked off at home by our #1 Cardinal Hayes team 70-51. The news though wasn't all bad as Brandon Williams was named 1st Team All-CHSAA by the leagues coaches, a high achievement for the junior wing who will hope to lead Christ the King to a deep playoff run beginning this Wednesday in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Semifinals where the Royals will get either Bishop Loughlin or Holy Cross before Friday's title game.

10- Curtis (22-5)- If not for the Falcons of Susan Wagner standing in their way and handing them 3 of their 5 losses this season it could have née a truly remarkable run for Curtis. They nearly got revenge on two regular season losses to Wagner in Saturday's PSAL Staten Island Borough Championship but it was not meant to be in what was a heartbreaking defeat for head coach Dwayne Archbold and his team 41-40. Curtis was given the #6 seed in the upcoming PSAL City Playoffs with the Warriors to get going again on March 4th when they square off at home with either Benjamin Cardozo or Boys & Girls in the Round of 16.

11- James Monroe (20-7)- Already quite the ride, the Eagles has a strong late season run and knocked off Wings in the PSAL Bronx Borough Semifinals on the road this past Thursday 64-63. Monroe nearly won it all as they held close with Eagle Academy from start to finish before falling 63-60 in a game that certainly proved that head coach Nigel Thompson and his team are ready to make noise in the PSAL City Playoffs. The Eagles were given the #8 seed and will host Francis Lewis on March 2nd in the Round of 16 with a date with top seeded South Shore possibly to follow.

12- Francis Lewis (15-8)- Much like Monroe, the Patriots were so close to claiming themselves as Queens Borough Champions. They steamrolled past The Scholars Academy and Forest Hills to get to play for the title, and while Francis Lewis led for a portion early in the fourth quarter it wasn't meant to be in a 52-49 loss to Campus Magnet. Gerard Ciarleglio has done a great job leading the Patriots this season as they will be the #9 seed in the PSAL City Playoffs and will head out on the road March 2nd when they will take on the aforementioned James Monroe in the PSAL Round of 16.

13- St. Raymond (15-9)- After a great regular season the Ravens went into the Archdiocesan of New York Quarterfinals where they were the #3 seed taking on 6th seed Iona Prep. St. Ray's had already defeated the Gaels twice during the regular season but it wasn't meant to be for a third time as St. Raymond fell 63-60. That loss for head coach Jorge Lopez and his team means they are now onto the CHSAA Intersectional Playoffs which will get underway for them on either March 2nd or 3rd against an opponent to be determined in the opening round.

14- Thomas Jefferson (12-9)- It's been a while since the Orange Wave have taken to the court as they didn't qualify for the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs, but make no mistake about it, Lawrence Pollard and this years Jefferson group have the talent and ability to make a PSAL City Playoff run. They were given the #13 seed, so a fairly low seed, but that shouldn't stop them as on March 2nd the Orange Wave will host Springfield Gardens in the opening round before a possible Round of 16 showdown two days later against Campus Magnet.

15- Brooklyn Collegiate (15-9)- Another team from the Brooklyn AA, the Lions got a win over Class A school Paul Robeson in the quarterfinals of the Borough Playoffs, but fell behind early in the semifinals and never were able to recover in a 63-44 loss to the eventual champions in Eagle Academy II. Brooklyn Collegiate were given the #12 seed in the upcoming PSAL City Playoffs earning an opening round matchup with JFK out of the Bronx before a win there would send them on the road to take on Wings Academy in the Round of 16.

16- Bishop Loughlin (12-10)- A pair of road games closed out CHSAA regular season play for the Lions as they would easily down Holy Cross, but then fall in their finale to St. Francis Prep 72-48. Head coach Ed Gonzalez has rallied the team though and put this young group in a position for a strong postseason run that is to begin on Monday evening in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Quarterfinals against Holy Cross again, with a semifinal date against Christ the King on Wednesday awaiting the winner.

Benjamin Cardozo (19-7)
Forest Hills (14-11)
John Bowne (14-10)
Msgr. Scanlan (12-12)
Xaverian (10-11)

Class A

1- Transit Tech (24-2)- The #1 team in our Class A poll also happens to be the #1 seed in the PSAL City Playoffs in the Class A. The Express made it into the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Playoffs and did some damage along the way as well defeating Brooklyn Law and Tech 82-80 in a thriller in the quarterfinals before nearly knocking off South Shore, a Class AA power, falling 72-69 in a game that saw Transit Tech leading at the half. Now it will be the A City Playoffs where it will be March 3rd when they Express hit the floor again in the Round of 32 against either Aviation or Boerum Hill.

2- Fordham Prep (19-4)- The #1 seed in the upcoming CHSAA Class A City Playoffs, Fordham Prep have been phenomenal all season long, a season that includes a win over AA foe Molloy. Omari Ward was named CHSAA League MVP, and along with Tommy Whelan and Nathan Boetang the Rams will be a very difficult out for anyone. They will open up in the quarterfinals on Saturday where Fordham Prep will get the winner of Tuesday's game between Xavier and All Hallows.

3- Paul Robeson (19-1)- After going unbeaten during the regular season the Eagles were put into the Brooklyn Borough Playoffs in the PSAL and opened up against Brooklyn Collegiate. It ended up being a game to forget as Robeson struggled in all facets in a 74-33 loss. Fairly surprisingly the Eagles were only given the #7 seed in the City Playoffs with things set to kick off on March 3rd when Robeson will either meet John Adams or Metropolitan Campus in the Round of32.

4- DeWitt Clinton (20-1)- Another team who went into the Borough Playoffs undefeated before taking their first loss, Clinton hung tight for a while against James Monroe in the Bronx side of things before falling 65-45. It wasn't the result the Governors wanted but the good news is they still received the #4 seed in the PSAL City Playoffs with a date on March 3rd in the Round of 32 to come against either MLK Jr. or Port Richmond

5- St. Joseph by the Sea (17-7)- Even having lost twice this week you have to commend the Vikings for challenging the best as the losses came to Long Island Lutheran and Hudson Catholic of New Jersey. Sea over the past couple months have dramatically improved and shown themselves to be among the elite in the CHSAA and in the upcoming City Playoffs the Vikings will be the #4 seed and will get a date on Saturday in the quarterfinals against another up and coming team in Salesian.

6- Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology (21-7)- On the other end of the heartbreaker we talked about in our Transit Tech recap, the Jets proved again that they are among the best coached and best teams talent wise in the PSAL. Law and Tech did fall 82-80 to the Express in the quarterfinals of the Brooklyn Borough Playoffs, but if anything that showed that these Jets could fly high against anyone. The #3 seed in the PSAL City Playoffs, Law and Tech will also get going on March 3rd when they take on either Long Island City or Frederick Douglass Academy in the Round of 32.

7- Graphics Campus (22-3)- Yes it's true that Manhattan was not considered an especially strong borough this season in the PSAL but you still have to give credit to Graphics Campus for running the gauntlet and defeating Beacon, Thurgood Marshall Academy, and WHEELS en route to claiming the PSAL Manhattan Borough Championship. Joselito Rosario was the one leading the charge for the 49ers who are now the #6 seed in the PSAL City Playoffs. In a Round of 32 showdown come March 3rd it will be Graphics in a rough one hosting either Evander Childs or Sunset Park.

8- Murry Bergtraum (18-3)- The Blazers believed they could've been the ones to run the table and bring home the Manhattan Borough Championship, but WHEELS had their number in the semifinals with Bergtraum falling 73-62. It wasn't the performance that the Blazers were hoping for but Donnell Campbell and the rest of the Bergtraum team did earn the #2 seed in the PSAL City Playoffs in recognition of their phenomenal season as a whole with it due to be either Walton or Bronx United next up for them in the Round of 32 coming on March 3rd.

9- Lehman (16-2)- There were a number of Class A teams who had high hopes entering the Borough Playoffs, and while Lehman liked their chances against Harry Truman in the quarterfinals it was not meant to be as the Lions fell 62-57 to end their hopeful run. It's not onto the City Playoffs in Class A where Lehman earned the #9 seed and a Round of 32 game to start things off on March 3rd against the winner of a game between Thomas Edison and Stuyvesant.

10- Beacon (20-5)- One of the toughest teams to game plan floor on a regular basis, the Blue Demons were at home in their quarterfinal Manhattan Borough Playoff game, and while Beacon had defeated Graphics Campus twice already on the season they couldn't make it a third as they fell 57-43. The City Playoffs await now for Beacon on March 3rd as the Blue Demons and head coach Mark Jerome are the #8 seed and will square off against either Queens H.S. Complex or Grand Street Campus in the Round of 32.

11- Msgr. Farrell (16-6)- Getting back the services of Matt Hanley from injury sure has Farrell back to looking like one of the top teams in the CHSAA as they closed out their regular season with a dominating 70-51 win over Moore Catholic. It was a great momentum boost for Msgr. Farrell who will enter the playoffs as the #3 seed and will take on the winner of Tuesday's game between St. Edmund Prep and Cardinal Spellman on Saturday in the CHSAA Class A City Quarterfinals.

12- Louis Brandeis (17-5)- For the lack of depth in the AA Division in the PSAL in Manhattan, the A Division is pretty deep with Brandeis being a team who has been among the best all season long. Dylan Crooke has been the go to scoring threat for the Bulldogs all season long, and while Brandeis may have lost in the Manhattan Borough quarterfinals to Bergtraum, the Bulldogs still earned the #13 seed in the upcoming PSAL City Playoffs where they will open with a bye and then get either KIPP NYC College Prep or Far Rockaway in the Round of 32.

13- McKee/Staten Island Tech (16-9)- The third time wasn't a charm for McKee as the Seagulls had hoped to finally get past Curtis in their PSAL Staten Island Borough semifinal this past Thursday but it was still the Warriors game as MSIT's run was cut short in a 57-45 defeat. Now it's Class A City Playoff time as McKee has gotten the #5 seed which gets them a first round bye before a matchup in the Round of 32 on March 3rd against either Hunter College High School or James Madison.

14- Nazareth (15-6)- Getting a 40 point win over Salesian, and then finding a way to get past LaSalle on the road was a great way for the Kingsmen to finish out the regular season this past week. It gave them momentum, but maybe even more importantly than that it earned Nazareth the #2 seed in the CHSAA Class A City Playoffs. It wont be an easy road for the Kingsmen though as they will play the winner of Tuesday's game between LaSalle and Msgr. McClancy meaning a possible rematch of last week's thriller in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

15- Evander Childs (12-6)- We can't remember a time that a team who made their Borough Playoffs were seeded so low but that's the case with Evander Childs as after losing 70-50 to Wings Academy in the borough quarterfinals it was the Tigers given the #27 seed. It's pretty astonishing and surprising but it also could be motivating for this Childs group who will play an opening round game on March 1st against Sunset Park, with the winner to get the Manhattan Borough Champions in Graphics Campus in the Round of 32 on March 3rd.

16- KIPP NYC College Prep (11-4)- The Bulldogs are another team who made it to the Bronx Borough Playoffs but didn't get much love from the committee doing the PSAL City Playoff seedings as KIPP got the #20 seed. It wasn't what the Bulldogs were hoping for but again it could be a motivating thing for a team like KIPP who will get things going on March 1st when they play an opening round game against Far Rockaway before a hopeful game against Louis Brandeis in the Round of 32 two days later.

A. Philip Randolph (16-5)
Bayard Rustin Educational Complex (12-4)
Flushing (15-4)
Seward Park (14-7)
William Grady (13-4)

Class B

1- Dwight School (19-5)- Moving up to the #1 spot in the NYC Rankings in Class B are the Lions who ran through the ACIS competition of Friends Seminary and Packer to claim the league championship yet again this year. The ACIS league has become Dwight's on a yearly basis these days, but now it's NYSAIS Class B playoff time and first up for the #3 seed Dwight School will be a Wednesday battle with Dalton, the 6 seed. Friday will have the semifinals where a date with Poly Prep could await in what would be another very intriguing battle.

2-Community Health Academy of the Heights (23-2)- After beating nearly everyone put in front of them this year Community Health were put into the field of the PSAL Manhattan Borough Playoffs. They won a game as well over Bayard Rustin 78-69 before falling in a heartbreaker in the quarterfinals to WHEELS 65-60 in a game the Phoenix were leading early in the fourth quarter. Now though with that behind them its City Playoff time with Community Health given the #2 seed in Class B with first up being either Leadership Academy or a shockingly low seeded Achievement First team on March 2nd in the Round of 32.

3- NEST+M (15-0)- They may not have made the Manhattan Borough Playoff field but NEST+M were still very much valued as they were given the #3 seed in the PSAL Class B City Playoffs. The depth in the B Division though is unlike ever before so while the 3rd seed is nice, that doesn't mean anything once the games get underway. The road will be tricky too for NEST+M as the Eagles on March 2nd will play in the Round of 32 against the winner of a game between Adams Street Academy and Frederick Douglass Academy III.

4- Poly Prep (18-1)- While the Blue Devils did fall to Dwight School a month ago now, since then its been 8 in a row for a team who again seems to be rounding into form at the perfect time. With wins in Ivy League play this past week over Fieldston, Collegiate, and Dalton, Poly Prep are looking very ready for the NYSAIS Class B playoffs that get underway this Wednesday. The Blue Devils are the #2 seed and will get Park School of Buffalo to start things off before a possible rematch against Dwight in the semifinals to come on Friday if both get wins.

5- The Scholars Academy (22-2)- A season to remember just got even more special for Brett Tawil and his Scholars team as the Seawolves were given the #1 seed to the PSAL Class B City Playoffs. That's coming off the heels of a strong showing in the Queens Borough Playoffs where Scholars got a win over Class A school Flushing before losing to AA power Francis Lewis. As the #1 seed now though the pressure will be on Scholars Academy to perform as they will get going on March 2nd in the Round of 32 where either Institute for Collaborative Education or H.S. for Math, Science, & Engineering will be waiting.

6- Lab Museum United (18-1)- Closing out the regular season with a nice non-league win over Maspeth has given Lab Museum some confidence heading into the PSAL Class B City Playoffs where they have landed the Gators the surprisingly low #9 seed. They will get an opening round bye and wont play until the Round of 32 where awaiting Lab Museum will be either Metropolitan or East Side Community to get the Gators run going.

7- Maspeth (16-2)- Sometimes you just cannot explain what the PSAL Seeding Committee does as even though the Argonauts fell to Lab Museum just two weeks ago it's Maspeth getting the higher seed as they are #7 in the PSAL City Playoffs. That's not to say Maspeth isn't good or not deserving, they certainly are after steamrolling through their league season, and now it's going to be interesting to see what the Argonauts can do in the City Playoffs as it will be March 2nd when they get going in the Round of 32 against either Democracy Prep or South Bronx.

8- Achievement First (10-1)- Maybe it's because they didn't provide any non-league information and didn't do a great job in even keeping up with their league schedule and stats having not posted a result still from their final league game which took place over two weeks ago now, but Achievement First was given the #34 seed in the PSAL Class B City Playoffs which seems shockingly low for a team which year after year is always among the better programs around. On February 28th it will be Achievement going to All City Leadership Academy before a March 2nd Round of 32 game against overall #2 seed Community Health in what should be one of best early round games.

9- Fannie Lou Hamer (19-3)- Having knocked off JFK this past week, a team in the Class AA playoffs, it's going to be fun to see just what the perennially strong Fannie Lou Hamer Panthers can do in the PSAL City Playoffs. Led by head coach Mark Skelton, the Panthers were given the #6 seed and will get a Round of 32 battle on March 2nd against either Robert Goddard or Bronx School of Law, Government, & Justice in what should be the opener of a long playoff run for the Bronx school.

10- Trinity School (14-3)- Closing out the regular season last Wednesday with a 47-37 win over Hackley, the Tigers are a team that can play fast and shoot it from the outside or slow it down and grind out wins in what some would consider an ugly game. However they get it done Trinity is just finding ways to do that, get it done as they have been awarded the #4 seed in the NYSAIS Class B Playoffs to start on Wednesday when the Tigers host Fieldston. A win there will get them into Friday's semifinals where Portledge would more than likely be waiting.

Bard H.S. Early College (16-6)
Baruch College Campus (15-2)
Cathedral Prep (19-5)
Comprehensive Model School (15-1)
Summit Academy (12-5)

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