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Tuesday, March 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 (22-3)- In Sunday’s CHSAA Intersectional Quarterfinals it was the Terriers who got 22 points from Chance Morrish in what ended up being a fairly convincing 66-50 victory for St. Francis Prep over Archbishop Molloy. The win now puts the Terriers into the Intersectional Semifinals as SFP looks to win the league title for the first time since 1957. To do that though will mean knocking off two more of the CHSAA’s best as they will get Cardinal Hayes in Wednesday’s semifinals, with Friday’s title game to possibly come after that.

2- Cardinal Hayes (24-3)- The Cardinals got off to a fantastic start on Sunday and never looked back in a dominating 70-47 victory over Christ the King in the CHSAA Intersectional Quarterfinals. Ian Jackson had 23 points to pace Cardinal Hayes who now once again this year will be in Wednesday's semifinals where they will there take on #1 St. Francis Prep with the Cardinals sure to be looking for revenge from a regular season loss to the Terriers before they hope for a chance to play for the championship on Friday.

3- South Shore (22-3)- It was a true team effort as South Shore had five players in double figures on Friday as the Vikings easily took down WHEELS 79-48 in the Round of 16 of the PSAL City Playoffs. The challenges should get tougher at this point with the quarterfinals to take place on Monday with South Shore playing host to James Monroe before the semifinals come on Sunday with South Shore, assuming a Monday win, getting either Campus Magnet or Wings Academy there.

4- Eagle Academy II (18-5)- With a dominating 35 point and 7 assist effort coming from Eric Acker it was the Eagles last Friday coasting at home to a 94-65 victory over H.S. for Construction in the Round of 16 in the PSAL City Playoffs. That win, along with winning the Brooklyn Borough Championship, has Eagle II full of confidence as they move into Monday's quarterfinals at home Curtis, with a win there putting them into the semifinals to take place this coming Sunday.

5- Susan Wagner (27-1)- Taking on a Brooklyn AA foe in the PSAL Round of 16 last Friday in Canarsie, it was a bit of an unknown as to how would the Falcons fair. There were a good amount of expectations on them and they more than handled everything thrown there was as with Xavier Barrow scoring 19 it was Wagner who easily dispatched of Canarsie 74-52. Now it's onto the quarterfinal for Wagner who will host John Bowne on Monday, a team the Falcons already defeated during the regular season with year, with a win pushing them into Sunday's semifinals.

6- Campus Magnet (21-3)- There were many people who saw that Campus Magnet would have to play Thomas Jefferson in the Round of 16 and automatically felt the Bulldogs run would be over. The Orange Wave won their game over Springfield Gardens 148-59 to get a chance against Campus Magnet. The Bulldogs showed though that they are the real deal as behind Leverson Tulien's double-double they held of Jefferson 80-77 for the win. Next in the quarterfinals is a home meeting with Wings Academy on Monday for Campus who have dreams of Sunday's semifinals now.

7- Wings Academy (21-4)- Getting 23 points from Mohamed Kante, along with a huge fourth quarter surge, allowed Wings to move into the quarterfinals for yet another season as they ran past Brooklyn Collegiate in the Round of 16 this past Friday, 65-48. The victory puts Wings into Monday's quarterfinals where they will now head to Queens to take on Campus Magnet with a win there propelling them into the semifinals which are slated for Sunday.

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8- Curtis (23-5)- Hosting Boys & Girls in the PSAL City Playoffs Round of 16 this past Friday, it was the Warriors who were able to open up a double digit lead at halftime and do a solid job controlling the game from there in a 63-49 victory for Curtis. Michael Oyekanmi had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors who will next take on Eagle Academy II on Monday in Brooklyn in the quarterfinals but they hope to play on Sunday with a win in the semi's.

9- Bishop Loughlin (15-11)- If you go back a month there was very little chance that the Lions would be in the position they are in now but credit has to go to head coach Ed Gonzalez and this young group he has as they made it to the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan title game before falling to St. Francis Prep, and that gave them the double bye straight into the Intersectional Quarterfinals where on Sunday they defeated Holy Cross 77-61. They are now into the semifinals on Wednesday where Loughlin will get Stepinac at a point in the season where anything is possible.

10- James Monroe (21-7)- The Eagles were down and seemingly out trailing Francis Lewis in the Round of 16 of the PSAL City Playoffs 41-35 with just over two minutes to go. Monroe though is a team with loads of heart as Harry Bonilla helped charge the comeback as the Eagles went from 6 down at home to pulling out a thrilling 42-41 win to advance to this Monday's quarterfinals. It won't be easy for the Eagles who draw #1 seed South Shore here but as we said for Bishop Loughlin, at this time of the season anything is indeed possible.

11- Christ the King (15-11)- Getting by Mount St. Michael 66-59 in the Second Round of the CHSAA Intersectional Playoffs last Wednesday meant a date into Sundays' quarterfinals. Head coach Joe Arbitello had his group ready but they were met by a more skilled Cardinal Hayes group this season who ousted the Royals 70-47 to end what was still a very strong season as the core of this young squad will be back, and surely in the title hunt again next season.

12- John Bowne (16-10)- It was a great job by the Wildcats as they went to the Bronx and controlled the game from the second half on to defeat the Bronx Borough Champions in Eagle Academy in the Round of 16 on Friday, 57-44. Raesean Greer led a balanced team effort from Bowne who have been one of the streakier, but more dangerous teams all season. If Bowne comes out with their A game on Monday at Susan Wagner it could be another shocker for the Wildcats, with a semifinal berth on the line.

13- Eagle Academy (18-9)- After being crowned PSAL Bronx Borough Champions just about three weeks ago now, expectations were set pretty high for head coach Roosevelt Byers and his Eagles group. They looked set for big things in the playoffs, but were surprising picked off by John Bowne at home this past Friday, 57-44. Offensively it was Eagle massively struggling, especially in the second half where they scored just 16 points. It's not the way Eagle Academy wanted to exit the postseason, but there are still a lot of positives to look forward to for the future.

14- Francis Lewis (15-9)- What could've been is how the Patriots have to look at what went down this past Wednesday in their PSAL Round of 16 City Playoff game against James Monroe. On the road, Francis Lewis had a 41-35 lead late but managed to see that lead slip away. FT's in the closing seconds sealed it as the Patriots would fall 42-41 to have their season come to an end. Francis Lewis will lose a good amount to graduation as well meaning what's in story next season is still to be seen.

15- St. Raymond (16-10)- Defeating a very strong Xaverian team on Thursday in the Second Round of the CHSAA Intersectional Playoffs meant a lot of good vibes and feelings for this young Ravens team as they took on Stepinac on Sunday in the quarterfinals. Things got way from St. Ray's quick though as they fell behind 24-5 before you could really blink in what was an 86-51 loss for the longtime Bronx power. With Brandon Stores Jr. and Tai Turnage both to return as sophomores next year though, expect bigger and better things ahead for this group of Ravens.

16- Thomas Jefferson (13-10)- It was the definition of an up and down season for the Orange Wave who are more used to being near the top of the rankings than here. Friday's Round of 16 PSAL City Playoff contest against Campus Magnet gave Jefferson the chance to show they do deserve to be higher, and after their 148-59 win over Springfield Gardens in the opening round it looked like the Orange Wave were ready for the upset. Defensively though it was Thomas Jefferson not getting the stops the needed down the stretch in an 80-77 loss that put an end to a unique and trying Orange Wave season.

Bubble:
Boys & Girls (11-12)
Brooklyn Collegiate (16-10)
Forest Hills (14-12)
Xaverian (11-13)
WHEELS (11-13)

Class A

1- Transit Tech (25-2)- Opening up their playoff run, the Express got going offensively early and never looked back in a dominating 100-65 victory over Boerum Hill out of Brooklyn in the PSAL City Playoffs Round of 32. David Ellington had 30 points to lead all scorers for Transit who will next meet up with another Brooklyn foe, Bedford Academy on Tuesday in the Round of 16 before a quarterfinal berth more than likely awaits the Express this coming weekend.

2- Fordham Prep (22-4)- Every day it was someone else as led by the likes of Omari Ward, Nathan Boateng, Tommy Whelan, and Charlie O'Sullivan it was the Rams who fought back from a halftime deficit to defeat Nazareth 42-38 to claim the CHSAA Class A City Championship on Friday night. The season isn't over though as Fordham Prep will now face off with Canisius out of Buffalo in the CHSAA Class A State Championship Game on Saturday with the game to take place at Erie Community College in the Buffalo area.

3- Paul Robeson (20-1)- A tight game at the half against John Adams in the PSAL City Playoffs Round of 32 was opened up in the third quarter as Kentrell Evans completely dominated inside to the tune of 15 points and 24 rebounds as Robeson ended up winning going away 61-36. The games wont get any easier here with Robeson to play host to Franklin K. Lane on Tuesday in a big Round of 16 matchup.

4- DeWitt Clinton (21-1)- Jomauri Pena had 22 points, while Jason Coachman had 18 points and 10 assists in an easy 82-48 win over Port Richmond for DeWitt Clinton in the Round of 32 in the PSAL City Playoffs. Clinton got out quick and never looked back against their Staten Island foe, though this Tuesday should prove to be a bit of a tougher challenge when the Governors play host to league rivals KIPP NYC College Prep in a big Round of 16 battle.

  
5- Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology (22-7)- The Jets got double-doubles from both D'Mair Williams and Keysaun Murray as Law & Tech jumped out to a quick 16-2 lead in what would ultimately be a 67-44 win over Frederick Douglass Academy in a PSAL Round of 32 matchup this past Friday. Tuesday will be the next challenge for the Jets as in the Round of 16 they will play host to a solid A. Philip Randolph team with upset thoughts in their minds.

6- Graphics Campus (23-3)- As Manhattan Borough Champions having defeated both Thurgood Marshall Academy and WHEELS along the way, expectations in the Class A Playoffs are high now for the 49ers. They drew a very tough Round of 32 matchup against Evander Childs on Friday and trailed by 12 going into halftime. It was gut check time from that point on and Graphics ended up out scoring Childs 16-4 in the 3rd to tie the game up, and then took the lead for the first time early in the 4th to claim a 57-52 win. Now for the 49ers it will be Bayard Rustin at home on Tuesday in another intriguing Round of 16 battle.

7- Nazareth (17-7)- Leading at the half, and after three quarters, it looked like this would be the year for head coach Gary Ervin and the Kingsmen. The veteran leadership though of Fordham Prep helped a more experienced Rams team fight back and ultimately take down Nazareth in the CHSAA Class A City Championship Game on Friday 42-38. It was a season to remember though for Nazareth, and with four starters due to return it wouldn't be any shock at all to see the Kingsmen raising the trophy come the end of next season.

8- Murry Bergtraum (19-3)- In what one of the more lopsided PSAL Round of 3 contests, the Blazers were able to score the first 10 points of the game as Cristian Davis dominated from the start to lead Murry Bergtraum to a 95-48 win over Walton this past Friday. It was a near flawless start to what Bergtraum hopes is a deep Class A playoff run with the next challenge coming on Tuesday in the Round of 16 when the Blazers play host to Fort Hamilton.

9- St. Joseph by the Sea (18-8)- A team that felt they had a shot at winning the CHSAA Class A title this season, Sea kept things close for three quarters in semifinals against eventual champions Fordham Prep, even tying things up at one point in the third. Things would get away from the Vikings though in the fourth as their chance to claim the title ended with a 66-55 defeat on Tuesday. It was certainly disappointing to fall short for Sea, but they are an up and coming program looking capable of very big things ahead.

10- Lehman (17-2)- The Lions took on Thomas Edison in the Round of 32 in the PSAL City Playoffs in a game that may have been the best of the day on Friday as Lehman needed clutch play from Jalen Elfe down the stretch to ho on a for a 72-71 victory over the Inventors. Elfe would finish with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win that now pushes the Lions into the Round of 16 where they will hit the road on Tuesday and head into Manhattan to take on one of that boroughs best in Beacon.

11- Beacon (21-5)- Speaking of Beacon, the Blue Demons have always had issues once postseason play begins, at least in past seasons that is. This year seems to be going much better as demonstrated by Beacon's strong 62-43 victory over Grand Street Campus to get their postseason run going in the Round of 32. Kai Ennis got things going in a solid way for the Blue Demons who will move on now to the Round of 16 in the PSAL City Playoffs on Tuesday where Beacon will play host to Lehman.

12- Msgr. Farrell (17-7)- Considered earlier in the season by many to be the favorites in the CHSAA A Division, the Lions never seemed to get going as the year progressed. They were solid enough to beat most teams they were expected to beat, but offensively it was Farrell struggling on the offensive end. They met Nazareth in the CHSAA Semifinals this past Tuesday and again it was the offense that never found a rhythm in what would be a 52-47 defeat to bring to an end the Lions season.

13- McKee/Staten Island Tech (17-9)- A Staten Island team in Class A that is still in contention for a title are the Seagulls who got their PSAL Class A run going in the Round of 32 this past Friday with a 73-44 victory over Hunter College High School. Masiah Gilyard was the lone MSIT player in double figures scoring, but he ended up with a massive 33 point performance to lead the way for Tech who are now up in the Round of 16 on Tuesday when they look to continue their strong play against William Grady at home with a quarterfinal appearance on the line for the winner.

14- KIPP NYC College Prep (13-4)- Put as a #20 seed by the PSAL, the Bulldogs went on the road to Louis Brandeis this past Friday and led from start to finish in what would be a 76-66 win for KIPP, their most impressive of the season at the biggest time of the year. Mohamed Soumahoro had 18 points to lead KIPP who will now move on to the Round of 16 as the Bulldogs look to keep surprising the A Division with another road game against DeWitt Clinton to come on Tuesday.

15- William Grady (14-4)- When you talk about PSAL teams that are being a bit underappreciated now it seems the Falcons are atop the list. No one is really looking at head coach Karl Sanders and his Grady squad, but they should, especially after their very impressive 67-55 Round of 32 win over Bayside on Friday. Mosi Clayton had 19 points to lead Grady who continue to get a nice balanced attack all around from their deep and talented group who will next be facing off with McKee/Staten Island Tech on the road on Tuesday in the Round of 16 in the PSAL City Playoffs. 16- A. Philip Randolph (18-5)- A massive second quarter where the Cougars outscored their opponents Seward Park 15-2 was enough to see Randolph hold off a late charge and win their Round of 32 PSAL City Playoff battle, 57-53. Tuwan Ellison had 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Mustapha Sillah had 14 points and 16 rebounds in the victory. Now headed to Tuesday's Round of 16, A.P. Randolph will be squaring off with Brooklyn Law and Tech on the road with a quarterfinal place at stake.

Bubble:
Bayard Rustin Educational Complex (14-4)
Bedford Academy (15-8)
Fort Hamilton (20-4)
Franklin K. Lane (21-8)
Louis Brandeis (17-6)

Class B

1- Poly Prep (21-1)- The champions of NYSAIS after knocking off Portledge with a Phil Lawrence buzzer beater just over a week ago, the Blue Devils have accomplished everything they wanted this season with the NYSAIS state title. It's an accomplishment not many expected Poly Prep to achieve this season, and with a load of talent including Lawrence to return again come 2022-2023, you can expect the Blue Devils in the position to bring home another crown a year from now.

2- Community Health Academy of the Heights (24-2)- With John Harrington scoring 24 points for Community Heath it was the Phoenix getting their Class B PSAL playoff run off to a solid start in a 69-55 victory in the Round of 32 over Frederick Douglass Academy III. It wasn't Community Health's best performance, but it was enough to get the job done there, though a Round of 16 game against South Bronx Prep on Monday will need the Phoenix to absolutely be at their best.

3- Dwight School (20-6)- Having defeated Poly Prep during the regular season in Brooklyn, it would've been nice for Dwight to have been awarded the #2 seed in the NYSAIS playoffs and been given the opportunity to play the Blue Devils at home in the Lions Den. That didn't happen though and Dwight fell to Poly on the road this time as the Blue Devils won it all, while the Lions were done in the semifinals. If Dwight had gotten that game at home though? Who knows what would've happened. 4- The Scholars Academy (23-2)- Given the #1 seed in the PSAL Class B Playoffs, the Seawolves opened up their postseason run in the Round of 32 this past Thursday with a 75-51 victory over Institute for Collaborative Education. Raphael Tawil had 17 points to pace for Scholars players in double figures in the win. Next up for the Seawolves will be a Round of 16 date on Tuesday with Scholars Academy getting a tricky foe in one of the better #16 seeds you will find in Summit Academy.

5- Lab Museum United (19-1)- It's still a bit of a surprise and head scratching situation to see the Gators only getting the #9 seed here in the PSAL City Playoffs. There wasn't much more Lab Museum could've done to impress, especially after a late season non-league road win at #7 seed Maspeth. Lab to their credit though are using the slight as motivation as they easily dispatched of Metropolitan in the Round of 32 last Thursday 81-51 behind the 21 points of Ben Steinfink. On Tuesday it will be Lab Museum playing host in the Round of 16 against a cinderella #40 seed in Bathgate.

6- Maspeth (17-2)- In one of the more hotly contested Round of 32 PSAL Class B Playoff Games, the Argonauts played Democracy Prep and it went down to the wire. Sean Lopez did a good job down the stretch for Maspeth who ended up keeping Democracy at bay late to have the Argonauts hold on for a 49-41 win. Maspeth will hope things go a bit smoother on Monday in their Round of 16 game when they play host to another Queens school in Townsend Harris with a date in the quarterfinals awaiting the winner.

7- Fannie Lou Hamer (20-3)- A dominating defensive performance booked Fannie Lou back into the Round of 16 as they held Bronx H.S. for Law, Government, and Justice to just 13 first half points en route to a 60-44 win. Amir Hughes had 20 points himself to lead the Panthers who next up will see themselves in a Round of 16 battle on Monday against another tough squad in Gregorio Luperon.

8- Trinity School (15-4)- Having lost to Portledge 61-50 in the NYSAIS Semifinals a couple weeks ago now, Trinity may have fallen short of their season goal of a NYSAIS title but they will bring back a nice amount of their core talent from this past season, and with a style of play that seemed to give everyone fits this past season there is little doubt that the future is bright for this Manhattan based power.

9- Cathedral Prep (21-5)- A new team into our rankings, Cathedral proved themselves to be the class of the CHSAA this season in Class B and that was punctuated off on Friday evening with a 77-64 victory over St. John's Prep to win the Class B CHSAA City Championship. Nick Guillen was the Player of the Year in the league proving to be an outstanding scoring weapon in leading the Crusaders to the title. Cathedral's run isn't over though as on Saturday they will head to the Buffalo area to take on St. Mary's of Lancaster for the CHSAA Class B State Championship at Erie Community College.

10- Baruch College Campus (17-2)- Making their inaugural appearance into the Class B rankings at just the right time is Baruch who opened their playoff run with a 37-31 win over Leon Goldstein on Wednesday in the Round of 32. David Heller had 15 points and 14 rebounds to command the paint and lead the way for the Bearcats who will next meet up with BCAM on Tuesday in a Round of 16 game with the winner going off to the quarterfinals over the weekend.

Bubble:
Adams Street Academy (15-5)
Bard H.S. Early College (18-6)
BCAM (12-6)
Comprehensive Model School (16-1)
Summit Academy (14-5)


  
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