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Tuesday, March 29, 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 (26-3)- The top team in New York in Class AA this season, Hayes should be just as strong a contender next season returning the likes of Ian Jackson and Elijah Moore. They will lose big man Tobe Awaka and lead guard D.J. Victory to graduation but the depth and the overall talent should push the way for the CHSAA power.

2- St. Francis Prep (22-4)- After losing to Hayes in the CHSAA semifinals the question now is how will the Terriers be a year from now. Losing Chance Morrish, Latiek Briscoe, and Jaden Daughtry to graduation means losing 40 points per game but St. Francis has enough talent with the likes of Josh Pascarelli coming back to compete among the best again in the CHSAA.

3- South Shore (26-3)- Finishing the year with a come from behind 67-66 victory over Long Island Lutheran in the Federation Challenge is the perfect way to cap off a phenomenal season for the Vikings. 11 seniors will graduate from this South Shore team but Kyrone Alexander, a 14 point per game scorer will be back along with Jarrett Dingle meaning the Vikings should be a PSAL title threat once again.

4- Eagle Academy II (20-6)- While having lost in the PSAL title game to South Shore the best still be to come from this Eagle II group. Eric Acker, who was the leading scorer in the Brooklyn AA, will be back next season, as will Taj Smith who was one of the PSAL's top floor generals meaning for as good as the Eagles were this season, expect them to be even better in a years time.

5- Wings Academy (22-5)- A semifinalist this season before falling to the eventual champs in South Shore 60-54, Wings loses its top four scorers to graduation which will mean that Dominick Marcellus will be asked to step up in a years time and take on a bigger role, with a strong JV group from this year going to be asked to play a role on the varsity as well.


6- John Bowne (17-11)- As a team that is always in the mix for big things in the PSAL, another semifinal effort this season meant a very successful year for the Wildcats. Two key cogs from this years Bowne group will return in Jamere Russell and Christopher Judge so while other holes will need to be filled, the Wildcats should have enough to compete and be among the best in Queens once again.

7- Susan Wagner (27-2)- Anyone who thinks this season was a one year thing will have to get used to the Falcons being among the best in the PSAL moving forward. Xavier Barrow was Wagner's leafing scorer this season and he returns next year, and while the other four starters will graduate, the Falcons JV team won the PSAL title meaning enough talent will be coming in to keep Wagner near the top of the league.

8- Campus Magnet (21-4)- Expectations coming into this season for the Bulldogs weren't really there but after a season where Campus Magnet put themselves among the PSAL's best the question is will the Bulldogs remain as a big time contender? They do lose leading scorer Leverson Tulien to graduation, but Campus returns pretty much everyone else including lead guard Bryce Williams meaning this could just be the start of something big again for the Bulldogs.

9- Curtis (23-6)- Always among the best in NYC and not just Staten Island, Curtis will bring back do it all forward Qadir Martin as the double-double machine should onto continue to get better and improve for the Warriors meaning that Curtis should be a title contender with not just Martin, but three starters due back for the longtime power.

10- Bishop Loughlin (15-12)- If anything getting to the CHSAA semifinals this season was a bonus as most considered the Lions a year away from this type of contention. Christian Jeffrey, Jakai Sanders, and Daye Kaba were all sophomores this season and each put up prolific offensive numbers meaning with those three back in the fold it could mean a potential city title run for a couple of years is to come.

11- Christ the King (15-11)- The Royals are another team that are impressively built for the future. Brandon Williams has a number of high major Division 1 offers and he will be back for Christ the King. Dwayne Pierce, Devin Vanterpool, and Markell Alston are all returning as well meaning the talent level and the potential for the Royals next season is sky high with city title hopes there for sure in Middle Village.

12- Eagle Academy (18-9)- Even though Eagle will lose Asa Kone and a couple of other important pieces to this past seasons success, don't expect Eagle Academy to fall off too much. Jaden Zimmerman picked up his offensive scoring touch as the season went a lot and he will return, as will Brandon Perez for a hungry and motivated Eagles team.

13- James Monroe (21-8)- A pair of really important seniors in Harry Bonilla and Donzell Hamilton will graduate from what was a special Monroe team that had one or their best seasons in recent times, but the young talent for the Eagles including Alhasan Jallow should take enough steps forward to keep James Monroe as a team to watch in the Bronx AA.

14- Francis Lewis (15-9)- Nearly winning the Queens Borough Championship this season in a tight loss to Campus Magnet, the Patriots are a team that probably loses the most out of anyone to graduation in our rankings. Nick Zuvich is going to be the leading man returning for Francis Lewis, and he along with a group with some to prove will hope to maintain the success the Patriots have achieved as of late.

15- St. Raymond (16-10)- Most of the CHSAA teams it seems have a lot of young talent, with the Ravens no exception as they started a pair of impressive freshmen in Tai Turnage and Brandon Stores Jr. showing that while this was another strong and solid season for St. Raymond, the future is much much brighter as they should only improve with their youth continuing to come of age.

16- Thomas Jefferson (13-10)- You expect to see the Orange Wave much higher in the rankings but the future does look bright as Connor Sprattley averaged just over 19 points a game as a freshman this past season, with his value and game only going to continue to get better. Tywan Evans was the floor general and he will be back as well meaning Jefferson should be near the top of the Brooklyn AA in the PSAL again real soon.


Boys & Girls (11-12)

Brooklyn Collegiate (16-10)

Forest Hills (14-12)

Xaverian (11-13)

WHEELS (11-13)

Class A

1- Murry Bergtraum (23-4)- After being crowned PSAL Class A Champions it looks like the Blazers could be just as good next season as well. They do lose Donnell Campbell to graduation, but with Bergtraum set to return Cristian Davis in the backcourt and Kalifa Ouattara in the frontcourt, there is more than enough talent for another title run if the Blazers don't decide to head up to the AA.

2- Transit Tech (28-3)- As one of the more potent offensive teams in the PSAL this past season the Express nearly rose that skill set to the title. Transit fell one win short but do have key returning talents coming back in Ashton Reynolds and Xavier Sanchez, so while the Express do get hit a bit due to graduation, they still should be a force in the A Division.

3- Fordham Prep (22-5)- Back to back winners of the A Division in the CHSAA, Fordham Prep will lose three All-League players to graduation including MVP Omari Ward. It will be good amount of talent to replace but sharpshooter Charlie O'Sullivan should be a big threat returning meaning that he and some talented newcomers will lead the charge to keep the Rams near the top of the league.

4- DeWitt Clinton (23-2)- Without a doubt one of the more impressive stories of the season, the Governors have always been considered more of a football school but they certainly opened eyes this season and made it to the A Division semifinals in the PSAL. The good news for Clinton too is with their top two scores in Jomauri Pena and Jason Coachman due to return, even bigger things could be ahead for this Governors group.

5- Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology (24-8)- Another semifinalist from the PSAL, Law and Tech are always one of the best coached teams. Talent wise they are always among the tops as well and after another sensational year things shouldn't drop off much. Chewy Ricketts will graduate from the lead guard spot, but with D'Mair Williams and Siyani Arthur coming back you can expect another big playoff run from what will surely again be one of Class A's best.

6- McKee/Staten Island Tech (18-10)- Replacing someone of the caliber of Masiah Gilyard will be extremely tough. The Player of the Year on Staten Island this season and the winner of the Jacques Award, his loss will be felt meaning Chris Bonner will be asked to take a much bigger role if the Seagulls want to continue contending and being a threat in Class A, and Staten Island overall.

7- Nazareth (17-7)- There may not have been a better backcourt in the CHSAA in Class A this past season than what the Kingsmen had with Andre Prescott and Tristan Rogers, both of whom will be back next season. Four starters will be back actually so if things align right there shouldn't be any doubt when the year starts that it will be Nazareth as the favorites to take the CHSAA Class A title.

8- Paul Robeson (21-2)- There may be no team in the be PSAL who will have to regroup and reload as much as the Eagles. Kentrell Evans averaged nearly 20 rebounds a game, and his loss to graduation along with backcourt mates Anthony Williams and Jamel Johnson will mean replacing nearly everything that Robeson put on the court this season with Zynire McKenzie the lone returnee who will be asked to take on a much bigger role to keep the Eagles as a team to watch in the PSAL.

9- Lehman (18-3)- Even with the loss of Jalen Elfe to graduation there is enough of a core returning for the Lions to see them as a favorite in Class A, especially in the Bronx. Marques Hutchinson was Lehman's second leading scorer and he will back, as will Jayquan Lee meaning the parts and talent will be there for another solid season to watch from what should be another very good Lehman squad.

10- St. Joseph by the Sea (18-8)- This season had to be looked at as the start of the rise for Sea as a team who could make noise for years to come in the CHSAA. Granted they do graduate Kendall Arcuri and Danny Marinaccio, but Christian Greeley and Anthony Graziano are two intriguing prospects who return and should keep the Vikings in the mix of contenders in Class A for a the title come a year from now.

11- Bayard Rustin Educational Complex (15-5)- A Cinderella type story in Class A this season, Bayard Rustin made a surprising run to the quarterfinals in the postseason behind the play of Isaiah Nisbitt and Eugene Benn, both of whom are graduating in June. Richardson Medina had a solid playoff run averaging nearly 15 points per game and he will be back to lead the charge for the Titans come next season.

12- Graphics Campus (23-4)- Winners of the PSAL Manhattan Borough Championship from the A Division, Graphics were shocked in the Round of 16 in the A Division playoffs. They do bring back a pair of starters come next season in Jayden Moore and Tajshaun Ferrell which will help them stay near the top of their division as the 49ers will look to replicate what can only be looked at as a season to remember.

13- Msgr. Farrell (17-7)- If not for some key injuries in the middle of the season this could have been a title winning season for the Lions who are perennially among the very best in Class A in the CHSAA. Farrell will lose Matt Hanley to graduation, but the Lions got a great year as well from P.J. Scalisi who will be back next season for his senior year and his return, boasted by a strong supporting cast group coming back should help the Lions continue to be a threat.

14- KIPP NYC College Prep (13-5)- We mentioned how the likes of Robeson and Bayard Rustin will be hit hard by graduation, but another that will be touched hard is KIPP who will graduate 92% of their offense. Christian López did begin to come alive more offensively in the playoffs and he will be the team's leader coming back as the Bulldogs will look to show that they have staying power in Class A moving forward.

15- Beacon (21-6)- For a number of years now whenever you think of Beacon you think of a team who just gets things done by grinding games out. They very rarely have one player you need to key in on though with a pair of important pieces set to return next season in Kai Ennis and Jaiden Fisher-Dayn they could be two players to watch as the Blue Demons continue to look to be among Manhattan's best in the PSAL.

16- William Grady (14-5)- It was a good season here for the longtime Coney Island power but it could just be the start of something even bigger as you the trio of Clayton's could have the Falcons among Class A's very best next year. Tyee Clayton, Mosi Clayton, and Jai Clayton will all be back meaning most of Grady's offense, along with other key contributors, will return for what the Falcons surely will hope is an even deeper playoff run.


A. Philip Randolph (18-6)

Bedford Academy (15-9)

Fort Hamilton (20-5)

Franklin K. Lane (21-9)

Louis Brandeis (17-6)

Class B

1- Poly Prep (21-1)- A drive at the buzzer from Phillip Lawrence led the Blue Devils to the Class B NYSAIS Championship, and the #1 overall ranking in Class B in New York State this season. The even better news for Poly is Lawrence and three other starters will be back to defend as the Blue Devils look to be in very good position to do major damage again in a years time.

2- Dwight School (20-6)- When you think of Dwight you automatically think of big man Richard Nweke, one of New York's best talents and a Division 1 recruit. He will graduate and be a huge loss for a Lions team who gave Poly Prep their only loss of the season but talent does return. Nick Padilla is a strong and skilled guard who will lead Dwight next season, and with talented wings who continue to improve don't be surprised if the Lions are in contention again next year.

3- The Scholars Academy (27-2)- Champions of Class B in the PSAL after defeating Community Health in an OT classic a couple weeks back at CCNY, it will be interesting to see what the Seawolves can do a year from now. Four of five starters and their top three scorers graduate with Raphael Tawil the returner who will be asked to step up even more if Scholars want a chance to remain atop the Class B mountain, unless they take on the challenge and go to Class A which is to be determined.

4- Community Health Academy of the Heights (27-3)- Having lost to Scholars Academy in the PSAL Class B title game in an OT thriller, the Phoenix have a little more reason to be excited for next year as John Harrington, Community Health's leading scorer from this past season, returns. They do lose a couple important pieces to graduation but with Harrington and another solid weapon in Elias Santos back in the fold you can expect CHAH fighting for the PSAL title again.

5- Fannie Lou Hamer (22-4)- Much like Community Health, you can say expectations come next season should be even higher for Fannie Lou. Already perennially a Class B title contender, the Panthers will see their top three scorers return in Amir Hughes, Jeremie Hernandez, and Khalil Lloyd so if things were considered good for Fannie Lou Hamer this year, expect even better things and another huge playoff run the next go around as well.

6- Trinity School (15-4)- Competing with anyone they faced off with, Trinity had a fantastic season led by the likes of Drew Morris and James Flagg, both of whom will depart the lineup due to graduation. The cupboard won't be bare though as Dima Galanin had a strong year from the outside shooting it, while also showing some skills around the rim as well that should help them stay near the top of NYSAIS next season.

7- Lab Museum United (20-2)- This was a very special group of Gators that opened eyes throughout this season and into their postseason run that led them to the quarterfinals before an eventual 67-61 loss to the eventual champions in Scholars Academy. Lab will lose its top three scorers with do it all lead guard Kai Smith the one key cog back to return as he will try and led the Gators back to what they hope will be another solid season to come.

8- Baruch College Campus (19-3)- Of all the ranked teams regardless of division Baruch is the one team you really wonder what the future will hold. They lose their top six scorers including double-double leader David Heller meaning new talent will have to show itself and prove itself if Baruch College Campus wants to shock once again after this seasons PSAL Class B semifinal run.

9- Maspeth (18-3)- On the opposite end of the spectrum from Baruch is Maspeth as the Argonauts had another solid run to the quarterfinals again this season, but they return leading Sean Lopez along with three other starters who were more than capable of going off for big games on a needed basis. The talent is definitely there for Maspeth to not just continue being among the best in the Queens B, but best overall in the PSAL as well.

10- Cathedral Prep (21-6)- For the Crusaders to finally take home the Class B title in the CHSAA it was without question a season that will forever be remembered. How will they follow up on it though? They do graduate Nick Guillen considered to maybe be the best player in school history, along with three other starters as well leaving Myles Tucker to be the returning one to try and keep Cathedral Prep next season as the one on top of the mountain in the CHSAA.


Adams Street Academy (16-6)

Bard H.S. Early College (19-7)

BCAM (12-7)

Comprehensive Model School (16-2)

Summit Academy (14-6)

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