There's a ton of All-WNY basketball info in tomorrow's paper, but here's a little teaser.
The final polls will be part of the seven-page feature -- including two very special ones -- but here's our ballot. Remember that it's just one vote, so things won't look exactly like this.
Every week 10 voters participate in The News' large and small school polls for boys basketball. The poll is published Tuesday in the Sidelines of the Scholastic Spotlight.
Here's our final ballot:
1. Nichols (24-7) [last week: 1] - Last blog I wrote, "with the Manhattan Cup mission complete, these guys are hoping to be playing until March 28." I had the date wrong. They went as far as they could go -- March 27 (the next day, the Federation Tournament -- and the season in New York State -- concluded with the AA finals for boys and girls).
2. Jamestown (18-4)  - "Some serious poll upside here," I wrote last time as they headed to Buffalo State. Balanced, dangerous, smart team that clearly deserves this spot to me. And it was in January, but it's certainly worth noting that the Red Raiders also beat the Newark team that beat South.
3. Williamsville South (19-4)  - 2010 Billies won't have Coppola wheeling and dealing. A very strange thought.
4. East (17-5)  - Panthers put on a masterful performance in routing Maryvale, one in which they looked as they had throughout the season -- good enough to beat all but one team in this poll. Three days later they were taken out of their game extremely and astonishingly quickly by South. We'll chalk that last game up to a what was a great effort by South.
5. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (17-9)  - Last poll: "Put up a better fight against Nichols than Canisius. I thought about moving them up a spot."
6. Canisius (21-6)  - Another see-last-week's poll. "The Crusaders could drop further."
7. Clarence (15-7)  - What a win over OP at Buffalo State. Great team ball and energy late in the year, which gives them the slightest of edges over ...
8. North Tonawanda (16-4)  - ... the Lumberjacks, who are up there (down there?) with East as teams which seemed to lost their winning personality during what would be their final game of the season.
9. Orchard Park (16-4)  - Last poll turned out to be an understatement: "ECIC I matchup against Clarence is going to be fun."
10. Sweet Home (15-5) [NR] - I said the Panthers might be back, and here they are. Maryvale drops out after a three-point win over Cheektowaga and a 21-point loss to East.
1. OTC Middle College (23-1)  - All season I had Olean in this spot, and I'd still love to see the two match up with a healthy Alex Moore in the lineup. However, the Kats showed down the stretch how good they are. Definitely No. 1 here, which begs an interesting question -- where would the Kats land overall in the state? After watching the state champions at the Federation, I think they would have done well against the Class B final four teams (and obviously they're ranked ahead of St. Mary's locally).
2. Olean (20-3)  - Heartbreaker for Moore and the team to lose him at that point of the season.
3. Maple Grove (16-8)  - I think the Red Dragons are outmatched by the two teams above. It's not just the state title that gets them this boost -- it's how they won it. I wouldn't bet against Chris Secky finding a way to win against the rest of this top 10.
4. St. Mary's (18-9)  - They get major credit (namely a bump past Depew) for beating an extremely good Salesian team.
5. Depew (17-4)  - A tightly-bunched pack from here on down because ...
6. Grover Cleveland (14-7)  - ... these guys lost to Olean before Depew lost to Olean (in a closer game) ...
7. Lackawanna (15-5)  - ... these guys took Depew right down to the wire ...
8. Akron (14-8) [NR] - ... these guys were overwhelmed by Olean in the overall final but definitely deserve to be in front of their N-O mates below.
9. Wilson (17-3)  - Still a top-notch season for the Lakemen.
10. Medina (14-5)  - Lost at home in the quarters but to a good Grover team, so we keep them here just ahead of Cassadaga Valley, Cleveland Hill and dropped-out Allegany-Limestone.
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