Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school boys basketball polls.
And every week we let you know, like the title says ... how The News voted.
The fourth polls were published today in the Scholastic Spotlight. Here's a link to our previous How The News voted posts: last week (Jan. 11, for the first poll of the new year), Dec. 21 (holiday edition) and Dec. 14 (first polls).
But first, a reminder why there were no games (or school) on Monday and why Saturday's event is called the Martin Luther King Jr. Classic:
1. Niagara Falls (9-0) [last week: 1] -- Rolling right along.
2. Jamestown (8-2)  -- Rolling right along. No excuses for Erie County hoop fans not to see what's up: at Clarence tonight, at Will North Friday.
3. Williamsville South (8-1)  -- Rolling right ... you know the rest.
4. Canisius (10-4)  -- At their best, the Crusaders have been outstanding -- which is the adjective for their first half against I-Prep at MLK.
5. McKinley (7-0)  -- Tremendous week for Macks. Win over East, win at Riverside, win over Sweet Home at MLK.
6. Riverside (6-2)  -- We'll keep them here due to their win at St. Joe's.
7. St. Joe's (11-4)  -- Marauders had nearly as good a week as McKinley did, ended it with nearly as impressive a win as McKinley did, gets nearly as much of a bump in the poll as McKinley did.
8. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (9-1)  -- Tigers were leading entire fourth quarter ... but left the door open against St. Joe's by missing it's free throws and took their first loss of the season. On Tuesday, Tigers won in a rout at Williamsville East, which is a team some are voting for but I just can't see that right now.
9. Williamsville North (7-2)  -- On one hand a road loss at Frontier is not a big deal in a very competitive ECIC I. On the other hand, those games are ones teams have to win -- or else they'll slide in the polls. Just the way it is. I'm still a fan of North, I still like their game and I think they'll be in that ECIC I race for the long haul. But a road loss at an unranked team which has some losses in league has to knock out down a notch or two (or four).
10. East (5-3)  -- No shame losing what was largely a close one at McKinley.
Just getting boxed out: Lancaster, which owns a win over Frontier and completed a season sweep of Clarence Saturday evening.
1. International Prep at Grover Cleveland (6-3)  -- We've heard this before: The small schools are not in the same league as the large. However, these guys showed against Tapestry why they're certainly No. 1.
2. St. Mary's (7-6)  -- Will the Lancers take down one of the top 10 large schools from the Monsignor Martin Association? Last chance is next Tuesday hosting Timon.
3. Newfane (6-3)  -- The return trip to Wilson is 10 days away (next Friday night).
4. Maple Grove (7-1)  -- Gave them a bump mostly because ...
5. OTC Middle College (5-4)  -- ... I needed to bump up the Kats after watching them hang with St. Joe's despite Alexander going down in the first quarter. OTC lost to Olean in the IAABO; Maple Grove beat Olean; that was enough reason for me to slot 'em up this way.
6. Wilson (6-4)  -- See No. 3.
7. Tapestry Charter (9-2)  -- Shuffled them down a bit after seeing them in the surreal game at I-Prep, but the shuffle down is less about anything I saw in that game and more about Maple Grove and OTC getting their bumps.
8. Dunkirk (7-0)  -- Latest win by 34 at Falconer.
9. Cassadaga Valley (9-1) [NR] -- Earned a spot on this ballot with 59-55 victory at Portville.
10. Tonawanda (7-3)  -- ECIC IV is its most exciting in years -- maybe even more exciting with a wounded Lackawanna. JFK was next in line to join the huddle.
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