Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school boys basketball polls. Here are the third polls, published today in the Scholastic Spotlight.
And every week we let you know, like the blog title says ... how The News voted.
1. Niagara Falls (7-0) [last week: 1] -- Will the NFL provide more drama (like Ken West did?)
2. Jamestown (7-2)  -- Red Raiders' rout at OP says they'll say no thanks to what would seem to be a lot of ECIC I drama.
3. Williamsville South (7-1)  -- Billies' game with Will East should be a fun one, but otherwise ECIC II does not appear to present much drama.
4. Canisius (8-4)  -- 8-4? Man, these guys have been busy.
5. Williamsville North (7-1)  -- Had a wait-and-see approach last ballot, with Riverside bumped ahead of North based on a win at OP. Then Will North had its own impressive win at OP. Some other pollsters obviously don't believe it, but North is for real.
6. Riverside (5-1)  -- Nice bounce-back in OT to beat a tough-playing Hutch-Tech team Friday.
7. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (8-0)  -- Still not sure about these Tigers due to the schedule. This week (tonight at Will East and Thursday at home vs. St. Joe's) shows up right on time.
8. St. Joe's (8-4)  -- We'll still give Timon the edge -- for now. And a reminder that Riverside beat these guys on Kenmore Ave.
9. McKinley (4-0)  -- Definitely interested in seeing the Macks today ...
10. East (4-2)  -- ... host the Panthers, who stay down here after coming up empty in a top tourney in Rochester.
Just getting boxed out: Almost all of the rest of ECIC I along with Depew.
1. International Prep at Grover Cleveland (4-2)  -- It should be a wacky scene at Grover Thursday, with the green Tapestry team led by coach Schunk vsiting to play the blue I-Prep-pers.
2. St. Mary's (6-5)  -- What I Did On My Christmas Vacation essay would include two tournament wins at Akron (over Hutch-Tech) and at Depew (over the hosts).
3. Newfane (4-3)  -- A little surprised at the loss to St. Francis in consolation at Will South, but just more evidence that this year there seems to be quite the chasm between large and small.
4. Wilson (4-4)  -- Loss to Lew-Port is no great shame ... see large/small note above.
5. Tapestry Charter (8-1)  -- Timon and Tapestry should play each other. Probably would help both's schedules.
6. Maple Grove (7-1)  -- Red Dragons of CCAA III edge ...
7. Dunkirk (2-0)  -- ... the Marauders of CCAA I due to the Grove's higher margin of victory over Southwestern. The Trojans lost consecutive games to these two, both at home (Maple Grove beat Southwestern by 10 on Dec. 28 to while Dunkirk won by 2 on Jan. 3).
8. Lackawanna (3-5)  -- When I filled out my ballot, I was like, OK, the Steelers had some key people missing early on, and the win at Tonawanda shows they're back. With the ballot all sent off to poll headquarters, thennnnn Lackawanna lost at home to Cleve Hill Monday night. We are already reworking the poll for next week.
9. OTC Middle College (3-3)  -- Status up top was a bit tenuous and based on last year, loss to a much different Olean team around the holidays was a needed barometer of where these Kats are.
10. Tonawanda (4-0)  -- ECIC IV is its most exciting in years.
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