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How The News voted: Canisius No. 1, St. Joe's No. 3, see you on Friday

Every week during the basketball season a panel of voters participates 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.

Here is a link to previous ballots: last week -- Jan. 17 (MLK edition), Jan. 10 (back from the break), Dec. 20, Dec. 13 (the tipoff).

Here are this week's polls, and here's our ballot:

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (9-4) [last ballot: 1] -- I'm sticking with these guys, Friday night guests of the guys who beat Aquinas.  

2. Niagara Falls (9-3) [2] -- Sticking with these guys here over ...

3. St. Joe's (13-2) [6] -- ... the guys who beat Aquinas.

In other seasons, a win over one of the best programs in the state would vault a team, especially a 13-2 team, to the top. I would argue that Aquinas should be ranked No. 1 in a combined Section V/Section VI/Monsignor Martin Association poll. And in voting St. Joe's No. 3 here, I guess I would have Aquinas at the top? Canisius played Aquinas tough at home without Matt Hart. Aquinas lost at St. Joe's without starter Jarron Jones, who is certainly a great body to have in the lineup but certainly not the kind of impact player that Phil Valenti or Christian White or Jhamahl Pardner are. 

For me, it came down to my gut, based on what I've seen and gathered from this season. I would take No. 1 and No. 2 over No. 3 if they played. Which means I would take No. 1 over No. 3 no matter where they played. And would you look at this: No. 1 Canisius at No. 3 St. Joe's on Friday night. PrepTalkTV will be there (duh :-) ).

[After-the-votes-were-tallied note: I'm quite surprised that St. Joe's didn't get more than one No. 1 vote. I thought I might be on an island in considering Canisius still at the top.]

4. Jamestown (10-1) [3] -- Slide down with Joe's moving up. (at Clarence on Ridiculously Busy Friday).

5. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (11-3) [4] -- Make that two. (hosting Kearney on Ridiculously Busy Friday).

6. McKinley (8-2) [5] -- Make that three. (

7. Riverside (8-2) [7] -- Same spot for Frontiers, and with exams this week we're not expected to learn much about the city teams ...

8. Hutch-Tech (6-3) [8] -- ... including these guys. 

9. Williamsville East (11-2) [9] -- Really liked the way the Flames played without their coach, on rival's floor, against a program that had owned them the last six years or so. Liked the team play big-time. They play together on both ends, they are fundamentally sound, they have guys making unselfish plays, with 6-foot-3 Isaiah Kaudeyr making a ton of them. I wanted to vote them higher -- but they're just kind of stuck here in some sense. These three are in like a tie for seventh.

10. Kenmore West (9-2) [10] -- Blue Devils (at Niagara Falls on Ridiculously Busy Friday) still a step ahead of other contenders for this spot, a huddle that Frontier just rejoined after completing a season sweep of a Will North team I thought was on an upswing. East Aurora definitely in this crowd, Will South, Cheektowaga and maybe even Amherst too from competitive ECIC III that also includes top 10 small school Depew. Tough to figure out where the rest of ECIC I fits with Lancaster beating Clarence, along with Orchard Park beating Hamburg and then OP losing to Sweet Home in its next game. The rest of the NFL probably is in that neighborhood. 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Olean (11-1) [1] -- Schedule check: Dunkirk at Olean, next Tuesday, Jan. 31.

2. St. Mary's (11-5) [2] -- Fairly close ones over Nichols and Niagara Catholic and a huge blowout of St. Francis. Hmm.

3. OTC Middle College (6-3) [3] -- Host MST Seneca on Ridiculously Busy Friday.

4. Archbishop Walsh (11-3) [6] -- Chances to see these guys up north: Wednesday at Canisius, Friday at St. Francis. Scheduling note: First game with St. Mary's is home on Jan. 31.

5. Tonawanda (12-0) [5] -- A week after I wrote how impressed I was at Lackawanna, I can't say the same about the home win over Holland. Part of the reason for the Walsh promotion.

6. Depew (7-4) [7] -- I liked what I saw from Cheektowaga in close loss to I-Prep (probably No. 11 on this list) at MLK Classic; Cheektowaga just won in OT at Depew. I suppose you could argue that these Wildcats should drop further, but ECIC III is no picnic with large schools like Cheektowaga, Amherst and EA (which got a good run from Maryvale the other night).

7. Wilson (8-2) [8] -- I saw one quarter in a tiny, packed, loud CSAT gym and really liked what I saw. Diez hitting threes, Martin playing like a senior, well-run operation. Like Will East, wanted to vote them higher, but just couldn't.  

8. MST Seneca (8-1) [4] -- Drop down with loss to City Honors, which moved probably from Top 20 to Top 15 with that win. 

9. East (4-6) [9] -- Saw them against McKinley without top guard Johnathon Lewis. Team deserves to be -- just holding on -- in the top 10.

10. Silver Creek (7-1) [10] -- Hosting Portville, one of many contenders for this spot, on Ridiculously Busy Friday.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN | [email protected]

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