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How The News voted: Finals week

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 (Feb. 7), Jan. 31 (New World Order), Jan. 24 (when I said I thought Canisius would win at St. Joe's), 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 this finals week as we head toward Selection Saturday, which is when the Section VI basketball seedings and schedule are announced:

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. St. Joe's (18-2) [last ballot: 1] -- Sunday game with Aquinas was snowed out and won't be rescheduled. Seems only weather can stop the Marauders lately.

2. Canisius (14-6) [2] -- Big win Saturday at Kearney. Big game Thursday at Timon. Biggest game Saturday home against St. Joe's. (Biggest of the soon-to-expire regular season, that is.)

This week, the first two were easy. The rest, not so much.

3. McKinley (14-2) [5] -- Macks lost to St. Joe's by one in season opener, lost to Canisius by 11 at MLK Classic. Won all the rest. In a season starving for consistency, the deep, dangerous Macks deserve this spot. 

4. Niagara Falls (13-4) [6] -- Have been crushing teams since Ken West loss.

5. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (14-8) [4] -- Thursday PrepTalkTV is back in South Buffalo for Canisius' visit.

6. Jamestown (15-2) [3] -- One of the most solid teams in the poll this year follows close call at Will North with the stunner of a loss at Frontier.

7. Kenmore West (14-2) [7] -- At rival Ken East Wednesday, vs. Nichols Friday.

8. Riverside (13-3) [8] -- Have put some very nice wins together after losing at McKinley. 

9. Hutch-Tech (10-6) [9] -- Loss at home to Riverside was not a shocker. Loss at home to Bennett was. Held on to this spot by thismuch.

10. Frontier (12-3) [NR] -- Win over Jamestown certainly earns them this spot.

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Olean (16-1) [1] -- Yawn. How far can the Huskies go? We'll see over the next five weeks or so.

2. Archbishop Walsh (16-4) [2] -- See you on your Valentine's date at ...

3. St. Mary's (14-6) [3] -- ... the Lancers tonight.

4. OTC Middle College (13-3) [4] -- These guys could easily be second. They might be after I watch tonight's game between No. 2 & 3. 

5. MST Seneca (15-2) [8] -- Clutch win in OT at I-Prep's substandard gymnasium. Buffalo Public Schools, I know you have problems. Why create another one by moving one of your proudest athletic programs (soccer and basketball) to another building, and to a gym that's the worst I've ever seen? (and I've seen a lot; Lafayette is excepted from that rating because I'm overwhelmed by its charm :-) ).

6. Depew (11-5) [6] -- The ECIC III bruises to large schools will come in handy in the B-1 bracket.

7. Tonawanda (15-1) [5] -- Overtime loss to Cleveland Hill leads to a tumble. 

8. Silver Creek (14-1) [9] -- Black Knights with a nice win at Randolph.

9. Newfane (14-2) [NR] -- We went with Wilson ahead of Newfane last week. We were wrong.

10. I-Prep (9-7) [NR] -- Presidents have a little bit of everything (besides the substandard gym). Went with them over City Honors in a close one.

Took East off the ballot despite seeing their best ball in a long time (second quarter vs. McKinley). They get more of that, they'll finally back up pollsters like me for voting for them all season.

Cleve Hill just missed out here after a rousing win at Tonawanda.

Dunkirk? I'll vote it when I believe it when I see it. A home-and-home with Eden will not do that.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below and our weekly chat is here Wednesday evening.

* * * 

Our bad (chest-tap): Some of the teams' records were incorrect in the paper and I'm fixing them online.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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 | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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