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How The News voted: Postseason, hello

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. 14), 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 embark on the postseason (finally!):

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (18-6) [last ballot: 2] -- We're almost back where we started after authoritative win over St. Joe's.

2. McKinley (16-2) [3] -- Fine finish to undefeated Yale Cup season at Riverside as they overwhelmed Frontiers (again). 

3. Niagara Falls (14-4) [4] -- If I moved these guys back to No. 2, we'd really be back where we started. McKinley's win at Riverside kept them a quick-step a head.

4. St. Joe's (19-4) [1] -- Loss at Canisius was understandable if not expected. The loss at St. Francis -- at home -- is what drags them down here. Based on what teams had done against St. Francis, it's probably the worst loss among the top eight large schools. All year we've marveled at how Joe's came together quicker than we thought and were so solid game-after-game. Timing is bad for Joe's, intriguing for Manhattan Cup fans. As we've said all year, it should be quite the tournament.

5. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (15-9) [5] -- They just lost in OT to No. 1, they beat St. Francis twice by 20-plus. Enough blabber about losses only get you so far. They play in a super-tough league and they've shown their level of play is better than the teams listed below. The loss at home to St. Mary's was because St. Mary's is one of the best teams in WNY, period.

6. Jamestown (16-2) [6] -- Loss at Frontier sign of trouble? Or one that prompts a postseason focus that takes them to a third straight AA title?

7. Kenmore West (16-2) [7] -- Not the greatest opponents in WNY, but they head into the playoffs with dominant showings against Ken East and Nichols.

8. Riverside (14-4) [8] -- Wanted to put them higher after a good fight against McKinley, just nowhere to go with them. 

9. Hutch-Tech (12-6) [9] -- We stuck with our previous No. 9 ...

10. Frontier (15-3) [10] -- ... and No. 10. Williamsville South, Amherst, East Aurora among those who just might end up here.

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Olean (17-1) [1] -- Wire to wire in regular season.

2. St. Mary's (18-6) [3] -- Another edition of back to where we started. A win like the one they had over Walsh -- not to mention the follow-up blowout on the road at Newfane -- deserves the No. 2 spot, although it seems many disagree.

3. OTC Middle College (15-3) [4] -- Big favorites in C. I just think St. Mary's is better all-around. 

4. Archbishop Walsh (17-5) [2] -- St. Mary's won going away despite Ryan Whelpley almost being able to score at will. 

5. MST Seneca (15-3) [5] -- Loss to OTC no reason to move them.

6. Depew (12-6) [6] -- Phew, the Wildcats must be saying, now we get to be a small school playing other small schools.

7. Tonawanda (17-1) [7] -- Nice finish after the Cleve Hill loss. 

8. Silver Creek (17-1) [8] -- Standout season, one in which I've had them as No. 2 in CCAA. We'll see what the playoffs deliver.

9. East (9-9) [NR] -- Win over Bennett team that beat Hutch-Tech part of a good finish to the season. Along with Depew, Panthers will make B-1 verrrrrry interesting.

10. City Honors (12-6) [NR] -- Centaurs' season sweep over I-Prep earns them this spot while Newfane also drops out.

The rest of the small school top 35, NOT in order: Panthers, Presidents, Cleve Hill, Dunkirk (home-and-homes with Eden and Lake Shore as four of six nonleaguers make theirs, I think, the worst schedule among teams that have even been considered for a vote in either poll), Maple Grove, Wilson, CSAT, Randolph, Portville, Westfield, Akron, Emerson, Oracle Charter, Panama, Allegany-Limestone, Clymer, Roy-Hart, Sherman, Cassadaga Valley, Alden, Burgard, Lackawanna, Holland, Barker, Fredonia.

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

---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 | [email protected]

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