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How The News voted: The penultimate poll

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 as we headed into the postseason (Feb. 21), 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 Championship Week ballot ... filled out BEFORE Monday night's games because they're so potentially poll-altering (during the season I often wrote the blog on Mondays).

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (19-6) [last ballot: 1] -- Playing like No. 1 school at the right time.

2. McKinley (17-2) [2] -- Playing like a top two school at the right time. 

3. St. Joe's (20-4) [4] -- Very nice bounce-back win over St. Francis. Agbeko and Briggs played with the desperation good seniors play with at the right time. 

4. Niagara Falls (15-4) [3] -- Leading Lockport by two at halftime in a sectional quarterfinal gave us flashbacks of the Clarence q-final loss two years ago and earns them a slide below St. Joe's. Be sure to enjoy the excellent Niagara Falls Pep Band at Buff State -- its director is retiring.

5. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (16-9) [5] -- Very good win over a very good Walsh team. Results from other top 10 teams (or teams that used to be in the top 10) back up the fact that Timon needs to be in the top five.

6. Jamestown (17-2) [6] -- I know Orchard Park was on a roll, but I thought the Red Raiders would rebound from that Frontier loss with a bigger quarterfinal win at home (eight points). 

7. Riverside (15-4) [8] -- Forceful dismissal of Maryvale. Matchup with EA could be the best of the semifinals. Gave them strong thought for No. 6 spot.

8. Hutch-Tech (13-6) [9] -- I thought they'd win at Iroquois, but 90-51? 53-24 at half? 74-37 after three? Holey moley. Shows a divide between haves and have-nots.

9. Frontier (16-3) [10] -- Impressed by how they ran away from a very solid NT squad. Look out, Jamestown.

10. Williamsville North (13-7) [NR] -- Win on the floor of a ranked team and you get a deserved promotion.

Who's next? Ken West, Will South, Will East (those two could be in for a great one after another holey-moley score, East over Hamburg, 78-29), Amherst, East Aurora. Next is a group a notch below: North Tonawanda, Sweet Home, St. Francis, Cheektowaga, Lockport ... not necessarily in that order (but probably close). 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Olean (18-1) [1] -- So much for Lackawanna shocking the world. 29-point win for Huskies. Looks like they're ready.

2. St. Mary's (19-6) [2] -- First team to clinch a state playoff spot. 

3. OTC Middle College (16-3) [3] -- Expected big win to open sectionals. 

4. Archbishop Walsh (17-6) [4] -- Going to keep them here. 

5. MST Seneca (16-3) [5] -- Very solid win over Randolph at McKinley. A more emphatic win perhaps moves them past Walsh.

6. Depew (14-6) [6] -- Their league was tough. Their nonleague games were also tough (hint, hint, hint team that lost to them in OT).

7. Tonawanda (18-1) [7] -- No. 6 and No. 7 on this ballot should be fun Monday night. 

8. Silver Creek (18-1) [8] -- Win over Chautauqua Lake was not what we thought we'd see from No. 1 vs. No. 8 (eight points).

9. East (11-9) [9] -- There were people moaning and groaning that this team was ranked all season despite losses to outstanding large schools. This team made it to Buffalo State (again).

10. City Honors (14-6) [10] -- Nice to the the Centaurs following our placement of them in this spot with a very solid win wayyyy down at A-L.

Just missing (and rounding out a top 20): Maple Grove, I-Prep, Portville, Cleveland Hill, Newfane, Dunkirk, CSAT, Wilson, Randolph, Cassadaga Valley.  

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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