February 7, 2012 - 7:45 AM
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. 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 as we are 11 days from Selection Saturday (Feb. 18), which is when the Section VI basketball seedings and schedule are announced (it's also the date for St. Joe's at Canisius):
1. St. Joe's (17-2) [last ballot: 1] -- Two weeks in a row at No. 1 after passing Timon test last week ... they get another one this week -- Thursday in South Buffalo.
2. Canisius (13-6)  -- Nice finish in win over Timon. Got big outside shots when they needed them. Maybe their swagger is back?
3. Jamestown (14-1)  -- They didn't play extremely well Friday but still won at Will North thanks to Tommy Campion's last-second drive. Was tempted to move them down, but the cases being made below just aren't strong enough to move them, and don't think I saw them at their best.
4. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (13-6)  -- Timon remains a confounding team. Lose at St. Joe's in OT last Monday in a game in a game Tigers looked like they were ready to win. Lose at Canisius Thursday. They used to be all about shooting from the outside. At Canisius they were all about DeMilo Gibbs inside -- to the point that maybe they were too much inside. The Tigers balance things out, and it could come right in time for the next two meetings with No. 1 and No. 2, both of which come in South Buffalo. Thursday night they host St. Joe's (and PrepTalkTV).
5. McKinley (11-2)  -- Macks really wore down Riverside in the end of their win Tuesday. At East Friday.
6. Niagara Falls (11-4)  -- Ken West loss weighs them down. Last three: at KE, vs. Lockport, at L-P.
7. Kenmore West (12-2)  -- Blue Devils' last four: at N-W, vs. NT, at KE, vs. Nichols.
8. Riverside (10-3)  -- Home win during first round maintains their spot ahead of ...
9. Hutch-Tech (9-4)  -- ... these guys, who get their shot to answer when they host the Frontiers at 6 p.m. Wednesday (and who I was quite impressed with in home win over East: smart, deep, athletic, unselfish).
10. Williamsville East (13-2)  -- They just box out hard-charging Amherst for the final spot and top Erie County school in Erie County's conference.
Poll trivia: Last week my small school ballot stayed the same as the previous week; this week my large school ballot stayed the same.
1. Olean (14-1)  -- Well done in second half in what was a 15-point win over Dunkirk.
2. Archbishop Walsh (15-4)  -- Deserved after xx-xx victory over St. Mary's last Tuesday and a schedule which includes losses to St. Joe's (by nine on the road), Canisius, Timon and Olean. However ...
3. St. Mary's (14-6)  -- ... it is somewhat of a provisional vote because these two lovebirds meet again -- at St. Mary's -- on Feb. 14.
4. OTC Middle College (10-3)  -- Last week I said the poll had a very solid top three. Now (with Walsh) it's a top four. Edge goes to the MMA duo due to schedule strength and OTC's loss to EA, but not by much at all. I kind of see it as a three-way tie for second.
5. Tonawanda (13-0)  -- The undefeated season keeps them atop a very competitive list. Best win is at East Aurora, which has since lost to Cheektowaga, Pioneer and Amherst. In the way of undefeated regular season: tonight vs. Cleveland Hill (6:30, see you there); Thurs. at Eden; Sat. at JFK; Mon. at Holland; Wed. Feb. 15 vs. Lackawanna.
6. Depew (9-5)  -- Losses to EA, Cheektowaga and Amherst in last five. Keeping them here. They have EA and Cheektowaga again next week, before the playoffs start and they are back hanging out with small schools.
7. Wilson (11-3)  -- N-O's top two had two meetings. Host Newfane won a close one last week. Newfane's home-court advantage is probably top-five in WNY, especially against the rival Lakemen. Even season series? Neutral court? We're voting these guys.
8. MST Seneca (11-2)  -- Nice win at Holland last week made up for loss to City Honors -- heading into Monday's action, the Centaurs haven't lost since and are making a case for themselves to get a vote.
9. Silver Creek (13-1)  -- Black Knights keep winning. They win tonight (at Randolph) and they could have a case for No. 5 next week.
10. East (6-8)  -- They are super long and athletic and they have a very talented point guard in Johnathan Lewis. But the losses keep mounting ... but the losses are to ranked large schools. We still think they deserve a vote slightly over others, including Newfane, Dunkirk, City Honors, I-Prep/Grover, Randolph, Maple Grove, Portville, Panama ... (not necessarily in this order).
Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below and our weekly chat is here Wednesday evening.
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)
buffalonews.com/high-schools facebook.com/preptalkblog twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk