By Keith McShea
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.
This is just one ballot -- there are nine other voters in each poll. This week's News poll is available via the high school home page.
It's a Super Week, and we're not talking about Sunday's football game. As you'll see throughout the blog, there are several big-time games this week -- there's even one on Super Bowl Sunday that is worth a bit of hype.
Here's last week's ballot (Week Five, Jan. 22). Previous polls: Week Four, Jan. 15, Week Three (Jan. 8, which followed a two-week holiday break); Week Two (our special Christmas edition, Dec. 18); Week One (Dec. 11). Also, here's last year's final 2011-12 post.
1. Niagara Falls (10-1) [last week: 1] -- The 100-18 win over Kenmore East revived calls for the Niagara Frontier League to allow Falls to play as an independent. I've said they should have remained that way since the 2005 Federation championship team.
Instead, league games are far from challenging while the Wolverines only have FOUR nonleague games. Two of them are this weekend as Falls takes on Webster Schroeder (No. 2 in the Section V large school poll) in Saturday's RAP Invitational (7 p.m.) at Rochester's East High. On Super Sunday, Falls completes its home-and-home with Bishop Kearney (No. 5 in Section V but now playing with Chinoso Obokoh again) in a 2:45 p.m. game. Let's make sure that game moves along, guys :-)
As if things couldn't get any super-er for Falls, coach Sal Constantino and standout seniors Jermaine Crumpton and Jaleo Wilkins will be guests on Wednesday's 9 p.m. episode of PrepTalkTV Weekly.
2. Canisius (11-3)  -- Crusaders begin a killer February with Friday night's visit to Bishop Timon-St. Jude and Saturday's outstanding RAP Invitational matchup with Section V No. 1 Fairport. Super.
3. Williamsville North (11-2)  -- Spartans playing host to a major showdown tonight during this Super Week as it welcomes in ...
4. Jamestown (11-2)  -- ... the Red Raiders, who lost at home in the teams' first meeting in early January.
5. St. Joe's (13-4)  -- Marauders started Super Week off with a fine win at Timon Monday night. They are at Nichols in a great large-small battle Thursday.
6. McKinley (9-3)  -- That close Oracle win at McKinley is tremendous for Oracle, but we don't see it hurting the Macks as much as your (and our) knee-jerk reaction would think. Macks still own a win over Timon, very early in the season, and while Timon is playing well there's nothing jumping off the page that says the Tigers would beat the Macks. Super Week stop is Friday night at ECC to face Middle Early College.
7. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (9-6)  -- Speaking of those Tigers, they get yet another chance to break through against St. Joe's (lost at home Monday) and Canisius when it hosts the Crusaders Friday. Then it's another tough contest for a Timon team that has scheduled very tough this season -- the Tigers play East High in Rochester Saturday night (8:45 p.m. scheduled start) to finish off the RAP Invitational. Back-to-back super games for Timon and Canisius.
8. Clarence (10-4)  -- Home loss to Jamestown doesn't move them from this spot. Still own early win over Amherst and the nice win at North.
9. Amherst (12-1)  -- First win at Maryvale in 10 years for the Tigers says quite a bit. Tigers have another great one here in Super Week as it hosts East Aurora tonight.
10. North Tonawanda (7-6) [NR] -- Lumberjacks are 6-1 over last month, including Friday's 21-point win over Kenmore West, a win that avenged an earlier loss to KW. Only loss recently was to Falls (81-35, another sign of how good Falls is). NT deserves the spot after a clear win over a team that spent the whole season in the top 10.
Who's next? Probably recent dropout Ken West, which owns a 16-point win over ECIC II unbeaten Sweet Home, which obviously has the edge on the likes of Will South and Iroquois. Frontier belongs in the 10-11 discussion as well.
1. Olean (12-1)  -- Super Week is thus because so many teams have so many good games. The Huskies' part has them playing at Section VI Class AA traditional power East High on Friday's night's start of the RAP Invitational.
2. Silver Creek (13-0)  -- At Portville tonight. First time around the Black Knights won, 84-57. Rest of schedule: vs. Cassadaga Valley Friday; at Cattaraugus-Little Valley Feb. 5; vs. Randolph Feb. 8; vs. Dunkirk Feb. 14.
3. Oracle Charter (14-1) [NR] -- No. 3? Yes, No. 3. In recent weeks, McKinley has beaten East and Middle College at home. A win in that gym deserves respect. So does their schedule (only loss was first game vs. Clarence; they've beaten North Tonawanda, Park, Westfield, Clymer).
4. East (9-4)  -- Contribution to Super Week is a trip to upstart South Park on Friday.
5. Nichols (13-3)  -- Top-notch victory at St. Mary's. They get that super visit Thursday from St. Joe's.
6. Middle Early College (8-4)  -- Super Week contribution: Friday home for McKinley at 7.
7. St. Mary's (10-6)  -- Liked the way the Kats were playing recently, so slid them ahead of Lancers after the home loss to Nichols.
8. Cleveland Hill (11-1)  -- After a week off, a Super Week matchup at Lackawanna on Thursday as the Golden Eagles attempt a season sweep.
9. Maple Grove (10-1)  -- HEY MAPLE GROVE! CALL IN YOUR SCORES TO THE BUFFALO NEWS. Signed, newspaper/web site that has followed you to state championships in football and basketball and has honored your state champions with state championship pages (like girls cross country next week). SUPER annoying. SUPER disappointing. SUPER lazy. Thanks.
10. Lackawanna (11-2)  -- Hoping to be able to check out Thursday's showdown with Cleve Hill. Whoops. Almost forgot to describe it as "super."
East Aurora got bumped from my ballot with Oracle's ascension.
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taggedAmherst | Basketball | Bishop Timon-St. Jude | Canisius | Clarence | Cleveland Hill | East Aurora | East High | Frontier | How The News voted | Jamestown | Lackawanna | Maple Grove | McKinley | Middle College | Niagara Falls | Nichols | North Tonawanda | Olean | Silver Creek | St. Joe's | St. Mary's/Lancaster | Williamsville North