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How The News voted (Week Three): Happy 2013

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.

It's Baby New Year with a basketball (or something we found on google image search).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.

Here's the Week Two ballot (it was our Christmas edition on Dec. 18 -- the poll took a two-week holiday break) and Week One. Here's a link to our final "How The News voted" post from last basketball season

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Niagara Falls (5-1) [last poll: 1] -- Still deserve top spot based on their season-opening overtime win over Bishop Kearney (with Obokoh). Host Ken West tonight.

2. Canisius (6-3) [2] -- Right behind despite their emphatic win over Bishop Kearney (without Obokoh). Senior Adam Weir is 24 points away from 1,000 entering Wednesday night's home game with St. Mary's. Saturday at 2 at Canisius College it is Chapter One of Crusaders vs. ... 

3. St. Joe's (9-1) [5] -- ... the Marauders, who we're giving this spot based on its a fine record and a fine schedule, including big home wins over Middle Early College and Aquinas. 

There's two ways to go at this point of the poll. You go with the Marauders & the Macks or you go with the ECIC teams. For now, I've gone the former. Itwasthisclose. I like the Aquinas win. The only loss for St. Joe's is on a neutral court to Jamestown.

4. McKinley (5-1) [6] -- Stay tucked behind St. Joe's after losing to Marauders in home buzzer-beater. 

I just wish we could get an ECIC-St. Joe's/McKinley crossover ... oh, well would you look at this: Clarence at McKinley at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

5. Williamsville North (7-1) [4] -- Home loss to Clarence a head-scratcher, especially because they bounced back with a very big win at the ... 

6. Jamestown (6-1) [3] -- ... Red Raiders. My gut is aching because my gut feeling is to put North and Jamestown ahead of Joe's and McKinley, but that North home loss to Clarence (along with a very strong resume from St. Joe's) just doesn't allow me to do that. The Clarence win is too recent. 

7. Clarence (8-2) [9] -- Very strong win at North -- to split the teams' season series -- keeps them attached to their two leaguemates. North had won by double digits on the road. Other loss is double digits at home to Jamestown. Also owns win over Amherst.

8. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (3-5) [7] -- Strong win Monday night at home over Nichols, making them 3-2 vs. WNY (beating Ken West, Fredonia and Nichols; losing at Jamestown and to McKinley in opener). 

9. Kenmore West (6-2) [8] -- Six straight wins after opening with losses to St. Joe's and Timon.

10. Amherst (8-1) [10] -- Lone loss to Clarence. Racking up solid wins in ECIC III over solid small school teams.

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Silver Creek (9-0) [3] -- Couldn't vote for Olean with Eckstrom still not back. Too much doubt. If he's back, they're back at No. 1, but we're not there yet. Couldn't vote for Nichols here because of other results, including an OT win at Park. Who won big at Park? Smooth Silver Creek. The schedule might not be the toughest, but the Black Knights have many back from a great team last year, they're undefeated -- doing so by winning big -- and playing very, very good team ball from all reports I've gotten. Very worthy of this spot this week, all things considered.

2. Olean (8-1) [1] -- Pretty much explained above. Eckstrom did not play Monday night.

3. Middle Early College (5-1) [2] -- Certainly will be in the mix at the top of this poll and the top of Class C all year. After seeing the Kats lose at a very good St. Joe's team, I decided to go with Silver Creek.

4. Nichols (9-1) [7] -- Win over Olean at Bona the biggest win for Vikings since one of the best team's I've ever covered won the Federation. 

5. St. Mary's (7-3) [6] -- Keeping them tucked right behind Nichols. Those games should be fun.

6. Lackawanna (5-1) [4] -- Lone loss is at Section V top small school Batavia.

7. Maple Grove (6-1) [NR] -- My bad (chest tap). Should have had them here last week for beating East early on. 

8. Cleveland Hill (7-1) [NR] -- Great start for Golden Eagles. After opening with two-point loss to Nichols, seven straight wins included win over Maryvale to win Flyers' tournament, which puts the Hill a notch ahead of the ECIC III toughies.  

9. East (5-4) [9] -- Doing that thing they do where they start slow, play large schools tough in Yale Cup, and then (probably) end up with a fine postseason run. We'll see. 

10. East Aurora (4-3) [NR] -- Avenged early-season loss to Maryvale as part of three-game win streak, which included win over CSAT (which just won at Newfane). Two-point loss to Amherst came before three-game run. Gives them edge over Maryvale and Depew (which beat EA by 1 before the Amherst loss), for now. 

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below (it's back with a few new bells & whistles -- please let us know what you think of it), as are our Twitter, Facebook & email addresses. And we'll have our live chat Wednesday evening following our first 2013 episode of PrepTalkTV. 

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     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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