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How The News voted: Let the playoffs begin

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 week starts the postseason -- today there will be play-in rounds in both the Monsignor Martin Association's Manhattan Cup playoffs and the Section VI tournament.

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. The direct link is here.

Here's last week's ballot (Week Eight, Feb. 12 -- Valentine's edition). Previous polls: Week Seven, Feb. 5 (Canisius No. 1), Week Six, Jan. 29 (Super week); Week Five, Jan. 22 (inauguration), Week Four, Jan. 15 (MLK), Week Three (Jan. 8, back from two-week holiday break); Week Two (special Christmas edition, Dec. 18); Week One (Dec. 11). Also, here's last year's final 2011-12 post

With not much movement in the poll and not many games left, here's a look at this week's ballot along with each team's remaining schedule:

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (17-4) [last week: 1] -- Crusaders playing at a very high level right now, right according to plan.

2. Niagara Falls (14-3) [2] -- No. 2 in this ballot, No. 2 in the AA seedings due to ...

3. Jamestown (14-2) [3] -- ... the Red Raiders racking up more power points in ECIC I. Will anyone get in the way of yet another Falls-Jamestown meeting at Buffalo State? This ballot doesn't think so.

4. St. Joe's (17-4) [4] -- Aiming for another shot at Canisius, which would come in Manhattan Cup final.

5. Williamsville North (13-3) [5] -- Sterling Taplin (a junior, remember) has exactly 1,400 career points right now. Yikes.

6. McKinley (15-3) [6] -- Remarkable recent run in Yale Cup. Losses to St. Joe's, Canisius and Oracle. 

7. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (10-11) [7] -- Yes, keeping them here. Deja vu all over again as Tigers yet to score a breakthrough win over St. Joe's or Canisius. They should have one more shot. The recent losses have been by BIG margins, but we still haven't seen enough on paper to think one of the teams below should be above. 

8. Clarence (13-4) [8] -- We have another high-scoring Funk: Junior Ryan put up 37 vs. Lancaster last week.

9. Amherst (14-1) [9] -- If Tigers play four quarters like they did the first quarter against Depew, they'll be higher on this list, and playing for a long time.

10. Williamsville South (12-4) [10] -- Congrats to the Billies for staying on this ballot for two straight weeks, something the past No. 10s couldn't pull off. 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Olean (17-1) [1] -- The postseason begins tomorrow. It ends (for Class B) on March 23. Not the craziest thought that the Huskies could be playing that long.

2. Silver Creek (18-0) [2] -- No. 2 in Class C state poll. For Class C, the season goes until March 17. Whoever survives what should be a compelling-with-a-capital-C playoff in Section VI would appear to have a very good shot to be playing that long as well.

3. Oracle Charter (17-1) [3] -- Phoenix part of that fun C group. 

4. Cleveland Hill (16-1) [5] -- Slow start but then big finish at Holland the other night. Excellent season getting rewarded, but the next four teams on the ballot are quite good. Which means we we were (we have to vote before Monday's games) looking forward very much to Monday nonleaguer at St. Mary's.

5. St. Mary's (17-6) [8] -- Lancers were rock-solid in clear win over Nichols Friday. Seven straight wins heading into great pre-postseason matchup with Cleveland Hill.

6. Middle Early College (12-5) [7] -- Keir Anderson's 31-point game at East was fun to watch. Check out the PrepTalkTV report, especially when I asked him about HIS game.

7. East (12-6) [6] -- Close home loss to Middle College drops them behind the Kats.

8. Nichols (16-6) [4] -- Outplayed, outscored, out-defended, out-energy-ed in loss at St. Mary's. They get another shot at 6:30 Thursday at Canisius. Based on seeing the teams 5 through 8 on this ballot two days apart, this is how I stack them up.

9. Lackawanna (15-3) [9] -- Two losses to Cleve Hill and one to Batavia. Worthy of higher spot perhaps? We'll find out in the next two weeks. 

10. Maple Grove (17-1) [10] -- Maple Grove called in its win over Westfield last week. Round of applause? NO. That's what teams are supposed to do every game. It's not supposed to be a big deal. Onward ...  

* * * 

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), and our Twitter & email addresses are on the right side of the page.

And we'll have our live chat Wednesday evening following another 9 p.m. episode of PrepTalkTV Weekly.

tagged

Amherst | Basketball | Bishop Timon-St. Jude | Canisius | Clarence | Cleveland Hill | East High | How The News voted | Jamestown | Lackawanna | Maple Grove | McKinley | Middle College | Niagara Falls | Nichols | Olean | Silver Creek | St. Joe's | St. Mary's/Lancaster | Williamsville North | Williamsville South
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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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