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How The News voted: Valentine, schmalentine -- the sweetest day is the 15th

By Keith McShea

BasketballheartEvery week during the basketball season a panel of voters participates in The News' large and small school boys basketball polls, which are published in today's Scholastic Spotlight.

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.

Here are our previous blogs: last week (Feb. 4), Jan. 28Jan. 21, Jan. 14, Jan. 7; and our first ballot (there was no blog after the second poll as I was on vacation). Here's last year's final poll

And -- as we blow by Valentine's Day to Section VI Selection Saturday, where this year's playoff brackets will be set -- here's this week's ballot (note: this vote, just like all votes, was put together before Monday's games). 

LARGE SCHOOLS 

1. Canisius (17-2) [last week's ballot: 1] -- Great week with wins over Aquinas and Cathedral Prep (Pa.).

2. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (11-7) [2] -- Not a great week with home losses to Olean and Bishop Kearney, but I'm comfortable saying that those two teams would be able to beat the rest of the teams on this ballot. Game at St. Joe's got snowed out. Nowadays we see a top five, and although we don't like to hang our hoop hat at this point on games that happened in December, but they did beat North. We're keeping them here. Tonight they're home for Canisius. 

3. Williamsville North (12-4) [3] -- The BIG one was last night in ...

4. Jamestown (12-4) [4] -- ... Jamestown, which I think gets the season split down at home. 

5. Clarence (11-3) [5] -- Just ask the Red Devils what Jamestown was like down at McElrath (30-point loss).

6. St. Joe's (11-8) [6] -- Different team with Justin Jones out of the lineup, but still a formidible one, as it showed with a win over Williamsville South Sunday.

7. McKinley (11-5) [7] -- Big loss at Clarence, two very underwhelming performances against very-good Middle Early College (and its very-good zone). Thought the Macks' mojo was back after 100-points-plus dismantling Hutch-Tech Friday night, but they followed that with second MEC loss at home. I'm keeping them in what has been a "top seven" all season. Part of that is because I think MEC is that good.   

8. Lockport (12-3) [8] -- Fought off fiesty effort from Falls (if it was a bigger win that would have been the kind of thing that would have certainly moved them up a spot). Nice season-ending nonleaguer at Batavia Friday.

9. Kenmore West (13-3) [9] -- The split with the Lions continues to keep them tucked right behind them. Big nonleaguer hosting St. Joe's on Friday.

10. Iroquois (12-4) [NR] -- Going with the Chiefs very slightly ahead of Cheektowaga. Iroquois' recent win over St. Mary's is big despite ECIC II's less-than-eye-popping parity; Cheektowaga finished the sweep of Amherst but is out of this spot due to its stumble against Depew (no great shame there, that's life in gritty-gutty ECIC III). 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Olean (14-3) [1] -- Independent schedule has been something else. Really nice week with wins over Timon and Kearney. 

2. Middle Early College (11-5) [2] -- Loss with East results in a split, and I'm going with aggregate score, the fact that the Kats knew that the McKinley game (on the next day) as well to win the Yale Cup, the extremely impressive sweep of McKinley (which beat East), and the my eyeball test. These guys know who they are, they are very talented inside and out, and they play really, really hard. 

3. East (12-3) [5] -- Have to move them back up here after beating MEC Friday. I do it somewhat reluctantly because I think the next two teams are very, very good.

4. St. Mary's (14-5) [3] -- Lancers complete impressive sweep of Nichols, own win over the Park team they'll play at tonight.  

5. Park (10-8) [4] -- Big home game tonight, big road game Saturday (3 p.m. at Nichols).

6. Nichols (13-8) [6] -- Tempted to move them down after fading at St. Mary's and then barely beating Niagara Catholic Sunday, but we'll call it a back-to-back thing and keep them here (plus, the likes of NC and O'Hara are playing better these days).

7. Fredonia (14-3) [7] -- Monday home for Maple Grove, Friday at Silver Creek; next Wednesday home for St. Mary's. 

8. Barker (16-0) [8] -- Now two wins from perfect season. Then C-1 playoffs with likes of Middle Early College, Holland and Silver Creek. One of the best brackets. But we're getting ahead of ourselves! Must wait 'til Saturday ...

9. Cleveland Hill (11-3) [9] -- ECIC IV co-leader with Holland hosts the Dutchmen in a BIG little game tonight (wish it were on a different night!).

10. Sherman (15-1) [10] -- We're sticking with the Wildcats over the likes of Randolph, Salamanca, Holland and Depew, not necessarily in that order.

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Basketball | How The News voted
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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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