Playoff time on Long Island is upon us, at least for the Public Schools. The Catholic League still has a week left in their regular season, but with most of the schools entering playoff basketball, it is truly do or die time, with every team needing to put their best foot forward, or risk going home.
There hasn't been a ton of change, though one new team does enter into this week's Top 10 as of 2/9/14
1. Long Island Lutheran- Without any playoffs because of their statute as an Independent school, the Crusaders will keep up the tough schedule the rest of the month until they head to the Federation Tournament in March where they will be one of the favorites in the AA. They blew past New Rochelle by 25 this past Saturday with Elijah Bailey scoring 18 in a game where the bench played the entire 4th quarter. They head to face a pair of tough New Jersey team's on the road this week when they travel to St. Anthony's on Tuesday, and then get The Patrick School on Saturday in games that should be good barometer tests for LuHi.
2. Brentwood- The Indians closed out the regular season with a nice 13 point win over Commack with forward Jamel Allen notching another double double with 10 points and 17 rebounds. That was followed by a tough road win over Floyd 56-50 that saw guard Mike Almonacy score 16, including two big buckets late to fend off a late Floyd charge. Brentwood is the #1 seed in the Suffolk Class "AA" bracket, meaning they will get the winner of the game between Connetquot and Kings Park at their place in a 1st Round game on Friday.
3. Lawrence- Lawrence did what Lawrence does best this week, blow opponents out. Games against Sewanhaka, Division, and Plainedge to close out the regular season all ended in 25+ point wins for the Golden Tornadoes with Jymeek Jenkins having a big week averaging 21 points in the 3 contests, while Dwayne Daniel scored his 1,000th career point to punctuate a great career for the Iona bound senior guard. The enter the Nassau Class "A" playoffs as the #1 seed, which means they will get the winner of the Cold Spring Harbor vs. Roslyn game at Lawrence on Thursday to open their playoff run.
4. Amityville- The Warriors closed out league play strong with a pair of 30 point wins over Mt. Sinai and Miller Place, but a shocking loss to Section 9's Burke Catholic in the Upstate/Downstate Challenge knocked them down a bit in the rankings. Leland Williams had a very good week averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds in the three games, while Travis Dickerson had 23 in the defeat to Burke. Amityville though remains the #1 seed as they head into the Suffolk Class "A" playoffs. They get a vey to next Tuesday's semifinals where they will face either Westhampton or Bayport-Blue Point at home to advance to the title game.
5. Half Hollow Hills East- Hills East closed out the regular season strong, getting revenge on their lone loss by going to Central Islip and taking them down 46-44 behind Jordan McRae's 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 blocks. It's one of the best season's in school history, and they will enter the Suffolk Class "AA" playoffs as the #3 seed where they will get either Smithtown West or Comsewogue in their building on Friday night with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
6. Holy Trinity- The Titans needed overtime to take down St. Anthony's last Tuesday, getting 16 points apiece from Peter Alkins and Brandon Thomson to help get them by, but then they got revenge on St. Mary's for an early season loss, blowout out the Gaels 80-61 in a game where Jimmy Golaszewski had 17 points and 10 rebounds. They get back on the court on Friday night when they travel to face a hot Kellenberg team, in a game that has major seeding implications on the line.
7. Elmont- Elmont was shocked earlier this year by Long Beach by 1, and ever since that time the Spartan players had the rematch circled on their calendars. The rematch came this past Friday night, and Elmont didn't hold back, drubbing Long Beach 80-36 behind Tristan Brown and his 19 points, while Chiazam Nwankwo added 14 points and 12 rebounds in the victory. The Spartans are the #2 seed in the Nassau Class "AA" bracket and they get an opening round bye, before meeting the winner of the Port Washington vs. Massapequa next Wednesday at Elmont in the quarterfinals.
8. Deer Park- The Falcons responded strong to last weekend's loss to LuHi, with a pair of convincing wins heading into the playoffs. They blew past Kings Park by 30, and then held off a scrappy Bellport team on the road by 13. Karon Blackwell shined this week with 20 and 25 points in the teams two games. Deer Park enters the Suffolk Class "AA" playoffs as the #2 seed where they will meet the winner of the game between Smithtown East and Eastport-South Manor at home on Friday.
9. Baldwin- Baldwin was another team who finished out their league play in fine fashion, but fell in the Upstate/Downstate Challenge. The Long Island teams were just 1-4 in the games, with LuHi grabbing the only win, with the Bruins falling by 1 to Section 9 power Middletown. Paul Nosworthy had a double double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and guard Myking Richardson had 16, but it was not enough to get the win. Baldwin still enters the Nassau Class "AA" playoffs as the #1 seed though, and they get a bye to the quarterfinals where they will get either Long Beach or Freeport at home next Wednesday night.
10. St. John the Baptist- The Cougars re-enter the rankings with an iffy record of just 9-10, but they have played strong competition all year long, challenging themselves so they can be fully prepared come playoff time. They have won 5 straight league games entering this week including victories over Holy Trinity and St. Anthony's. In a win over St. Dominic this week, guard Tavon Ginyard had 32 points, while big man Kyle Williams has averaged 15 rebounds a game over the teams impressive run. This is a very important week for SJB to keep proving that the early season losses have made them better. They go to St. Mary's on Monday, host Kellenberg on Tuesday, and then head to St. Anthony's on Friday in a stretch that will tell us a lot about just how good the Cougars really are.
On the Bubble:
Next update: Sunday February 2/16 @ Midnight