Playoff fever is the air. With most teams either already done with regular season play, or finishing it off this week, teams will be looking to make sure they are clicking on all cylinders as very soon it's win or go home time.
It was a fairly calm week in the Westchester/Upstate Top 10 this week, and though there was a bit of shuffling around, no one dropped out of the poll, so here are the final rankings of the regular season for the upstate region.
1. Mount Vernon- The Knights haven't left the #1 spot all year, and after another impressive week, knocking off Scarsdale, New Rochelle, WHEELS, and Brooklyn Collegiate, all by double digits, it really does look like Mt. Vernon could cruise to another Section 1 championship. Brandon Martin has had a phenomenal season as an inside/outside threat, while Judah Alexander keeps delivering big game after big game in the paint, grabbing double digit rebounds in seemingly every game. The playoffs will begin for the Knights this Friday as they look to once again reclaim the Section 1 Gold Ball as County champs.
2. Jamesville-Dewitt- The Red Rams easily dispatched Cortland this last Tuesday in their lone game of the week. The trio of Jafar Kinsey, Dom Deregis, and Isiah Williams had 15 points apiece as they look to wrap up another Section 3 league title. They travel to Homer to close out the regular season on Tuesday, and the winners of 9 in a row look ready for another deep postseason run, as they begin their playoff action on Friday.
3. Canisius- The Crusaders had 4 games this week. 3 were blowout wins, including a solid 14 point win over a very good Aquinas team, while against a very good Cathedral Prep team of Pennsylvania, they held on behind the 16 points and 12 rebounds of Stafford Trueheart to pull out the 56-54 win. Howard Washington continues to impress as well, as he hopes to lead Canisius to the MMA crown this season. 3 more games this week as they travel to Bishop Timon on Tuesday, then head to St. Mary's on Friday, before hosting St. Joe's Collegiate at Canisius College on Sunday afternoon.
4. Catholic Central- The Crusaders responded well to their first loss of the season last week, taking down both Bishop Maginn and CBA. They easily handled Maginn, though it took some clutch FT's down the stretch from Jiriem Tedder to close out CBA on the home. Anthony Mack averaged 18 in the two games, as Catholic Central looks to wrap up the #1 seed in the Section 2 Class "AA" playoffs this week when they face Albany on Tuesday. Win or lose on Tuesday, the Crusaders will be off until next Tuesday as they have an opening round bye.
5. Scotia-Glenville- Joe Cremo put up 25 points and 30 points in the Tartans wins this past week over Gloversville and Glens Falls, as the Albany bound junior looks poised to lead Scotia deep into the playoffs, as the unbeaten Tartans look like one of the best in Class "A" in the state. They have one regular season game left when they head to Queensbury on Tuesday, to wrap up a perfect regular season. Winning their games by an average of 27 points per game, it's going to take an awful good team to take down this Section 2 power come playoff time.
6. Newburgh Free Academy- The Goldbacks handled their business this week when they blew past Warwick by 16, and then crushing Monroe-Woodbury by 30. Donovan Fields may be the player of the year in Section 9, putting up 21 points a game this season, while big man Ja'kwon Jones continues to be a force in the paint, and one of the best shotblocker a in the state. They have already clinched the top seed on the Section 9 "AA" tournament, and they will look to stay in form when they travel to Valley Central on Monday.
7. Greece Athena- It looked as if the Trojans were going to be in for a stern test this past Wednesday when they went to face Irondequoit, a solid team with just 1 loss on the season, but after Deion Hamilton poured in 23, and the team won by 17, the Section 5 power look to be on top of their games. They will grab the #1 seed for the "AA" tournament in Section 5 with a win over rivals Greece Arcadia on Monday, while also grabbing bragging rights for the year as well.
8. Albany Academy- The Cadets drop a spot based on their 61-49 loss to Paul VI of New Jersey on Saturday, but don't be fooled, the loss was not that bad. Paul VI is one of NJ's top schools this season, and Albany Academy had them on the ropes down just 2 after three quarters, but cold shooting did them in the 4th. Matt Knezovic was the lone Cadet in double figures with 16 in defeat. The Independent school doesn't have to worry about league playoffs, as they automatically qualify for the Class "A" Federation tournament, so it's all preparation until then, with Watervliet at home being their only challenger this coming week on Tuesday.
9. Bishop Ludden- While Dan Kaigler and Ben Hackett get the lion's share of the attention for the Gaelic Knights, it is 6'5" junior Zach Walser who has been stepping up his game in recent weeks to become a true 3rd option for Ludden on the offensive side of the court. In a pair of blowout wins over Fulton and Fowler this week, Walser had 20 points and 11 rebounds in one game, and 18 and 10 in the other, rising to the challenge as they head towards the playoffs where they will be clear favorites to win the Section 3 Class "A" title.
10. Aquinas- The Little Irish came up short when they went to Buffalo to take on Canisius this past Tuesday, losing by 14, but give them credit for responding well. They rebounded with a 30 point win over Charlotte, and then decimated another Buffalo school, St. Joe's Collegiate on Saturday, by 50. George Graham was a calming force at the lead guard spot, really controlling tempo, and making sure everyone is involved. They close the regular season with a pair of home games this week, hosting Hornell on Tuesday, and McQuaid Jesuit on Thursday.
On The Bubble:
Next update: Sunday February 2/16 @ Midnight.