First of all, I have to start with some unfortunate news. I’m headed out tomorrow morning on a ski trip to Utah that was planned months and months ago and I won’t be around for a week. Some start, huh? I know. I know. Trust me, I want to be one of the thousands squeezing my tail into New Ro on Saturday but previous plans will intercede.
Esteemed colleague Rick Carpiniello will be on hand Saturday for the tripleheader. Carp will be around next week as well to cover some games, including the pivotal Spring Valley-Tappan Zee game on Monday.
Beginning Monday, you can e-mail all your basketball and football news to Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or to my sports editor at email@example.com. I’ll be back in time for MV-New Ro II, plus all the seeding news for the Section 1 tournaments, which are fast approaching.
Until then, chew on my first set of rankings:
1. Iona Prep (12-3), Last week: 1 — Until New Ro beats a team on the level of Newburgh, Mount Vernon hits a groove or Poughkeepsie earns a big win (Saturday?), the Gaels get the nod. They not only defeated NFA, but Stepinac, Mount, Peekskill, etc. Also, after what happened last season, it makes sense that New Ro must beat its intercity rival to earn this spot.
2. New Rochelle (13-1), Last week: 2 — Judgment time for the Huguenots, who play Mount Vernon, Mamaroneck, Iona Prep and Mount Vernon in its next four games.
3. Mount Vernon (9-4), Last week: 3 — The Knights are difficult to rank because they face so many unknowns. Last week’s win over Cardozo was solid, but is New Ro the team to beat in Class AA this year? We will see.
4. Poughkeepsie (11-0), Last week: 4 — As I said on Wednesday’s show, watch out for Peekskill, Pioneers. The Red Devils improve down the stretch and appear to have started the process already. This will prove a test for Poughkeepsie, but it may very well be up to it.
5. North Rockland (13-2), Last week: 5 — The Red Raiders are lying in the weeds after an impressive performance at the Slam Dunk. Will a lack of competition hurt them come playoff time?
6. Mount St. Michael (14-2), Last week: 6 — The Mount beat Stepinac last week but barely. A couple more baskets the other way and the bottom half of the top 10 is thrown out of whack.
7. Peekskill (9-4), Last week: 7 — I know some of you questioned Peekskill at No. 7 last week. But let’s be truthful: Who below the Red Devils is definitely better? They have won eight straight, including last week’s first of two vs. Ossining.
8. Woodlands (12-2), Last week: NR — Is Woodlands surging? It sure seems that way. The Falcons handed Port Chester its first loss, which is how they vaulted into the rankings.
9. Spring Valley (12-1), Last week: 8 — It’s tough to suggest a 12-win team with just one blemish must pick it up, but that applies to the Tigers, who scraped by in a bunch of games before they were finally beat by Pearl River.
T10. Port Chester (11-1), Last week: 9; Pleasantville (14-0), Last week: 10 — Lets see these two decide it on the court. Watch it here LIVE tonight at 7 on LoHud.com.
1. Woodlands: See above.
2. Pleasantville: Sorry, Panther fans. Right now it appears Woodlands is on a better run, but you can prove otherwise tonight.
3. Salesian: In just 10 days, the Eagles picked up four more wins, including one over Blessed Sacrament.
4. Briarcliff: Winners of six of seven. A rematch with rival Pleasantville looms next week.
5. Valhalla: As I said on Wednesday’s show, Dan Annunziata is due to get his cast off today so the Vikings will soon return to full strength. With their point guard, they could easily have just one loss, having dropped games to Pleasantville and Briarcliff by a point.
1. New Rochelle
2. Mount Vernon
4. North Rockland
Class A (this is a tough one)
2. Spring Valley
3. Port Chester
5. Sleepy Hollow
4. Dobbs Ferry
2. Blind Brook
3. Hawthorne-Cedar Knolls
4. Children’s Village
1. Iona Prep
2. Mount St. Michael
5. Blessed Sacrament