Here are our latest set of rankings, which differ a bit based on our observations.
The interesting decisions to me are on the following: Who’s better, White Plains or Spring Valley? And how do you rank the next group, which, in my eyes, includes Clarkstown South, New Rochelle, Fox Lane, Stepinac and Mahopac, teams that all have strengths and weaknesses to spout. I’m sure you’ll all have your own opinions on the matter and we will hear them.
As you can see, in addition to the Top 10s, we also have our class-by-class rankings.
If you have any complaints, critiques or — gasp! — complaints, you know where to find us. (And if not, I was kind enough to link to it below.
JOSH THOSMON’S TOP 10 — (file complaints/critiques here: @lohudinsider)
1. Mount Vernon (5-1): Very nice start for the Knights, which draw White Plains and New Rochelle next week. Can either team put a scare into them or come away with a win? The result of those two games could help shape the Class AA season.
2. Iona Prep (6-3): Iona Prep played its best to beat Spring Valley the way it did at the Slam Dunk, and I think it was a positive sign for the second half of the season. If Matt Ryan plays like that, it will just open things up and make his teammates more dangerous than they already were.
3. Spring Valley (5-2): I might disagree with Dan here, but I’d still take the Tigers over Spring Valley. I think they are a more versatile team than White Plains, one that can outscore you or outmuscle you.
4. White Plains (5-0): White Plains has five solid wins so far, especially the Slam Dunk final against Middletown. But can it beat any of the Top 3 on this list? I’m not yet convinced. The Tigers are a finesse team that needs to run to win. But can they outrun and outgun Mount Vernon or Spring Valley?
5. Clarkstown South (7-0): Terrific win at New Rochelle today for South, which really impressed me most with its defense. The Vikings rarely let New Ro get into its offensive sets easily. They also hit just five 3-pointers. Had Joe Zayer, Conor McGuinness or Kyle Beckmann been as hot as they typically are, South might not have needed overtime.
6. Fox Lane (7-1): Fox Lane had a very nice win over Stepinac. If you watched the game, it was simple: The Foxes simply wanted it more. They hustled and attacked. They also shot the ball well from deep, and that’s a strength of this team in addition to having good size.
7. New Rochelle (2-4): I liked much of what I saw from New Ro, which actually led South by nine at one point in the fourth quarter. But the late mental breakdowns and their inability to finish both plagued the Huguenots. They’ll need to improve in those areas because the schedule does not really get much easier.
8. Stepinac (2-5): With nine losses between them, not much differentiated what I’ve seen so far this season from the two top teams of 2012-13. However, with two 35-point losses, the Crusaders haven’t been competitive every night the way New Ro has. And New Ro might have played equal to or better competition so far. Stepinac needs to gain its confidence back in the next couple of weeks. Sunday’s win over St. Ray’s could be spur the Crusaders going forward. We’ll see.
9. Mahopac (7-0): Mahopac has done all that could’ve been asked of it so far, but its schedule so far (Arlington, Lakeland, Poughkeepsie, Sacred Heart, Salesian, Ketcham, Scarsdale) doesn’t match up to the teams above.
10. Eastchester (5-2): At full strength, I think Eastchester would be the best team in Class A right now if it isn’t already. The question will be whether one of the other contenders will pass them. The class could not be more wide open.
On the bubble: None.
DAN DEFRANCESCO’S TOP 10 — (file complaints/critiques here: @lohud_defran)
1. Mount Vernon (5-1): No reason for the Knights to drop from the top spot. Next week will be very telling as they take on White Plains and New Rochelle within three days of each other.
2. Iona Prep (6-3): The Gaels did exactly what they had to do at the Slam Dunk. What was most impressive was the fact Iona Prep was able to adapt its style from an up-tempo attack against Eastchester to a slow-down approach against Spring Valley.
3. White Plains (5-0): The Tigers seem to have all the pieces required of an elite team. A star playmaker (Jordan Tucker), a senior leader who controls the pace of games (Mike DeMello) and a big man willing to do the dirty work inside (Justin Tapper). Throw in the fact that they have a stable of talented seniors that can step up when need be, and it’s easy to see why White Plains is ranked so high.
4. Spring Valley (5-2): It would have been nice to see the Tigers get a win against Iona Prep in the Slam Dunk. The fact the Gaels halted the Tigers’ high-powered offense was a bit troubling, but Spring Valley is still one of the area’s best.
5. Clarkstown South (7-0): As long as the Vikings keep winning, they keep rising in the rankings. Thursday’s win at New Rochelle was a huge statement for Clarkstown South. Overcoming a poor first half shooting shows this squad is resilient.
6. New Rochelle (2-4): Losing at home to Clarkstown South hurts, but it’s a testament to the strength of the Vikings as opposed to New Rochelle being weak. If we learned anything from last season it’s that early season losses mean nothing to the Huguenots.
7. Fox Lane (7-1): The Foxes make one of the biggest jump this week after their win against Stepinac at the Slam Dunk. Fox Lane’s win over Harrison also looks good since the Huskies beat Peekskill the following day. Playing White Plains close for three quarters is a solid showing as well.
8. Stepinac (2-5): The Crusaders have had about as bad a start to the season as you can. Monday’s win against St. Ray’s is a step in the right direction, though. The talent is there. It’s just a matter of putting the pieces together.
9. Mahopac (7-0): The Indians make their first appearance into my Top 10 thanks to their consistency. The only reason Mahopac isn’t higher is the fact it lacks a marquee win.
10. Peekskill (3-3): Saying a team has hit rock bottom is a bad cliché, but if there was ever a situation where it applies it’s the Red Devils. I think Peekskill’s three-game skid over the course of 48 hours will serve as a springboard to turning around its season. I still have them as my favorite in A.
On the bubble: Beacon (6-1), Harrison (4-1).
CLASS-BY-CLASS RANKINGS —
Every week, Dan and I will put our heads together and compile our rankings by class. Here’s our Top 5 in each class:
Class AA New Rochelle and Mahopac probably have claims they belong in the Top 5, but I’ll take South and Fox Lane as of now.
1. Mount Vernon
2. Spring Valley
3. White Plains
4. Clarkstown South
5. Fox Lane
Class A Eastchester suffered two losses over the break and has another tough game on Saturday vs. Kingston. But right now—and especially when Mike Milo comes back—I think the Eagles are the safest pick in Class A.
3. Pearl River
4. Tappan Zee
Class B Woodlands earned the No. 1 spot on the court. Put Valley believes it could play better in a rematch, but it can’t be viewed as the best—not after losing at home by 16.
2. Putnam Valley
3. Rye Neck
5. Palisade Prep
Class C/D No changes as of yet. Even though Haldane lost at home to a struggling Bronxville team, I still think that’s the team to beat in Class C.
4. Children’s Village
Catholic/Private After a rough start against a tough schedule, Salesian has won five of seven to claim the fifth spot over Sacred Heart.
1. Iona Prep
4. Rye Country Day