It’s Thursday, so that means another set of rankings from Josh and me. I have a feeling there will be plenty of gripes with this week’s rankings. Enough chit chat. Lets get to it.
If you have any complaints, critiques or — gasp! — complaints, you know where to find us. (And if not, I was kind enough provide the links below.)
JOSH THOSMON’S TOP 10 — (file complaints/critiques here: @lohudinsider)
1. Mount Vernon (7-1): The Knights have added Green Tech (Jan. 20) and WHEELS Academy (Feb. 7) to replace the games they lost when a Washington D.C. holiday tournament folded. Both are decent teams, but neither should pose much of a challenge. Green Tech lost to Kingston and only beat defending CHSAA B champ Scanlan by three. Spring Valley beat WHEELS last month at Wadleigh.
2. Iona Prep (8-5): The Gaels host Fordham tomorrow night, then are on the road for a tough three-game stretch. They play Cardozo at Baruch College on Saturday, at Christ the King on Tuesday and at Stepinac Friday. Stepinac may not be close to the level it’s been in recent years, but if the Crusaders are going to play hard, at home against Iona on a Friday night would be the time. With Matt Ryan (hip) banged up, this will be an interesting stretch. Iona is basically 0-3 when Ryan is not at full-strength (St. Francis, Hayes, Holy Cross).
3. Spring Valley (8-3): All three of Spring Valley’s losses have come against teams ranked among the Top 25 in the state (Iona Prep 2x, Central Catholic). It sounds like the Tigers really started slowly against Central Catholic Monday before turning it on a bit too late. I still think they have the best chance to beat Mount Vernon among teams in Section 1 because they would have the two most talented players on the court. Still, Spring Valley is a work in progress and needs to get the ball to Kai Mitchell more.
4. White Plains (8-1): White Plains showed me a lot of character Tuesday, beating New Rochelle without Mike DeMello and doing so the way it did. There is something to be said about having a senior-laden team. In addition to DeMello, Justin Tapper, Rexler Noel, Marshon Morris, Chris Jordan, Cameron Crabbe, those guys are hungry and competitive. They grow on me as a group every time I see them play. Their leadership is also vital in getting the best out of Jordan Tucker, who has a target on his back and has started to figure out more ways to help the team than just shooting.
5. Fox Lane (10-1): I left Byram Hills on Monday very impressed with Fox Lane. The front court continues to round into form. Sophomore Matt Redhead is a force off the bench, which is key at the Class AA level. He can really lead the second unit. Also, I’ve now seen Fox Lane play three times and I’m pretty sure Will Paul has shot well over 50 percent from 3-point land.
6. Clarkstown South (9-1): South faded late last week against what I thought was a superior Spring Valley team and then really had to fight to beat Suffern. What’s that mean? I don’t think much. Suffern is definitely on the rise and was red-hot. South knows what a difference that can make.
7. Mahopac (9-1): The Indians looked like a typical Mahopac team on Saturday—tough, hard-nosed and unafraid. They made White Plains sweat, but they had Somers do the same to them. The Tuskers and rival Carmel could be their stiffest competition going forward, but I still expect this team to run the table and finish 17-1.
8. Eastchester (8-2): The Eagles looked every bit like the Class A favorite on Saturday against New Rochelle. In fact, they reminded me of the old Tappan Zee teams, which had players who always seemed to thrive and gain confidence off the success of one another. That’s a high compliment for Eastchester.
9. Tappan Zee (9-2): So far, TZ’s only losses came against Spring Valley and South. Otherwise, the Dutchmen do what they do, continue to pile up solid wins against Class A and AA schools, most of which are at or above .500.
10. Beacon (8-2): The Bulldogs have one real outlier on the schedule—a 22-point loss to Arlington—but they have the best credentials of any team in Dutchess at the moment. They beat Lourdes by double digits, avenged a loss to John Jay and split with Arlington. They also beat Peekskill and Somers, which will both be tough outs in Class A.
On the bubble: Harrison (7-1), Arlington (5-4).
DAN DEFRANCESCO’S TOP 10 — (file complaints/critiques here: @lohud_defran)
1. Mount Vernon (7-1): Don’t expect this Knights team to blow teams out of the water this season with an explosive offense. A defensive-minded Mount Vernon squad is still impressive, though, and the top team in the area.
2. Iona Prep (8-5): We’ll learn a lot about how deep Iona Prep is this week as Matt Ryan likely won’t be 100-percent coming off a hip injury. With games against the second and third-ranked teams in the state in Christ the King and Cardozo the Gaels will certainly have their work cut out for them.
3. Spring Valley (8-3): The losses have only come to high caliber teams, so not much to be worried about there. The Tigers have been held to under 70 points in all of their losses, though, showing they can’t win a game if the pace slows. That doesn’t spell good things for a potential sectional match up against Mount Vernon.
4. White Plains (8-1): Two very nice wins for the Tigers against Mahopac and New Rochelle. The victory against the Huguenots showed a couple of things. First, that they don’t have to rely solely on senior Mike DeMello. Secondly, Rexler Noel can help Justin Tapper inside to give White Plains somewhat of an inside presence.
5. Fox Lane (10-1): I’ll be the first to admit that I overlooked this Foxes team early on. Fox Lane has done everything you could have asked of them and more. Double-digit wins over Ossining and Byram Hills shows the Foxes are focused and really clicking. It also doesn’t hurt when your shooting is lights out.
6. Clarkstown South (9-1): I don’t think you can read much into Wednesday’s nail biter at Suffern. Any team that suffers its first loss of the season is bound to have a bit of a let down afterwards. I think the Vikings will get it together. They have an extremely talented backcourt, which is a key to success in high school basketball.
7. Eastchester (8-2): Was Saturday’s 14-point win over New Rochelle a testament to the strength of the Eagles or how weak the Huguenots are? I tend to believe a little bit of both. Still, Eastchester proved it’s on an upward trajectory thanks to the return of Mike Milo and continued growth of Benny Dimirco. Oh ya, that guy Jack Daly isn’t so bad either.
8. Mahopac (9-1): It was nice to see Mahopac not fold when things got tough on Saturday against White Plains. The Indians will be a tough team to gauge down the stretch as they could potentially finish 17-1, but not have a marquee win.
9. Harrison (7-1): The Huskies lone loss comes against a very talented Fox Lane team. Monday’s 11-point win over Pearl River was eye opening. I like the fact that Harrison has legitimately five guys that can hit double figures every night. Tough to stop a team with so many scoring options.
10. Tappan Zee (9-2): Another team that’s only losses have come to teams already ranked in the Top 10. Playing in a deep Rockland league, the Dutchies will suffer a head-scratching loss at some point in the season. That shouldn’t scare anyone away from the talent this team has.
On the bubble: None
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: Fox Lane jumps South. White Plains threatening to do the same with Spring Valley.
1. Mount Vernon
2. Spring Valley
3. White Plains
4. Fox Lane
5. Clarkstown South
Class A: This is like a game of Fifty-Two Pick-Up, but I think Eastchester has only solidified itself as No. 1. Panas, Peekskill, Byram Hills, Pearl River, etc., etc., are all in the conversation. Nos. 2 through 12 or 15 are pretty interchangeable. Seriously.
2. Tappan Zee
5. Our Lady of Lourdes
Class B: Hello, Blind Brook. You win 10 straight, you get the credit (and the ranking) you deserve. Sorry to Palisade Prep, which is the clear No. 6.
2. Putnam Valley
3. Blind Brook
5. Rye Neck
Class C/D: The top three are solid; the next two not so much.
4. Children’s Village
Catholic/Private: Sacred Heart settled the fight for No. 5 emphatically by beating Salesian by 24.
1. Iona Prep
4. Rye Country Day
5. Sacred Heart