In case you missed it, click here to check out the midseason reports on each class that Dan and I posted yesterday. It includes our thoughts on the best teams and the best players so far in Classes AA, A, B and C, including our midseason MVPs, all-stars, etc.
Now, on to our Top 10s and class rankings, both highlighted by Harrison’s rise…
JOSH THOSMON’S TOP 10 — (file complaints/critiques here: @lohudinsider)
1. Mount Vernon (8-1): The games continue to pile up at the back end of Mount Vernon’s schedule, with Wednesday’s postponement with Scarsdale the latest to drop. But for a team with a deep bench that will be a favorite in just about every remaining game, the schedule crunch (nine games remaining) should not be an issue.
2. Iona Prep (9-6): I have a feeling the Gaels won’t be ranked No. 2 next week. Matt Ryan (hip) had an MRI Wednesday and has another Friday and is likely out of the year. Ty Jerome (thumb) has a torn ligament in his shooting hand and is out at least a month. He could return in the playoffs, but it’s going to be difficult for Iona to maintain its level of play, which is a shame. The Gaels had a very good season going.
3. Spring Valley (10-3): The Tigers will have their rematch with Clarkstown South next week at home. It will be interesting to see if anyone challenges the Tigers the rest of the way. Also, you have to wonder where they’ll fall. With three losses, they’ll likely be seeded behind the likes of Mount Vernon, Fox Lane and Mahopac and White Plains and Clarkstown South could be borderline.
4. White Plains (11-1): I was surprised the Tigers had so much trouble on Saturday with Woodlands. They escaped after trailing throughout. Now, they head to Williamsport, Pa. on Saturday and come back with league games on the road at Scarsdale and Mount Vernon next week.
5. Fox Lane (11-1): Tonight’s game at home against Byram Hills and the rematch with Harrison on Feb. 6 could be all the separates the Foxes from running the table. I expect them to do it and possibly challenge for the No. 1 seed in the Class AA tourney.
6. Eastchester (10-2): This is about where Eastchester deserves to fall in my eyes, especially after last week’s performance. The pace at which the Eagles play as well as their unselfishness would give the majority of teams in Section 1 trouble.
7. Clarkstown South (11-1): The Vikings had a couple of scares last week. It will be interesting to see how they respond. That team has a lot of senior leadership, so I expect that group to get back to its early-season level of play.
8. Mahopac (12-1): After scares vs. Somers and John Jay, Mahopac seemed to return to form last night, beating Brewster 64-42. Glen Janik had 10 points, six rebounds and five assists. The Indians will need efforts like that in support of Ryan Simone and R.J. Martinez, one of the section’s top duos. They can’t do it alone.
9. Harrison (10-1): In the last 10 days, Harrison is 4-0 with wins over Pearl River, Rye Neck, Mamaroneck and Byram Hills. That’s a darn good stretch of basketball for the Huskies. Their balance is the thing that makes them unique and dangerous.
10. Tappan Zee (11-2): Ho-hum. It’s been typical Tappan Zee. The Dutchmen just keep ticking off wins, but the rest of the season won’t be easy. They still have a home-and-home with Pearl River, Nyack (a team they beat the buzzer last time) and rivals Nanuet and Albertus. And, although we didn’t mention him in yesterday’s midseason reports, the improvement of senior Ryan McWilliams has been vital to TZ’s success.
On the bubble: Arlington (7-4), Beacon (10-3).
DAN DEFRANCESCO’S TOP 10 — (file complaints/critiques here: @lohud_defran)
1. Mount Vernon (8-1): The Knights have done what they’re supposed to do. It hasn’t been flashy, and it won’t be, but that doesn’t mean this Mount Vernon team should be ranked any lower.
2. Iona Prep (9-6): Injuries have certainly slowed the Gaels’ offense, but a seven-point loss to Cardozo, the second-ranked team in the state, is nothing to sneeze at. Regardless of who is on the court, expect a solid performance out of Iona on Friday as its biggest rival, Stepinac, comes to town.
3. Spring Valley (10-3): Two nice wins for the Tigers against upstarts Suffern and Ramapo. Both the Mounties and Gryphons have shown promise this season, so the fact Spring Valley was able to handle them both with such ease shows the Tigers are focused down the stretch.
4. White Plains (11-1): The Woodlands’ game was a bit of a scare for the Tigers, but that’s more of a credit to the strength of the Falcons than White Plains’ struggles. The pieces are all there for a trip to the County Center.
5. Fox Lane (11-1): Another team that almost had a slip up, the Foxes nearly suffered a big upset at the hands of Horace Greeley, at home nonetheless. Still, championships aren’t won or lost in January, so not much to worry about here.
6. Clarkstown South (11-1): It seems like the Vikings haven’t been the same since losing to Spring Valley a few weeks ago. Clarkstown South played another close game last week, this one coming against a young North Rockland group. The chance to get redemption for their one loss of the season is looming just over a week away, though.
7. Eastchester (10-2): The Eagles easily had the most impressive win last week of any of the teams in the Top 10, beating reigning Section 9 champion Kingston by 14. In a messy Class A, Eastchester seems to be the one lock to make it to the County Center.
8. Harrison (10-1): Harrison has been rolling, pulling off three impressive wins last week against Rye Neck, Mamaroneck and Byram Hills. I said it last week, but the fact that the Huskies are getting their scoring from seemingly all over makes them a scary team come sectionals.
9. Tappan Zee (12-1): Not much to report here. The Dutchmen keep doing what they’ve done since before the holiday break, winning. Entering Thursday’s big league game against Pearl River, Tappan Zee had won seven straight.
10. Mahopac (12-1): The Indians had another scare last week with a two-point win over John Jay. Ryan Simone consistently proves to be one of the best big men in the section, though, and R.J. Martinez has been very productive just about every game.
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: A team to watch out for is Arlington. The Admirals have improved dramatically since December. They are now the clear No. 1 team in Dutchess and could contend (again) for the County Center. Mahopac-Arlington quarterfinal, part 3?
1. Mount Vernon
2. Spring Valley
3. White Plains
4. Fox Lane
5. Clarkstown South
Class A: When was the last time Eastchester and Harrison were ranked No. 1 and 2 in the county in basketball? I don’t know the answer, but I’m guessing it’s “never.”
3. Tappan Zee
5. Our Lady of Lourdes
Class B: I’m very torn on No. 1. I will stick with Woodlands, which deserves it, but I’m starting to think Putnam Valley will be the better team if/when they meet at the County Center.
2. Putnam Valley
3. Blind Brook
5. Rye Neck
Class C/D: Haldane-Tuckahoe-Hamilton remain an interesting trio because they have played very different schedules. Almost impossible to get a read on them.
4. Children’s Village
Catholic/Private: The home-and-home series between Iona Prep and Stepinac will be interesting. Stepinac should at least earn a split with Iona down its two best players.
1. Iona Prep
4. Rye Country Day
5. Sacred Heart