As I stated in Sunday’s schedule post, and as you’ve probably seen from the posted rankings on the home page, very little changed this week. When your top 10 goes a combined 14-1 for the week and three or four of your bubble teams lose, it makes decisions a lot easier.
With that said, one teams is out and one new team is in. By now you probably know which is which, so let’s get to the detailed LoHud power rankings, which I’m trying to keep short and sweet this week.
1. Ossining (14-2): As stated, unless the Pride lose, they’re not going anywhere.
2. Clarkstown South (16-0): The Vikings currently have the projected No. 1 seed in the Class AA tournament, and I don’t see them losing it to Ossining or Lourdes. Right about now, Clarkstown South’s checklist of goals looks something like this: undefeated league championship, undefeated regular season, home court advantage throughout sections, win sections, win regions, win states.
3. Lourdes (14-3): Thanks to their competitive schedule, the Warriors should have now passed Ossining for the projected No. 2 seed in the Class AA tournament; meaning it will have home-court advantage until the County Center (should they get that far, of course). The Warriors are really starting to heat up and are looking like the team I projected it to be in the preseason. Class AA could be a lot more fun to watch than may people expect.
4. Beacon (14-2): The Bulldogs suffered a scare this week off of the court after head coach Christina Dahl was taken to the hospital for emergency gallbladder surgery. Former coach John Philipbar said that Dahl could return to the sidelines as early as Monday, depending on her recovery. We wish you a speedy, healthy recovery, coach. On the court, Beacon topped Harrison in its only contest of the week. The most consistent team in Class A this year (in my opinion), I’d have the Bulldogs winning it all if the season were to end today; and I’d feel very confident about that pick.
5. Peekskill (10-4): From upset alert, to rout. After trailing Mahopac by one at halftime, the Lady Red Devils romped the Indians in the second half to a 61-40 win. Coach Rodney Headley Jr. said the team’s turnovers (13) were a big reason for the half-time deficit. Winning against a tough Mahopac team was impressive, the comeback was very impressive, but doing it all without Lanay Rodney was really something. Rodney is likely out the remainder of the regular season with a hip injury, and could miss the first round of sections. Luckily for Peekskill, it has the depth to overcome the loss of its top player and one of the best players in the section. Rodney’s timetable will play a factor in my eventual bracket, but I still think that Peekskill is a lock for the County Center.
6. Rye (12-3): First off, the Rye Country Day-Rye game was one of the fastest games I’ve ever been to. I was 15 minutes late to yesterday’s game, which was projected to go off at noon, and I missed the first quarter and opening three minutes of the second quarter. (Why can’t more games be like that?) Another team with nice depth, the Garnets were very impressive on Saturday. They moved the ball well, were alert on defense — taking advantage of some careless RCDS passes — and shot the ball extremely well. I would not be surprised to see Alanna Morque drop 30 in a game by the end of the year; the girl can flat-out shoot. Katie Popp is expected to return soon after breaking her finger at the Autism Classic against Irvington, and Maddie Eck and Rachel Egan are obvious ballers. Depending on how the seeds work out, I might have Rye in my Class A final.
7. Albertus Magnus (12-4): A lot of people asked me, texted me or tweeted me about the Nanuet game. Yes, Kelly Guarino and Madison McGrath were hurt and did not play in the second half, but Nanuet still led after the first, second and third quarters. The game actually speaks highly of both teams — Albertus Magnus proved it can survive without not one, but two of its stars, and Nanuet proved that it is a legitimate sleeper threat in Class A. This really isn’t a demotion for the Falcons, so much as it is a promotion for the Garnets. I think Beacon, Peekskill, Rye and Albertus Magnus have to be the County Center favorites, but as you will see in the coming weeks, there are plenty of teams who knock any one of them off.
8. Irvington (14-1): Again, more of a promotion for Rye than a demotion for Irvington. Unless you live under rock, by now you’ve heard that Bulldogs coach Gina Maher became the first Section 1 basketball coach to ever record 600 wins. It is a remarkable achievement. The starters only played the first quarter against Rye Neck, so I don’t know how well to judge the Bulldogs. I love the fact that Maher gave her reserves big minutes, allowing them to get a feel for in-game situations, rather than playing against the Irvington first-string. Irvington definitely has a nice offense, and very nice ball movement. It’s defense has moments of let-up, but I think once the playoffs roll around and the Bulldogs go into “attack” mode, that defense will tighten up real quick.
9. Horace Greeley (14-2): The Quakers were on upset alert in its only game this week at Blind Brook, trailing by eight at the half. Then they ran away with it in the second half, downing the Trojan, 56-44. Could this be the final County Center team?
10. Ursuline (10-4): Everyone knew that once Ursuline got healthy, it would be a dangerous team, but wow. The Koalas have shown resiliency and relentlessness against an impressive schedule — notching come-from-behind wins against Kennedy and New Rochelle (two against New Ro, actually). Another very balanced squad, the Koalas have multiple threats, including dominant junior forward Anna Savino, fleet-footed guard Rianna Peduzzi, Casey Friend and freshman Korina Guerra, who has shown the talent and poise of a player well beyond her years. The Koalas will return much of its core next year, so get used to seeing the Urusline name. And remember the name Guerra — kid is going to be a full-fledged star.
On the bubble: Ardsley, Arlington, Hackley, Hen Hud, Kennedy, Mahopac, New Rochelle, North Rockland, Sleepy Hollow, Somers, Tappan Zee, Westlake.