New York High School: Curtis

Loughlin girls win State Federation A title

March, 25, 2012
3/25/12
5:29
PM ET
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Tournament MVP Ayana Ratliff scored 28 points as Bishop Loughlin held off Curtis 75-69 in the Class A final Saturday at the New York State Girls Basketball Federation Tournament of Champions.

Imani Tate added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Lions (17-12), who never trailed. Jasmine Alston had a dozen points and 13 rebounds in the win.

Kristen Olsen scored 21 points for the Warriors (21-9), and Jessica Rosalbo added 17 in a losing effort.

Down 19 at one point in the first half, Curtis pulled to within 71-69 with 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter on Rosalbo's three-point play.

But on the inbounds pass, Bishop Loughlin found a streaking Colbert deep in the other end for a layup to clinch the win.

Bishop Loughlin led 38-24 at halftime and won despite shooting 18 of 30 from the foul line.

Curtis, from Staten Island, represented the PSAL.

Bishop Loughlin, from Brooklyn in the CHSAA, reached the championship with a 70-58 win over Rochester's East High School in Saturday's semifinal round.

PSAL Class A & B title game previews

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
2:49
AM ET
All the champions in the Public Schools Athletic League will be crowned this weekend. While you can read about the Boys AA title game here, and the Girls AA title game here, here's what you can expect to see in the Class A & B title games at City College. All stats are courtesy of the PSAL website.

Boys Class A: No. 1 Mott Haven vs. No. 3 Brooklyn Collegiate (5 p.m.): Mott Haven enters this game as the favorite, having just one loss in league play this year, an one-point loss to Evander Childs. Mott Haven has a bevy of scorers in double digits but is led by Hakeem Grant, who averages 22 points and 6.5 rebounds.

Brooklyn Collegiate upset Long Island City in the semifinals to make the final. Both its losses in league play this year came against Bedford Academy, so Brooklyn Collegiate can breathe easy knowing it doesn't have another matchup against the Panthers. Brooklyn Collegiate is led by Ervin Mitchell, who scores 26.3 points and grabs 9.4 rebounds.

Girls Class A: No. 1 Goldstein vs. No. 2 Curtis (3 p.m.): Could Golstein actually be the underdog in this game, despite being the No. 1 seed? It appears so. Goldstein went undefeated in the league and will try to keep it that way against Curtis. Senior point guard Nourhan Elbassiony leads the Dolphins with 14.3 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Curtis had a very successful season in its first year with Bob Daggett helping to coach the Lady Warriors. Curtis was the second-best team in Staten Island in the PSAL and easily could have made noise in the Class AA tournament. Junior Kristen Olsen averages 14.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

Boys Class B: Pathways Prep vs. No. 3 Newcomers (1 p.m.): Pathways Prep will go for its second straight title against Newcomers. Pathways Prep has been the class of the league and will try to do it once again. It is led by top junior recruit Jordan Washington, who averages 21. 7 points and 14 rebounds per game.

Newcomers did not lose a game in the league this year and will put that on the line against Pathways Prep. The Lions only earned the No. 3 seed for their efforts and defeated seventh-seed Washington heights in the semifinal. Junior Christian Zapata averages 17.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.

Girls Class B: No. 1 Bedford Academy vs. No. 2 Scholars Academy (11 a.m.): The Scholars Academy will look to defend its title in the only chalk matchup in the final. Scholars Academy went 12-2 in the league and then defeated Samuel Gompers in the semifinals to get a chance to defend its title. It's led by sophomore wing Jessica Glaz, who averages 14. 9 points and 8.2 rebounds.

Bedford Academy completed an undefeated year in league play and barely survived a game against Queens Vocational in the semifinals, pulling off a 44-43 win. Senior center Brianna Perlmutter has averaged 16.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game as well.

Three-point line to be fixed for games

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
4:17
PM ET
After the Public Schools Athletic League boys Class AA tournament quarterfinals were played with the wrong 3-point lines this past weekend, the lines will be moved up to their proper distance for this week's CHSAA and PSAL games, according to St. John's Assistant director of Facilities & Operation Maciej Siekierski.

Sunday's quartet of PSAL games at Carnesecca Arena on St. John's Campus were played with 3-point lines at 20 feet, nine inches, instead of the regulated 19 feet, nine inches, according to the coaches of teams that played this weekend. The longer 3-point line is the one used for the college men games.

"The mistake has been made and I think the PSAL will learn from that mistake and I don't think it's going to happen again," Curtis head coach Rich Buckheit said on Monday night. "It's such a disappointment to get to the quarterfinals and you have that mistake. The kids work so hard. Realistically, how could they make that mistake?"

Sunday's PSAL quarterfinals were played with the improper 3-point line, which some coaches noticed right away while others didn't until their games were over or until they were later asked about it. New York City Department of Education spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said the PSAL did not know that there was any change with the line. St. John's facilities personnel could not comment on the line.

Four games are scheduled for St. John's this week, as the CHSAA will host its semifinals on Wednesday and the PSAL returns for its semifinals on Saturday. Cardinal Hayes faces St. Raymond and Holy Cross battles Mount St. Michael in the CHSAA, while Boys & Girls opposes Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson tangles with Wings Academy in the PSAL. On the girls side, South Shore faces McKee/SI Tech and Francis Lewis meets Murry Bergtraum in the other game.

None of the losing coaches had complained to the league about the use of the wrong line and three losing coaches said they had no plans of protesting the game to the league. Feinberg wasn't even sure what could be done if the teams were to protest. Curtis, Cardozo, Wadleigh and South Shore all lost in the quarterfinals.

Buckheit, who said he noticed the wrong line when he walked on the court but did not say anything about it, believes that it had affected his game. His sixth-seeded Warriors planned to utilize the 3-point line against the physically bigger Railsplitters but struggled from long range, shooting just 30 percent in the 60-57 loss.

"We have four guys that are deadly from 3-point range and especially against a bigger team, we need to spread the floor a little bit," Buckheit said. "We are getting real good open looks, but they were too far from the basket for us."

Wadleigh coach Mike Crump said he didn't notice the 3-point lines but didn't think it was a huge deal. He said it wouldn't have mattered against his team as Jefferson's Thaddeus Hall was hitting 3-point shots from the parking lot. He added that he doesn't believe the additional foot makes much of a difference since some shoot from much further beyond that distance.

Jefferson coach Bud Pollard, whose team knocked out Wadleigh in the quarterfinals, understands why Buckheit would have a problem with the floor's dimensions.

"He has a legitimate gripe, we shouldn't have played the game there but people make mistakes," Pollard said. "We have to be proactive and make sure it's right. It's almost embarrassing. I mean, the PSAL has a tough job. It's a big league with hundreds of teams. It's a tough job. I wouldn't want it."

PSAL boys Class AA quarterfinals recap

March, 4, 2012
3/04/12
8:30
PM ET
The PSAL has its final four set after Boys & Girls, Lincoln, Wings Academy and Thomas Jefferson each won in the quarterfinals. You can read more about Boys' win here, but here are the highlights from the other three games at St. John's.

Lincoln 60, Curtis 57: Lincoln thought it had an easy task taking on Curtis, but the game instead came down to the final possession as the third-seeded Railsplitters barely pulled off a 60-57 victory against sixth-seeded Curtis to advance to the semifinals against Boys & Girls.

“I think we were at least 15 points better than them,” Lincoln’s head coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton said. “Obviously we weren’t. We were lucky, that last shot could easily have gone in or we could have been called for a foul.”

Morton once again singled out his star sophomore Isaiah Whitehead as a big reason for why his team underachieved. Whitehead, who led his team with 19 points, played in just his third game since returning from an ankle injury that kept him out for two weeks.

“No, I don't think he played really well,” Morton said. “He did some things he used to do, but he wasn't playing 100 percent in this game. He is much better than that. He didn't really push by anybody because his ankle is not there and you can tell.

“I don't think it's a physical thing, I think it's a mental thing. He's probably going to need two months off to get his ankle together.”

Wings 56, Cardozo 46: Fourth-seeded Wings played a shutdown defense that held fifth-seeded Cardozo to just four points in the first and third quarters on its way to an eventual 56-46 victory.

Wings coach Billy Turnage said after the game that he loves the way his team played defense, but he would like to see them turn more of its stops into points.

“We've been playing solid defense," Turnage said. "We have to reward ourselves for getting stops. We have the tendency to let up and give up too many offensive rebounds when we get stops though.”

Marvillo Berroa led Wings with 20 points and said he dedicated the game to his mother and sisters who encouraged him to turn his season around after a slow start.

Jefferson 80, Wadleigh 61: Jefferson carried a slim 35-34 into the half before exploding in the third quarter on its way to an eventual win. Thaddeus Hall led all with 25 points and string of three’s in the third quarter sparked the breakout.

“That's what Thaddeus has done since he's been back,” Jefferson coach Bud Pollard said. “I think Son Son (Jaquan Lynch) has been our MVP for the year because he carried us when Thaddeus wasn't here. But now he's back and he's going to carry us to a championship and he's been doing just that. He's making plays and showing us that he's a big leader.”

Also making a big contribution was Jalen Evans, whose father had a run-in with coach Pollard a couple weeks back when Jefferson faced St. Anthony’s. Evans had 17 points.

“I thought the story today was JJ Evans,” Pollard said. “He came off the bench and dominated the game. I just wish his father was here because last time he tried to slug me, today he could have hugged me. I'm going to call him up and say, 'give me a hug because last time you had a slug.'”

Jefferson will take on Wings Academy next week and according to Hall, the game should be easy.

“Wings, that's easy," he said. "I don't think Wings can deal with us. I just know for a fact that that's an easy game. They don't have any heart.”

Curtis' Dukes chosen for Elite 11

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
12:24
PM ET
Prince Dukes didn't know who had sent this piece of mail.

When the Curtis sophomore quarterback went home Wednesday, his mother handed him a piece of mail that said "E11" on the outside. When he saw that the mail actually was inviting him to the Nike Elite 11 quarterback camp, his demeanor quickly changed.

"I was just excited," Dukes said. "I was just smiling."

Duke, one of the top underclassmen in New York City, secured an invite and will attend the Nike Elite 11 quarterback camp on April 28 at Randall's Island. The camp is one of the regional camps for top rising seniors and elite underclassmen quarterbacks. The best of the best from the different camps get the chance to participate in the prestigious Elite 11 final in California.

"I'm very excited about it," Dukes said.

The Elite 11 camp gives one-on-one instruction for quarterbacks and has been attended by NFL stars like New Orleans' Drew Brees, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and Detroit's Matthew Stafford. It's a two-hour event and there are six regional camps this year. Dukes said he had only previously known about it after hearing about it from Tottenville junior quarterback Brandon Barnes, who told him he should try to qualify.

"I'm going to try to take in just whatever I can learn," Dukes said.

Dukes led Curtis to a 6-4 record this year but struggled with turnovers. He had 14 interceptions, compared to eight touchdowns, in his first full season as the starting quarterback for the Warriors. Curtis lost in the first round of the playoffs to Campus Magnet.

In his freshman year, he completed 54.9 percent of passes and threw for 707 yards, according to stats on the Public Schools Athletic League website.

He said he hopes to improve on his decision making going into next season and said that he's using last season's failures as motivation for this upcoming season.

"They saw your junior year is your breakout year when you should have all your tools together," Dukes said.

Boys basketball poll: Feb. 13

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
12:05
PM ET
Thomas Jefferson survived the Brooklyn borough playoffs and has thus retained its No. 1 ranking heading inot the playoffs. Here's this week's rankings.

1. Thomas Jefferson (21-5) /(LW: 1): Jefferson won the borough title and beat South Shore and Boys & Girls in the process. Great week for the Orange Wave.

2. Christ the King (17-6)/(LW: 2): CK had a great rally against Holy Cross to pick up its 17th win of the season last Friday night.

3. Boys & Girls (20-5/(LW: 3): Boys & Girls defeated Lincoln for the second time in three tries but blew a big lead against Jefferson in the borough playoffs.

4. Cardinal Hayes (20-3)/(LW: 5): Hayes rebounded with a strong week that included wins at home against Mount St. Michael and St. Raymond.

5. Lincoln (17-7)/(LW: 4): Lincoln lost to Boys & Girls at home but it is not at full strength. It has a big test this week as it hosts St. Raymond.

6. Wings (24-3)/(LW: 6): Wings was defeated in the Bronx borough playoffs, which likely prevented the team from being the No. 3 seed for the PSAL playoffs.

7. South Shore (17-9)/(LW: 7): South Shore blew a huge lead against Jefferson in the Brooklyn borough playoffs and then was given the No. 7 seed in the playoffs.

8. Holy Cross (18-4)/(LW: 8): Holy Cross failed to execute down the stretch against Christ the King and saw its chance for a big upset get sidelined.

9. Curtis (24-4)/(LW: 10): Curtis is simply on a roll, steamrolling through the Staten Island Tournament and pounding St. Peter's in the final.

10. St. Raymond (13-9)/(LW: 9): It's easy to say St. Ray's has not played up to expectations so far this season. The Ravens were pounded by Hayes this past week.

Boys basketball poll: Feb. 6

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
9:14
PM ET
Raise your hand if you thought Thomas Jefferson would outright win the Brooklyn AA title. It seems we all underestimated Jefferson and the Orange Wave are now the No. 1 team in New York City heading into the borough playoffs. Christ the King also moves up to No. 2 with its impressive wins over St. Ray's and Cardinal Hayes. Here's this week's poll.

1. Thomas Jefferson (18-5) /(LW: 4): Jefferson won a tough home game against Boys & Girls and then clinched the division with its win against George Westinghouse.

2. Christ the King (16-6)/(LW: 5): CK moves up three spots and has looked again like the team to beat as it beat St. Ray's and Cardinal Hayes this week.

3. Boys & Girls (18-4)/(LW: 1): Boys & Girls again lost right after being moved up to No. 1 in the poll. It will again have to face Lincoln this week in the borough semifinals.

4. Lincoln (16-6)/(LW: 3): Lincoln had a tough week. It had a win get ruled a double forfeit and then lost to Boys & Girls after losing two key players in the second half.

5. Cardinal Hayes (16-2)/(LW: 1): Hayes went 2-1 this week but its loss to to Christ the King knocks the Cardinals down a few pegs.

6. Wings (22-2)/(LW: 6): Wings is looking to move up but the lack of an elite schedule has kept it from picking up that elite win that will move it up.

7. South Shore (16-8)/(LW: 7): South Shore had a double forfeit loss with Lincoln but rebounded to win its final league game. It will be the No. 4 seed in the playoffs.

8. Holy Cross (18-3)/(LW: 9): Holy Cross only played once this week but took down its rival, St. Francis Prep.

9. St. Raymond (12-8)/(LW: 8): St. Raymond lost a tough game to Christ the King this week and will try to get revenge this week when it heads to Hayes.

10. Curtis (21-4)/(LW: Unranked): The best team on Staten Island is 21-4 and could make some noise in the PSAL AA Tournament .

Boys basketball poll: Dec. 26

December, 26, 2011
12/26/11
12:56
PM ET
For the fourth straight week, there's a new top team for this poll. While St. Raymond's didn't lose to any teams in New York City, we have to give the nod to undefeated Lincoln. Let's check out this week's poll.

1. Lincoln (7-0)/(LW: 2) Lincoln is now the top team in the city and defeated Westinghouse this past week to improve to 6-0 in Brooklyn AA.

2. St. Raymond's (5-3)/(LW: 1): The Ravens lost three games at the City of Palms Classic, dropping their final three. It's a national tournament so those losses aren't indictments of the squad.

3. Boys & Girls (6-1)/(LW: 3): Boys & Girls had this past week off and will return to the court this week looking to rebound from its first loss of the season.

4. Christ the King (2-1)/(LW: 4): Christ the King also had the week off and heads upstate to the Stop DWI Tournament in Binghamton, N.Y.

5. Cardinal Hayes (8-1)/(LW: 5): Hayes lost its first game in the final of the Kruel Classic and will not play again until its 2012.

6. Thomas Jefferson (9-4)/(LW: 6): Busy week for the Orange Wave. They lose their final two games at the Kruel Classic but rebounded to take down Westinghouse in league play.

7. Xaverian (4-0)/(LW: 7) Xaverian stayed undefeated with a nice win against Stepinac. The Clippers are off to Arizona for a holiday tournament this week.

8. Curtis (9-0)/(LW: 8): Curtis had two more wins against some of the top teams in Staten Island and will now try to take down Eagle Academy this week.

9. South Shore (8-4)/(LW: 9): South Shore went 1-2 at the Kruel Classic but defeated Robeson in league play lat week. It plays on Jan. 1 in Philadelphia.

10. Wings Academy (9-0)/(LW: 10): Wings is undefeated but will be tested up at the Stop DWI Tournament, which also had local powerhouse Christ the King.

Boys basketball poll: Dec. 19

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
9:38
AM ET
Another week means another new team atop the poll. After South Shore knocked off Boys & Girls last week, it means that St. Raymond is king. The Ravens are 5-0 and won a great game at the City of Palms Classic. Let's check out this week's poll.

1. St. Raymond's (5-0)/(LW: 2): The Ravens overcame a huge fourth quarter deficit to take its first game against a stout team from Kentucky in the City of Palms Classic.

2. Lincoln (6-0)/(LW: 3) Lincoln won a big road game against Jefferson and then finished its weekend with a nice win against Patterson (Maryland).

3. Boys & Girls (6-1)/(LW: 1): Boys & Girls lost at South Shore, falling from the top of the perch. Leroy Fludd continued his hot play, though, with another great game against the Vikings

4. Christ the King (2-1)/(LW: 4): Christ the King stays at the same spot in the poll after defeating Troy. It seems CK is still trying to put it all together at this point.

5. Cardinal Hayes (7-0)/(LW: 7): Hayes is 2-0 at the Kruel Classic in Florida and is playing as good as anyone could have imagined at this point in the season.

6. Thomas Jefferson (4-1)/(LW: 7): Even in a week that it loses, Jefferson moves up a spot with some nice wins at the Kruel Classic and a solid win against Transit Tech.

7. Xaverian (3-0)/(LW:8) Xaverian moves up one spot this week. Xaverian hasn't been tested early on but will have a tough game against Stepinac this week.

8. Curtis (7-0)/(LW: 9): Curtis still looks like the premier team in Staten Island with its undefeated record. Big game this week against McKee/SI Tech.

9. South Shore (6-3)/(LW: 10): For as good as South Shore can play, it has been losing games between each of its big wins. The Vikings still can play with anyone, though.

10. Wings Academy (8-0)/(LW: unranked): There's a new team in the poll as Wings makes its first appearance in the poll. Wings is 8-0 and looks like the class of the PSAL Bronx AA division.

Boys basketball poll: Dec. 12

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
11:58
AM ET
There's a new sheriff in town. After Boys & Girls went to Christ the King and knocked off the nationally ranked Royals, we had no choice but to put them as the top team in the city. Also, after an impressive start, Thomas Jefferson makes its way into the rankings.

1. Boys & Girls (5-0)/(LW: 3): Boys & Girls is top dogs after knocking off Christ the King and its strong start to begin the season. Leroy Fludd had 23 points against Christ the King.

2. St. Raymond's (4-0)/(LW: 2): The Ravens are now 4-0 after winning a tough road game against Stepinac and then easily defeating Monsignor Farrell.

3. Lincoln (4-0)/(LW: 4) Lincoln is 4-0 and has won the last two games without Isaiah Whitehead. His eligibility will be a big question moving forward.

4. Christ the King (1-1)/(LW: 1): Christ the King only drops a few spots since Boys & Girls is a very good team. The Royals didn't get much production beside Omar Calhoun in the second half of their loss.

5. Cardinal Hayes (4-0)/(LW: 6): Hayes continues to move up in the poll, this time after defeating Bishop Loughlin and then Long Island Lutheran this weekend.

6. Cardozo (3-0)/(LW: 7): Cardozo moves up one spot with South Shore's losses after it picked up win against Edison and Flushing. The Judges haven't really been challenged yet.

7. Thomas Jefferson (4-1)/(LW: unranked): Jefferson makes its first appearance in the poll after knocking off South Shore this week. It has a big game against Lincoln this week.

8. Xaverian (3-0)/(LW:8) Xaverian won two games this week against Holy Trinity and Bishop Ford to stay undefeated on the young season.

9. Curtis (6-0)/(LW: 9): Curtis continues its impressive start to the season, defeating Tottenville and St. Joseph by-the-Sea this week. The Warriors are for a serious threat in the PSAL this season.

10. South Shore (4-2)/(LW: 5): South Shore lost to Thomas Jefferson in an upset and then couldn't be Lincoln despite the Railsplitters not having Whitehead. Tough week for the Vikings.

Boys basketball poll: Dec. 5

December, 5, 2011
12/05/11
1:42
PM ET
Cardinal Hayes picked up the most impressive win of the weekend as it defeated Holy Cross in its first "AA" game. This week, we get a great game as top-ranked Christ the King will take on Boys & Girls. Let's check out the poll:

1. Christ the King (1-0)/(LW: 1): Christ the King won a tough road game at Jefferson and now hosts another PSAL power in Boys & Girls.

2. St. Raymond's (2-0)/(LW: 2): The Ravens are off to a 2-0 start after wins against All Hallows and St. Peter's.

3. Boys & Girls (2-0)/(LW: 3): Boys & Girls gets its chance to move up the rankings as it will take on Christ the King on Saturday.

4. Lincoln (1-0)/(LW: 4) Lincoln cruised to an easy win Robeson and plays South Shore in a big game at home on Saturday.

5. South Shore (3-0)/(LW: 5): South Shore improved to 3-0 after an overtime win against Transit Tech and gets its first game against Lincoln on Saturday.

6. Cardinal Hayes (1-0)/(LW: 7): Hayes moves up one spot after its impressive road win at Holy Cross to start its season.

7. Cardozo (1-0)/(LW: 6): Cardozo moves down one spot despite winning its first game of the season against Beach Channel/Channel View.

8. Xaverian (1-0)/(LW: 9) Xaverian moves up one spot with Holy Cross losing its opener.

9. Curtis (4-0)/(LW: 10): Curtis is now 4-0 after defeating New Dorp and Petrides in leagues contests this week.

10. Holy Cross (0-1)/(LW: 8): Holy Cross lost its first game of the season to Hayes and will have to try and bounce back this week with three games.

Boys basketball poll: Nov. 28

November, 28, 2011
11/28/11
11:17
AM ET
Only four of the teams in this poll have played a game through the first week of action. South Shore moves up two spots after two impressive wins in the Big Apple vs. Big Peach Battle. This week, most teams will get in their first games. Let's check out the poll.

1. Christ the King (0-0)/(LW: 1): Christ the King will hit the road to take on Jefferson in Brooklyn to start its season in an intriguing PSAL-CHSAA game.

2. St. Raymond's (0-0)/(LW: 2): The Ravens have two games this week and open their season Friday night against All Hallows.

3. Boys & Girls (1-0)/(LW: 3): Boys & Girls started its season off with a win against Pathways Prep, a team in the "B" division.

4. Lincoln (0-0)/(LW: 4) Lincoln has its first game on Thursday and plays a team in Robeson that already has four games under its belt.

5. South Shore (2-0)/(LW: 6): South Shore went 2-0 in the Big Apple vs. Big Peach Battle, including an impressive win against Norcross (Ga.)

6. Cardozo (0-0)/(LW: 5): Cardozo drops a spot in the rankings due to South Shore's wins and will open its season this week.

7. Cardinal Hayes (0-0)/(LW: 7): Hayes has quite a "Welcome to AA" game when it visits Holy Cross on Friday night in both teams' opener.

8. Holy Cross (0-0)/(LW: 8): Cardinal Hayes will be a great test on Friday night, considering Holy Cross' potential lack of impact interior players.

9. Xaverian (1-0)/(LW: 9) Xaverian made easy work of Bannker in its opening game and won't play again until next week.

10. Curtis (2-0)/(LW: 10): Curtis is off to a great start with wins over St. Peter's and Robeson. It begins Staten Island play this week.

Boys basketball preview

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
1:04
PM ET
With basketball getting into full swing this week, it's time to break down the top teams in New York City. We break down the teams, the players and the top games to watch in boys basketball this season.

TITLE FAVORITES

Christ the King: Everyone knows about UConn-bound senior Omar Calhoun and top junior Isaiah Lewis but the Royals are going to need their frontcourt players to step up. Juniors Jon Severe and Jordan Fuchs need to provide steady play in the paint.

St. Raymond: The Ravens return their entire starting five this season and could have the best starting five in the city. Temple-bound forward Daniel Dingle and Iowa State-bound forward Kerwin Okoro will anchor this strong unit.

"What I have been telling people is for us to play well, the key word I use is balance," St. Ray's coach Oliver Antigua said. "We can get a lot of contributions from different spots."

Boys & Girls: Boys & Girls lost some key players from last season but coach Ruth Lovelace thinks this team can be better. Leroy Fludd is the key player to return while Bishop Loughlin transfers Joel Angus and Tyleik Kimbrough will provide depth.

"I think this is a team that loves to move the ball, not that we didn't last year," Lovelace said. "A lot of guys can hurt you in different ways."

Lincoln: Lincoln lost some great players from last year's city finalist squad but they have arguably the city's best pure point guard in Isaiah Whitehead. Junior Shaquille Davis returns for the backcourt while transfers Tafari Whittingham and Travis Charles will have Lincoln among the city's best once again.

TITLE CONTENDERS

Cardozo: The Judges are usually known for a strong backcourt but this year it will be their frontcourt with elite junior Jermaine Lawrence and St. John's Prep transfer Ryan Yearwood. Coach Ron Naclerio wants to see his team improve as the year goes on.

"People will say the guards of Cardozo aren't as good as other years," Naclerio said. "But I kind of disagree. We're so young and kids like Omar Williams have shown flashes of brilliance.

South Shore: South Shore will try to win the tough Brooklyn "AA" behind a pair of standout juniors in Terrence Samuel and Shamiek Sheppherd. The Vikings will give anyone in the city a run for their money are will need to get contributions from seniors Wayne Martin, Ayodele Akinmola and Theo Brown.

Cardinal Hayes: Hayes benefited the most from Rice's closing by grabbing four guards to bolster what's an already impressive frontcourt that is anchored by Fairfield-bound senior center Amadou Sidibe. Hayes is moving up to the 'AA" this year.

"People say expectations are high but we're going to the "AA"," Hayes coach Joe Lods said. "I'm trying to temper expectations because we're moving up. "

Holy Cross: The Knights lost Evan Conti and Marcus Hopper from last year's squad but bring back a pair of talented players in Marquise Moore and William Davis. Coach Paul Gilvary said he has a good group of seniors but is going to have to play the game to its strengths, which means using its speed.

THE SLEEPERS

Xaverian: The Clippers have a pair of players going on to play at the next level in sharpshooter Brian Bernardi and Dylan Burns. Coach Jack Alesi hopes to get contributions from a pair of big men: Shakell Kemp and Andrew Petric.

"I think we're very good offensively, we shoot the ball well and we can go eight or nine deep and have five shooters on the court," Alesi said. "It's going to come down to how we rebound against stronger teams."

Curtis: Ask around the league and Curtis is a team that coaches think can make some noise this year. The Warriors return four of five starters from last year's team. Debonair Edwards, Dashawn Richmond and Dontay Jackson will be expected to help lead the Warriors to a Staten Island crown.

Wings Academy: Coming off a great year, Wings will have to try and rebound from losing Amdy Fall, Deonte Houston and Gerrell Martin. Returning seniors Steven Gomez and Justin Jenkins will be helpful and try to keep Wings in the mix of the league's elite teams.

Mount St. Michael: Coming off a Class "A" title, Mount returns three starters from last year's team in Malik Gill, Anthony Maestre and Omari Manhertz. Coach Tom Fraher is optimistic about his team as it moves up to the "AA" division.

"I have kids who are stepping in so far and doing a pretty good job," Fraher said. "I know what I'm getting out of Gill, Maestre and Manhertz. It's the other two spots that need to step in."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Christ the King guard Omar Calhoun; Christ the King guard Isaiah Lewis; St. Raymond forward Daniel Dingle; St. Raymond forward Kerwin Okoro; Xaverian guard Brian Bernardi; Lincoln guard Isaiah Whitehead; Boys & Girls guard Leroy Fludd; South Shore forward Terrence Samuel; Cardozo forward Jermaine Lawrence; Hayes center Amadou Sidibe

GAMES TO WATCH

Boys & Girls at Christ the King—Dec. 10
South Shore at Lincoln—Dec. 10
Boys & Girls at Lincoln—Jan. 14
Cardozo vs. St. Raymond's—Jan. 27
Christ the King at St. Raymond's—Feb. 3

Boys basketball poll: preseason

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
1:02
PM ET
Basketball is upon us in New York City. What that in mind, we present the first set of ESPNNewYork.com rankings for the boys. These rankings are in collaboration with the statewide rankings you can find at ESPNHS.

1. Christ the King (0-0): Christ the King has won the CHSAA Class "AA" title the last two years and has the best player in New York City in Omar Calhoun.

2. St. Raymond's (0-0): The Ravens return their entire starting five and its fair to say they might have the best starting five in the city.

3. Boys & Girls (0-0): Fresh off their second straight PSAL Class "AA" title, head coach Ruth Lovelace believes this team can be better than last year's squad.

4. Lincoln (0-0): Lincoln lost some key players from last year's squad but transfers and the steady play of Isaiah Whitehead will have them among the elite.

5. Cardozo (0-0): Cardozo will be young in its backcourt but has perhaps one of the most underrated big men in the country in junior Jermaine Lawrence.

6. South Shore (0-0): South Shore's talented pair of juniors in Terrence Samuel and Shamiek Sheppherd will make them a legit contender for the PSAL title.

7. Cardinal Hayes (0-0): Hayes moves up to the "AA" division but its talented frontcourt and the addition of several Rice players will have it in the race.

8. Holy Cross (0-0): Marquise Moore and William Davis will lead a Holy Cross team that is senior laden but lacks size.

9. Xaverian (0-0): Brian Bernardi might be the best pure shooter in the city and has a nice complement in Dylan Burns.

10. Curtis (1-0): Curtis has size on the inside and returns four of five starters from last year's team. It could give the top teams a run for their money.

Rapid Reaction: Magnet 14, Curtis 12

November, 12, 2011
11/12/11
5:24
PM ET
Campus Magnet coach Eric Barrett admitted to being gun shy. The Bulldogs have one of the best quarterbacks in the city in Khalik Greenwood and Barrett did everything but put a MasterLock on his throwing arm.

Greenwood was coming off a four-interception game against Tottenville and Barrett was being cautious. But when he unleashed Greenwood, the game changed, and the No. 8 Bulldogs ran off with a 14-12 victory over No. 9 Curtis Saturday in the first round of the PSAL "Championship" Division playoffs.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Most of the game was dominated by both teams’ defense. Greenwood found senior wide receiver Antoine Allen for an eight-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead that the Bulldogs carried into halftime. But the quarterback didn’t even attempt another pass until nearly two minutes remaining in the third. Meanwhile, Curtis quarterback Prince Dukes dropped a pass into Elijah Caldwell, on third-and-goal from the 19 yard-line, to tie the score at 6 after a failed two-point conversion.

Carl Taylor broke free a 51-yard run on the next drive for Curtis, and two plays later punched in a 1-yard score to put his team ahead 12-6 early in the fourth. That’s when Barrett took the handcuffs off of Greenwood. But his first three attempts resulted in dropped passes before he hit James McGeary for a short gain. Then Greenwood completed two consecutive passes to Allen, scrambled for a first down and found Allen again for a 33-yard strike, their second touchdown hookup, and what turned into the game-winning score with 6:45 left.

Allen said the sun was in his eyes when Greenwood found him across the middle, between two defenders.

“I just put out my arms and the ball was right there,” Allen said. “It was like a gift from God.”

TURNING POINT: The Bulldogs were training 12-6 and couldn’t get much going on the ground. Greenwood was practically flawless when he threw the ball. He completed 8-of-15 passes 82 yards and two touchdown throws but receivers dropped five balls and one incompletion was a pass caught just outside the back of the end zone.

Campus Magnet needed a score and Barrett finally gave Greenwood the green light. The junior quarterback completed 4-of-7 passes on the go-ahead drive, three of which went to Allen.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: As much as Greenwood controlled the game late, Allen was there whenever the team needed a big play. Allen had four receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns. The senior also snagged the two-point conversion catch that gave Campus Magnet the 14-12 lead and intercepted Dukes at the 10-yard line to end the game.

“The coaches, they called me in a big game,” Allen said. “They said it’s your time to shine. I’m a senior. They just called my number. I just did what I had to do.”

QUOTE OF THE GAME: Allen was still shaking his head at Greenwood’s accuracy after the game. On the go-ahead score, Allen said he never saw the ball until it was in his chest.

“He puts it on the money baby,” Allen said.

UP NEXT: Campus Magnet will take on Tottenville, which beat Brooklyn Tech Saturday, in the quarterfinals next week. Curtis' year is over.

SPONSORED HEADLINES