Few teams in Section 1 had to endure losses to graduation like Clarkstown South. So, perhaps predictably, the Vikings lost their season opener to 62-41 to Tappan Zee back on Dec. 1. Since then, they have reeled off a six-game winning streak, which was highlighted by this week’s victory over New Rochelle and two wins at the Bronxville tournament.
Clarkstown South brought back just one starter and three players total who received any playing time on the 2015 Class AA runner-up. Of course, the contraction included star point guard Conor McGuinness, one of the area’s top players, who is already thriving at Division II Adelphi. Still, the Vikings and their coach Matt Backs have continued to prove they are always among Class AA’s best.
South is the lone addition to this week’s power rankings, which are also highlighted by a new No. 1.
Dec. 21: lohud boys basketball rankings
The top boys basketball teams from Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties and the rest of Section 1
1. Iona Prep (4-2) — The Gaels have faced the toughest schedule in the area by far and they are an open Ty Jerome 3-pointer from 5-1. Sophomore Byrce Wills return in Friday’s narrow loss at St. Ray’s should begin to take this team to another level, but Iona Prep’s schedule is unrelenting. The Gaels host Cardinal Hayes this week before heading to the Skyline Classic for two games, including St. Anthony’s of Jersey City on Dec. 29.
2. Spring Valley (3-0) — Coming off last week’s upset of Mount Vernon, Spring Valley hosts Peekskill on Monday and will then have a very tough game against Long Island power Harborfields at the Slam Dunk on Dec. 28.
3. Mount Vernon (1-1) — The Knights will have nearly two weeks to regroup before heading to the Reading (Pa.) Holiday Tournament Dec. 28-29. They’ll need to refine their zone offense and learn how to take better care of the ball.
4. Stepinac (2-3) — Kentucky assistant coach Tony Barbee was at Stepinac to watch Jordan Tucker against All Hallows on Friday night. On Tuesday, Tucker and the Crusaders will host another coveted underclassman: Archbishop Molloy freshman Cole Anthony, the son of former Knick Greg Anthony.
5. Fox Lane (3-1) — The Foxes will dip back into the deep end of the pool at the Slam Dunk when they play Brooklyn power Bishop Loughlin on Dec. 28.
6. Saunders (4-2) — The Blue Devils have won four straight and will play host to 5-0 Scarsdale on Tuesday in a suddenly intriguing game.
7. Lourdes (1-1) — Lourdes’ talented junior James Anozie scored 35 points against Hen Hud this week. Expect much more from Anozie, who is already one of Section 1’s top players.
8. Kennedy (5-1) — Outside of Iona Prep, the Gaels have been pretty dominant. They are already 2-0 in the CHSAA’s A division and will head to Florida for three games this week.
9. Briarcliff (6-0) — The Bears’ perfect start will be put to another test this week with a tough game at Nanuet.
10. Clarkstown South (6-1) — Riding their six-game win streak, the Vikings are now off until the New Year.
On the bubble: Tappan Zee (6-1), Byram Hills (6-1), Scarsdale (5-0), New Rochelle (3-1).
The top boys basketball teams in each class in Section 1
1. Spring Valley
2. Mount Vernon
3. Fox Lane
5. Clarkstown South
2. Tappan Zee
3. Byram Hills
2. Putnam Valley
3. Blind Brook
2. Clark Academy
5. Children’s Village