It’s been about a month since our last rankings. To give you an idea of where the teams were ranked in the preseason, I included my preseason ranking for each team next to the current ranking.I’ve also ranked the Top 5 in each class, which should give you a good idea of who I like (as of now) in the race to the County Center.
Rank (preseason rank). Team (record).
1 (1). Iona Prep (9-3). The Gaels have really bounced back since losing to Greece Athena at the Slam Dunk. As they proved on Tuesday, when they are on, they are very, very hard to beat.
2 (2). Spring Valley (6-1). The Tigers showed what they can do yesterday, dismantling a good Nyack team in the fourth quarter. And they will be better when Jordan Duncan gets back. The loss in the Slam Dunk will be one of the best things to happen to them.
3 (3). Mount Vernon (7-3). The Knights have the potential to be the area’s best team by season’s end. They are, by far, the deepest team, and they are so young they will grow by leaps and bounds. Their biggest roadblock right now is consistency.
4 (5). Kennedy (10-0). Kennedy beat Scanlan last night by 23 points and ran away from Fordham after a slow start last Saturday. The only thing that can slow them down in their league is probably themselves.
5 (6). Woodlands (5-1). The Falcons proved at the Slam Dunk that it didn’t matter what level they played, they are just a good team. Their problem will be staying sharp until the playoffs.
6 (4). Stepinac (5-5). Despite losing four straight and five of six, the Crusaders still have a talented team. The problem? After a manageable December schedule, their January is brutal, starting with three straight on the road at Iona, Mount and Hayes.
7 (NR). Tappan Zee (8-0). This team is one of the area’s best defensively and on the glass. It’s going to win a lot of games and, I think, put a scare into Spring Valley in Class A.
8 (8). Arlington (7-0). I’ve heard plenty of good reviews on Arlington, which already looks like it has a better team than last year. Right now, I’d say the Admirals have a great chance to get to the County Center after a number of near-misses.
9 (NR). Saunders (7-2). Saunders went to Long Island over the weekend and won a tournament at Walt Whitman and has now won six straight. The Blue Devils will enter tomorrow’s showcase at NewRoc City as favorites against Eastchester, a team they have struggled against in past years.
10 (NR). Somers (5-0). The Tuskers are big and can shoot, but their league won’t be easy. John Jay, Brewster, Greeley and Fox Lane will all be tough opponents. Don’t expect them to go through the rest of the slate unbeaten.
On the bubble: Byram Hills (6-2), Ramapo (6-3), Clarkstown South (6-4), Fox Lane (6-3).
CLASS-BY-CLASS RANKINGS —
1. Mount Vernon
5. Clarkstown South
1. Spring Valley
2. Tappan Zee
4. Byram Hills
5. Blind Brook
3. Clark Academy
1. Iona Prep
5. Rye Country Day