Early in the season the question on boys hoops fans' minds was: Who is better, St. Mary's or Lutheran?
Well, we finally got our answer ... sort of.
The Gaels hung on for a 57-55 victory at L.I.L. on Thursday to rightfully claim their spot as the top team on the Island. But the Crusaders aren't far behind, and they'd love a rematch with everything on the line later in the season.
But that's a story for another day.
As you'll see below, both teams have recovered nicely from Thursday's game and are proving their mettle against some of the tri-state's best teams.
Speaking of which, in the latest MSG Varsity tri-state top 20 poll, St. Mary's moved up two spots to No. 8 (where Lutheran was last week), while the Crusaders dropped one spot to No. 9. Baldwin is "on the bubble."
The Gaels are the last undefeated team left in Nassau, after Floral Park's one-point loss to Manhasset on Friday. They are also the lone boys basketball team in this week's edition of the Big 10. Baldwin is "on the outside looking in."
With that said, let's get to this week's Nassau top 10...
1. St. Mary's (13-0, 2-0 CHSAA) — After the Gaels' two-point win over Lutheran (led by Chavaughn Lewis' 20 points), they earned a 67-66 win at New Rochelle on Saturday. Charles McCann, who finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, scored the game-winning layup with 20 seconds to play and had a steal with four seconds left. Justin Bailey added 19 points. On Tuesday, St. Mary's remained perfect in the CHSAA with a 65-54 win at Kellenberg. Lewis had 20 points and eight rebounds. To see highlights of the win over Lutheran, click here, and to read a feature on what makes Lewis tick on the court, click here.
Up next: The Gaels have just one game in the next nine days — when they play host to CHSAA rival St. Anthony's at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
2. Long Island Lutheran (13-2) — The Crusaders bounced back from the loss to St. Mary's with a pair of wins in the Big Apple Classic at Baruch College. They beat Paul Robeson (Brooklyn) 57-41 on Saturday behind Achraf Yacoubou's 21 points and 10 rebounds and Jordan Allen's 17 points and 13 rebounds. Two days later, Yacoubou poured in 27 points, including four three-pointers, in a 72-63 victory over Rice (Manhattan), the No. 11 team in the tri-state. To read about, and see video of, the game, click here.
Up next: The Crusaders won't play again until next Wednesday when they visit St. Anthony's for a 4:15 p.m. start.
3. Baldwin (8-1, 6-0 Conference AA-II) — The Bruins continued their strong play with a 75-52 win over visiting Herricks on Tuesday. Three Baldwin players had double-doubles — Kyle Richardson (16 points, 12 rebounds), T'Ziah Wood-Smith (12 points, 10 rebounds ... also five assists), and Eyituoyo Ofuya (12 points, 12 rebounds).
Up next: The Bruins will play at Conference AA-II rival Port Washington at 6:15 p.m. on Friday.
4. Chaminade (10-2, 4-0 CHSAA) — The Flyers bounced back from a loss to Lutheran last week in a big way. On Friday, Kevin Sheehy scored 23 points in a 65-55 win at St. Anthony's — a game they trailed 33-24 at halftime. Then on Tuesday, Richard Zoller scored 22 points in an 80-58 rout of visiting Holy Trinity.
Up next: The Flyers will visit St. John the Baptist at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in a CHSAA matchup.
5. Manhasset (9-1, 5-0 Conference A-III) — The Indians won in dramatic fashion on Friday, taking out previously undefeated Floral Park 64-63 on Alessandro Troia's layup with 38 seconds to play. In doing so, they took over the top spot in Conference A-III. Troia finished with a season-high 29 points with 10 rebounds. Dan Merola added 15 points, and Gary Tibbs had 12 points and 10 boards.
Up next: The Indians play two conference foes this week — at Glen Cove at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and home against Valley Stream South at 6:15 p.m. on Friday.
6. Floral Park (8-1, 5-1 Conference A-III) — The Knights were led by Shamoy McIntosh's 26 points in the one-point loss at Manhasset on Friday. On Tuesday, McIntosh (pictured above) scored a season-high 31 points with eight rebounds in a 69-56 win at West Hempstead. He scored 14 in a 22-10 first quarter.
Up next: The Knights will play host to Conference A-III rival Great Neck North at 4:45 p.m. on Friday.
7. South Side (8-3, 6-0 Conference A-II) — Ryan Spadaford had 27 points and 10 rebounds, but it was Darren Nickelson's putback with three seconds left that gave the Cyclones a 58-56 win over visiting Sewanhaka on Friday. South Side trailed by six going into the fourth quarter.
Up next: The Cyclones will visit conference rival Bethpage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.
8. Holy Trinity (8-7, 3-2 CHSAA) — The Titans have been busy, with three games in the last five days. They earned a 67-38 win at Kellenberg on Friday, led by Michael Callahan's 13 points and Richard Bess' 10 points and 10 rebounds. Callahan scored 20 points in a 71-56 win over visiting St. Dominic on Sunday, but the Titans were trounced at Chaminade, 80-58, on Tuesday. Tyler Seidman was the only Holy Trinity player in double figures with 17 points.
Up next: The Titans' next two games are non-league affairs — a trip to Poly Prep (Brooklyn) on Saturday and a visit from Floral Park next Thursday.
9. Massapequa (9-2, 5-2 Conference AA-I) — The Chiefs rebounded from a surprising loss to Oceanside last week with a 64-53 victory over visiting Syosset on Friday. Ryan Van Buren led the way with 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Matt Smocovich added 17 points.
Up next: The Chiefs will play at conference rival Farmingdale at 4 p.m. on Friday.
10. Malverne (9-1, 7-0 Conference BC) — The Mules had five players in double figures (led by Corey Alexander's 14 points) in a 74-62 win at Locust Valley on Friday, but only one (Ronald Spencer with 10) in a 57-50 victory over visiting Oyster Bay on Tuesday.
Up next: The Mules will play at conference foe Wheatley at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
On the bubble: Elmont (8-2, 6-1 Conference AA-III); Freeport (9-2, 4-2 Conference AA-I); Hempstead (7-4, 4-2 Conference AA-I); Lawrence Woodmere Academy (9-2, 5-0 PSAA); Uniondale (7-4, 4-2 Conference AA-I).