The playoffs are right around the corner, and the jockeying for seeding has made for some down-to-the-wire conference action.
Where do we stand in Nassau? Well, St. Mary's (still the only undefeated team on the Island) and Lutheran keep rolling. In the publics, Baldwin looks like the favorite, although the Bruins play in the weakest of the three Class AA conferences.
They'll step up a level tonight when they visit Lutheran.
Freeport clinched the AA-I title, but any of the top four teams — who have been beating each other up all season — can make a deep run in the playoffs.
How much love are these teams getting around the tri-state? Not much.
In this week's MSG Varsity top 20 poll, St. Mary's remained at No. 4, and Lutheran remained at No. 12. No other Long Island team is on the list. Baldwin was "on the bubble" two weeks ago, but dropped off despite four wins in the past two weeks.
The Bruins, however, are "on the outside looking in" of Gregg Sarra's Big 10, along with Lutheran. The Gaels are No. 2 on the list, behind Longwood wrestling.
St. Mary's also entered the East Region top 20 (consisting of Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia) of the latest ESPN Rise regional rankings at No. 15.
Speaking of the Gaels...
1. St. Mary's (18-0, 7-0 CHSAA) — Another week, another two wins. Chavaughn Lewis and Dante Agnew each scored 23 points in the Gaels' 79-69 win at Holy Trinity, No. 6 on this list, on Friday. Agnew added 13 assists, and Charles McCann had 11 points and 13 rebounds for his second straight double-double. In Wednesday's 89-56 victory over visiting St. John the Baptist, Lewis and McCann each scored 23 and Agnew added 18 points, six rebounds and 10 assists. To watch MSG Varsity highlights of the win over Trinity, click here.
Up next: The Gaels will play three games in four days beginning with Saturday's 2 p.m. tipoff at home against All Hallows (Bronx). They visit St. John the Baptist at 4 p.m. on Sunday and St. Anthony's at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in a pair of CHSAA matchups.
2. Long Island Lutheran (14-3) — The Crusaders bounced back from a loss to St. Peter's Prep (N.J.) with a season-high 93 points in a 93-67 win over visiting Albany Academy on Saturday. Achraf Yacoubou led the way with 24 points and 19 rebounds. Shaun Lawton added 21 points and nine assists, and Jordan Allen had 17 points and 15 rebounds. To watch highlights of this game, click here.
Up next: After tonight's game against Baldwin, the No. 3 team on this list, the Crusaders will visit Green Tech of Albany at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
3. Baldwin (13-2, 11-0 Conference AA-II) — The Bruins clinched the Conference AA-II title with an 82-48 win at MacArthur on Friday behind Aaron Greene's 28 points, five rebounds and six assists. T'Ziah Wood-Smith added 18 points and 10 rebounds and Brandon Williams had 14 points and 10 assists. On Tuesday, Greene had 17 points, five rebounds and eight assists and Kyle Richardson added 14 points and 12 rebounds in a 75-33 drubbing of visiting Plainview JFK.
Up next: After tonight's game at No. 2 Lutheran, the Bruins will look to finish the conference slate perfect with a 7 p.m. contest at Herricks on Monday.
4. Chaminade (16-4, 7-2 CHSAA) — The Flyers were flying all over the Island this past week, with four games in seven days. On Friday, Kevin Sheehy had 21 points and James McCaffrey added 13 points and 11 rebounds in a 64-45 win over visiting St. Dominic. The following day, they lost to St. Anthony's 53-52 on Danny Pierrot's jumper with six seconds left. Richard Zoller scored 13 points in the loss. They bounced back with a 55-38 win at Kellenberg on Tuesday, led by Luke Colombo's 15 points and 11 rebounds, and then took down St. John's Prep (Queens) 69-47 earlier today behind Sheehy's 25 points and 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists from McCaffrey.
Up next: The Flyers have a short break before resuming their CHSAA schedule with a game against Holy Trinity, No. 6 on this list, at home on Tuesday.
5. Manhasset (14-1, 10-0 Conference A-III) — The Indians cruised to a pair of wins to remain unbeaten in conference play. Gary Tibbs had 18 points and 15 rebounds in a 72-62 win over visiting West Hempstead on Friday, and then had 14 points and 11 rebounds in a 62-49 win at Great Neck North on Tuesday. Anthony Amitrano had six assists in both games. Tibbs has 10 double-doubles this season, including each of the last three games. Manhasset has won eight in a row.
Up next: I'll be on hand tomorrow, as the Indians visit Floral Park, No. 6 on this list, at 4:45 p.m. with the Conference A-III title on the line. Manhasset won 64-63 when these teams met on Jan. 14. The Indians will close out the regular season with a home game against Glen Cove at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday.
6. Holy Trinity (10-10, 4-4 CHSAA) — The Titans lost at St. Mary's on Friday 79-69 despite 17 points from Nick Ferreiro and Tyler Seidman. They trailed 29-7 after the first quarter, but crawled back. The losing continued on Tuesday with a 56-44 defeat at St. Anthony's. Michael Callahan led the Titans with 19 points. But the streak ended on Wednesday with a 64-52 win over visiting Floral Park. Callahan scored 17 points and Seidman added 16 points and six assists.
Up next: The Titans will play host to Kellenberg at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night and then visit No. 4 Chaminade on Tuesday in a pair of CHSAA contests.
7. Floral Park (12-3, 9-1 Conference A-III) — The Knights cruised to three easy conference wins last week and then were halted by Holy Trinity in a non-league affair. Justin Wilson scored 17 points in a 73-40 win at Glen Cove last Thursday. Senior Pete Alloca scored a career-high 26 points and Shamoy McIntosh added 16 points and seven assists in a 73-50 win over visiting Valley Stream South on Friday, and Alloca scored 21 in a 93-35 drubbing at North Shore on Tuesday. Wilson led Floral Park with 18 points in the 64-52 loss at Holy Trinity last night.
Up next: After tomorrow's game at home against No. 5 Manhasset, the Knights will close the regular season on Monday when they play host to West Hempstead at 4:45 p.m.
8. Elmont (13-2, 11-1 Conference AA-III) — Anthony Elechi and Dillon Williams each scored 19 points in the Spartans' 67-50 win over visiting Great Neck South on Friday. On Tuesday, they won their 12th in a row with a 73-52 decision at Valley Stream Central. Williams led the way with 21 points and 10 assists, while Greg Senat had 19 points and nine rebounds.
Up next: The Spartans will close the regular season with two conference games — at home against second-place Calhoun at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and at Long Beach at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. A win in either game or a Calhoun loss would give them the conference title.
9. Malverne (14-1, 12-0 Conference BC) — After an easy 76-36 win at Carle Place in which Cory Alexander (pictured above with coach Darrol Lopez) had 17 points and eight assists, the Mules earned a 44-41 decision over visiting Friends Academy on Tuesday behind Anthony Moultrie's 12 points and 16 rebounds. Malverne, which clinched the Conference BC title, has won 10 in a row.
Up next: The Mules will close the regular season with a pair of conference games — at home against Locust Valley at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, and at Oyster Bay at 7 p.m. on Monday.
10. Freeport (14-2, 9-2 Conference AA-I) — The Red Devils won three games in five days to clinch the Conference AA-I title. Jere Brown scored 17 points with four steals and Leondre Simmon added 15 points and 10 assists in a 65-60 win at Farmingdale on Friday. Brown scored 15 in a 51-31 win over visiting Massapequa on Monday, and then had the game-winning layup with 24 seconds left in a 43-42 victory over visiting Uniondale the following day. To watch the highlights of that game, click here. Freeport has won five in a row.
Up next: The Red Devils will close the regular season on Monday with a 4:30 p.m. game at Hempstead. They lost to Hempstead 62-50 on Jan. 18.
On the bubble: Lawrence (12-3, 8-2 Conference A-II); Lawrence Woodmere Academy (16-3, 10-0 PSAA); Massapequa (11-5, 7-5 Conference AA-I); South Side (12-4, 10-1 Conference A-II); Uniondale (10-5, 7-3 Conference AA-I).