Of the 57 public school boys basketball teams in Nassau only 33 advanced to the second season.
Yes, the playoffs (at least among public schools) are finally upon us, with the first round in Class A commencing later today. To see the matchups in every classification, click here.
The Catholic League still has some of the regular season to play out — and that's where we must begin here. Why? Because St. Mary's remains undefeated on the season and shows no signs of letting up, with 22 straight victories.
In the marquee matchup of the past week, Long Island Lutheran earned an 11-point win over Baldwin behind a 15-2 second-quarter run (more on this game below).
Even with the loss, Baldwin secured the No. 1 seed in the Class AA playoffs. We'll see if the Bruins can win their first title since 2008 and their second since 1982.
Baldwin still isn't a member of MSG Varsity's tri-state top 20 poll, but St. Mary's is, as the Gaels remain at No. 4. Lutheran stayed at No. 12.
The Bruins, however, are "on the outside looking in" of Gregg Sarra's Big 10, along with Lutheran. The Gaels remain at No. 2 on the list, behind Longwood wrestling.
St. Mary's also moved up one spot in 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 to No. 14.
Speaking of the Gaels, let's get to this week's rankings...
1. St. Mary's (22-0, 10-0 CHSAA) — Can anyone stop the the Gaels? It doesn't seem like it. They won three games in three days, beginning with an 88-61 win at St. Dominic on Friday. Chavaughn Lewis scored 24 points with four assists. He had 22 points and five assists in a 76-57 win over visiting All Hallows the next day, and 30 points in a 98-67 win at St. John the Baptist the day after that. The 98 points were a season high for St. Mary's. Dante Agnew had 23 points and nine assists in a 71-54 victory at St. Anthony's on Tuesday. Charles McCann had double-doubles in all four games.
Up next: The Gaels will wrap up the regular season with a pair of CHSAA games, at home against Kellenberg at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and at Chaminade at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
2. Long Island Lutheran (18-3) — The Crusaders earned a 59-48 win over visiting Baldwin, No. 3 on this list, last Thursday behind K.J. Lee's 20 points and Jordan Allen's 13 points and 21 rebounds. Allen had 19 points and 10 rebounds in an 82-57 win at Albany Academy on Saturday, and then Achraf Yacoubou poured in 24 with 11 rebounds in a 95-50 win at Green Tech on Sunday. The 95 points were a season high. Shaun Lawton's triple-double (14 points, 10 assists, 10 steals) led the charge in an 88-37 win over visiting Upper Room on Tuesday. Lutheran has won five in a row.
Up next: The Crusaders will wrap up their season with games at St. Anthony (N.J.), at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and at Queens Teaching, at 6 p.m. next Thursday.
3. Baldwin (14-3, 12-0 Conference AA-II) — The Bruins got 21 points from Aaron Greene, but came up on the short end of a 59-48 decision at No. 2 Lutheran last Thursday. They bounced back with a 68-41 win at Herricks on Monday to complete an undefeated conference slate. Kyle Richardson led the way with 20 points.
Up next: The top-seeded Bruins will begin their playoff push on Tuesday when they play the winner of Friday's No. 8 Bellmore JFK-No. 9 MacArthur game in the Class AA quarterfinal round.
4. Holy Trinity (13-10, 7-4 CHSAA) — The Titans notched a pair of CHSAA victories this past week. Tyler Seidman scored 19 points with five assists in a 62-53 win over visiting Kellenberg on Friday, and then the senior poured in 30 points, including eight three-pointers, in a 56-51 upset victory over visiting Chaminade on Tuesday.
Up next: The Titans will visit St. John the Baptist at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday to close out the regular season. If the Catholic League standings hold, Trinity and Chaminade will meet in the CHSAA semifinals.
5. Chaminade (17-5, 7-3 CHSAA) — The Flyers earned a 69-47 win over visiting St. John's Prep of Queens last Thursday behind Kevin Sheehy's 25 points. James McCaffrey added 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Sheehy scored 16 and Richard Zoller added 12 in the five-point loss at Holy Trinity on Tuesday.
Up next: The Flyers close out the season with a pair of CHSAA home games — against St. John the Baptist at 4 p.m. on Friday and against St. Mary's at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
6. Floral Park (14-3, 11-1 Conference A-III) — The Knights exacted revenge on Manhasset, who they suffered their only conference loss against, with a 46-42 decision at home on Friday. Shamoy McIntosh scored 17 points and Justin Wilson added 11. McIntosh had 21 points an five assists and Wilson added 19 points and seven rebounds in a 67-52 win over visiting West Hempstead on Monday.
Up next: The Knights, who, believe it or not, are the No. 5 seed in Class A, begin their playoff run on Thursday when they play host to No. 12 Sewanhaka at 4:30 p.m.
7. Manhasset (15-2, 11-1 Conference A-III) — The Indians bounced back from a the four-point loss to Floral Park on Friday with a 77-58 win over visiting Glen Cove to close the regular season. Alessandro Troia led the way with 19 points, while John Maimone-Medwick added 12 points.
Up next: The top-seeded Indians kick off the postseason on Thursday when they play host to No. 16 New Hyde Park at 5:15 p.m.
8. Elmont (15-2, 13-1 Conference AA-III) — The Spartans, who are the hottest team this side of St. Mary's, earned two more conference victories to extend their winning streak to 14 games. Dillon Williams had 14 points and nine assists in a 63-42 win over visiting Calhoun on Friday, and Anthony Elechi scored 19 points with 12 rebounds in a 49-42 win at Long Beach on Monday.
Up next: The second-seeded Spartans will begin their playoff push on Tuesday when they play the winner of Friday's No. 7 Uniondale-No. 10 Calhoun game in the Class AA quarterfinal round.
9. Malverne (16-1, 14-0 Conference BC) — The Mules are also on a hot streak. Xavier Bernard had 16 points with eight assists in a 71-50 win over visiting Locust Valley on Friday, and then senior Cory Alexander matched his career high with 41 points in a 74-60 drubbing at Oyster Bay on Monday. Malverne has won 12 in a row.
Up next: The Mules, the top seed in Class B, kick off the playoffs with a semifinal contest against No. 4 East Rockaway at 5 p.m. on Saturday at C.W. Post.
10. Lawrence (14-3, 10-2 Conference A-II) — The Golden Tornadoes enter the rankings after eight straight victories. The latest wins were a 63-47 decision at Bethpage on Friday in which Eddie Robinson had 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and an 86-50 drubbing over visiting Plainedge on Monday in which Robinson had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Up next: The sixth-seeded Golden Tornadoes will open the postseason with a first-round game at home against No. 11 West Hempstead at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday.
On the bubble: Freeport (14-3, 9-3 Conference AA-I); Lawrence Woodmere Academy (17-3, 11-0 PSAA); Seaford (14-3, 8-2 Conference A-IV); South Side (13-4, 11-1 Conference A-II); Uniondale (11-6, 8-4 Conference AA-I).