By Dylan Butler
December 29, 2008
Are we getting stale by keeping Rice atop the CHSAA boys’ basketball rankings? It’s hard to justify bumping the Raiders despite being inactive, so Mo Hicks’ boys remain No. 1. Everyone else in last week’s rankings played though. So there must be some movement, right? The answers are found below.
1. Rice (1-0) (Last week: 1)
Another week without a game for Rice, which is probably itching to return to the court. They are still eight days away from when the Raiders face St. Peter’s. Hicks surely isn’t complaining. After all, once the ball drops in Times Square, he is that much closer to fielding a complete team with the return of Durand Scott and Shane Southwell.
Next: Jan. 6 vs. St. Peter’s
2. Christ the King (6-1) (2)
Like top-ranked Rice, Christ the King enjoyed Christmas week off after a romp of depleted Long Island Lutheran on Monday. The Royals head to North Carolina to compete in the Bojangles HS Basketball Shootout, which should give the Middle Village squad a nice test.
Next: Dec. 29 vs. Pendleton @ IMG (Fla.)
3. Bishop Loughlin (5-2) (3)
In front of a hostile crowd in what was essentially a road game, Loughlin pulled off an impressive victory against Paterson Eastside (N.J.) in the Jingle Bells Jubilee at Paterson Catholic Saturday night and followed with another big win against top-seeded Linden. Brandon Frazier, Jayvaughn Pinkston and Trevon Hamlet have all had quality tournaments for the Lions, who play Plainfield (N.J.) for the title on Tuesday.
Next: Dec. 30 vs. Plainfield (N.J.)
4. St. Raymond’s (6-0) (7)
Down in Raleigh, N.C., the Ravens defeated a big and experienced North Mecklenburg (N.C.) squad to advance to the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational semifinals. It was a spectacular team effort by undefeated St. Ray’s, which used a smothering full-court press to force 26 turnovers.
Next: Dec. 29 vs. Word of God (N.C.)
5. Bishop Ford (8-0) (4)
It’s no secret that Chaz Williams is one of the most explosive guards in New York state. And the odds are very good that the Hofstra-bound senior will be the leading scorer when the final buzzer sounds. But the Falcons are undefeated because they have had solid contributions from other players, like junior Justyn McMichael, who buried four 3-pointers in a come-from-behind win against Simon Gratz (Pa.) in the STOP-DWI Holiday Classic in Binghamton.
Next: Dec. 29 vs. Jamesville-DeWitt (N.Y.)
6. Mount St. Michael (7-2) (6)
As expected, the Mount bounced back from consecutive defeats to beat Bayside in the Queens Jam Christmas Classic. Pete Aguilar continues to impress, scoring a game-high 32 points for the Mountaineers, who head to Albany for the Grimindl tournament.
Next: Dec. 29 vs. Colonie (Albany, N.Y.)
7. Xaverian (3-3) (4)
We hope at least the weather is nice because Jack Alesi can’t be enjoying the basketball in San Diego this week. His team fell to Ironwood Ridge (Ariz.) in the opener of the Max Preps Holiday Classic in a close game, but then suffered a 70-47 defeat to Leuzinger (Calif.) on Saturday. Justin Exum has played well, averaging 14.5 points per game.
Next: Dec. 29 @ Max Preps Holiday Classic
8. Holy Cross (4-2) (8)
The Knights ended a memorable 2008, which included the team’s first CHSAA Class AA intersectional title in 40 years in March, with a respectable 4-2 record. Things get increasingly difficult for Holy Cross, though, when the league season kicks into gear in the first week of January.
Next: Jan. 6 @ Bishop Loughlin
9. Archbishop Molloy (5-2) (9)
The Stanners advanced to Monday night’s final of the Holiday Hoops tournament at the Aviator Complex by beating St. Mary’s (L.I.), 63-52. As is the case with Bishop Ford, there is a perception that Molloy is a one-man team with senior scorer Russ Smith. But on Sunday, legendary coach Jack Curran also got solid contributions from Ernest Rouse, Jin Hong and LeBrandon Smith.
Next: Dec. 29 vs. Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.)
10. St. Agnes (7-1) (10)
The CHSAA Class B powerhouse was idle this week, but step back on the court Tuesday against Holy Trinity (L.I.). Can the Stags end 2008 on a high note? We’re not about to bet against them.
Next: Dec. 30 vs. Holy Trinity (L.I.)
Dropped out: one
On the bubble: St. Francis Prep (5-4) and Monsignor McClancy (9-2)