As a pollster for the Buffalo News, I'm asked to send in my weekly ballots ranking the top ten large and small schools. The polls are based on games played through Sunday of each week. Here's a look at how I see them and some of the rationale used to get there.
1. Niagara Falls (AA) - The NFHS Pep Band makes its return to Buffalo State on Thursday.
2. St. Joe's (MMAA) - Had no trouble disposing of the Tigers without Agbeko, but will welcome him back for the Manhattan Cup final.
3. Jamestown (AA) - Sixth straight appearance at Buffalo State for the semifinals, and this time they're the defending champs.
4. Williamsville South (A1) - The champs of ECIC II might have to prove they could have won the Yale Cup to advance to Rochester.
5. Canisius (MMAA) - The Crusaders will appear in the Manhattan Cup title game for a third straight year on Wednesday.
6. East (A2) - This year's version is the most focused Panther team since 2008.
7. Bennett (A1) - The Tigers should have little trouble with Kenmore East and could be a daunting task for the Billies if the play them on Saturday.
8. McKinley (AA) - The Macks looked dominant at times on Friday at Williamsville North. They'll face a Niagara Falls team this week that matches up with them athletically.
9. Lancaster (AA) - Regardless of the result with Jamestown on Thursday, the Redskins can be proud of this season, the program's best in years.
10. Hutch-Tech (A1) - Weathered an early storm against Sweet Home, then cruised to victory in the second half. Maurice Miles will need a huge game this week to get his Engineers to the final on Saturday.
1. I-Prep at Grover (C) - Still a solid number one, but have to be uneasy about a third game with the defending Yale Cup and state champs.
2. Dunkirk (B1) - The Marauders made Buffalo Arts the latest victim of a rout on Saturday afternoon. Tonight's game with Lackawanna will tell us a lot.
3. Newfane (B1) - Also won convincingly in the quarterfinals. The Panthers made it to Buffalo State two years ago, only to have current Medaille College big man Dave Shuey go down in the early going with an injury.
4. Wilson (B2) - Lakemen senior Brennan Moxham watched Wilson advance to the semifinals five years ago, then helped lead them there the last four years.
5. St. Mary's (MMAA) - The Lancers are a win away from a three-peat in the CHSAA Class B.
6. Tonawanda (B1) - Should be a great matchup for Newfane after winning the league in the tough ECIC IV.
7. Tapestry Charter (C) - Racked up the best record of any charter school in WNY history. Now they look to end Maple Grove's run on Section VI titles.
8. OTC Middle College (C) - The Kats are undefeated at JCC and Glens Falls.
9. Maple Grove (C) - Survived a scare against Silver Creek. The games don't get any easier this week.
10. Lackawanna (B1) - Dondre Alexander will have to be at his best tonight if the Steelers are going to have any chance to pull the upset on an undefeated Dunkirk squad.