(St. Mary's will host Walsh in the 'Game of the Week' )
Here's a list of what I think are the top games to follow this week:
Monday, February 8th
Park @ Aquinas - 6:30 pm
St. Mary's @ Cleveland Hill - 6:30 pm
Williamsville North @ Lancaster - 7:30 pm
East Aurora @ Batavia - 7:30 pm
Tuesday, February 9th
East @ South Park - 6 pm
Wilson @ Roy-Hart - 6 pm
Barker @ Newfane - 6:30 pm
Timon @ Canisius - 7 pm
Kenmore West @ Lew-Port - 7 pm
St. Joe's @ St. Francis - 7 pm
Fredonia @ Southwestern - 7:30 pm
Silver Creek @ Gowanda - 7:30 pm
Wednesday, February 10th
Emerson @ MST Seneca - 6 pm
Cleveland Hill @ Tonawanda - 6:30 pm
Lancaster @ Williamsville North - 7:30 pm
Cheektowaga @ Maryvale - 7:30 pm
Thursday, February 11th
McKinley @ Middle College - 6 pm
Barker @ Roy-Hart - 6 pm
Kenmore West @ Cheektowaga - 6:30 pm
Wilson @ Newfane - 6:30 pm
Jamestown @ Amherst - 7:30 pm
Starpoint @ Williamsville South - 7:30 pm
Friday, February 12th
Cardinal O'Hara @ Nichols - 6:30 pm
Portville @ Silver Creek - 6:30 pm
Canisisu @ St. Joe's - 7 pm
Walsh @ St. Mary's - 7:30 pm
Gowanda @ Randolph - 7:30 pm
Panama @ Sherman - 7:30 pm
Lancaster @ Health Sciences - 7:30 pm
Game of the Week - Walsh @ St. Mary's on Friday, February 12th
- The two teams that have occupied the #2 & #3 spots in the small school poll all season will get together on Friday night in my must see 'Game of the Week'. While this could easily be a preview of the Manhattan Cup final for the Monsignor Martin Association's Class B, I can't wait that long to see these two - who feel no love loss for each other, get after it on the court. Both are confident they have the better team.
St. Mary's got everyone's attention earlier in the season with a resounding victory over then #2 Health Sciences, who was fresh off a win at Middle College. That win jumped the Lancers to #2 on my ballot, much to the dismay of Walsh, who felt they were not only better than the Lancers, but better than any small school, including #1 Olean.
The win over Health Sciences is just one of several quality wins for St. Mary's, who has quietly piled up quite an impressive resume this season. The Lancers have wins over ranked schools like Williamsville North, Fredonia, Tapestry, and East Aurora. They also own a 31-point win at St. Joe's, beat Section V Class A UPrep (who beat Timon & Middle College), and knocked off St. Francis (who just won at Walsh). They have not lost to an unranked team.
The wins for Walsh this season have piled up consistently, though the quality of opponents on the nonleague side haven't measured up to the wins the Lancers have accumulated. The Eagles' most notable nonleague wins this year came against Lew-Port & Maryvale. Walsh does have one loss to an unranked team - the loss to St. Francis last week.
However, there's one result this year that trumps everything outlined above, and that's the head-to-head result from January 19th, when these two teams got together at Walsh. That night, the Eagles won going away, taking a 63-47 victory. That was the game that took Walsh to #2, where they've remained since.
St. Mary's is eager to prove that they are better, and are confident that when the game is played in Lancaster, there will be a much different result. Meanwhile, Walsh is doubtful that anything will change in a different venue. To them, they've been the best small school in both Olean and WNY all season, and will be eager to get another crack at St. Mary's.
And oh by the way, the result of this game should have a direct impact on the seedings heading into the playoffs. It all sounds like 'Game of the Week' material to me.