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Westchester/Hudson Valley Basketball: Top 10
1. Mount Vernon (1-0): Finally, the Knights took the floor. It wasn’t pretty, beating Gorton 103-42 as seemingly everyone in uniform contributed. Great line by coach Bob Cimmino: “Our team was like caged dogs that were hungry, and then didn’t get fed for two extra weeks.”
2. Stepinac (3-3): The Crusaders have rallied back from the 0-3 start and are coming off a tournament win in Springfield, Mass. This group is just beginning to gel and they’ll be tested again on Friday when they host Xaverian.
3. Burke Catholic (3-0): Wow. The defending state champions might have started this season more impressive than they ended last year. They’re coming off a 61-54 win over a St. Mary’s squad that dominated New Rochelle.
4. Newburgh (3-0): The Goldbacks were mighty impressive in Saturday’s win over Poly Prep at the Harry Jefferson Classic at White Plains. Jonte Rutty was deadly from behind the arc, stretching the floor of Newburgh’s array of guards. This is a team that’s only going to improve.
5. Middletown (2-2): Middletown got some valuable experience down in Florida and will return to New York an improved team. They won a heart-stopper against Pine Crest (Fla) in the first round before a tough loss to powerhouse Coral Springs Christian.
6. Iona Prep (6-0): Iona Prep picked up its first statement victory of the season on Saturday, rallying to beat Peekskill in the showcase at White Plains. This is a Gaels squad that defends, shares the basketball and has capable shooters all over the floor. All they do is make plays.
7. Tappan Zee (4-0): The Dutchmen may be the team of December after dismantling rival Pearl River in their tournament opener last Friday. The rematch is set for Tuesday. With these teams, anything can happen.
8. Byram Hills (3-1): The Bobcats drop a spot below TZ after a loss to Briarcliff and the Dutchmen's dominant run to open the year. Byram will have its chance to work its way back up with a spot in the Slam Dunk.
9. Red Hook (3-0): Three convincing wins for Red Hook, which has a week off before taking on Spring Valley and Minisink Valley during the break.
10t. New Rochelle (2-1): Saturday's win over Shabazz in the N.Y.-N.J. Challenge was an important one for the Huguenots. Joe Clarke may prove to be the key to New Rochelle’s season. The first-year varsity player is just scratching the surface of his potential as a scorer and rebounder.
10t. Albertus Magnus (3-0): The Falcons belong in this ranking not just for what they’ve done so far, but what I think they’re about to do. I like Albertus’ chances of winning the Slam Dunk next week. Stay tuned.
Section 1 Rankings
1. Mount Vernon
2. New Rochelle
3. North Rockland
4. Clarkstown South
5. Fox Lane
1. Tappan Zee
2. Byram Hills
5. Pearl River
1. Albertus Magnus
2. Dobbs Ferry
4. Blind Brook
2. Solomon Schechter
3. Children’s Village
Section 9 Rankings
Large school (AA/A)
3. Red Hook
Small school (B/C)
1. Burke Catholic
3. Pine Plains