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Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2012 by Tim Philp

The between-season crunch prevented me from posting my preseason rankings, so these are a week or so late. Of course, that’s given me a bit of an idea where teams should fall so far. For example, Peekskill and Clarkstown South have written some pretty definitive statements already. I’m paraphrasing, but they read: “We are still good.”

We won’t know how this will shake out for a while, but since when was waiting fun.
Here’s a look at the final rankings from last season. Now, let’s move on to the first set from 2012-13:


1. MOUNT VERNON (0-0) - The Knights tip-off on Thursday in Edmonton for three games. The box scores will be interesting. It’s rare to see a Mount Vernon team lose so much scoring in one offseason. Even the 2009-10 team Bob Cimmino has compared this one to brought back Jabarie Hinds.

2. STEPINAC (4-0) - The Crusaders are off to a strong start, which should go a long way toward building their confidence for a brutal league slate. The backcourt is fast and loaded, but can they compete up front?

3. NEW ROCHELLE (1-0) - Good, solid, season-opening win over Harborfields, even if the reigning Class A state champ is a far cry from its team of the last three seasons.

4. NORTH ROCKLAND (3-0) - Another day Monday, another coach raving to me about North Rockland. The Red Raiders appear to be back as a County Center contender.

5. BYRAM HILLS (2-0) - The Bobcats have a lot of the essentials: Good guard play, good size, excellent coaching and shooting and toughness in abundance. I still don’t know if I’d tab them as the favorite over Poughkeepsie, but it’s a long way until March.

6. PEEKSKILL (1-0) - Call me lucky. I’m not sure the Red Devils would’ve fallen into my original Top 10. Now, they soar about my expected Class A champ with a significant, impressive win to open the season. Peekskill sure can reload.

7. POUGHKEEPSIE (0-1) - So I had rankings set in my head last week and didn’t have time to post them. Suffice it to say, Poughkeepsie was higher in them. I’ve dropped the Pioneers based on Saturday’s loss, but expect them to climb once they return to full strength and figure out their chemistry. This is still the most talented team in A.

8. IONA PREP (2-1) - The Gaels are young. They are a completely new team. But, yes, they are talented. The sophomores Matt Ryan and Tom Capuano should make for a great trio with junior Isiah Ice. But how long will it take? And can they survive a league schedule that will make last season’s look like JVish by comparison?

9. WHITE PLAINS (0-0) - The backcourt should be very strong, especially with the addition of Mike DeMello. The key might be with Nate Hudson and Robby Lorden in the paint. The Tigers’ lacked toughness and rebounding last season. They should be better.

10. CLARKSTOWN SOUTH (3-0) - Like Peekskill, I don’t know that I expect such a strong start by South. Mike McCahey was so much the heart and soul of last year’s team, but a returning group led by Joe Zayer has been terrific. Saturday’s double-digit win over Pearl River was very impressive.

Below are my Rockland, Small School, and Class rankings. They will start off as Top 5s but will expand later in the season.

1. North Rockland
2. Clarkstown South
3. Spring Valley
4. Tappan Zee
5. Pearl River

Small Schools
1. Dobbs Ferry
2. Pleasantville
3. Briarcliff
4. Woodlands
5. Blind Brook

Class AA
1. Mount Vernon
2. New Rochelle
3. North Rockland
4. White Plains
5. Clarkstown South

Class A
1. Byram Hills
2. Peekskill
3. Poughkeepsie
4. Tappan Zee
5. Pearl River

Class B
1. Dobbs Ferry
2. Pleasantville
3. Briarcliff
4. Woodlands
5. Blind Brook

Class C/D
1. Tuckahoe
2. Children’s Village
3. Haldane
4. Keio
5. Hamilton

1. Stepinac
2. Iona Prep
3. Sacred Heart
4. Salesian
5. Rye Country Day

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