LoHud Power Rankings: Final edition before the postseason

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I posted my seeding projections last night (which you can see right here) and now it’s time to update my power rankings for the final time before the playoffs begin. The official seeds will be coming out on Wednesday afternoon, so follow me on Twitter @vzmercogliano for the news as it breaks. After we get a chance to see the seeds, I’ll post reaction and predictions, followed by a live chat on Wednesday night at 7:30. That will be a chance to take all of your questions, so spread the word!

TOP 10 OVERALL

1. Mamaroneck (16-0) – I’d be lying if I said that the past week or so hasn’t made me a bit more leery of having the Tigers in the top spot, but as the only team in Section 1 to win every game that it’s played, I’m going to keep them at No. 1. After consistently routing opponents through the first three-quarters of the season, Mamaroneck has had two overtime scares in its final four games. The Tigers survived each, and now they look to be lined up for the sectional final that everyone wants to see against Arlington. Previous ranking: 1

2. Arlington (15-0-1) – Since a tie against Mahopac on Oct. 12, the Admirals have been on a tear. Always considered a stout defensive team, they have been pouring on the goals in recent wins over Ketcham and Carmel. Perhaps they felt disrespected for being moved out of the top spot, or maybe the offense is just clicking, but Arlington looks ready for another run at the Class AA title. PR: 2

3. Byram Hills (14-1-1) – The Bobcats have been beat up in the latter portion of the season, and the result has been a few games that have been closer than expected. They’ve been playing without three or four starters in their past few games, and Blind Brook finally put a tally in the loss column with a win over Byram on Friday. A couple of those starters are expected back for the playoffs, though, and the Bobcats still look like the team to beat in Class A. PR: 3

4. John Jay-East Fishkill (12-4) – Two losses in a row leading up to the previous rankings caused the Patriots to slip a bit, but they’ve responded by winning their final four games, including victories over Mahopac and Carmel. They seem to have established themselves as the next strongest team in League I-A after Arlington and appear to have locked up a top four seed in Class AA. PR: 6

5. Mahopac (10-4-2) – The Indians won four in a row to close out the season, avenging a loss from earlier in the season to Ketcham to jump back ahead of their league rival. A tie against Arlington proved that Mahopac can hang with anyone thanks to a stellar goalkeeper and back line, and next up is first-year coach Jim Gencarelli’s postseason debut. PR: 7

6. Spring Valley (13-3) – The Tigers took their lumps with back-to-back losses to Ramapo and North Rockland, but responded with three straight wins to finish off the regular season. This is a team that is aggressive and has the talent to score in bunches, so they’ll be dangerous in the postseason. And they’re guaranteed at least one home playoff game on a field that is very tough to play on. PR: 8

7. Yorktown (14-2) – The Huskers schedule is undoubtedly one of the easiest that any Class AA team plays, but you can’t argue with success. They’re beating every team that gets put in front of them, with a win over Lakeland probably being the most noteworthy. 14 wins are 14 wins, and now Yorktown will have an opportunity to prove itself as a likely high seed in the playoffs. PR: Not ranked

8. Lakeland (13-3) – Since the loss to Yorktown, the Hornets have won four in a row, including a 2-1 win over a Pearl River team that was previously ranked ahead of them. They’ve earned their way into the No. 2 spot in Class A, as coach Tim Hourahan has done a phenomenal job of handling a young team that has dealt with some significant injuries. PR: NR

9. Ketcham (10-5) – The Indians ended up in the top five of the previous rankings, but lost two of three to close out the season. They seem to have come back down to earth a bit, but I wouldn’t sleep on any teams from this league once the playoffs begin. With four teams in the top nine overall, they’ll all be battle-tested. PR: 4

10. Blind Brook (11-4-1) – The Trojans make their first appearance of the season in the top 10 because their success is simply becoming too difficult to ignore. They are the only team to beat Byram this season, which is a huge win for the program, and they’ve managed 11 wins as a Class B school while playing a meat-grinder of a schedule. I was also considering Port Chester in this spot, but Blind Brook’s head-to-head win made this an easy choice. PR: NR

On the fringe: Keio (10-6), North Rockland (10-5-1), Pearl River (11-3-2), Pelham (10-5-1), Port Chester (9-6-1)

CLASS AA
1. Mamaroneck (16-0) PR: 1
2. Arlington (15-0-1) PR: 2
3. John Jay-East Fishkill (12-4) PR: 5
4. Mahopac (10-4-2) PR: 6
5. Spring Valley (13-3) PR: 7
6. Yorktown (14-2) PR: 9
7. Ketcham (10-5) PR: 3
8. Port Chester (9-6-1) PR: 8
9. North Rockland (10-5-1) PR: NR
10. Greeley (7-5-4) PR: 10
On the fringe: Carmel (8-8), Scarsdale (9-5-2), White Plains (9-6-1)
NOTES: I know I’ve said this before, but Class AA is by far the deepest of any class this season. If you include Fox Lane, that makes 14 teams that I believe could each make some noise in the postseason. This is going to be a very interesting few weeks… Of course, Mamaroneck and Arlington have risen to the top at this point. That’s the game that everyone wants to see… I feel pretty confident about the top five, but after that you could really put all of these teams in a hat. Spring Valley and Yorktown have racked up wins while playing relatively light schedules, while teams like Greeley and Carmel have taken their lumps against some top-notch competition… With wins over Greeley and WP, I kept PC at No. 8. This is a team that knows how to get it done in the playoffs… North Rockland moves back into the top 10 thanks to some quality wins, such as a big win over Spring Valley, and because it gave Mamaroneck it’s closest call of the season at the Westchester vs. Rockland Challenge… Greeley has had some inconsistencies, but just beat Scarsdale 4-1 and has had some quality wins while playing a difficult schedule.

CLASS A
1. Byram Hills (14-1-1) PR: 1
2. Lakeland (13-3) PR: 4
3. Keio (10-6) PR: 7
4. Pelham (10-5-1) PR: 10
5. Pearl River (11-3-2) PR: 2
6. Tappan Zee (11-3-2) PR: 3
7. Edgemont (11-4) PR: 5
8. Nyack (10-6) PR: 6
9. Eastchester (9-7) PR: 9
10. Brewster (8-7-1) PR: 8
On the fringe: Sleepy Hollow (8-7-1), Somers (4-11), Yonkers (8-7-1)
NOTES: Byram will enter the playoffs a clear favorite, but Lakeland hasn’t lost against a Class AA opponent and is coming off of a big win against PR. Keio has also made the Bobcats sweat in each of their meetings and Pelham is coming on strong since getting Aidan Murray and Otavio Basso back from injury. The top four looks pretty strong right now… The Pelicans are on a roll, closing out the season with seven wins in a row. They’ve beaten A opponents such as Edgemont, Eastchester and Pearl River during that stretch… Pearl River and Tappan Zee shared a league title and appear to be the top A contenders in Rockland, but neither has beaten a ranked team from Westchester… Edgemont closed out the season with losses in three of its final four games… Nyack went 0-4 against PR and TZ… Eastchester ended up splitting with Edgemont and Pelham.

CLASS B
1. Blind Brook (11-4-1) PR: 2
2. Bronxville (12-3-1) PR: 1
3. Valhalla (11-3-2) PR: 3
4. Briarcliff (11-4-1) PR: 4
5. Irvington (11-1-4) PR: 5
6. North Salem (12-4) PR: 8
7. Westlake (11-4-1) PR: 6
8. Woodlands (12-4) PR: 10
9. Rye Neck (7-6-3) PR: 7
10. Hastings (10-6) PR: 9
On the fringe: Dobbs Ferry (6-8-2), Pawling (4-8-3), Pleasantville (4-12)
NOTES: I’ve had Bronxville had No. 1 for a few weeks now, but upon further review, I think that Blind Brook’s resume is just too difficult to overlook. The recent upset of previously unbeaten Byram Hills was the tipping point, but the Trojans have played what I could argue is the most difficult schedule of any Class B team and come through with flying colors. The two-time defending champs deserve to enter the postseason as the team to beat… Irvington looks like it will be the No. 1 seed, but it lost to Briarcliff, which lost to Valhalla. This is the order I’ve had them in for about a month now. Briarcliff also beat Westlake 2-0 in its season finale… North Salem finished the season with 10 straight wins. The Tigers are known to perform well in the playoffs, but they haven’t played any ranked Class B teams… The top 10 is pretty clearly defined heading into the playoffs, so I wouldn’t expect too many first round upsets.

CLASS C
1. Solomon Schechter (8-5) PR: 2
2. Haldane (9-6-1) PR: 1
3. Hamilton (4-11-1) PR: 3
4. Tuckahoe (3-13) PR: 5
NOTES:
Schechter finished the season with wins in six of its final eight games, including avenging a loss from earlier in the season against Woodlands. The Lions are the defending champs, and with Haldane losing a couple of games to unranked opponents, Schechter looks like its coming in as the hotter team. The good news is that there’s a very good chance we’ll get to see them settle it on the field very soon… Hamilton beat Tuckahoe head-to-head… I had YMA listed in Class C for most of the season, but it turns out that they have been bumped up to Class B.

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News

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About Author

VINCENT Z. MERCOGLIANO has been with The Journal News and LoHud.com since March 2010. He graduated from New Rochelle High School in 2005 and from Hofstra University in 2009 with a degree in broadcast journalism. He currently covers boys soccer, wrestling and baseball, while assisting with LoHud's Yankees coverage.

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