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How The News voted: Four days 'til Selection Saturday

Throughout the boys basketball season, 10 voters rate Western New York's best teams from 1 to 10 in the large and small school polls. The News has one vote in each poll. Here's how we filled out our ballot as we look forward to the Section VI tournament seedings and schedule being announced Saturday:

1. Niagara Falls (16-1) [last week: 1] -- While others stumble, they keep surging. They've never been as big an AA favorite all season as they are now.

2. Grover Cleveland (17-1) [2] -- Last year a loss at Lafayette cost them the Yale Cup. Today the Mighty Violets visit Grover.

3. Canisius (13-5) [3] -- Who can make sense of Timon's week?

4. McKinley (15-3) [5] -- They can still follow a Harvard Cup with a Yale Cup: they host Riverside today and Grover on Thursday.

5. Frontier (15-4) [4] -- Yes, the Jamestown trip is tough. But we thought the Falcons would be tougher.   

6. Riverside (13-5) [8] -- Were about thisclose from knocking off Grover.

7. St. Joe's (13-7) [9] -- They get another shot at their rivals at Canisius Sunday.

8. East (11-6) [6] -- Should be kicking themselves for not following through at Riverside.

9. Lafayette (14-3) [7] -- Beat McKinley at home, won at Riverside, lost at East. Nonleague schedule isn't the strongest. They've got their shot at Grover today.

10. Williamsville North (16-2) [10] -- Still no reason to move them down, and no reason to move anyone up.

Small schools

1. Nichols (18-2) [1] -- They're still here because their league and nonleague games are much tougher than Olean's. 

2. Olean (16-2) [2] -- Playing well enough to get five first-place votes.

3. Maple Grove (15-2) [5] -- Very impressive way to pay back Randolph. Check out the game story here.

4. City Honors (10-8) [4] -- More tough schedule thinking here. Yes, they lost at South Park. And we think the other teams here would, too.

5. Randolph (15-2) [3] -- I had them guaranteed a spot at No. 4 even if they lost to Maple Grove. But not if they lost by 21 at home.

6. Newfane (13-5) [7] -- They've got a big guy and guards who can shoot the lights out.

7. Alden (13-6) [6] -- I had them above the N-O guys thanks to two early wins over Akron. But now Newfane's got two wins over Akron.

8. Niagara Catholic (8-11) [8] -- Looks like they might be getting their act together -- right on time.

9. Akron (14-5) [10] -- They stay here thanks to two wins over Wilson.

10. Wilson (12-7) [9] -- Giving them the slightest of edges over Cardinal O'Hara after seeing both this week. Seneca could have enough to beat both. Pine Valley and Clymer are having great years, but I haven't seen enough from them strength-of-schedule-wise to give them a vote.

-- Keith McShea

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