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How The News voted: Finally, February fun

Ahhhh, the postseason is finally here.

Throughout the year, 10 voters will 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, which are published in the Sidelines each Tuesday in The News' Scholastic Spotlight. Here's The
News' ballot for the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth polls.

Here's the 10th poll -- honestly, there isn't too much movement this week and there might not be that much next week considering the higher-seeded Section VI teams will play only once this week. But that's why they play the games ...

There will be one more poll next week, then a final poll after all teams are finished playing:

Large schools

1. Niagara Falls (20-0) [last week: 1] -- Real season starts Friday for the Wolverines. 

2. Nichols (24-2) [2] -- Loss to St. Joe's may have been one of those "good losses" that gets a team focused right before the postseason.

3. East (18-2) [3] -- Undefeated Yale Cup champs in a year when I thought the Yale Cup would be wide open. Remember, they hung with Nichols at the MLK Classic, too.

4. Sweet Home (19-1) [4] -- Will they survive crazy Class A-1?

5. Williamsville North (19-1) [5] -- We're staring at the Spartans vs. ... 

6. Jamestown (16-4) [6] -- ... the Red Raiders Vol. III.

7. Grover Cleveland (16-4) [9] -- Great rallying-the-troops coaching job by Earl Schunk after losing one of its best at the new year.

8. McKinley (16-4) [7] -- Still shaking our head over the margin of the East loss. But too talented, too deep, too proven elsewhere to move them down.

9. Williamsville South (16-4) [NR] -- Mark Coppola is back in the lineup, Billies are back in the poll (South with Coppola owns a win at Canisius).

10. Canisius (16-9) [8] -- Thirty-point loss in the aud finale is a head-shaker. As a fan, can't ask for anything better than Canisius-Joe's to start Saturday's semifinals.

Small schools

1. Olean (16-4) [1] -- Defending B-1 champs have a much tougher road if they are to repeat.

2. Akron (17-3) [3] -- I really like the way their top three plays together, so I gave them the slightest of nudges past EA.

3. East Aurora (15-5) [2] -- Top seeded in B-1 and seem to be at top of their game nowadays.

4. St. Mary's (15-10) [4] -- Wouldn't have moved them down if I knew what was going to happen Monday -- I'd like to see any of these other small schools walk a Monsignor Martin mile in their high tops.

5. Medina (16-4) [5] -- B-1 is going to be a blast.

6. Lackawanna (13-7) [6] -- Lackawanna-Alden III is going to be a blast.

7. Randolph (18-2) [7] -- Westfield wants another shot (Randolph leads, 2-1).

8. Maple Grove (17-3) [9] -- The margins of victory over Nos. 2 and 3 seeds this season are ridiculous.

9. Alden (16-4) [8] -- See No. 6.

10. Wilson
(13-7) [10] -- Have them boxing out Allegany-Limestone by a sliver. We'll likely learn a lot in the Niagara-Orleans/CCAA I Challenge next week.

Don't like what you're reading here, or in the overall poll? The
comments section is below. Or join me in a live chat here Wednesday
night at 10 p.m. (as we assess that night's hot-and-fresh prequarterfinal results).

---Keith McShea

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