1. Canisius boys basketball. In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. Only two losses to non-Western New York foes for defending state Federation Class A champions, despite close shaves against St. Francis and Bishop Timon-St. Jude.
2. Cardinal O’Hara girls basketball. See above, although Hawks will pay the price for their in-season success within the area and head to state tournament as a Class AA participant when they should be a Class A team.
3. Olean boys basketball. The 18-0 Huskies turn potential defeat into a comeback victory that leaves host Fredonia furious at itself. Olean gets winning points in 64-62 verdict via goaltending call.
4. Williamsville North hockey. Before you go whoa, consider. North beat St. Joe’s head-to-head earlier this season as part of its current 15-game unbeaten streak. Advantage, scoreboard.
5. St. Joe’s hockey. Still, the Marauders’ 15-game winning streak is just incredible. They get their shot at revenge versus North at 7 p.m. Thursday at Northtown Center in Amherst.
6. Niagara Wheatfield wrestling. Falcons run table as top-ranked team in Western New York by winning team title at Class AA Tournament after ending Lockport’s three-year reign as Niagara Frontier League champions.
7. Monsignor Martin girls hockey. Linda Mroz’s charges are just two wins away from completing run to championship perfection.
8. Williamsville North girls basketball. From milestone Friday for 500-win coach Bill Shaw to Friday-night showdown against rival Williamsville East in a clash between teams with combined 33-2 record. North is 17-0.
9. Kenmore/Grand Island girls hockey. Remaining holdovers and newcomers come together to extend program’s Section VI championship streak to five years and counting.
10. Alden rifle. In addition to being the area’s best shooting team, this is a thank you to the Bulldogs for having the patience to teach my colleague Budd Bailey how to shoot an air rifle.
Honorable mention: St. Joe’s wrestling, Amherst boys basketball, Park boys basketball, Nichols girls hockey, Sweet Home indoor track and field, Lancaster indoor track and field.