(Through Sunday night's games)
1. St. Joe's hockey. The defending state Catholic champions have won 14 straight since having their 25-game unbeaten streak snapped by Orchard Park before Christmas. The current run includes three wins over reigning state champions or title contenders at the prestigious Mount Saint Charles Academy Holiday Classic in Rhode Island. St. Joe's also owns a win over state No. 3 Williamsville North. The Marauders (17-1-1), ranked second in the state, are 43-3-2 the past two seasons.
2. Cardinal O'Hara girls basketball. The Hawks are playing an ambitious schedule this season. While they stumbled over the weekend at the Mecca Invitational in New York City against fellow potential state Catholic Class AA title contenders Christ the King (ranked second in the state) and Mary Louis Academy (No. 7), they are still the best girls team in Western New York without question. Keep in mind, O'Hara (15-4) hasn't lost to an area team since the 2013 Monsignor Martin final.
3. Park boys basketball. Former state No. 1 fell to No. 5 after double overtime loss to St. Francis on Jan. 18 – a game it led by 19 at halftime. Still, the top-ranked team in Western New York does have an impressive resume of wins, including a comeback victory over Williamsville South. The Pioneers (11-2) also ran away from two-time defending state Catholic champion and longtime foil Canisius prior to the setback against the Red Raiders. Park also has a win over Bishop Timon-St. Jude, which beat Canisius but lost to Will South and St. Francis, which also lost to Canisius. All these teams are ranked among the top six in the the News' Large School.
4. Niagara-Wheatfield wrestling. Falcons (11-2) make history by winning the first large school Section VI dual-meet team championship. They did it the hard way: Rallying to beat WNY top-ranked large school Clarence in the semifinals and then recording a pin in the last bout of the championship match to pull out the 39-35 victory over Niagara Frontier League champion and league rival Lockport. That win also avenged an earlier loss to the Lions, who were ranked second entering the weekend.
5. Williamsville South basketball. The Billies' boys and girls teams are ranked second among large schools in their respective Buffalo News polls. The boys (11-2) are coming off a great week in which they hit the road and beat former News No. 2 large school St. Francis (ranked 12th in Class A in state) and University Prep of Section V (No. 5 in Class AA). South's girls (10-3) have won six straight and nine of their last 10. They've beaten league rival, fourth-ranked Amherst twice this season.
6. Lake Shore girls basketball: The defending Section VI Class A champions have quietly gone about their business gearing up for what they hope to be another postseason run. The Eagles (12-1) have earned half of their victories against teams currently ranked in either the News' Large or Small School polls – beating former No. 1 East Aurora when it had a healthy Emma Brinker in the lineup earlier this month.
7. Canisius swimming. Crusaders are dominating as usual, having clinched their 15th straight Monsignor Martin regular-season title. Canisius won five out of 11 events last weekend in Ohio at Cleveland State's Blazer Invitational with the 200 medley relay team of Dan Bowen, Pat McCormick, Jake Ruffolo, and Christian Balkin winning in 1:38.16. That state-meet qualifying time is tops in Western New York and fourth fastest in New York.
8. Olmsted swimming. The Owls ended City Honors' epic reign as Syracuse Cup champions last week. They secured the Buffalo Public Schools' coed league title by beating Hutch-Tech and City Honors in a tri-meet to cap a 10-0 season. Olmsted's triumph ends City Honors' 18-year reign as Syracuse Cup champions.
9. Williamsville girls hockey: Williamsville has clinched the top seed for the Section VI playoffs with a 14-0-3 mark. Two ties came against last year's overall Federation playoff champ Monsignor Martin. The other: against current No. 2 postseason seed Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park. Williamsville has outscored its foes 73-26.
10. East Aurora winter sports. The Blue Devils' boys basketball team (12-3) is now ranked first among small schools in Western New York. The girls (11-2) are No. 2, while boys swimming captured the Class A title at the ECIC Championships. That's three of the five sports offered by the Blue Devils during the winter. Impressive.
High honors (in alphabetical order): Alden rifle, Amherst boys basketball, Amherst girls basketball, Chautauqua Lake boys basketball, Clarence boys and girls bowling, Depew girls basketball, Falconer wrestling, Franklinville boys and girls basketball, Kenmore West girls bowling, Lancaster track and field, Lockport girls bowling, Lockport wrestling, Niagara Falls boys bowling, Olean boys and girls basketball, Orchard Park boys and girls bowling, Orchard Park swimming, Pioneer wrestling, St. Francis basketball, St. Francis bowling, St. Joe's wrestling, Salamanca bowling, Sweet Home track and field, Tonawanda boys and girls bowling, West Seneca West track and field, Williamsville North hockey.