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Power 10: Miguel Rodriguez ranks the best of the scholastic winter sports season

This is the final Power 10 until the end of the scholastic winter sports postseason.

(Through Friday’s games)

1 Williamsville girls hockey. This is proof how much I value state titles when putting this thing together. Williamsville’s quest for the same-season playoff championship trifecta (Section VI, state and WNY Federation) ended Thursday with a loss in the Federation semifinals, but winning its first New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association playoff championship last weekend still trumps that. The road to Section VI and state championships required winning five elimination games over a six-day stretch. Impressive, especially winning two championship games via sudden-death overtime.

2 Park boys basketball. Big week by Pioneers, who win five games in a seven-day stretch with win over defending Section V champion Irondequoit kicking it off. Week included routs of league rivals Canisius, St. Joe’s and Walsh and a control-the-pace victory over Cardinal O’Hara. Park not only hands Hawks their first loss but also takes battle of the No. 1 teams in Western New York.

3 East Aurora boys swimming. What more can we say about the Blue Devils? They keep the good times rolling with relay team capturing Section VI title during state qualifier.

4 Olean boys basketball. On a day in which the unbeaten Huskies struggled offensively, they still won by double digits against a very good St. Francis team on a neutral court. Cap 20-0 regular season with tough road win at Fredonia.

5 Orchard Park bowling. What a week for the Quakers! Girls repeat as Section VI champions, and then the boys team closes the show by shedding runner-up label once and for all in capturing the program’s first Section VI championship.

6 Lewiston-Porter boys basketball. Lew-Port gets measure of revenge on Niagara Falls and captures first league title since Ronald Reagan was in office in 1984. That stretch of three straight losses to Western New York teams ranked first or second last month could have been a blessing in disguise for Matt Bradshaw’s crew.

7 St. Joe’s hockey. Nine-game unbeaten streak ends at hands of Niagara Wheatfield but state’s second-ranked team bounces back by crushing Orchard Park in final tune-up before playoffs. Marauders are 20-2-2.

8 Amherst girls basketball. By process of elimination I came to this one. Thought about going with Cardinal O’Hara, but Hawks’ 10-game winning streak ended Friday at hands of Williamsville South roughly a week after they had beaten South by double digits on the road. Amherst split with South, while beating O’Hara in the teams’ only meeting. Advantage Amherst.

9 Panama girls basketball. Panthers close regular season with win at Class A Hamburg and roll into Section VI Class D playoffs as top seed with an 18-game winning streak.

10 LID girls hockey. Proof that the quality of play in the Federation girls hockey league is very good. Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew takes down state champion Williamsville to earn spot in Federation final against defending champion Fronter/Lake Shore/Orchard Park.

Honorable mention

Amherst boys basketball, Amherst indoor track and field, Canisius bowling, Canisius hockey, Canisius squash, Canisius swimming, Cardinal O’Hara boys basketball, Cardinal O’Hara girls basketball, City Honors boys basketball, Cheektowaga indoor track and field, Clarence bowling, Depew girls bowling, Dunkirk girls bowling, Falconer wrestling, Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park girls hockey, Frontier girls basketball, Hamburg indoor track and field, Hamburg swimming, Holland/East Aurora indoor track, Lake Shore girls basketball, Lancaster indoor track and field, Maryvale bowling, Nichols boys hockey, Nichols girls hockey, Nichols squash, Niagara Falls bowling, Niagara Wheatfield wrestling, Olean wrestling, Orchard Park swimming, St. Francis wrestling, St. Joe’s bowling, St. Joe’s wrestling, Tonawanda boys bowling, West Seneca West indoor track and field, Williamsville North boys basketball, Williamsville South girls basketball.

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