SYRACUSE - It's been a season of challenges met and obstacles overcome for the Jamestown Red Raiders thus far, and on Saturday yet another trial awaits.
The Red Raiders, ranked No. 10 for Class AA in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association boys basketball poll, have already defeated one ranked squad (St. Joe's of Class A, who are 8-1) and a pair of honorable mentions (Clarence, 7-2 overall from Class AA, and Williamsville South, 5-2 overall from Class A) on the way to a perfect 6-0 record. They will be looking to make it four-for-four when they battle Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 foe and No. 22 Williamsville North at 5:30 p.m.
The Spartans are led by standout Sterling Taplin, and a fourth win in as many tries against one of the state's best would be an impressive addition to an already solid resume, one that could push the Red Raiders higher up the Class AA rankings in weeks to come.
Aaron Germain and the Maple Grove Red Dragons are ranked No. 6 in the state among Class C schools.
by Scott Kindberg
At No. 5 in Class AA is Jamestown rival Niagara Falls, which has gone 4-1 this season, while Section 5's Irondequoit, who the Red Raiders could meet in the championship game of the upcoming Irondequoit Holiday Tournament should they get by Edison Tech of Rochester in the opening round, is another honorable mention with a 5-1 record.
Silver Creek and Maple Grove held steady this week at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, in Class C. The undefeated Black Knights (8-0) are fresh off a victory over Cassadaga Valley while the Red Dragons (6-1), whose lone loss this season came against Olean, recently handed both Dunkirk and Franklinville defeats.
Buffalo Middle College sits atop the Class C rankings with a 3-1 mark.
Olean, a heavy favorite to capture a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B title, dropped two places to No. 4 after suffering its first loss of the season to Nichols (of the Monsignor Martin Association) on Dec. 28.
Cleveland Hill (6-1) is No. 18.
Sherman (5-2), which was the runnerup at the Southwestern TaBone Christmas Classic last weekend, rose two places to No. 9 in Class D while Clymer (5-2) and North Collins (6-2) were named honorable mentions.
In wrestling, meanwhile, Fredonia is once again on the small school rankings behind wins in each of its first four meets and Falconer, the defending Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 champions, are an honorable mention.