Final Regular Season Boys Basketball Power Rankings

By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

This week’s Boys Basketball Power Rankings are here. See the Top 15 below.

NOTE: THESE RANKINGS ARE BASED OFF OF DOMINANCE WITHIN EACH TEAM’S CLASS, NOT STRICTLY HEAD-TO-HEAD.

1. (1) Eminence (C1: 22-1)
Well, what seemed to be a pair of quality games on paper resulted in Eminence sending a statement by drilling South Iron and Ellington. The Wings have now won 22 straight and are the top seed in Class 1 – District 3. The best part? Should they win, they’ll see Dora for a third time in Sectionals… at Mountain Grove. That game will be the definition of lit.

2. (2) Mountain Grove (C3: 21-1)
The Panthers have put together quite the resume since losing to Licking, beating state-ranked Hartville and Thayer, as well as a solid Clever team. Mountain Grove continues to be the class of Class 3 in the Ozarks and will again hold the top seed in District 10. They also host the district, which means in order for someone else to claim a district title, they’d have to beat Grove in Grove which has happened just twice since the 2015-16 season.

3. (3) Ozark (C5: 17-5)
The win streak is now up to seven and six of those wins came by at least 15 points. The crazy part is Ozark isn’t just breaking off sub-par teams, they’ve drilled Parkview, SLUH, Nixa and Willard during that stretch. And, maybe the best piece of news from this basketball season, senior guard Curt Gracey is back from an ACL injury that seemed to be season-ending. Gracey is a four-year letterman that has suffered a broken leg and torn ACL in each of the last two football seasons. Ozark will close the regular season with Branson, Neosho, Republic and Bolivar.

4. (4) Rolla (C4: 20-1)
Eighteen straight for the Bulldogs and they’ve made a case for being a legit Final Four contender in a loaded year for Class 4. Wins over Parkview and Camdenton, with the Parkview finishing being the exact inverse of Parkview’s win over Joplin. Rolla is now on a collision course with Glendale for the Ozark Conference title and end the season with a brutal stretch; at Kickapoo, at Glendale, vs. Pacific and at Waynesville.

5. (5) Walnut Grove (C1: 15-9)
They’re still unbeaten against Class 1 teams which is ultimately all that matters. The Tigers have won four straight, averaging 86 points per game during that stretch. That includes scoring 107 against rival Hermitage, 40 of which came off Logan Thomazin’s right hand. The nine losses may seem high for a team in this spot, but six of those came to Class 3-5 teams.

6. (11) Republic (C5: 17-4)
RepMo has won nine straight and eight of those wins have come by double figures. They are the definition of peaking at the right time and have emerged as the top challenger to Ozark not only in the COC, but maybe locally in Class 5. Closing the season with three straight rivalry games, Nixa-Willard-Ozark, will let us know just how good this team is.

7. (6) Dora (C2: 19-5)
At one point, Dora had seen Hartville-Clever-Eminence-Hartville in consecutive games and would’ve added Walnut Grove to that list had inclement weather not pushed that game back to Feb. 15. They’ll be as battle-tested as anyone entering district play. At Bakersfield and at Walnut Grove this week will be a nice barometer before elimination basketball begins.

8. (7) Thayer (C2: 20-4)
The Bobcats are difficult to evaluate. On one hand, they’ve dropped four games. However, three of those came to a contender for a Class 1 state title and the fourth came to a Mountain Grove squad that could win state in Class 3. Thayer may be the best Class 2 team in Missouri, which is why they’re still unbeaten within their class. They’re the top seed in Class 2 – District 3.

9. (8) Mansfield (C2: 17-4)
The Lions have their roar back, winning nine straight games. The only team to beat them in 2018 is Mountain Grove, which just happens to be the team they travel to play on Monday. They’ll close the season at Norwood and at Fordland, wins would give them an unblemished Summit championship. Dylan Caruso is over 1,000 points and Mansfield is the top seed in District 4. Life is good.

10. (9) Nevada (C4: 18-3)
Nevada has now won nine of its last 10 games and seem to be settling into a groove. Beating a Warrensburg team that owns wins over KC Center is impressive. The Tigers will see that same KC Center group twice in a week span. Center also hosts Class 4 – District 12. Nevada will end the season with four games in nine days before district play begins.

11. (13) Rogersville (C4: 18-5)
In news that shouldn’t be surprising at all, John Schaefer is really good at coaching basketball. Rogersville, just a year removed from a 16-12 campaign, is now headed for a 20-win season and potential Final Four run. The Wildcats have won eight straight and 15 of their last 17, which includes wins over Ozark, Cape Girardeau Notre Dame and Springfield Catholic. LogRog closes the season with Bolivar and Marshfield – trying to cap a COC Small crown – before the regular season finale at Willard.

12. (12) Glendale (C5: 14-6)
The Falcons have now bounced back from the Ozark loss with road wins over Springfield rivals Kickapoo and Parkview. It feels like Glendale is putting things together to make a playoff push, but we’ll know a lot more over the next two weeks. At Joplin, at home against Rolla and Hogan Prep and closing the season at Hillcrest. The Falcons should still be considered extremely dangerous.

13. (14) Springfield Catholic (C3: 17-8)
The Irish snapped the four-game losing streak with home wins over Bolivar and Buffalo. Junior guard Jake Branham scored 78 points in the two wins, equaling a program record for points in consecutive games. Catholic is the top seed in District 11, which might be the best district – top to bottom – in the Ozarks.

14. (10) Hartville (C2: 17-7)
Hartville has lost three of its last four games and closes the season at Conway and at home against Matt Powell’s upstart Gainesville group. The Eagles are still an elite team in Class 2, they just ran into a buzzsaw with Mountain Grove, Dora and Walnut Grove for a second time. Keep in mind, they’ve beaten both Dora and Walnut Grove, as well as Licking and Strafford.

15. (15) Hurley (C1: 18-6)
The Tigers have now won six straight and 17 out of 18 overall, throwing their name in the Class 1 hat. Five of their last six have been on the road, which only adds to their mettle. Hurley will close the season at home against Greenwood before starting district play.
Knockin’ on the Door: Pierce City (C2: 18-6), Forsyth (C3: 18-6), Strafford (C3: 18-6), Blue Eye (C2: 17-4), Mount Vernon (C3: 16-8), Purdy (C2: 17-6), Nixa (C5: 15-8), Conway (C3: 15-6)