Jan. 13 Girls Basketball Power Rankings

These power rankings are based on dominance by class and not a strictly head-to-head ranking.

1. Strafford (16-0 – PR: 1 – C3)
Strafford ran through the Pink & White and three regular season games since the last power rankings winning games by a margin of 72.9-36.1. That is an average of 36.8 points per game. That has been done against a stout schedule featuring opponents with a combined 56-29 record. Overall, Strafford is winning games by an average margin of 38.2 points per game this season against a schedule that features teams with an overall combined record of 130-81. The Lady Indians have now won 98 consecutive games. The state record is 102 held by Marshfield. They have three games in the Rogersville Tournament this week followed by a trip to St. Louis to face Cardinal Ritter on Jan. 21. Win all those games and the Lady Indians would be poised to break the record at home against Republic on Jan. 24.

2. Walnut Grove (12-2 – PR: 2 – C1)
Walnut Grove made a run through its home tournament featuring an impressive 79-71 win over Class 2 No. 3 Hartville in the championship game. The Lady Tigers are 1-2 in two regular season games since then, but the losses are quality. They fell to Class 4 No. 8 Rogersville 51-45 in overtime at home before losing to Strafford at home. Walnut Grove now sits at No. 1 in the Class 1 state rankings.

3. Thayer (11-2 – PR: 3 – C2)
The Lady Bobcats are the area’s third No. 1 team in the latest state rankings at No. 1 in Class 2. They have earned that ranking thanks to their in the Pink & White tournament. Thayer upped their schedule in an effort to get better prepared for the postseason. They opened up the Pink & White with a 59-56 win over Arkansas power Jonesboro. It avenged their first loss of the year. Thayer fell by one point to Class 5 Kickapoo, a team that was ranked No. 1 in Missouri’s biggest class to start the season, in the quarterfinals. They finished out their Pink & White run with narrow wins over Class 5 Parkview and state-ranked Class 4 Rogersville. In sum, Thayer went 3-1 in games decided by a combined seven points against teams two and three classes bigger in the Pink & White. That is the type of experience that will prove invaluable come time for win-or-go-home basketball.

4. Licking (13-1 – PR: 4 – C3)
Licking finished runner-up to host Class 4 Rolla in their holiday tournament and sit at 13-1 overall. Karlee Holland continues to make the Lady Wildcats go with averages of 19.8 points, 5.2 steals, 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for her line. The Wildcats have posted this strong record against a quality schedule that features 12 of 13 opponents with records over .500.

5. Mt. Vernon (11-3 – PR: 10 – C3)
Mt. Vernon picked up three quality wins in the Pink & White tournament over Buffalo, Rogersville and Republic before falling to Strafford by 29 in the title game. The Lady Mountaineers have a couple high-quality wins since then beating Class 3 No. 8 Clever by 18 and a three-loss Seneca squad by 34. The Mountaineers have a shot at some quality wins this week in the Frontenac Tournament. Class 5 Blue Springs is up first on Thursday with a chance to play two-loss Class 4 Nevada on Day 2.

6. Fair Grove (15-2 – PR: 9 – C3)
The Lady Eagles have been one of the area’s busiest teams since the last rankings with eight games played, going 7-1 in that time. That lone loss was to Class 5 Nixa. So far, Fair Grove has not taken a loss in class. The most impressive win in that time was a 30-point blowout of fellow Class 3 team Lutheran North. That Lutheran North team fell to Strafford by just nine and by two to Clever. The Lady Eagles also won the Skyline Invitational beating Halfway, 2018 Class 1 Final Four participant Wheatland and Mid-Lakes rival and host Skyline by one point to win the title. Alana Findley and Harley Maxwell have continued to provide a potent 1-2 punch. Findley is averaging 21.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 3 assists per game including a 24-point, 23-rebound game against Wheatland. Maxwell has added in 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

7. Rogersville (11-5 – PR: 6 – C4)
Rogersville sports an 11-5 record, but that is against one of the area’s best schedules. The Lady Wildcats went 2-2 in the Pink & White Tournament with wins over Spokane and Ozark and losses to Mt. Vernon (by 6) and Thayer (by 1). Since then, Rogersville has rattled off three straight wins over Class 1 No. 1 Walnut Grove, Bolivar and Hollister. Things don’t get any easier for the Lady Wildcats with their home tournament this week. Marshfield and a rematch with Willard are guaranteed. A championship game appearance would set up a likely rematch with Strafford.

8. Hartville (10-3 – PR: 11)
Hartville sits at No. 3 in the state rankings in Class 2. Two of their losses have come since the last power rankings, but none in class. The Lady Eagles beat Hurley, Ash Grove and Crane to earn a berth in the Walnut Grove Tournament title game. They fell to host Walnut Grove by eight in that game. A home loss to a strong Fair Grove team followed just after the New Year.

9. Kickapoo (9-5 – PR: 7)
Kickapoo has as much talent as anyone in the area. Consistency is the thing the Lady Chiefs needed to find more than anything, and they may be doing it. Since the last power rankings, Kickapoo is 5-1 with wins over Blue Eye, Thayer, Republic, Lebanon and Hillcrest. The lone loss was to Strafford in the Pink & White semifinals. A key Ozark Conference matchup awaits on Monday at home against West Plains.

10. MV-BT Liberty (14-2 – PR: NR)
Liberty has been dominant since the last power rankings with a 6-0 record featuring a Mountain Grove tournament championship and an average margin of victory of 26.8 points per game. That included a game where the Lady Eagles scored 98 points. Piper Francis is the star at 22.5 points per game, but she is far from the only player getting it done for Liberty. Trinity Clark, Kaitlyn King, Kamryn Gastineau and Kinley Richards are all averaging between 7.5 and 9.8 points per game, giving Liberty quality depth.

11. Nixa (10-4 – PR: NR)
Nixa is 6-1 since the last power rankings. The one loss was on a last-second layup against Willard in the Pink and White semifinals. They avenged that one-point loss to Willard with a 23-point win of the Lady Tigers in the conference game. The other wins have all been impressive including victories over Fair Grove, Clever and West Plains.

12. Clever (11-5 – PR: 8)
Clever is 2-3 since the last power rankings going 2-2 in the Pink & White Tournament. The Blue Jays beat Wheatland and Lutheran North before losing to nationally ranked Fort Smith Northside by 15 in the semifinals and to Nixa by 12 in the third place game. They followed that with a loss in class to Mt. Vernon by 18. Allie Clevenger (16.8 ppg), Abi Menzies (13.8 ppg) and Harper Littler (13.3 ppg) continue to lead the way for Clever. Little fills out the stat sheet as well as anyone in the area with an impressive line of 5.8 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 steals and 2.3 blocks per game in addition to her scoring output. Clever is off this week before a massive home game with new Mid-Lakes foe Fair Grove that has major conference and district seeding implications.

13. Rolla (11-2 – PR: NR)
Rolla started the season state-ranked but got off to a 1-2 start to fall out of the rankings. The losses were by nine points to Sullivan and by 40 to Jefferson City. That Jefferson City team quickly ascended to the No. 1 spot in Class 5 and has stayed there. Since then, the Lady Bulldogs have rattled off 10 consecutive wins that included winning their home tournament title. Balance is the strength of the Rolla girls. Five players are averaging between 8.6 and 9.7 points per game with another three players averaging between 3.0 and 4.1. The balance holds true for rebounding with eight players averaging between 2.1 and 7.4 rebounds per game. Rolla goes for a third tournament championship in the Sedalia tournament this week before settling into conference play.

14. Sarcoxie (10-0 – PR: NR)
Sarcoxie is one of two area teams still sporting unblemished records. The Lady Bears are 10-0 with three games being decided by just three points. Their best wins have been over New Covenant (11-2), College Heights (11-2) and Wheaton (11-2). The New Covenant win was by two points with the two others being 14 point decisions. Sarcoxie hosts its home round robin tournament this week with Riverton (Kan.), McAuley Catholic and a rematch with College Heights on the schedule.

15. Bradleyville (9-4 – PR: 14)
Bradleyville still has yet to lose in class this season. The Lady Eagles are 3-2 since the last rankings with losses to Class 2 Blue Eye and Norwood by four and 10 points, respectively. Gracie Shipley continues to be a double-double machine with season averages of 20.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. Emily Williams is also in double figures at 13.7 points per game.

OTHERS: Republic (8-5), Ozark (9-4), Nevada (9-2), Skyline (10-4), Wheaton (11-2), Weaubleau (8-3)