(Last week in parenthesis)
Dec. 10th Boys Basketball Power Rankings
- Billings, 5-0 (1) – The defending state champs continue to roll with double digit wins over Marionville and Pierce City. Senior guard Austin Essick has been putting up huge scoring and rebounding numbers. The Wildcats host Greenwood Tuesday before a huge test against perennial class 1 powerhouse Scott County Central Saturday in Branson’s inaugural Ozark Mountain Shootout.
- Nixa, 2-0 (2) – The Eagles had the week off after opening week wins over Mt Vernon and St. Louis DeSmet. Following a trip to Glendale Tuesday night the schedule gets pretty dicey with matchups against Arkansas power Little Rock McClellan in Branson Friday followed the next day by a trip to the Hy-Vee Shootout in Kansas City against Blue Valley Northwest, featuring Kansas signee Clayton Custer.
- Republic, 4-0 (3) – The Tigers haven’t skipped a beat under new head coach Trevyor Fisher, off to a perfect 4-0 start. After winning their own tournament RepMo blasted Shiloh Christian, Ar., featuring Creighton signee Darian Harris.
- Strafford, 6-0 (5) – If not for the recent history of the teams above them, Strafford could make a case for the Ozarks’ most impressive team. The Indians are 6-0 and winning by nearly 20 points per game. And don’t think they’re mopping up on slouches. SHS handed Hollister and Crane its only losses, while also knocking off larger Aurora and Marshfield. This week holds a trip to MV-BT/Liberty and the Route 66 Shootout in Waynesville.
- Hillcrest, 3-1 (6) – The Hornets had a light week with their only game coming in a 49-38 road win over Bolivar. Hillcrest is hardly a finished project, but the Hornets have all the potential in the world and figure to only get better as the season goes along. They host Ozark Tuesday before getting a piece of the Ozark Mountain Shootout against Little Rock McClellan, Ar.
- Clever, 6-0 (7) – The Jays remained flawless after last week’s 59-44 win over Ash Grove. Coach Brosius’s Birds visit Hurley Tuesday before a pair of games at the Ozark Mountain Shootout against Scott County Central and Summit Christian.
- Parkview, 5-0 (8) – The Vikings picked up a big 54-41 win at Willard last week that not only keeps them perfect, but will likely give them a number 2 seed in the upcoming Blue and Gold Tournament. The road to Christmas looks relatively clear with games against Neosho, Ozark and Carthage on the horizon.
- Webb City, 3-0 (11) – The Cardinals are big movers this week after actually playing a game; three to be exact. Webb took care of Ft. Smith Southside, Mt Vernon and Rogers Heritage, but doing so by averaging just a shade over their average football score (50.6 to 45.8). The Cards play their 3rd Arkansas team Tuesday at Bentonville before the rivalry game at Joplin Friday.
- Fair Play, 5-0 (NR) – Count me as one who expected the Hornets to take a bit of a slip this season. They have done the exact opposite with comfortable early season wins over Halfway, Dadeville, Everton, Greenfield and Sparta. The Hornets will now take part in the annual Walnut Grove Holiday Tournament.
- Crane, 6-1 (10) – The Pirates dropped their first game of the young season at Strafford last Friday, but bounced back Monday night with a 53-44 win at Reeds Spring. Coach Lamberth’s Buccos visit Chadwick to close out the week Friday.
- Hartville, 4-1 (12) – The Eagles bounced back from their lone loss to Clever with wins over Mountain Grove and Alton. They jump back into action Tuesday night hosting Ava before hosting Laquey Friday.
- Mt Vernon, 2-3 (4) – Normally a 3-loss team would have no chance to be in the Power Rankings at this point, but when you consider those losses came to Nixa, Webb City and Waynesville, we will cut them some slack. However, the Mountaineers have a chance to boost their resume this week with trips to Ash Grove, Southwest Washburn and the Ozark Mountain Shootout Saturday against Trinity Catholic.
- Kickapoo, 3-1 (15) – The Chiefs blasted Carthage this week to improve their stock. The Chiefs have a lot of potential. Let’s see how they fare this week hosting Branson Tuesday before visiting Ozark Friday, with a game against Nixa looming next week.
- Hollister, 5-1 (NR) – The Tigers’ lone loss came last week, 58-55 to Strafford, which could certainly be considered a quality effort. They also picked up a win over Blue Eye. This week, a trip to Fair Grove highlights the week Tuesday against old coach Tim Brown. The week concludes with a trip to Monett.
- Willard, 4-2 (9) – The Tigers are hanging on to the Top 15 this week after back to back losses to Broken Arrow, Ok. and Parkview; both quality losses. WHS bounced back with a decisive road win over Lebanon. They’ll have a chance to boost the resume’ Friday visiting Marshfield.
Knocking on the door: West Plains, Carl Junction, Diamond, Marionville, Licking, Purdy, Bolivar