The O-Zone Power Rankings are compiled by the staff each week based on a team's relative dominance by class. The schools are not compared head to head, but rather by how strong they are against similar competition as well as current momentum.
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1. Billings, 20-4 (3) – The Wildcats return to the top spot after bouncing back from a three-game losing streak with a five-game winning streak. Billings has been winning games by an average of 19.4 points per game in the winning streak. Class 2, District 11 play begins this week with an opening round game against a Galena team Billings just beat last week.
2. Strafford, 20-4 (5) - The Indians have reeled off six wins in a row including victories over conference rivals Marionville and Fair Grove last week to complete an undefeated conference season. Strafford’s four losses this year have come to Class 5 Ozark (twice) and Jackson and Class 4 Republic. Forsyth is up first in this week’s Class 3, District 11 action.
3 Nixa, 19-5 (2) – The Eagles were shorthanded last week and fell to conference rival Ozark without the services of Jacob Ruder inside. Nixa responded by beating Webb City 76-53 at home to finish this week. A hot Willard team comes calling to start this week and then the Eagles close out the regular season with a trip to Rogersville.
4. Mount Vernon, 20-6 (1) – After beating Seneca to start the week, Mount Vernon lost to conference rival and Class 4, District 12 resident Carl Junction on the road to finish the regular season. Class 3, District 12 play begins this week for Mount Vernon in Seneca where Clever or Seneca likely await the Mountaineers in a final.
5. Hillcrest, 19-5 (7) – There may not be a hotter team than the Hillcrest Hornets who are 17-2 against teams from Missouri this year and on a six-game winning streak. West Plains and Camdenton were the latest teams to fall to the Hornets. Tuesday night Hillcrest travels to Kickapoo with the Ozark Conference title on the line.
6. Kickapoo, 18-5 (9) – Kickapoo took care of business last week with wins over Rolla and Waynesville and will welcome the aforementioned Hornets in for a clash of undefeated Ozark Conference teams on Tuesday. The Chiefs are 17-3 against Missouri teams this year.
7. Republic, 20-4 (4) – The Tigers have lost two of their last three including a 19-point setback against Willard to start last week. Republic bounced back to get a 68-61 win over a quality Ozark team to finish the week. A trip to Waynesville starts the week for Republic before heading back home for a tilt with COC Large champion Branson.
8. Branson, 18-6 (10) – The Pirates secured the COC Large title with wins over Neosho and Carthage (video at bottom of rankings) last week. Marshfield and a final conference game with Republic are this week before heading into district competition next week.
9. Fair Play, 18-3 (8) – The Hornets jumped out to a 13-point lead on Weaubleau after one quarter, but would end up losing 87-85 in triple overtime (video at bottom of rankings) to finish the regular season. Fair Play did pick up a win over Walnut Grove to start the week. The Hornets open Class 1, District 5 play with Halfway this week.
10. Parkview, 20-5 (11) – Parkview closed its conference slate last week with wins over Waynesville and Lebanon. The Vikings finish off the regular season against Springfield Central on Tuesday as they attempt to extend their winning streak to five games.
11. Crane, 19-5 (12) – The Pirates have been rolling since losing to Fordland in the Conway Tournament Championship at the end of January as they have reeled off six wins in a row. The most recent two victories came over Forsyth and Galena. Crane will face Morrisville to start Class 2, District 11 play this week.
12. Hartville, 20-4 (6) – The Eagles lost a conference tilt with Gainesville to finish the season last week. Class 3, District 10 play starts this week for Hartville with Willow Springs.
13. Clever, 19-5 (12) – The Blue Jays beat Sparta last week to finish out the regular season and will travel to Seneca to play Sarcoxie to open Class 3, District 12 play.
14. Eminence, 21-5 (15) – The Redwings beat Summersville 74-18 and rolled Bunker 92-52 to cap off the regular season. Eminence gets that same Bunker team in the semifinals of Class 1, District 3 action.
15. Everton, 20-5 (NR) – The Tigers started the week by beating Niangua and then finished it by knocking off New Covenant 63-59 to claim a conference crown. Lockwood awaits to start the Class 1, District 5 slate.
Knocking on the door: Willard (16-7), Diamond (18-4), Gainesville (18-8), Fordland (18-6), MV-BT/Liberty (20-6), Liberal (19-5), Hollister (19-6)
Weaubleau 87, Fair Play 85 -- 3 OT
Branson 64, Carthage 46