BEST OF WEEK 2 BASKETBALL PHOTOS
Dec. 3rd Boys Basketball Power Rankings
- Billings (3-0) – The defending class 2 state champs are off and running in 2012-13 after capturing the Lockwood Tournament title with dominating wins over College Heights, Jasper and Lamar. The Wildcats should get a challenge from Marionville Tuesday night, but even with a trip to perennial power Scott County Central and an invite to the Nixa Tournament, I would expect Coach Tilley’s team to have no more than 4 losses this season.
- Nixa (2-0) – The loaded Eagles face a gauntlet of a schedule this season, but so far are unscathed with road wins over Mt Vernon and top 10 ranked DeSmet at the Norm Stewart Classic, despite playing without D-1 recruit Jalen Norman in both. Losing guards Kameron Bundy and Jordan Epps to graduation will be tough to replace from last season’s class 5 runner-up team, but Coach Osborne has some others waiting in the wings, including sophomore Jacob Ruder (younger brother of MSU signee Austin Ruder).
- Republic (3-0) – The Tigers have already worked their way toward the top of our Power Rankings after a 56-46 championship win over Hillcrest at the Republic Invitational. New head coach Trevyor Fisher has hit the ground running with convincing wins over Lebanon, Russellville (Ark.) and last season’s district champ Hillcrest. Look for junior Cody Geiger as this Week’s KSPR Athlete of the Week Wednesday night at 10:00.
- Mt Vernon (1-1) – The Mountaineers already have a loss, but it’s a deceiving one coming to class 5 powerhouse Nixa. The win came in a 65-57 season opening trip to Fair Grove. It’s early to get a true gauge on MV, but on paper they’re stacked after losing just one player from last year’s Final Four team.
- Strafford (3-0) – Just two years removed from a runner-up state finish the Indians are back contending in class 3. They captured their own tournament championship Saturday with a 34 point win over Ash Grove. The Indians also picked up dominating wins over Mountain Grove and Aurora. The coming week will be a challenging one with a trip to Hollister before hosting Crane and Marshfield on back-to-back nights to end the week.
- Hillcrest (2-1) – Coming off a state runner-up finish in class 4 last season the Hornets are expecting big things this year. HHS returns all but one starter, albeit a pretty darn good one (Dorial Green-Beckham). The Hornets have some of the best guards in Southwest Missouri, but that lack of size exposed a potential weakness over the weekend as they fell 56-46 to Republic in the Republic Invitational championship. They also walloped Neosho and pulled out a 3-point win over Rogersville.
- Clever (5-0) – The Blue Jays are off to a big start this season. Not only are they 5-0, but they’ve done it in convincing fashion beating Verona by 24, East Carter by 25, McAuley Catholic by 35, Purdy by 10, and a 54-50 Clever Tournament championship win over Hartville. The Jays’ only game this week is a Friday night home matchup with Ash Grove.
- Parkview (4-0) – The Vikings have become a consistent contender in the Ozark Conference and this season figures to be no different. Despite losing a pair of college recruits in Taylor Acord and Taylor Harville to graduation, coach Brown’s cupboard is hardly bare. Senior Erik Durham led the way as the Vikings rolled through their own tournament with big wins over Wichita Home School, Tulsa Central and West Plains. They also opened the season with a 68-60 win over Rogers Heritage.
- Willard (3-1) – The Tigers struggled to find consistency last season with a predominantly sophomore group. This year under new head coach Lamont Frazier the Tigers are already showing newfound maturity. WHS is 3-1 with wins over Rolla, Ft. Scott (Ks.) and Springdale Har-Ber. The lone loss came in the championship of the 4-State Tournament against Oklahoma powerhouse Broken Arrow.
- Crane (4-0) – It wasn’t long ago the Pirates were the class 2 state champs (2 years ago), and they’re once again contenders. New head coach Dale Lamberth has his squad out to a 4-0 start with wins over Verona, Pierce City and Diamond to win the Pierce City Tournament and Ash Grove to start the season. Get ready for a showdown Friday night as Crane visits the Strafford Indians.
- Webb City (0-0) – The Cardinals might be the only team in the area who has yet to take the floor, but I’m sure their fans are doing just fine after winning the school’s 3rd straight state football championship. While they haven’t played yet, we believe the Cardinals have the talent to be among the best the COC Large has to offer.
- Hartville (2-1) – The Eagles are off to a nice start with big wins over Galena and Sparta, but slipped just a bit with a 54-50 Clever Tournament championship loss to the host Blue Jays. Hartville looks to get back on track this week visiting Mountain Grove Tuesday.
- Diamond (2-1) – The Wildcats are one of the strongest small school teams in the Ozarks. After beating Exeter and Thomas Jefferson in the Pierce City Tournament they fell by just a 3-point margin to Crane in the championship.
- Carl Junction (3-0) – Not only are the Bulldogs 3-0, but they’ve done it against some stiff competition, beating Monett, Carthage and Joplin to capture the Carthage Tournament championship. CJ will rival Mt Vernon for the Big 8 title and could make a run in the class 4 playoffs.
- Kickapoo (2-1) – The Chiefs are one of the biggest mysteries among area teams. How can you replace all-time leading scorer Ryan Rippee? Well, the Chiefs answered that question at their own tournament by blasting Reeds Spring before holding off Springdale (Ark.). However, they returned to Earth Saturday with a 66-37 defeat at the hands of Arkansas state title contender Fayetteville and MSU signee Tyler McCullough.
Knocking on the door: Hollister, Fair Play, Osceola, Everton, Marionville, Licking