Posted: Monday, 31 December 2012 3:12AM

Dec. 31 Boys Basketball Power Rankings

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The O-Zone Power Rankings are compiled by the staff each week based on a team's relative dominance by class.  The school's are not compared head to head, but rather by how strong they are against similar competition as well as current momentum.

(Last week in parenthesis)

  1. Billings, 10-1 (1) – The Wildcats have reeled off four straight wins since that overtime loss to Scott County Central.  After obliterating newcomer School of the Ozarks BHS rolled through the Southwest Tournament with easy wins over Haas Hall Academy, Ar., Southwest and then a 64-57 win over Pea Ridge, Ar. for the title.
  2. Nixa, 10-1 (2) – The Eagles cruised through the first three rounds of the 67th Blue and Gold with wins over Ava, Glendale and West Plains by an average of 50.6 points per game.  In the finals, the Eagles got quite the test from rival Ozark, but ultimately prevailed 61-55 to capture their third straight B and G title.  Nixa also picked up a close win over Hillcrest prior to Christmas. 
  3. Republic, 10-1 (5) – The Tigers keep getting overlooked and they keep proving people wrong.  As the number two seed in the Blue and Gold RepMo rolled past Aurora and Hartville before sneaking past Branson to reach the finals.  There they met top seed Parkview in a rematch of the 1962-63 final won by Republic.  The outcome was the same on Saturday night as new head coach Trevyor Fisher picked up his first B and G title in one of the lowest scoring finals on record (34-27) as Republic made it back to back titles.
  4. Parkview, 11-1 (4) – The Vikings certainly aren’t flashy, but they find a way to win...most of the time.  PHS knocked off Skyline, Marshfield and Bolivar to reach the Blue and Gold finals led by a big tournament from senior guard Erik Durham.  There the Vikes played Republic to the final minute but ultimately fell short, 34-27.
  5. Fair Play, 8-0 (7) – The Hornets have played just two games since December 10th, but have won them both; Hurley and Marionville.  Fair Play now looks to close out 2012 undefeated as they face Ash Grove in the Walnut Grove Tournament championship Monday at 2:30 pm.
  6. Strafford, 9-2 (6) – The Indians entered the Blue and Gold as the two-seed; their highest ever.  After knocking off Lebanon the Indians ran into seven-seed Ozark; a game that favored Strafford on paper, but proved the opposite on the court as the larger Tigers dominated inside, winning 65-58, ending Strafford’s tournament run.  Coach Wilson’s club gets the week off before entertaining Spokane and Blue Eye next week.
  7. Crane, 10-2 (8) – The Pirates suffered a similar Blue and Gold fate as Strafford, winning their opening round game (65-45 over Miller) before falling to larger West Plains by 16 in the quarterfinals.  Crane also beat Purdy and Cassville since our last rankings.  Coach Lamberth’s kids have the next 11 days off before a huge matchup at top ranked Billings.
  8. Mt Vernon, 9-4 (12) – The Mountaineers are one of the hottest teams in the area after a slow start.  Entering as a six-seed in the Blue and Gold the ‘Neers dispatched Fair Grove before knocking off number three seed Rogersville by 18 in the quarterfinals.  Next up, MV fell to Ozark 59-58 in the semifinals, but bounced back in a big way with a 76-44 blasting of West Plains in the third place game.
  9. Clever, 11-2 (3) – The Jays take a fall after dropping their first two games at the Blue and Gold.   Winless Reeds Spring pulled the upset of the tournament with a 56-54 opening round win of previously unbeaten Clever.  After beating Mansfield they fell to Skyline in the consolation semifinals.  The Jays look to right the ship this week at the Miller Tournament.
  10. Hillcrest, 5-3 (9) – The Hornets have had a rather light holiday break.  Hillcrest picked up a nice 57-44 win over Willard on the 18th before battling Nixa to the final minute, ultimately falling 63-58.  HHS opens conference play Friday at Glendale with the always difficult Tournament of Champions on the horizon.
  11. Ozark, 7-5 (NR) – Don’t let the record fool you...most of us let that happen at the Blue and Gold.  Steve Hunter’s Tigers entered the 67th annual event as the seven-seed.  They promptly knocked out second-seed Strafford and six-seed Mt Vernon before battling Nixa tooth and nail for 32 minutes, ultimately falling 71-65.  The Tigers have the week off before hosting Webb City and Rogersville next week.
  12.  Hartville, 9-2 (11) – The Eagles are another small school casualty of the Blue and Gold, but did pick up a first round win over Spokane, before bowing out to eventual champ Republic in the quarterfinals.
  13. Webb City, 7-3 (10) – After two Neosho Tournament losses we’ll give the Cardinals the benefit of the doubt this time with losses to Memphis Sheffield and St. Joe Lafayette, sandwiched between wins over West Memphis and Carthage.
  14. Branson, 7-4 (NR) – Similar to Ozark, the Pirates record isn’t exactly setting the World on fire, but with quality wins over Willow Springs, Willard and Republic we feel they can hang with some of the best class 5 has to offer.  Branson also gave Republic everything they could handle in the semifinals of the Blue and Gold before beating Bolivar for third place.
  15. Spokane, 8-3 (NR) – We’re going to give the Owls a crack at the top 15.  After starting 0-2 Coach Brown’s birds have won eight of nine, including wins over Pleasant Hope, Forsyth, Aurora, Greenfield and Skyline (Blue and Gold third place game).  The lone loss came in the opening round to Hartville.
 Knocking on the door: Kickapoo, Hollister, West Plains, Diamond, Everton, Willard, Carl Junction, Rogersville, Bolivar, Skyline

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Rockwood Summit JV vs. Parkview

RS beat Parkview 4-0 in the Kickapoo Shootout.

Pictures: Kickapoo JV vs. Carl Junction

CJ wins 9-0, advancing to the Brown Division semifinals of the Kickapoo Shootout.

Pictures: Forsyth 12, Billings 2

Layn Hurst’s five RBI powered the Panthers on Friday
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