Brock Netter, Staff Writer
First things first: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Even though this holiday season doesn’t have the same feel, enjoy it as normal, but safely as possible.
Keep in mind that, while yes, this is the holiday break, us media members and fans of your respective schools would still like to watch you athletes play afterwards.
Be smart with your decisions, mask up and continue to sanitize.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s this week’s Power Rankings.
Once again, please be sure to thank your athletic directors. Like an usher at church, they are doing the Lord’s work.
*There will be no Power Rankings column next Wednesday since most teams will not be playing again until after the New Year.
1. New Boston (7-0)
By now, we know that almost no one is going to challenge the Tigers inside of conference play. No other team has the talent to match up with them. The ultimate test of a good team is how you perform against teams that are equally as talented, or more talented. The Tigers started with a solid victory over Whiteoak, a team that gave them fits last season. Now Peebles awaits.
2. Wheelersburg (5-0)
First things first, congratulations to J.J. Truitt on reaching 1,000 career points. Incredible milestone. After back-to-back wins over Oak Hill, the Pirates received a stiff test against Minford, but came out on the other side unscathed, in part thanks to Truitt, who rebounded from a scoreless first half and scored 13 points in the second. Now, we’re looking towards the matchup with Waverly.
3. Adena (7-1)
Adena is showing the ability to be like a chameleon, adapting to its surroundings and adjusting as needed. Add in the fact they play stout defense … they still haven’t given up 50 points in a game yet … and you have a contender. When someone figures out how to slow down or stop Logan Bennett, be sure to let me know. But I don’t bank on getting an answer anytime soon.
4. Eastern Brown (6-0)
So, by now, we all know that Eastern’s girls are REALLY good. However, we also need to begin showing the boys team some love. This team is unreal. They shoot well, get to the rim, knock down free throws and force turnovers. Trent Hundley and Luke Garrett can put up points in a hurry, Ryan Boone is a defensive menace and they’re exceptionally well-coached. Watch out.
5. Unioto (5-2)
With Jackson being on lockdown for the time being, I had to slide it out and put Unioto in my top five this week. I will say this, I hope Unioto and Jackson’s non-league bout gets rescheduled. But that’s down the road. Currently, Unioto has won four straight since its overtime loss to Miami Trace and is now tied with Adena atop the SVC standings. Now the race begins.
ON THE RISE: Jackson (4-0), Waverly (3-0), Zane Trace (4-4)
1. Eastern Brown (8-0)
It’s just not fair. Eastern Brown is way too good, too deep, too stout defensively and as the game goes, it gets stronger and stronger. It’s no wonder why the Warriors have won 13 district championships. And from the looks of things, they’re about to run right through the SHAC for a conference championship. I just don’t see any team slowing down the Warriors at any point throughout the regular season.
2. Wheelersburg (4-0)
The Pirates finally got back on the floor and took out some of its frustrations against Eastern. It doesn’t matter how much time they have to take off for various reasons, in or out of their control, they are still Wheelersburg. Now, they’re off again for a few days, and when they comes back, Vinton County is waiting for them on Wednesday. I know where I’ll be that night.
3. Notre Dame (6-0)
Another SOC I opponent, another win for Notre Dame. Make that 81 straight conference wins for the Titans. Let that sink in for a moment. Eighty-one straight. The last loss they had in conference play … Jan. 5, 2015 to Eastern. Five years of dominance, and it doesn’t look like there’s an ending anytime soon. I can’t wait for that Berne Union matchup next week. Get your popcorn ready.
4. Adena (8-1)
I can’t punish Adena for taking a loss to the best girls team in the area. If anything, I give them credit for playing. I’m sure other teams will take exception to the last part of that statement, but I’m just stating facts. Still, Adena sits rather comfortably atop the SVC standings with a matchup against Southeastern still pending that could ultimately will determine the conference.
5. McClain (6-0)
I’m just going to say it: the Tigers nearly got hosed over one of the worst calls I’ve seen. But nevertheless, they still prevailed in overtime to stay unblemished on the season. One thing about this team is they are full of grit, resilience, and experience, which is probably why they’re usually at the top of the FAC standings. That hasn’t changed this season.