Brock Netter, Staff Writer
I’ll be perfectly honest with you … this was the hardest Power Rankings I’ve had to formulate so far. Well, at least on the girls side of the column.
The big winner last week was SHAC girls basketball because there was so much that happened, and so many variables about how to properly rank teams this week.
I’ve said this since we started covering the SHAC: but it’s just a different world. The quality and speed of basketball is special.
Now for the boys side of the rankings? It was pretty cut and dry.
So let’s dive right in. Here are this week’s SOSA Power Rankings:
1. Wheelersburg (10-0)
Previous ranking: 1 … —
In the last three victories over Eastern, Northwest and South Webster, the Pirates have put up 90, 78 and 77 points in those games. Is that good? As I said last week, balance and unpredictability is what this team is all about. They share the ball, play good defense and know how to win. Now a tough Valley team that pushed them to the limit last month awaits.
2. Unioto (9-2)
Previous ranking: 2 … —
The difference in the talent and level of efficiency between Unioto and the SVC is very wide at this point. Also, when the Shermans choose to truly lock in defensively, good luck beating them. At this point, we’re all just waiting for that Jan. 30 rematch at Adena. Could Hillsboro catch them off guard the week before? Sure, anything is possible. But I wouldn’t bank on it.
3. Eastern Brown (12-1)
Previous ranking: 3 … —
I won’t lie, I nearly thought about moving the Warriors up to No. 2 despite the one-point loss to Fairland, considering the Dragons are one of the top five teams in Southern Ohio, period. But Eastern Brown holds firm at No. 3 this week and is still leading the SHAC by a country mile. Too much talent across the board. I hope a rematch with Fairland happens in district play.
4. New Boston (11-1)
Previous ranking: 4 … —
Two SOC I teams, two more wins. The Tigers haven’t lost in conference action since the end of the 2018-19 season. There’s been a few close calls, but for the most part, it’s almost too easy. Part of me was really excited about the matchup with New Boston and Ironton St. Joe, and I still am. But it took a small hit with the Flyers falling to Green. But anything can happen.
5. Adena (11-2)
Previous ranking: 5 … —
The Warriors picked up a pair of 20-point victories over Paint Valley and Washington this past week. Jarrett Garrison surely enjoyed the week, finishing with 22 and 21 points in those two games as the Warriors continue to find a balanced offensive output. Now a tough, and rather hot, Piketon team — a winner of seven straight — await the Warriors on Saturday.
ON THE RISE: Jackson (7-0), Waverly (6-1), Piketon (10-3)
1. Eastern Brown (13-1)
Previous ranking: 1 … —
I think I jinxed the Warriors last week in my rankings by saying I don’t see them losing a game this season. Naturally, they followed up by dropping their first game of the season. However, they’re still my top team this week by the smallest of margins. I still think this is the most complete team in the area and they still lead the larger SHAC division.
2. Wheelersburg (7-1)
Previous ranking: 2 … —
The Pirates picked up a pair of 20-plus point victories in SOC II action over this past week against Minford and Valley. Now that they’re finally getting some games under the belt, a rhythm is beginning to be established … and not a moment too soon. They have a tough stretch with West, Waverly, Oak Hill and Northwest coming up. Win all four games, and we’ll have a new No. 1 next week.
3. Fairfield (9-3)
Previous ranking: 4 … +1
This was the hardest choice because the Lions did fall to North Adams, but they also earned a huge overtime victory over Peebles. So it sort of left me with a bit of a catch 22. But in the end, the loss and win sort of cancel each other out. Fairfield still has a couple of big games left on their schedule, and the way the Lions are playing, it’s setting up nicely for a tournament run.
4. Peebles (7-1)
Previous ranking: 5 … +1
Peebles arguably has the biggest win of any team in the area on their resume, knocking off Eastern Brown … on the road, which is even more impressive. However, I can’t put the Indians ahead of Fairfield because well, they lost to the Lions in overtime last week. Yes, resume wins count but head to heads count just as much. Still, this team is unreal. Repeat district champion?
5. Notre Dame (9-1)
Previous ranking: 3 … -2
I want to make this part clear … Notre Dame isn’t being dropped because of what it isn’t doing. It’s because of what everyone above the Titans is currently doing. But still, the Titans continue to pour on the wins. However, they face Trimble on Saturday, who took Berne Union — Notre Dame’s only loss — to the buzzer last night, as well as Oak Hill next Saturday. Let’s see what the Titans have got.