Ava Hassel, JD McKenzie
Brock Netter

Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.) and the Vinton-Jackson Courier. He's a two-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

HS HOOPS: Introducing the area’s top five boys, girls teams

Take a look at our first HSBB power rankings of the season, featuring the area's top five boys and girls teams.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

We did this during football season, and it seemed like it was a hit. So I figured, why not try it during basketball season as well?

There’s much more parody, more teams, just as much talent and much more confusion week after week … which makes something like this perfect!

Just in the opening two weeks of high school basketball season, very few things have made sense. But that’s also the beauty of basketball. It’s not as cut and dry as it seems.

As long as COVID stays away — wishful thinking — let’s embrace the chaos.

Welcome back to the show. Here are the first SOSA Basketball Power Rankings:

P.S. Remember to thank your athletic directors. Like an usher at church, they are indeed doing the Lord’s work.


1. New Boston (1-0)

Top to bottom, this is the most talented and experienced team in the area. And so far, the Tigers are picking back up where they left off last season. Kyle Sexton posted 19 points and 15 rebounds against Coal Grove, and Devon Jones and Grady Jackson added 16 and 14 points each, respectively. That balance needs to continue throughout the season. It can’t just be a one-time deal.

2. Wheelersburg (1-0)

Wheelersburg is used to late starts due to the football team’s success and playoff runs. Now it dealt with one due to COVID. But the Pirates just continue marching on. Starting out with a conference game isn’t easy, but they found a way to win over Valley after 20 points each from Matthew Miller and J.J. Truitt. This team is experienced and understands how to win. Now it just needs to be consistent.

3. Adena (2-1)

Part of this ranking is because of how solid they looked against Worthington Christian, who could potentially win a state title in Division III. If Adena had one more scorer in double figures, aside from Logan Bennett, it probably pulls off that upset. But it found the balance against Miami Trace with Bennett, Preston Sykes and Dillon McDonald all scoring in double figures. Let’s see if the trend continues.

4. Waverly (2-0)

The biggest story — nationally, literally nationally — from Waverly’s first game wasn’t even on the court. But I’m sure we’ve all seen or heard the video. Job well done! But sticking to the hardwood, four players scored in double figures, and that is what this team lacked at times last year; scoring balance. This is possibly the Tigers’ best shot at a district title. Keep the balance, the titles will follow.

5. North Adams (2-0)

I won’t lie, I originally had Valley right here, but I can’t put them ahead of a North Adams team that’s blown the doors off everyone so far. For those who don’t know yet, get used to the name of Jayden Hesler, because this kid can play. Then you add Bransyn Copas and the Meade’s — Cade and Seth — and it makes the Devils a serious contender in the SHAC.

ON THE RISE: Jackson (2-0), Piketon (2-1), Valley (1-2)
Waverly’s Trey Robertson has led the Tigers to a 2-0 start this season.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA


1. Wheelersburg (2-0)

After squeaking out a four-point victory over West, even I was scratching my head a little bit. Then Kaylee Darnell dropped 33 points on Oak Hill, and everything was back to normal. Nice to see that nearly nothing has changed with the Pirates. Reloaded, experienced and still leaving a pile of destruction behind. Wash, rinse, repeat.

2. Eastern Brown (4-0)

Speaking of reloading, there might not be a better reloading job done in the area than at Eastern Brown. Seven seniors are gone, yet nothing has changed. The Warriors are still running over teams, piling up the wins and taking no prisoners. They’ve won three of their four games by 30 points or more, and they beat a tough Miami Trace team on the road. Rylee Leonard, Emma Prine and company are still the real deal.

3. Notre Dame (4-0)

The Titans make it look so effortless on the court, but then again, that’s what the great teams are supposed to do. After a comeback victory over South Webster to open the season, Notre Dame has been on cruise control while beating its last three opponents by 30 points or more. Ava Hassel, congrats on your 1,000th career point by the way, and Claire and Annie Dettwiller are all averaging double-digit scoring figures. Scary.

4. Paint Valley (3-0)

Buy your stock in Paint Valley now. Has anyone seen what Olivia Smith has accomplished so far? She’s cleaning the glass better than Windex could ever dream of. Then you add Hanna Uhrig, who could go off at any minute, alongside Averi McFadden, Abbi Stanforth and Kendall Dye, who are all capable shooters. We’ll find out more on Thursday against Adena. We’ll see how real the Bearcats are.

5. West (2-1)

The Senators beat Waverly, then barely lost to Wheelersburg before beating Northwest, who finished second in the SOC II last season. Folks, the Senators quite possibly are onto something. For all I know, maybe they don’t like the attention and want to be under the radar. But right now, Eden Cline, Charlie Jo Howard, Lexi Deaver and company are trending upwards.

ON THE RISE: Waverly (2-1), Adena (5-0), Ripley (3-1)

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