Brock Netter, Staff Writer
I’ve learned one thing this week …
Some people truly remember the things I say on SOSA’s podcast “Overtime” or things I’ve written in this weekly column.
And I love it all. Thank you so much.
I’m not saying that to put myself on a pedestal. I’m saying it because it means we’re doing something right and you guys are reading or enjoying the content we’re producing.
Now with that being said, next week’s rankings will be the final column of the season since Saturday officially begins tournament time.
But that’s next week. Here are this week’s SOSA Power Rankings:
1. Eastern Brown (19-1)
Previous ranking: 2 … +1
The Warriors are officially top dog in our rankings this week, and left no doubt about it after what they did last week. After dismantling West Union by 33 points, they turned around the next night and destroyed Warren, who is the top seed in Division II by 23 points. Keep in mind, their lone loss was by a single point at Fairland. This team is scary good. Also, congrats to Colton Vaughn for setting a new school record for career rebounds.
2. Wheelersburg (16-1)
Previous ranking: 1 … -1
Maybe a loss was exactly what the Pirates needed. They showed resilience in pushing the game to overtime, but suffered the loss to Waverly and that drops them a spot this week. The good thing for Wheelersburg is that it’s still a game ahead of Waverly in the SOC II standings, so an outright conference championship remains in the cards.
3. Hillsboro (16-2)
Previous ranking: 4 … +1
Pay more attention to Hillsboro. This team is the real deal. Nine seniors who are hungry to make school history, and they’re only a few games away from doing so. The Indians earned victories over Blanchester and McClain last weekend, and now they’re just one conference win from clinching a share of the FAC title for the first time in over 20 years. Stock continues rising.
4. Adena (18-2)
Previous ranking: 5 … +1
Make that nine straight wins for Adena after earning a 16-point victory over Zane Trace this past week. Odds are that the Warriors will finish the regular season without another loss and claim a share of the SVC title … their first since 2006. I’ll dive a little more into Adena’s tournament draw next week, but the Warriors are sitting in a good spot.
5. Waverly (16-3)
Previous ranking: — … N/A
Welcome to the top five, Waverly. The Tigers own some impressive wins on the resume, but they finally got that statement win by defeating Wheelersburg on the road in OT. Then, they followed it up with victories over Oak Hill and Northwest in the following days. That makes 10 straight wins for Waverly. They’re finally hitting their stride, and not a moment too soon.
ON THE RISE: New Boston (17-2), Unioto (13-4), Piketon (15-5)
1. Peebles (15-1)
Previous ranking: 1 … —
The victory over North Adams in the final seconds was more than enough to firmly secure the top spot for the Peebles this week. However, it added a little cherry on top by dropping 111 points two days later. One-hundred-and-eleven points. There are teams who don’t score that in three games, let alone in a 32-minute period. Jacey Justice had 55 points in that win, breaking the school’s scoring record. Once again, she’s a certified bucket.
2. Wheelersburg (18-2)
Previous ranking: 2 … —
Think about this for a second: Wheelersburg’s last conference loss was on December 3 … of 2018. If my math is correct, the Pirates have won 43 straight conference games. In other words, it’s Wheelersburg being Wheelersburg. All that’s left now is one final matchup with South Webster for a potential Gold Ball. But for now, the Pirates turn their focus to the tournament while aiming for a district title.
3. Notre Dame (19-1)
Previous ranking: 4 … +1
After what I saw on Tuesday, I have to move Notre Dame up a spot. That was a straight beatdown against Coal Grove. Nothing more, nothing less. The ‘Evil Stepsisters,’ as so eloquently put by Ava Hassel and Claire Dettwiller, are on a mission. They made it known there would be no Cinderella stories happening on their watch. They want that second chance at Berne Union. And they’re playing like it.
4. Eastern Brown (20-2)
Previous ranking: 3 … -1
Can we just for a second give a handclap to Eastern Brown for making it through the season without having to be quarantined? That feat alone might be more impressive than its 20-2 record. Heck, I know one SOSA writer who can’t say that … and it isn’t me. But nonetheless, a successful record season resulted in a SHAC I championship, and something tells me it won’t be the only title the Warriors win.
5. Fairfield (16-4)
Previous ranking: — … N/A
This fifth spot was a huge debate … in my head. I had North Adams, but it lost to Peebles and Vinton County. No shame in that. Then I had Adena, but it lost last night to Zane Trace in overtime. It came down to Fairfield and Miami Trace, and I gave the edge to the Lions after defeating a solid East Clinton team. Here’s the real question: Is Fairfield ever going to get its second crack at Peebles?