Several moves made in ASWA boys poll

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

Moves were made in the season’s second Alabama Sports Writers Association basketball rankings. In last week’s initial rankings, four county teams made their way into their respective top 10’s. This week that number held steady as four teams were ranked yet again, but things were shaken up a little bit this week as one team fell out of the top 10, one jumped in and several more were nominated.

Chelsea (8-4) is this week’s big mover jumping into the top 10 of 6A after not even being nominated a week ago. Heading into last week’s poll, the Hornets had lost four of five and three in a row, but they changed their fortune this week by winning their last three consecutive games and becoming one of the hottest teams in the county.

The Hornets replaced a struggling Spain Park team who fell out of the top 10 in 7A after being ranked sixth in the initial poll. The Jags fell nine spots from No. 6 to No. 15, which is a little bit drastic considering they have only played and lost one game in that time span to Gadsden City at Jacksonville State. Also out of Spain Park’s five losses, they’ve lost to one team not currently ranked in the state, Gadsden City. The rest of their losses are to 6A No. 1 Pelham, 7A No. 7 Sparkman (who they’ve also beaten), 7A No. 2 Lee-Montgomery and Velma Jackson from Mississippi. The Jags have lost three in a row, which was their ultimate downfall.

Aside from Chelsea jumping into the 6A top 10, Pelham held strong at the No. 1 spot in the difficult classification. The Panthers (8-1) have now won seven in a row with their only loss taking place in the second game of the season to 7A No. 1 Mountain Brook. Since the first poll, they have taken down 7A Thompson 54-33 on the road and 7A Oak Mountain 64-46 at home.

Another huge jump came from the Helena Huskies, who went from no consideration to the No. 13 spot in this week’s poll. Helena (7-3) on the season is one of the hottest teams around right now and nobody is talking about them. Since losing two of their first three games the Huskies have won six of their last seven games including four straight. Two of their three losses are to the 7A No. 1 team Mountain Brook, while the other was to a decent 7A Vestavia team. Area 8 of the 6A Class, which features Pelham, Chelsea and Helena is shaping up to be one of the toughest areas in the state.

Calera (7-5, 2-0) is another team like Helena that is silently on fire at the moment and made a big jump up to the No. 11 spot in the 5A rankings. After starting the year 1-4, the Eagles have won six of their last seven as well. Already 2-0 in area play with one more win they will already be guaranteed a .500 winning percentage in their area, which means a good chance they will win the regular season area championship. Calera has knocked off 3A No. 3 Montevallo as well as putting up 96 on Marbury in their last two games.

Montevallo and Vincent both held steady in the top 10 of their respective classes. The Bulldogs (7-2) lost to Calera, but rebounded with a nice win over Westminster Oak Mountain to just fall one spot to No. 4 in Class 3A. The Yellow Jackets (8-3, 1-0) have won five games in a row and have shown no signs of slowing down after beating Fayetteville 64-24 on Dec. 9 and BB Comer 65-37 in their last outing to move up one spot to No. 5 in the 2A poll.

CLASS 7A
1. Mountain Brook (10-0)
2. Lee-Montgomery (9-0)
3. Smiths Station (11-0)
4. McGill-Toolen (9-4)
5. Auburn (9-2)
6. Huffman (9-1)
7. Sparkman (6-4)
8. Murphy (10-4)
9. Hoover (9-3)
10. Grissom (6-4)
Others nominated: Central-Phenix City (4-1), Fairhope (5-4), Gadsden City (7-6), James Clemens (5-3), Spain Park (5-5).

CLASS 6A
1. Pelham (8-1)
2. Austin (11-0)
3. Daphne (12-0)
4. Carver-Montgomery (4-3)
5. Spanish Fort (8-2)
6. LeFlore (11-2)
7. Muscle Shoals (7-0)
8. Blount (10-5)
9. Fort Payne (9-2)
10. Chelsea (8-4)
Others nominated: Florence (7-1), Hazel Green (5-3), Helena (7-3), Sidney Lanier (6-3).

CLASS 5A
1. Jemison-Huntsville (12-2)
2. Lee-Huntsville (8-4)
3. Sumter Central (12-2)
4. Guntersville (10-2)
5. Wilcox Central (9-1)
6. St. John Paul II (7-4)
7. St. Paul’s (6-1)
8. Alexandria (7-1)
9. Faith-Mobile (8-4)
10. Douglas (8-2)
Others nominated: Calera (7-5), Dallas Co. (5-2), Russellville (5-1), Sylacauga (7-1), Talladega (6-2).

CLASS 3A
1. Midfield (7-1)
2. Holly Pond (12-0)
3. Geraldine (9-0)
4. Montevallo (7-2)
5. Prattville Christian (7-2)
6. Plainview (8-1)
7. Hillcrest-Evergreen (6-1)
8. Piedmont (3-1)
9. Straughn (4-2)
10. Clarke Co. (5-2)
Others nominated: New Hope (5-4).

CLASS 2A
1. Tanner (4-1)
2. St. Luke’s (7-1)
3. Abbeville (7-1)
4. Lanett (2-0)
5. Vincent (8-3)
6. Westbrook Christian (7-2)
7. Barbour Co. (5-3)
8. Central-Hayneville (5-1)
9. Elba (5-0)
10. R.C. Hatch (7-1)
Others nominated: Asbury (10-1), Chickasaw (7-1), Collinsville (8-2), Goshen (5-2), Samson (8-2), Sheffield (4-3).