All 3 teams from 6A Area 8 ranked in latest basketball rankings

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

Now that the new year is upon us and the Christmas holiday is part of the past, it’s back to normal in the sports world. It’s been about a month since the last ASWA basketball rankings were released, but they’re back in a big way with several changes having been made since we last looked them over.

The first of those changes come in Class 6A Area 8, which I’ve said all season long is the most underrated and competitive area of basketball in the county and possibly the state. In the Dec. 15 rankings we saw Pelham as the No.1 team and Chelsea cracking the top 10 as the No. 10 team in the rankings, while Helena got nominations for a spot as well.

In this week’s ranking, remarkably, all three of those teams fought their way into 6A’s top 10. Though Pelham had a tough December and fell a couple of spots, they still came in as the highest ranked boys team in Shelby County at the No. 3 position in 6A. The Panthers went on a stretch where they lost seven in a row, but were playing against some of the best talent in the state in a local tournament and followed that up by playing some of the best talent in the country in a South Carolina tournament, all while they were battling injuries without several starters.

Helena has by far been the most impressive team I have watched over the past month and had it not been for a close loss to Pelham the other night they could have easily cracked the top 5, but instead came in at No. 6. The Huskies are winners in 15 of their past 17 games and boast an overall record of 18-5 (0-1) on the season. They will battle the No. 1 team in 4A, Cordova (14-2), this Saturday.

Chelsea held steady at the No. 10 spot in the 6A rankings. For a while it looked like they would be a lot higher as they headed into the Jefferson-Shelby Hoops Classic winners of nine in a row, but after losing two of their past three games they are on a recent slump. The Hornets still have an overall record of 15-6 and a big matchup with Pelham on Friday, Jan. 13.

In the 5A ranks, Calera got the nod as the No. 9 team after posting a record of 13-6 (4-0) on the season. The 4-0 area record has them as tremendous favorites to win Class 5A Area 6, but an important matchup with Dallas County, who just missed the rankings, looms Friday, Jan. 13. This marked Calera’s first time in the rankings this season.

Montevallo fell one spot in the 3A rankings from No. 4 to No. 5. The Bulldogs started the season 7-2 and have won four of their past six games to move to 11-4 (2-0) on the season. They moved to 2-0 in area play after taking down Montgomery Academy 65-60 on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

That was the extent of this week’s guys rankings, which brought the total number of county teams ranked to five, the most this season. Also receiving nominations for a spot was Vincent, who fell from the rankings after going 5-5 in their last 10 games, but the Yellow Jackets still hold a 13-8 (2-0) record.

CLASS 6A
1. Austin (18-1)
2. LeFlore (18-2)
3. Pelham (12-8)
4. Carver-Montgomery (11-5)
5. Spanish Fort (14-5)
6. Helena (18-5)
7. Daphne (19-2)
8. Clay-Chalkville (15-3)
9. Fort Payne (15-4)
10. Chelsea (15-6)
Others nominated: Blount (11-8), Hazel Green (11-7).

CLASS 5A
1. Jemison-Huntsville (19-4)
2. Sumter Central (15-3)
3. Wilcox Central (16-4)
4. Lee-Huntsville (10-10)
5. Guntersville (17-3)
6. Alexandria (12-6)
7. Faith-Mobile (12-7)
8. Eufaula (15-5)
9. Calera (13-6)
10. Douglas (12-5)
Others nominated: Dallas Co. (9-4), Headland (14-5), St. Paul’s (8-7), Sylacauga (12-5), Talladega (13-6).
CLASS 3A
1. Midfield (13-5)
2. Holly Pond (19-1)
3. Plainview (17-1)
4. Hillcrest-Evergreen (10-3)
5. Montevallo (11-4)
6. Prattville Christian (14-3)
7. New Hope (11-5)
8. Daleville (9-4)
9. American Christian (11-6)
10. Geraldine (13-5)
Others nominated: None.

CLASS 2A
1. Tanner (11-3)
2. R.C. Hatch (11-1)
3. Lanett (6-3)
4. Abbeville (14-5)
5. Elba (6-1)
6. Westbrook Christian (15-5)
7. Asbury (14-4)
8. St. Luke’s (13-5)
9. Barbour Co. (10-5)
10. Central-Hayneville (9-3)
Others nominated: Chickasaw (10-3), Cleveland (10-6), Collinsville (12-6), Goshen (10-5), Samson (12-6), Vincent (13-8).