Three top 5 teams highlight latest ASWA basketball rankings

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

The first ASWA basketball rankings since before Christmas were released on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and a strong presence of 13 county teams were featured, while six of those 13 were inside the top 10 of their respective classification and three were ranked inside the top three.

The two consistent and highest ranked teams continued to be the Vincent Yellow Jackets boys and Spain Park Jaguars girls after solid showings over the holiday break and during the first game of area play.

Both teams were ranked second in their respective classification with the Jackets finding that spot in the 2A boys standings and the Jags in the 7A girls standings.

Vincent not only won the Anniston Star Classic over the break, taking down Cleburne County, Winterboro and Cherokee, but the Jackets are 14-2 overall and winners of 11 of their last 12 games.

Their only loss in that span was to a ranked 5A Briarwood Lions team. Since that loss, however, the Jackets bounced back with a 56-46 win over Altamont to start area play 1-0.

Spain Park has been one of the hottest teams of late thanks to wins in 11 straight to improve to 19-2 overall. During the holiday break, the Jags won their own tournament, the Lady Jag Classic, went undefeated at the BallN Holiday Invitational, beat Rogers in the Wallace State New Year’s Bash and won their first area game over Mountain Brook.

Their only two losses this season are to No. 1 Hoover and to Madison Academy, who they have since beaten.

A new addition to the top three this week came in the Class 7A boys standings when the Thompson boys made the jump up to No. 3 in the latest poll.

Sitting at 16-6 on the season, the Warriors have won five of their last seven games with one of those two losses coming to No. 2 Lee-Montgomery and the other to James Madison Memorial in a national tournament where they went 2-1 overall.

In addition to those three teams inside the top five, Shelby County’s girls, Westminster at Oak Mountain’s girls and Briarwood’s boys were also ranked inside the top 10 of their respective classification.

Briarwood (12-3) slipped one spot from No. 7 to No. 8 since the last rankings were released, but the Lions are still playing solid basketball. They lost their area opener by 10 points to No. 5 Ramsay and also compete in an area that features No. 2 Woodlawn, but they won four games in a row over the holiday break against teams that have a similar talent level.

The Shelby County girls are now 14-2 overall this season and have won 11 consecutive games despite playing an extremely difficult schedule. The Wildcats look poised at this point for another strong playoff run as the No. 8 team in the 5A girls standings.

Westminster is in similar shape in the 1A girls standings thanks to wins in seven of its last eight games. The Knights have won three games in a row after taking down Jefferson Christian on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and are now 4-0 in area play.

Nominated teams

Outside of those six ranked teams, seven other teams also received recognition for a top-10 spot after stellar play as of late.

For the boys, Oak Mountain, Spain Park, Helena, Calera and Montevallo received votes; while Chelsea and Pelham received votes in the Class 6A girls standings.

Oak Mountain is coming off an impressive 63-50 victory over previous No. 2 Hoover and has won seven of its last eight games, including the championship of its own tournament.

Spain Park also hit a hot stretch and was at 13-6 after winning the metro tournament, including three good wins against Woodlawn, Homewood and Vestavia, but the Jags have since lost to John Carroll and Mountain Brook and are now 13-8.

The Helena Huskies (16-6, 1-0) have easily been one of the hottest teams in the state over the last few weeks. After losing four in a row early in December, the Huskies have bounced back with wins in 11 of their last 12 games, including a big 15-point area win over Calera.

Over the holiday break, the Huskies won the Childersburg Christmas tournament and made it to the championship of the Sandestin tournament featuring several top programs.

While Calera lost to Helena recently, the Eagles have won four of five games and sit at 11-5 overall right now. They beat Jackson-Olin, Montevallo and Vestavia Hills over the holiday.

The Montevallo Bulldogs also seem to be hitting their stride with one of the most talented rosters in the state. They have won five in a row and seven of eight after beating West Blocton and Shelby County on Jan. 6 and 7, respectively.

They also won the Maplesville holiday tournament with victories against Jemison, Thorsby and Wetumpka and currently sit at 3-0 in area play.

The Chelsea and Pelham girls have also been making names for themselves this season, and while the Hornets recently won a double-overtime game over the Panthers, both are gaining major respect.

Chelsea is now 16-4 on the season with wins in 13 of its last 15 games. The Hornets’ only losses this season are all to top 10 teams and all by 14 points or less.

Pelham has lost two of its last three games, but both were by eight points or less, and the Panthers have won seven of nine. They also punched a ticket to the championship of the Oak Mountain Invite before losing to 19-1 Homewood by eight points.

The full ASWA rankings for every classification is below:

GIRLS

CLASS 7A

  1. Hoover (20-1)
  2. Spain Park (19-2)
  3. Foley (22-2)
  4. McGill-Toolen (17-3)
  5. Theodore (18-3)
  6. Hewitt-Trussville (13-5)
  7. Austin (18-3)
  8. Gadsden City (15-5)
  9. Vestavia Hills (16-6)
  10. Auburn (13-7)

Others nominated: Grissom (10-10), Sparkman (12-11).

CLASS 6A

  1. Hazel Green (22-0)
  2. Athens (15-2)
  3. Lee-Huntsville (18-6)
  4. Carver-Birmingham (18-5)
  5. Opelika (16-5)
  6. Dothan (14-2)
  7. Eufaula (16-4)
  8. Mae Jemison (14-6)
  9. Homewood (19-1)
  10. McAdory (16-5)

Others nominated: Albertville (15-2), Carver-Montgomery (13-4), Chelsea (16-4), Clay-Chalkville (10-7), Muscle Shoals (12-7), Park Crossing (11-6), Pelham (14-4).

CLASS 5A

  1. Charles Henderson (13-0)
  2. Ramsay (15-4)
  3. Central-Tuscaloosa (14-3)
  4. Madison Academy (15-3)
  5. Pleasant Grove (13-4)
  6. East Limestone (17-2)
  7. LeFlore (16-5)
  8. Shelby Co. (14-2)
  9. Faith Academy (11-8)
  10. West Point (16-5)

Others nominated: Brewer (12-8), Jackson (15-4), Mortimer Jordan (13-8).

CLASS 4A

  1. Rogers (15-4)
  2. Greensboro (12-1)
  3. Anniston (12-3)
  4. Sipsey Valley (14-3)
  5. Priceville (12-8)
  6. Childersburg (15-3)
  7. Hokes Bluff (12-6)
  8. North Jackson (13-5)
  9. Sumter Central (6-3)
  10. Trinity (15-5)

Others nominated: Central-Florence (13-5), DAR (7-10), Handley (10-6), Headland (11-3), Montgomery Catholic (9-3), Oneonta (13-5).

CLASS 3A

  1. Pisgah (18-1)
  2. Prattville Christian (20-1)
  3. T.R. Miller (10-1)
  4. Susan Moore (16-3)
  5. Montgomery Academy (12-3)
  6. Glencoe (14-5)
  7. Lauderdale Co. (16-4)
  8. Phil Campbell (10-5)
  9. Pike Road (15-3)
  10. Midfield (10-7)

Others nominated: St. James (9-6), Straughn (13-3).

CLASS 2A

  1. Cold Springs (17-2)
  2. Collinsville (14-1)
  3. Geneva Co. (12-4)
  4. Sacred Heart (14-6)
  5. G.W. Long (13-5)
  6. Central-Hayneville (12-3)
  7. Ider (15-3)
  8. Fyffe (14-3)
  9. Sand Rock (13-6)
  10. Cedar Bluff (11-8)

Others nominated: Addison (11-1), Aliceville (11-3), Hatton (13-5), Samson (10-5).

CLASS 1A

  1. Spring Garden (18-2)
  2. Skyline (16-2)
  3. St. Luke’s (11-3)
  4. Mars Hill Bible (13-6)
  5. Loachapoka (14-7)
  6. Decatur Heritage (10-7)
  7. Phillips (7-9)
  8. Westminster-Oak Mountain 10-3)
  9. Pleasant Home (12-3)
  10. Falkville (13-5)

Others nominated: Belgreen (14-5), Brantley (8-4), Coosa Christian (9-6), Covenant Christian (10-3), Elba (11-5), Georgiana (10-4).

AISA

  1. Southern Academy (12-1)
  2. Lee-Scott (14-2)
  3. Glenwood (10-6)
  4. Patrician Academy (7-2)
  5. Monroe Academy (8-0)
  6. Springwood (11-1)
  7. Pickens Academy (7-4)
  8. Clarke Prep (10-5)
  9. Northside Methodist (11-5)
  10. Pike Liberal Arts (11-7)

Others nominated: Fort Dale Academy (7-3), Meadowview (8-5).

BOYS

CLASS 7A

  1. Mountain Brook (20-1)
  2. Lee-Montgomery (18-0)
  3. Thompson (16-6)
  4. McGill-Toolen (15-6)
  5. Hoover (16-7)
  6. Huntsville (14-7)
  7. Fairhope (13-3)
  8. Tuscaloosa Co. (16-4)
  9. Florence (13-5)
  10. Austin (15-6)

Others nominated: Bob Jones (17-4), Gadsden City (13-7), Oak Mountain (13-7), Spain Park (11-7), Sparkman (12-11).

CLASS 6A

  1. Huffman (18-2)
  2. Pinson Valley (16-3)
  3. Jemison-Huntsville (17-2)
  4. Hartselle (16-4)
  5. B.C. Rain (13-3)
  6. Lee-Huntsville (13-5)
  7. Albertville (14-3)
  8. Buckhorn (16-5)
  9. Northridge (18-4)
  10. Eufaula (14-5)

Others nominated: Baldwin Co. (13-4), Calera (11-5), Helena (16-6), Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (12-5), Homewood (13-9), Oxford (11-6).

CLASS 5A

  1. Fairfield (15-3)
  2. Woodlawn (14-5)
  3. Wenonah (13-6)
  4. East Limestone (14-5)
  5. Ramsay (12-6)
  6. Pleasant Grove (9-2)
  7. Tallassee (16-3)
  8. Briarwood (12-3)
  9. Carroll-Ozark (17-6)
  10. Guntersville (12-4)

Others nominated: Alexandria (11-3), Arab (13-6), Brewbaker Tech (12-5), Central-Tuscaloosa (12-6), Charles Henderson (12-8), Greenville (11-7), Lawrence Co. (15-3).

CLASS 4A

  1. Williamson (14-3)
  2. Sumter Central (14-3)
  3. UMS-Wright (18-3)
  4. Catholic-Montgomery (16-3)
  5. Good Hope (16-3)
  6. Talladega (12-4)
  7. Danville (13-4)
  8. Sipsey Valley (15-3)
  9. Anniston (10-6)
  10. Deshler (13-7)

Others nominated: Brooks (16-3), BTW-Tuskegee (12-4), Clarke Co. (10-4), Hillcrest-Evergreen (6-5), Jacksonville (12-3), Montevallo (12-6), White Plains (12-7).

CLASS 3A

  1. Plainview (17-3)
  2. Piedmont (13-2)
  3. Thomasville (8-1)
  4. Pike Road (14-3)
  5. Mobile Christian (15-6)
  6. Lauderdale Co. (11-6)
  7. Winfield (17-2)
  8. Slocomb (10-3)
  9. Pike Co. (9-4)
  10. Dadeville (8-4)

Others nominated: Fultondale (6-4).

CLASS 2A

  1. LaFayette (15-0)
  2. Vincent (14-2)
  3. Tanner (10-4)
  4. Calhoun (10-10)
  5. Fyffe (17-2)
  6. J.U. Blacksher (13-2)
  7. Geneva Co. (14-4)
  8. Sacred Heart (11-10)
  9. North Sand Mountain (10-6)
  10. Sand Rock (12-6)

Others nominated: Central-Coosa (6-4), Chickasaw (9-7), Luverne (11-3), Sumiton Christian (14-6).

CLASS 1A

  1. Decatur Heritage (10-6)
  2. Skyline (17-3)
  3. Spring Garden (14-1)
  4. Covenant Christian (14-1)
  5. Keith (10-6)
  6. Cornerstone-Birmingham (12-7)
  7. Brantley (11-1)
  8. Georgiana (13-5)
  9. Lanett (5-7)
  10. Lindsay Lane (14-5)

Others nominated: Belgreen (16-5), Florala (12-4), Francis Marion (11-4), Jacksonville Christian (13-4), Millry (9-3), Whitesburg Christian (12-4).

AISA

  1. Evangel Christian (15-1)
  2. Autauga Academy (4-2)
  3. Lee-Scott (13-3)
  4. Southern Academy (10-3)
  5. Glenwood (13-7)
  6. Chambers Academy (9-1)
  7. Tuscaloosa Academy (12-3)
  8. Lakeside (8-5)
  9. Hooper (11-5)
  10. Heritage Christian (12-3)

Others nominated: Pike Liberal Arts (6-7).