COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Six full weeks into the high school basketball season, the area's top competitors are rounding into form. Let's take a look at our latest Division I power rankings heading into a loaded week of games.
1. Pickerington Central (9-0) - The Tigers remain at the top spot, as Pickerington Central made quick work of Grove City in its only game last week. This week presents a bigger challenge, as Central will head on the road three times this week, taking on Westerville South on Tuesday, No. 12 Gahanna on Friday and Eastmoor Academy on Saturday. The eligibility of senior transfers Jay Rodgers and Sam Towns remains up in the air following the Gahanna game on Friday, which will have a huge impact on the rest of the Tigers' season.
2. Hilliard Bradley (9-0) - The Jags made a statement this past weekend, handing out losses to No. 5 Walnut Ridge and No. 8 Delaware Hayes, who both entered last week at 7-1. Bradley has the area's most dominant defense and have received big showings from junior Matt Allocco in each big game to start the year. This week presents a lighter load, as road matchups at Dublin Scioto and Hilliard Darby are on the schedule.
3. Dublin Coffman (9-0) - Rolling at 9-0, the Rocks have yet to be challenged this year. All of that changes this week as Coffman hits the road to take on No. 4 Pickerington North and No. 7 Upper Arlington this week. If Coffman is 12-0 this time next week, the Rocks will have officially made its case to be considered the top team in the area.
4. Pickerington North (8-1) - The young Panthers continue to impress, as Pickerington North seems to grow with each game. We'll see just how ready North's young talent is as it will host a veteran No. 3 Dublin Coffman squad on Tuesday. If North wins that matchup, the Panthers will have officially staked its claim as a legitimate regional contender.
5. Olentangy Liberty (7-2) - Ben Roderick has been the most dominant player in the area as Olentangy Liberty is rolling at 7-2. The Patriots picked up its best win of the season on Saturday by rolling over Huber Heights Wayne, who opened up its season by taking down Upper Arlington. While Roderick is good for 30+ points each night, its the supporting cast around him who has really helped Liberty turn into a top five team.
6. Walnut Ridge (7-2) - The Scots met its match on Saturday in a 54-44 loss to Hilliard Bradley. With its offense stalling out and Von Cameron Davis being held to a season-low 11 points, Walnut Ridge was just the latest victim of the Bradley buzzsaw. However, look for Walnut Ridge to bounce back in a big way this week as it will host division rivals Africentric and Eastmoor. We expect Davis to put up monster numbers and the Scots to get back to business quickly.
7. Upper Arlington (7-1) - Surviving a slugfest against Eastmoor on Saturday, Upper Arlington continued to roll without Max Martz. The Golden Bears will face two sharp shooting offenses this week in Olentangy and No. 3 Dublin Coffman. If Upper Arlington can take down Coffman without Martz, the Golden Bears will feel really good about its chances going forward when the Penn signee returns to the lineup.
8. Delaware Hayes (7-2) - Many had Hilliard Bradley on upset alert when Delaware Hayes came to town last Friday. Unfortunately for the Pacers, its high scoring offense was held to a season-low 46 points in the frustrating loss. Hayes can get back to its winning ways with home league matchups against Dublin Jerome and Olentangy Berlin this week.
9. Newark (10-1) - Leading the area in wins, Newark has been outstanding through the first half of the season, as five more points against Reynoldsburg would have them at 11-0. The Wildcats will hit the road this week, taking on former OCC-Ohio league rival Grove City before Friday's showdown at undefeated Canal Winchester. Riding a 24-game win streak in the OCC-Capital, the Wildcats face its stiffest challenge since a Groveport group led by Lony Francis in 2016-17.
10. Reynoldsburg (8-3) - Dropping another big game last week against Pickerington North, Reynoldsburg rebounded with a road win at Zanesville. The Raiders have a favorable schedule this week, as Reynoldsburg will host New Albany and Lancaster.
11. Hilliard Davidson (7-2) - The closest team in terms of style to Hilliard Bradley, crosstown Davidson is enjoying some moderate success so far. The Wildcats have two tough matchups at home this week, as No. 15 Olentangy Orange and Marysville come to town before next week's highly anticipated rematch against Dublin Coffman. The return of junior 6-foot-5 big man Gage Keys adds another element to Davidson's roster, which was already the biggest in the area without him.
12. Gahanna (8-2) - Struggling to put away inferior opponents in Linden-McKinley and Lancaster last week, Gahanna falls from the No. 9 spot. The Lions are young and still unproven, but can make a major splash if they are able to at least split with No. 1 Pickerington Central and No. 5 Olentangy Liberty this week. This could be a week where the legend of Sean Jones is born.
13. Canal Winchester (9-0) - Left out of the state football playoffs despite a 9-1 season and off to a 9-0 basketball season that has gone a bit under the radar, Canal Winchester should feel disrespected. The Indians can make a major statement this week if they are able to defeat Chillicothe and No. 9 Newark at home. Canal has a chance to become the first team in the OCC-Capital to beat Newark since the Wildcats joined the conference in 2016.
14. Thomas Worthington (8-2) - Greatly improving from last season's 5-18 campaign, Thomas Worthington's group of young talent is gelling at the right time. As sophomores Jalen Sullinger and Isaac Settles have taken major leaps in year two, the Cardinals have turned into a force. Winnable league matchups against Hilliard Darby and Worthington Kilbourne await this week.
15. Olentangy Orange (7-3) - Olentangy Orange won a road rivalry nail biter on Friday, as a game-winning free throw with 3.4 seconds to go propelled the Pioneers over Olentangy. At 7-3, Orange is off to a great start and can add to that by taking down No. 11 Hilliard Davidson and Westerville North this week.
|1||1||Pickerington Central||9-0||14||@ Westerville South, @ #12 Gahanna, @ Eastmoor|
|2||2||Hilliard Bradley||9-0||10||@ Dublin Scioto, @ Hilliard Darby|
|3||3||Dublin Coffman||9-0||5||@ #4 Pickerington North, @ #7 Upper Arlington, vs. Toledo Scott|
|4||4||Pickerington North||8-1||10||vs. #3 Dublin Coffman, @ Grove City|
|5||6||Olentangy Liberty||7-2||9||vs. #12 Gahanna, vs. Olentangy|
|6||5||Walnut Ridge||7-2||8||vs. #5 (D3) Africentric, vs. Eastmoor|
|7||7||Upper Arlington||7-1||5||vs. Olentangy, vs. #3 Dublin Coffman|
|8||8||Delaware Hayes||7-2||2||vs. Dublin Jerome, vs. Olentangy Berlin|
|9||11||Newark||10-1||4||@ Grove City, @ #13 Canal Winchester|
|10||10||Reynoldsburg||8-3||7||vs. New Albany, vs. Lancaster|
|11||12||Hilliard Davidson||7-2||3||vs. #15 Olentangy Orange, vs. Marysville|
|12||9||Gahanna||8-2||2||@ #5 Olentangy Liberty, vs. #1 Pickerington Central, @ Mifflin|
|13||13||Canal Winchester||9-0||vs. Chillicothe, vs. #9 Newark|
|14||15||Thomas Worthington||8-2||2||vs. Hilliard Darby, @ Worthington Kilbourne|
|15||14||Olentangy Orange||7-3||4||@ #11 Hilliard Davidson, vs. Westerville North|
Tag(s): Home Conferences Columbus City League South Walnut Ridge Ohio Capital Conference Buckeye Olentangy Liberty Olentangy Orange Capital Canal Winchester Newark Cardinal Delaware Hayes Hilliard Bradley Thomas Worthington Central Dublin Coffman Hilliard Davidson Upper Arlington Ohio Gahanna Pickerington Central Pickerington North Reynoldsburg