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 II power rankings heading into a loaded week of games.
1. South (9-0) - Going down to Miami and winning the Westminster Holiday Classic, South continued to roll in impressive fashion. Junior guard Taquan Simington had a breakout showing in the semifinal win, shooting a perfect 10-of-10 from the floor for a career-high 23 points. South has two City League matchups this week, as the Bulldogs head to Briggs on Tuesday before hosting No. 5 (D3) Africentric on Friday. Through the first half of the season, South's dominance at the top has been the only constant in a rather unstable Division II.
2. London (9-1) - For the first time in 270 Hoops history, London is ranked in the top three of Division II. Winners of seven-straight games, the Red Raiders have been the hottest team outside of South in D2, as the emergence of sophomore Jainaz Cameron has been huge. London can make a statement not only in the Central Buckeye Conference but in all of Division II if it can take down No. 4 Jonathan Alder on the road on Friday. Could you imagine an 11-1 London with first place in the CBC? The Red Raiders surely can.
3. DeSales (6-4) - DeSales stays right where it was last week, after knocking off Bishop Ready and fighting tough against a Kettering Fairmont team that handed Harvest Prep its first regular loss in more than a year. The Stallions still lead in the Central Catholic League and can make more headway with a win over a young and improving St. Charles team on Friday.
4. Jonathan Alder (6-3) - Alder lost its first league game of the year, falling to Kenton Ridge last weekend. Dropping to No. 4, the Pioneers have two league challenges against Indian Lake and No. 2 London in the Central Buckeye Conference this week. Expect the matchup against London to be a banger, as both teams have a great deal of talent and confidence.
5. Bishop Watterson (4-5) - Dropping a non-league game to a tough Hamilton Badin squad out of Southwest Ohio, Bishop Watterson got back on track by going up to Mansfield and knocking off St. Peter's. Watterson climbs three spots this week and can keep climbing if the Eagles take care of business against Buckeye Valley, Bishop Ready and Kettering Alter. Make no mistake, Watterson will face the toughest schedule of any team in Division II this season.
6. Bishop Hartley (5-4) - The Hawks suffered the upset of the season in the CCL by falling to St. Charles at home. With three losses in league play, Bishop Hartley is skidding and needs to get back on track. Hartley will play one game this week on the road at Linden-McKinley.
7. Bexley (8-4) - Bexley climbs a few spots after picking up quality wins over Miami Trace and St. Charles. Senior guard Nasir Tucker had the best two games of his career as Bexley improved to 8-4. The Lions will face a stiff challenge on the road this week against No. 8 (D3) Worthington Christian.
8. Granville (6-2) - The Blue Aces did what they had to do to get back into the rankings by shutting down a much improved Licking Valley team last Saturday. Granville can continue to climb if it takes down Licking Heights and Northridge in Licking County League play this week.
9. Fairfield Union (6-4) - After an up and down start to the year, Fairfield Union picked up great momentum by knocking off quality opponents in Amanda-Clearcreek and Sheridan last week. Behind the high-level play of senior Evan Conley, the Falcons will look to keep rolling with league matchups against Circleville and Liberty Union this week.
10. Centennial (5-2) - Centennial took a beating to Pickerington North on Saturday at The Challenge. The Stars get back to City League North divisional play this week, as Centennial heads to Whetstone on Tuesday before hosting Linden-McKinley on Friday. A tough road matchup at home against Dayton Stivers awaits. If Centennial is 8-2 at this point next week, look for the Stars to climb up the rankings.
|1||1||South||9-0||14||@ Briggs, vs. #5 (D3) Africentric|
|2||6||London||9-1||vs. Northwestern, @ #4 Jonathan Alder|
|3||3||DeSales||6-4||7||vs. Highland, vs. St. Charles|
|4||2||Jonathan Alder||6-3||vs. Indian Lake, vs. #2 London|
|5||8||Bishop Watterson||4-5||3||vs. Buckeye Valley, @ Bishop Ready, vs. Kettering Alter|
|6||4||Bishop Hartley||5-4||5||@ Linden-McKinley|
|7||9||Bexley||8-4||4||@ #8 (D3) Worthington Christian|
|8||NR||Granville||6-2||1||@ Licking Heights, vs. Northridge|
|9||NR||Fairfield Union||6-4||3||@ Circleville, vs. Liberty Union|
|10||10||Centennial||5-2||1||@ Whetstone, vs. Linden-McKinley, vs. Dayton Stivers|