Conference Preview

Posted On: 01/19/16 9:38 AM

Another week of the boys basketball season is in the books, and there’s plenty to discuss for the top 25 teams for the Cleveland/Akron area. See who rose and fell below.

Check back every Monday for the newest rankings (last week’s rankings in parentheticals).

1. St. Ignatius (1)

Record: 9-2

The Wildcats were nearly knocked from the top spot but found a way to outlast a pesky Walsh Jesuit team in overtime. The first of potentially three meetings with St. Edward now lies ahead.

Last week: Defeated Cardinal Mooney and Walsh Jesuit

First game: Jan. 22 at No. 4 St. Edward, Jan. 23 at Berea-Midpark

2. St. Vincent-St. Mary (2)

Record: 11-2

Since losing to St. Ignatius on New Year’s Eve the Irish have reeled off a series of quality wins, including victories over Thurgood Marshall and Cincinnati Roger Bacon last week. Senior Henry Baddley was one of the top performers at Flyin to the Hoop this past weekend.

Last week: Defeated Thurgood Marshall and Cincinnati Roger Bacon.

This week: Jan. 23 vs. New Concord John Glenn

3. Garfield Heights (3)

Record: 12-2

The Bulldogs’ second loss of the season came after hanging tight with national power Huntington Prep most of the game. Senior Frankie Hughes averaged 18.5 ppg last week.

Last week: Defeated Akron Garfield, lost to Huntington Prep

This week: Jan. 21 vs. No. 10 Cleveland Central Catholic, Jan. 24 vs. La Lumiere (Ind.)

4. St. Edward (5)

Record: 8-4

The Eagles had one of the more impressive wins of the week by trouncing Lorain at home. It’s the balance of the Eagles lineup that makes them so difficult to deal with.

Last week: Defeated Lorain and Cathedral Prep (Pa.), lost to Neumann-Goretti (Pa.)

This week: Jan. 22 vs. No. 1 St. Ignatius, Jan. 24 at Green

5. Archbishop Hoban (6)

Record: 11-1

It’s now 11 wins in a row for the streaking Knights. Senior Anthony Christian has been the team’s top scorer, but this squad already has six players who have scored 100 points this season.

Last week: Defeated Gilmour and Padua

This week: Jan. 19 vs. Western Reserve Academy, Jan. 22 at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin

6. Beachwood (7)

Record: 12-1

Two more wins has Beachwood to a dozen already, but the Bisons will have their mettle tested this week with a trip to East Tech. The team will look to ride senior Desmond Crosby, who is coming off a couple of 20+ nights.

Last week: Defeated Chagrin Falls and Bechtel

First game: Jan. 22 at West Geauga, Jan. 23 at No. 8 East Tech

7. Lorain (4)

Record: 9-2

It’s probably no coincidence that the team’s two losses this past week coincided with an injury to senior Daviere Andrews. The Titans can hold their hat on the fact that they haven’t lost with a full healthy lineup.

Last week: Defeated Clearview, lost to then-No. 5 St. Edward and then-No. 12 Bedford

This week: Jan. 19 vs. Medina, Jan. 23 at Cleveland Heights

8. East Tech (9)

Record: 10-3

As usual, East Tech is cleaning up in the Senate League, but we finally get to see a real test this week when the Scarabs host Beachwood. East Tech has won a Northeast Ohio-best 26 consecutive home games.

Last week: Defeated John Adams and John Hay

This week: Jan. 19 vs. Cleveland MLK, Jan. 22 at John Marshall, Jan. 23 vs. No. 6 Beachwood

9. Benedictine (10)

Record: 9-2

The Bengals added three wins this past week, including a victory against Villa Angela-St. Joseph. A tough weekend lies ahead that should really test this team.

Last week: Defeated University School, Lake Catholic and then-No. 16 Villa Angela-St. Joseph

This week: Jan. 19 vs. Revere, Jan. 22 vs. Walsh Jesuit, Jan. 23 at Holy Name

10. Cleveland Central Catholic (11)

Record: 8-3

The Ironmen did what they needed to do grab a tough road win at St. Thomas Aquinas. A showdown with Garfield Heights awaits this wee.

Last week: Defeated St. Thomas Aquinas

This week: Jan. 21 at No. 3 Garfield Heights, Jan. 22 vs. Youngstown Valley Christian

11. Bedford (12)

Record: 10-4

Bedford got a much-needed confidence booster by riding a Daron Faulkner buzzer-beater to a home win against Lorain. The win gave the team a six-game win streak that lasted until a loss against a Pennsylvania power this past weekend.

Last week: Defeated Cornerstone Christian and Lorain, lost to First Love Christian Academy (Pa.)

First game: Jan. 22 at Maple Heights

12. Medina (8)

Record: 11-3

A string of three tough road games lied ahead for an up-and-down Medina squad. The team will need a rolling Jon Teske to stay hot and create mismatches going forward.

Last week: Defeated then-No. 19 Mentor, lost to Elyria

This week: Jan. 19 at No. 7 Lorain, Jan. 22 vs. Solon

13. Brunswick (13)

Record: 11-3

Four-straight double-digit victories are a nice way to bounce back form a road loss to Medina. The Blue Devils have a balanced lineup with four different players averaging double-figures in scoring.

Last week: Defeated Strongsville, Shaker Heights and Coventry.

This week: Jan. 22 vs. No. 22 Mentor, Jan. 24 vs. No. 14 Walsh Jesuit

14. Walsh Jesuit (14)

Record: 9-3

The Warriors had the most impressive loss of the week by pushing St. Ignatius to overtime before eventually falling. Senior Mitch Peterson had 18 points in the loss.

Last week: Defeated NDCL, lost to No. 1 St. Ignatius.

This week: Jan. 19 at Gilmour, Jan. 22 at No. 9 Benedictine, Jan. 24 vs. No. 13 Brunswick

15. Elyria (NR)

Record: 8-4

After losing three of four games at the end of December, the Pioneers have been red-hot. Leading the way is senior Blake Furcron, who has hit the 30-point mark in two of his last three games.

Last week: Defeated then-No. 8 Medina, Solon and Elyria Catholic

First game: Jan. 22 at Euclid

16. Villa Angela-St. Joseph (16)

Record: 9-3

A couple of quality Division IV opponents on the schedule mean that the Vikings are in for a tough week. Senior Sherman Dean III is having one of the better under-the-radar seasons this year.

Last week: Defeated Trinity, lost to then-No. 10 Benedictine

This week: Jan. 22 at St. Thomas Aquinas, Jan. 23 vs. Cornerstone Christian

17. Brecksville (17)

Record: 11-1

The Bees escaped an upset bid with a narrow road win at Hudson. Another road test awaits Breckskville this week.

Last week: Defeated Hudson

This week: Jan. 22 at Cuyahoga Falls

18. Copley (20)

Record: 11-0

The lone local undefeated trounced its two opponents last week. Now a few tricky road games await on the schedule.

Last week: Defeated Nordonia and Twinsburg

This week: Jan. 19 at Woodbridge, Jan. 22 at Barberton

19. North Olmsted (15)

Record: 10-3

After getting roughed up at home by Midview last week, North Olmsted has something to prove this week. A few road games will test the Eagles.

Last week: Defeated Avon Lake, lost to Midview

First game: Jan. 19 at Avon, Jan. 22 at Westlake

20. Bay (23)

Record: 9-2

Josh Koz is having a great season for Bay, as he’s averaging well over 20 ppg. He’ll look to keep things rolling for Bay, which has a couple of home tilts this week.

Last week: Defeated Parma

This week: Jan. 19 vs. Vermilion, Jan. 23 vs Lakewood

21. CVCA (25)

Record: 8-2

Nate Peters is providing the offensive punch CVCA needs to score just enough to support its stellar defense. Few teams do it better defensively than the Royals.

Last week: Defeated Akron Manchester and Streetsboro

This week: Jan. 19 at Indian Valley, Jan. 22 vs. Triway

22. Mentor (19)

Record: 8-5

Two more league games await a struggling Mentor squad. The Cardinals can’t seem to pick up big wins in conference play.

Last week: Lost to then-No. 8 Medina

This week: Jan. 19 vs. Shaker Heights, Jan. 22 at No. 13 Brunswick

23. Cleveland Heights (18)

Record: 4-8

As we sit in mid-January, it just has not come together yet for the Tigers. The schedule is absurdly difficult, but Cleveland Heights is just not winning enough games.

Last week: Defeated then-No. 21 Warrensville Heights, lost to North Canton Hoover and Dublin Coffman

This week: Jan. 15 at No. 21 Warrensville Heights

24. Orange (NR)

Record: 9-2

Orange has won eight of its last nine games and is starting to clean up in conference play. Two more winnable games lie ahead on the schedule this week.

Last week: Defeated Perry

This week: Jan. 19 at Aurora, Jan. 22 vs. Chagrin Falls

25. Midview (NR)

Record: 10-4

Jacob Wells is having a big year for Midview and has scored in double-figures in all but one game this season. They’ll need him for a few conference games this week.

Last week: Defeated North Ridgeville and then-No. 15 North Olmsted

This week: Jan. 19 at Amherst, Jan. 22 vs. Avon

Dropped out: Warrensville Heights, Glenville and Mogadore