Good luck to all on this Friday the 13th!
The most widely viewed high school poll, developed by the Minnesota Basketball News and distributed by the AP, came out yesterday. But they're not the only rankings. Breakdown Sports published theirs last Sunday, while the QRF ratings were published at www.minnesota-scores.net, also yesterday (Thursday). Gary Knox's ratings at gPrep.net aren't dated and I have a feeling his are more than a week old, but they're included here. Mine are brand new today. Here is my take on Class AAAA. I might get to the other classes and I might not.
1. Hopkins 14-0. Doh. It's hard to picture the Royals losing but, hey, Lakeville North almost did it. A loss a week from today at DeLaSalle is a possibility, I suppose, as is a road loss in the fiendishly tough Lake Conference. Still, they're unanimously rated #1, as they should be, as they still appear to be a lead-pipe cinch for the #1AAAA seed at state.
It gets interesting from there.
2. Edina 13-0. The Hornets are rated everywhere from #2 to #4. MBN seems more geared toward rewarding teams for their caliber of play today, and Edina is playing terrific ball, even with Mary McGrory out. The Breakdown seems to have an eye on the future and who has the potential to do best in the post-season, and therefore has Kennedy and Eden Prairie #2 and #3.
3. Eden Prairie 11-2. Lost only to Hopkins and Kennedy. Sometimes it feels like they're going 2-against-5. Range is from #3 to #6.
4. Bloomington Kennedy 10-2. Will the real Eagles please stand up? The team that lost to Wayzata and Richfield? Or the one that handled EP and Lakeville North? Range is from #2 to #7.
5. Wayzata 12-1. Lost to White Bear Lake, beat Kennedy. Like EP, a 2-tent pole team. Range is from #2 to #5.
6. Osseo 10-3. Total is less than the sum of the parts so far with surprise losses to Coon Rapids and Cooper. I am Osseo's best friend as other ratings range from #8 tie to #11. The talent is there, it will find its way to the same page.
7. Lakeville North 7-6. What's more surprising, that the Panthers are 7-6 or that they 7-6 and rated #5 and #7 by 2 of us. But the losses are to Hopkins, Edina, Eden Prairie and Kennedy plus Eastview and Providence. Deep talent in search of an identity and Andy Berkvam will find it.
8. Minnetonka 11-2. A surprise to me, at least, though the loss to Buffalo was a surprise of the bad kind. Getting a lot of mileage out of the available talent, not that it isn't a nice, deep pool but like Lakeville North it seems to lack a central identity unless it's just mind-numbing consistency running its patterns and playing solid position basketball, spacing the floor correctly and doing all the little things. Ratings range from #5 to #8.
9. Roseville 11-2. There's a huge gap between #6-7-8 and #9. The Raiders may or may not be the best team in the Suburban East, time will tell. But they've got a go-to in Jackie Poss. Ratings range from #9 to #15.
10. Chanhassan 10-2. A program on the rise, a very possible Missota champion this year. Lost only to Kennedy and Hill-Murray. Ratings range from #6 (MBN)(!) to outside of the top 15.
11. White Bear Lake 8-6. Has struggled this year--especially, with Alexis Foley out they've really struggled to score some points. Even with Foley, they've struggled to score as a reliable #2 hasn't stepped up. Tarah Hobbs might be it, but she's been hurt too. The point of this #11 is the Bears will be back, assuming the injury bug flies off to new pastures. Tuesday Foley scored 19 and Hobbs 4 in 65-52 win over Woodbury, so all may be returning to normal soon. Ratings range from #8 to out of the top 15.
12. St. Paul Central 8-5. A young team that has played everybody and therefore has taken some lumps--but, hey, from Lakeville North, DeLaSalle, Hopkins, Benilde and Osseo. No shame in that. Betsy McDonald is the poor man's Grace Coughlin. Ratings range from #11 to out of the top 15.
13. Buffalo 11-3. Got on the radar with a win over Roseville. Lost only to Chanhassan and Wayzata among Minnesota teams. Ratings rang from #7 to outside the top 15.
14. Mounds View 10-3. Lost to Kennedy, Braham, Roseville. Could still be the best of the east metro. Ratings range from #13 to outside of the top 15.
15. Eastview 9-4. Reloading. Lost to White Bear, Hopkins, Kennedy, Minnetonka. The next star of the East(view) is freshman Maddie Guebbert.
Also receiving votes: Robbinsdale Cooper, Prior Lake, Maple Grove are rated in one top 15 or other. Cooper is a 2-tent pole team, Maple Grove has 1-tent pole, and Prior Lake's would-be tent-pole, Molly Simpkins, is pretty much hobbling around on bad knees. So I'm in wait-and-see mode on these 3.