Note: All records are through Jan. 7
1. Forest Hills (11-1)
Previous ranking: No. 1
The Yellow Jackets have reeled off seven consecutive wins, including winning the Chesterfield High Classic, with close wins over Pageland Central, Lugoff-Elgin and Camden. Since, Forest Hills has continued with convincing wins over West Stanly (77-35 on Jan. 4) behind 18 points from Jai Rorie, 16 from Trey Belin and 12 from Asian Byrd. Two days later the Jackets polished off Piedmont 69-51 behind 16 points from Nas Tyson, 15 points and 10 rebounds from Jamylan Blakeney and 13 points from Jaleel McLaughlin.
2. Piedmont (10-5)
Previous ranking: No. 2
Piedmont dropped a pair of games at the Bobcat Classic tournament in Bluffton, but defeated Battery Creek in the finale and took down county rivals Parkwood and Sun Valley before a 69-51 loss to No. 1 Forest Hills. The Panthers got 24 points from Clemson signee Hunter Tyson in the loss to the Yellow Jackets and has been sensational all year. The Panthers will look to stay in the thick of the Southern Carolina race, but must battle their next four opponents – Weddington, Charlotte Catholic, Marvin Ridge and Monroe – all on the road.
3. Marvin Ridge (10-5)
Previous ranking: No. 3
The Mavs got going at their holiday tournament in Hilton Head, earning wins over Whale Beach and Silverside Academy. Marvin Ridge ran its win streak to three games with a 55-50 win over Weddington on Jan. 2 behind 14 points from Connor Ryan, 13 from David Vogt and 12 from Harrison Brown. The Mavs lost 57-43 to Charlotte Catholic three days later, but will look to rebound against Sun Valley and Monroe this week.
4. Monroe (5-3)
Previous ranking: No. 4
Monroe had lost two of three and faced a two week layoff before they played Cuthbertson, but beat the Cavs 52-49 after jumping out to an early lead. Deveyon Sturdivant and Salen Streater led the way with 16 points each. Three days later Monroe won its third game in its last four as they overmatched Parkwood 62-49. The Redhawks have three big tests with Charlotte Catholic, Forest Hills and Marvin Ridge next on the schedule.
5. Porter Ridge (6-7)
Previous ranking: No. 6
The Pirates have hit a little bump in the road as they’ve dropped three of their previous four contests – a stretch where they’ve allowed more than 80 points per game on defense and have been outscored 332-221. The road doesn’t get much easier in the coming weeks as they will travel to fast-charging Myers Park and host Butler and Hickory Ridge in very tough Southwestern 4A match-ups.
6. Metrolina Christian (11-10)
Previous ranking: Not ranked
After a red hot 7-1 start to the season, the Warriors have won just four of their past 13 games, but that’s more than enough to get back into the weekly rankings. They have won two of their previous three games as they closed the Orangeburg Sweet 16 holiday tournament with a win over Bethune-Bowman and knocked off Arborbrook Christian before falling to SouthLake Christian. Stars Tyler Nelson, Stephen Clark and Tate Johnson continue to impress.
7. Cuthbertson (6-9)
Previous ranking: Not ranked
The Cavs have overcome a start that saw them go just 0-4 and 2-6 to start the year and are playing well of late having won two of three. That trend continued with a hard-fought 49-46 win over Weddington where the Cavs jumped out to a 15-0 first quarter lead, but had to hold on late to overcome the Warriors’ comeback. The Cavs have Parkwood and Sun Valley before getting to some tough matchups with Monroe, Marvin Ridge, Piedmont and Charlotte Catholic in the coming weeks.
Dropped out: Sun Valley (4-7) and Weddington (6-10)