Note: Records are through Feb. 4
1. Forest Hills (20-2)
Previous ranking: No. 1
The Yellow Jackets loss to Concord First Assembly seems like ages ago. Since that defeat, they have been simply dominant. Forest Hills has won six straight and crossed the 20-win plateau for the fourth consecutive season. During their six-game win streak, only Monroe has come within 12 points of a win. In a Jan. 31 win over East Montgomery, guard Jai Rorie scored his 1,000th career point, and all is going well for the Yellow Jackets as they enter the final stages of the regular season.
2. Marvin Ridge (17-5)
Previous ranking: No. 2
The Mavs are riding an impressive seven-game win streak and they seem to only be playing better as it rolls along. Marvin Ridge’s first five games of the streak were all wins decided by seven points or less, but they have blown out Weddington and Sun Valley since. Garrett Bohanon (19 points, six assists), Harrison Brown (13 points, five rebounds) and Connor Ryan (11 points, five rebounds and four steals) led the way in the 69-47 win over Weddington on Jan. 30. David Vogt had 11 points and Brown added 10 three days later as the Mavs routed Sun Valley 55-42.
3. Piedmont (15-7)
Previous ranking: No. 3
The Panthers continue to hang around in the Southern Carolinas conference, but trail Marvin Ridge by two games and Charlotte Catholic by three, so they will finish no better than second in the league. Still, they have won four straight games and are playing very well as of late. In their most recent win – a 73-51 victory over Weddington – Clemson
commit Hunter Tyson poured in a game-high 23 points and Camden Baucum added 12 to lead 11 Panthers who scored. That kind of depth is exactly what this team needs as they enter the final couple regular season games.
4. Monroe (9-9)
Previous ranking: No. 4
The Redhawks have been a bit of an enigma this year. They have an elite scorer in sophomore Salen Streeter and can play with anyone – as a three-point loss on Jan. 27 to powerhouse Forest Hills indicates – but they have been very up and down this year. Monroe has wrapped up the No. 4 seed in the Southern Carolinas conference, but are just 4-6 over the past 10 games. They had won two straight before losing 42-30 to Charlotte Catholic on Feb. 2. The Redhawks close the regular season on Feb. 9 at Parkwood.
5. Metrolina Christian (16-14)
Previous ranking: No. 5
Much like Monroe, the Warriors were a little hard to figure out for much of the year. However, they have turned the corner down the stretch and have won four of their last five entering the Metrolina Athletic Conference tournament. The Warriors showed their toughness Jan. 30 in a 50-49 win over SouthLake Christian behind Tate Johnson (18 points), Tyler Nelson (11 points and 12 rebounds) and Stephen Clark (11 points and five rebounds). Three days later, the Warrior offense came alive in an 80-60 win over Gaston Christian behind Johnson (20 points) and Nelson (12 points, 14 rebounds and a career high eight assists), who led five players in double figures.
6. Union Academy (12-9)
Previous ranking: Not ranked
The Cardinals jump into the Super 7 after putting together a three-game win streak and winning eight of their previous 11 games. They handed Community School of Davidson its first conference loss in a 69-63 victory on Jan. 30 behind a career high 30 points from sophomore Jalen Anderson and solid performances from Cameron Phronebarger (17 points and nine rebounds) and Daniel Hastoy (10 points and seven assists). The Cardinals close the regular season with home games against Queen’s Grant and Bradford Prep.
7. Porter Ridge (10-11)
Previous ranking: No. 6
The Southwestern 4A is one of the state’s toughest basketball conferences and the Pirates have more than held their own, winning four of their past six to secure the No. 5 spot in the league standings. The Pirates most recently lost to Rocky River 102-76 on Feb. 2, but were led by Josh Massey, who scored 19 points, Jide Huntley and Cameron Stitt who tallied 18 each and Kelsey Franklin, who scored 14. Prior to the loss the Rocky River, the Pirates had won two of three after beating Garinger 54-48 on Jan. 30 and blowing out CATA 78-28 the following night.
Dropped out: Sun Valley