Natchitoches Central keeps their top spot in The Times’ Dirty Dozen boys high school basketball poll, but not many others kept their same positions in the second rollout of the rankings.
Lakeview, whom the author mistakenly left out of the area rankings the first week, shoots up to No. 4 as the biggest move in the second week. Captain Shreve makes its entry at No. 7 after winning the Bossier High Invitational, part of a five-game streak.
1. Natchitoches Central (19-3): The Chiefs remain No. 1 after winning three of four games in the prestigious All-State Sugar Bowl Prep Classic in New Orleans. Central starts 2-5A play this week as the favorite after winning the Class 5A championship this past season. Last rank: No. 1
2. Southwood (17-4, 2-0): The Cowboys may have had a rough Bossier High Invitational, but Southwood responded with three wins, including a thrashing of a BTW team that had beaten them earlier. Last rank: No. 3.
3. Arcadia (17-3, 2-0): The Hornets went 2-2 in the Sugar Bowl classic, but they own this spot mainly because of a 14-point win over No. 4 Lakeview and a two-point loss to No. 1 Natchitoches Central. Key 1-1A District week upcoming when they host Grambling and travel to Plain Dealing. Last rank: No. 7
4. Lakeview (15-5, 2-0): The Gators have had their own battles, but winning at North Caddo puts you here. Tay Hardy and Arcadia’s Eric Brown are early All-Area Player of the Year contenders along with Natchitoches Central’s starting lineup.
5. North Caddo (19-2, 1-1): The Rebels miss star guard Kadavion Evans, who isn’t expected to return until a Feb. 3 trip at Lakeview. A five-point loss to Lakeview actually showed how versatile they are, and they’ll likely be higher after his return. Last rank: No. 2.
6. Byrd (15-4, 1-0): The Yellow Jackets did nothing to hurt their stock, but they’ll have plenty of moving opportunities once they get into district play. Chad Lott and Co. head to No. 7 Captain Shreve on Friday. Last rank: No. 4
7. Captain Shreve (12-9, 1-0): The Gators turned their season around by winning the Bossier High Invitational and are victors of five straight. They might have the most losses of any team in the ranking, but they also have the most momentum because their victories came against quality opponents. Last rank: N/A
8. Parkway (15-7, 1-1): The Panthers are losers of their last three, and they must take care of business inside Bossier Parish this week against Airline and Haughton. Last rank: No. 5.
9. Evangel (16-7, 1-0): The Eagles started District 1-3A play by knocking off North Webster, adding that to wins against Lakeview, BTW and a split with Minden. A trip to BTW is crucial to keep it going. Last rank: No. 6.
10. Fair Park (12-7, 2-0): The Indians were the hardest team to rank, and they might be under-ranked here. They’ve beaten Evangel and Byrd and hung tough in losses to Lakeview, Ouachita and North Caddo. If they beat No. 11 Minden and Huntington this week, they are primed to move. Last rank: No. 8
11. Minden (15-6, 2-0): Correction, Minden just might be the hardest to evaluate. The Tide have won nine straight contests and piled up 15 wins, but their bests wins include an Evangel split, Airline and Loyola. Win at Fair Park and beat Loyola again, and the Tide are in the top 10. Last rank: No. 12
12. Bossier (7-8, 1-0): Sometimes records just have to be ignored. The Bearkats kept their lengthy district winning streak alive by beating a solid BTW by 18, and they’ve had close losses to teams like Byrd, Parkway and Shreve. Last rank: No. 10.
Baker’s Dozen: BTW (13-5, 0-1): The Lions have lost their last three, but this team is still a threat in a deep District 1-3A. Last rank: No. 9.