Shaker Heights the new No. 1 in cleveland.com boys basketball Top 25 for week of Feb. 17, 2014 (poll)
By David Cassilo and Tim Bielik, Northeast Ohio Media Group on February 17, 2014 11 a.m.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — With just one week to go before the final cleveland.com boys basketball Top 25, there is change at the top. Shaker Heights has grabbed the No. 1 spot for this first time all season.
The Raiders beat then-No. 1 St. Edward this past Tuesday in a week that saw movement all over the poll due to upsets galore.
Each Monday at 11 a.m., the cleveland.com high school sports team will release its updated poll.
First, a promo to a special event tonight.
TONIGHT: Live playoff party show at Harry Buffalo
Fans are invited to come to the NEO Varsity Insider’s live High School Basketball Playoff Preview video show tonight at the Harry Buffalo in downtown Cleveland (2120 East 4th Street). More than 25 boys and girls teams will be in attendance and on set during the live show: 6-7:30 for boys and 7:30-9 for girls. Cavs and Monsters tickets will be raffled off and everyone in attendance is eligible for the prizes. If you can’t make it watch the live video broadcast at cleveland.com starting at 6. See more details about the cleveland.com event here.
And don’t miss our talking points post, which explains our Top 25 decisions, and is posted every Monday as well.
Here is the cleveland.com boys basketball Top 25. In the comments let us know how they compare with your picks.
(Records through Sunday. Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)
1. Shaker Heights, 17-4 (2)
Last week: Defeated then-No. 1 St. Edward and then-No. 5 Medina.
This week: Friday vs. No. 25 Brunswick.
The Raiders look to finish the season on a high note after a week to remember. Their two wins this past week give them the No. 1 ranking and the driver’s seat in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division.
2. St. Edward, 17-2 (1)
Last week: Defeated then-No. 4 Central Catholic, lost to then-No. 2 Shaker Heights.
This week: Thursday at No. 3 Villa Angela-St. Joseph, Saturday vs. Firestone.
Last week’s game against Shaker Heights wasn’t the Eagles’ only loss of the week. Derek Funderburk is out for the season with a broken foot, which is a big blow to St. Edward’s depth.
3. Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 14-6 (3)
Last week: Defeated St. Thomas Aquinas and then-No. 8 St. Ignatius.
This week: Thursday vs. No. 2 St. Edward, Friday vs. No. 7 Central Catholic.
Carlton Bragg returned from his broken toe and helped lead the Vikings to two wins this past weekend. Thursday’s game against St. Edward is one of the best local games of the season.
4. Berea-Midpark, 17-2 (6)
Last week: Defeated North Olmsted.
This week: Monday at Westlake, Tuesday vs. Richmond Heights, Friday vs. No. 18 Olmsted Falls.
In its first season of existence, Berea-Midpark is one conference win away from winning the Southwestern Conference championship outright. Alex Brown and Nolan Gerrity have been one of the best duos in Northeast Ohio.
5. Medina, 16-4 (5)
Last week: Defeated Elyria, lost to then-No. 2 Shaker Heights.
This week: Tuesday at Wadsworth, Thursday at No. 13 Mentor.
A close loss to Shaker Heights this past Friday likely means no conference title for the Bees, but the team can accomplish bigger and better things in the postseason.
6. St. Ignatius, 13-6 (8)
Last week: Defeated then-No. 17 Glenville and then-No. 19 Cleveland Heights, lost to then-No. 3 Villa Angela-St. Joseph.
This week: Wednesday vs. Lincoln West, Friday vs. Youngstown East, Saturday at Benedictine.
The Wildcats went 2-1 against three teams ranked in the Top 20 of the poll. Their reward is a lighter schedule until the postseason.
7. Central Catholic, 14-6 (4)
Last week: Defeated Warren JFK, lost to Holy Name and then-No. 1 St. Edward.
This week: Friday at No. 3 Villa Angela-St. Joseph.
Few teams had as frustrating a week as the Ironmen. They were upset by Holy Name and then saw a win against St. Edward slip out from under them. A win over the Vikings on Friday would give them some much needed momentum heading into the postseason.
8. St. Vincent-St. Mary, 11-9 (7)
Last week: Defeated Youngstown Ursuline.
This week: Tuesday at North Canton Hoover, Friday at Canton McKinley.
The Irish have quite a strong resume heading into the final full week of the regular season. Wins over Shaker Heights, Villa Angela-St. Joseph and Dayton Thurgood Marshall prove St. Vincent-St. Mary is better than its record indicates.
9. Beachwood, 19-2 (9)
Last week: Defeated Cuyahoga Heights, Independence and Cardinal.
This week: Wednesday vs. No. 17 Lake Catholic.
Few teams are as hot as the Bison, which has won 11 straight games. However, with most of those games against lesser competition, Wednesday will be a big indicator of how good Beachwood is.
10. North Royalton, 18-1 (10)
Last week: Defeated Hudson and Valley Forge.
This week: Tuesday at Strongsville, Friday vs. Parma.
North Royalton won’t have much of a chance to boost its stock heading into the tournament. But the Bears are the only one-loss team left in the poll, which counts for a lot.
11. Warrensville Heights, 12-7 (14)
Last week: Defeated Maple Heights and then-No. 13 East Tech.
This week: Tuesday at No. 20 Cleveland Heights, Wednesday vs. Cleveland JFK, Friday at Lorain.
Tuesday’s game is a big one, as the only chance that Warrensville Heights has of gaining a share of the Lake Erie League title is with a win over Cleveland Heights.
12. East Tech, 16-4 (13)
Last week: Defeated Canton GlenOak, lost to then-No. 14 Warrensville Heights.
This week: Friday at Barberton.
Despite East Tech’s loss at a relentless Warrensville Heights, the Scarabs moved up with the drastic shakeups within the last 15 spots of the poll.
13. Mentor, 11-10 (16)
Last week: Defeated John Hay and Strongsville.
This week: Thursday vs. No. 5 Medina.
Thursday’s game is about more than just finishing the regular season with a .500 record. A win over Medina will show the Cardinals are a real threat to make another deep run in the postseason.
14. Garfield Heights, 13-7 (11)
Last week: Defeated Brush, lost to then-No. 21 Brunswick.
This week: Tuesday vs. Martin Luther King, Friday at Strongsville.
Despite losing to Brunswick, the Bulldogs have an emerging young scorer in sophomore Frankie Hughes. He can give Garfield Heights a third scorer on the perimeter to go along with Vonte Montgomery and Willie Jackson.
15. Gilmour, 16-3 (15)
Last week: Defeated Hawken, lost to then-No. 25 Archbishop Hoban.
This week: Tuesday at Highland, Thursday vs. University School, Friday at West Geauga.
The Lancers have three more tune-ups before entering a tough Garfield Heights district in the postseason that might require them to beat Warrensville Heights, Beachwood and Villa Angela-St. Joseph.
16. Glenville, 12-4 (17)
Last week: Lost to then-No. 8 St. Ignatius.
This week: Tuesday at Brecksville-Broadview Heights.
The Tarblooders have just four losses all season, all to teams still ranked in the Top 25. One week after getting his offer from Akron, Jimond Ivey made his oral commitment to play for the Zips.
17. Lake Catholic, 15-4 (20)
Last week: Defeated Jefferson and Padua.
This week: Wednesday at No. 9 Beachwood, Friday at Walsh Jesuit.
The Cougars are testing themselves to close the season with two tough road games. A sweep this week will solidify the Cougars as a force in the Division II playoffs.
18. Olmsted Falls, 16-5 (12)
Last week: Lost to Avon Lake and Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.
This week: Friday at No. 4 Berea-Midpark.
The Bulldogs are limping to the finish line, with three losses in their last four games, all to unranked teams. They can salvage things if they defeat Berea-Midpark in a potential district semifinal preview.
19. Stow, 16-4 (22)
Last week: Defeated Massillon and Brush.
This week: Friday at Solon.
The Bulldogs have rattled off five wins a row and continue to climb up the rankings. Their low-scoring, defensive style will make them a tough team for anyone to play in the postseason.
20. Cleveland Heights, 12-7 (19)
Last week: Defeated Shaw and Benedictine, lost to then-No. 8 St. Ignatius.
This week: Tuesday vs. No. 13 Warrensville Heights, Friday at Warren G. Harding.
Cleveland Heights can clinch the Lake Erie League championship outright by beating Warrensville Heights on Tuesday. Marcus Bagley had one of the big nights of the season last week, scoring 47 points against Shaw.
21. Lakewood, 18-3 (23)
Last week: Defeated Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Midview.
This week: Friday vs. Rocky River.
This past Tuesday’s win over Brecksville-Broadview Heights was a big one for confidence, as the two teams will meet again in their first playoff game.
22. Bedford, 11-7 (24)
Last week: Defeated Warren G. Harding.
This week: Tuesday at Euclid, Thursday vs. Shaw.
Bedford needs some help to win at least a share of the Lake Erie League championship. But the Bearcats have had no problems being under the radar all season long.
23. Holy Name, 14-5 (NR)
Last week: Defeated Bay, then-No. 4 Central Catholic and Padua.
This week: Tuesday at Normandy, Friday at Trinity.
The Green Wave are back in the rankings after picking up a signature win over Central Catholic this past Friday. This is a team that could go on a nice run in Division II.
24. Archbishop Hoban, 12-7 (25)
Last week: Defeated then-No. 15 Gilmour, lost to Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.
This week: Tuesday vs. Twinsburg, Friday at Benedictine.
Despite its second loss to Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin in more than a month, the Knights earned an extended stay in the Top 25 after beating Gilmour. Hoban’s pressure defense stifled Gilmour and forced 26 turnovers.
25. Brunswick, 11-9 (21)
Last week: Lost to Normandy and Brush, defeated then-No. 11 Garfield Heights.
This week: Friday at No. 1 Shaker Heights.
The Blue Devils have a tougher end to their season as perhaps anyone out there, as they must finish the year at the No. 1 team.
Dropped out: Westlake.