Top 25 for week of Jan. 6, 2014
1/6/2014 3:28 PM

Here is the boys basketball Top 25 for the week of Jan. 6. In the comments let us know how they compare with your picks.

Note: Many of scheduled games might be postponed this week because of weather.

(Records through Sunday. Last week's ranking in parentheses.)

1. St. Edward, 7-1 (1)

Trending: Steady.

Last week: Defeated Wenoah (Ala.) and Mentor.

This week: Saturday at No. 11 Beachwood.

If the Eagles' fifth-place finish in the MaxPreps Holiday Classic and 49-point win over Mentor taught us anything, it's that St. Edward is one of the deepest and most versatile teams in the area if not the state.

2. Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 5-2 (2)

Trending: Steady.

Last week: Lost to Bishop Gorman (Nev.).

This week: Friday vs. Chicago Currie (Ill.), Saturday vs. Arsenal Tech (Ind.) in McCracken County Festival of Hoops.

Villa Angela-St Joseph's tough schedule doesn't get any easier this week. The Vikings play just one local team (Jan. 14 at St. Thomas Aquinas) between now and Jan. 24.

3. St. Ignatius, 7-1 (4)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: Defeated No. 4 Central Catholic and No. 9 St. Vincent-St. Mary, lost to University of Detroit Jesuit.

This week: Friday at University School, Saturday vs. Walsh Jesuit.

Few teams are playing as well as St. Ignatius right now, and the Wildcats should avoid another loss before a showdown with No. 1 St. Edward on Jan. 18.

4. Central Catholic, 9-1 (3)

Trending: Falling.

Last week: Defeated St. Thomas Aquinas, lost to No. 3 St. Ignatius.

This week: Tuesday vs. Buchtel, Friday vs. No. 22 Holy Name.

Offense is the focus as the Ironmen try to shrug off their first loss of the season. In the defeat to St. Ignatius, they scored seven points in the fourth quarter.

5. Medina, 9-1 (9)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: Defeated Strongsville, Nordonia and No. 19 Warrensville Heights.

This week: Friday vs. No. 7 Shaker Heights, Saturday vs. Avon Lake.

Medina played three games in 72 hours and came out a winner in all of them. The reward is a visit from the Raiders on Friday.

6. Garfield Heights, 8-1 (12)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: Defeated No. 7 Shaker Heights and Cleveland JFK.

This week: Friday vs. No. 21 Brunswick.

The biggest risers this week are the Bulldogs, and the key to their recent success has been defense. They have allowed 54 points or less in their last four games.

7. Shaker Heights, 9-3 (5)

Trending: Falling.

Last week: Defeated No. 13 Cleveland Heights, lost to No. 6 Garfield Heights.

This week: Friday at No. 5 Medina.

There's just something off about this team right now, as it needed overtime against Cleveland Heights to avoid losing its third straight. Look for coach Danny Young to work the Raiders hard in practice this week.

8. Berea-Midpark, 8-0 (8)

Trending: Steady.

Last week: None.

This week: Friday at Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

Break time is over for Berea-Midpark and the Titans jump back into the swing of things with a tough conference road test this week.

9. St. Vincent-St. Mary, 4-6 (7)

Trending: Falling.

Last week: Defeated Firestone, lost to No. 3 St. Ignatius.

This week: Friday vs. Athens.

With VJ King back in the fold, the Irish are a different team. Still, his absence wasn't the only reason for a 3-6 start to the year, as the team has questions down low.

10. East Tech, 5-2 (11)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: None.

This week: Tuesday at Green, Friday at John Marshall, Saturday at Solon.

East Tech had the week off and now tries to stop a two-game skid. KT Taylor is 22 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

11. Beachwood, 7-1 (13)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: Defeated Berkshire.

This week: Friday vs. Fairport Harding, Saturday vs. No. 1 St. Edward.

Since losing to Central Catholic, the Bison have rattled off four straight wins. But the real test of how good this team is comes Saturday against St. Edward.

12. Glenville, 5-2 (10)

Trending: Falling.

Last week: Lost to No. 20 Olmsted Falls.

This week: Tuesday at Shaw, Friday vs. John Hay.

The Tarblooders need someone other than Jimond Ivey to be a threat every night. When he fouled out against Olmsted Falls, the team struggled to score.

13. Cleveland Heights, 5-2 (14)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: Defeated Shaw, lost to No. 7 Shaker Heights.

This week: Friday at No. 19 Warrensville Heights.

The Tigers gave Shaker Heights everything they had in an overtime thriller, but came up short in the Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic. They have scored 77 points in both games played in the new year.

14. Mentor, 3-5 (6)

Trending: Falling.

Last week: Lost to No. 21 Brunswick and No. 1 St. Edward.

This week: Friday vs. Strongsville, Saturday vs. No. 25 Stow.

2014 has not been very kind to the Cardinals, who have lost two straight and not looked especially pretty in either game.

15. North Royalton, 7-1 (15)

Trending: Steady.

Last week: Defeated Elyria and Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

This week: Friday vs. Valley Forge.

Omari Spellman has been the Bears' best closer of late, scoring his team's last 11 points to beat Elyria and 13 in the second half to claim the Honey Jar against Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

16. Westlake, 8-0 (17)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: None.

This week: Friday at North Olmsted

With the week off, the Demons were supposed to kick off 2014 with the only other unbeaten in the Top 25, No. 8 Berea-Midpark, visiting. However, that game has been postponed due to weather.

17. Lake Catholic, 7-2 (18)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: Defeated Cardinal Mooney and Benedictine.

This week: Friday vs. Padua.

Following a close loss to No. 4 Central Catholic, the Cougars have bounced back with a pair of close wins. The combo of Zavier Powers and Justin Robinson continues to put up big numbers.

18. Gilmour, 8-1 (19)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: Defeated Perry.

This week: Tuesday at Mayfield, Saturday at Edgewood.

The Lancers continue to win and have done so behind some stifling defense. They also have been winning big, with seven of their eight wins coming by double-digits.

19. Warrensville Heights, 4-4 (16)

Trending: Falling.

Last week: Defeated Maple Heights, lost to No. 5 Medina.

This week: Friday vs. No. 13 Cleveland Heights, Saturday vs. Buchtel.

The Tigers are still playing the waiting game for three transfers, so we don't know exactly what this team has to offer yet.

20. Olmsted Falls, 7-2 (NR)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: Defeated Midview and No. 12 Glenville.

This week: Friday vs. Amherst, Saturday vs. Avon.

The Bulldogs are back in the rankings after an impressive 70-57 win over Glenville. Olmsted Falls doesn't have much height but has plenty of talented shooters.

21. Brunswick, 9-3 (NR)

Trending: Rising.

Last week: Defeated No. 14 Mentor and Richmond Heights.

This week: Tuesday vs. No. 23 Brush, Friday at No. 6 Garfield Heights.

Ryan Badowski and Zach Parker put the Blue Devils on their back to lead them back into the Top 25 after beating Mentor at home for the second straight year.

22. Holy Name, 7-2 (20)

Trending: Falling.

Last week: Defeated Warren JFK.

This week: Tuesday vs. Strongsville, Friday at No. 4 Central Catholic.

The dip in the rankings has more to do with the success of other teams than anything Holy Name did. Friday's showdown with the Ironmen presents a big opportunity.

23. Brush, 7-2 (21)

Trending: Falling.

Last week: Defeated Hudson.

This week: Tuesday at No. 21 Brunswick, Friday vs. No. 25 Stow.

Chris Oakley and his 17.8 points per game average will try to help the Arcs bounce back up the Top 25 after sliding two weeks in a row.

24. Lakewood, 7-1 (24)

Trending: Steady.

Last week: Defeated North Olmsted.

This week: Tuesday at Midview, Friday at Rocky River.

Lakewood found some offensive balance to top North Olmsted and stay within the Top 25 for the second week. Two road games against West Shore Conference teams give the Rangers a chance to assert themselves in the chase for a conference title.

25. Stow, 8-2 (25)

Trending: Steady.

Last week: Defeated Twinsburg.

This week: Friday at No. 23 Brush, Saturday at No. 14 Mentor.

The Bulldogs' reward for staying inside the Top 25 for the second straight week isn't a good one: two games against Top 25 teams in two days.

Dropped out: Buchtel and Maple Heights.

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