No movement in the rankings this week, but Wheaton-Herman-Norcross, Verndale and Ada-Borup are making things interesting on the boys side.
On the girls side, an upcoming matchup between No. 2 Ada-Borup and No. 3 Pelican Rapids could change things.
1. Battle Lake (8-0)
This week: At Underwood Friday
Battle Lake rolled Osakis 82-54, but the Battlers can’t overlook Underwood before hosting currently undefeated Wheaton-Herman-Norcross.
The Battlers have weapons everywhere. Against Osakis five BL players were in double digits. Nick Trosdahl had 21, Tony Ukkelberg had 20, Tyler Ukkelberg had 13 and Dan Marso and Petric VanErp each had 12.
2. Pelican Rapids (7-1)
This week: At Ada-Borup (Ada) Friday
The Vikings were able to hand Cavalier (N.D.) it’s first loss of the season 52-47, but they were very close to dropping their second straight game, trailing 43-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
Teams are swarming Ryan Bruggeman, as he had nine points against Cavalier. The Vikings will need to find other options and don’t have a lot of time to figure it out with Ada-Borup (6-2) and rival Hawley as their next two games.
3. Perham (8-3)
This week: No games
Perham went 1-1 at the Worthington Holiday Tournament, destroying Worthington 81-52, but falling to Mankato West 60-52. Hunter Salathe had a career-high 33 points against Worthington.
Hard to fault the Class 2A Yellowjackets for falling to an 8-2 Class 3A team, however, they were outscored 28-14 in the final 11 minutes. That will be a tough loss to swallow.
4. Park Christian (7-2)
This week: At Sacred Heart Thursday, host Northern Freeze Saturday
Class 1A Park Christian hung with Class 5A Blaine, trailing by six at half. The Falcons ultimately lost 77-65. Another big night for Hunter Nickel with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks.
The Falcons remain 6-0 in section play.
5. Fertile-Beltrami (7-1)
This week: At Bagley Thursday
Hard to argue against a 7-1 record in section play.
Knocking on the door
Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (7-0) – The Warriors are a perfect 7-0, but what has them behind Fertile-Beltrami is they are just 3-0 in their section and have played teams with a combined record of 20-23. Big tests coming up for the Warriors in 7-1 Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley Friday and 8-0 Battle Lake Tuesday.
Ada-Borup (6-2) – After losing two of their first three, the Cougars have rattled off five straight wins. It would be hard to keep them out of the rankings if they were to beat Pelican Rapids Friday. The Cougars are coming off a 65-53 win over a Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton team that beat Pelican Rapids 53-41.
Verndale (7-1) – Pirates have won six in a row and are 4-1 in section play.
1. FergusFalls (7-0)
This week: Host Breckenridge Saturday
No team has come within 23 points of the Otters. It’s a simple equation for which the Otters have all the pieces. Brianna Rasmusson handles the ball, Bailey Strand is the outside threat and Anna Monke does the work down low.
Strand had 23 and Monke had 20 in the Otters 69-27 win over St. Louis Park.
2. Ada-Borup (5-0)
This week: Host Pelican Rapids Friday
Business as usual for Ada-Borup. The Cougars are 5-0 overall and 4-0 in section play. Ranked third in AP polls in Class 1A, the Cougars have a big game against No. 10-ranked Class 2A Pelican Rapids at home Friday.
3. Pelican Rapids (8-0)
This week: At Ada-Borup (Ada) Friday
Korf has scored 40 percent of the Vikings’ points this season, averaging nearly 28 points a game. She’ll face a tough defense Friday in Ada-Borup.
4. Barnesville (6-0)
This week: Host Rothsay Friday
Barnesville probably has Jan. 9’s game at Section 8AA rival Pelican Rapids circled on their calendar. The Trojans have to get by Rothsay and Frazee first.
5. Verndale (6-1)
This week: At Bertha Hewitt (Bertha) Friday
Pirates have won six in a row and are 4-1 in section play.
Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.