Here’s a new edition of the 7A-West boys basketball power rankings.
Previous Rank: 1
Record: 6-3; Conference: 1-0
Last Week: W, 63-47 at Southside
This Week: Northside, Bass Pro Invitational
The Tigers actually trailed Fort Smith Southside on the road at halftime Friday, but won comfortably as Malik Monk scored 21 of his 37 points in the second half. Maybe not the most impressive performance, but Bentonville has proven it can raise its level of play when needed.
Previous Rank: 2
Record: 13-1; Conference: 1-0
Last Week: W, 64-57 (OT) vs Northside
This Week: at Southside, Springdale
Fayetteville earned the most impressive victory from Friday’s opening night of conference action, rallying from a 13-point deficit in the first half to knock off Northside in overtime. The Bulldogs have the best frontcourt in the league. Friday it was Josh Breathitt doing the damage, finishing with 22 and 10. And the Bulldogs are still working CJ O’Grady back into the mix.
- FORT SMITH NORTHSIDE
Previous Rank: 3
Record: 10-5; Conference: 0-1
Last Week: L, 64-57 (OT) at Fayetteville
This Week: at Bentonville, Heritage
Tough draw for Northside, starting conference play with road games against Fayetteville and Bentonville. Fayetteville wasn’t the best matchup for the Grizzlies and they took the game to overtime. An 0-2 start wouldn’t be cause for alarm, but Tuesday may be a more winnable game.
- SPRINGDALE HAR-BER
Previous Rank: 4
Record: 11-3; Conference: 1-0
Last Week: W, 69-48 at Rogers
This Week: Springdale
Har-Ber dominated Rogers High, leading by 19 in the first half and pulling away late for the convincing win. The Wildcats’ backcourt trio of Tereke Eckwood, Mason Cline and Avery Benson combined for 54 points. They’ll need another big game in what’s sure to be an electric atmosphere Tuesday.
- SPRINGDALE HIGH
Previous Rank: 5
Record: 6-7; Conference: 1-0
Last Week: W, 47-39 at Siloam Springs; W 53-42 vs Heritage
This Week: at Har-Ber, at Fayetteville
The win over Heritage was impressive. The Bulldogs’ defense was dominant and they were in control from tip to finish, leading by as much 18. Chris Owens did most of the heavy lifting on offense in the win. The Bulldogs will likely need others to step up, but if they put together a similar effort, they have a good chance of winning at Har-Ber to start a tough four-game stretch against the Wildcats, Fayetteville, Bentonville and Northside.
- ROGERS HERITAGE
Previous Rank: 6
Record: 8-6; Conference: 0-1
Last Week: L, 53-42 at Springdale
This Week: Rogers, at Northside
Heritage didn’t give itself a very good chance to win at Springdale in the opener. The War Eagles made just one of their first 20 shots and finished 5 of 14 at the free throw line. Hard to overcome that. They’ll get a chance to get back on track at home against Rogers. And they’ll need to take advantage of it before heading back on the road for another tough one at Northside.
- FORT SMITH SOUTHSIDE
Previous Rank: 8
Record: 6-8; Conference: 0-1
Last Week: L, 63-47 vs Bentonville
This Week: Fayetteville, at Rogers
Southside led Bentonville 26-23 at halftime Friday and trailed by just six heading to the fourth, but the game wasn’t really in doubt once the more-talented Tigers finally turned it on. Still, an overall encouraging performance for the Rebels. Putting together four good quarters won’t be any easier against Fayetteville, but the Rogers game could provide a spark.
- ROGERS HIGH
Previous Rank: 7
Record: 5-9; Conference: 0-1
Last Week: L, 69-48 vs Har-Ber
This Week: at Heritage, Southside
Har-Ber controlled the opener from start to finish. Rogers has had injury issues, but this week is their softest in the first half of conference play.