Pre-Season Basketball Rankings
Coaches and Media turned in their first ballots of the 2011-12 basketball season. Last year, only two of the eight teams that were #1 in the first poll actually won the state title. They were the Little Snake River boys and the Lovell girls. This year has both of those teams on top of their divisions once again to start the year.
Five different teams received #1 votes in the 4A boys. Defending Champion Gillette would take 9 of the 17 top votes to rank#1. Sheridan got three and are second, Evanston got one while Natrona received three. They are tied for the #3 spot. East got 1top vote and ranks fifth. Laramie, Riverton, Kelly Walsh, and Rock Springs also received votes in 4A. Natrona was the pre-season favorite last year.
As far as this weekend's games go...Green River will visit both #2 Sheridan and #1 Gillette. #5 East will start off against ranked opponents as the Thunderbirds host #3 Evanston on Thursday, and then #4 Natrona on Friday.
For a second year in a row, Torrington is the pre-season fave in 3A. The Trailblazers brought in 10 of the 18 top votes. Last year's runner up Wheatland is second with 5 #1 votes. Lander got a couple and ranks third while Buffalo, last year's champion, got 1 top vote and ranks fourth. Powell is in the fifth spot. In all, 13 teams received votes in 3A in the opening week.
Torrington will start their season in Nebraska. Wheatland could be in for a tough day on Saturday, as the Bulldogs will be in Cody to play both #3 Lander AND #5 Powell. #4 Buffalo and #3 Lander hook up on Friday in Cody.
21 votes were cast in 2A with 16 of them going to Lovell. The Bulldogs take the #1 spot with Wyoming Indian 2nd. Burns is third with Big Horn and Kemmerer tied for fourth. Big Horn, last year's 2A Champions, received 3 first place votes but not much else. 15 teams in the 2A boys received 2 votes for the top five or more. Last year's pre-season poll saw Wyoming Indian ranked #1.
Lovell will start the season on Friday in Basin vs. #5 Kemmerer, and then will play Saturday at #3 1A Burlington. Wyoming Indian does not have a game scheduled for opening weekend. The Chiefs visit Lovell, next Thursday. #3 Burns and #4 Big Horn face-off in Lusk, in the season-opener for both teams, early Friday afternoon.
For the second year in a row, Snake River is #1 in boys basketball. If you were to put their basketball #1 streak with their football, it would make for a year and a half of the Rattles on top of each poll. They received all 11 first place votes to top the poll. St Stephens is 2nd with Burlington third. Kaycee ranks fourth with Ten Sleep fifth. 10 teams received votes in 1A.
#4 Kaycee and #5 Ten Sleep will play in the Upton tournament this weekend. #3 Burlington will host #1 2A Lovell on Saturday. Not much else going on in 1A as far as ranked team vs. ranked team goes.
This is the first time we can remember a team getting the most #1 votes in a class and ranking third in a poll. Laramie took 7 of the 16#1 votes but rank third. Gillette got the LEAST of the three teams with #1 votes, but ranks #1 thanks to lots of #2 and #3 votes. Sheridan took 6 top votes and is 2nd. Gillette, by the way, won the 4A division last year. Natrona ranks fourth with East fifth. Sheridan was last year's pre season choice to win the division. They fell to Gillette in overtime last March.
Like the boys, Green River starts the season by visiting both #2 Sheridan and #1 Gillette. #3 Laramie and #4 Natrona will oppose each other in Cheyenne to start the season on Thursday. Natrona visits #5 East on Friday.
Defending Champion Wheatland is favored to do it again this year in 3A Girls. The Lady Bulldogs pulled 10 of the 18 #1 votes. Douglas got 7 and are 2nd. Cody is third followed by Torrington and then Star Valley and Buffalo who are tied for fifth. Jackson, last year's #1 pre-season choice, got 1 #1 vote to start the year.
Wheatland and Douglas need to be careful not to look ahead to their early season clash next Saturday at Douglas. The Lady Bulldogs have business to take care of in Buffalo first, while the Lady Bearcats will be in Worland. The only match-up of ranked teams this weekend, will be on Saturday, when #3 Cody visits #5 (tie) Buffalo.
Lovell was #1 ranked last year to start the year. They won the 2a title and are favored to do just that again this year. The Lady Bulldogs got 18 of the 19 top votes to start the season. Tongue River ranks second with Big Horn third. Wyoming Indian got a #1 vote and is fourth. Pine Bluffs ranks fifth. In all, 14 teams got votes in 2A.
#3 Big Horn and #5 Pine Bluffs will do battle Friday night in Lusk. #1 Lovell will visit #4 1A Burlington on Saturday.
Cokeville is favored to repeat in 1A girls basketball. The Panthers were one of four teams with #1 votes and they had the most with 6 of the 10. Kaycee got 1 and is 2nd. Little Snake River picked up a couple and is third. Burlington got 1 and is fourth. Farson is the #5 team. Burlington was last year's pre-season fave.
There are no matchups this weekend in 1A involving ranked team vs. ranked team. #4 Burlington hosts an inter-class game vs. #1 2A Lovell on Saturday.
See the Voting Breakdowns