Boys Basketball Rankings, Pre Season
With less than 1 week to go until tip-off, it's time to reveal the wyopreps.com coaches and media pre-season top 5 poll. This article is for the boys. The season actually starts on Tuesday, November 30th with Lyman at Kemmerer, while most other teams will start later in the week.
In Class 4A, the 2-time defending state champs from Natrona, are the unanimous #1 pick. Last year, the Mustangs started out 3-8, before winning their last 16 straight, and toppled then-undefeated Gillette in the title game, to repeat as state champs. NC has all but 1 player back from last year's team. As for the Camels, they will start the season ranked #2, and will be 1 of 3 4A teams, not at the McDonalds Invitational at Cheyenne to start the season. Rock Springs had an impressive showing last season, and the Tigers will check in at #3. East is #4 and will host NC in the season opener on Thursday, December 2nd. Evanston rounds out the top 5 at the #5 position. Opening weekend will have Green River at Sheridan AND at Gillette, while the other 9 4A teams will play in Cheyenne.
The 2-teams that played in the 3A title game last season, are #1 and #2 to start the new season. Torrington and Buffalo have the top 2 spots, with the defending state champs sitting on top. The TrailBlazers will open the season at a tournament at Scottsbluff, NE, while the Bison host a 3A East-West Invitational. In fact, Buffalo may have the hardest schedule to start with, because they will play both #3 Jackson and #5 Cody on the same day (Saturday, December 4th). Toss in Pinedale (last season's 3rd place team) the day before, and we'll quickly find out, if the Bison are early season contenders or not. As for the Torrington vs. Buffalo re-matches, those games will happen twice in a 14-day stretch...but not until February. Douglas is #4 and the Bearcats will join Torrington at the Scottsbluff Tournament.
Wyoming Indian still rules the roost in Class 2A...and the 2-time defending state champion, Chiefs will go north of the border to start the season in Billings. Meanwhile the Bulldogs will play on opening weekend at the Big Horn Basin Shootout, hosted by #3 Greybull and 1A Burlington. Big Horn will start the season at #4, and is hopeful for some early season competition at the Lusk Invitational. Southeast and Wind River are tied for #5. Last season's state-runnerup Cyclones, open up at home vs. Morrill, NE while the Cougars will start at a tournament in Green River.
The power is in the west as far as 1A teams go. Those teams hold the top 4 spots. Little Snake River has every player back from last year's 3rd place, and the voters decided that was the deciding factor in putting the Rattlers at #1. They will begin play at an Invitational at Hanna. Defending state champion Burlington is #2, and they along with Greybull will host the Big Horn Basin Shootout on opening weekend. Last year's runner-up St. Stephens will carry the #3 ranking in the pre-season. The Eagles start on Friday, December 3rd in Billings, MT. Number 4 is the Ten Sleep Pioneers who will go to the Upton Tournament to start things off. Then there's a huge gap in the voting totals between #4 and #5. Arch-rivals Kaycee and Midwest will share that spot, going into the Upton Tournament.
4A: Natrona with 10 1st place votes, for a total of 50 points. Gillette with 7 2nd's, and 3 3rd's, for 37 points. Rock Springs with 1 2nd, 4 3rd's, 2 4th's and 1 5th, for 21 points. East with 2 2nd's, and 4 4th's, for 16 points. Evanston with 2 3rd's, 2 4th's, and 2 5th's, for 12 points. Sheridan with 1 3rd, 1 4th, and 4 5th's for 9 points. Laramie with 1 2nd, for 2 points. Green River, Riverton and Star Valley with 1 5th each, for 1 point each.
3A: Torrington with 8 1st place votes, 3 2nd place votes, and 1 3rd place vote, for a total of 55 points. Buffalo with 4 1st's, and 8 2nd's, for 52 points. Jackson with 1 2nd, 4 3rd's, 3 4th's and 1 5th, for 23 points. Douglas with 1 3rd, 5 4th's, and 1 5th, for 14 points. Cody with 2 3rd's, 3 4th's, and 1 5th for 13 points. Lander with 1 3rd and 1 4th, for 5 points. Pinedale with 1 3rd and 2 5th's for 5 points. Wheatland with 1 3rd, and 1 5th, for 4 points. Rawlins with 4 5th's for 4 points. Worland with 1 3rd, for 3 points. Newcastle and Powell with 1 5th each, for 1 point each.
2A: Wyoming Indian with 9 1st place votes, 1 2nd place vote, 1 3rd place vote, and 1 4th place vote, for a total of 54 points. Lovell with 1 1st, 6 2nd's, 2 3rd's, 1 4th, and 1 5th, for 38 points. Greybull with 1 1st, 2 2nd's, 3 3rd's, 3 4th's, and 2 5th's, for 26 points. Big Horn with 1 1st, 1 2nd, 3 3rd's, 3 4th's and 1 5th, for 25 points. Southeast with 2 2nd's, and 1 4th, for 10 points. Wind River with 1 2nd, 1 3rd, and 3 5th's, for 10 points. Lusk with 1 3rd, 1 4th, and 3 5th's, for 8 points. Kemmerer with 1 3rd, and 1 4th, for 5 points. Wright with 1 4th, and 1 5th, for 3 points. Pine Bluffs with 1 5th, for 1 point.
1A: Little Snake River with 5 1st place votes, 4 2nd place votes, and 2 3rd place votes, for a total of 47 points. Burlington with 5 1st's, 2 2nd's, 2 3rd's, and 1 4th, for 41 points. St. Stephens with 1 1st, 4 2nd's, 4 3rd's, and 1 5th, for 34 points. Ten Sleep with 1 2nd, 3 3rd's, and 4 4th's, for 21 points. Kaycee with 2 4th's, and 2 5th's, for 6 points. Midwest with 1 4th, and 4 5th's, for 6 points. Cokeville and Dubois with 1 4th, and 2 5th's each, for 4 points each. H.E.M. with 1 4th, for 2 points.