The high school basketball season for 2021-22 begins this week. The preseason WyoPreps Coaches and Media Basketball Polls are here.

Six of the eight defending state champions start the new season at the top of their respective division. There are two teams that finished runner-up in the 2020-21 season that is the preseason choice among the voters.

Only one team was a unanimous pick for No. 1.

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The three-time defending champions from Cokeville start the new season at the top of Class 1A girls’ rankings. The Panthers received ten of the 12 votes for No. 1. Last season’s runner-up, the Upton Bobcats, start in second. They are just six points ahead of their conference foe, Kaycee. The Buckaroos were tabbed for third. Little Snake River earned a vote for first, and the Rattlers find themselves in fourth. The Southeast Cyclones got the other vote for No. 1. They are fifth in the preseason poll. Six more teams received votes.

In 2A girls, it’s another three-time defending champ at the top. The Wyoming Indian Lady Chiefs earned seven of the 11 votes for the top spot. They are followed by last season’s runner-up, Rocky Mountain. The Lady Grizz received three votes for first. Moorcroft finds itself in third. Pine Bluffs and Sundance round out the top five. There were five other teams that got votes.

The only girls’ classification without the defending champs on top is 2A. Last season’s runner-up, the Lyman Eagles, are the preseason pick. They got 11 of the first-place votes. Three-time defending champion Douglas is second. The Lady Cats earned four votes for No. 1. The Lander Tigers are only nine points back in the balloting, as they sit in third. Newcastle is fourth in the preseason voting. The Dogies are just nine points ahead of Mountain View, which is fifth. Four more teams received votes.

Finally, in Class 4A, the Cheyenne East Lady T-Birds, the defending champions, are No. 1. They earned nine of the 15 votes for the top spot. Thunder Basin is tabbed at No. 2. The Bolts earned six first-place votes. Cody, who finished runner-up last season, is third. Natrona County was the choice in fourth. Campbell County and Sheridan are tied for fifth in the preseason poll. Five more teams got votes.

Here is the breakdown of voting by the coaches and media for the girls’ preseason poll.

For the boys, let’s start in 1A, where defending champion Upton earned 11 of the 12 first-place votes. The Bobcats won their first title last March. Saratoga is second. The Panthers won it all two seasons ago and were runner-up at the end of the 2021 campaign. Dubois is picked third in the preseason voting. After that, the voters were fairly indecisive. Burlington is fourth in the poll but only three points ahead of both Cokeville and Southeast, who are tied for fifth. Six more teams earned votes in the preseason rankings.

Class 2A has its defending champion, Rocky Mountain, at the top to begin the season. The Grizzlies were one of five teams with a first-place vote, but they got six, which put them No. 1. Pine Bluffs is a solid choice for second. Tongue River is third by three points over Big Piney, who finished second last season. The Hornets, Eagles, and Punchers all received two first-place votes. Wind River, who won the consolation trophy last March, is fifth in the poll. Four other schools earned votes.

Defending champion Worland sits atop the Class 3A preseason rankings. The Warriors got nine of the 14 first-place votes. Douglas is the preseason No. 2. The Cats won the consolation bracket last March. Rawlins received four votes for first, but the Outlaws are third in the poll. Then, there’s a tie for fourth between Lander and Lyman. Five more teams got votes for the top five.

Finally in 4A, the Thunder Basin Bolts are a unanimous choice for No. 1 in the preseason poll. Last season’s runner-up returns a strong nucleus entering the new season, including seniors Deegan Williams and McKale Holte. The Bolts received all 17 first-place votes. Defending champion Cheyenne Central starts the season in second. Sheridan is third, with Cheyenne East and Kelly Walsh rounding out the top five. Six more teams earned votes in the preseason poll.

This is a look at how the coaches and media voted in the boys’ rankings.

The WyoPreps Coaches and Media Basketball Rankings are selected in voting by coaches and media around the state. Every coach and numerous media members have a chance to vote each week throughout the season.

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