(Last week's rankings in parentheses)
1. Munster (1) 21-0
After surviving a squeaker on Broadway, the Mustangs have South Bend Riley standing between them and a perfect regular season. The perfection they're most interested in begins next week against E.C. Central.
2. Valparaiso (3) 16-3
The Vikings took down Merrillville, keeping faint their Duneland Athletic Conference hopes alive, but more importantly serving notice that the Michigan City Sectional isn't going to be a simple coronation of the Pirates. Valpo finished the regular season undefeated at home.
3. Merrillville (2) 16-3
Despite the setback at Viking Gym, the Pirates are still in good position to win the DAC outright, just needing to hold serve at home tonight vs. Portage. They're still the sectional favorite at City next week. They just have a co- in front of it now.
4. Andrean (4) 16-3
The Niners took Munster to the wall before falling, then gutted out a win over pesky Hammond. Diocesan bragging rights are at stake tonight at Noll before the hysteria begins. Andrean hopes to be dancing deep into March.
5. Lake Central (7) 12-7
The Indians put the screws to Michigan City, limiting the Wolves to a measly 26 points. Don't quite know what to make of L.C. on a given night. They're good enough to fashion a sectional repeat. The question is, are they consistent enough?
6. Bowman Academy (5) 11-9
Say this much for the Eagles. They know how to play them close, with nine games decided by five points or less. After splitting thrillers with Indianapolis Howe (loss) and E.C. (win), Bowman is off until the sectional. Will be tough to beat going forward.
7. West Side (10) 10-7
Top 10 turmoil benefits the Cougars, who rolled Roosevelt to wrap the Northwestern Conference at 2-0. Yeah, 2-0. Good one with Hammond tonight before the sectional, where the Side won't be easy for anybody on their own floor.
8. Bishop Noll (8) 17-3
Ouch. Warriors got whacked by E.C. Central, now they get the Niners to round out the regular season. Could go into the tourney on a two-game downer. Noll's only .500 over the last six games. A win tonight would do wonders.
9. Marquette (9) 15-5
The Blazers plain rolled Calumet and Knox. Tourney tune-up at 4A Elkhart Memorial leads Marquette into the tournament, where it looks to end Triton's sectional run. Could happen.
10. Kouts (NR) 18-2
Welcome back, Mustangs. Cody Nelson's heroics against Hanover brought the Keg back to Porter County. LaCrosse stands between Kouts and a Porter County Conference title in Marty Gaff's last regular-season game. Gary 21st Century looms ominously in the sectional.
On the bubble: Chesterton (11-8), E.C. Central (9-10), Gary 21st Century (11-7), Hanover Central (13-7), Gavit (10-10), Hammond (10-9), Lew Wallace (11-7), Morton (10-10), Washington Township (13-6), Wheeler (12-7).