(Last week's rankings in parentheses; NR = previously unranked. Records through Wednesday.)
1. Merrillville (2) 8-0
If there's a statement to be made, Merrillville shouted it from the tops of its lungs Tuesday against Michigan City: work as a team. That attitude will keep the Pirates No. 1 for a while.
2. Lowell (3) 6-0
The Red Devils haven't yet found a team to match up against. With a pair of weekend tournaments to take up vacation, that'll ramp them into a January schedule that no one envies.
3. Michigan City (1) 6-1
The Wolves made silly mistakes and are licking the fuzzy end of the Popsicle. For a solid quarter against Merrillville, M.C. looked like the team it could be.
4. West Side (4) 5-1
When the Cougars meet Indianapolis Shortridge on Saturday, they'll be facing a strong 6-1 Class 2A team. Any DAC teams with a wide-open schedule next year need to call West Side.
5. Whiting (5) 8-0
The Oilers should be on cruise control until they hit the Hanover Central Tournament at the end of the month. Meeting 3A and 4A schools there will be the first big test.
6. Hobart (7) 7-2
The Brickies remain in a tie for the top of the NCC with a big win over Kankakee Valley. That race will really be interesting come Jan. 12.
7. Hanover Central (9) 5-3
The on-again, off-again Wildcats are meeting sectional opponents and hosting a tournament to close out December. A 4-0 record is do-able, but they shouldn't accept anything less than 3-1.
8. Kankakee Valley (8) 6-3
All of the Kougars losses have come to Class 4A teams. This squad will be dangerous come February.
9. Portage (6) 5-3
Who's ready for the roller coaster to swing up again? On again, off again, up, down, the law of averages expects a win tonight at Chesterton.
10. Lake Central (NR) 6-3
The Indians creep back in on a five-game winning streak with one loss in the DAC. They'll need to hold a tough inside game against a hot Merrillville offense tonight.
On the bubble: Griffith (6-3), Bishop Noll (8-1), Hebron (5-3), LaPorte (7-2), Rensselaer Central (6-2).