(Records through Wednesday's games; last week's ranking in parentheses, NR = previously unranked.)
1. Lake Central (3) 7-1
The Indians bounce over West Side by virtue of strength of schedule. Decisive wins over Merrillville (then-No. 1) and Hobart (then-No. 5) show that Lake Central is raising its high-water mark.
2. West Side (2) 4-1
The lofty part of West Side's schedule is still a month away. In the meantime, the Cougars need to shake off any youth residue and make the wins more decisive.
3. Merrillville (1) 5-2
The Pirates showed their weaknesses in a loss to Lake Central. There are no take-backs without the double round-robin. This loss sticks for the season.
4. LaPorte (4) 6-0
A tough test against Merrillville today, and the Slicers will show how for real this team is. Of LaPorte's wins, only two teams have an above-.500 record.
5. Lowell (7) 6-0
The Red Devils have no problem transitioning from the loss of talent from the Class of 2013. Case in point? Only two wins by fewer than 10 points, and the average margin of victory is 20.6.
6. Hobart (5) 5-1
The Brickies showed their youth against a seasoned Lake Central team and proved there are kinks in the armor. The experience comes now.
7. Bishop Noll (8) 7-2
The Warriors' volleyball players have their basketball legs under them now, so with the whole team on board, this is the Bishop Noll squad that has time to duplicate and double its previous five-win streak.
8. Morgan Township (NR) 7-3
The Cherokees are halfway through their schedule already and on their best ride since 2010. Keep this up and the Kup may have found its new home.
9. Crown Point (NR) 5-1
The Bulldogs have earned their way back in playing LaPorte close and holding the same conference record as Merrillville, Portage and Chesterton.
10. Highland (9) 5-2
As quickly as the wins came, so followed the losses. If the Trojans can bounce back from consecutive defeats, they'll have earned their spot here.
On the bubble: Kankakee Valley (4-3), Portage (5-3), Griffith (5-2), Washington Township (5-2), Andrean (3-3), Whiting (4-2).