(Records through Wednesday's games; last week's rankings in parentheses)
1. LaPorte (2) 14-0
The Slicers earned their spot on top by unseating previous No. 1 Lake Central. LaPorte has won all Duneland Athletic Conference games by an average 19.4 points, the largest margins over teams with sub-.500 conference records. Two more of those teams are left to capture the DAC crown.
2. Lake Central (1) 14-2
The Indians held an advantage over LaPorte for 30 of the first 32 minutes of the game. To change the end, the two teams could only meet again in the regional.
3. West Side (3) 8-3
West Side had the misfortune of meeting Lake Central after the Indians needed a comeback after losing to LaPorte. The eight-point loss doesn't count out the Cougars for any postseason chances.
4. Merrillville (4) 9-5
The Pirates pushed a 12-4 South Bend Washington team to overtime before losing by three points. Of Merrillville's five losses, three have come by three or fewer points.
5. Bishop Noll (5) 12-2
Noll hasn't found its "pause" button, yet. A loaded bracket in the Greater South Shore Conference tournament next week could test the Warriors' meddle the most with back-to-back tough games.
6. Morgan Township (6) 8-3
The Cherokees are at nearly one month and counting since the last time they played. With a forecast calling for cold and possible snow, today's doubleheader against LaCrosse appears not to be in much jeopardy.
7. Crown Point (7) 9-5
The won't-back-down Bulldogs are undefeated in 2014. To keep that stat alive, they'll have to find a way to beat Merrillville for the first time since 2010.
8. Highland (9) 10-5
The Trojans have experienced the highs of grabbing their hopeful share of the Northwest Crossroads Conference title and the lows of a death in the family this week. None of it will shake the Highland spirit.
9. Kankakee Valley (10) 10-4
The Kougars are on a six-game winning streak after staring a 4-4 record in the hairy eyeball. The remainder of the schedule doesn't stay easy, but K.V. now understands the expectations that came with the start of the season.
10. Hobart (8) 9-5
The Brickies are limping after losses to Highland and Chesterton. To keep their hold on a share of an NCC title, they'll have to show more muster against Lowell.
On the bubble: Washington Township (11-3), Whiting (10-4), Kouts (8-4), Portage (8-7), Griffith (8-7), Chesterton (8-7), South Central (7-6), Valparaiso (7-8).