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MHSAA Rankings-Week of January 15th

With the first couple weeks of the MHSAA basketball season underway, I thought it would be time to begin my weekly top 10 varsity AAAA rankings. The criteria that I will normally be taking into account each week will be what would have happened in the previous seven days worth of games. While I did want to include games and tournaments that had happened earlier in this season (BSSI, DMIT, and league games from December), I did want to have more recent results have more of the weight for why certain teams were placed where they were. Head-to-head matchups will also have an even bigger weight for placement. Without further ado, here are my rankings for the week of January 15th:

  1. Dakota Lancers

The consensus number one team in the province right now. They began their season by beating DMCI in the Brandon Sun Invitational final and just secured a Buckeye Classic championship victory over Miles Mac. The Lancers are undefeated right now, and have beaten #2,3,5, and 9 in my rankings. They deservedly get top spot with the perfect record and the opponents they have beaten

  1. Vincent Massey Trojans

While the Trojans haven’t had the busiest of schedules so far to begin the year, but a couple good results have kept them towards the top. A third place finish in the BSSI and holding firm in Winnipeg 1 league games has kept them steady. They also have one of the deeper rosters in the province in terms of talent. The Trojans are also the only team so far to keep Dakota close for an entire game, which is why I put them in second. With them hosting their own tournament this weekend, with three other ranked teams, this is their chance to cement their place towards the top of the rankings.

  1. Miles Macdonell Buckeyes

The Buckeyes have been a really tough team to get a gauge of to begin the year. They started off with a tough draw in the BSSI (that being in the toughest group for group play), then finishing overall 10th. They have bounced back recently with a win over Garden City in KPAC league play and second place in the Buckeye Classic. They are one of the teams I feel are underrated and will make a big splash this year. We will see how they fare in the Trojan Classic against the three other ranked squads.

  1. Garden City Fighting Gophers

The Gophers have been one of the busier teams to start the 2023-2024 campaign. A fifth place finish in Brandon, then two championships in the DMIT and Piper Classic have put the Gophers as one of the legit top teams in the province so far this season. The only knock that you can have on this team is their league form. 1-2 in three games, with both losses coming last week against Kildonan East and Miles Mac. But they followed that up with the Piper Classic victory over St. Paul’s. For the time being they will sit at number 4 because of the head to head loss to Miles Mac, but are also in the Trojan Classic this weekend. Could be a chance for them to move up.

  1. Daniel McIntyre Maroons

The Maroons here are a surprise to me. They surprised me last year with how good they were, and they have surprised me once again. They finished second in the BSSI and won their initial group in group play of the tournament that consisted of Miles Mac and Garden City. Then in their own tournament, they lost the championship game against Garden City. The Maroons currently sit at 2-1 in Winnipeg 1 league play, with a notable win over the Sisler Spartans. Their only loss did come at the hands of the Oak Park Raiders. The main reason I have the Fighting Gophers ahead of the Maroons this week is because of both teams recent form. The Gophers have been better as of late, while that Maroons loss to the Raiders came last week. They may get a chance to face the Lancers in the Centurion Shoot out this weekend to cement a higher placing. They will also face Vincent Massey next week in league play.

  1. St Paul’s Crusaders

This spot for the Crusaders may surprise some people. The defending back-to-back provincial champions are not getting the previous year champion benefit of the doubt. They did finish third in the DMIT, with a semi-final loss to Garden City, then lost to the Fighting Gophers this past weekend in the Piper Classic final. The Crusaders were also able to pick up a win over the Oak Park Raiders on Monday night. It’s hard to place them any higher with the resumes for wins the other teams above them have. They don’t play anyone of note upcoming, or are in a tournament this weekend. Depending how all the other games shake out, we could see St Paul’s slide even more.

  1. Oak Park Raiders

With how the results have folded for the Raiders, you could argue this team is in 10th or just outside the top 10. But I will say that I hold out some hope for this team. They have one of the best players in the province, which should vault them ahead of other teams at times. They’re best wins so far were a league opening game victory over the Sisler Spartans, and a first round win in the Piper Classic over the Kildonan East Reivers. They did end the weekend with losses to St Paul’s, then the Maples Marauders, to finish in fourth place in the tournament. The Raiders are participating in the WIT this weekend, with a chance to keep hold of their seventh place ranking.

  1. Kildonan East Reivers

Just like how DMCI was the surprise team last year, this season so far it’s the Reivers. They began the new year with a victory over Garden City, and have held firm in KPAC league games with a 3-0 record so far. While they did lose to the Oak Park Raiders in last weekend’s Piper Classic, they did win out and finish in fifth place overall. The Reivers will be participating in the Trojan Classic this upcoming weekend, which should give them ample opportunity to get a upset win or two. This team might be dangerous, watch out.

  1. Sisler Spartans

I would really like to rank this team higher than I have them, but the results speak for themselves. A fifth place finish in the DMIT (a loss to Garden City in the first round, but also a win over Maples in the consolation final), a third place finish in the Buckeye Classic have kept them afloat. A 1-2 start in league play has hindered their ability to be higher up in the rankings. The losses came to the Oak Park Raiders and DMCI Maroons. The Spartans have an opportunity this weekend to move up a place or two with their participation in the WIT.

  1. Maples Marauders

The final team on this week’s list is another one that has been up and down so far this year. A fourth place finish in the BSSI, sixth place finish in the DMIT, and a third place victory in the Piper Classic. That win in the Piper came against the Oak Park Raiders, but that is really their only win of note. The Marauders have been up and down throughout the first couple weeks, and we will see where they go from here.

Let me know what you think of these rankings, or where you would place each team! Follow along for next week's updated set of rankings. 

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