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Turner Ashby head coach Rob Lovell watches his team from the sideline.


1. Eastern Mennonite (8-1, 3-0 Virginia Independent): With 6-foot-4 wing Aviwe Mahlong playing the best basketball of his career and players like Chance Church, Trey Gillenwater and Adam Hatter shooting well around him, the Flames are a team that has a serious shot at the program’s first-ever state championship. Movement: —

2. East Rockingham (8-1, 3-0 Bull Run): East Rockingham has proved that it can still be successful when Tyler Nickel isn’t at his best and with Tyce McNair continuing to get comfortable as the area’s top point guard, the Eagles are beginning to hit their stride. Movement: —

3. Broadway (9-3, 0-0 Valley): Gritty defense and a balanced effort on offense has Broadway playing at an elite level, but we’ll see if the Gobblers can keep it up once they enter Valley District play and not have any letdowns. Movement: —

4. Spotswood (5-2, 0-0 Valley): Despite suffering a tough loss to Miller School at the Twila Showalter Tip-Off Classic, the Trailblazers are starting to get in sync and look like the program that has won seven straight Valley District championships. Movement: —

5. Central (7-0, 2-0 Northwestern): The Falcons may be in their first season at the Class 3 level, but they’ve given no reason to believe they can’t make another deep postseason run this year with a deep and experienced roster. Movement: —

6. Waynesboro (6-0, 0-0 Valley): Damien Fisher has been arguably the Valley District’s best player early on with several eye-popping double-doubles and after a come-from-behind win over previously unbeaten Riverheads, the Little Giants have shown that they are legitimate. Movement: —

7. Riverheads (5-1, 0-0 Shenandoah): Despite letting a late lead slip away in its first loss of the season to unbeaten Waynesboro, Riverheads looks like a team that will not only compete in the Shenandoah District, but compete for a Class 1 state title. Movement: +2

8. Staunton (4-3, 0-0 Shenandoah): Back-to-back wins have the Storm back above .500 and with the amount of athleticism and experience on this team, it’s hard not to consider them a contender to go far when the postseason rolls around. Movement: -1

9. Harrisonburg (2-5, 0-0 Valley): Man, it has been just a brutal start for Harrisonburg in arguably the toughest non-district schedule in the area, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Blue Streaks as they inch closer to entering district play. Movement: -1

10. Page County (5-5, 3-0 Bull Run): The Panthers have suddenly caught fire with a number of players stepping up on different nights and after a rough start, they now find themselves as one of two unbeaten teams in Bull Run District play. Movement: +3

11. Strasburg (6-4, 2-1 Bull Run): A gritty defensive effort against East Rockingham wasn’t enough to get a win, but the Rams have shown that they’re at least in the upper echelon of a week Bull Run District this season. Movement: —

12. Buffalo Gap (8-2, 0-0 Shenandoah): After reeling off seven straight wins, the Bison suffered a surprising loss to struggling Turner Ashby, but bounced back with a rout of Stonewall Jackson on Monday. Movement: -2

13. Stuarts Draft (3-5, 0-0 Shenandoah): The up-tempo, fast-paced attack of Stuarts Draft will keep it in almost every game it plays, but the Cougars are shaking some rust after seven players got a late start due to the success of the SDHS football team. Movement: -1

14. Rockbridge County (5-4, 0-0 Valley): Aaron Plogger continues to fill up the stat sheet and although Rockbridge County has taken care of business against the teams it’s supposed to, the Wildcats have work to do before entering district play. Movement: —

15. Clarke County (4-7, 2-1 Bull Run): The Eagles grinded out a win over Luray and currently sit in the top half of the district standings despite some inconsistent play and lack of consistent scoring punch early this season. Movement: +2

16. Wilson Memorial (1-6, 0-0 Shenandoah): Despite just one win on their resume, the Green Hornets have shown a lot of progress in recent losses as sophomore Jaxon Hartman continues to establish himself as one of the area’s top young talents. Movement: —

17. Fort Defiance (1-6, 0-0 Shenandoah): After showing progress in its first six games and specifically in a close home loss to Broadway earlier this season, the Indians looked lethargic in a lopsided loss to the Gobblers on the road Friday. Movement: -2

18. Turner Ashby (3-7, 0-0 Valley): The Knights snapped a seven-game losing streak with an impressive win over surging Buffalo Gap, but struggled one night later in a close loss to Staunton. Movement: +1

19. Luray (1-7, 1-2 Bull Run): Luray has suddenly found itself in a funk and is desperate to get things turned around before it reverts back to its old ways of a struggling season from a year ago. Movement: -1

20. Rappahannock County (2-7, 1-2 Bull Run): The Panthers showed that they have serious work to do on the offensive end as Page County cruised to a rout and sank Rappahannock County below .500 in district play. Movement: +1

21. Madison County (1-9, 1-2 Bull Run): For the first time this season, the Mountaineers got in the winning column with a district victory over Stonewall Jackson. Movement: +1

22. Stonewall Jackson (1-9, 0-3 Bull Run): Ouch. Things have gotten worse for Stonewall Jackson, which has now lost nine in a row since its season-opening win, including a loss to winless Madison County. Movement: -2


1. Spotswood (7-2, 0-0 Valley): Stephanie Ouderkirk is starting to play like the best player in the area and the result has been Spotswood starting to look like the team we thought it’d be and a serious contender to repeat as Class 3 state champions. Movement: —

2. Strasburg (10-0, 3-0 Bull Run): There’s no team in the area as big as Strasburg and the duo of Christyan Reid and Jaden Alsberry has taken advantage early as the Rams are off to a strong start with a big game against Luray coming up. Movement: —

3. Luray (9-0, 3-0 Bull Run): Emilee Weakley has been breaking program records and impressing in all aspects of her game as Luray is off to its best start in its four years under coach Joe Lucas and is a serious contender for the Bull Run District crown. Movement: —

4. Turner Ashby (10-0, 0-0 Valley): Everyone seems to be waiting for Turner Ashby to come crashing down to reality, but it’s starting to look like reality is that the young Knights are legitimate as they’ve now won 10 straight games to open up the season. Movement: —

5. Stuarts Draft (6-2, 0-0 Shenandoah): Both of Stuarts Draft’s losses have come against unbeaten Luray and after losing on the buzzer in their most recent meeting, the Cougars proved that they should be considered the early favorite in the Shenandoah. Movement: +1

6. Fort Defiance (5-1, 0-0 Valley): The Indians haven’t played since Dec. 27, so rust and stamina will be a major concern as they return to the court after the holiday break. Movement: -1

7. Wilson Memorial (3-5, 0-0 Shenandoah): Despite just three wins in eight games, the Green Hornets have the talent to compete for a Shenandoah District title this season and showcased that potential in a win over Page County on Monday. Movement: +1

8. Page County (6-4, 1-2 Bull Run): It looked like Page County was beginning to turn a corner after a bit of a rough stretch, but the Panthers struggled again offensively in a loss to Wilson Memorial and will need to find consistency moving forward. Movement: +2

9. Harrisonburg (3-5, 0-0 Valley): Although the Blue Streaks have several promising young standouts on their roster, they have to build more depth if they hope to compete in what has suddenly become a tough Valley District this season. Movement: -2

10. Buffalo Gap (6-3, 0-0 Shenandoah): Amaya Lucas is starting to heat up for Buffalo Gap and as long as she’s playing at an elite level, the Bison will have a shot against most teams in district play this year. Movement: +1

11. Riverheads (4-3, 0-0 Shenandoah): Back-to-back wins put the Gladiators back above .500 as Berkeley Tyree is starting to emerge as the leader for a young Riverheads squad under first-year coach Preston Woods. Movement: +2

12. Staunton (3-2, 0-0 Shenandoah): The Storm have only played five games this season, with both losses coming to unbeaten Turner Ashby, meaning it’s hard to know exactly where this squad will sit once they enter district play. Movement: —

13. Rockbridge County (3-3, 0-0 Valley): After a lengthy break over the holidays, it’ll be worth watching to see if the Wildcats go on a run during the month of January and flash some of the potential they showed during last year’s playoff run. Movement: +1

14. Eastern Mennonite (6-1, 1-0 Blue Ridge): The offense continues to struggle as Eastern Mennonite hasn’t shot the ball particularly well, but the Flames have been good enough defensively to still win six of their first seven games. Movement: +1

15. Stonewall Jackson (4-5, 3-1 Bull Run): There’s a lot to be excited about with Stonewall Jackson, which now sits in third place in the Bull Run District despite having one of the youngest rosters in the entire area. Movement: +2

16. Madison County (7-4, 2-1 Bull Run): After a surprising run that saw the Mountaineers enter themselves into the conversation with the Bull Run elite, they came crashing down with a disappointing loss to Stonewall Jackson. Movement: -7

17. Central (2-5, 1-1 Northwestern): There’s still some solid talent, led by Maria Marston, but the Falcons have to improve on the defensive end to improve their subpar record thus far. Movement: -1

18. Clarke County (4-6, 1-3 Bull Run): After a week off, Clarke County is hoping to get back on track and back into the conversation in the Bull Run District. Movement: —

19. East Rockingham (2-8, 0-3 Bull Run): It’s been a rough start for East Rockingham, but a win over Culpeper County on Saturday in the Play For Preemies Showcase was a refreshing feeling for the ERHS players and coaches. Movement: +2

20. Broadway (1-8, 0-0 Valley): The Gobblers have struggled to score the basketball, which is a surprise with how much talent they have, and are desperate to get things turned around before entering district play. Movement: —

21. Rappahannock County (3-5, 0-3 Bull Run): Rappahannock County was one of the most unknown teams coming into the season, but suddenly look like the worst team in the Bull Run after a lopsided loss at the hands of Page County. Movement: -2

22. Waynesboro (0-8, 0-0 Valley): It’s going to be a long season for Waynesboro with so few players and at this point, it’s hard to see where the Little Giants can get a win. Movement: —

Contact Cody Elliott at 574-6284 or celliott@dnronline.com | Follow Cody on Twitter: @Cody_DNRSports

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