It's been 18 years between No. 1 rankings for Columbus Scotus. But compared with Kimball, 18 years seems like yesterday.
Kimball's top billing in the Class C-2 ratings is believed to be a first for the Panhandle school. The Longhorns' only state championship came in 1920 (Class D), 22 years before The World-Herald's Gregg McBride began his ratings in 1942.
Scotus, meanwhile, heads the Class C-1 ratings for the first time since January 1996. As in that season, the Shamrocks weren't included in the preseason ratings.
They're off to an 8-0 start after Saturday's 58-46 win over Fort Calhoun. They made 10 3s against the Pioneers.
Grant Lahm, a 6-foot junior guard, is averaging 17.6 points and Nate Ebner, a 6-foot senior guard, is contributing 10.5 for Scotus, which hosts Boys Town on Tuesday night. The Shamrocks are the last undefeated team in C-1.
Kimball's top player is South Dakota State recruit Mike Daum, a 6-foot-9 forward who's averaging 22.2 points and 10 rebounds a game. Jake Reader, a 6-3, 225-pound forward, averages 15.2 points for the Longhorns (6-0), who were fourth at state last season.
Scotus got the nod for No. 1 in C-1 over defending champion Wahoo. The Warriors (7-1) saw a 35-game winning streak end with an 88-55 holiday-tournament loss to Class B No. 1 Elkhorn South.
Preseason No. 1 Boone Central/Newman Grove is 7-3 and currently is ranked ninth.
Kimball and defending champion Southern Valley (9-0), which rises to No. 2, are the last undefeated teams in Class C-2. Preseason No. 1 Fremont Bergan (8-1) falls to fourth after dropping a 48-45 decision to new No. 3 Hartington Cedar Catholic on Saturday.
Preseason Class D-1 leader Howells-Dodge ran its winning streak to 39 games with a 10-0 start.
High Plains, which dropped to D-2 this year, is No. 1 in that class. Defending champion Wynot, the preseason No. 1, is third after losses to C-2 Homer (3-6) and D-1 No. 8 Randolph (6-1).
Mendlik goes for 600: Wisner-Pilger's next victory will be coach Duane Mendlik's 600th in a career that has spanned 41 seasons. The Class C-1 Gators (6-2) visit Class C-2 Stanton (6-3) on Tuesday night.
Mendlik will be the fifth to 600 wins in boys basketball in the state and the only active coach.The others are Jerry Eickhoff of Hampton, Ed Colleran of Spalding Academy, Fred Letheby of Madison and Jim Morrison of Howells.
Mendlik, whose career record is 599-318, amassed his first 512 wins at West Point Central Catholic. He has been at Wisner-Pilger since the 2008-09 season.
Top games this week
Class C-1—Tuesday: Boys Town at Columbus Scotus, Wisner-Pilger at Stanton. Thursday: Crete at Lincoln Christian, Wayne at Norfolk Catholic, Bancroft-Rosalie at Wisner-Pilger. Friday: Wahoo Neumann at Boys Town, West Point-Beemer at Wisner-Pilger. Saturday: Wahoo Neumann at Bennington, Wayne at Boone Central/Newman Grove, Grand Island CC at Doniphan-Trumbull, Lincoln Christian at Hastings St. Cecilia, Wahoo at Crete, West Point-Beemer at Bancroft-Rosalie.
Class C-2—Tuesday: Burwell at Ainsworth. Thursday: Doniphan-Trumbull at Ravenna, Kimball at Sidney. Friday: Adams Central at Arcadia-Loup City, Wood River at Ravenna, Kimball at Pine Bluffs, Wyo., Bertrand at Southern Valley.
Class D-1—Friday: Howells-Dodge at Humphrey St. Francis, Overton at Amherst, Randolph at Creighton, Sandhills/Thedford at Mullen. Saturday: Humphrey St. Francis at Burwell, Elm Creek at Wilcox-Hildreth.
Class D-2—Tuesday: Lincoln Parkview at High Plains. Friday: Arthur County at Wallace, Giltner at BDS, Lewiston at Nebraska City Lourdes. Saturday: Wallace at Mullen.