Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Season's first top of the crop isn't easy to put together

I have a confession to make.
Because it's so early in the season, I have not seen every team that has played in the top of the crop. I've seen a few, but not all.
That is why it was so difficult for me to put together the first girls basketball crop of the season.
I'll give you an example.
Last Wednesday, I covered Lake Catholic's come-from-behind 56-51 overtime win against Magnificat. But the Cougars also have three losses to North Royalton, St. Vincent-St. Mary and Archbishop Hoban. They play one heck of a schedule.
In my opinion, strength of schedule matters when putting together the crop.
You can't tell me a 4-0 team that plays a weak schedule is better than a 1-3 team that plays a strong schedule.
It's very obvious when postseason hits and the teams that went undefeated in the regular season lose in the first round. Teams that play a stronger schedule are usually the ones that last the longest in the postseason.
Mentor is another example.
The talented Division I team is 4-1. I watched the Cardinals defeat Chagrin Falls, 60-35, last Monday.  The Cardinals' only loss is to Twinsburg, the defending Division I state champions. Now where does Mentor belong in the crop? It's obvious they should be ahead of Chagrin Falls, but do they belong ahead of Kenston which is 5-0?
The Bombers are playing well with wins over Ravenna, North Royalton, Orange, Euclid and Chagrin Falls. I'm going to watch them play for the first time on Friday at Perry.
For now, I'm putting them in the No. 1 spot.
This is just the first of many crops so I'm hoping for a little leeway here. We have a long way to go.
Here's to lots of good basketball in the coming months.

-Theresa Neuhoff Audia


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