It’s still Decatur (and probably won’t change)
Now that we’ve reached that brief, not-quite-respite around Christmas from the constant action of high school boys’ basketball season, it’s time for the power poll I said I’d write right around when Santa hooked up his sleigh.
To be honest, the top spot in the rankings probably won’t change all season. It’s Stephen Decatur, it’s been Stephen Decatur, and will likely remain Stephen Decatur until mid-March.
Not only are the Seahawks rolling over just about all comers, they’re doing it by wide margins. Yes, we’ve already discussed the team’s 59-point blowout of CambridgeSouth Dorchester. But no mention was made of the team routing Colonel Richardson as well, and following it up by a 32-point defeat of Pocomoke (a defending state champion), an 82-57 thumping of Crisfield, and a 78-36 crushing of Mardela High.
Decatur isn’t just winning out; the team, right now, is beating people by an average score of 80-43. If you’re doubling up your opponents, you’re having a good year.
Butch Waller, Wicomico High’s head coach, put it best when I talked to him last week, when he said, “I don’t see anybody beating Decatur outside of the state tournament this year . ... Maybe they’ll lose in the Christmas tournament, but I don’t know. They’re playing a couple of strong teams in that, so we’ll see. But I don’t see anybody in the Bayside beating them.”
Butch might underestimate his own team a lot, but when he sees someone good, he’s pretty straightforward about it. And he sees a very good team in Berlin.
Decatur takes on Bishop Sullivan, a Catholic school from Virginia Beach, Va., on Tuesday in the Governors Challenge tournament, and then Potomac on Thursday. These are two very good teams; Potomac’s sole loss so far is to a Central (D.C.) team that’s not only strong in its own right, but also 6-0; Sullivan is 6-4, but has a 34-game schedule that takes it up and down the East Coast to face some real powerhouses.
The Seahawks will have their work cut out for them this week in the Challenge.
But the irony is, those games don’t count for playoff seeding, so unless Decatur runs the table, they serve only as a barometer of just how truly strong the Seahawks are. Of course, that could be useful information in March.
Who rounds out the top five in the poll right now? I’d have to say nobody from the North Bayside. I’ve just not seen anyone play at the level they played at last year so far, except perhaps Class 2A Easton, but that was in just one
Easton’s Emily Griffith shoots over Saints Peter and Paul’s Jennifer Douglas during the second quarter Tuesday evening at Chesapeake College.