It’s Mount St. Joseph’s turn in the 10 hole, a spot that’s had more turnover than Donald Trump’s Cabinet.
It’s a place where Division II teams have routinely battled to come to rest in the Rutland Herald / Times Argus boys power rankings. MSJ takes over this week after a convincing home win over the previous No. 10, Otter Valley, and a road victory at Fair Haven.
Lake Region, Fair Haven and Mill River are other D-II teams that have appeared in the top 10. U-32 has been close, lending to the notion that D-II will have a wide-open tournament when pairings are made in less than three weeks.
Where did the winter season go? If you have to ask that, chances are the days have slipped past while you’ve been watching fun and competitive games ... or that you just dread mowing the lawn.
This week’s overall top 10:
1. Mount Mansfield (2nd last week) 12-2. The Cougars remain the most consistent team in Division I.
2. Rice (1) 12-1. Walked the high wire in wins at Essex and CVU. CVU has to be kicking itself for letting a late lead slip away.
3. Rutland (4) 10-4. Jamison Evans is back and the Raiders really put things together in a 20-point win at 11-3 (at the time) Burr and Burton.
4. St. Johnsbury (3) 10-4. I get a nagging feeling that this team will not do that well in the tournament.
5. Brattleboro (5) 9-6. Their late-season matchups with Rutland and Burr and Burton will be telling for the Colonels.
6. Essex (7) 7-6. The Hornets could use a win over the upper echelon before the regular season ends.
7. Burr and Burton (6) 11-5. How did this team get blown out at Mount Anthony?
8. Middlebury (out) 12-2. I’d feel better about the Tigers if they had more exposure to Metro competition.
9. CVU (8) 8-6. The Redhawks could use a win over the upper echelon before the regular season ends.
10. MSJ (out) 9-5. Teams usually go down, not up, from this spot. Can the Mounties change that?
On the bubble: Burlington, South Burlington, Lake Region, U-32.
Division II: 1. MSJ 2. U-32 3. Mill River 4. Lake Region 5. Lamoille
Division III: 1. Williamstown 2. Hazen 3. Thetford 4. Windsor 5. Peoples
Division IV: 1. Proctor 2. Danville 3. Twin Valley 4. Poultney 5. Websterville