CONCORD – This is this week’s Cream of Cabarrus Boys Basketball Rankings, the Independent Tribune’s choices as the top six teams in Cabarrus County:
1. CFA ACADEMY (25-3)
Last week: No. 2
Last week, it was another three wins for the Eagles. Only this time, those three wins thrust them into the No. 1 spot in our rankings, the first time a team other than Cannon has held this position this season. But the Eagles are more than deserving of this status. They have college-level talent at pretty much every position on the floor, and three players – Garrett Hien (Furman), Cheick Traore (Youngstown State) and Ambaka Le Gregam (Presbyterian) – have already signed with Division I schools. cfa Academy is currently on a nine-game winning streak, with one of its victories last week being a 25-point win over No. 5. A.L. Brown. On Thursday, the Eagles host Gaston Christian.
2. CANNON (19-6)
Last week: No. 1
Yes, the Cougars lost a tough game to Davidson Day last Saturday, but that really had nothing to do with why they fell to No. 2 this week; the change was more about the quality ball cfa Academy is playing right now. The Cougars are still in control of their conference with a 5-0 record and poised to make a deep run in the private-school state tournament. This Friday, they travel to Charlotte Country Day, a team they beat by 56 points a few weeks ago.
3. COX MILL (15-2)
Last week: No. 3
The Chargers are just good. They’re sound. They play great team defense, they hustle, they’re smart, they’re aggressive, they take good shots. And it’s hard to single out one guy as the No. 1 scoring option. Any number of Chargers could have that role on a given night. No wonder they sit alone at the top of the South Piedmont 3A Conference standings and will have a legitimate chance to make a deep playoff run. They visit Central Cabarrus Friday.
4. HICKORY RIDGE (12-4)
Last week: No. 4
The Ragin’ Bulls are in a third-place tie in the Southwestern 4A Conference, and that’s no small feat in this league. The Harrisburg team’s first two years in the SW4A were pretty rough, but now the Bulls have adjusted, and they’re legitimate threats to win any conference game they play. Their next one is a biggie, though: Friday versus SW4A No. 1 Independence.
5. CONCORD (8-8)
Last week: Not ranked
The Spiders make their debut in the Cream of Cabarrus this week, even though they lost their last outing, Friday night’s 68-57 defeat to No. 3 Cox Mill. The Spiders just might be the hardest-playing team in the county, and you’re going to know you’ve been in a fight when the game’s over. It’s the type of effort that helped them knock off No. 5 A.L. Brown a few weeks ago. Currently, the Spiders are tied with A.L. Brown for second place in the SPC. So far, they’ve been the surprise of basketball in the county. And we believe they have some more big wins left in them. They welcome visiting Northwest Cabarrus Friday.
6. A.L. BROWN (12-4)
Last week: No. 5
The Wonders are coming off a disappointing 81-55 loss to new No. 1 cfa Academy on Saturday, but they still have plenty to play for. They remain one of the strongest teams in the SPC, and they’re just one game out of first place with two matchups remaining against the league’s top team, Cox Mill. We believe last week’s loss to cfa Academy was just a tough non-conference game that will only make the Wonders better.
DROPPED OUT: No. 6 Central Cabarrus (10-7)