Two losses, 19 points.
Those are the figures between Valley being a 13-2 basketball team and a 15-0 team. As the Feb. 9 statewide tournament seeding draws near, a pair of neutral site nonconference losses on the second night of back-to-backs to two of the top Division II teams in the Southeast District are the only blemishes on the Indians’ resume.
Monday night, the two-time defending SOC II champions proved the theory that quality losses in basketball are not as harmful as Valley made its first appearance this season into the Associated Press Ohio High School boys basketball Top 10. The Indians are 10th in Division III, one point behind ninth-place Gates Miles Gilmour and two points ahead of Marion Pleasant. It was a jump from 13th a week ago.
Valley cracked the list thanks to a 76-40 win Tuesday over Northwest, Friday’s 45-43 victory over Wheelersburg and Saturday’s 78-40 triumph of North Adams. As the only team in the division to still be undefeated in conference play with an 8-0 mark, the Indians return to conference play Friday with West coming into town. The two teams split their two regular season meetings last year and Valley took the tiebreaker in the sectional finals.
A team that is chasing the Indians atop the standings, Oak Hill, finds itself in the statewide Division III poll tied for 16th place with Cincinnati Clark Montessori. The Oaks lost 51-43 Sunday to Malvern at the Mercy Medical Classic, hosted by North Canton Hoover. St. Bernard Roger Bacon finds itself once again atop the Division III polls.
Also locally, the 67-46 loss last Tuesday at Portsmouth hurt Peebles in this week’s voting. The first loss for the Indians dropped them from sixth to ninth. Convoy Crestview remains the leader in the Division IV polls.
Regionally, Zane Trace is sixth in Division III while Logan Elm finds itself in ninth in Division II. Both are down a place from a week ago.
Lakewood St. Edward and Cleveland Central Catholic remain in front in the Division I and Division II polls. The weekly girls poll will be released Tuesday night.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or on Twitter @CodyLeist.