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Let me start off by apologizing for being a couple days late with this week's online installment of the Suburban Conference Basketball Power Poll. Unfortunately, that's part of the equation when winter sickness rears its ugly head.

But on the bright side of things, I had the chance to take in a few extra games this week. Plus, it seems like today makes a more natural release date for this piece, considering the rest of the sports schedule this week has been wiped due to the expected ice storm.

So what did I find out about the Suburban Conference races this week? That they might be even MORE competitive than I expected. And every night I head out for league games in the upcoming weeks, I could see championship-caliber ball.

I say this after watching two exciting games that went to do the wire last night during a girls and boys doubleheader between Liberty North and Park Hill South. This is just the the start of a thrilling conference season, and I could not be any more pumped!

All records include games through Thursday, Jan. 12:

Suburban Red Boys

1. St. Joseph Central (1-0 conference, 11-2 overall): In case you may not have heard, the Indians lost to Oak Park earlier this week. I understand Oak Park has a better team this year, but this is the type of game a conference leader doesn't lose. Central remains on top of the poll thanks to a league-opening win against Park Hill South, but the doubts I had about the Indians just got confirmed.

2. Raytown (0-0, 8-2): It's hard to move the Bluejays out of this spot, considering they have not played in a week. They've played only twice since the Jewell break and won both games. Raytown stays here with Kansas City's big “tournament week” set for next week.

3. Liberty (0-0, 9-2): Perhaps some people had concerns about the Blue Jays after two back-to-back losses. They put those concerns to rest with a convincing blowout of Staley last Friday night. I was excited to see Liberty play St. Joseph Central tonight, but that's going to have to wait for another day. The Jays' annual C.W. Stessman Invitational is set for next week.

4. Park Hill South (1-1, 10-4): There's no question that the Panthers have one of the most talented backcourt tandems in the city. They're young and make mistakes, but they also have enough athletic ability to take over a game like they did last night against Liberty North in a 55-54 overtime victory.

5. Liberty North (0-1, 7-5): Yes, the Eagles came up a little short in the conference opener against Park Hill South, but they led by nine points at halftime and had chances to win in regulation and overtime. Winning on the road in this conference will be no easy task.

6. Truman (0-0, 2-10): It looked like the Patriots could get back in the win column this week with a nonconference game this week against then-winless Fort Osage. Instead the Indians got the Indians keep Truman reeling.

Suburban Red Girls

1. Truman (0-0, 8-3): An undefeated start to the season is over. After starting with six straight wins, the Patriots have gone 2-3 since, and the two wins have come against two of the worst teams in the suburban Conference (Fort Osage and Grandview). I'm starting to wonder if the loss of Kierra Collier, who has moved on to the University of Washington, will cost Truman what cold have been a magical season. There's still plenty of time for the Patriots to find themselves and put together a solid year, but there's question marks right now.

2. Park Hill South (3-0, 6-6): Maybe the Panthers are for real. Faced with a conference-heavy slate in the past week, Park Hill South took advantage and has a head start on the rest of the teams in the league. Granted, it's worth noting that Liberty North had a chance for a road upset Thursday night.

3. Liberty (0-0, 6-6): How crazy can high school basketball be? The Blue Jays struggled early, looked red hot over Christmas break, and now have a two-game losing streak that they have had to sit on for the past week. We should know more after the Truman Tournament next week.

4. St. Joseph Central (0-0, 8-4): Back in late December the Indians had it on cruise control while starting 8-1. Three losses in a row, and now they're reeling a bit. Like Liberty, Central has not played in a week, so it will be interesting to see how they rebound.

5. Liberty North (0-1, 4-7): The Eagles' offense has been like the weather – ice cold – and it is costing them chances to win games. On one hand that's bad. On the other, it's a good sign because North could be on the brink of the next level by just making a few more shots.

6. Raytown (0-0, 2-8): A victory against an unbelievably bad crosstown rival Raytown South team stopped the losing streak for the Bluejays. But there's not much more positive happening for Raytown right now.

Other Suburban Conference Standings:

Gold Boys

Lee’s Summit North.........3-1, 5-5

Park Hill...........................2-1, 11-1

Lee’s Summit West..........2-1, 9-1

Blue Springs....................2-1, 6-5

Blue Springs South..........1-1, 6-5

Raymore-Peculiar.............0-2, 3-8

Lee’s Summit….................0-3, 3-9

Gold Girls

Lee’s Summit North.........4-0, 11-0

Blue Springs South.........3-1, 8-3

Lee’s Summit West ........3-1, 7-5

Park Hill..........................2-2, 9-4

Lee’s Summit..................2-2, 5-7

Blue Springs...................1-4, 4-9

Raymore-Peculiar...........0-5, 5-8

White Boys

Oak Park.......................1-0, 7-4

North Kansas City..........2-1, 10-4

Ruskin............................2-1,6-9

Staley............................0-1, 6-4

William Chrisman …........0-1, 6-6

Fort Osage.....................0-1, 2-9

White Girls

North Kansas City..........2-0, 7-3

William Chrisman...........2-1, 10-3

Staley ..........................1-1, 6-4

Oak Park.......................1-1, 4-6

Fort Osage....................0-1, 2-9

Ruskin...........................0-2, 4-8

Blue Boys

Grandview....................3-0, 9-3

Kearney........................1-0, 7-3

Belton..........................0-0, 7-3

Raytown South............0-0, 4-8

Platte County...............0-2, 4-8

Winnetonka.................0-0, 2-9

Blue Girls

Kearney........................2-0, 5-5

Winnetonka..................1-0, 5-5

Platte County................0-0, 6-5

Belton...........................0-0, 2-6

Grandview....................0-1, 3-9

Raytown South.............0-2, 1-12

Liberty Sports Editor Chris Geinosky can be reached at 389-6654 or chris.geinosky@libertytribune.com.

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