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June 30, 2015

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high school football:

Top 10 rankings: Shuffling the deck after two close finishes last week

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Canyon Springs running back Donnel Pumphrey twists away from Liberty defenders during their game Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. Liberty won the game 23-20.

Liberty vs. Canyon Springs 2012

Liberty quarterback Kaimana Nacua prepares to his Canyon Springs defensive back Stephon Revels during their game Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. Liberty won the game 23-20. Launch slideshow »
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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer dish on all things Las Vegas high school football again this week. Among the debates, other than the usual picks segment, are whether it's acceptable for an NFL player to introduce his high school alma mater instead of his college.

For the first time in the five weeks of the Sun’s top 10 rankings this fall, there won’t be a new team in the group of Southern Nevada’s best high school football programs.

Ranked teams Canyon Springs and Basic both lost last week, but their defeats each came to other squads in the rankings. And, each contest went down to the wire.

Basic dropped five spots to No. 10 and Canyon Springs stayed even in the middle of the rankings at No. 6.

You could easily argue these 10 teams will be in the thick of the playoff race later in the season. Two will probably be playing at Sam Boyd Stadium in the first Saturday of December for the state championship.

Here are the rankings, which are put together each week by the Sun’s Ray Brewer.

1. Bishop Gorman (4-1): Bishop Gorman High opened Southwest League play last week with a 70-0 victory against Legacy. That’s two straight weeks with a shutout, which is a pretty significant accomplishment for a defense that struggled earlier in the season.

2. Liberty (3-1): Liberty has been one of the most impressive teams in nonleague play, beating top-10 foes Palo Verde and Canyon Springs. This week, the Patriots open Southeast League competition against Coronado in the “Rose Bowl” — the schools are located on opposite sides of St. Rose Parkway in Henderson.

3. Arbor View (5-0): Arbor View is the lone undefeated team in the Division I, picking up a victory last week without playing because Spring Valley was forced to forfeit after suspending several players. This week, Arbor View takes on visiting Durango in its first on-the-field Northwest League game — last week against Spring Valley was the first scheduled.

4. Centennial (4-1): It must feel like November for players at Cent. The Bulldogs on Friday play at Desert Oasis — the same school and game site they’ve played the past two seasons in the Sunset Regional quarterfinals. With realignment, the teams are now part of the Southwest Division.

5. Palo Verde (3-3): It’s October and perennial power Palo Verde is still searching for a winning record. Last week, they won for the second straight week in topping Shadow Ridge. This week, Palo Verde should have its way against a Spring Valley squad trying to recover after forfeiting last week.

6. Canyon Springs (2-2): While Canyon Springs has dropped two straight games, the defending Northeast Division champion Pioneers have nothing to be ashamed of. The defeats came by a combined 6 points against No. 2 Liberty and No. 5 Palo Verde. Canyon Springs will look to get back on track Friday by hosting Silverado in the league opener for both schools.

7. Green Valley (3-1): Green Valley opens play this week against Valley in the Northeast League. Sounds strange, right? Green Valley, which is in the middle of Henderson, playing in the Northeast. Welcome to realignment. (Note to officials: Please rename the leagues for next year.)

8. Las Vegas (3-1): All eyes will be on Las Vegas Friday when the Wildcats host Rancho in the annual Bone Game rivalry — in addition to being one of Nevada’s top rivalries, it’s also one of the lone games of interest this week. Las Vegas, which scored 55 points last week in downing Foothill, is going against a Rancho team that is surrendering more than 50 points per game in three contests. That should give Las Vegas its 17th straight win in the rivalry.

9. Moapa Valley (6-1): Moapa Valley’s schedule will get significantly more difficult this week when it travels to Boulder City for a league game against the undefeated Eagles. Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis calls it the Pirates’ most significant thus far.

10. Basic (3-1): Basic falls five spots in the rankings after struggling against Green Valley in a Henderson Bowl loss. They’ll likely get back on track Friday in the Southeast League against Eldorado, which is still looking for its first win.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or ray.brewer@lasvegassun.com. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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