Laurel vs. Billings Central

Emmet Renner helped Laurel beat then-No. 1 Billings Central at First Interstate Arena at MetraPark on Friday.

BILLINGS — Last season, the Hardin boys basketball team started and ended the season at No. 1 in the 406mtsports.com Class A rankings. Two weeks into this season, there’s already been a change at the top of Class A.

The classification’s No. 1 team in the season’s first rankings a week ago was Billings Central, which lost to rival Laurel 46-40 on Friday. The Rams fell to No. 3, one spot behind Laurel. A day after beating Central, the Locomotives beat then-No. 2 Hardin 52-43.

Hardin earned a 63-56 win over Class B No. 1 Lodge Grass on Wednesday but dropped out of the rankings due to the Laurel loss and a 60-52 defeat at Lewistown on Friday. The Golden Eagles snapped a 25-game winning streak for the Bulldogs, who went 23-0 last season and shared the State A title with Butte Central. Hardin lost the 2018-19 state title game to Billings Central — it was the Bulldogs’ second loss of that season.

Dillon moved up three spots to No. 1 in Class A. The Beavers have outscored their opponents 283-138 this season (70.8-34.5 per game), and their closest win was 64-51 at Butte Central on Jan. 9.

Undefeated Polson entered the Class A rankings at No. 4 thanks to a 52-50 victory Thursday over then-No. 3 (now-No. 5) Frenchtown, which beat then-No. 5 Ronan two days later.

In Class AA, Missoula Sentinel remained No. 1, but the rankings shifted beneath the Spartans. Last week’s No. 2 Missoula Hellgate and No. 3 Great Falls traded places because of Hellgate’s 57-55 loss on Thursday to Kalispell Flathead, which lost to unranked Butte two days later. Butte has lost to Kalispell Glacier and Helena Capital, who have both lost to Hellgate.

Billings Skyview moved up one spot to No. 4 after a 67-46 win over Billings West, and Billings Senior entered the rankings. The Broncs, whose only loss is to Great Falls, will host Skyview on Tuesday.

Class B mostly stayed stagnant, with Thompson Falls entering (at No. 10) and Bigfork exiting.

Terry and Dodson cracked the Class C rankings, at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively. They replaced previous No. 7 Fort Benton and No. 8 Melstone, which lost to Terry 47-44 on Friday.

Dodson will host No. 1 Scobey on Saturday, a day after Scobey will face No. 7 Fairview at home. Scobey and Fairview were co-state champions last season.

Class AA

1. Missoula Sentinel (4-0)

2. Great Falls (3-0) (+1)

3. Missoula Hellgate (3-1) (-1)

4. Billings Skyview (2-1) (+1)

5. Billings Senior (2-1) (Previously unranked)

Class A

1. Dillon (4-0) (+3)

2. Laurel (4-1) (Previously unranked)

3. Billings Central (5-1) (-2)

4. Polson (4-0) (Previously unranked)

5. Frenchtown (4-1) (-2)

Class B

1. Lodge Grass (3-1)

2. Shelby (6-0)

3. Deer Lodge (3-0)

4. Manhattan (4-0)

5. Huntley Project (5-1)

6. Malta (3-1) (+1)

7. Fairfield (3-1) (-1)

8. Harlem (2-1)

9. Florence-Carlton (4-1) (+1)

10. Thompson Falls (4-0) (Previously unranked)

Class C

1. Scobey (6-0)

2. Manhattan Christian (5-0)

3. Twin Bridges (6-0)

4. Chinook (6-0)

5. Belt (5-0)

6. Froid-Lake (6-0)

7. Fairview (4-1) (+2)

8. Valley Christian (7-0) (+2)

9. Terry (6-0) (Previously unranked)

10. Dodson (5-0) (Previously unranked)

406mtsports.com's Victor Flores, Frank Gogola and Mike Scherting contributed to this week's rankings.

Disagree with the rankings, or have a question? Email Victor at victor.flores@406mtsports.com.

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