We're a couple weeks away from the end of the regular season and we're starting to see some separation among the districts as the top two or three teams in each are putting some distance between them and the rest. And in those handful of teams, we have a handful of teams cementing themselves as true state contenders.
Let's get right into this week's rankings.
In this week's iteration, there are two new No. 1 teams - Dallas Kimball (5A) and Arlington Grace Prep (private) - and six newly-ranked teams (Coppell; Granbury; Farmersville; Weatherford Christian; Pantego Christian; Fort Worth Lake Country Christian).
**Records are based TXHighSchoolBaseball.com; Number in parenthesis are TXHighSchoolBaseball.com's state rankings**
Thursday night included some blowouts, closer-than expected contests and an awesome comeback to clinch a district title. Friday night features a plethora of games including new and old rivalries, powerhouse matchups and many, many more. We break down a few of them here.
#6 DeSoto (4-0, 2-0) vs. #10 Cedar Hill (4-0, 2-0)
The "Battle of Belt Line" has everything on the line Friday night, and is the state's marquee 6A matchup. The winner takes the 11-6A Zone B title as the zone seeding games would be next week and determine the playoff seeds. DeSoto has thoroughly dominated everyone this year, and are very much looking like the 2016 state championship team. Cedar Hill has been good, but quite not as impressive in its wins - though it did take down Aledo.
Big question: Can DeSoto continue its dominant play or will Cedar Hill be able to win this rivalry matchup for the third straight year?
Denton Braswell (4-2, 1-1) vs. #11 Denton Guyer (4-1, 2-0)
It's a brand new rivalry in Denton - at least for this year and next - as Braswell takes on state-ranked Guyer, which is fresh off a last-second win over Prosper last week. Braswell bounced back last week in a big way and has one of the area's, if not state's, highest scoring offense. While Guyer doesn't have that high of an octane offense, its defense is stout and can stymie offenses with the best of them. It's also an intriguing matchup of two head coaches with one being a former offensive coordinator (Cody Moore) under the other (Rodney Webb).
Big question: Can Braswell play well in a high-profile matchup or is Guyer too strong on both sides of the ball?
#2 Highland Park (3-0, 1-0) vs. #7 Longview (5-1, 2-0)
In a 5A DI Top 10 matchup, Highland Park heads east in what a lot of people were highly interested in seeing when the redistricting was announced in February. There's a lot of winning traditions between these two programs. Highland Park has been utterly dominant since it was able to start play, including a 28-point over high-flying Rockwall. After a bad loss to open the season, Longview has rattled off five straight by an average winning margin of 27.6.
Big question: Will Highland Park be able to have another dominant high-profile win or can Longview show it's the real deal?
Arlington Grace Prep (4-1, 2-0) vs. Arlington Pantego Christian (4-0-1, 3-0-1)
It's a big rivalry matchup in Arlington in TAPPS Division III District 1. Both teams have been dominant as of late as Grace Prep has won its four games by an average of 31 points after a 36-0 loss to Flower Mound Coram Deo in the season opener. Meanwhile, Pantego Christian has outscored opponents 191-20 in its four games - its last game was deemed a 0-0 tie.
Big question: Can Grace Prep slow down Pantego's offense or will PCA continue its blowout streak?
Pilot Point (7-2, 4-1) vs. #1 Brock (9-0, 5-0)
The 4-3A Division I title is on the line when Pilot Point meets #1 Brock. These two met in the playoffs last year with Brock winning by 10 in the Regional Semifinals. Brock has won its district games by an average of 59 points a game, including two shutouts over Bowie and Peaster. Pilot Point won by 38 points last week but also has an 18-point loss to Whitesboro, who Brock beat 50-7.
Big question: Will Brock roll over Pilot Point on the way to an undefeated regular season or will Pilot Point play spoiler?
As a reminder of the picks for the week, it was a 3-0 record from Thursday night (Frisco Lone Star, Euless Trinity and Northwest Eaton).
Denton Guyer over Denton Braswell
DeSoto over Cedar Hill
Arlington Martin over Arlington Bowie
Colleyville Heritage over Red Oak
Burleson Centennial over Midlothian
Highland Park over Longview
Grapevine Faith over Fort Worth Christian
South Grand Prairie over Arlingto Sam Houston
Richland over Mansfield Summit
Fort Worth Boswell over Fort Worth Chisholm Trail
Pantego Christian over Arlington Grace Prep