High school football

VYPE rankings: Titles at stake this week for top teams

Clear Lake knocked off Friendswood to make things interesting in Class 24-6A. Andy Tolbert

Originally appeared on Vype.com.

The games that made the most waves last week that affected our polls today were Clear Lake knocking of then-No. 9 Friendswood, Lufkin knocking Oak Ridge out of the rankings and Tomball upsetting district-leader Huntsville in Class 5A.

Clear Lake knocked off Friendswood to make things interesting in Class 24-6A. By Andy Tolbert

So what will this weekend bring?

In Class 5A, No. 1 Katy faces steady-climbing Strake Jesuit for the district title. Could be lopsided in the Tigers’ favor, but kudos for the Crusaders being in this position. Up north, No. 2 faces No. 13 Klein for their district title. The Bearkats only stubbed their toe against Oak for their only blemish.

The heavyweight game of the week?

No. 5 Ridge Point vs No. 9 FB Bush for bragging rights in Fort Bend and the championship belt. Stay tuned for our predictions later in the week.

In Class 5A, No. 2 Angleton faces No. 9 Foster. The big question is will star BJ Foster be on the field or on the sideline due to injury. Tomball now faces Magnolia West, who is also undefeated in 20-5A. In Class 21-5A, Porter and New Caney go for the No. 2 spot in district.

CLASS 6A 

Rank

Team (Record) 

Comment
1 Katy (6-0) For District Title vs Strake Jesuit?
2 Klein Collins (7-0) Big Game vs No. 14 Klein for Crown
3 Cy-Fair (7-0) Falls; Then Langham Looming
4 Westfield (7-0) Will Take Down Ike
5 Ridge Point (6-1) Game of the Week vs No. 9 Bush
6 The Woodlands (5-1) Montgomery Up Next
7 Lamar (5-1) Rolling Through HISD
8 Langham Creek (7-0) Lobos are Legit; Cy-Fair in Crosshairs
9 Bush (6-0) Can Broncos Knock Off No. 5 Ridge Point?
10 Spring (6-1) No Probs with Big Mac on Deck
11 Cinco Ranch (6-1) Morton Ranch Will Hang around for Half
12 Atascocita (5-1) Will Dominate CE King
13 Klein (6-1) Klein Collins for the Title
14 Dawson (6-1) Alief Taylor Up Next
15 Strake Jesuit (6-1) Can they Shock World in W Over Katy?
16 Clear Lake (6-2) Do Not Led Down Now, Falcons
17 Friendswood (6-2) Must Rebound after Lake Loss
18 Deer Park (5-3) Off Week
19 Summer Creek (5-3) In Playoffs Now; Channelview Next
20 Pasadena Memorial (5-1) La Porte will be Tough Game


CLASS 5A

Rank

Team (Record) 

Comment
1 Manvel (7-0) Rolling; Santa Fe Up Next
2 Angleton (7-0) Faces Foster for Title; BJ Hurt?
3 Crosby (8-0) Humble On Deck
4 Magnolia West (7-0) Crushed Waller; Tomball a Great Matchup
5 FB Marshall (4-2) Texas City Should be a W
6 Tomball (6-2) Huge Win Over Huntsville; Now Mag West
7 Waltrip (7-0) They are Going Undefeated
8 Foster (5-2) Peaking At Right Time w/Angleton Up
9 Barbers Hill (6-2) Off Week
10 Porter (6-2) New Caney Week

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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