Here's a look at how the Frontier Conference teams are doing each week:
1. No. 6 Lewis-Clark State College Warriors
Lewis-Clark State retains its spot as the top dog in the conference, though one that is still weaker than it was a season ago on its way to a NAIA championship appearance. The Warriors have been the rise of Lauren Johnson and Peyton Souvenir to supplement the play of Brittany Tackett. The trio will keep the Warriors in contention every night out. Barring an unprecedented upset, the Warriors should hold the No. 1 spot until conference play begins again in January.
2. No. 12 Montana Western Bulldogs
The Bulldogs had their chance to grab a statement win over Lewis-Clark State in the first foray into Frontier play, and a five-point loss isn’t bad by any means, but the Bulldogs will likely need conference play to return and another shot at the Warriors to dethrone the champs. The Bulldogs do have an enticing non-conference schedule that will improve their strength of schedule, but even convincing wins before conference comes back around won’t be enough to uproot the Warriors. Brianna King came into Dillon has been producing for the Bulldogs. With her scoring providing an immediate impact, the Bulldogs are once again in contention in the Frontier.
3. No. 21 Carroll College Saints
Carroll faces a pair of quality opponents and overall has played well lately with the strong play of Hannah Dean, but the Saints will have a hard time clawing higher in the power rankings this week. Save the top squads being upset, Carroll will have to wait until its Jan. 4 date with Western to make a new mark. If Carroll continues to get most of its roster involved, though, and its new starting unit continues to perform, the Saints will have plenty of chances to move up in the rankings.
4. Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears
The Battlin’ Bears are getting big play out of Brooke Jones, and that, combined with Hailee Farstveet, Mikayla Jones, Alexi Smith and others’ production mean the Battlin’ Bears are once again competitive. Rocky could be on the move ahead of conference with strong play in the weeks leading into Christmas and afterward. One good week to start conference will cause RMC to skyrocket in the rankings, too, as the Battlin’ Bearsopen with Lewis-Clark State and Western.
5. University of Providence Argonauts
The Argonauts are off until after Christmas, meaning they remain in the No. 5 slot this week. Stephanie McDonagh is a player of the week candidate each time she takes the court, and with that the Argonauts are a very capable team, even in the latter half of the rankings. The Argonauts get a good non-conference game before opening conference with chances to prove themselves.
6. No. 22 Montana State-Northern Skylights
The Skylights opened up the conference with a big loss at home to Rocky. They did bounce back against Carroll, but will need more time (and wins) to improve their rankings. The Skylights are getting production out of Jacy Thompson and Co., but until the Skylights defend their court and string together wins, they will be in the cellar.
7. Montana Tech Orediggers
The Orediggers had the hardest schedule to start the Frontier Conference. Unfortunately that doesn’t translate into bonus points in these rankings. What it does mean is the Orediggers could make a large jump at any point later in the season, but will likely need to wait until January to begin chipping away at the first of the Frontier Conference. Kourtney Coverdell has seized scoring responsibilities for the Orediggers, scoring about 11 points per game. If she and the other Orediggers guards can get hot, Montana Tech won’t be on bottom for long.