Grafton's Elijah Moore is the Bay Rivers midseason player of the year

Boys Bkb Grafton High School at Tabb High School. Tabb's #10 Ryan Sawyer and #30 Shaq Rodney try to box in Grafton's #20 Elijah Moore. (Joe Fudge, Daily Press / December 19, 2011)

It's hard to deny the theme advanced by many in Bay Rivers District basketball circles this season — that anyone in the top eight of either gender can beat anyone else — but the favorites are nonetheless the same at midseason as we thought in November.

Preseason favorite Grafton is atop the boys standings. Bruton, as expected, is the Clippers' closest pursuer, with Lafayette hovering near the top.

Grafton and Tabb are 1-2 as expected in the girls standings. The changeup is that Tabb, picked second preseason, holds a two-game lead at the halfway point in what looks like a two-team race for the title.

BOYS

MIDSEASON MVP: Elijah Moore, Grafton

It's little wonder the junior forward is drawing Division I attention. He's averaging 17.6 points efficiently (53 percent shooting) and hitting the boards harder than ever before (11.8 rpg). And he's so much more comfortable and athletic in his lanky (6-foot-6) frame than a year ago.

MID-SEASON POWER POLL

1. Grafton (9-2, 7-0): The Clippers have the pieces to win the district but aren't deep, a potential problem with all of the makeup games. Kevin Barnes improvement at the two guard has been key.

2. Bruton (10-1, 8-1): Marcus Carter (12.0 ppg) leads the attack and the district's best defense. That loss last week to Smithfield was a stunner.

3. Lafayette (8-4, 8-2): Lost close games to Grafton and Bruton. The Rams are talented enough to reverse those results with double-figures scorers Colton St. Cyr, John Fitchett and Dewayne Johnson.

4. Tabb (8-5, 6-4): League MVP Shaq Rodney (14.6 ppg) leads an inexperienced cast, but one capable of making noise in February.

5. New Kent (8-4, 5-4): In an offensively challenged district, the Trojans have surprised often by averaging nearly 70 points.

6. Smithfield (6-6, 4-6): Chemistry, unselfishness and Darren Major's scoring (19.6 ppg) make the Pack the district's most improved team.

7. Poquoson (4-6, 4-5): The Islanders showed how dangerous they can be by winning at Tabb in the Tigers holiday tournament.

8. Warhill (4-6, 4-5): With point guard Devonte Dedmon averaging 17 points in district play, the Lions, winless a year ago, are competitive.

9. York (2-9, 1-8): Second half should be better for a team with guards Brandon Harvell (14.1 ppg), Quinton Martinez (14.0 ppg).

10. Jamestown (1-11, 0-10): The Eagles have enough talent to win some games, but need to become more efficient.

GIRLS

MIDSEASON MVP: Rose Mulherin, Grafton