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The Janesville boys basketball team is on a roll, sitting on top of the Iowa Star-North Conference with a 10-1 record this season.

And yet, if you pull up the Associated Press' most recent high school boys basketball poll and perused through the Class 1A rankings, you won't see the Wildcats' name anywhere. 

Janesville appeared in the season's first poll at No. 9 back in December, but a loss to Wapsie Valley on Saturday left the Wildcats on the outside looking in. 

But you know who doesn't care? The Janesville players and head coach Joe McKenna.

After the Wildcats trounced AGWSR on Thursday night on the Shelly Sorensen court, McKenna was asked whether the boys want to be ranked or if they feel slighted being left out. His answer was crystal clear. 

"Honestly for us, we don’t even care," McKenna said. "A lot of those polls, it’s arbitrary. In my experience, we like flying under the radar a little bit."

Regardless of how they feel about it, though, Janesville is bound to hop back in the rankings if the team keeps playing the way it did Thursday evening. 

The Wildcats didn't have much trouble handling the Cougars (3-6), winnings 60-46 at home. 

After following up the Wapsie Valley loss with a 52-50 win over Meskwaki on Tuesday, Janesville has now won two straight games, which McKenna dubbed "probably two of our best wins this year."

To make matters more impressive, the Wildcats are doing this without one of their key players in sophomore Leo Dodd. 

Dodd, the team's leader in assists and steals through the first five games, hasn't played since the Dec. 13 win against Waterloo Christian, as McKenna said the sophomore "hasn't been feeling right."

But Janesville has handled the point guard's absence capably, winning five of the six games he has missed.

In that stretch, sophomore Jaden Appleby has stepped up and then some, averaging over 7 points and 6 assists per game. 

"Jaden’s done a great job for sure," McKenna said. "It kind of came out of nowhere. I told him, 'Hey, you’re going to kind of have to take over.'

"He’s had a 10 assist game, he’s had a bunch of 6, 7, and 8 assist games. He sees the floor well and gets everybody involved."

The point guard was certainly doing that Thursday night, spreading the ball around as six other Wildcats made their way into the scoring column.

Janesville's leading scorer in sophomore Wiley Sherburne was effective again against the Cougars, scoring 20 points, a game-high.

Junior Joey Carlson scored 11 points in the victory, and senior Ben McGrath and sophomore Jared Hoodjer each followed up with 10 points. 

"Thats a big win for us," McKenna said. "AGWSR is a team that has had a lot of pride and a lot of success over the years. At this point, if you told me that at the beginning of the season (we'd have 10 wins), I’d be alright with that.

"We’re making strides in the right direction as a unit, and we’re growing as a unit right now which is very encouraging to see."

At the relative midpoint of the season, Janesville is alone at the top of the conference, sitting two games ahead of 6-1 Don Bosco, which received six votes in the latest AP poll.

Fittingly, the Wildcats' next game comes against Dons on the road Friday. 

A win against its conference rival would put Janesville up three games, and it might even put the Wildcats back in the rankings.

But to be sure, Janesville and McKenna probably won't mind either way.