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Defensive-minded Independence rejoins The Observer’s Sweet 16 poll this week

Independence High School rejoins The Observer’s boys’ Sweet 16 poll this week.

The Patriots (17-5) have won three straight games and host Mint Hill rival Rocky River on Tuesday.

Since the new year began, Independence has only allowed one opponent to score at least 60 points in a game and are allowing just 43.5 points per game.

Elsewhere, Cannon (24-9) and South Mecklenburg (20-3) make big jumps into the top 10.

There are no new teams in the girls’ poll, though Rock Hill’s South Pointe High jumps into the top 10. The Stallions (24-2) have won 22 straight games.