BENSALEM, Pa. – There was little movement in the Blue Star Media Elite 25 girls’ basketball rankings. The Top 10 stayed in tact in spite of a loss by No. 10 Poly (Long Beach, Calif.). Miami (Fla.) Country Day remains No. 1 and will have the ultimate test to close out its campaign.
No. 24 Homestead (Fort Wayne, Ind.) re-enters the Elite 25 after bagging Indiana’s Class 4A state championship.
Heading into this weekend 19 Elite 25 teams have won state or national tournament championships, with 16 of the 20 regional teams following suit. This weekend championships will be conducted in California, Pennsylvania and New York (three Federation tournaments). I will be in Chicago next week for the McDonald’s All-American Games and then off to the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals in New York.
This weekend the top event is the California state championships at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center. The marquee game is No. 7 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) vs. No. 8 Clovis West (Fresno) for the Open Division crown on Saturday, 6 p.m. PDT. The winner will get a bump in the rankings.
Then the high school season officially wraps up at Christ the King High School in the Queens neighborhood of Middle Village. All four teams are ranked in the Elite 25, including No. 1. The DICK’S Nationals semifinals tip on March 31 at 11 a.m. EDT with Hamilton Heights Christian vs. undefeated St. Frances Academy and top-ranked Miami Country Day vs. Seton Catholic Prep, 1 p.m. (both games on ESPNU). The final is April 1 at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.
This event will determine Blue Star Media National Champion. Simply put the pressure is on! March Madness and March Sadness rolled into one glorious package. This is must-see basketball.
The Elite 25 final rankings will be released April 5. That means a week off to allow the state championships and the DICK’S Nationals to marinate. Check back regularly at www.bluestarmedia.org for updates from around the basketball universe. Our contributors have the pulse of the global girls’ basketball scene.
The season is nearly over; get out to a state tournament in your backyard or the DICK’S Nationals in New York on March 31. Hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Girls’ Basketball rankings, March 22, 2017
1. Miami (Fla.) Country Day (29-1)*
Previous rank: 1.
Low-down: Idle. The Spartans will take a break before regrouping for the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Tournament tipping on March 31 in New York.
2. Centennial, Las Vegas (31-2)*
Low-down: Won a third straight Nevada Class 4A state championship. Season complete.
3. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (30-2)* *
Low-down: Won both District of Columbia State Athletic Association and Washington Catholic Athletic Association championships. Season complete.
4. Riverdale, Murfreesboro, Tenn. (34-0)*
Low-down: Won second straight Class AAA championship. Season complete.
5. Monacan, North Chesterfield, Va. (30-0)*
Low-down: Won third straight Group 4A championship. UConn-bound Megan Walker was named both the Naismith and Gatorade players of the year and will play in the McDonald’s All-American Game next week in Chicago. Season complete.
6. Grandview, Aurora, Colo. (24-1)*
Low-down: Won Class 5A championship. Season complete.
7. Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif. (28-2)
Low-down: The Monarchs claimed a 12th regional title last weekend. Madeline Holland bucketed 20 points and cleared 9 rebounds to win the CIF-Northern Region Open Division championship over Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa), 78-54.
8. Clovis West, Fresno, Calif. (32-2)
Low-down: Won the CIF-Southern Regional championship, defeating No. 10 Poly (Long Beach), 53-44, in the CIF-Southern Regional final. Arizona State-bound Bre’yanna Sanders scored 12 points and Sarah Bates and Megan Anderson chipped in with 10 apiece. Up next is No. 7 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) in the state championship Saturday in Sacramento. Anderson scored 21 points and Bre’yanna Sanders had 14 points and 15 rebounds to crush The Bishop’s School (La Jolla), 73-31, in the semifinals.
9. Paul VI, Fairfax, Va. (32-2)*
Low-down: Won an 11th straight Virginia Independent Schools Division I state tournament. Season complete.
10. Poly, Long Beach, Calif. (27-4)
Low-down: Lost to CIF-Southern Regional Open Division final to No. 8 Clovis West (Fresno), 53-44. Jasmine Jones had 13 points and 17 rebounds but USC-bound Ayanna Clark was limited to 5 points and 3 rebounds on a combination of defense and foul trouble. However, Clark had 26 points and 14 rebounds as the depleted Jackrabbits held off Mission Hills (San Marcos), 66-57, in the semifinals. Two players were injured during the game and another missed it with the flu. Season complete.
11. Fayetteville, Ark. (30-2)*
Low-down: Won Class 7A championship. Season complete.
12. Duncanville, Texas (39-2)*
Low-down: Won a second consecutive Class 6A state championship and the program’s 10th overall. Season complete.
13. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (30-0)* *
Low-down: Idle. Up next is No. xx Seton Catholic Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) in the DICK’S Nationals semifinals on March 31.
14. Hamilton Heights Christian Academy, Chattanooga, Tenn. (28-1)*
Low-down: Idle. The Lady Hawks won USA Prep National Championship and National Association of Christian Athletes Division I National Tournaments and that was good enough to earn an invite to the DICK’S Nationals on March 31 against top-ranked Miami (Fla.) Country Day in the semifinals.
15. Canyon, Texas (31-3)*
Low-down: Won a fourth consecutive Class 5A state championship and 19th overall crown. Season complete.
16. Mesquite, Gilbert, Ariz. (31-1)*
Low-down: Won the 5A Conference state championship. Season complete.
17. Destrehan, La. (35-0)*
Low-down: Won the Class 5A state championship. Season complete.
18. Olive Branch, Miss. (33-1)*
Low-down: Won Class 6A championship. Season complete.
19. McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga. (26-6)*
Low-down: Won the Class AAAAAAA championship. Season complete.
20. Norcross, Ga. (29-3)
Low-down: Advanced to the Class AAAAAAA final. Season complete.
21. Timberview, Mansfield, Texas (37-3)
Low-down: Advanced to the Class 5A state final. Season complete.
22. Seton Catholic Prep, Chandler, Ariz. (29-3)*
Low-down: Won the Conference 4A state championship. The regular season is complete. The Sentinels get a second straight invite to the DICK’S Nationals.
23. Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills, Mich. (26-1)*
Low-down: Won Class B championship, beating Arbor Prep (Ypsilanti), 59-48. It was the 12th state crown in 50 seasons for coach Frank Orlando. Minnesota-bound Destiny Pitts completed a dominant two days tossing in 17 points (three 3-pointers) and clearing 10 rebounds and 6-4 C Tyler Bennett, a Clemson signee, had 15 points and 5 blocks. The Yellowjackets used their size and shot 64 percent (22 of 34). Pitts also scored 13 points in a 46-42 semifinal-victory over Marshall. Earlier last week, junior Kaela Webb, who verballed to Marquette, had 20 points and Pitt 14 to defeat Mumford (Detroit), 58-49, in the quarterfinals. Season complete.
24. Homestead, Fort Wayne, Ind. (28-2)*
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: Won Class 4A state championship. Indiana’s top-ranked team re-enters the Elite 25 after a magnificent title run. Season complete.
25. Geneva, Ill. (29-4)*
Low-down: Won the Class 4A state championship. Season complete.
Dropped: No. 22 Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
High-Fives by Region
- Ursuline Academy, Wilmington, Del. (23-1)*
- North Allegheny, Wexford, Pa. (28-1)
- Franklin, N.J. (25-7)* *
- Manasquan, N.J. (31-3)*
- Gorham, Maine (21-0)*
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Elk River, Minn. (32-0)*
- Appleton (Wis.) North (28-0)*
- Incarnate Word Academy, Bel-Nor, Mo. (28-4)*
- Kirkwood, Mo. (28-3)*
- Archbishop Alter, Kettering, Ohio (28-2)*
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Ribault, Jacksonville, Fla. (26-3)*
- Wenonah, Birmingham, Ala. (31-3)*
- Wesleyan School, Peachtree Corners, Ga. (28-4)*
- Argyle, Texas (37-2)*
- Mercer County, Harrodsburg, Ky. (32-6)*
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- La Salle Catholic College Prep, Milwaukie, Ore. (26-2)*
- Windward, Los Angeles (29-4)…FR-9-FINAL-D1
- Mission Hills, San Marcos, Calif. (30-3)
- Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa, Calif. (30-4)
- Konawaena, Kealakekua, Hawaii (27-3)*
Geography: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
* Won state, national or conference/league postseason tournament championship (Note some schools have won multiple tournament titles]
About: The Blue Star Media Elite 25 High School Girls Basketball Rankings are released weekly from November until the conclusion of the high school season. Criteria considered are the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Blue Star Media’s Christopher Lawlor, who consults with a national network of coaches, talent evaluators and prep sports writers. The final rankings will be released in April. Follow him on Twitter at #clawlor.