April 4, 2012
Weekly Words: Seemed like yesterday practice began and we were busy calling coaches for a prospectus on their teams. Five months later the long season finally came to a conclusion as the National High School Invitational capped another memorable campaign. No. 5 Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, Md.) won the NHSI hardware defeating No. 9 Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.), 63-59. After little debate -- unlike the boys -- the Blue Star Go-To 25 girls basketball rankings crown St. Mary’s (Phoenix) as national champions. It’s a team that returns plenty of firepower and should be a big-time player on the national scene. The Blue Star Go-To 25 final rankings feature 18 state champions and two runners-up. Expect several teams here to appear in the preseason rankings which will be released in early November. As usual it should be an interesting off-season, with summer circuit going full throttle later this month and culminating in July with the AAU and U.S. Junior National tournaments. Blue Star will keep you abreast of all the happenings. Check back regularly. Hope to see you along the trail. -- Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Go-To 25 Girls Basketball Rankings, April 4, 2012
1. Mary’s, Phoenix (30-0)
Previous rank: 1.
Low-down: Declared Blue Star Go-To 25 National Champions. Won Class 5A, Division I championship.
2. Whitney Young, Chicago (34-0)
Low-down: Won Class 4A championship.
3. McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga. (33-0)
Low-down: Won Class AAAAA championship.
4. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (35-3)
Low-down: Won third consecutive CIF-Division I championship.
5. Riverdale Baptist School, Upper Marlboro, Md. (37-2)
Low-down: The Crusaders captured the National High School Invitational, beating defending champion Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.), 63-59. West Virginia-bound forward had 19 points and 14 boards, bagging Most Valuable Player honors in North Bethesda, Md.
In the semifinals, the Lady Crusaders routed Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.), 73-42. Kelila Atkinson topped three players in double figures with 14 points. Coach Diane Richardson and Clemson-bound Jonquel Jones were absent from the tournament after being selected to participate in the WBCA All-American Game in Denver. Season complete.
6. Duncanville, Texas (40-1)
Low-down: Won Class 5A championship.
7. Bolingbrook, Ill. (26-2)
Low-down: Advanced to Class 4A Supersectional.
8. La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day (32-1)
Low-down: Won third state championship, claiming the CIF Division IV crown.
9. Dr. Phillips, Orlando, Fla. (30-4)
Low-down: Florida’s Class 8A champions lost to No. 5 Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 63-59, in the National High School Invitational final in North Bethesda, Md. Taryn Griffey, the Class 8A state player of the year, and Sydnei McCaskill each scored 19 points. In the semifinals, they posted a 65-60 win over regionally ranked H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.). Season complete.
10. Riverdale, Murfreesboro, Tenn. (34-3)
Low-down: Won Class AAA championship.
11. Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland, Calif. (30-3)
Low-down: Won CIF Division III championship.
12. Long Beach (Calif.) Poly (31-4)
Low-down: Lost in CIF-Southern Region Division I final to No. 4 Mater Dei (Santa Ana).
13. South Medford, Medford, Ore. (30-0)
Low-down: Won Class 6A championship.
14. Mansfield (Texas) Summitt (37-3)
Low-down: Won UIL Class 4A championship.
15. Manual, Louisville, Ky. (37-2)
Low-down: Won Sweet Sixteen Girls’ State Single-Class Tournament.
16. Cicero-North Syracuse, N.Y. (23-3)
Low-down: Won the New York State Federation Class AA championship. Center Breanna Stewart was the consensus national player of the year.
17. Twinsburg, Ohio (25-3)
Low-down: Won second straight Division I championships.
18. Hoover, Ala. (31-3)
Low-down: Won Class 6A championship.
19. Good Counsel, Olney, Md. (29-5)
Low-down: Won WCAC regular and post season championships.
20. Goodrich, Mich. (28-0)
Low-down: Won its first-ever Class B championship.
21. Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif. (28-5)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: Won CIF Division II championship.
22. Hopkins, Minnetonka, Minn. (30-1)
Low-down: Won fourth Class 4A championship since 2004.
23. St. Mary’s, Stockton, Calif. (30-4)
Low-down: Lost in CIF-Northern Region Division II final.
24. Windward School, Los Angeles (29-5)
Low-down: Lost in CIF-Southern Region Division IV semifinals.
25. Marion County, Lebanon, Ky. (34-5)
Low-down: Lost in Sweet Sixteen Girls’ State Tournament final.
Teams cut: No. 23 Dekaney, Spring, Texas.
More High-Fives by Region
1. Manasquan, N.J. (32-2)
2. Gaithersburg, Md. (27-0)
3. Seton-La Salle, Pittsburgh (30-0)
4. H.D. Woodson, Washington, D.C. (26-6)
5. Archbishop Carroll, Radnor, Pa. (29-2)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
1. Reynoldsburg, Ohio (26-1)
2. Rock Bridge Columbia, Mo. (26-3)
3. Edwardsville, Ill. (34-2)
4. Incarnate Word, St. Louis (26-7)
5. Central, Omaha, Neb. (29-1)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
1. Lafayette, La. (35-0)
2. Santa Fe, Edmond, Okla. (28-0)
3. Bob Jones, Madison, Ala. (36-3)
4. Dekaney, Spring, Texas (40-2)
5, Oxford, Miss. (33-0)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
1. Syracuse, Utah (22-0)
2. Prairie, Bush Prairie, Wash. (29-1)
3. Berkeley, Calif. (28-4)
4. Serra, Gardena, Calif. (30-4)
5. Brea (Calif.) Olinda (26-7)
Geography: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
About the rankings: The Blue Star Go-To 25 Girls Basketball rankings are released weekly during the high school season. Criteria considered are the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition and quality of the league, conference, area or district. The rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, who consults with a national network of coaches, analysts and sports writers.
Christopher Lawlor is a Senior Writer for Blue Media and compiles the Blue Star Go-To 25 national boys and girls high school basketball rankings during the season. Lawlor, an award-winning writer, is a voting committee member and advisor for several national high school events, including the McDonald’s All-American Games. He previously wrote for USA TODAY and ESPN.com, where he was the national preps writer, while compiling the national rankings in four sports. He also managed the Gatorade national high school player of the year award program for a decade at Scholastic, Inc.
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