BENSALEM, Pa. – The Top 10 teams in the Blue Star Media Elite 25 girls’ basketball remained static this week. Miami (Fla.) Country Day is the legitimate No. 1 with No. 2 Centennial (Las Vegas) and No. 3 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) following. Seven of the 10 teams have won either state or national tournament championships, justifying their rankings.
Three California schools, including two from the Southern California Region, are still alive in the CIF Open Division regional brackets, with two—No. 7 Clovis West (Fresno) and No. 10 Poly (Long Beach)—likely to play for the title this weekend before heading to the state final in Sacramento. No. 4 Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) closed out a perfect season, winning a second consecutive Class AAA title and ran its win streak to 42 games. Riverdale might have made it to No. 1 but inclement weather in December wiped out a trip to the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona, where they would have faced superior competition. Strength of schedule, especially on the national basis, is always the main criteria.
Miami Country Day and No. 23 Seton Catholic Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) are confirmed for the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Tournament, which tips off on March 31 at Christ the King High School in the Middle Village neighborhood of Queens, N.Y.
No. 19 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) enters the Elite 25 following a state championship in Class AAAAAAA—Georgia’s largest classification. It was the Indians’ fourth straight title in the large school bracket and cemented the prep legacy of Georgia-bound All-America Quannecia Morrison.
Thus far 18 Elite 25 teams have won state or national tournament championships (two have won a pair of them), with 14 of the 20 regional teams following suit. This weekend championships will be conducted in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, New York (public schools) and New Jersey (Tournament of Champions). The following weekend has California, Pennsylvania and New York (three Federation tournaments) concluding their seasons.
The next and penultimate round of Elite 25 rankings will be released March 22. We won’t be back until after the DICK’S Nationals on April 5. Check back regularly at www.bluestarmedia.org for updates from around the basketball universe. Our contributors have the pulse of the girls’ basketball scene.
The season is dwindling to a precious few days; get out to a state tournament in your backyard. Hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Girls’ Basketball rankings, March 15, 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, stopping Memphis Central, 66-59. Tennessee-bound G Anastasia Hayes tossed in 33 points and earned MVP honors. It was the fourth stat title in six years for the Lady Warriors, who close on a 42-game win streak. The Lady Warriors also beat Houston, 69-50, in the semifinals and Morristown West, 75-46, in the quarterfinals. Season complete.
5. Monacan, North Chesterfield, Va. (30-0)*
Low-down: It’s a three-peat for the Lady Chiefs, who annexed the Group 4A state championship, defeating King’s Fork (Suffolk), 60-59, as Megan Walker’s turnaround jumper in the lane with 8 seconds left rallied the champions. Walker, a shoo-in for the national player of the year and UConn recruit, scored Monacan’s last 15 points, finishing with 35 and cementing her All-America legacy. Season complete,
6. Grandview, Aurora, Colo. (24-1)*
Low-down: Michaela Onyenwere made a grand exit from the Colorado prep hoops scene last weekend. The UCLA recruit threw in 25 points and the Wolves annexed the Class 5A championship, walloping Lakewood, 61-32. Onyenwere, who concluded her brilliant career as Colorado’s fourth all-time leading scorer, will play in the McDonald’s All-American Game later this month in Chicago. Also, Onyenwere netted 13 of her points after halftime to beat Regis Jesuit (Aurora), 60-27, in the semifinals. Season complete.
7. Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif. (25-2)
Low-down: Defeated Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep (San Francisco), 92-71, in the CIF-Northern Region Open Division first round. The Monarchs hosted St. Mary’s (Stockton) Tuesday in the semifinals. The championship is Saturday with the winner off to the state final.
8. Clovis West, Fresno, Calif. (31-2)
Low-down: Bre’yanna Sandera, an Arizona State recruit, paced a balanced attack with 20 points to defeat Troy (Fullerton), 68-61, in the CIF-Southern Regional first round. Up next is The Bishop’s School (La Jolla) in the semifinals. The final is Saturday.
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. (26-3)
Low-down: Jasmine Jones manufactured 25 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists as the Lady Jackrabbits coasted by Fairfax (Los Angeles), 77-58, in the CIF-Southern Regional Open Division first round. They played Mission Hills (San Marcos) in the semifinals. The final is Saturday.
11. Fayetteville, Ark. (30-2)*
Low-down: Won Class 7A, beating North Little Rock, 59-49. Freshman Sasha Goforth continued her steady play in the postseason scoring 19 points, sinking three 3-pointers, and Maya Mayberry added 14. The Lady Purple ’Dogs went up 31-15 at halftime and by 19 in the third quarter. 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: Won the Bishop Walsh Girls Invitational Tournament and Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship. The 10th since 2001. Season complete.
14. Hamilton Heights Christian Academy, Chattanooga, Tenn. (28-1)*
Low-down: Won USA Prep National Championship and National Association of Christian Athletes Division I National Tournaments. The regular season is complete but an invite to the DICK’S Nationals may be extended.
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, taking down unbeaten Starkville, 57-54. Mississippi State-bound Myah Taylor scored 16 points and Mahogany Vaught, the player of the game, added 14. Vaught scored a game-high 23 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals when the Lady Quisters toppled Murrah (Jackson), 62-45, in the semifinals. Season complete.
19. McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga. (26-6)*
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: Won the Class AAAAAAA championship, beating then-No. 18 Norcross, 75-68. It was the fourth straight title in Georgia’s highest classification as Georgia-bound Quannecia Morrison tallied 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists and help from three players with 13 points apiece—Jewel Smalls, Victoria Agyin and Lyndsey Whilby (a Texas Tech signee). Season complete.
20. Norcross, Ga. (29-3)
Low-down: Lost in the Class AAAAAAA championship to McEachern (Powder Springs), 75-68. Vanessa Blagmon (South Florida recruit) scored 23 points and Taylor Mason (Miami) had 17. Season complete.
21. Timberview, Mansfield, Texas (37-3)
Low-down: Advanced to the Class 5A state final. Season complete.
22. Hopkins, Minnetonka, Minn. (29-0)
Low-down: Won the Class AAAA, Section 6 championship, beating Wayzata (Plymouth), 81-74, as freshman Paige Bueckers (27 points) and Raena Suggs (22) combined for 49 points. The AAAA state tournament runs for three days, starting Tuesday with the first round against rivals Minnetonka at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The semifinals are Thursday and the final Saturday both at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena (a.k.a. “The Barn”). The dream title matchup would have the Royals face second-seeded and unbeaten Elk River.
23. 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.
24. Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills, Mich. (23-1)
Low-down: The Yellowjackets advanced to the Class B quarterfinals on Tuesday, where they met Mumford (Detroit) in Marysville. Defeated Goodrich, 69-52, in the Regional 14 final. The B state semifinals are Friday at Michigan State’s Breslin Center in Eat Lansing and the final is Saturday.
25 Geneva, Ill. (29-4)*
Low-down: Won the Class 4A state championship. Season complete.
Dropped: No. 11 Butler (Louisville, Ky.)
High-Fives by Region
- Ursuline Academy, Wilmington, Del. (23-1)*
- Rutgers Prep, Somerset, N.J. (30-1)*
- Manasquan, N.J. (30-2)*
- North Allegheny, Wexford, Pa. (25-1)
- Cardinal O’Hara, Springfield, Pa. (23-5)*
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Homestead, Fort Wayne, Ind. (28-2)*
- Appleton (Wis.) North (28-0)*
- Newark, Ohio (29-0)
- Valley, West Des Moines, Iowa (24-2)*
- Arbor Prep, Ypsilanti, Mich. (25-0)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Ribault, Jacksonville, Fla. (26-3)*
- Argyle, Texas (37-2)*
- Wesleyan School, Peachtree Corners, Ga. (28-4)*
- Wenonah, Birmingham, Ala. (31-3)*
- Mercer County, Harrodsburg, Ky. (32-6)*
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Mission Hills, San Marcos, Calif. (30-2)
- La Salle Catholic College Prep, Milwaukie, Ore. (26-2)*
- Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa, Calif. (29-3)
- Konawaena, Kealakekua, Hawaii (27-3)*
- Pinewood School, Los Altos Hills, Calif. (25-3)
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.