BENSALEM, Pa. – As usual the Blue Star Media Elite 25 girls’ basketball rankings has a fresh look the calendar hits the New Year.
The holiday tournaments really had an impact as top-ranked Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) moves atop the heap after winning the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions Joe Smith Division before Christmas and the West Coast Jamboree a week later. Bravo for the Monarchs, who won’t have an easy road.
Five new teams are in the Elite 25 rankings.
This weekend the 2018 Blue Star Showcase will be held at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia on Sunday. There will be two courts going simultaneous with 14 games featuring top girls’ teams from New York, Virginia, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. The most intriguing games in the Jim Munn Bracket are No. 20 Roland Park Country Day (Baltimore) and No. 22 Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) at 1:25 p.m. and No. 8 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) taking on Manasquan (N.J.) at 3 p.m. The Nancy Dougherty Bracket has seven games, tipping at 10 a.m. with Episcopal Academy (Newtown Square, Pa.) meeting West Catholic (Philadelphia).
Check back regularly at www.bluestarmedia.org for staff updates from Nike Tournament of Champions and other holiday events. We will keep you abreast of anything breaking in the girls’ basketball world.
The Elite 25 rankings will return on Jan. 10.
So, it’s a Happy New Year to all! We hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Girls’ Basketball rankings, Jan. 3, 2018
1. Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif. (12-0)
Low-down: The Monarchs ruled the Nike Tournament of Champions Joe Smith Division, defeating then-No. 3 St. Mary’s (Stockton, Calif.), 57-50, in the final. Junior Haley Jones produced 22 points and 10 rebounds to capture Most Valuable Player honors. After Christmas they won the prestigious West Coast Jamboree, crushing Folsom, 89-42, in the Platinum Division final. The 6-foot-1 Jones had 23 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals and another MVP award in the rout.
2. Christ the King, Middle Village, N.Y. (8-0)
Low-down: Won the Cresmon Bank Invitational championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In the title game, the Royals toppled St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.) as Kaelynn Satterfield (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Brandy Thomas (11 points, 10 rebounds) each posting double-doubles. Coach Bob Mackey’s club prepares for an intercity showdown game with South Shore (Brooklyn) on Sunday afternoon.
3. Winter Haven, Fla. (12-0)
Low-down: Won the Florida Prospects Christmas Invitational Platinum Bracket title, beating Florida Prep Academy (Melbourne), 41-33, in the final. Just 13 games remain the regular season with the district tournament starting on Feb. 5.
4. Duncanville, Texas (24-1)
Low-down: The Pantherettes are Texas’ top-ranked Class 6A squad and won the 67th Sandra Meadows Memorial Tournament, beating Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.), 45-30, in the championship contest. Zarielle Green, a Tennessee signee and McDonald’s All-American Game candidate, was named MVP with 18 points in the final.
5. Riverdale, Murfreesboro, Tenn. (15-1)
Low-down: The Lady Warriors win streak was halted at 54 games, dropping to top-ranked Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 64-50, in the semifinals but rebounded to finish in third place, beating No. 3 Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 80-65. They also won the State Farm Classic on their home court after Christmas.
6. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (10-1)
Low-down: Went 3-1 at the Nike TOC Joe Smith Division in Arizona, losing to top-ranked Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 57-49, in the quarterfinals.
7. Centennial, Las Vegas (13-2)
Low-down: Justice Ethridge took home MVP honors as the Lady Bulldogs won the Las Vegas Holyday Classic Platinum Bracket, defeating Etiwanda (Calif.), 59-39, in the final. The UNLV recruit accounted for a season-high 32 points in the title tilt.
8. Paul VI, Fairfax, Va. (10-1)
Low-down: The Panthers carry a 10-game win streak in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference showdown with No. 6 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.). The Panthers also play Manasquan (N.J.) on Sunday in the 2018 Blue Star Showcase Blue in Philadelphia.
9. Riverdale Baptist School, Upper Marlboro, Md. (10-3)
Low-down: Won the Title IX D.C. Classic Pat Summitt Bracket championship, beating South Shore (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 70-62, in the final.
10. Mercer County, Harrodsburg, Ky. (13-1)
Low-down: The Titans won four games to capture the Naples (Fla.) Holiday Shootout American Division title, beating No. xxx Westlake (Atlanta), 77-73. Louisville-bound Seygan Robins flipped in 26 points, while averaging 25 points in three tournament games to bag MVP honors.
11. Edison Public School Academy, Detroit (6-0)
Low-down: The Pioneers are rolling over opponents with no end in sight. Next up is Saturday against Carman-Ainsworth (Flint).
12. Princess Anne, Virginia Beach, Va. (11-1)
Low-down: The Cavaliers won the Boo Williams Christmas Tournament Gold Bracket, beating regionally ranked Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), 63-53, in the final. Makayla Dickens scored a team-high 13 points and Mississippi State-bound Xaria Williams contributed a double-double of 11 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals to seal the team’s fourth straight title at the event.
13. Hamilton Heights Christian, Chattanooga, Tenn. (13-2)
Low-down: The Lady Hawks went 3-1 over the holidays, playing games in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. This weekend they play twice at an event in Kentucky.
14. North Central, Indianapolis (16-1)
Low-down: After absorbing a 62-34 loss to No. 13 Hamilton Heights Christian (Chattanooga, Tenn.), the Panthers rebounded with 43-38 win over Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers) to win the North Central Classic.
15. St. Mary’s, Stockton, Calif. (11-2)
Low-down: Finished second at the Nike TOC Joe Smith Bracket in Arizona, going 3-1 against national competition and went transcontinental to Washington for the Title IX D.C. Classic, losing to Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.), 60-51, but rebounded to win twice. This weekend the Lady Rams host Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas).
16. Bradley Central, Cleveland, Tenn. (16-0)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: Won the Andrew Johnson Bank Ladies Classic in Greeneville, Tenn., beating Oak Ridge, 54-48, in the final. The Bearettes are back at it Friday against Cleveland in a District 5-AAA game.
17. Collins Hill, Suwanee, Ga. (10-2)
Low-down: The Eagles coughed up a lead to No. 5 Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) in a 70-61 at the State Farm Classic in Murfreesboro.
18. Edwardsville, Ill. (14-0)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: Won Visitation (St. Louis, Mo.) Christmas Tournament, rallying to beat then-No. 25 Incarnate Word Academy (Bel Nor, Mo.), 61-57. Kate Martin scored 19 and Rachel Pranger added 18 in the final. The Tigers open the New Year as Illinois’ top-ranked Class 4A team.
19. Montini Catholic, Lombard, Ill. (18-1)
Low-down: The Lady Broncos won the Montini Christmas Tournament. Sam Mitchell sank two free throws with 1.9 seconds left to win the title game over reigning Class 4A state champions Geneva, 52-50. The schedule resumes Friday and Saturday with league games.
20. Roland Park Country School, Baltimore (12-1)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: Won Nike TOC John Anderson Division in Arizona.
21. Southeast, Raleigh, N.C. (13-0)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: North Carolina’s top-ranked 4A is on a mission after losing the state championship game a year ago.
22. Long Island Lutheran, Brookville, N.Y. (5-3)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: The Lady Crusaders have played one of the nation’s mist difficult schedules and play New Jersey powerhouse Franklin on Saturday.
23. Salesian, Richmond, Calif. (7-2)
Low-down: Went 3-1 at the Nike TOC in the John Anderson Bracket for fifth place.
24. Baldwin, N.Y. (3-1)
Low-down: After an opening day loss, the Bruins have peeled off three straight wins. Next up is Hicksville on Saturday.
25. Incarnate Word Academy, Bel-Nor, Mo. (7-3)
Low-down: The Red Knights were runners-up at the Visitation Christmas Tournament. The New Year will bring more challenges.
Dropped out: No. 9 Canyon, Texas; No. 14 Franklin, Somerset, N.J.; No. 19 Mesquite, Gilbert, Ariz.; No. 22 Hopkins, Minnetonka, Minn.; and No. 24 Maryknoll, Honolulu.
High-Fives by Region
- Manasquan, N.J. (6-0)
- North Allegheny, Wexford, Pa. (8-0)
- Bishop McNamara, Forestville, Md. (8-1)
- St. John Vianney, Holmdel N.J. (6-0)
- St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (7-3)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Eastview, Apple Valley, Minn. (10-0)
- Hopkins, Minnetonka, Minn. (11-1)
- Rufus King, Milwaukee (10-0)
- Carmel, Ind. (16-1)
- East Kentwood, Kentwood, Mich. (8-0)
- Hoover, Ala. (17-0)
- Westlake, Atlanta (11-1)
- Mansfield (Texas) Timberview (19-2)
- John Curtis Christian, River Ridge, La. (12-1)
- Choctaw Central, Philadelphia, Miss. (14-0)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Central Valley, Spokane, Wash. (9-0)
- Harvard-Westlake, Studio City, Calif. (13-2)
- Mesquite, Gilbert, Ariz. (12-3)
- Windward School, Los Angeles (8-3)
- Southridge, Beaverton. Ore. (9-1)
Geography: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
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 @clawlor.