SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – There is something about halls of fame, regardless the sport. During my travels, I’ve been to them all. Cooperstown, Canton, Toronto and Oneonta (when the soccer was once located in a this bucolic upstate New York town).
However once you are traveling northbound on Interstate 91 and hit the Massachusetts border, it’s only minutes until the glittering dome of the Hoophall is in focus. This western Massachusetts city is the birthplace of basketball—more precise on the campus of Springfield College—and the residents really embrace it.
Last Friday the Hoophall Classic, a five-day basketball bonanza, featured Ladies’ Night. As billed it was the lone day dedicated to the girls’ high school game, mostly pairing local teams, but there were two from the Blue Star Media Elite 25 rankings. Coincidentally both are from New York and will likely meet at the New York State Federation Class AA tournament in march. No. 2 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) and No. 18 Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) both fended off area teams.
The crowds were good but the media presence was low on Friday. Too bad. They missed a great night of hoops. In the future adding at least two game with national significance would enhance the event. The boys’ games are sensational and the ESPN cameras are rolling. The same is needed for the Ladies’ Night—say one game beamed worldwide or at least streamed on ESPN3.
The Elite 25 rankings adds two teams from Georgia—No. 14 Westlake (Atlanta) and No. 18 Holy Innocents’ Episcopal (Atlanta). Hotlanta Hoops is back. Don’t forget the McDonald’s All American Game rosters were announced on Jan. 16, our story detailing the rosters is on the site.
Check back regularly at www.bluestarmedia.org for staff updates from major events and eventually the postseason. We have the pulse of the girls’ basketball world.
The Elite 25 girls’ basketball rankings will return on Jan. 24.
Get out to a game this weekend, there are plenty big-time games and events. Remember in state some states the regular season is down to three weeks. We hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Girls’ Basketball rankings, Jan. 17, 2018
1. Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif. (16-0)
Low-down: After disposing of West Catholic League foes, St. Ignatius (San Francisco), 73-31, and Presentation (San Jose), 80-38, the Monarchs stepped to take down Carondelet (Concord), 63-49. This week features only one game Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep (San Francisco) on Saturday.
2. Christ the King, Middle Village, N.Y. (12-0)
Low-down: Kaelynn Satterfield poured in 16 points and Brandy Thomas and Natalija Marshall added 12 apiece in a 70-51 victory over Enfield (Conn.) at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. The Royals led 17-11 after one quarter but an 18-8 spree made it 35-19 at the break. Next up is a Brooklyn-Queens AA showdown with local rival St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows) Thursday.
3. Duncanville, Texas (28-1)
Low-down: Zarielle Green’s 16 points led three double-digit scorers when the Pantherettes took control of District 7-6A by defeating DeSoto, 57-51. The score was knotted at 42 through three quarters before a 15-9 run clinched it. Two more district games dot this schedule this week.
4. Riverdale, Murfreesboro, Tenn. (18-1)
Low-down: The Lady Warriors were supposed to receive a challenge at the Music City Classic in Nashville but instead they slugged Winder-Barrow (Ga.), 81-51. Now they have two district games before heading north to Louisville, Ky., for a matchup with Blue Grass State power Male (Louisville) at the Raatz/O’Shea’s Classic. Once they return home only six games remain in the regular season.
5. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (14-1)
Low-down: The Cadets have a short week playing Good Counsel (Wheaton, Md.), taking a 6-0 record in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference into the contest.
6. Riverdale Baptist School, Upper Marlboro, Md. (11-3)
7. Hamilton Heights Christian, Chattanooga, Tenn. (17-2)
Low-down: Georgia Tech-bound Elizabeth Balogun exploded for a double-double, with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Treasure Hunt added 15 points as the Lady Hawks clipped then-No. 9 Mercer County (Harrodsburg, Ky.), 51-37, at the Music City Classic in Nashville.
8. Princess Anne, Virginia Beach, Va. (11-1)
Low-down: Idle. The Cavaliers play two games this week.
9. St. Mary’s, Stockton, Calif. (17-2)
Low-down: The win streak hit eight games in impressive fashion by beating then-No. 7 Centennial (Las Vegas), 78-61, and Ribet Academy (Los Angeles), 68-51, a the MLK-St. Mary’s Showcase in Stockton. Florida-bound Ariel Johnson pumped in 25 points in the former game.
10. Paul VI, Fairfax, Va. (15-2)
Low-down: The Panthers upped their mark to 5-1 in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference after beating Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), 66-53. Also beat West Catholic (Philadelphia), 65-35.
11. Bradley Central, Cleveland, Tenn. (19-0)
Low-down: The Bearettes defeated Soddy Daisy, 74-22, and Walker Valley (Cleveland), 50-42, improving to 6-0 in District 5-AAA.
12. Centennial, Las Vegas (17-3)
Low-down: There’s reason why Karen Weitz is one of the premier coaches in the nation. She’ll do anything to get her better and prepared for the postseason. Take last weekend when the Lady Bulldogs spend four days in Northern California, producing a very respectable 2-1 record, including splitting two games at the MLK-St. Mary’s Showcase in Stockton. First they fell to No. 9 St. Mary’s (Stockton, Calif.), 78-61, but came back to stop Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.), 59-49. UNLV-bound Justice Ethridge threw in 18 points against Harvard-Westlake. Seven games to go in the regular season.
13. Edwardsville, Ill. (18-0)
Low-down: The Tigers remain undefeated with two easy local wins. Next up is St. Joseph’s Academy (St. Louis) on Wednesday.
14. Westlake, Atlanta (16-1)
Previous: Not ranked
Low-down: Georgia’s top-ranked Class AAAAAAA team features great depth and must prove it down the stretch.
15. Winter Haven, Fla. (17-0)
Low-down: A 3-0 week was capped by a 51-42 win over Nova (Davie) at the MVP Sports MLK Classic in Hallandale.
16. Southeast Raleigh, Raleigh, N.C. (17-0)
Low-down: It was a bountiful week for the North Carolina’s top-ranked 4A team, which won three Cap 7 Conference games and then knocked off Hillside (Durham), 55-33, at the MLK Classic in Durham.
17. Mercer County, Harrodsburg, Ky. (16-2)
Low-down: The win streak was halted at 16 games after a 51-37 loss to then-No. 13 Hamilton Heights Christian (Chattanooga, Tenn.) at the Music City Classic in Nashville. This weekend the Titans have two high-powered games at the Raatz Fence/O’Shea’s Classic in Louisville.
18. Long Island Lutheran, Brookville, N.Y. (9-3)
Low-down: Texas-bound junior Celeste Taylor tallied her 1,000th career points and had 17 points in a 42-37 win over Springfield (Mass.) Central at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. The Lady Crusaders then defeated St. Joseph Central Catholic (Huntington, W.Va.), 65-47, at the Rose Classic Super Jam in Brooklyn, N.Y. Alisha Lewis, a Georgia Tech pledge, scored 19 points and dropped 6 dimes.
19. Holy Innocents’ Episcopal, Atlanta (16-1)
Previous: Not ranked
Low-down: The Golden Bears recorded a midseason signature win by dispatching then-No. 16 Hoover(Ala.), 53-48. There is a feeling Georgia’s top-ranked Class A-Private school might be the best overall. Just seven games remain in the regular season.
20. Collins Hill, Suwanee, Ga. (15-2)
Low-down: Coach Brian Harmon’s team blew out two Region 6-AAAAAAA opponents.
21. Baldwin, N.Y. (9-1)
Low-down: The Bruins hit their stride this week, burying three Long Island schools before handing St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) a 62-46 defeat at the Rose Classic Super Jam in nearby Brooklyn.
22. Montini Catholic, Lombard, Ill. (22-2)
Low-down: The Lady Broncos were upset by St. Joseph (South Bend, Ind.), 34-31, in
23. Hoover, Ala. (21-1)
Low-down: The Bucs went 3-0 against Alabama competition but lost at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal (Atlanta), 53-48, for the first setback this campaign. Only five games remain in the regular season.
24. Incarnate Word Academy, Bel-Nor, Mo. (9-3)
Low-down: The Red Knights hit the road this weekend for two games at the Raatz Fence/O’Shea’s Classic in Louisville, Ky., where they face No. 17 Mercer County (Harrodsburg, Ky.) Friday and Sacred Heart Academy (Louisville) Saturday.
25. Edison Public School Academy, Detroit (7-1)
Low-down: Sophomore Gabrielle Elliott and freshman Damiya Hagemann each scored 11 points but is wasn’t enough in a 54-49 upset loss at Arbor Prep (Ypsilanti). The Pioneers were rusty after a nearly two-week layoff. The two teams could meet again in the Class C state final in March. Also defeated Wayne Memorial, 64-50, at the Freedom Classic in Warren.
Dropped out: No. 22.Salesian College Prep, Richmond, Calif.; and No. 25 Roland Park Day, Baltimore,
High-Fives by Region
- North Allegheny, Wexford, Pa. (11-0)
- Rock Creek Christian, Upper Marlboro, Md. (17-4)
- St. John Vianney, Holmdel, N.J. (9-0)
- Bishop McNamara, Forestville, Md. (12-2)
- Manasquan, N.J. (8-1)
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. (13-0)
- East Kentwood, Kentwood, Mich. (10-0)
- Carmel, Ind. (19-1)
- Newark, Ohio (12-0)
- Iowa City, Iowa (13-0)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Mansfield (Texas) Timberview (27-2)
- John Curtis Christian, River Ridge, La. (19-1)
- Choctaw Central, Philadelphia, Miss. (18-0)
- Cibolo (Texas) Steele (25-3)
- Canyon, Texas (20-2)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Central Valley, Veradale, Wash. (14-0)
- Mesquite, Gilbert, Ariz. (16-3)
- Windward School, Los Angeles (11-3)
- Southridge, Beaverton. Ore. (13-1)
- Maryknoll, Honolulu (22-2)
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. Teams with fifth-year or reclassified players won’t be considered. 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.