Video: Xcellent 25 girls basketball rankings presented by The Army National Guard
MaxPreps host Myckena Guerrero takes a look at the shuffled Top 25.
The post-Christmas tournaments did their usual number on the Xcellent 25, but No. 1 Archbishop Mitty won three straight to stay in the top spot. After that, though, upsets in major tournaments moved some teams up (St. John's) and others down (St. Mary's of Stockton).
Look for calmer rankings' weather this week, however, but the Martin Luther King Day, Jr., weekend will pour the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard into the blender once again.
On another note entirely, perceptive readers will have noticed that six of the top 25 teams in the country come from a very concentrated area in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. We'd like to believe this is not a case of regional bias, but rather a recognition of hardcourt reality.
These teams not only have good records against good opponents, they also feature rosters filled with Power 5-level players. And of course, when they play each other, someone has to lose, so there will be space for other teams from other regions as the season moves along.
But regardless, the best of girls' basketball right now resides in the DMV, and the rankings reflect that regional reality.
(Note: Teams that wish to be recognized either locally or nationally should make sure their information — schedule, results, roster, coach, etc. — is up to date on MaxPreps. If you have any issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
1. (Last week 1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 12-0
Archbishop Mitty stayed close to home after Christmas, and dominated the top bracket of the 159-team West Coast Jamboree. Mitty will continue to play top-shelf Northern California teams, but will not venture far the rest of the way.2. (3) St. John's (Washington, D.C.), 10-1
The only blemish is an eight-point loss to No. 1 Archbishop Mitty, but it's not going to be easy to avoid adding another. For example, St. John's jumps right into the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference fire Wednesday on the road at No. 5 Paul VI.3. (5) Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), 8-0
A one-point win over No. 5 Paul VI, a two-point win over No. 15 Long Island Lutheran (which just knocked off previous No. 2 St. Mary's of Stockton) and an unbeaten record add up to a jump to No. 3.4. (4) Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 15-1
Riverdale posted a nice win over Collins Hill, one of Georgia's best, but now deals with the local mortals. There was a time when Oakland and Blackman were nationally ranked, too, but that time is not now.5. (6) Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 10-1
The season began with a one-point loss to No. 3 Christ the King, and Paul VI has battled through a tough schedule to go 10-1. Next up, though, is No. 3 St. John's, and even at home, that's tough duty.6. (2) St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.), 11-2
Now it gets complicated. Yes, St. Mary's lost to No. 15 Long Island Lutheran, but it also has a win over No. 8 Riverdale Baptist. And the only other loss is to No. 1 Archbishop Mitty. So this seems about right — for now.7. (7) Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 13-2
Another twist … MaxPreps does not consider schools that reclassify students (that is, admit a junior but treat her as a sophomore, for its rankings). Westridge Academy does reclassify, and beat Hamilton Heights by four last week — and Westridge has lost only to No. 8 Riverdale Baptist. Our judgment? Keep Hamilton Heights at No. 7 despite the loss.8. (9) Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 10-3
Riverdale Baptist won the Title IX Classic, one of the top tournaments in the country, so how come it only moves up one spot? Previous losses to No. 6 St. Mary's and No. 7 Hamilton Heights block any further upward movement. 9. (15) Duncanville (Texas), 24-1
Duncanville jumps into the Top 10 after winning the Sandra Meadows Classic on its home court — and would go even higher if not for that loss to unranked Mansfield Timberview. Still, wins over Southern California powers Sierra Canyon and Harvard-Westlake were impressive, though note Sierra Canyon played without three transfers who are eligible this week.10. (10) Mercer County (Harrodsburg, Ky.), 14-1
Mercer County traveled to the high-quality Naples Holiday Shootout, and beat No. 23 Westlake by four in the final. The next challenge will come over Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend.11. (11) Winter Haven (Fla.), 12-0
Nease and Rickards are a combined 25-5, so Winter Haven's weekend at the Robert Moramarco Challenge will not be an easy one. There are plenty of landmines in Florida, and Winter Haven's task now is to somehow dodge them all.12. (12) Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh, N.C.), 13-0
Southeast Raleigh returns to league play in North Carolina but draws its two toughest opponents — Enloe and Leesville Road — Wednesday and Friday.13. (13) Hoover (Ala.), 17-0
Hoover likely has faced its toughest opponents already, though Sparkman and the other Alabama powers are not to be taken lightly.14. (21) Roland Park Country (Baltimore), 12-1
Only a loss to No. 7 Hamilton Heights back in early December mars a won-loss record that has been achieved against quality opposition. The next big game is Sunday against No. 15 Long Island Lutheran.15. (16) Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.), 5-3
How can a team two games above .500 be in the top 15? By playing a brutal schedule and surviving — at least some of the time. For example, the upset over then No. 2 St. Mary's of Stockton was followed by a loss to South Shore, one of New York's best teams. And the win over No. 16 Princess Anne is balanced by losses to No. 3 Christ the King and No. 5 Paul VI.16. (19) Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.), 11-1
Princess Anne has already broken the 100-point barrier four times, and has wins over No. 17 Bishop McNamara and No. 25 St. Frances Academy. The loss to No. 15 Long Island Lutheran, though, keeps Princess Anne from going any higher this week.17. (17) Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), 8-1
Bishop McNamara is just another one of those really, really good DMV teams. The loss is to No. 16 Princess Anne, but wins over No. 25 St. Frances, Miami Country Day and Life Center Academy balance things out.18. (18) Baldwin (N.Y.), 3-1
That's right, Duncanville has played 21 more games than Baldwin, which is more games than any team in the Xcellent 25 — except Duncanville — has played. The schedule picks up quickly, though, and the Jan. 13 date with No. 25 St. Frances Academy will add clarity.19. (20) Edison Academy (Detroit), 5-0
Edison is loaded with talent, but it's hard for Michigan teams to travel due to state association restrictions. Still, Edison took one trip to Indiana and will travel to Ohio later this month for a big game against unbeaten Africentric.20. (NR) St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.), 6-0
Two big wins over New Jersey powers Franklin and Rutgers Prep vault St. John Vianney into the Xcellent 25. The schedule does ease a bit, but No. 3 Christ the King and No. 15 Long Island Lutheran are coming up in early February.21. (23) Centennial (Las Vegas), 12-2
Centennial does all it can to get outside the state of Nevada and prove just how good its basketball team is. So far this season, Centennial has been to Hawaii and Arizona in search of competition, and will head to Northern California over Martin Luther King Day, Jr. weekend.22. (24) North Central (Indianapolis), 17-1
Every year it seems like Pike is a strong team (14-1 so far) and winds up knocking off a nationally ranked Indiana team. The next opportunity will be Saturday, and North Central needs to be ready.23. (25) Westlake (Atlanta), 11-1
It's not often that a team moves up after a loss, but there were three casualties this past week, and Westlake's loss was by four points to No. 10 Mercer County. There's not much left on the regular season schedule, however, so this may be as high as Westlake rises until the playoffs.24. (NR) Eastview (Apple Valley, Minn.), 10-0
Eastview jumps in thanks to an eight-point win over previous No. 14 Hopkins, and it looks like smooth sailing until postseason — when Hopkins will be out for revenge.25. (NR) St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), 7-3
Losses to three nationally ranked teams — No. 11 Winter Haven, No. 16 Princess Anne and No. 17 Bishop McNamara — are offset by wins over South Shore (which just beat No. 15 Long Island Lutheran), Neumann-Goretti and Lake Taylor.Dropped Out:
No. 8 DeSoto, No. 14 Hopkins, No. 22 Sacred Heart