Video: Emily Jones' highlights vs. ArapahoeWatch the Dundy County-Stratton senior guard in action.
Putting together a talent-heavy roster generally goes a long way towards producing deep postseason runs and the hardware that goes along with winning state championships. However, there are no guarantees.
Sometimes the hardware is attained simply because the champion gets hot at the right time, sneaks up on the rest of the field and steals the show.
While the usual hombres are once again favorites to win it all in Nebraska, so long as they survive the chaos that is Nebraska girls district basketball, MaxPreps is taking a look at those Cornhusker State teams that are hot at the moment. Some of the names on our Nebraska Top 10 longest girls basketball winning streaks post won't surprise our readers – but some may.
Defending Class C1 state champion Kearney Catholic, ranked third in MaxPreps' latest Nebraska computer rankings, sits atop this week's Top 10 after winning its 41st straight contest, a 50-43 conquest over Minden last week. Dundy County-Stratton, who entered last season's Class D1 state tournament on a 21-game win streak, only to lose in the state quarterfinals, takes a 24-game winning streak into its district final contest against Morrill on Friday.
Mitchell, holds the state's third longest win-streak, at 20, and hasn't lost since falling to unbeaten Sterling, Colo. (45-37) December 3. Meanwhile, Lincoln Christian avenged a late December loss to Bishop Neumann at the same time it was putting together a fourth best string of 16 straight victories. North Central, Spalding Academy and Wynot put themselves in the Top 5 with 13 game winning streaks.
As teams get hot at season's end, of course they climb in the polls both locally and nationally, as is evidence of Nebraska's 10 hottest girls basketball programs. Taking a look at this week's MaxPreps power rankings, and comparing them to last Friday's, three schools have climbed in the national poll by leaps and bounds.
Class D2's Wynot made a power surge like no other in Nebraska climbing 247 spots to 2,558th nationally in just a matter of days, while Class A's Lincoln East and Millard South soared up the national rankings 146 and 133 rungs respectively. Millard South, winner of eight straight games, was the only school in the Top 10 to improve its standing in all three polls (Class A, Nebraska and Nationally).
Dundy County-Stratton, Sandhills/Thedford and Elm Creek all lost ground in the state poll, but rose in the national rankings published Tuesday. Top-ranked Lincoln Christian, of course, is the highest ranked Cornhusker State program nationally at No. 67. Kearney Catholic and Crofton both made the Nation's Top 500 at No. 255 and No. 378 respectively, while Mitchell just missed the cut at 504th out of the 18,869 schools that are entered into MaxPreps' power ranking database.
Kearney Catholic and Dundy County-Stratton are Nebraska's only undefeated girls basketball teams to date. Mitchell's lone loss came from out of state Sterling, Colorado.
Fourteen girls basketball programs have won eight straight games, or more, to find a spot in our latest Nebraska Top 10 and are ready for the rip roaring postseason basketball fun coming their way at the end of February and hopefully into March. On the first line we have provided the school, its won-loss record through last weekend and the winning streak the school is currently on.
The second line lists each school's MaxPreps power ranking as of Tuesday – both locally and nationally. Line three gives readers a heads up on who the listed school will compete against next on its way to the state championships. Class A began district play Tuesday after this Top 10 was posted, so we were not able to include the next opponent for those schools.
Nebraska's Top 10 girls basketball winning streaks1. Kearney Catholic (Kearney) (26-0) – 41 straight wins
Class C1 No. 3, No. 3 Nebraska, 253rd Nationally
C1-5 District Final vs. St. Paul2. Dundy County-Stratton (Benkelman) (24-0) – 24 straight wins
Class D1 No. 2, No. 24 Nebraska, 1,720th Nationally
D1-6 District Final vs. Morrill3. Mitchell (22-1) – 20 straight wins
Class C1 No. 4, No. 6 Nebraska, 504th Nationally
C1-6 District Final vs. Chase County4. Lincoln Christian (Lincoln) (22-1) – 16 straight wins
Class C1 No. 1, No. 1 Nebraska, 67th Nationally
C1-2 District Final vs. Malcolm5. North Central (Bassett) (18-3) – 13 straight wins
Class D1 No. 3, No. 26 Nebraska, 1,789th Nationally
D1-3 District Final vs. Randolph5. Spalding Academy (Spalding) (17-3) – 13 straight wins
Class D2 No. 8, No. 83 Nebraska, 4,862nd Nationally
D2-3 District Final vs. Hampton5. Wynot (19-3) – 13 straight wins
Class D2 No. 3, No. 38 Nebraska, 2,558th Nationally
D2-2 District Final vs. St. Mary's8. Crofton (22-2) – 10 straight wins
Class C2 No. 1, No. 4 Nebraska, 383rd Nationally
C2-3 District Final vs. West Holt8. Sandhills/Thedford (Dunning) (20-4) – 10 straight wins
Class D2 No. 4, No. 54 Nebraska, 3,360th Nationally
D2-5 District Final vs. Hyannis10. Lincoln East (17-6) – 8 straight wins
Class A No. 8, No. 46 Nebraska, 3,017th Nationally
A-5 District began this week10. Gering (16-7) – 8 straight wins
Class B No. 15, No. 49 Nebraska, 3,170th Nationally
B-6 District Semifinal vs. Alliance10. Elm Creek (22-2) – 8 straight wins
Class D1 No. 6, No. 52 Nebraska, 3,316th Nationally
D1-5 District Final vs. Burwell10. Sioux County (Harrison) (15-7) – 8 straight wins
Class D2 No. 20, No. 171 Nebraska, 11,011th Nationally
D2-6 District Final vs. Potter-Dix10. Millard South (Omaha) (22-2) – 8 straight wins
Class A No. 2, No. 18 Nebraska, 1,251st Nationally
A-2 District began this week