Video: Top 10 Plays of the Week // Week 6
See what plays had everyone talking this past week.
Before we plunge into the maelstrom of state title games and the inevitable upsets, this is a good time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It's been pretty clear for the past few years that the DMV is home to the best teams in the country — not necessarily the strongest top to bottom, but in terms of elite groups of talent.
That hasn't changed much this year, as a look at the Xcellent 25 reveals. Not only are there three teams from the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, Riverdale Baptist, St. Frances and Princess Anne are also ranked.
But even though Kentucky has only one ranked team at this point (Mercer County), it's been a good year for the Bluegrass State in comparison to the recent past. Sacred Heart Academy and Campbell County have both spent some time in the rankings, which means the one-class Kentucky playoffs should be very competitive.
And New York, which had declined from its glory days of a decade ago, is back in the mix, thanks to Christ the King, Baldwin, Long Island Lutheran and South Shore (plus a few others). The winner of the Federation playoffs — which puts all the division winners into one tournament in Glen Falls — will have definitely proved something.
North Carolina deserves some mention as well, but the mystery state is Michigan. Rules in the Wolverine State prevent much travel, and it wasn't that long ago that girls' basketball was played in the fall, so there has never been a tradition of Michigan teams looking to play a national schedule. But East Kentwood and Edison Academy just might be two of the best unranked teams in the country at this point — but given the restrictions, we really can't say for sure.
What we can say for sure that this is the last week of stability of the Xcellent 25. Look for teams to start tumbling out of the rankings, and look for teams from states that haven't been mentioned yet to start claiming those spots in the coming weeks.
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MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
1. (Last week 1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 24-0
Archbishop Mitty moves into California's sectional playoffs, and shouldn't be threatened until the finals, which are the weekend after next. The NorCal Regionals follow, with the state championship game March 24.2. (2) Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), 24-0
Christ the King is off until March 1, when the four-team Brooklyn Queens playoffs begin.3. (3) Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 29-1
Riverdale draws Tullahoma in the first round of the Region 4-AAA playoffs, which will conclude Feb. 28 — followed by a sectional round, and finally the state championships.4. (5) St. John's (Washington, D.C.), 26-2
After disposing of No. 25 Bishop McNamara in the final league game, St. John's now moves into the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoffs, which will conclude Monday at American University — and includes both Bishop McNamara and No. 7 Paul VI.5. (6) St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.), 23-2
Like Archbishop Mitty, St. Mary's now starts sectional competition, and barring the completely unexpected, will move into the NorCal Open Division — and anticipate a March 17 rematch with No. 1 Mitty.6. (7) Duncanville (Texas), 38-1
Every step in the Texas UIL playoffs means the likelihood of playing an opponent with 30 or more wins goes up – and any team that can ring up 30 wins in a single high school season deserves some serious respect.7. (8) Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 25-3
Everyone's anticipating the Monday rubber match between Paul VI and No. 4 St. John's in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference finals — but the WCAC is loaded with quality teams and talented players, so nothing is guaranteed.8. (8) Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 19-2
Hamilton Heights moves into the four-team National Association of Christian Athletes' championship Wednesday, and the first game is against talented New Hope — and regardless of the outcome, expect the same two teams to play Saturday for the title.9. (10) Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas), 36-2
Mansfield Timberview slipped past 25-win Crowley 46-41 in the UIL 5A playoffs, and just like Duncanville in 6A, every rung on the ladder gets harder to climb.10. (11) Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh, N.C.), 26-0
As Southeast Raleigh moves through the North Carolina 4A playoffs, note that the only other top seed the nation's No. 10 team hasn't already beaten is Northwest Guilford — and those two can't meet until the state title game March 10.11. (12) Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.), 21-1
Norview looks to be the toughest competition in the Class 5, Region A playoffs, which conclude Monday, but things will get somewhat more difficult for Princess Anne after that.12. (14) Centennial (Las Vegas), 27-3
Liberty is 26-2 and will likely be Centennial's opponent in Friday's Nevada 4A championship game — but both of Liberty's losses were to Spring Valley, and Centennial just handled Spring Valley in the Class 5, Region A semifinal by 30, 75-45.13. (13) St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.), 24-1
Brelynn Bellamy's 3-pointer as time expired gave St. John-Vianney a 39-37 win over St. Rose and preserved both Vianney's spot in the Xcellent 25 and its hopes of a New Jersey championship. It doesn't get any easier, though — next up is Manasquan.14. (15) Baldwin (N.Y.), 19-1
Baldwin continues to dominate local opposition, but it won't be long until the competition stiffens — at which point it will become clear if Baldwin really is the 14th best team in the nation.15. (16) Mercer County (Harrodsburg, Ky.), 28-3
Kentucky is one of the few states without divisional breakdowns — all teams are in the same postseason bracket — so the playoffs take some time. Mercer County just finished District 46 play, and now moves into the Region 12 bracket. 16. (9) Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 19-5
After playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, Riverdale Baptist stumbled in its last regular season game, losing to National Christian Academy 57-54. But redemption could arrive this week in the form of the Independent School National Championship in North Carolina.17. (17) Winter Haven (Winter Haven, Fla.), 29-1
Winter Haven moves into the Region 2 Finals against Melbourne, a team they beat by 18 already this year, and a win there means a berth in the 8A final four March 2.18. (18) Central Valley (Spokane Valley, Wash.), 23-0
Central Valley was on track to go unbeaten and win a state title last year and stumbled in postseason. Camas is Saturday's opponent, and with seven losses, is unlikely to derail the 2018 train.19. (19) St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), 21-4
St. Frances Academy won its third straight Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland title by knocking off McDonogh yet again. The season will conclude at the 24th annual Bishop Walsh Girls Invitational Tournament March 1-3.20. (20) Westlake (Atlanta), 26-1
Westlake keeps moving closer to the highly anticipated matchup with Collins Hill, but of course must avoid getting upset. Marietta is the next team that would love to knock off someone in the Xcellent 25.21. (21) Edwardsville (Ill.), 29-0
Even though Rock Island has seven losses, Edwardsville would be mistaken to look past Thursday's opponent. Rock Island has played a much tougher schedule, including a trip to Washington, D.C., for the Title IX Classic — and there, Rock Island only lost to No. 5 St. Mary's by 13.22. (22) Southridge (Beaverton, Ore.), 23-1
Snow in Portland has postponed a host of games, including Southridge's, but they all have to be completed by Thursday, when bracketing for the state playoffs begins.23. (23) Holy Innocents Episcopal (Atlanta), 26-1
Holy Innocents will coast through the 1A Private bracket until the winner of St. Francis and Wesleyan shows up on the other side of the scorer's table. Then things will get serious.24. (24) Eastview (Apple Valley, Minn.), 25-0
The Minnesota playoffs start next week, and it's no surprise that Hopkins and Eastview will be the favorites. Eastview has a December win over Hopkins, but Hopkins just rolled over previously unbeaten Wayzata by 31.25. (25) Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), 20-6
Six losses is a lot for a team in the Xcellent 25, but four of them are to teams in the top seven (including Monday's loss to No. 4 St. John's). But to hold on to this spot, McNamara will need to beat one or both of those teams in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoffs.Dropped Out: