Video: 15-year old girl is a dunking machine
Regis Jesuit's Fran Belibi is one reason her squad is in the Xcellent 25 rankings.
The campaign has barely begun, and already the casualties are mounting — though it's really not that unexpected for several teams to tumble out of the rankings early. After all, injuries, transfers and other factors can change the landscape in a hurry.
That said, the top 13 in this week's Xcellent 25 remained the same, though of course some haven't played yet. Different state association calendars mean that some teams start playing games in early November and some can't even start practicing until December.
Sooner or later, however, everyone gets going, and many of these rankings will get sorted out on the court — and in fact, that kind of winnowing will begin this week.
MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
1. (Last week 1) Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 4-0
The nation's No. 1 team proves how uneasy lies the crown, as Alabama power Hazel Green (9-1) nearly knocked off Riverdale in Murfreesboro before falling 51-49. Sunday, No. 7 Mercer County will be an even tougher test.2. (2) St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.), 1-0
St. Mary's is easing into the season before ramping up the schedule in early December. The Mats Tip Off Classic at Miramonte this weekend shouldn't be much of a challenge.3. (3) Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 1-0
After slipping past a tough TPLS Christian Academy 64-57, Riverdale Baptist will host the first top-five showdown of the season Thursday when No. 4 Hamilton Heights visits Upper Marlboro.4. (4) Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 4-0
Hamilton Heights handled one of Ohio's best, Lakota West, after trailing at halftime, but it's unlikely a similar letdown will go unpunished Thursday against No. 3 Riverdale Baptist. And then No. 6 Paul VI shows up on the schedule Saturday.5. (5) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 1-0
After an 86-52 thrashing of regional power Bishop O'Dowd on Tuesday, next up is a trip to California's capital to take on another quality team, Sacramento High.6. (6) Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 0-0
Paul VI jumps right into the fire by hosting New York power Christ the King on Friday, No. 4 Hamilton Heights Saturday and always competitive Life Center Academy on Sunday. That's a serious start to any season.7. (7) Mercer County (Harrodsburg, Ky.), 0-0
Most coaches like to schedule a couple cupcakes to begin the year. That lets the new roster settle in, and builds a little confidence. Not Mercer County: No.1 Riverdale is number one on the schedule.8. (8) St. John's (Washington, D.C.), 0-0
Unbeaten Life Center Academy (24 wins last year) is first up Friday, with No. 12 South Shore on Saturday at the loaded Art Turner Memorial. Get your tickets now.9. (9) Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.), 1-0
Landsdown went 26-2 last year, which meant game one of the season wasn't a gimme Tuesday — but Princess Anne rolled, 68-29. Next up is Woodbridge, which was 23-5 last year and has most of its firepower back.10. (10) Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis), 0-0
Iowa 2A power Regina (25-1 last year) is Saturday's opponent, and then next week Incarnate Word gets really serious at the She Got Game Shootout.11. (11) North Little Rock (Ark.), 3-0
North Little Rock got three games in early but now won't play again until Dec. 7 at the Fayetteville tournament — and host Fayetteville is one of Arkansas's best teams.12. (12) South Shore (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 0-0
No. 8 St. John's is first up Friday, at St. John's no less, but looking past Maryland's St. Frances Academy the next night would be a serious mistake.13. (13) Montini Catholic (Lombard, Ill.), 6-0
Lincoln-Way East hadn't lost this year — until Tuesday. Montini rolled 63-28; next up is the Hoops for Harvest in Kentucky and a couple out-of-state opponents.14. (NR) DeSoto (Texas), 7-0
DeSoto arrives in the rankings as Texas' best — so far. The Cowtown Classic is this weekend, followed by always talented Bishop Lynch on Tuesday.15. (16) Baldwin (N.Y.), 0-0
Baldwin is another school that will jump right into the fire, as the first game is against McDonogh on Dec. 9 in the She Got Game Classic, followed by No. 8 St. John's the next night.16. (17) Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.), 1-0
Hopkins will get its first test Saturday against Centennial, which was 22-7 last year and returns most of its soldiers. Shakopee should be an easier opponent next Tuesday.17. (NR) Carmel (Ind.), 8-0
Carmel's debut in the Xcellent 25 was dependent on the outcome of Tuesday's game against unbeaten Lawrence North, and things didn't look great when Carmel trailed by 10 with 1:12 left in the third quarter — on the road. But Carmel kept Lawrence North off the scoreboard for nearly eight minutes and came back to win 52-51.18. (NR) Winter Haven (Fla.), 2-0
Winter Haven jumps into the rankings thanks to a 57-47 win over previous No. 21 Miami Country Day, but its time could be short if things go awry at the She Got Game Shootout Dec. 8-10.19. (19) Franklin (Somerset, N.J.), 0-0
Nothing to report here, as Franklin has yet to even begin practice.20. (20) Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.), 0-0
Regis Jesuit opens at La Jolla Country Day's Sweet 16 invitational, and could run into Colorado rival Highlands Ranch at the Southern California event. But the host is strong too, and winning this event would undoubtedly result in a rise in the rankings.21. (22) Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh, N.C.), 3-0
Rolesville and Seventy-First are on tap this weekend — Rolesville has the best record (5-1) but Seventy-First has the best name.22. (23) Windward (Los Angeles), 1-0
After slipping past Harvard-Westlake 68-67, Windward hammered Long Beach Poly — which is usually in these rankings — by 22 on Monday. Next up is the Battle at the Beach in Redondo.23. (25) Mesquite (Gilbert, Ariz.), 6-0
Mesquite's big test will be at the Nike TOC in its hometown in mid-December, but before then, Ironwood on Dec. 8 should provide a good measuring stick24. (24) Kentridge (Kent, Wash.), 0-0
The first big game of the season in Washington is tonight, when Kentridge – and its powerful post combo – travels to Bellarmine Prep.25. (NR) Centennial (Las Vegas), (1-0)
Centennial lost a lot to graduation, but a strong December schedule and plenty of returning talent earns the Nevada power a spot in the Xcellent 25.Dropped Out:
No. 14 Collins Hill, No. 15 Mount Notre Dame, No. 18 New Hope, No. 21 Miami Country Day