The Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend has become a traditional holiday for the top teams in the country to get away from the drudgery — and 30-point routs — of league play, and sign up for some elite competition in one-day events.
Oddly enough, No. 1 Mater Dei isn't doing that, and No. 2 Riverdale is matched up against crosstown rival No. 9 Blackman Friday in AAA District 7 Tennessee competition. The Tennessee rivals plus No. 24 Oakland all continue to boast national rankings while residing in the same 109,000-population town of Murfreesboro. (See Mitch Stephens' column on that rarity
You have to go all the way down to No. 6 Fairmont to find that big MLK showdown, in this case with Colorado's No. 12 Regis Jesuit making the trip to Ohio for the Classic in the Country.
Then again, you don't have to watch a nationally ranked team to see quality girls basketball — there are good games all over the country this weekend, and it's well worth braving the weather to check some of them out.MaxPreps Xcellent 25 Girls Basketball Rankings1. (Last week 1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 17-0
A lot of teams load up over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, but not the Monarchs — at least this year. They have tough league games down the road, but it would take an upset of massive proportions to unseat No. 1 before the postseason.
2. (2) Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) 18-0
The irresistible force meets the immovable object Friday night — No. 2 Riverdale at No. 9 Blackman in a bitter crosstown rivalry. Get there really early …
3. (3) North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.) 16-0
The big showdown with Norcross — which had beaten North Gwinnett four straight times — was decided by 5-2 Baylee Rexing
, who hit four three-pointers and scored 16 points in a 64-49 win Tuesday.
4. (4) Duncanville (Texas) 29-0
The Panthers only beat DeSoto, a traditional Texas power, by 24. And next up Mansfield Timberview, which gave them their best game since Jan. 1 — a 22-point squeaker.
5. (5) St. John's (Washington, D.C.) 15-0
The Cadets beat No. 20 Our Lady of Good Counsel 77-73 earlier this year, but this Friday Good Counsel has star guard Lindsay Spann back in action. And this one's on the road.