The scoreboard doesn't lie, and the rankings have no mercy. Previously unbeaten Hopkins was missing two key players against a good Wayzata team, but a loss is a loss -- and since the Royals have no wins outside Minnesota, they are gone from the Xcellent 25, most likely for good.MaxPreps national girls basketball playoff brackets
The other casualty was Pflugerville, which went cold in the fourth quarter against The Woodlands, scoring just two points and watching its undefeated season, national ranking and state championship hopes evaporate in 8 painful minutes. Brenisha Payne
had 11 for the Panthers, but it wasn't enough in a 51-43 loss.
Nazareth lost as well, but to a very good Bishop Ford team, and then bounced back to beat Christ the King for a second time. And since Christ the King just finished knocking off Cicero-North, it had to justify dropping the Kingsmen behind the Northstars.MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
1. (1) St. Mary's (Phoenix) (28-0)
There are four teams left in the Arizona Division I playoffs, and three of them have split with Chandler. St. Mary's played Chandler once, and won by just six, so finishing 30-0 is far from a lock for the nation's No. 1 team.
2. (2) Windward (Los Angeles) (25-3)
The Wildcats strolled through the last two games, winning by a combined score of 213-50. JSerra Catholic will provide a little more opposition, but only won by two over an 11-loss team Saturday.3. (3) Bolingbrook (Ill.) (25-1)
Finally. Bolingbrook and Whitney Young are both just a win away from meeting in the finals of the Hinsdale Super-Sectional. The state tournament follows, but whichever teams wins Monday will be the heavy favorite.4. (4) McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) (27-0)
Westlake is the likely second-round opponent for the Indians, and Westlake's 21-5 record includes three losses to Stephenson -- which is a Top 10 team in Georgia.5. (5) Whitney Young (Chicago) (30-0)
There's been little to choose from between Illinois powers Bolingbrook and Whitney Young all season -- the only difference was Bolingbrook's trip to the Nike TOC. Monday, if things go as expected, it will be settled on the floor.
6. (6) MacArthur (Irving, Texas) (33-2)
It wouldn't be wise for the Cardinals to look past six-loss Coronado in Friday's matchup. Coronado beat Ryan, the only common opponent, by 16, and MacArthur beat the Raiders by 12.7. (7) Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) (30-2)
Most high school teams spend February practicing at odd hours and driving through winter weather to play in drafty old gyms. The Crusaders, on the other hand, went to the Bahamas and rolled over four teams while enjoying the sun and the surf. Nice work if you can get it ...8. (8) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (24-3)
The Monarchs shouldn't have too much trouble with Chaparral, but they most likely will have to deal with two-loss Rialto and unknown and unbeaten Santiago before they get a shot at Long Beach Poly.9. (9) Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) (25-3)
After rolling through maybe the toughest league in the country with a 16-0 record, the Falcons get to play those teams again in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoffs. The postseason Bishop Walsh tournament may be a letdown after all that.10. (10) Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) (27-3)
Franklin County is Riverdale's toughest opponent in the next two rounds of the state tournament, and Riverdale handled a team Franklin County lost to twice - by an average margin of 26 points.
11. (11) Long Beach Poly (Calif.) (26-2)
Buena is the likely opponent Friday, and the Bulldogs have lost to only two teams all season: Ventura and one-loss Prairie of Washington. The only issue for Buena is that Ventura beat the Bulldogs four times.12. (12) La Jolla Country Day (Calif.) (25-1)
The Torreys thumped Bishop's by 20 last week, and since Bishop's is the second seed in the sectional Division IV playoffs, La Jolla Country Day doesn't appear to have much to worry about until the Southern California Regionals start.13. (13) Hoover (Ala.) (27-3)
Hoover gets Gadsden City in the first round, but 30-2 Shades Valley is the likely Regional final opponent. Of course, one of those two losses is to Hoover, by 17.14. (14) Duncanville (Texas) (34-1)
The comparative scores tell a happier Texas tale for Duncanville than MacArthur (Amarillo, up next, beat South Grand Prairie by 14; the Panthers beat the same team by 63). But basketball fans want both to win so the top two teams in the Lone Star state will play Saturday at 1 p.m. in Fort Worth.
15. (16) Science Hill (Johnson City, Tenn.) (32-0)
It's been a long time since Science Hill played anyone with a real chance to knock off the Hilltoppers, and it will still be a while before they run into the other Tennessee powers.16. (15) Nazareth (Brooklyn, N.Y.) (15-2)
Bishop Ford knocked off the Kingsmen 65-57, avenging an earlier 83-39 whipping, but Nazareth bounced back to beat Christ the King Tuesday. Sadie Edwards
had 28 in the win over the Royals.17. (17) Cicero-North Syracuse (Cicero, N.Y.) (17-3)
The Northstars beat Liverpool 61-19 in their first game of the season. In a remarkable display of symmetry, they beat the Warriors 63-19 Tuesday.
18. (18) Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) (27-3)
The Panthers are just two games away from a Florida championship, and first up is 23-5 University. If you believe in comparative scores, Dr. Phillips beat Apopka by 43, and University lost by eight. You can find similar comparables with the other two teams in the other semifinal.19. (19) Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.) (34-2)
Bessemer City should be no problem Friday, and then the Patriots will move on to the next level of playoffs. But all that really matters is the next game with Hoover.20. (21) Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.) (18-1)
The playoffs begin, but Detroit Country Day is a Class B team in Michigan. Normally, that might mean smooth sailing. But Goodrich, another Class B team, is the second-best team in the state.21. (22) Reynoldsburg (Ohio) (21-0)
This hardly seems fair: The Raiders' next game is against winless Franklin Heights. The Freeman ratings calculate the line at about 57.22. (23) South Medford (Ore.) (24-0)
A relaxing regular season is over for the Panthers, and now they get to beat up on the same teams in the regional playoffs.23. (25) DuPont Manual (Louisville, Ky.) (28-2)
The Rams get to host the 25th District playoffs, and their likely opponent in the finals is a team they beat by 33.24. (nr) Twinsburg (Ohio) (17-3)
The Tigers return to the rankings, in part because duPont Manual (a team they lost to) did so three weeks ago. Now Twinsburg must navigate the Ohio playoffs, though the first tough game probably won't be until March 3.25. (nr) Shabazz (Newark, N.J.) (22-1)
The Bulldogs' only loss was to Twinsburg, by 12. But now that the Tigers are back in the Xcellent 25, so is Shabazz.Dropped out:
No. 20 Hopkins, No. 24 Pflugerville.