Video: Top 25 high school girls basketball rankings
See how things shake out this week after some Top 10 upsets.
Another beautiful theory (our preseason rankings) murdered by nasty, brutal facts.
Our preseason No. 1, New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.), began the year by promptly losing two games in overtime, one in Ohio (that might have been affected by some home cooking), and another back in Maryland.
Our preseason No. 2, Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.), which would have been expected to rise to the top spot, also stumbled in Ohio, losing to Fairmont.
Our preseason, No. 3, Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), then lost to Hamilton Heights, and also lost its spot in the Top 25 — but to be fair, that absence is likely to be brief, as nine of those 25 teams have yet to play a game and some will undoubtedly have to endure the slings and arrows of an unexpected upset.
Luckily at least our No. 4, Westlake (Atlanta), managed to win three times, albeit against lesser competition, but the key, as always, is overall Strength of Schedule. Westlake is making three out-of-state trips, which will be a trio of tests that Georgia's best must pass to retain the top ranking.
That does, however, give Westlake a little margin for error, in terms of staying in the Top 25, as a loss to another ranked team isn't nearly as damaging as a loss to an unranked, in-state rival. No. 2 DeSoto (Texas), for example, has a nice win over previous No. 5 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), but that game was in Texas, and DeSoto will not leave the Lone Star State. Which means any loss by DeSoto could result in a big drop, while Sierra Canyon, which still has trips to Arizona and New Jersey on the docket (not to mention a 400-mile jaunt to Northern California), has plenty of opportunity to redeem itself.
And thankfully, so do we — but we definitely need, like all struggling teams, to start playing up to our potential.
MaxPreps Top 25 national high school girls basketball rankings
1. (Last week 4) Westlake (Atlanta), 3-0
The Lions rolled over three Georgia teams but travels to the DMV this weekend for the Art Turner Memorial — and neither St. John's nor Paul VI will be awed by playing No. 1 in the country.
Eagles jump to No. 2 thanks to a 50-41 win over previous No. 5 Sierra Canyon and a 20-point thumping of Duncanville — at Duncanville. The Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth is up next, but it's all intrastate competition.
The Titans should have little trouble until the She Got Game Classic in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 13 and 14, where now No. 17 and previous No. 1 New Hope will be looking for redemption.
As always, Centennial starts late, so there's nothing to see here — and won't be until Dec. 13.
It's hard to go from not ranked to No. 3, but when you knock off No. 1 and beat a solid Neumann-Goretti team by 31, good things tend to happen. No. 13 St. Frances, though, is on the schedule Dec. 12.
Traveling to Texas to play elite teams early in the year is a good way to test your team — and a good way to absorb a loss. The win over Duncanville, though, took a little sting from the DeSoto defeat.
The Grizzlies find out this weekend if the future holds more Top 10 rankings — the trip to Oklahoma for the Norman Invitational will be a challenge, especially since host Norman may be Oklahoma's best.
Bottom line: The scoreboard doesn't lie, and at the end of overtime Nov. 23, it read Mount Notre Dame 61, New Hope 59. Illinois power Whitney Young, though, is the opponent Saturday in Kentucky.
The Royals jump right into the fire this weekend with games against two quality DMV teams — Elizabeth Seton and Paul VI — at the Art Turner Memorial.
After a series of routs – average margin of victory 44.3 points — the Royals may get a rare test on its low-key schedule when it travels Friday to Farmington (25-5 last year).
There are so many good teams in Southern California that outsiders can't really track which wins are good wins and which are ho-hum — but Mater Dei's five wins have come against quality teams. And the Troy Classic this weekend will be more of the same.
Unbeaten Lawrenceville is the first opponent (Wednesday), and Pennsylvania power Upper Dublin comes to Fort Washington on Monday.
The Panthers get an early test Dec. 12 against No. 3 Riverdale Baptist — and there are more to come on a schedule that might make it difficult to stay in the Top 25.
Usually a loss to an unranked team sends a team right out of the rankings, but then Hamilton Heights turned around and beat previous No. 2 Bishop McNamara, so a reprieve was granted. The margin for error is now, however, very slim.
The word is that New York is down this year, and if true, that means the Vikings won't be challenged until their trip to Las Vegas and the Tarkanian Classic before Christmas.
After a couple of warmups, the Nubians take on No. 14 Hamilton Heights on Saturday — and we'll learn a lot about both teams.
Archbishop Spalding and Frederick likely will take the brunt of New Hope's frustration over two overtime losses — and then it gets serious again against Bishop McNamara on Dec. 12.
Even though Long Island Lutheran underachieved last year, it's still a dangerous opponent — especially in the first game of the season (Saturday at the Art Turner Memorial).
The Pioneers ease into the season, though Bolingbrook and Homewood-Flossmoor the weekend of Dec. 13-14 are quality Illinois programs.
The Bulldogs' ranking hinges on their performance at the Nike TOC before Christmas, as the received wisdom is that Washington isn't that strong this year. Of course, we've heard that before and then a team like Central Valley won a national championship.
The Raiders can't afford to look past Simon Kenton on Thursday while getting ready for Pickerington Central in Ohio on Saturday — Simon Kenton won 19 games last year and has most of its firepower back.
Northwest Guilford will supply an early season measuring stick for the Cavaliers, which afterwards will return to Virginia competition until after Christmas.
The Redwings slipped past Homewood-Flossmoor by five last week, and now draw unbeaten Lincoln Way-West on Saturday. And with no out-of-state-games on the schedule, Benet can ill afford any missteps if it wants a permanent home in the Top 25.
Like Benet, the Tigers won't travel beyond its state borders, so it will be hard to judge just how good the team really is. But seven up and none down is a pretty good start.
The Bruins jump right into the fire, traveling to Texas and facing 12-2 Westlake on Thursday and 7-2 MacArthur on Friday. After that, though, it's Colorado opponents only.Dropped out:
Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.)