Video: MaxPreps Top 25 girls basketball rankings
Top 10 remain locked in as postseason could shake things up.
Maybe next week.
Usually once postseason begins, upsets start to take their toll on the MaxPreps Top 25 high school girls basketball rankings, but this past week not only did no one drop out, only one team lost. And that team, Bishop McNamara (Forestville Md.), lost in overtime to St. John's (Washington, D.C.), which relied on uber-junior Azzi Fudd, who is just now 100 percent healthy after tearing her ACL last year.
So, since St. John's with Fudd is a very strong team, and Bishop McNamara has a very impressive body of work, the Maryland school stays in the top 25 — and in fact drops three spots. (Note that Trenton Catholic Academy (Trenton, N.J.), which lost to Bishop McNamara, dropped as well, through no fault of its own.)
Otherwise the only jump was Northwestern (Kokomo, Ind.), which hammered a strong Homestead team to move to No. 11. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) also moved up two spots but that was because two teams above them moved down.
The week of calm, however, will be the last one, as things will definitely get serious soon. Nos. 5 and 6, Duncanville and DeSoto, will likely meet in the Texas playoffs, and No. 13 Mater Dei and No. 16 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) will definitely play Saturday in Southern California.
Toss in the inevitable upsets as the weak are removed from the brackets, and the odds of another week like this one are about the same as the Houston Astros being greeted with polite applause every time they play a road game.
MaxPreps Top 25 high school girls basketball rankings
1. (Last week 1) La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla, Calif.), 27-1
The biggest threat in the San Diego Section playoffs will be third seed Cathedral Catholic, which took La Jolla Country Day to overtime in mid-December. Since then, Cathedral Catholic has lost six times, though against a very challenging schedule, so an upset seems unlikely.
Hamilton Heights has played two games since Jan. 25, and won't play again until at least Feb. 26, when the National Association of Christian Athletes championship begins. As old-time rocker Neil Young pointed out, rust never sleeps, so Hamilton Heights might have some issues in its first couple outings.
Edgewood is 16-5 and the likely next opponent for Mount Notre Dame, but Edgewood hasn't seen anything like the No. 3 team in the country so far. Loveland, at 20-3, could be a tougher test in the Cincinnati 3 Sectional final Feb. 29.
Hopkins finishes the season by hosting Minnetonka, a team it beat by 27 the first time around. The section playoffs begin Feb. 26, but since no Minnesota team has come closer than eight points all year, the eighth state championship seems a likely conclusion.
Riverdale Baptist has done a better job than No. 2 Hamilton Heights keeping busy, but it will come off an 11-day break when the National Association of Christian Athletes playoffs begin Feb. 26. Still, both teams should be in top form before their anticipated finals meeting.
Things will get serious quickly in the 6A playoffs, as the likely matchup between No. 5 Duncanville and No. 6 DeSoto should happen early next week. The biggest issue for Duncanville is the lack of quality competition lately — the last game was a 94-2 squeaker.
Like Duncanville, DeSoto hasn't exactly been challenged recently, but South Grand Prairie and Mansfield Summit each put up something of a fight before getting beaten. But playing Duncanville, which seems pretty likely, in Fort Worth will definitely sharpen DeSoto's focus.
Edison will be on a long break, with West Bloomfield, the next opponent, not showing up on the schedule until Feb. 28. But given that Edison missed some games due to bureaucratic rules, it's possible the gap will get filled with some late additions.
Even though Medgar Evers, Wednesday's opponent, is 24-4, Long Island Lutheran should be a heavy favorite. And Staten Island Academy, Saturday's regular season finale, is even less of a threat.
Ensworth's unbeaten record is safe until the AAA playoffs begin next Tuesday, but there are eight postseason games to navigate before all will be said and done.
Northwestern crushed Homestead, 72-35, a win so impressive it vaulted Indiana's best past Paul VI into the 12th spot. But Lawrence North looms, and finishing the season without a loss won't be easy.
The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament starts Saturday, and with St. John's fresh off an upset over previous No. 11 Bishop McNamara, the road to the championship won't be smooth. Bishop O'Connell already knocked off PVI, and Elizabeth Seton is a quality teams as well.
The CIF Southern Section divides its Open teams into two four-team pools, and then the pool winners play for the title. Mater Dei got past tough Etiwanda in the first game, has eighth seed Lynwood on Wednesday — and then the rematch with No. 16 Sierra Canyon (which Mater Dei beat by one in December) on Saturday. But remember, both will likely be in the Southern California Open as well, which starts the week after.
It's hard for a five-loss team to be in the Top 25, much less the top 15, but Bishop McNamara's strong schedule and plethora of quality wins — including one over Elizabeth Seton last week — offsets the overtime loss to St. John's. The margin for error, however, has disappeared.
Trenton Catholic lost to Bishop McNamara by 16 earlier this year, so drops along with the team it lost to. The Mercer County tournament begins Wednesday, but since Nottingham is 2-17, there's little danger of the sheriff making an arrest.
Mater Dei, which beat Sierra Canyon in the West Coast Jamboree, slipped past Etiwanda by four last week — and Etiwanda is Sierra Canyon's opponent Wednesday. Which will make it hard to look ahead to Saturday's rematch with Mater Dei in the Southern Section Open Division round-robin.
St. Joseph Central finally returns to playing teams from its home state this week, as the Class AAA tournament begins. The last time St. Joseph Central played a West Virginia team? Dec. 7.
If the seedings hold, Lake Highland Prep will draw 27-1 Raines in the 4A semifinals next week, but come postseason, form doesn't always hold. In fact, Wesley Chapel, with only two losses, is hopeful of breaking Lake Highland Prep's bracket Friday.
It wasn't easy, but St. Frances won the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland title, slipping past rival Roland Park 51-48 and avenging a loss to Pallotti, 55-51. Most likely, a trip to the Bishop Walsh Girls' Invitational is next.
The seeding meeting is Saturday, and if Southeast Raleigh is anything other than No. 1 in 4A, it will be a shock. After all, the closest any North Carolina opponent has come to Southeast Raleigh is 18 points.
Archer will likely miss the target against Westlake on Wednesday in the AAAAAAA playoffs, leaving three more wins between Westlake and a state title.
The Shore Conference tournament begins this week, but St. John-Vianney likely won't be challenged until Feb. 25 when either St. Rose or Rumsford-Fair Haven shows up on the other side of the scorer's table. The state tournament begins March 6.
Bullitt East is one of the better teams in Region 6, but Sacred Heart just beat Mercy 75-50 – and Mercy is ahead of Bullitt East in the Region 6 rankings. Next week, the District 27 playoffs begin, as the state tournament finally starts to unfold.
It would seem that if any team in the Cincinnati 4 Sectional of the Ohio Division 1 playoffs should have a home court advantage, it would be top seed Fairmont — but no. Troy, seeded 12th, is the host school for next Monday's game. Troy, however, must get by six seed Beavercreek to get that far, and realistically, Troy will need more than a few rowdy fans to knock off No. 24 in the country.
Unlike sister 6A powers Duncanville and DeSoto, Cypress Creek does not appear to have a major stumbling block in its path in the near future. That said, there are a lot of very good Texas girls' high school basketball teams, and a brief lapse of concentration could quickly ruin that perfect record.Dropped out: