Commentary

Poly moves up after rash of upsets

Updated: December 17, 2008, 3:59 PM ET
By Glenn Nelson and Mindi Rice | ESPN HoopGurlz

Editor's note: ESPN will release the ESPN RISE FAB 50 national girls' basketball rankings each Wednesday of the season.

[+] EnlargeMariah Williams
Glenn Nelson Regis Jesuit's Mariah Williams is committed to UCLA.

There can't possibly be a curse tied to Beaverton, Ore., can there? After all, that's world headquarters for Nike, and there's very little snakebitten about the ol' Swoosh.

Yeah, but consider that Beaverton is the site of the Nike Northwest Invitational, which as most know by now has seen national No. 1s go down in its championship games for two years running.

And contemplate the fact that, shortly after this year's edition, Regis Jesuit, which suffered its first loss in Beaverton as the ESPN RISE FAB 50's No. 5 team, hosted Horizon the following Tuesday and lost by 12. Shortly after halftime, at which the teams were tied at 31, Regis lost Kelsey Roben, a Montana State signee, to a ruptured ACL. As it usually happens when a team loses its focus, Regis lost the game.

That's not all it lost. After the game, Shae Kelley, a 6-foot-1 junior standout, turned in her uniform and quit the team.

Regis, which entered the season looking like a national-title contender, now enters the Nike Tournament of Champions with two losses and without two of its best players. With Utah signee Diana Rolniak and UCLA-bound Mariah Williams, the cupboard certainly is not bare, but c'mon.

Curse?

Did we mention that St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.), which went down as No. 1 to Kentwood (Covington, Wash.), in Beaverton, lost to Clovis West the next week?

And One

Flexing for the underclassmen, Chiney Ogwumike, the No. 3 junior in the ESPN HoopGurlz Super Sixty, outscored No. 2 senior Kelsey Bone 30-10, then No. 5 senior Cokie Reed 22-12 on the same day. The dynamite double helped Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas), register a 51-40 victory over then-No. 39 Dulles and Waco Midway 43-33 to win the Clear Creek Championship on Saturday. Coincidently (or not), Ogwumike's older sister, Nneka, made her first career start for Stanford the same day and scored 19 points to lead the Cardinal to a 100-62 victory over Fresno State.

The Marquee

It would be too easy to highlight the myriad ranked-versus-ranked clashes at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Chandler, Ariz., but that's not the only place happening in girls' hoops this week. Brittney Griner and No. 39 Nimitz takes on No. 44 Eleanor Roosevelt on Friday, then tournament-host No. 8 University on Saturday at the Festival of the Phoenix in Newark. The event also features No. 2 St. Michael Academy, No. 15 Whitney Young and Ramsay of Birmingham, Ala., with Kaneisha Horn, the No. 2 junior in the country.

In a doozy of a regional matchup, No. 7 South Bend Washington, one of three Indiana schools in the Fab 50's top 10, hosts No. 16 Detroit Community on Saturday. Detroit Community will throw a full-court pressuring defense and 6-foot-1 super soph Crystal Bradford at senior Skylar Diggins, the Notre Dame signee ranked No. 3 in the ESPN HoopGurlz Hundred.

Off the Bounce

Maggie Lucas, No. 18 in the Super Sixty for 2010 prospects, scored her 1,000th career point during a 60-51 victory for No. 37 Germantown Academy on Saturday. The victory came at The Peddie School (Highstown, N.J.), and former Philly Belles club teammate Lexie Gerson, the Virginia-bound guard ranked No. 37 in the ESPN HoopGurlz Hundred. …No. 29 Wichita Heights can really put the screws to opponents, defensively. It forced a combined 59 turnovers during wins over Wichita North and Kapaun Mount Carmel. Taylor Chandler, a 5-5 freshman, helped point the way with 18.0 points, 7.0 steals, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in the two wins. …American Fork (Utah), a top 5A team, beat Springville, a top 4A team, 66-56 behind 19 points from senior Haley Holmstead. The Fork's next stop is the John Anderson Division of the TOC.

Introducing

Iowa-bound Adriana Prinns, No. 44 in the ESPN HoopGurlz Hundred, has led Broomfield to a 4-0 start; Cy-Fair has two losses but pulled off the double whammy over Dulles and Waco Midway and Punahou has two losses, but both are the definition of "quality losses" -- by one to then-No. 2 Sacred Heart and by three to then-No. 4 Westlake.

Substitutions

Dulles (Sugar Land, Texas); Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas), and Minneapolis South all lost their second games of the young season to exit the Fab 50.

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Glenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A member of the McDonald's All-American and Parade All-American Selection Committees, he formerly coached girls club basketball, was the editor-in-chief of an online sports network, and was a longtime, national-award-winning newspaper columnist and writer. He can be reached at glenn@hoopgurlz.com.

Mindi Rice is a staff writer for ESPN HoopGurlz. She previously was an award-winning sportswriter at the Tacoma News Tribune and a barista at Starbucks, and grew up in Seattle, where she attended Roosevelt High School before graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism. She can be reached at mindi@hoopgurlz.com.

Rankings: Preseason / Nov. 25 / Dec. 3 / Dec. 10/ Dec. 17/ Dec. 24 / Jan. 7 / Jan. 14 / Jan. 21 / Jan. 28 / Feb. 4 / Feb. 11 / Feb. 18 / Feb. 25 / March 4 / March 11 / March 18 / March 25 / Final

Records through Dec. 14.

ESPN RISE FAB 50 Girls Basketball Rankings (Dec. 17)
Rank Team (Location) Record Previous Rank
1 Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 8-0 3
2 St. Michael Academy (New York City) 5-0 1
3 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 3-0 5
4 Ben Davis (Indianapolis) 9-0 6
5 Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati) 5-0 7
6 Cardinal O'Hara (Springfield, Pa.) 5-0 8
7 South Bend Washington (South Bend, Ind.) 8-0 10
8 University (Newark, N.J.) 0-0 11
9 Heritage Christian (Indianapolis) 7-0 12
10 Bolingbrook (Ill.) 4-1 14
11 Murry Burgtraum (New York City) 4-0 15
12 Bishop McGuinnes (Kernersville, N.C.) 6-0 16
13 Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) 11-0 17
14 Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 5-1 2
15 Whitney Young (Chicago) 9-1 19
16 Detroit Community (Detroit) 3-0 20
17 Westlake (Atlanta) 5-1 4
18 Archbishop Carrol (Radnor, Pa.) 3-0 21
19 Wesleyan (Norcross, Ga.) 6-1 22
20 Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 8-2 42
21 H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) 4-1 9
22 Kentwood (Covington, Wash.) 5-0 23
23 Chaminade-Julienne (Dayton, Ohio) 3-0 25
24 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 4-0 27
25 Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) 4-2 18
26 Millington (Tenn.) 9-1 28
27 Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.) 3-0 29
28 Lower Richland (Hopkins, S.C.) 4-0 30
29 Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.) 3-0 31
30 Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 4-0 32
31 Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.) 11-1 33
32 Trenton Central (Trenton, N.J.) 0-0 34
33 Union (Tulsa, Okla.) 1-0 35
34 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 1-0 36
35 Westbury Christian (Houston) 25-0 37
36 St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.) 6-2 13
37 Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.) 4-0 38
38 Nimitz (Houston) 15-1 40
39 Lexington Christian (Lexington, Ky.) 4-1 26
40 Highlands Ranch (Colo.) 5-1 24
41 Murrah (Jackson, Miss.) 10-0 44
42 Cajon (San Bernadino, Calif.) 4-0 45
43 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 2-0 46
44 Eleanor Roosvelt (Greenbelt, Md.) 1-1 41
45 Punahou (Honolulu) 4-2 NR
46 Wilson Central (Lebanon, Tenn.) 7-1 47
47 Mandan (N.D.) 1-0 48
48 St. John's the Baptist (West Islip, N.Y.) 3-0 50
49 Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas) 13-2 NR
50 Broomfield (Colo.) 4-0 NR