Girls Basketball Rankings: Final
Murry Bergtraum (Manhattan) won twice over the weekend, moving its win streak to 53 games and finishing No. 1 in the ESPN HIGH Elite 25 girls high school basketball rankings.
It was a quiet stretch for the girls rankings as New York was the lone state still playing. Ten teams from the preseason rankings wound up in the final ones. The Midwest and Southland were this year's power regions, each contributing nine teams to the Elite 25, while the traditionally strong East dipped to only two entrants.
No. 4 Notre Dame Academy (Middleburg, Va.) started the season atop the Elite 25 rankings but fell three spots after losing twice.
While the high school season is over, it doesn't mean the action is complete. No, it's only just begun.
Over the next four months, the busy summer circuit kicks in, with major exposure tournaments and elite camps giving girls an opportunity to hone their game and to be seen by college coaches.
It was a great season. See you this summer at a gym near you.
Game ball: Shanee Williams of top-ranked Murry Bergtraum scored only 18 points at the New York State Federation Class tournament but it was her defense which won both games and secured Most Valuable Player honors.
Williams, a 5-8 junior lockdown defender, had nine points, six rebounds and six steals in a 67-34 victory over Rush-Henrietta in the semifinals. Williams held high-scoring McDonald's All-American Shenise Johnson to 11 of her 17 points in the first half. The Lady Blazers then blew open a tight 30-25 game after the break.
In the final, she contributed nine points, eight rebounds and five steals as Bergtraum drilled St. John the Baptist (West Islip) 61-47. Williams, giving up eight inches to SJB junior Christine Huber, defended the post well, holding the 6-4 center scoreless in the opening half. Huber scored most of her 13 points when Williams headed to the bench during a lopsided second half.
Williams has received attention from several mid to high Division I programs, including Miami and Syracuse.
Must-see event: The Women's Basketball Coaches Association will hold its 17th annual WBCA High School All-America Game Saturday in Tampa (4:30 p.m. ET). Twenty of the nation's top seniors were chosen. The college-style game will be contested at University of South Florida's Sun Dome as part of the Women's Final Four and the WBCA National Convention.
Top players in the game include: Alyssia Brewer (signed with Tennessee), Elena Delle Donne (Connecticut), Ashley Gayle (Texas), Glory Johnson (Tennessee), Shenise Johnson (Miami), Nneka Ogwumike (Stanford), Shekinna Stricklen (Tennessee), Brooklyn Pope (Rutgers) and April Sykes (Rutgers).
Here's to future days: Christ the King (Queens), the nation's most storied program, added another piece of hardware to its trophy, winning the New York State Federation Class A championship after toppling Franklin Academy (Malone) 70-63. Tournament MVP Bria Smith, a freshman, netted 21 of her game-high 32 points after the break. Senior guard Jael Pena scored 15 points and junior Geleisa George added 14. Both were named to the all-tournament team.
In the semifinals, Pena, the lone graduating starter, scored 23 points in a 65-50 victory over Curtis (Staten Island).
CTK, which dropped down from Class AA after a loss to Archbishop Molloy in the State Catholic Tournament, has three federation titles in four years, but captured its first at the Class A level since 2000. The federation added the AA bracket in 2004.
The Royals (17-12), coached by Bob Mackey, return a bulk of their players, including four starters. -- Christopher Lawlor
|ESPN HIGH Elite 25 High School Girls Basketball Rankings|
|1 (1)||Murry Bergtraum, New York||25-0||Recap: Won second straight and fifth overall New York State Federation championship, defeating St. John the Baptist (West Islip) 61-47 in the Class AA final. Krystal Parnell scored 12 points and had five steals and Syracuse-bound Shakeya Leary contributed 17 points and seven rebounds. In the semifinals, the Lady Blazers crushed Rush-Henrietta 67-34 as CeCe Dixon struck for 12 points. The 10-time New York City Public School Athletic League champion stretched their win streak to 53 games. Season complete.|
|2 (2)||Sacred Heart Cathedral, San Francisco||33-0||Recap: Won third straight CIF Division III state championship. The Irish carry a 56-game win streak into next year's campaign.|
|3 (3)||Poly, Long Beach, Calif.||31-2||Recap: Won the CIF Division I state championship for the third straight season.|
|4 (4)||Notre Dame Academy, Middleburg, Va.||28-2||Recap: Won two in-season tournaments, including the Bishop Walsh Tournament in March.|
|5 (5)||Cy-Fair, Cypress, Texas.||39-2||Recap: Won first-ever Class 5A state championship.|
|6 (6)||Lower Richland, Hopkins, S.C.||26-0||Recap: Won third straight Class 4A state championship.|
|7 (7)||Gentry, Indianola, Miss.||40-0||Recap: Won second straight Mississippi Grand Slam Tournament and Class 4A titles. Gentry's current 80-game win streak equaled the Mississippi mark for most consecutive wins, set by Hollandale Simmons (1991-93).|
|8 (8)||St. Mary's, Stockton, Calif.||34-1||Recap: Advanced to the CIF Northern California Division III final, falling to No. 2 Sacred Heart Cathedral.|
|9 (9)||DeSoto, Texas||39-2||Recap: Advanced to Class 5A final, losing to No. 6 C-Fair (Cypress). Won 5A Region 1 championship.|
|10 (10)||Mount Notre Dame, Cincinnati||26-2||Recap: Won third straight Division I state championship.|
|11 (11)||Murrah, Jackson, Miss.||32-2||Recap: Won eighth Class 5A state championship under Coach Anna Jackson. Lost in Grand Slam Tournament final to No. 7 Gentry (Indianola).|
|12 (12)||Lakota West, West Chester, Ohio||26-2||Recap: Lost in Division I state final to No. 10 Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati).|
|13 (13)||Lewis & Clark, Spokane, Wash.||29-0||Recap: Won third straight Class 4A state championship.|
|14 (14)||Bob Jones, Madison, Ala.||35-2||Recap: Won first-ever Class 6A state championship.|
|15 (15)||Cardinal O'Hara, Springfield, Pa.||25-2||Recap: Won 11th Philadelphia Catholic League championship in 18 years. It was program's first PCL title since 2006 and eighth in 14 years under Coach Linus McGinty.|
|16 (16)||Heritage Christian, Indianapolis||27-1||Recap: Won third straight Indiana Class 2A state championship, becoming the third school to win three consecutive girls basketball titles.|
|17 (17)||Barron Collier, Naples, Fla.||30-3||Recap: Won Class 5A state championship.|
|18 (18)||Winter Haven, Fla.||30-3||Recap: Advanced to Class 5A state final, losing to No. 17 Barron Collier (Naples).|
|19 (19)||Whitney Young, Chicago||30-3||Recap: Won first-ever state championship in the newly created Class 4A.|
|20 (20)||Union, Tulsa||27-0||Recap: Won Class 6A state championship.|
|21 (21)||Detroit Country Day, Beverly Hills, Mich.||25-1||Recap: Won its record ninth state championship (first since 2004), capturing Class B.|
|22 (22)||Carmel, Ind.||23-4||Recap: Won Class 4A state championship.|
|23 (23)||Highlands Ranch, Colo.||25-3||Recap: Won third straight Class 5A state championship. Colorado-bound Alyssa Fressle was named Colorado's Gatorade player of the year. The Falcons have won six 5A titles since 2000, concluding the season on an 18-game win streak.|
|24 (24)||Sapulpa, Okla.||27-2||Recap: Lost in Class 6A final.|
|25 (25)||South Bend (Ind.) Washington||23-3||Recap: Lost in Class 4A final. Won 4A Valparaiso Regional tournament.|
1. Murry Bergtraum, New York (25-0) 2. Cardinal O'Hara, Springfield, Pa. (25-2) 3. Shabazz, Newark, N.J. (30-2) 4. Paint Branch, Burtonsville, Md. (25-0) 5. St. John the Baptist, West Islip, N.Y. (24-5) 6. Seton Keough, Baltimore (28-5) 7. Trenton (N.J.) Central (32-2) 8. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (26-5) 9. University, Newark, N.J. (27-4) 10. Rush-Henrietta, Henrietta, N.Y. (24-4)
1. Mount Notre Dame, Cincinnati (26-2) 2. Lakota West, West Chester, Ohio (26-2) 3. Heritage Christian, Indianapolis (27-1) 4. Whitney Young, Chicago (30-3) 5. Union, Tulsa (27-0) 6. Detroit Country Day, Beverly Hills, Mich. (25-1) 7. Carmel, Ind. (23-4) 8. Sapulpa, Okla. (27-2) 9. South Bend (Ind.) Washington (23-3) 10. St. Paul (Minn.) Central (28-4)
1. Notre Dame Academy, Middleburg, Va. (28-2) 2. Cy-Fair, Cypress, Texas (39-2) 3. Lower Richland, Hopkins, S.C. (26-0) 4. Gentry, Indianola, Miss. (40-0) 5. DeSoto (Texas) Central (39-2) 6. Murrah, Jackson, Miss. (32-2) 7. Bob Jones, Madison, Ala. (35-2) 8. Barron Collier, Naples, Fla. (30-3) 9. Winter Haven, Fla. (30-3) 10. Stephenson, Stone Mountain, Ga. (29-3)
1. Sacred Heart-Cathedral, San Francisco (33-0) 2. Poly, Long Beach, Calif. (31-2) 3. St. Mary's, Stockton, Calif. (34-1) 4. Lewis and Clark, Spokane, Wash. (29-0) 5. Highlands Ranch, Colo. (25-3) 6. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (29-4) 7. Auburn (Wash.) Riverside (25-3) 8. Berkeley, Calif. (30-4) 9. Narbonne, Harbor City, Calif. (30-5) 10. Jefferson, Portland, Ore. (27-0)
About the rankings: The ESPN HIGH Elite 25 high school girls basketball rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor of ESPN.com, who consults with a national network of sportswriters, Scouts Inc. analysts and high school coaches. Criteria considered are a team's strength of schedule with an emphasis on national games; the superiority of competition in its state, district or league; the program's history and tradition; and the quality of its personnel.