Some state champions have been crowned already, others have started postseason playoffs and the rest start their playoffs this week. The remaining teams in the SCNext Top 25 have realistic expectations to compete for their respective state championships.
GEICO Nationals and the State Champions Invitational, both which will be aired on ESPN networks on back-to-back weekends, have started to zero in on candidates and are watching the action pare down for selection.
California is closing in on naming a CIF Open Division Champion. Sierra Canyon defeated Etiwanda 70-57 on Feb. 25 in the Southern Section girls' basketball championships. Archbishop Mitty, with 2024 No. 18 Morgan Cheli back in the lineup, continues its winning ways in the CIF Central Coast girls' basketball championships with a 74-51 win over Pinewood.
We saw an upset of Sidwell Friends in the ISL AA title game by Georgetown Visitation, which came away with the 60-57 win. Juniors Toby Nweke and Emma West had 15 and 14 points, respectively. Princeton-bound senior Fadima Tall contributed 13 points.
In a high-scoring affair in Minnesota, Hopkins defeated St. Michael's-Albertville 100-94. Fun fact: Minnesota plays 18-minute halves, unlike the majority of states. Stanford-bound senior Sunaja Agara scored 35 points for Hopkins and Michigan-bound senior teammate Taylor Woodson had 30. South Carolina-bound senior and McDonald's All-American Tessa Johnson scored a game high 45 points for St. Michael's-Albertville.
In Texas, DeSoto High School is headed to another 6A UIL state final 4 after a regional championship win over local rival Cedar Hill, 59-30. They will face Pearland on Friday. DeSoto has a rather young Division-1 level lineup with multiple class of 2026 ESPNW Watchlist players.
Centennial (Nevada) won the 5A NIAA championship for the eighth time in a row with a 59-20 blowout win over Coronado. It's coach Karen Weitz's 14th overall state championship.
Bedford North Lawrence enters the Top 25 after securing the 4A IHSAA championship on Feb. 25. Junior Chloe Spreen scored 20 points in the winning effort.
Indiana signee and 2023 ESPNW No. 52 Jules LaMendola has imposed her will and led Coppell (Texas) to the 6A UIL final 4 in Texas. She scored 24 points in the regional final win. Coppell will take on San Antonio Clark on Friday. Clark is led by 2024 ESPNW No. 29 Arianna Roberson.
This week's SCNext Top 25:
1. Sierra Canyon (Calif.) 31-0
2. Sidwell Friends (D.C.) 28-3
3. Montverde Academy (Fla.) 24-1
4. Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.) 19-2
5. St. John Vianney (N.J.) 32-1
6. Etiwanda (Calif.) 30-3
7. La Jolla Country Day (Calif.) 29-4
8. Lone Peak (Utah) 23-3
9. Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) 27-2
10. South Bend Washington (Ind.) 27-1
11. Incarnate Word Academy (Mo.) 27-0
12. Sacred Heart (Ky.) 32-3
13. The Webb School (Tenn.) 32-4
14. Hopkins HS (Minn.) 25-2
15. Hoover (Ala.) 31-1
16. Hazel Green (Ala.) 36-1
17. Conway (Ark.) 27-5
18. Waterloo West (Iowa) 23-2
19. DeSoto HS (Texas) 28-6
20. Centennial (Nev.) 24-1
21. South Grand Prairie (Texas) 27-7
22. Paul VI (N.J.) 21-3
23. Morris Catholic (N.J.) 27-3
24. Purcell Marian (Ohio) 25-2
25. Bedford North Lawrence (Ind.) 27-3
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