QUIET: No additions to Blue Star Media Elite 25 girls’ rankings; No. 15 La Jolla Country Day (CA) records quality win, soars behind Brea Cunningham - Bluestar Media (2023)

BENSALEM, Pa. – For the first time this season, the Blue Star Media Elite 25 girls’ basketball rankings were silent. There were no additions but there was minimal movement thanks to a big-time by a team from southern California.

No. 15 La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day improved to 12-2 after stopping then-No. 9 Sierra Canyon School (Chatsworth, Calif.), 73-71, at the Matt Deming Hoops Classic at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. Coach Terri Bamford’s squad trailed by three points, 71-68, with less than two minutes but used a 5-0 spurt to win it.

The Torreys zoomed up six spots after the win while Sierra Canyon dips seven after its first loss.

Brea Cunningham, a 6 foot 4 post, showed why she is considered of the most coveted players from the Class of 2023 and a member of the FIBA Americas gold-medal winning USA U16 national team, putting up a double-double against a quality team they may see again in the California Interscholastic Federation region playoffs in March.

Otherwise, No. 10 Cedar Park (Texas) cracks the top-10 after running its record to 21-0. The Lady Timberwolves are Texas’ top-ranked Class 5A team and entered the week with a 46-game winning streak after winning last year’s University Interscholastic League 5A state title.

That’s it for the first week in January.

The Blue Star Media Elite 25 girls’ rankings will return on Jan. 19. The month of January is centered around the Dr. Martin Luther King Weekend events nationwide.

The top events with Elite 25 and regional teams involved over the MLK Weekend events include:

Classic in the City in Pickerington, Ohio; Classic in the Country in Berlin, Ohio; St. Mary’s MLK Showcase in Stockton, Calif.; Rose Classic Super Jam in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Thursday-Monday); Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.; MLK Jr. Classic in Winchester, Ky.; Hoops for Harmony in Chambersburg, Pa.; I Have a Dream Elite Girls Showcase in Bartlett, Tenn.; BallN Prep Basketball 2022 MLK Classic on Monday in Hoover, Ala.; and MLK Super Showcase on Saturday in Southwest Ranches, Fla.

Please stay safe, mask up and get vaccinated or a booster shot. Remember it’s time to squash the rising pandemic numbers.

Hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor

Blue Star Media Elite 25 Girls’ Basketball Rankings, Jan. 12, 2022

1. Etiwanda, Calif. (11-0)

Previous rank: 1.

Low-down: The Elite 25’s top-ranked team showed their dominance, defeating St. Lucy’s (Glendora), 78-5, and Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga), 68-19, in Baseline League action. Three games are on the docket this week for the Eagles.

2. Incarnate Word Academy, Bel Nor, Mo. (9-0)

Previous: 2.

The Low-down: The Red Devils have two national games this weekend at the St. Mary’s MLK Showcase in Stockton, Calif., against host St. Mary’s and No. 19 Carondelet (Concord, Calif.).

3. St. John Vianney, Holmdel, N.J. (7-0)

Previous: 3.

The Low-down: In two lopsided wins, Princeton-bound guard Madison St. Rose totaled 30 points, 20 rebounds and 9 steals. Junior Zoe Brooks scored 18 points in both contests versus Neptune and Freehold Borough. The Lady Lancers have three Shore Conference matchups with Colts Neck, Middletown North and Red Bank Regional this week.

4. Hopkins, Minnetonka, Minn. (9-0)

Previous: 4.

The Low-down: The Lady Royals were off nearly three weeks but hit the court running in an 87-29 victory over Edina. Junior Taylor Woodson (23 points) and Nu Nu Agara (21 points) teamed for 44 points.

5. Sidwell Friends, Washington, D.C. (6-0)

Previous: 5.

Low-down: The Quakers came off a nearly one-month COVID-19 pause with an overwhelming 69-40 victory over St. Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.). Leah Harmon topped the winners with 19 points, including four made 3-pointers, and UCLA-bound guard Kiki Rice added 18 points and 6 assists. Coach Tamika Dudley’s squad is scheduled to play at Georgetown Visitation (Washington) on Thursday in a city showdown.

6. DeSoto, Texas (18-1)

Previous rank: 6.

The Low-down: The Eagles recorded two easy District 11-6A wins and won’t have another challenge locally until they visit No. 12 Duncanville on Jan. 25.

7. New Hope Academy, Landover Hills, Md. (13-2)

Previous: 7.

The Low-down: Idle. The Lady Tigers play two games in the Rose Classic Super Jam in Brooklyn, N.Y., starting with Nazareth Regional (Brooklyn) on Saturday and Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn) on Sunday.

8. Mount Notre Dame, Cincinnati (10-0) #

Previous: 8.

The Low-down: Notre Dame-bound point guard K.K. Bransford netted 11 points and hauled down 9 rebounds and Abby Wolterman tossed in 13 points as the Cougars stopped East Central (St. Leon, Ind.), 45-31.

9. DME Sports Academy, Daytona Beach, Fla. (17-1)

Previous: 10.

Low-down: Idle. The program was on a COVID-19 pause.

10. Cedar Park, Texas (21-0)

Previous: 11.

Low-down: The Lady Timberwolves won two District 25-5A opponents by 30 and 58 points. Two more district games are on tap this week.

11. Classen SAS, Oklahoma City (13-1)

Previous: 12.

Low-down: Won the Putnam City Invitational, going 3-0. The Lady Comets crushed Putnam City West (Oklahoma City), 58-46, in the final.

12. Duncanville, Texas (23-4)

Previous: 13.

The Low-down: The Pantherettes buried Midway (Waco), 70-21, and Mansfield Lake Ridge, 67-46, in District 11-6A play.

13. Rock Bridge, Columbia, Mo. (11-0)

Previous: 14.

Low-down: The Lady Bruins stopped St. Joseph Central, 48-42, and play at Capital City (Jefferson City) on Thursday. Next week they play in the Truman Tournament starting on Jan. 17.

14. Sacred Heart Academy, Louisville, Ky. (14-1)

Previous: 15.

The Low-down: After a first loss of the season, the Valkyries toppled North Laurel (London), 76-52, and Owensboro Catholic, 72-43. ZaKiyah Johnson totaled 35 points in two lopsided wins.

15. La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day (12-2)

Previous: 21.

The Low-down: The Torreys knocked off then-No. 9 Sierra Canyon School (Chatsworth, Calif.), 73-71, at the Matt Denning Hoops Classic in Santa Ana. Junior Brea Cunningham had a double-double with 24 points and 15 rebounds. The Torreys trailed 71-68 with 1:47 left but scored the final five points.

16. Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, Calif. (15-1)

Previous: 9.

Low-down: Lost to then-No. 21 La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day, 73-71, at the Matt Denning Hoops Classic in Santa Ana. Also beat Highland (Palmdale), 101-36, as Juju Watkins poured in 26 points and MacKenly Randolph added 21. The Trailblazers have four scheduled games this week.

17. Hazel Green, Ala. (21-0)

Previous: 16.

Low-down: Idle. The Lady Trojans play Athens (Ala.) on Friday.

18. Hoover, Ala. (17-2)

Previous: 17.

Low-down: The Lady Bucs pounded Thompson (Alabaster), 68-30. They also host Carver (Columbus, Ga.) on Monday in the 2022 BallN Prep MLK Classic.

19. Carondelet, Concord, Calif. (10-1)

Previous: 18.

Low-down: The Cougars wiped out West County (Sebastopol), 79-35, and are scheduled to participate this weekend at the MLK Showcase in Stockton, where they are slated to face No. 20 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) on Monday.

20. Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif. (10-1)

Previous: 19.

Low-down: Idle.

21. Archbishop Hoban, Akron, Ohio (10-0)

Previous: 20.

Low-down: Middle Tennessee State-bound Lanae Riley had a monster game with 39 points (on 14 of 20 shooting), nine rebounds and six blocked shots as the Knights crushed Solon, 83-62. The game was tied at 36 late in the second quarter but the Knight took off and were never caught. Also beat Olentangy Liberty (Powell), 63-40, as Riley contributed 27 points and 6 rebounds. Three more games are on tap this week capped by Ross (Fremont) on Monday.

22. Montverde (Fla.) Academy (12-3)

Previous: 22.

The Low-down: Idle. The Eagles play at the Classic in the City in Pickerington, Ohio on Saturday and Monday.

23. Edison Public Academy, Detroit (3-1)

Previous: 23.

Low-down: Defeated Carman-Ainsworth (Flint), 62-37.

24. Lake Highland Prep, Orlando, Fla. (14-3)

Previous: 25.

Low-down: The Highlanders went 2-0 on their trip to Georgia, defeating then-No. 24 Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.), 74-70, at the She Got Game Classic in Marietta, Ga.

25. Woodward Academy, College Park, Ga. (11-2)

Previous: 24.

Low-down: The Lady War Eagles were edged by then-No. 25 Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.), 74-70, at the She Got Game Classic in Marietta, Ga. They also beat Tri-Cities (East Point), 62-34, in Region 3-AAAAA action.

Dropped: None.

High-Fives by Region


  1. North Allegheny, Wexford, Pa. (9-0)
  2. Saddle River (N.J.) Day School (7-0)
  3. St. Paul VI, Chantilly, Va. (8-3)
  4. Bishop McNamara, Forestville, Md. (5-4)
  5. Georgetown Visitation, Washington, D.C. (7-0)

Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.


  1. Johnston, Iowa (12-0)
  2. Benet Academy, Lisle, Ill. (15-2)
  3. Minnetonka, Minn. (9-0)
  4. Stevenson, Lincolnshire, Ill. (18-1)
  5. Millard South, Omaha, Neb. (12-0)

Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


  1. Conway, Ark. (14-1)
  2. Blackman, Murfreesboro, Tenn. (12-0)
  3. Argyle, Texas (24-0)
  4. Summer Creek, Houston (25-2)
  5. Holy Innocents’ Episcopal, Atlanta (14-2)

Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Far West

  1. Cathedral Catholic, San Diego (10-2)
  2. Fremont, Plain City, Utah (10-2)
  3. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (9-3)
  4. Beaverton, Ore. (8-1)
  5. Mullen, Denver (8-3)

Geography: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Records through Monday

# Includes a forfeit win

About: The Blue Star Media Elite 25 High School Girls’ Basketball Rankings are released weekly from November until the conclusion of the high school season. Criteria considered are the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Blue Star Media’s Christopher Lawlor, who consults with a national network of coaches, talent evaluators and prep sports writers. The final rankings will be released at the conclusion of the season in April. Follow him on Twitter at @clawlor.

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