HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings
1. Seffner Christian (6-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Palm Harbor University, Friday at Cambridge Christian
Scoop: The Crusaders had a week off but jump right back into it against PHU on Tuesday before a district game against the Lancers later in the week. Seffner Christian is beating opponents by an average of 19.2 points per game.
2. Lakewood (7-1)
This week: Wednesday vs. Boca Ciega, Thursday vs. Dunedin, Saturday at Winter Haven
Scoop: The Spartans lost their first game of the season to Montverde Academy in the final of the Dunnellon Thanksgiving tournament by 15 points. It doesn’t get any easier this week when the Spartans travel to Winter Haven on Saturday.
3. Calvary Christian (6-1)
This week: Tuesday at St. Petersburg Catholic, Friday at Bradenton St. Stephen’s
Scoop: The Warriors don’t have a tough week after taking last week off. They should get Savannah Plentovich back after she missed a few games due to illness. When Calvary is at full strength, it is really tough to beat.
4. Tampa Catholic (5-2)
This week: Tuesday at Brooks DeBartolo, Thursday at Holy Names, Friday vs. Sarasota Military Academy
Scoop: Tampa Catholic has already started off on the right foot in Class 4A-9 play with a 5-0 record, but the Crusaders have a chance to take a stranglehold over the top spot with three more district games this week. First up will be a rematch with a talented Phoenix squad, a team Tampa Catholic beat by 11 the first time around.
5. Clearwater (5-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Boca Ciega, Thursday at Largo, Friday at Palm Harbor University
Scoop: Tuesday’s game is a 6A-9 showdown with the Pirates, who are undefeated in the district. Then comes the Friday game at PHU. The Tornadoes will find out just where they stand after that game.
6. Academy at the Lakes (4-1)
This week: Tuesday at Bayshore Christian, Wednesday at Cornerstone Academy, Friday vs. Brooks DeBartolo
Scoop: The Wildcats dropped the first game of the season against Brooks DeBartolo, but they get a rematch Friday night. Since that game they have won four straight. Audra Leipold is one of the area’s top scorers.
7. Strawberry Crest (6-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Durant, Wednesday vs. Bloomingdale, Friday at Plant City
Scoop: The Chargers have had one of the best starts around, putting up at least 60 points in four of their first six games. With Briana and Ayanna Matthews leading the way, Strawberry Crest has beaten all six of its opponents by at least 36. Its closest victory was a 77-41 win against Brandon.
8. Wiregrass Ranch (4-1)
This week: Wednesday vs. Gaither, Thursday at Plant
Scoop: Not an easy week for the Bulls, who have Plant looming on Thursday. They have won four straight since a two-point loss to Seffner Christian.
9. Plant (5-0)
This week: Tuesday at Steinbrenner, Thursday vs. Wiregrass Ranch
Scoop: Plant is one of three teams in Class 7A-8 with an unblemished district record, and the Panthers will play the other two this week in a chance to set themselves apart from the pack. Plant is led by senior Deja Turner, who is averaging 19.4 points and 6.2 rebounds.
10. Palm Harbor University (7-0)
This week: Tuesday at Seffner Christian, Thursday at Pinellas Park, Friday vs. Clearwater
Scoop: The Hurricanes won the Bartow Thanksgiving tournament and remain undefeated in the regular season. In the tournament final against Lakeland Kathleen, Julia Ingram scored 35 points in a 60-43 win.
11. Brooks DeBartolo (5-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Tampa Catholic, Thursday at Clearwater Central Catholic, Friday at Academy at the Lakes
Scoop: The Phoenix are looking to rebound after back-to-back losses to Mainland and Spruce Creek, but that’ll be easier said than done with their lineup this week. Brooks DeBartolo will play a pair of rematches — one against a Tampa Catholic team it fell to in the season opener and another against Academy at the Lakes, which it beat by 3 points Nov. 12.
12. Sickles (5-1)
This week: Wednesday vs. Leto, Friday at Wharton
Scoop: The Gryphons have an easy slate, going against a pair of winless teams this week. Its next challenge will come next week against a 5-0 Plant team that could hold the top spot in the district. Sophomore Ashley Sieper is averaging a double double, putting up 19.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.
13. Freedom (2-2)
This week: Tuesday at Wharton, Friday vs. Gaither
Scoop: Freedom hit an early skid, but the Patriots will have a chance to rebound against a pair of teams with losing records before the schedule gets a little tougher next week with games against Plant, Steinbrenner and Wiregrass Ranch.
14. Land O’Lakes (4-2)
This week: Monday vs. Ridgewood, Thursday vs. River Ridge, Saturday at Holy Names
Scoop: The Gators went 1-1 in the Bartow Thanksgiving tournament. A win over Lakeland Kathleen was followed by a 53-19 loss to Palmetto. They will try to get back on track this week with three winnable games.
15. Bishop McLaughlin (5-0)
This week: Tuesday at Cambridge Christian, Wednesday vs. Genesis Prep,
Scoop: The Hurricanes haven’t been tested yet and it doesn’t appear they will be this week either. They did get last week off, so it will interesting to see how they play after the long break.
16. Osceola (3-2)
This week: Monday at Tarpon Springs, Tuesday vs. Dixie Hollins, Thursday vs. Boca Ciega
Scoop: The Warriors come back from Thanksgiving break to play two district games against Dixie Hollins and Boca Ciega. The Pirates are undefeated in the district, so Osceola needs to win to keep pace.
17. Steinbrenner (4-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Plant, Friday vs. Leto
Scoop: Steinbrenner is on a four-game win streak after dropping its first two contests, but its toughest challenge yet will be Tuesday when the Warriors host district foe Plant. Steinbrenner’s offense is about as balanced as it could be, with five players averaging between 5.2 and 6.3 points per game.
18. Academy of the Holy Names (4-2)
This week: Tuesday at Berkeley Prep, Thursday vs. Tampa Catholic
Scoop: The Jaguars’ only losses came in the Indian Rocks Christian tournament, and they boast a 3-0 district record. Holy Names has a chance to further solidify its district standing with games against the Bucs and Crusaders this week.
19. Newsome (3-1)
This week: Wednesday vs. Middleton, Friday vs. Riverview
Scoop: The Wolves’ only loss came against an undefeated Plant team, but they will be challenged this week against a Middleton team on a five-game win streak. Sophomore Tory Self is averaging 16 points and 5.5 steals.
20. Middleton (5-1)
This week: Wednesday at Newsome, Friday vs. Spoto
Scoop: The Tigers have won five straight, but they lost their only game against a winning team. They have a chance to change that against Newsome before playing a district game later in the week against Spoto.
21. Indian Rocks Christian (3-1)
This week: Monday vs. Foundation Academy, Tuesday at Admiral Farragut, Friday at Shorecrest
Scoop: After an off week, the Golden Eagles come back with district games against Admiral Farragut and Shorecrest. Then comes the toughest part of the schedule, with games against Bishop McLaughlin, Countryside and Plant.
22. Tampa Bay Tech (2-2)
This week: Monday vs. Durant, Wednesday at Blake, Friday vs. Lennard
Scoop: The Titans have had ups — including a one-point win against Steinbrenner in the season opener — and downs this season, but they can reverse that pattern tonight against the undefeated Cougars, one of two district games TBT will play this week.
23. Cambridge Christian (5-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Bishop McLaughlin, Friday vs. Seffner Christian
Scoop: The Lancers have had a hot start, but just how hot they are could be determined this week in two key district matchups against a pair of undefeated teams.
24. Springstead (5-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Weeki Wachee, Wednesday vs. Gulf, Friday vs. Sunlake
Scoop: The Eagles are off to a good start and that should continue this week. Friday’s game against Sunlake is a district matchup, it’s first district game of the season. In a four-team district, there is no room for a loss.
25. Northeast (3-4)
This week: Tuesday vs. Largo, Wednesday at East Lake, Thursday vs. Dixie Hollins
Scoop: The Vikings have lost three of their past four games. This week could be the remedy Northeast needs to get back some confidence. All three games are against beatable opponents.
On the cusp: Countryside, Nature Coast, Seminole, Boca Ciega, Armwood, Plant City, Durant