HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings
1. Seffner Christian (7-0)
This week: Monday at Calvary Christian, Tuesday vs. Tampa Prep, Saturday at Cambridge Christian
Scoop: In their only game last week, the Crusaders handled a good Palm Harbor University team 82-41. They have numerous scorers, including Chelsie Hall, Brylee Bartram, Avree Carpenter and Hope Hunter. Seffner has a tough week this week, especially Monday’s game at Calvary Christian.
2. Lakewood (9-2)
This week: Monday vs. Dixie Hollins, Wednesday at Bradenton Southeast, Friday at Tarpon Springs
Scoop: The Spartans ran all over Boca Ciega and Dunedin last week, but a weekend trip to Winter Haven ended in a 54-35 loss. Winter Haven is a state tournament-caliber team and Spartan coach Necole Tunsil knew that would be a tough game. This week’s test will be at Southeast on Wednesday. Both Lakewood and Southeast are 4-0 in the district.
3. Calvary Christian (8-1)
This week: Monday vs. Seffner Christian, Saturday vs. The Villages Charter
Scoop: The Warriors are sure to be tested by Seffner Christian. Carley Plentovich (17.4 points per game) and Niaya White (12.6) are the leading scorers on a team with several scoring options.
4. Clearwater (7-1)
This week: Tuesday at Dixie Hollins, Thursday at Northeast, Friday vs. Countryside
Scoop: The Tornadoes suffered their first loss last week to Palm Harbor University, 65-43. This week should be a chance to bounce back. Clearwater has spread out its scoring so far, with Alex Hannah leading the team with 9.1 points per game. Alleyah Williams, Cheyanne Williamson and Adriana West are all in the eight-points-per-game range.
5. Academy at the Lakes (6-2)
This week: Thursday vs. Lakeside Christian, Friday at Academy of the Holy Names
Scoop: The Wildcats have lost just two games this season, both to Brooks DeBartolo and both by just three points. After two games this week, the Wildcats take a break until January.
6. Wiregrass Ranch (6-1)
This week: Monday vs. Freedom, Wednesday at Steinbrenner, Friday at Sickles
Scoop: Three straight district games this week for the Bulls, who are coming off a big win over Plant and are currently tops in 7A-8 with a 4-0 record. Trakyra Kidd is off to a good start, with 17.1 points per game
7. Strawberry Crest (9-0)
This week: Monday at Armwood, Wednesday at East Bay, Thursday vs. Jefferson
Scoop: One of three undefeated teams still left in Tampa Bay, the Chargers have been cruising thanks to Ayanna and Brianna Matthews, and they’re likely to continue to do so this week against two opponents with losing records. Monday’s game against Armwood, though, could be the toughest it’s had yet.
8. Plant (6-1)
This week: Monday at Sickles, Wednesday at Freedom, Thursday vs. Leto, Friday vs. Palm Harbor University (IRC tourney), Saturday TBA (IRC tourney).
Scoop: The Panthers dropped their first game of the season to Wiregrass Ranch, one of the top teams in the area. They’ll have a chance at revenge when Plant meets the Bulls again on Jan. 5, but first, the Panthers have a tough district slate against Sickles and Freedom this week.
9. Palm Harbor University (9-1)
This week: Tuesday at Tarpon Springs, Thursday at Seminole, Friday vs. Plant (IRC tourney), Saturday TBA (IRC tourney)
Scoop: The Hurricanes fell hard to Seffner Christian last week, but bounced back with a big win over Clearwater. Julia Ingram continues to lead PHU, but she is getting some help from newcomer Kiana Chew and Nicole Nanos. The test this week will be at the Indian Rocks tournament.
11. Brooks DeBartolo (6-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Academy of the Holy Names, Wednesday at Sarasota Military Academy, Friday at Oldsmar Christian
Scoop: The Phoenix had a strong week, topping Tampa Catholic behind six 3-pointers from Alyssa Nieves before beating Academy at the Lakes 65-62. Its next test will come against Academy of the Holy Names, with a win giving the Phoenix the top spot in the 4A-9 standings.
10. Tampa Catholic (6-4)
This week: Monday at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, Thursday at Clearwater Central Catholic,
Scoop: The Crusaders hit a bit of a rough patch last week, falling to a talented Brooks DeBartolo squad before dropping another district game against Holy Names. They rebounded, though, with a win against Sarasota Military Academy and are now sitting at third place (behind the Phoenix and Jaguars) in the 4A-9 standings.
12. Sickles (6-2)
This week: Monday vs. Plant, Wednesday at Gaither, Friday vs. Wiregrass Ranch
Scoop: The Gryphons are holding their own in a tough district with the help of sophomore Ashley Sieper (19.5 points, 12.3 rebounds), but they have the chance to rise this week with home district games against Plant and Wiregrass Ranch.
13. Academy of the Holy Names (7-2)
This week: Tuesday at Brooks DeBartolo, Friday vs. Academy at the Lakes
Scoop: The Jaguars proved they can compete when they topped district foe Tampa Catholic 43-36 to remain undefeated in district play. We’ll see just how good they really are with tough games against the Phoenix and Wildcats this week.
14. Freedom (3-3)
This week: Monday at Wiregrass Ranch, Wednesday vs. Plant, Friday vs. Steinbrenner
Scoop: The Patriots have had an uncharacteristic slow start, but Makayla Gentry and Nari Garner are both averaging double-digit points. This week could be make-or-break for Freedom, with all three games being big district matchups.
15. Bishop McLaughlin (6-1)
This week: Monday at Indian Rocks Christian, Tuesday vs. Carrollwood Day, Friday at Tampa Prep
Scoop: The Hurricanes suffered their first loss of the season at Cambridge Christian last week. That was followed by a 40-point win over Genesis Prep. This week is not easy with three potentially difficult games. Brielle Downing and Alexa Rodriguez continue to be the leading scorers, and Emily Dykeman has chipped in with almost eight rebounds per game.
16. Land O’Lakes (6-3)
This week: Tuesday at Springstead, Thursday at Anclote, Friday vs. Sunlake
Scoop: The Gators are coming off a 41-33 loss to Academy of the Holy Names. It doesn’t get any easier against district foe Springstead, which is 7-1. The Gators average just 38 points per game. They must find ways to score against upcoming district opponents.
17. Steinbrenner (5-3)
This week: Monday at Wharton, Wednesday vs. Wiregrass Ranch, Friday at Freedom
Scoop: Considering the Warriors have a new coach and a mostly new team, they’ve done a good job handling a tough district schedule and are 3-1 in the 7A-8 standings. Steinbrenner’s offense is still remarkably spread out, with five players averaging between five and seven points per game.
18. Newsome (4-2)
This week: Tuesday at Sarasota Riverview, Friday vs. Manatee
Scoop: Both of Newsome’s losses are to winning teams, and victories against one-loss Armwood and two-loss Middleton are solid. The Wolves should cruise before taking on a 4-1 Plant City team next week.
19. Middleton (6-2)
This week: Tuesday at Robinson, Thursday at Blake, Friday at Alonso
Scoop: Sarah Moore continues to lead the way for the Tigers, averaging a double double (18.4 points, 15.8 rebounds). They’ll be challenged this week by a pair of winning teams in Robinson and Alonso.
20. Indian Rocks Christian (6-1)
This week: Monday vs. Bishop McLaughlin, Tuesday at Countryside, Friday vs. Plant (IRC tourney), Saturday TBA (IRC tourney).
Scoop: The Golden Eagles have won five straight, but have a tough week ahead. IRC will certainly see where it’s at after four potentially tough games.
21. Osceola (5-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Northeast, Thursday vs. Largo, Friday at Largo
Scoop: Tuesday’s game should be interesting, with Northeast senior Madison Schmidt facing her sister, Osceola coach Missy Schmidt. The Warriors have won two straight after an ugly 24-18 loss to Tarpon Springs. They must find more scoring once tough district games start up again in January.
22. Cambridge Christian (7-2)
This week: Monday vs. Keswick Christian, Thursday at Tampa Prep, Friday at Carrollwood Day
Scoop: A win against Bishop McLaughlin last week was huge for the Lancers, who now have a chance to take over second place in the district standings with wins against Tampa Prep and CDS this week. Cambridge Christian has equaled its win total from last year, and there’s still more than a month in the regular season to go.
23. Springstead (7-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Land O’Lakes, Friday at Mitchell
Scoop: The Eagles bounced back from their first loss of the season against Weeki Wachee by winning two straight, including a two-point win over Sunlake. Two big district games await this week.
24. Northeast (6-4)
This week: Monday at Pinellas Park, Tuesday at Osceola, Thursday vs. Clearwater
Scoop: The Vikings have won three straight. Aryka Gamble has stepped up as a scorer, and Madison Schmidt and Ashley Taylor have been consistent. Thursday’s district game against Clearwater will be difficult.
25. Plant City (4-2)
This week: Monday vs. Robinson, Wednesday at Plant City, Friday at East Bay
Scoop: The Raiders had some rebuilding to do after the transfer of key players from last year’s team, but senior Lacey Hargrove (16.3 points) has helped keep the Raiders on track. Their only losses have come against a one-loss Plant squad and undefeated Strawberry Crest.
On the cusp: Countryside, Weeki Wachee, Seminole, Boca Ciega, Armwood, Durant