1. Tampa Bay Tech (3-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Brandon, Friday at Hillsborough
The scoop: The Titans remain undefeated, but things didn’t go quite as planned last week. Their game against Lakewood in the Brooks DeBartolo shootout was cancelled when the Spartans had to forfeit due to a lack of players. Their biggest challenge probably won’t come until they got to Washington D.C. in two weeks. TBT is averaging 64 points per game thus far.
2. Plant (3-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Palm Harbor University, Friday vs. Alonso
The scoop: The Panthers looked good in the Brooks DeBartolo shootout with two wins. The trio of guards Nyla Jean and Honor Culpepper and center Kendal Cheesman are going to be a handful all season. Kayla Sieper and Silvia Farfante are also good under the basket. Both games are against district opponents this week, so the Panthers will get a feel for what to expect when the district tournament rolls around.
3. Carrollwood Day (2-0)
This week: Today vs. Crystal River, Saturday vs. Fort Myers
The scoop: The Patriots did not play last week, so they should be rested and ready for this two-game week. Weeyah McGill, Tiasia McMillan and Aryana Dizon are going to wear teams out under the basket all season. Maliyah Perry and Tarriyonna Gary can shoot from the outside. That’s a difficult tasks for most defenses.
4. Brooks DeBartolo (3-0)
This week: Today vs. American Collegiate Academy, Thursday at Braden River, Saturday at Naples Gulf Coast
The scoop: A nice start for the Phoenix. One of the wins was against Seffner Christian in the Brooks DeBartolo shootout. Jaela Davis, Triniti Youngblood and Amarie Godwin are the main scorers, but they have enough depth to keep teams honest. The biggest test this week will likely be against Gulf Coast.
5. Wesley Chapel (3-0)
This week: Thursday at Wiregrass Ranch, Friday vs. Tampa Prep
The scoop: A 19-point win over Bishop McLaughlin last week kept the Wildcats undefeated. Friday’s game against Tampa Prep will be their most difficult in the early season. Emari Lewis, Ariana Rivera-Heppenstall, Mia Nicholson and Kayla Grant are all scoring in double figures so far. That kind of depth makes Wesley Chapel one of the better teams in the area.
6. Seffner Christian (4-1)
This week: Tuesday at Sarasota Booker, Saturday at Fort Myers Dunbar (Shark Shootout)
The scoop: The lone loss was by two points to Brooks DeBartolo. After that the Crusaders won two games at the Florida Prospects shootout. C.C. Mays is healthy this season and playing well. Six-foot sophomore Anna Weston is also a player to watch. Seffner Christian will likely get better and better as the season goes on.
7. Tampa Prep (3-0)
This week: Tuesday at Berkeley Prep, Wednesday vs. Steinbrenner, Friday at Wesley Chapel
The scoop: The Terrapins had a week off but come back with three games this week. So far they have scored an average of 56 points per game, and Kailyn Gilbert accounts for 34 per game. Opponents know who to stop, but doing it is another thing. Tampa Prep is likely to be undefeated when Friday’s game against Wesley Chapel rolls around.
8. Armwood (2-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Robinson, Friday vs. East Bay
The scoop: The lone loss came last week against Brooks DeBartolo in the shootout. No shame there. The Hawks rebounded with a win over Sarasota Booker. Taviyanna Habib and Maraya Cheek are off to good starts. There is also some depth and the Hawks play good defense.
9. Northeast (4-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. St. Petersburg, Thursday at Bradenton Bayshore, Saturday at Bradenton St. Stephens
The scoop: The Vikings have won pretty handily in their first four games. It gets a bit tougher this week. Senior Kanesha Hall broke the 1,000-point barrier for her career against Largo. Jada Ballard is also off to a good start. Northeast is usually balanced and this season looks like no exception.
10. Keswick Christian (4-0)
This week: Today vs. Bayshore Christian
The scoop: The Crusaders got a big win over Bishop McLaughlin last week to remain undefeated. Senior Jakara Akins figured to be the big scorer and she has done that so far with 18 points per game. Fellow senior Yasmin Baroni is keeping up with 12.3 ppg. Throw in athlete Sydney Jackwin and Keswick Christian is very talented this season. A light week is followed by three games next week, including Northeast.
11. Nature Coast (3-1)
This week: Tuesday at Citrus, Friday vs. Hernando
The scoop: The Sharks are coming off a seven-point win over River Ridge, which is their third straight victory. Freshman Gabriella Lee leads the team so far with 14.3 points per game. Sophomore Heaven Lee has 12.7 ppg. There is only one senior and no juniors on this very young team, but clearly that doesn’t matter.
12. Strawberry Crest (2-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Freedom
The scoop: The Chargers were idle during the Thanksgiving break and there’s just one game this week. The only loss was a season opener to Tampa Bay Tech. They pick it up next week with games against Armwood and Jefferson as well as two games at the Spruce Creek shootout over the weekend.
13. Clearwater (2-1)
This week: Wednesday vs. Bradenton Southeast, Friday at Osceola
The scoop: The Tornadoes were idle last week. Southeast is good every year so that will be the challenge this week. Both teams are in the same district so they will get a look at each other early. Clearwater’s only loss was to Carrollwood Day.
14. Jefferson (3-1)
This week: Friday at Middleton
The scoop: The Dragons lost to Plant but came back with wins over Dixie Hollins and Lakeland in the Sarasota Thanksgiving tournament. Junior Elayza Jackson has scored more than 15 points per game. Fellow junior Zanayliah Hutchinson isn’t far behind with 12 ppg. Jefferson has had nine players score in the first four games, so it is balanced.
15. Lakewood (2-2)
This week: Today vs. Osceola, Friday vs. Atlantic, Saturday vs. Braden River
The scoop: The Spartans are coming off a bad week. In a loss to Seffner Christian in the Brooks DeBartolo shootout, two players sustained concussions. Coupled with two other injuries at practice and an illness, they weren’t able to field a team against Tampa Bay Tech and had to forfeit. They will have a full team this week and they will need it, especially over the weekend.
On the bubble
Bishop McLaughlin (4-2), Robinson (2-1), Mitchell (3-0), Wiregrass Ranch (2-1), Weeki Wachee (1-1), Fivay (2-0), St. Petersburg (2-1), East Lake (2-1), Hernando Christian (2-1), River Ridge (1-1)