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High school girls basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

Little change at the top as the regular season winds down.
Tampa Prep's Arianna Mosley (10), center, challenges the Wesley Chapel defense during a December game. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
Tampa Prep's Arianna Mosley (10), center, challenges the Wesley Chapel defense during a December game. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | TImes]
Published Jan. 21

1. Tampa Bay Tech (17-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Bloomingdale, Friday at King, Saturday vs. Orlando Lake Highland Prep (Carrollwood shootout)

The scoop: The Titans’ difficult national schedule was on display last week. They defeated Miami Country Day, a perennial state power, then lost by a point to St. Francis (Ga.) at the MLK Shootout at Chamberlain on Monday. Lake Highland Prep is ranked first in the state and ninth nationally, so there is no letup in this very busy week.

2. Plant (19-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Sickles, Friday vs. Steinbrenner, Saturday vs. Brooks DeBartolo (Carrollwood Shootout)

The scoop: The Panthers, now winners of 10 straight, keep on rolling. That includes a convincing win over Lakewood as well as a win over Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas at the Chamberlain shootout on Monday. Junior forward Kendall Cheesman scored her 1,000th career point at Plant in that game. Brooks DeBartolo will be the challenge this week.

3. Carrollwood Day (16-2)

This week: Wednesday at Lakewood, Saturday vs. Fort Myers (Carrollwood Shootout)

The scoop: The Patriots had one game last week and rolled over Bishop McLaughlin. This week will be more of a challenge as they wind things down before the district tournament. Fort Myers is having a down year, so the Patriots should be able to get through this week.

4. Brooks DeBartolo (15-3)

Brooks DeBartolo and junior Amarie Godwin have a big week of games ahead. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]

This week: Tuesday at Wesley Chapel, Wednesday vs. Sarasota, Saturday vs. Plant (Carrollwood Shootout)

The scoop: The Phoenix got two nice wins last week over Sarasota Booker and Miami Central. Three difficult games await this week, especially against Plant. They average nearly 60 points per game, which makes them one of the better offensive teams in the area. Junior Triniti Youngblood leads the Phoenix with 13 points per game.

5. Wesley Chapel (18-2)

This week: Tuesday vs. Brooks DeBartolo, Thursday vs. Pasco, Friday at Cypress Creek

The scoop: Since losing to Eustis in the Hernando Holiday tournament, the Wildcats have won four straight. That includes another close win over Tampa Prep last week. That will be tested tonight against Brooks DeBartolo. They have scored no less than 58 points per game in the latest win streak.

6. Seffner Christian (16-5)

This week: Friday vs. Bishop McLaughlin, Saturday vs. Spruce Creek (Carrollwood Shootout)

The scoop: The Crusaders are coming off a big offensive week. They scored 76 against Tampa Catholic and followed that with 91 against Ocala West Port. They are very balanced on offense, with four players averaging in double figures. C.C. Mays and Tajah Spaulding each get around 14 points per game.

7. Keswick Christian (19-1)

Keswick Christian's Jakara Akins remains a force this season. [LUIS SANTANA | TIMES | Tampa Bay Times]

This week: Tuesday vs. Academy of the Holy Names, Thursday at Indian Rocks Christian

The scoop: The Crusaders have now won nine straight and haven’t lost to an area school yet. AHN should be a close one. Keswick beat the Jaguars by a point in an early regular-season game. As the top team by far in Class 2A, District 7, the Crusaders have a chance to go far in regionals.

8. Tampa Prep (12-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Tampa SLAM, Wednesday at Land O’Lakes, Thursday at Orlando First Academy

The scoop: For the second time this season, the Terrapins lost a close one to Wesley Chapel. They fell 63-61 to the Wildcats last week despite 26 points from Kailyn Gilbert and 25 from freshman Arianna Mosley. They should be able to get back on track this week.

9. Jefferson (13-3)

This week: Tuesday vs. Robinson, Wednesday at Blake, Friday at Spoto

The scoop: The Dragons haven’t lost in the new year. They scored 30 points in a win over Chamberlain last week, then came back with 71 in a win over Durant. They are the top team in Class 5A, District 9 and don’t have much heavy lifting until the district tournament begins in two weeks.

10. Wiregrass Ranch (11-4)

This week: Tuesday at Gulf, Friday vs. Gaither

The scoop: The Bulls had one game last week, a win over Tampa Catholic. It doesn’t get any harder this week. They don’t score a lot. Zoi Evans (13.8 points per game) is the only player in double digits. But they have found ways to win by playing defense.

11. Fivay (12-3)

Fivay junior Marielis Creque averages a double double machine for the Falcons. [RODNEY PAGE | Times]

This week: Tuesday vs. Zephyrhills, Wednesday at Lecanto, Thursday vs. Mitchell

The scoop: The Falcons had a week off between a loss to Land O’Lakes and the Zephyrhills game, so they should be ready to go. Scheduling three straight games this week is on purpose. They could play three straight in the district tournament, so this will get them prepared.

12. Weeki Wachee (14-6)

This week: Tuesday at Crystal River, Friday vs. Central, Saturday vs. the Villages Charter

The scoop: The Hornets started last week with a loss to Lecanto but rebounded with wins over Cypress Creek and Springstead. Another busy week awaits. Sy Crowley, Morgan McDaniel and Princess Hester remain the big offensive weapons.

13. Lakewood (9-10)

This week: Wednesday vs. Carrollwood Day

The scoop: Of the Spartans’ nine wins, seven are against Pinellas teams. They have not lost to a county team this season. The problem has been a beefed=up schedule against state-ranked teams. It doesn’t help that Lakewood has a young lineup that probably would have fared much better with this schedule next season. They play Gibbs next week to close out the regular season.

14. Northeast (17-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Tarpon Springs, Friday vs. Dixie Hollins

The scoop: The second half of the schedule figured to be a bit easier and the Vikings have indeed continued to win — seven straight. Tarpon Springs and sharpshooter Anabel Ellison will be the big test this week. Otherwise, the Vikings should head into the district tournament on a win streak.

15. Clearwater (11-6)

This week: Thursday at Seminole, Friday at Tarpon Springs, Saturday vs. Winter Haven

The scoop: The Tornadoes are coming off a roller-coaster week. It started with two losses, including one to Lakewood, and ended with two wins. They are busy again this week, then end the regular season against Carrollwood Day.

On the bubble

River Ridge (10-8), Hernando Christian (17-1), Academy of the Holy Names (12-9), Strawberry Crest (11-7), East Lake (12-6), Mitchell (12-6), Land O’Lakes (10-7)

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  1. Carrollwood Day sophomore Milahnie Perry controls the tempo in a 74-36 victory over Tampa Prep in a Class 3A region quarterfinal. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  2. BJ Graham and Jesuit are already off to a strong start, as was expected of the nation's top high school program. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  3. Newsome Wolves catcher Lydia Castro is dynamic behind the plate and with a bat in her hand. She is also committed to USF. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  4. Elli Black, 11, crosses the finish line in first place in the women's division at the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  5. There were many standout players for Tampa Catholic on Saturday, including goalkeeper Charlie Gembarowski, who set school records in shutouts (16) and wins (22) with the state semifinal victory. [JOSEPH WEISER  |  Icon SMI via ZUMA Press]
  6. Jesuit, ranked No. 6 in the state and 15th nationally by MaxPreps, will play for their seventh school title next Saturday in DeLand against Pembroke Pines Charter. [JOSEPH WEISER  |  Icon SMI via ZUMA Press]
  7. Shorecrest coach Jason Montoya, seen here in a previous playoff match, was happy with how his team played in Saturday's state semifinal. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  8. Elaine Jeffers, left, and mom Jennifer are all smiles in their pirate and parrot costumes after finishing the 15K and 5K races Saturday morning. Today, both Elaine, 33, and Jennifer, 60, will run their 61st half-marathon. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  9. Joe Conrad, at the mere age of 90 in the orange hat, crosses the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K finish line with 30 of his relatives: kids, grandkids and so on. Conrad, who has set several age-group records at races the past few decades, finished in 59 minutes, 28 seconds, but he did, of course, benefit from all the pacers around him. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  10. Cambridge Christian runner Reed Legg finishes first (15:29) during Saturday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  11. Tampa Bay Tech, still missing star sophomore Janiah Barker, falters in the region final Friday, but if healthy should make another deep playoff run next season. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  12. After its 3-1 victory over Westminster Academy of Fort Lauderdale on Friday, the Shorecrest girls soccer team  will be playing in the program's first state final next week in Deland. [CHUCK FRYE  |  Special to the Times]
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