espnW 25 Power Rankings: Week 1

Year:
Week:

Since winning the espnW national championship a year ago, Blackman (Tennessee) has seen Crystal Dangerfield commit to Connecticut, Jamesha "MeMe" Jackson sign with Tennessee, Alex Johnson sign with Middle Tennessee and Micah Norris graduate and join the roster at Southern Illinois.

Perhaps most surprising, the Lady Blaze also have suffered a loss. Still, the reigning national champions start where they left off, at the top of the espnW 25 Power Rankings.

Don't think for a second, though, that they've created some distance. No. 2 Neumann-Goretti out of Philadelphia is as talented as they come. And a few contenders from Indiana and Minnesota have emerged as well.

The picture will start to become much more clear next week after some of the top teams in the country -- including California powerhouses Mater Dei, St. Mary's and Long Beach Poly -- share a court with Blackman and others at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix.

espnW 25 Power Rankings: Week 1
RANKSCHOOL/REC (CITY, STATE)TRENDINGCOMMENT
1Blackman (7-1)
Murfreesboro, TN
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Last Week: --
The defending national champions look to defend their title in 2014-15, and they seemingly have all the pieces to do it. OK. Dare we say "loaded?" At the heart of the Blackman attack are Tennessee signee Jamesha "MeMe" Jackson, Middle Tennessee signee Alex Johnson, UConn commit Crystal Dangerfield and undeclared junior Jazz Bond. Still, Blackman already has one loss on its record, falling to No. 19 Potter's House of Florida in the Tennessee Turkey Jamm. But the Lady Blaze also have big wins over No. 12 Myers Park (North Carolina) and No. 18 Elizabethtown (Kentucky). They'll be tested further this week at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix.
2Neumann-Goretti (4-0)
Philadelphia, PA
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Last Week: --
With a frontline featuring 6-9 junior Felicia Aiyeotan, Texas signee Christina Aborowa and Georgia Tech signee Ciani Cryor, the Saints have all the ingredients to make a run at a national title. After finishing as the state runner-up a year ago, Neumann-Goretti is looking for bigger and better things this season.
3Bedford North Lawrence (10-0)
Bedford, IN
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Last Week: --
With hardwood legend Damon Bailey moving to coach in the college ranks at Butler, new head coach Jeff Allen has the pieces, including his daughter, Jenna Allen (Michigan State), Dominique McBryde (Purdue) and Alexa Bailey (Butler), to deliver a repeat performance of 2013-14.
4Mater Dei (7-1)
Santa Ana, CA
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Last Week: --
Katie Lou Samuelson, a Connecticut signee and the No. 1 prospect in the nation, averages 31 points and 8 rebounds. She's got a strong supporting cast that includes Loyola Marymount signees Andee Velasco and Bianca Velasco and UCLA commit Allyson Rosenblum. The Monarchs' lone loss was to No. 9 Chaminade Prep, 60-59, last month at the Palisades tournament. Mater Dei is at the Nike Tournament of Champions, looking to defend its title, next.
5Eastview (5-0)
Apple Valley, MN
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Last Week: --
With South Dakota State signee Madison Guebert doing the scoring and her mom, Melissa Guebert, doing the coaching, the defending state champions look to repeat.
6Long Beach Polytechnic (4-0)
Long Beach, CA
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Last Week: --
The Jackrabbits posted a signature win over No. 9 Chaminade College Prep to start the season. They're looking for a few more this week at the Nike Tournament of Champions.
7St. Mary's (3-0)
Stockton, CA
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Last Week: --
St. Mary's went undefeated in the Iolani Classic in Hawaii, defeating three local teams. Coach Tom Gonsalves has the pieces for a title run with super freshman Aquira DeCosta and juniors Kat Tudor and Mi'Cole Cayton. They'll all be tested (and perhaps a bit road weary) at the Nike Tournament of Champions this week.
8Hopkins (6-1)
Minnetonka, MN
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Last Week: --
Hopkins' only loss is to No. 6 Eastview in the Breakdown Sports Classic, 75-70 in overtime. Iowa State signee T'aire "TT" Starks and junior Nia Hollie lead the way for Hopkins.
9Chaminade College Prep School (8-1)
West Hills, CA
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Last Week: --
Chaminade Prep's lone loss is to No. 6 Long Beach Poly. Ultra-athletic forwards Valerie Higgins and Mater Dei transfer Leaonna Odom direct the show for the Eagles. Next up is a showdown with Bishop O'Dowd (California) on Dec. 27.
10Paul VI (5-1)
Fairfax, VA
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Last Week: --
Led by NC State signee Jonquanae Cole, Paul VI is loaded with talent. The Panthers beat Christ the King (New York) in the Tina Thompson Classic, but lost to No. 2 Neumann-Goretti (Pennsylvania), 68-50, in the Art Turner Memorial Tip-Off Classic.
11New Hope Christian Academy (15-0)
Thomasville, NC
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Last Week: --
Led by NC State commit and elite junior Kiana Rudd, New Hope Christian has been piling up wins. The Phoenix beat Life Center Academy (New Jersey) with a balanced attack.
12Myers Park (10-1)
Charlotte, NC
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Last Week: --
Myers Park's lone loss is to No. 1 Blackman, 56-39 in the We Back Pat Classic in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. USC signee Aliyah Mazyck (5-8) and NC State signee Rydeiah Rogers lead the way for the Mustangs.
13Archer (8-0)
Lawrenceville, GA
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Last Week: --
Led by super sophomore Autumn Newby and senior sister Madison Newby, Archer is rolling over opponents. On the horizon is a big step up in competition, when the Tigers head to the Naples Holiday Shootout and face No. 15 Rock Bridge (Missouri) on Dec. 29.
14McEachern (5-0)
Powder Springs, GA
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Last Week: --
With Tennessee-bound Te'a Cooper leading the way, the Georgia powerhouse is off to a perfect start. Cooper had 30 points in McEachern's most recent victory, a 65-58 win over North Cobb. Georgia signee Caliya Robinson is out with an injury. Next up for McEachern is the Sandra Meadows Classic at Duncanville, Texas, Dec. 29.
15Rock Bridge (4-0)
Columbia, MO
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Last Week: --
The defending Missouri 5A state champions boast the biggest overall frontline in the land with 6-5 sophomore Avery Schroeder, 6-3 Missouri signee Cierra Porter and 6-4 sophomore Madison Treece. Add super wing Sophie Cunningham, a Missouri commit who owns the school's scoring record, and coach Jill Nagel is looking for yet another state title in 2015.
16Country Day School (13-0)
Miami, FL
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Last Week: --
A dynamic backcourt led by sophomore guards Channise Lewis and Kelsey Marshall, along with Stony Brook signee Ogechi Anyagaligbo and Cal State Fullerton signee Michelle Berry, gives the Spartans a chance for a repeat as 3A state champions. They already have a signature win over fellow Florida power Jean Ribault.
17Whitney Young (5-1)
Chicago, IL
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Last Week: --
Led by undeclared junior Kiara Lewis, Whitney Young has just one loss on its record, to fellow Illinois powerhouse Montini Catholic. The Dolphins have a 126-game home court winning streak.
18Elizabethtown (5-1)
Elizabethtown, KY
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Last Week: --
Notre Dame commit Erin Boley leads the way for Elizabethtown with 19.2 points and 11.1 rebounds. The Panthers' lone loss was to No. 1 Blackman.
19Potter's House Christian (13-1)
Jacksonville, FL
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Last Week: --
Potter's House pulled off the upset of the season, beating reigning national champion Blackman at the Turkey Jamm. Ultra-athletic lefty Rellah Boothe, a 6-1 sophomore, absolutely went off, scoring 37 points and grabbing 22 rebounds. Potter's House fell to Oakland (Tenn.) in its next game.
20Argyle (15-1)
Argyle, TX
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Last Week: --
Led by sophomore Vivian Gray, the Eagles could be the best team in all of Texas.
21Gonzaga Prep School (5-0)
Spokane, WA
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Last Week: --
Oregon signee Otiona Gildon and Gonzaga signee Laura Stockton are shooting for a repeat of a state title as seniors.
22Lawrence North (10-0)
Indianapolis, IN
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Last Week: --
Lamina Cooper has signed with Purdue and Jordan Hankins has signed with Northwestern. Now the talented seniors are looking for another signature moment to close their high school careers.
23William Fremd (10-1)
Palatine, IL
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Last Week: --
Duke signee Haley Gorecki is leading the way. Fremd suffered its lone loss to Prospect (Illinois).
24Heritage Christian (9-0)
Indianapolis, IN
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Last Week: --
Darby Foresman, an Indiana commit, and fellow junior Tyasha Harris supply the power for the undefeated Eagles.
25St. Francis (8-0)
Alpharetta, GA
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Last Week: --
Sophomore Kasiyahna Kushkituah already has led St. Francis to big-time wins over Dunbar (Florida) and Homewood-Flossmoor (Illinois). The Knights will face more tough competition at the Naples Holiday Shootout at the end of the month.
On the bubble: Dunbar (Florida)
Duncanville (Texas)
Lakota West (Ohio)
Northside-Fort Smith (Arkansas)
Riverdale Baptist (Maryland)
Montini Catholic (Illinois)
Cypress Woods (Texas)
South Salem (Oregon)
Long Island Lutheran (New York)
North Little Rock (Arkansas)
Jean Ribault (Florida)
Miramonte (California)
Columbus North (Indiana)