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Girls' Preseason S25: St. Mary's looks to continue dominance



The St. Mary's (Phoenix) girls' basketball team is loaded this year. / Rob Schumacher, AZCentral.com

With the unveiling of the Top 5 teams, the preseason Super 25 high school girls' basketball rankings are set. Preseason hype doesn't mean much, of course. Now it's time for these teams -- and others that missed the cut -- to prove their worth on the court. Let us know your thoughts on the rankings @USATODAYhss.

Teams 25-16
Teams 15-6

5. Whitney Young (Chicago) (34-0)

Kentucky signee Linnae Harper (18.7 ppg, 13 rpg, 3 apg and 1.5 spg), a senior 5-7 PG, leads a team that could repeat as 4A champion. Khaalia Hillsman, a 6-5, junior, will discourage opponents underneath. She will have plenty of help as sophomore F Tanita Allen (9 ppg, 4 rpg) and 5-10 junior Taylor Brame (10 ppg, 4 rpg) return.

4. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (34-3)

The Monarchs are looking for their third consecutive state title. Nirra Fields is gone to UCLA, but the Monarchs gained two elite transfers from Edison in Karlie Samuelson, a senior G who has signed with Stanford, and sophomore G Katie Samuelson. The top returning player is C Khalia Lark.

3. Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) (30-3)

The Dragons won the Div. III state title last season and are stocked with future college athletes. Senior F K.C. Waters (12 rpg, 2 bpg) is headed to Cal, Oderah Chidom (13 ppg, 10 rpg, 3 bpg), a 6-3 F, has signed with Duke and senior PG Ariell Bostick (8 ppg, 5 apg) has signed with San Diego. Add in talented sophomore G Aisia Robertson and a deep bench.

2. Duncanville (Texas) (40-1)

The Pantherettes won the state 5A title last season and return a lineup of future college players, led by SMU signee Kiara Perry (11.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.3 spg), a 5-10 guard and junior guard Ariel Atkins (9.6 ppg, 3.3 spg, 2.6 apg). Destiny Means, a 6-2 F, has signed with UT-San Antonio and 6-1 F Antonia Robinson has signed with Arkansas-Little Rock. The team is already off to an 8-0 start.

1. St. Mary’s (Phoenix) (30-0)

Defending national champions are looking for their third consecutive Div. I state title. The Knights have six seniors headed to Div. I schools, led by PG Dominique Williams (11 ppg, 9.0 apg, 7.0 rpg), who signed with UCLA and her twin, G Danielle Williams, who signed with Michigan. That doesn’t count junior 6-1 F Courtney Ekmark, who is one of the top juniors in the country.

 

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