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SBLive Sports Florida’s Girls Basketball Power 25: Montverde Academy, IMG Academy start off as the 1-2

Montverde Academy and IMG Academy will enter the season as the No. 1 and 2 teams in the Sunshine State in our weekly state rankings

The summer/fall sports are all coming to a close and we’re now heading into the winter season, which means basketball is upon us. The Sunshine State features a couple of the top teams in the country as Montverde Academy and IMG Academy start off as our No. 1 and No. 2 teams. Find the complete breakdown of the SBLive Sports Florida Power 25.

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1. Montverde Academy (3-0): The Eagles are coming off their first national championship (Geico High School Nationals) and return a star-studded cast of players. Players like Lety Vasconcelos, Sahnya Jah and Mjracle Sheppard are the primary players to watch for over at Montverde Academy.

2. IMG Academy (2-0): This Ascenders group is looking more and more like he team that could compete to be one of the best in country compared to recent years. IMG Academy brings back Virginia commitment Olivia McGhee to the roster and Kelis Fisher arrives with a new offer from UConn.

3. DME Academy (4-0): DME Academy has rushed off to a 4-0 start to the season and this group is just about as talented as they come. The team is averaging well over 80 points per game and is led by a slew of talented players, including Minnesota commit Dominika Paurova. 

4. St. Thomas Aquinas (1-0): Coming off a stellar 27-4 season and winning the Class 6A state championship over Wekiva, the Raiders bring back the bulk of their roster. The Raiders return seniors Karina Gordon (East Carolina commitment) and Alancia Ramsey. 

5. Lake Highland Prep (1-0): Some early season matchups against St. Thomas Aquinas and Miami Country Day will be big games early on in the 2022-2023 campaign. With players like guard Eleecia Carter, Bri Rivera and Lexi Blue make this team extremely formidable.  

6. Westminster Academy (2-0): The defending Class 3A state champions from a year ago bring back a very talented roster, which features sophomore guard Lena Girardi. If that last name sounds familiar, she’s the daughter of former MLB manager Joe Girardi.   

7. Cardinal Mooney (1-0): Well, its just fitting the team that lost the Class 3A state championship to Westminster Academy is right below them. The Cougars lost 44-41 and return virtually almost the same exact team, led by forward Kali Barrett. 

8. Miami Country Day (2-0): Seven state championships in eight years isn’t too shabby. The Spartans are back and though Andrea Daley is now to George Washington for college ball, this program is always one of the state’s best.  

9. Plantation American Heritage (2-0): It was a rout in the Class 5A state championship game over Orlando Bishop Moore and the Patriots are back for more. Plantation American Heritage is led by Sydni Studesville, who is the top returning point scorer from a year ago. 

10. Dr. Phillips (3-0): Already armed win a solid win over Faith Christian this season, the Panthers looking to make it a second straight Class 7A state crown. Trinity Turner averaged around 16 points per game last year and will be a force this winter. 

11. Brooks DeBartolo (0-0): The Phoenix are the top girls team out of the Tampa Bay region and after being a Class 3A Final Four team in 2021, they’re thinking state title. Brooks DeBartolo are led by Hampton University commit Tyra Kennedy. 

12. Charlotte (1-0): When you look at the Fightin’ Tarpons schedule, they are preparing to be a team in making another deep playoff run. The team’s go-to-player is senior point guard D’Yanis Jimenez, who has interest from several Power Five schools. 

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13. Bishop Moore (2-0): The Hornets fell to Plantation American Heritage in the Class 5A state title game last year, but return the nucleus of that club. Leading the way is Embry-Riddle commitment Alyssa Brasko, who is averaging 22 points per game so far.  

14. FSU High (2-0): This Seminoles team wasn’t too far off from competing with Westminster Academy last year. After a 20-4 campaign, FSU High will be one of Class 3A’s top clubs once again. 

15. Seminole Ridge (1-0): Graduating players like Ashley Thornton and Aspen Johnson, but the Hawks have a new duo and they just happen to be sisters: Iasiah and Janiah Suprius. Both averaged over 12 points per game a year ago. 

16. Central Pointe Christian (2-1): You might see the White Tigers have a loss to their record already, but its against the No. 1 team Montverde Academy. Point guard Sofia Munoz is one of the team’s top players back on the roster. 

17. Miami (0-0): The Stingrays were a 20-9 club last year and could be higher on this list if not for a couple key graduations. Senior forward Joelle Wilson will be counted upon to be more of a scorer this winter. 

18. Colonial (1-0): Its not going to be too long until we see the Grenadiers take on a Power 25 opponent as they’ll go head-to-head with neighboring Dr. Phillips. A big season is in store for point guard Milan Santos. 

19. Faith Christian (0-3): Before you wonder why is a winless team in our rankings, we have to point out that all three of the Lions’ losses have come against Power 25 teams. No. 2 IMG Academy, No. 7 Cardinal Mooney and No. 10 Dr. Phillips, all competitive games. 

20. King’s Academy (1-0): A 24-win 2021-2022 campaign brings this team into the Power 25 with high aspirations again this year. Not much turnover on this roster and guard/forward Jade Jones returns after averaging in double digits as a freshman.  

21. Bishop Kenny (2-0): An early season test against Westminster Academy will show where this Crusaders club is exactly at. Riley Tolbert, a junior guard, leads Bishop Kenny with 12 points per contest through a couple games. 

22. Carrollwood Day (1-0): The Patriots were the next best team to Brooks DeBartolo when it comes to the Tampa Bay region last year and there’s much optimism they can be strong again. 

23. Chaminade-Madonna (2-0): If there’s a couple things we know, the Lions are going to be able to score in bunches. Freshman shooting guard Jaelynn Housey is off to a hot start and averaging 28.5 points through two games. 

24. Palm Bay (0-1): Opening season loss to Bishop Moore was a tightly contested game. This Pirates team could easily make its way up the rankings as the season continues onward. Watch for guard Jazmine Major to be the team’s primary option as the playmaker. 

25. Winter Haven (0-0): Losing guard/forward Kayla Smith is tough, but this Blue Devils team returns plenty of talent across the board. Bre’Asia Washington comes back after averaging 13.6 points per game in 2021-2022. 

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo.