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SBLive Sports Florida’s Girls Basketball Power 25: Montverde Academy remains No. 1 with 7-0 start

Montverde Academy and DME Academy are now 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 DME Academy head into our second week of rankings as our No. 1 and No. 2 teams. Find the complete breakdown of the SBLive Sports Florida Girls Basketball Power 25.

Power 25 Basketball - Tempest

1. Montverde Academy (7-0): 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. DME Academy (6-0): DME Academy has rushed off to a 6-0 start to the season and this group is just about as talented as they come. The team is averaging well 75.6 points per game and is led by a slew of talented players, including Minnesota commit Dominika Paurova.

3. IMG Academy (3-1): 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.

4. Lake Highland Prep (3-1): 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.

5. Westminster Academy (3-1): 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.

6. Cardinal Mooney (3-0): 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.

7. Miami Country Day (3-1): 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.

8. Plantation American Heritage (4-1): 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.

9. Dr. Phillips (5-0): 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.

10. St. Thomas Aquinas (1-2): 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.

11. Bishop Moore (4-1): 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.

12. FSU High (4-1): 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.

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13. King’s Academy (3-1): 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.

14. Everglades (4-1): When looking at the Gators making such a big leap into our Power 25 rankings, a 4-1 start and a convincing 53-44 win over King’s Academy was the evidence. Though Everglades lost to Plantation American Heritage, the Gators are still impressive to start. 

15. Central Pointe Christian (5-1): 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.

16. Colonial (3-1): 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.

17. Faith Christian (1-4): Before you wonder why is a team with one in our rankings, we have to point out that all four of the Lions’ losses have come against Power 25 teams. No. 2 IMG Academy, No. 6 Cardinal Mooney and No. 9 Dr. Phillips, No. 11 Bishop Moore all competitive games.

18. Bishop Kenny (5-1): An early season 40-35 loss against Westminster Academy showed where this Crusaders club is exactly at. Sophia Rueppell, a senior guard, leads Bishop Kenny with 11 points per contest through six games.

19. Seminole Ridge (1-1): 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.

20. Somerset Academy (5-1): The Silver Palms are off to a hot start to the season and though they have a loss, it was a 14-point loss to Plantation American Heritage. There’s games against Chaminade-Madonna and Miami later in the season to look forward to. 

21. Charlotte (3-1): 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.

22. Chaminade-Madonna (2-2): 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 24.5 points through four games.

23. Sarasota Booker (2-1): The Tornadoes have picked up a couple of solid wins amongst their first three games. Booker defeated Seffner Christian and Charlotte, whom are both teams that have been perennial playoff contenders. 

24. Bloomingdale (5-0): This Bulls team fell somewhat under the radar when it came to our initial rankings, but wins over Brooks-DeBartolo and Plant changed all that. Sophomore guard Noelle Mengel is averaging 13.2 points per game. 

25. Winter Haven (1-0): 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.