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SBLive Florida Girls Basketball Power 25: Miami Country Day moves up to No. 3 in state rankings

Miami Country Day moves up to No. 3, Seffner Christian to No. 20 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 girls 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 sixth week of rankings as our No. 1 and No. 2 teams. Two schools that moved up this week was Miami Country Day to No. 3 and Seffner Christian to No. 20. 

Girls Power 25 Basketball

Find the complete breakdown of the SBLive Florida Girls Basketball Power 25:

1. Montverde Academy (10-0): 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 (10-2): DME Academy has rushed off to a 10-2 start to the season and this group is just about as talented as they come. The team is averaging 66.8 points per game and is led by a slew of talented players, including Minnesota commit Dominika Paurova.

3. Miami Country Day (9-2): 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.

4. Lake Highland Prep (8-3): Early season wins against St. Thomas Aquinas and Miami Country Day proved to 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. Their three losses have come to out of state opponents.

5. IMG Academy (7-6): 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.

6. Dr. Phillips (11-0): 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.

7. Blanche Ely (10-1): Only loss on the year came up against Legacy Early College (SC) and have met every other challenge. The Tigers just recently defeated Westminster Academy 50-49, catapulting this team into the top 10.

8. Westminster Academy (8-4): 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.

9. Plantation American Heritage (9-3): 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. Winter Haven (9-0): 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. The Blue Devils take the biggest jump of any team after defeating Bishop Moore recently.

11. King’s Academy (7-1): 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.

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12. Everglades (10-3): When looking at the Gators making such a big leap into our Power 25 rankings, a 6-1 start and a convincing 53-44 win over King’s Academy was the evidence. Though Everglades lost to Plantation American Heritage, Dillard and Potomac School, the Gators are still impressive to start.

13. Central Pointe Christian (11-3): You might see the White Tigers have losses to their record already, but they’re against the No. 1 team Montverde Academy, No. 2 DME Academy and Elizabeth Seton (MD). Point guard Sofia Munoz is one of the team’s top players back on the roster.

14. Cardinal Mooney (8-1): The Cougars have had one of the more impressive starts to the season as the notched key victories over Faith Christian, Chaminade-Madonna and Lakewood. Key matchups against IMG Academy, Seffner Christian and Venice coming up. Cougars dropped their first game to Seffner Christian.

15. Colonial (6-4): Though the Grenadiers lost to neighboring Dr. Phillips recently, this team is still one of the best amongst the state ranks. A big season is in store for point guard Milan Santos. Colonial has played a very tough slate of games through nine contests.

16. Bishop Moore (7-3): 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.

17. Bishop Kenny (11-1): 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.

18. St. Thomas Aquinas (8-4): 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.

19. Seminole Ridge (7-1): 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. Seffner Christian (10-3): The Crusaders enter the Power 25 rankings for the first time this season after pulling off a victory over Cardinal Mooney. Seffner Christian’s losses are to Sarasota Booker, McGill-Tookes (AL) and McDonogh (MD).

21. Sarasota Booker (10-2): The Tornadoes have picked up a couple of solid wins amongst their first few games. Booker defeated Seffner Christian and Charlotte, whom are both teams that have been perennial playoff contenders. A recent loss to Cardinal Mooney drops them down in our rankings. 

22. Charlotte (7-4): 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.

23. Bloomingdale (14-0): 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 a team-high 16 points per game.

24. Miami Norland (8-2): This Vikings team was just on the outside looking in last week and break into the rankings after picking up a narrow 64-61 win over Somerset Academy Silver Palms. Junior Shania Swan leads the way with 17.4 points per game.

25. Somerset Academy (10-2): The Silver Palms are off to a hot start to the season and though they have losses, it was a 14-point loss to Plantation American Heritage and a surging Miami Norland bunch. There’s games against Chaminade-Madonna and Miami later in the season to look forward to.

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