PHOTOS BY GLENN NELSON
Ashley Corral of Prairie
Christina Nzekwe of Sealth
We can be accused of being a little Grinch-like on this day after Christmas because we've decided to take back some of what we've said and done so far this year, and make some corrections in the HoopGurlz.com Elite Eleven.
We're a mean one, Mr. Grinch, because we've dropped our previous No. 1, Prairie, even after the Falcons won a division of the Nike Tournament of Champions in Chandler, Ariz., last week.
That's because we've now seen Prairie and Chief Sealth in person and are convinced that Sealth would win a head-to-head matchup that will never occur this season because it is not scheduled and Sealth is 3A and Prairie 4A. The Seahawks are our new No. 1, and it's no slam dunk they'll hang onto their lofty perth the rest of the year. They've got No. 10 Bainbridge, No. 6 Garfield and nationally regarded Oregon City on their schedule in mid-January.
The HoopGurlz.com Elite Eleven high-school girls basketball team rankings are featured on KING-TV's Sports Blitz and will debut on Tuesday, Dec. 13, in The Seattle Times.
What changed our minds about Prairie is its lack of overall speed and perimeter shooting and the fact that, although the Falcons are big, Idaho-bound Katie Madison is the only reliable finisher inside. Ashley Corral, Prairie's sophomore point guard, makes the team go, but also provides 90 percent of the Falcons' ballhandling, which has to be a concern for coach Al Aldridge. Further, Prairie plays great helpside defense, but its lack of overall speed prevents it from extending any ball pressure.
Merritt Cameron of Prairie
That's not to say Prairie is not a good team. The Falcons obviously are. We watched them slice up a pretty good fullcourt press by Sheldon of Sacramento, Calif., during the TOC. However, when Sheldon backed off its pressure and made Prairie execute in its halfcourt offense, that's when the struggles began for the Falcons. Sealth is a team that can clog the lane and extend and double-team Corral on the perimeter, as well as turn the game into a track meet in which Prairie cannot compete.
The other major shakeup in the Elite Eleven was the result of Garfield's 58-54 overtime victory over Lincoln. The Bulldogs climb back to the middle of the rankings, where they likely can hold their ground. Though Lincoln fell to No. 8, the Abes have a chance to immediately start making up ground when they play Snohomish and No. 9 Auburn Riverside at the Riverside Invitational later this week.
The four-team Riverside event, Thursday and Friday, presents opportunity for the hosts, who are unbeaten but a little overlooked. Likewise for Riverside's opponent on Thursday, University of Spokane, which has struggled to a 3-2 mark while Tennessee-bound Angie Bjorklund recovers from a stress fracture. Bjorklund is expected to see her first action of the season in Auburn.
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|HoopGurlz.com Elite Eleven|
|* This Season's Record (Last Season's Record in Parentheses)|
|1. Chief Sealth (3A) Record:* 6-0 (27-2) Last week: 2|
Comment: Will be tested in mid-January
|2. Prairie (4A) Record:* 6-0 (26-4) Last week: 1|
Comment: Won a lower division at Nike Tournament of Champions
|3. Lewis & Clark (4A) Record:* 6-0 (26-3) Last week: 4|
Comment: Beat solid Redmond team by 48 pts
|4. Eisenhower (4A) Record:* 7-0 (24-4) Last week: 5|
Comment: Won at Richland for the first time since 1999
|5. Meadowdale (4A) Record:* 6-0 (26-1) Last week: 8|
Comment: Caitlyn Rohrbach continued her tear with 16 vs. Shorewood
|6. Garfield (4A) Record:* 3-1 (26-1) Last week: 9|
Comment: Continue to protect the Dawghouse
|7. River Ridge (3A) Record:* 6-0 (26-1) Last week: 7|
Comment: Sophie Russell had 19 pts in win over Eatonville
|8. Lincoln (4A) Record:* 5-1 (20-6) Last week: 3|
Comment: Could not stop Garfield's LaCale Pringle
|9. Auburn Riverside (4A) Record:* 6-0 (19-9) Last Week: 9|
Comment: Julie Futch scored 20 pts in 20-pt win over Kentridge
|10. Bainbridge (3A) Record:* 8-0 (14-9) Last Week: 10|
Comment: Plays this week at White River Christmas Classic
|11. Monroe (4A) Record:* 7-0 (23-5) Last week: 11|
Comment: Sarah Morton had combined 47 pts in two blowout wins
The Wait List
Central Kitsap (4A) 5-0, Chelan (2A) 7-0, East Valley (2A) 5-0, Ellensburg (3A) 5-2, Freeman (1A) 5-1, Gonzaga Prep (4A) 4-1, Jackson (4A) 5-1, King's (2A) 7-1, Tumwater (3A) 6-2, West Valley (3A) 1-4, White River (3A) 6-1, University (4A) 3-2, Woodinville (4A) 4-0
New to list in bold
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