We talk a lot about nonleague competition at HoopGurlz because it's the only way to compare apples and oranges when doing rankings. We know, for example, that Kentwood is a team of national distinction (ranked No. 14 last week by Full Court Press) because it beat Sacred Heart of California, another nationally ranked team (No. 15). We think Kentwood is probably deserving of a higher ranking than Chief Sealth because of the Seahawks' three losses at the Nike Tournament of Champions.
So how do we know University, say, should be ranked No. 4 in this week's Elite Eleven? The Greater Spokane League teams were stripped of their nonleague potential this season, so they've only played each other.
Answer: Angie Bjorklund.
Bjorklund is the best player in this state - period - and No. 2 in the country, according to HoopGurlz.com's ranking of 2007 prospects. She has played against the best (and, at Tennessee next year, will continue to), so we know any team she plays for is a contender. Thus, when Lewis and Clark beat University twice during the regular season, we knew the Tigers were good. That, and a little thing like their 2006 State 4A championship.
So because University came back behind Bjorklund's 28 points, and a press-breaker that helped the Titans shot 70 percent in the first half, to beat Lewis and Clark 67-61 in the District 8 4A championship game last Friday, we know the Titans are bonafide contenders.
What else did we learn last week?
Well, Pasco may actually be the cream of the Columbia Basin League, which will conduct a battle royale this week with the GSL over a measley three state berths. Morgan Sullivan hit an 8-footer with 1.3 seconds to lift Pasco to a 47-45 overtime victory over Moses Lake in their district title game, giving Pasco two straight over Moses Lake. That also set up an interesting district matchup between Moses Lake's 6-foot-5 Carly Noyes and Mead's 6-7 freshman, Alexis Olgard, on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Ashley Andrews, who like Bjorklund is committed to Tennessee (although in softball), has got Tumwater steaming down the stretch. Tumwater started a rocky 2-4, but has come roaring back, beating River Ridge and Black Hills in back-to-back games, to finish second in the Evergreen Conference. Also, Lynden Christian provided further proof that it is the real deal, upsetting King's in 1A district play last week.
Finally, Lincoln, which had what we thought was a better-than-expected season, even with preseason All-American Alex Montgomery in tow, is now done. Montgomery sat out a second straight game in support of her coach, Kevin Strozier, who has been on administrative leave since Feb.2. The Abes lost both, the second, 49-40 to Puyallup, with only Montgomery refusing to play, and now their season's over.
"Coach Strozier is like a father to me,” Montgomery told the Tacoma News-Tribune. “It would be pointless to keep playing for the team without him.”
The HoopGurlz.com Elite Eleven high-school girls basketball team rankings are featured on KING-TV's Sports Blitz and The Seattle Times.
Click Here to Discuss Washington High School Rankings
|HoopGurlz.com Elite Eleven|
|Washington State's Top Teams Without Regard to Classification|
Records Through Feb. 17
|1. Kentwood (4A) Record: 23-0 Last: 1|
Comment: Winning in the postseason by 40.3 points per game.
|2. Roosevelt (4A) Record: 22-0 Last: 2|
Comment: Matchup with Conks depends on draw.
|3. Meadowdale (3A) Record: 21-0 Last: 3|
Comment: Eryn Jones sat out first playoff game with knee injury.
|4. University (4A) Record: 20-2 Last: 5|
Comment: Angie Bjorklund had 28 points in win over L&C.
|5. Mt. Tahoma (4A) Record: 24-0 Last: 6|
Comment: On to State for second time in school history.
|6. Lewis and Clark (4A) Record: 20-2 Last: 4|
Comment: Still gets to open State effort at home.
|7. Chief Sealth (3A) Record: 19-3 Last: 7|
Comment: Outscored 43-42 in last three quarters by Prep..
|8. Jackson (4A) Record: 20-2 Last: 9|
Comment: Brittany Eskridge 13.5 ppg in playoffs.
|9. Pasco (4A) Record: 21-1 Last: NR|
Comment: Won second straight over Moses Lake.
|10. Auburn Riverside (3A) Record: 19-2 Last: 10|
Comment: 93-point statement vs. Kennedy in sub-district.
|11. Anacortes (2A) Record: 21-0 Last: 11|
Comment: Squeaked past Burlington-Edison 48-47.
The Wait List
Bellevue Christian (1A) 18-2; Black Hills (2A) 15-5; Brewster (1A) 21-2; Burlington-Edison (2A) 15-5; Clarkston (2A) 15-5; Colfax (1A) 20-2; Columbia (1A) 17-1; Curlew (1B) 22-1; East Valley (2A) 17-3; Ellensburgh (2A) 16-4; Evergreen Lutheran (2B) 18-1; Inglemoor (4A) 16-6; Issaquah (3A) 16-7; Kennedy (3A) 16-6; King's (1A) 20-2; Lakeside (3A) 17-5; LaSalle (1B) 18-2; Liberty (2B) 22-2; Lindbergh (3A) 20-2; Lynden Christian (1A) 20-1; Mead (4A) 18-5; Monroe (4A) 16-6; Moses Lake (4A) 20-2; Pasco (4A) 18-1; Prairie (4A) 17-3; Pullman (2A) 20-0; Rainier Beach (3A) 15-6; River Ridge (2A) 19-1; Seattle Prep (3A) 18-3;Shoreline Christian (1A) 19-1; Skyline (3A) 19-2; Skyview (4A) 17-4; Tumwater (2A) 14-6; Woodland (2A) 18-2.
More Elite Eleven Rankings:
Dec. 4: No Satisfaction for Issy
Dec. 11: Sealth or Riverside?
Jan. 8: Stuff Happened
Jan. 17: Week with Buzz
Jan. 23: Cream Has Risen
Jan. 29: Second Time Around
Feb. 5: Any More Questions?
Feb. 12: Aura of Invincibility
Discuss This on Our Message Board:
Glenn Nelson is the publisher of HoopGurlz.com and the editor-in-chief of Scout Media (www.Scout.com), an online sports network and magazine-publishing company and subsidiary of Fox Interactive Media. Glenn also founded and
the Dragons and Northwest HoopGurlz select girl's basketball teams. He previously was a longtime, national-award-winning basketball columnist and writer for The
Times. His work also has appeared in several national magazines and books. He is co-author of "Rising Stars: The Ten Best Players in the NBA" (Rosen Publishing,
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.