Here is our Top 15 girls basketball rankings for the week of January 31, 2021.
1. Paul VI (1-0 record, last week’s ranking 1): Paul VI opened the regular season with a 56-39 victory over West Orange on January 30. Preseason All-South Jersey Second Team selection Hannah Hidalgo powered the Eagles with 19 points. Sara McShea posted 15 points and 10 rebounds and Preseason All-South Jersey Third Team selection Nile Miller posted a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds). Moorestown Friends transfer Veyoni Davis scored 6 points and gathered 12 rebounds in her debut. Paul VI is scheduled to host Cherokee on Thursday — the most anticipated South Jersey high school girls basketball matchup of the year.
2. Cherokee (3-0, 2): The Lady Chiefs posted a 52-38 win over Bishop Eustace on Opening Night. Preseason All-South First Team Selection Alexa Therien scored 13 points and Katie Fricker added 11. Cherokee held off district rival Lenape, 56-42, on January 28. Therien notched a game-high 17 points and Fricker added 12. Preseason All-South Jersey honorable mention Gabby Recinto poured in 10 points in the victory. The Lady Chiefs earned a signature win on January 30, outlasting North Jersey power Montclair Immaculate 44-26. Therien scored 23 points and 13 rebounds. Fricker added 14 points. Cherokee is scheduled to visit No. 1 Paul VI on Thursday.
Cherokee’s Alexa Therien was phenomenal in the Chiefs’ 44-26 win over Montclair Immaculate on Saturday afternoon. Therien finished with a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds. Therien is committed to Boston University. @ChiefsAthletics @LadyChiefsBskt @alexatherienn @BU_Tweets pic.twitter.com/i8lC3di396— Kevin Emmons (@OfficialKEmmons) January 30, 2021
3. Wildwood Catholic (2-0, 3): The Lady Crusaders dominated Cape May Tech 89-19 on January 26 to start the season. Penn commit Marianna Papazoglou was phenomenal with 32 points. Kimmy Casiello contributed 15 points and Lauren McCallion and Carly Murphy added 10 apiece. Papazoglou shined again with a 24-point performance in a 58-23 win over then-No. 10 Atlantic City. McCallion added 11 in the victory. Wildwood Catholic is scheduled to host Ocean City on Wednesday.
Note: The SJ Sports Zone Top 15 rankings were released prior to Wildwood Catholic’s 43-36 loss to Middle Township on February, 1. The outcome of that game will be factored into new week’s rankings.
4. Haddonfield (0-0, 4): Haddonfield still hasn’t competed yet this season. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play Sterling on Thursday. Haddonfield will be led by Preseason All-South Jersey First Team selection Keegan Douglas.
5. Camden Catholic (0-0, 5): The Irish are scheduled to host Cherry Hill East on Thursday. It will be the first time Camden Catholic takes the floor in 2021. The Irish are also scheduled to play Seneca on Saturday. South Jersey is anxiously awaiting for the season debut of sophomores Aaryn Battle and Kassidy Thompson.
6. Glassboro (3-0, 7): Preseason All-South Jersey First Team selection Alexis Davis powered the Bulldogs to an impressive 50-44 win over then-No. 14 Wildwood on January 29. Glassboro only had five players available and played with four players throughout the closing minutes of the fourth quarter as a result of a player fouling out. Davis scored 21 points and tallied 20 rebounds in the signature win. As a result, the Bulldogs moved up one spot in the rankings. The sophomore also tallied 32 points and 19 rebounds in a 53-27 win over Overbrook on January 28. Glassboro dominated Pitman 71-19 on January 26. Davis posted a 36-point, 16-rebound double-double. The sophomore is averaging an astonishing 29.7 points and 18.3 rebounds per game. The Bulldogs are scheduled to host Penns Grove on Friday.
FINAL: No. 7 @GlassboroPSD 50, No. 14 @WildwoodPSD 44 @SJSportsZone 🏀— South Jersey Sports Zone (@SJSportsZone) January 29, 2021
The short-handed Bulldogs only had five players available and played without Jakya Jenkins (fouled out) for a portion of the fourth quarter.
Glassboro’s Alexis Davis is as good as advertised.
7. Shawnee (2-0, 8): The Renegades moved up one spot in the rankings with wins over Winslow and Washington Township last week. Nia Scott posted a double-double (19 points, 13 rebounds) in the 50-48 decision over Winslow and Cherokee transfer Aery kessler notched 15 points in her debut. Scott, a preseason All-South Jersey Second team selection, notched her second consecutive double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the 45-22 victory over Washington Township. Shawnee is looking for games this Thursday and Saturday.
Shawnee’s Nia Scott scores the basket and draws the foul. Cherokee leads 27-23 late third quarter. The freshman has 6 points in the third quarter. #BCTSports 🏀@SHSRenegades @shawneeladybbal @ChiefsAthletics @Cherokee_HS pic.twitter.com/iUyaK1WRiF— Kevin Emmons (@OfficialKEmmons) March 9, 2020
8. Lenape (1-1, 6): The Indians dropped two spots in the rankings after a 56-42 setback to No. 2 Cherokee on January 30. Olivia Johnstone tallied a team-high 14 points in the loss and Kasey Louie added 11. Lenape defeated Woodrow Wilson 76-38 on January 26. Johnstone notched a game-high 23 points and Kaitlyn King added 16. The Indians are scheduled to host Burlington Township on Friday.
9. Eastern (0-0, 9): The Vikings haven’t played yet this season. Eastern is scheduled to host Haddon Heights on Wednesday, visit Winslow on Thursday and travel to Cherry Hill East on Saturday. The Vikings will be an experienced team led by Giana Rullo and Mia Robbins.
10. Mainland (2-0, 13): The Mustangs put their best foot forward and knocked off then-No. 11 Ocean City 39-35 to start the season on January 26. Camryn Dirkes notched a team-high 12 points and Lila Schoen added 9. Mainland improved its record to 2-0 with a dominating 64-30 victory over Cape May Tech. Ava Mazur scored a team-high 12 points and Dirkes added 10. The Mustangs are scheduled to visit Middle Township on Friday.
11. Cinnaminson (3-0, 15): Cinnaminson defeated Moorestown 39-30 on January 26 to ignite a three-game winning streak to start the season. Senior Kaitlyn Mulligan posted a game-high 21 points. The Lady Pirates cruised past Palmyra 40-25 behind a game-high 11 points from Katie Ambos. Mulligan added 10. Cinnaminson improved to 3-0 with a 40-19 win over Pennsauken on January 29. Ambos notched a game-high 11 points for the second consecutive game.
12. Rancocas Valley (3-0, NR): The Red Devils opened the season with a 49-31 win over Pennsauken. Adriana Agosto knocked down 5 three-pointers en route to a game-high 19 points. On January 28, Rancocas Valley defeated Winslow 38-35. Kylie Bradford posted a 13-point, 10 rebound double-double and Agosto added 10 points. The Red Devils improved to 3-0 with a gutsy 35-33 win over Gloucester Catholic on January 30. Rancocas Valley is scheduled to visit No. 14 Delran on Wednesday and No. 2 Cherokee on Friday.
13. Wildwood (2-1, 14): Preseason All-South Jersey Third Team selection Imene Fathi posted a game-high 24 points in a 66-29 win over Penns Grove on January 26. Two days later, the Warriors shutdown Clayton 49-8 and Fathi notched a game-high 11 points. Maya Benichou and Ava Troiano added 10 apiece. Wildwood dropped a 50-44 decision to short-handed Glassboro to fall to 2-1 on January 29. Fathi scored 23 points in the loss. The Warriors are scheduled to host Gloucester Catholic on Wednesday and visit Pitman on Friday.
14. Delran (1-1, NR): Delran fell to perennial power Trenton Catholic 80-28 on January 26. The Bears cannot be penalized drastically for the loss as Trenton Catholic is the second-ranked team in the state and is led by one of the best Class of 2023 recruits in the nation. Riley Ahrens held her own with a team-high 10 points in the loss. Delran bounced back with an impressive 55-35 win over then-No. 12 Burlington Township. Kylie Quaker notched a game-high 18 points and Ahrens tallied 14. Kiersten Kennedy contributed 11 points. The Bears are scheduled to host Rancocas Valley on Wednesday and visit Northern Burlington on Friday.
15. Haddon Heights (3-0, NR): The Garnets jumped out to a 2-0 start with back-to-back wins over Collingswood. Haddon Heights improved its record to 3-0 with a 48-37 win over West Deptford. Maggie Campbell and Marquae Richardson-Muse tallied 15 points each. The Garnets are scheduled to face No. 9 Eastern on Wednesday. Haddon Heights will head to Voorhees to face its toughest test so far this season.
Dropped from the rankings: 10 Atlantic City, 11 Ocean City, 12 Burlington Township
Others under consideration (listed alphabetically): Absegami, Atlantic City, Atlantic Tech, Cherry Hill West, Clearview, Gloucester, Gloucester Catholic, Haddon Township, Kingsway, Middle Township, Ocean City, Palmyra, Sterling, Vineland, West Deptford
South Jersey Sports Zone (SJSZ) was co-founded by Kevin Emmons in 2017. The brand covers high school sports and promotes South Jersey pride. If you’d like to keep up with SJSZ, find them on Facebook and Twitter.