Girls’ basketball Top 20: Playoffs shuffle ranks as Dunbar, Tuscarora join


On one side of the court, in the closing moments of the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association championship game, Dunbar sophomore Emorean Thomas shushed the home Coolidge crowd; on the other, tournament MVP London Gray raised her arms to the Crimson Tide faithful.

The biggest moments call for the strongest emotions — and sometimes the biggest changes in the rankings. Dunbar, which won its fourth straight DCIAA title, joins the Top 20 alongside Tuscarora, which won its first district title since 2017.

The top private schools continued to hold strong, with the regular season reaching its twilight stages. The Independent School League, which holds its title game Sunday, will feature several challengers to Sidwell’s throne, including Georgetown Visitation, Maret and Bullis. The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, which has three top-seven teams in Bishop McNamara, St. John’s and Paul VI, will hold its title game Feb. 27.

In Maryland, most county champions were crowned, with Howard again collecting the Howard County title and Glen Burnie edging past Severna Park in the Anne Arundel championship game. Churchill and Clarksburg (Montgomery County), Oxon Hill and Wise (Prince George’s County) and Lackey and St. Charles (Southern Maryland Athletic Conference) will play for titles this week.

In Virginia, region tournaments are set to tip off, with Osbourn Park and Robinson looking to repeat as their regions’ respective champions and advance again to the Class 6 tournament. With plenty of chaos in the rest of Northern Virginia — Briar Woods, Oakton and McLean are trending upward, while defending state champion Madison is reeling after a district semifinal loss — the gap between contenders and pretenders may show itself this week.

1. Sidwell Friends (23-2) Last ranked: 1

The Quakers on Tuesday will square off against No. 3 Georgetown Visitation, which took them to overtime in January.

2. Bishop McNamara (20-5) LR: 2

The Mustangs eked out a two-point win over Bishop Ireton before shellacking Good Counsel by 47.

3. Georgetown Visitation (19-4) LR: 3

The Cubs had no trouble with St. Andrews or Potomac School this week. No. 1 Sidwell on Tuesday is a different beast.

4. St. John’s (22-6) LR: 4

The Cadets downed Elizabeth Seton, St. Mary’s Ryken and No. 7 Paul VI, extending their winning streak to 10 games.

5. Shabach Christian (20-8) LR: 5

The Eagles will travel to Tennessee for the National Association of Christian Athletes tournament.

With two wins this week, the Lions clinched the Howard County championship for the seventh straight season.

After an impressive start to the season, the Panthers are 3-5 over their last eight games.

8. Glen Burnie (19-2) LR: 8

In a game that remained close throughout, the Gophers toughed out a 37-34 win over Severna Park on Saturday for the Anne Arundel County title.

9. St. Mary’s (Annapolis) (26-0) LR: 11

With two wins this week, the Saints advanced to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B conference title game.

The Bulldogs easily handled Maret and Stone Ridge with Independent School League playoffs nearing.

11. Virginia Academy (19-7) LR: 9

The Patriots split contests against tough opponents, besting Miller School of Albemarle before falling to St. Anne’s-Belfield.

12. Osbourn Park (20-4) LR: 14

The Yellowjackets won the Cedar Run District championship with a 52-42 win over previously-ranked Gainesville.

13. Mount Zion Prep (21-11) LR: 13

The Warriors made noise with a 2-1 showing at a tournament in North Carolina.

14. Robinson (23-3) LR: 16

The Rams went back-to-back as Patriot District champions, defeating Lake Braddock in the title game.

The Frogs are on a three-game skid following losses to Bullis and St. Andrews.

16. Pallotti (18-10) LR: 15

The Laurel private school fell to St. Frances in the IAAM A semifinals, their third loss to the Panthers this season.

17. C.H. Flowers (18-3) LR: 17

The Jaguars closed out the regular season with two wins by 30-plus points.

18. Oxon Hill (19-2) LR: 18

The Clippers will battle Wise on Wednesday for the Prince George’s County championship.

19. Dunbar (16-4) LR: Not ranked

Behind an MVP performance from junior London Gray, the Crimson Tide captured its fourth straight DCIAA title.

20. Tuscarora (22-2) LR: NR

The Huskies won their first district championship since 2017.

Dropped out: No. 19 Gainesville, No. 20 Good Counsel

On the bubble: Briar Woods, Clarksburg, Gainesville, Meridian, Wise

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