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Nebraska high school girls basketball Top 25 rankings (1/16/2024)

Millard West moves to No. 1
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After two weeks of Elkhorn North being SBLive’s No. 1 team in our power rankings, Class A Millard West now sits atop the list. Though Elkhorn North’s Britt Prince is without a doubt the best scorer in the state – and she would get her share of baskets if the two teams squared up – we think the Wildcats' size, length and athleticism would be enough to keep Prince enough in check to pick up the win. 

1. Millard West (11-0, Last Week #2) 

Millard West jumps to our No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings. The Wildcats have wins over stiff opposition like Omaha Central and Millard North, and teams have struggled to deal with their size and athleticism. Millard West has a good challenge Friday against Bellevue West. West is 6-5 on the season, but should still prove to be a good matchup.

2. Elkhorn North (10-0, Last Week #1)

Nobody in the state has a better scorer than Britt Prince, and she’s continually answered the call for the Wolves throughout this season. North is coming off of a big win over Skutt Catholic, and resumed action Thursday against 1-9 Lincoln Northwest. Look for this one to get out of hand in a hurry.

3. Lincoln Southwest (10-1, Last Week #3)

Kennadi Williams scored 18 during a recent win over Lincoln High. Junior Emma Dostal added 15, shooting 63 percent from the floor. Southwest’s lone blemish on the season came at the hands of rival Lincoln Southeast. The Silverhawks return to action Tuesday against Omaha South.

4. Skutt Catholic (11-1, Last Week #5)

Following an 18-point loss against Elkhorn North, Skutt bounced back with an impressive 65-63 win over Class A – and preseason Class A No. 1 – Bellevue West. West has been inconsistent throughout the year, but a Class B toppling a perennial Class A power is still a big deal and moves the SkyHawks up a spot this week. Up next is Lincoln Pius X and Omaha Central.

5. Millard North (10-2, Last Week #4)

The Mustangs have won three straight since falling to Millard West the first week in January. North takes on Lincoln Northeast Tuesday afternoon. This game all hinges on whether the Mustangs can slow down the Rockets’ Doneelah Washington, who is having a stellar year. We give North a slight edge.

6. Omaha Central (12-2, Last Week #6)

The Eagles lost back-to-back games for the first time this season the first week of January, but bounced back with a win over Bellevue East. The next few games are very winnable too, as Central faces Elkhorn South and Papillion-La Vista South. We think Central wins both of these.

7. Lincoln Northeast (10-2, Last Week #7)

Doneelah Washington scored 26 and pulled down 16 wins during a win over Lincoln High. Both of the Rockets losses came at the hands of Lincoln Southwest, and a huge test Tuesday awaits with Millard North. If Washington has a big game, Northeast will likely pull this off. If she’s kept in check, it will be all Millard North.

8. Lincoln North Star (7-2, Last Week #9)

Four players scored in double digits during a recent win over Gretna. Leading the Navigators was freshman Kaytee Irons-Buettner, netting 17. Sophomore Kendall Anderson netted 15 en route to the win. North Star has won two straight and plays Columbus Friday.

9. Marian (8-2, Last Week #8)

Marian has won two straight since falling to Millard North in late December. During a win over Class B York, sophomore Emelia Daubendiek scored 10. The Crusaders face Omaha Bryan Tuesday, followed by three more winnable games.

10. Lincoln Southeast (7-3, Last Week #10)

Southeast stays in our No. 10 spot this week. The Knights are coming off an impressive overtime win over Lincoln Pius X, and should notch another win Tuesday when they face 1-7 Omaha Northwest. The Knights are playing solidly at home, winning four straight.

11. Omaha Westside (9-4, Last Week #11)

The Warriors are coming off a 69-61 win over Elkhorn South. A bounceback win was key, after falling by the same score a game earlier to Omaha Central. Westside faces Papillion-La Vista South Tuesday. These teams are pretty evenly matched, and we give Westside a slight edge.

12. Papillion-La Vista (7-3, Last Week #12)

PLVS will certainly make a case for rising in our rankings if it can pull off a win over Omaha Westside Tuesday. The Titans are on a three-game win streak and riding some mid-season momentum. A big performance will be needed from Addison Medeck, a freshman averaging about 11 points per outing.

13. Benson (6-3, Last Week #15)

Benson has won two straight since being thumped by 24 by Millard West in late December. The Bunnies return to action Friday against Gretna East. Leading Benson in scoring is Ahmani Klabundi, netting about 16 per game. McKenzie Lewis and Jesani Green are averaging 12 and 11 points per game, respectively.

14. Bellevue West (6-5, Last Week #16)

Bellevue West, from a talent standpoint, is clearly a top-10 team. But the Thunderbirds have had trouble closing the show in tight games against good competition. Millard West and Marian are up next, and the Thunderbirds need to at least split these games. Senior Naomi white is averaging about 17 points per game, leading Bell West.

15. Lincoln Pius X (6-4, Last Week #13)

Pius is coming off of a tough overtime loss to Lincoln Southeast. It will be important for the Thunderbolts to bounce back and win this week against Norfolk – a game they should absolutely take. Senior Sara Iburg is scoring 12 per game, and senior Brynn Sebek, 10.

16. Papillion-La Vista South (7-4, Last Week #17)

PLVS has won three straight and has a big matchup this week with Omaha Westside. The Titans last two games against Millard South and Omaha North were both won by double digits, and a big scoring effort will be needed to beat Westside. Leading PLVS in scoring is Addison Medeck, netting about 11 per game.

17. Beatrice (10-1, Last Week #14)

Beatrice has continued looking solid in Class B, but falls three spots on this week’s list. We believe that Class A teams in front of them would give them problems on the court. The Orangemen return to action Friday against Ralston.

18. Bellevue East (6-5, Last Week #20)

Bellevue East moves up two spots in this week’s rankings. Leading Bellevue East in scoring is T’Niyah Wilson-Smith, averaging close to 20 points per game. Millard South, Benson and Burke are all winnable upcoming games for the Chieftains. If they won two of three that would be great for morale.

19. Norris (8-2, Last Week #18)

Norris has used strong defensive outings to stifle opposing squad’s offense this season. On the year, Norris has given up 47 points twice, in losses to Waverly and Elkhorn North. Norris faces Bennington Friday. Leading the Titans in scoring is Nicole Keetle, averaging about nine per outing.

20. Waverly (7-3, Last Week #19)

Waverly is riding high after beating Gering by 30. Next up is Bennington, a team Waverly beat soundly toward the end of December. Leading the Vikings in scoring is junior Annie Harms, averaging 14 points per game. Junior Parker Christiansen is scoring 13 per outing.

21. Bennington (8-3, Last Week #22)

Bennington has bounced back from losing two straight to Elkhorn North and Waverly, by winning back to back. It will be interesting to see how the Badgers respond to Waverly this go-round. The last meeting, Waverly dominated and won by 18. The Badgers will need a strong showing from junior Presley Baca, who is netting 14 per game.

22. Kearney (6-5, Last Week #21)

Kearney moves up one spot in this week’s rankings. Though coming off a 61-58 loss to Class B Beatrice, Kearney looked good in wins over North Platte and Grand Island. The Bearcats take on Lincoln East Friday, and it’s a game we think Kearney should win.

23. Elkhorn South (6-6, Last Week #24)

South has won three of its last four, but faces a huge uphill battle when it faces Omaha Central Friday. South has made undeniable progress throughout the season, but this game will likely be a little more than they can handle. They follow that up with a winnable game against Omaha Bryan.

24. Columbus (6-6, Last Week NR)

It has been an ebb and flow all year for the Discoverers, who have won two of their last four. Look for Columbus to pick up a win Tuesday against 3-6 Omaha North. Leading Columbus on the hardwood is senior Carly Gaedeke, averaging just under 10 per outing.

25. Omaha South (5-5, Last Week NR)

The Packers sneak into our top-25 rankings this week. At .500, they are on pace to have a better season than last. Don’t expect this team to make playoffs, but they have shown some improvement. Up next are games against Lincoln Southwest and Westside. We don’t think either of these are winnable.

Next 5: Elkhorn, Blair, Grand Island Northwest, North Platte, Lincoln East

--Sam Pimper I @SBLiveNeb