CINCINNATI -- The Ohio high school girls’ basketball season is approaching a month from the start of the sectional tournaments across the state.
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend will provide a significant test for multiple area teams making a trek up north to play in the nationally recognized Classic in the Country Challenge.
The season’s first Associated Press statewide media polls are scheduled to be announced Tuesday.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s “Power 9.”
Last week’s ranking: No. 1.
This week’s schedule: Versus Middletown Wednesday. Versus Homestead (Indiana) in Berlin, Ohio Saturday. Versus Gates Mills Gilmour Academy in Berlin, Ohio Sunday.
The Comets continue to be ranked No. 13 nationally by the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 rankings.
Mason travels a few hours north to Berlin, Ohio this weekend for the prestigious Classic in the Country Challenge. Watch for Saturday night’s game with Homestead (Indiana). Homestead (16-1) is ranked No. 15 nationally by the MaxPreps Freeman Rankings (computer rankings).
Last week: No. 4
This week’s schedule: Lost to Glen Este 47-44 in overtime Monday. Idle until Jan. 17.
The Mohawks lost to a solid Glen Este team Monday but it doesn't damper their rise in the rankings.
The Mohawks earned two significant wins last week over Girls Greater Catholic League opponents Mount Notre Dame (45-44) and Mercy (66-57).
Junior guard Hallie Heidemann had 16 points, senior guard Caroline Taphorn had 11 points and senior forward Alexah Chrisman added 11 points and seven rebounds for McAuley in the win over MND. McAuley was ranked No. 31 in the state last week by MaxPreps.
3. Lakota West
Last week: No. 2
This week’s schedule: At Sycamore Wednesday. Versus St. Rose (New Jersey) in Berlin, Ohio Sunday. Versus Solon in Berlin, Ohio Sunday.
The Firebirds are always invited to the annual Classic in the Country Challenge and coach Andy Fishman enjoys the competition the tournament provides in a consecutive day format similar to the state tournament in March. Lakota West defeated Fairfield by 40 points last week (68-28) with three players in double figures. Junior forward Abby Prohaska had 15 points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals in that game.
4. Mount Notre Dame
Last week: No. 3.
This week’s schedule: Defeated Seton 69-31 Monday. Versus Springboro Wednesday. Versus Pickerington Central in Berlin, Ohio Saturday. Versus Wadsworth in Berlin, Ohio Sunday.
The Cougars were ranked No. 1 in Ohio by the MaxPreps state rankings last week. MND plays a very strong schedule and the Cougars will certainly be tested once February arrives. It will be interesting to see how MND and McAuley battle for the top spot in the Girls Greater Catholic League.
5. Walnut Hills
Last week: No. 7
This week’s schedule: Versus Glen Este Wednesday. At Campbell County Saturday.
The Eagles defeated Loveland and Kings last week and are in good position in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference standings. Sophomore Kennedi Myles averages 15.3 points and 9.4 rebounds for the Eagles.
6. Summit Country Day
Last week: No. 5
This week’s schedule: Defeated Wyoming 64-27 Monday. At Seven Hills Wednesday. At CHCA Saturday.
Summit continues to be one of Ohio’s top Division III teams. Junior guard Kiana Allen averages 11.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Junior guard Alea Harris averages 10.7 points and 5.3 rebounds. Junior forward Niah Woods averages 10.2 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Last week: No. 8
This week’s schedule: At Madeira Wednesday. At Loveland Saturday. Versus Sycamore Jan. 16.
Turpin has won three consecutive games since a close loss to Kings in mid-December. Senior center Charlotte Kerregan is second in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference at 10 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Ellie Holt had a season-high 14 points against Anderson last week.
Last week: No. 9
This week’s schedule: Played at Eastern Brown Monday. Versus Ripley Thursday.
Lynchburg-Clay has three players in double figures for scoring including Peyton Scott (22 ppg.), McKayla Binkley (18.8 ppg.) and Hannah Binkley (18.1 ppg.). The team is idle for nine days after Thursday.
Last week: Unranked
This week’s schedule: Defeated Milford 56-50 Monday. Versus Turpin Wednesday. Versus Mariemont Saturday.
Madeira was tied with Mariemont for the lead in the Cincinnati Hills League at the start of this week. Madeira won six consecutive games entering Monday. Junior forward Mary Englert had a season-high 28 points to go along with 14 rebounds, five assists, five steal and two blocks in the win over Milford Monday night. She averages 20.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 4.8 steals.
Check back to WCPO.com on Wednesday for the Northern Kentucky Power 9 rankings.