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Mount Notre Dame basketball team ranked No. 5 nationally by MaxPreps

Posted at 10:59 AM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 11:10:58-05

READING, Ohio — The Mount Notre Dame basketball team is ranked No. 5 nationally this week by the MaxPreps Xcellent 25.

The Cougars (12-0) defeated host Seton 79-36 Thursday. MND next plays at St. Ursula Jan. 7.

Ohio Girls Basketball Report Associate Director Bryce McKey told WCPO Friday morning the most impressive part of the Cougars’ win streak has been the depth of the team, especially when it was without junior guard Laila Phelia for several games because of an injury.

Phelia, who suffered a concussion early this season, returned to action Dec. 21 and scored four points against visiting Lebanon. A week later, she scored 23 points in a 71-34 win over Toledo Central Catholic.

Sophomore guard KK Bransford averaged 21.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.9 steals entering Thursday night's game. Senior point guard Makira Cook (Dayton signee) averaged 18.2 points, 3.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals entering Thursday. She shot nearly 48 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and 85.2 percent from the free-throw line entering the 12th game.

MND is 12-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season when it started 13-0 and won the Division I state championship with a 52-38 win over Toledo Start. That 2009 team won the fifth state title in program history. MND followed with two state titles in 2017 and 2019.

MND is tied with Pickerington Central (including old Pickerington High School) and Columbus Africentric Early College as the only Ohio schools to win seven state girls’ basketball titles.

MND is the highest ranked Ohio team in the MaxPreps national rankings this week. Huber Heights Wayne (10-1) is ranked No. 21. MND defeated Wayne 51-47 Dec. 29.