Centennial seeks to solidify ranking in State Champions Invitational

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(Courtesy of @centennialgbb)

Is the Centennial High School (Las Vegas, Nev.) basketball team for real?

For the better part of the past decade, coach Karen Weitz’s team has run things in Nevada; the Bulldogs are seven-time state champions and counting.

But questions remain. Sure, Centennial romped to the 2022 state crown, beating Douglas (Minden), 65-9, in the semifinal and Bishop Manogue (Reno), 93-34, in the championship. All three of the Bulldogs’ defeats this season have come against out-of-state foes, though, and Centennial is rarely ranked highly among the top teams in the nation.

The Bulldogs can put those doubts to rest this weekend, when they take the court at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa in the first iteration of the State Champions Invitational, along with Sidwell Friends (D.C), Woodward (Ga.) and Lake Highland (Fla.).

Key to Centennial’s efforts will be Montaya Dew, a junior forward committed to Arizona who scored 15 points in the state title win. But Dew, and the Bulldogs, will be facing stiffer competition than ever before. Centennial, which did not qualify for the JWS  rankings until the end of its state tournament. opens the tournament Friday against Sidwell Friends.

1. Sidwell Friends (D.C.), 27-0

The Quakers look to finish out their perfect season with a State Champions Invitational championship this weekend.

2. Hopkins (Minn.), 25-1

The Royals capped off a near perfect season with a 72-56 win over St. Michael-Albertville in the AAAA state semifinal.

3. DeSoto (Texas), 33-2

The Eagles completed their “legacy tour” with a 40-23 win over South Grand Prairie and a second consecutive 6A state championship.

4. Classen SAS (Okla.), 23-1

The Comets won the school’s first state championship in any sport with a 55-22 win over Tuttle in the 4A state finals.

5. St. John Vianney (N.J.), 32-1

The Lancers ended their season in style, defeating Rutgers Prep, 72-52, in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions finals.

6. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 29-2

The Trailblazers rolled Archbishop Mitty, 85-61, to claim their second straight CIF Open Division state crown.

7. Montverde (Fla.), 20-3

The Tigers defeated DME, and then New Hope, to claim the GEICO Nationals championship.

8. Cedar Park (Texas), 36-0

Gisella Maul scored 27 points as the Timberwolves earned their second straight 5A state championship with a 45-40 win over Memorial.

9. New Hope (Md.), 28-3

The Tigers beat IMG in the GEICO Nationals semifinal but then fell to Montverde, 61-57.

10. Incarnate Word (Mo.), 29-0

The Red Knights routed Kickapoo, 67-50, to claim the Class 6 state crown and complete a perfect season.

11. Etiwanda (Calif.), 28-1

Despite their loss to Sierra Canyon in the state semifinal, the Eagles put together a season worth remembering.

12. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 23-4

The Highlanders look to make a statement at the State Champions Invitational.

13. La Jolla Country Day (Calif.), 24-3

The Torreys’ season came to an end in the CIF open division region semifinal.

14. Hazel Green (Ala.), 33-0

The Trojans defeated Oxford 55-38 in the 6A championship game for their fifth straight state title.

15. Johnston (Iowa), 26-0

The Dragons beat Waterloo West 51-31 to claim the 5A state title one year after losing in the championship game.

16. Woodward Academy (Ga.), 28-2

The War Eagles play Lake Highland in the State Champions Invitational semifinal.

17. DME (Fla.), 21-4

DME fell to Montverde, 67-54, in the GEICO Nationals semifinal.

18. Lone Peak (Utah), 23-0

The Knights beat Fremont in the 6A state championship to cap a perfect season.

19. Noblesville (Ind.), 25-4

The Millers beat Franklin Community 76-52 to claim the 4A state title, the program’s second state crown and first since 1987.

20. South Bend Washington (Ind.), 27-3

The Panthers annihilated Silver Creek 93-35 in the 3A state championship game last weekend.

21. Centennial (Nev.), 17-3

The Bulldogs will play for the first time in more than a month this weekend at the State Champions Invitational.

22. IMG (Fla.), 12-5

The Ascenders beat Bishop McNamara, 67-48, in their opening round GEICO Nationals game but then fell to New Hope.

23. Fremont (Utah), 24-3

The Timberwolves fell to Lone Peak in the 6A state final.

24. Duncanville (Texas), 34-7

The Pantherettes’ season came to an end Feb. 26 with a loss to DeSoto in the 6A Region II final.

25. Hoover (Ala.), 34-3

The Buccaneers beat Vestavia Hills, 73-64, to claim the 7A state crown.

Josh Needelman is the High School Sports Editor at Just Women’s Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JoshNeedelman.