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Incarnate Word jumps into top 10 in high school basketball rankings

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The Incarnate Word (St. Louis, Mo.) girls’ basketball team is not used to losing in March.

The Red Knights won state titles every season from 2017-19, and again in 2021. They had been on their way to a championship in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the season.

Behind star players Saniah Tyler, Natalie Potts and Olivia Hahn, Incarnate Word appears primed for more greatness this season, bringing a 29-0 record into their matchup Saturday against Troy-Buchanon (Troy, Mo.) in the Class 6 state quarterfinals.

The Red Knights’ dominant play in recent weeks — they beat Howell Central (St. Charles, Mo.) 79-32 in the District 3 championship — has pushed them to No. 10 in this week’s rankings, which experienced a lot of turbulence but is still led by Sidwell Friends. (You can find last week’s rankings here).

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

The Quakers added more hardware to their collection this weekend with a D.C. State Athletic Association (DCSAA) championship.

2. Hopkins (Minn.), 21-1

The Royals kicked off the 6AAAA postseason this weekend with two wins.

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.), 21-1

Darianna Littlepage-Buggs scored 16 points on 8-for-8 shooting as the Comets beat Blanchard 53-24 in the 4A state quarterfinals Tuesday.

5. St. John Vianney (N.J.), 29-1

The Lancers clinched a berth in the state championship with a 69-50 win over Paul VI on Wednesday in the South Jersey Non-Public A final.

6. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 28-2

The Trailblazers beat Sierra Canyon 60-51 on Tuesday in the Open Division regional final, avenging their loss from Feb. 26.

7. Etiwanda (Calif.), 28-1

The Eagles’ loss to Sierra Canyon was their first of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

8. New Hope (Md.), 27-2

The Tigers are waiting to see if they’ll get a bid to GEICO Nationals.

9. 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.

10. Incarnate Word (Mo.), 26-0

The Red Knights have beaten each of their previous three opponents by an average of 47 points.

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

The Torreys’ season came to a heartbreaking end Saturday in the form a 63-62 defeat to Sierra Canyon in the CIF open division region semifinal.

12. Montverde (Fla.), 18-3

With their season over, the Tigers are awaiting a potential bid to GEICO Nationals.

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

After winning the 4A state championship, the Highlanders hope to earn a GEICO Nationals bid.

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.), 27-2

After beating Warner Robbins by 22 points, the War Eagles challenge Forest Park on Thursday in the AAAAA state final.

17. Lone Peak (Utah), 23-0

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

18. DME (Fla.), 21-3

DME is in practice mode, waiting for a potential bid to GEICO Nationals.

19. IMG (Fla.), 11-4

Like Montverde and DME, the Ascenders have shut things down in hopes of earning a spot at GEICO Nationals.

20. 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.

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

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

22. Fremont (Utah), 24-3

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

23. Conway (Ark.). 28-2

The Wampus Cats were stunned in the second round of the 6A playoffs, falling to Central 66-60.

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. St. John’s (D.C.), 19-5

The Cadets’ momentum from winning the WCAC conference championship ended with a defeat to Georgetown Visitation in the DCSAA semifinal.

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