All Scores

Sidwell Friends tops girls’ high school basketball rankings

Sidwell Friends girls basketball team (Courtesy of Tamika Dudley)

At JWS Next, we are dedicated to providing the most comprehensive coverage of high school sports possible. That starts with our weekly rankings, which debut today. We took a microscope to the national basketball scene and carefully mapped out a top-25 we believe reflects the balance of power.

Healthy dialogue is not just expected, but encouraged. We want to hear from you — coaches, players, athletic directors, fans and more. If you think your team isn’t ranked fairly, reach out and state your case. Our goal here is put together the best rankings possible, and in order to do so, we encourage your feedback.

That being said, find our first rankings below:

1. Sidwell Friends (D.C.), 16-0

Anchored by the three-headed monster of senior point guard Kiki Rice (UCLA commit), junior forward Jadyn Donovan and sophomore guard Kendall Dudley, the Quakers are in a class of their own.

2. Hopkins (Minn.), 15-1 

Forward Maya Nnaji, an Arizona commit, has the Royals rolling. Hopkins, the alma mater of 2020 No. 1 recruit and UConn star Paige Bueckers, picked up its lone loss of the season against Sidwell Friends on Jan. 21.

3. DeSoto (Texas), (23-2)

The Eagles reached a season-high in points in an 80-23 win over Mansfield on Jan. 28.

4. Etiwanda (Calif.), 22-0

The undefeated Eagles have beaten their last four opponents by an average of 52 points.

5. St. John Vianney (N.J.), 15-0

The Lancers, also undefeated, routed Colts Neck 79-19 on Jan. 27. Their highly anticipated showdown against Sidwell Friends last weekend was snowed out.

6. La Jolla Country Day (Calif.), 19-2

The Torreys have won 11 games in a row since an upset loss to Grandview on Dec. 18.

7. Classen SAS (Okla.), 16-1

A 53-51 defeat to Etiwanda on Dec. 22 is the lone blemish on the Comets’ otherwise perfect season record.

8. DME Academy (Fla.), 20-2

After a 10-point defeat to IMG Academy on Jan. 27, DME Academy will look for revenge on Saturday when the teams meet again.

9. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 22-1

The Trailblazers have beaten each of their last four opponents by at least 25 points.

10. New Hope (Md.), 20-2

The Tigers are cruising heading into the final four games of their regular season slate.

11. Montverde (Fla.), 18-3

A big 59-51 win over Lake Highland Prep on Jan. 27 wrapped up the Eagles’ regular season slate.

12. Conway (Ark.), 21-1

The Wampus Cats face a stiff test Friday against rival North Little Rock on the road.

13. Cedar Park (Texas), 28-0

The Timberwolves ended the regular season unbeaten, and now turn their attention toward the Texas 5A playoffs.

14. Incarnate Word (Mo.), 17-0

The Red Knights will put their undefeated record on the line Friday against high-powered Cardinal Ritter.

15. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 18-4

Despite concluding the regular season with a loss to Montverde, the Highlanders feel confident entering the postseason. They’re led by star forward and Louisville commit Nyla Harris.

16. Rock Bridge (Mo.), 17-0

The Bruins shellacked Co Jesu Academy, 50-19, on Tuesday.

17. Fremont (Utah), 16-2

Led by forward Timea Gardiner, a five-star recruit (per ESPN) committed to Oregon State, the Silverwolves have won 10 in a row since a Dec. 21 loss to La Jolla.

18. Hazel Green (Ala.), 27-0

The unbeaten Trojans kick off the 6A postseason next Monday against local rival Huntsville.

19. Good Counsel (Md.), 13-1

The Falcons bolstered their resume with a definitive 60-50 win over Paul IV (Va.) on Jan. 25.

20. Edison (Mich.), 12-1

Five-star guard Ruby Whitehorn, a Clemson commit, has the Pioneers riding a 10-game winning streak.

21. Johnston (Iowa), 15-0

The undefeated Dragons are four victories away from a perfect regular season.

22. Woodward Academy (Ga.), 20-2

After a 72-34 thrashing of local foe Banneker on Tuesday, the War Eagles head into their final two regular season contests.

23. Homestead (Ind.), 21-1

Wing Ayanna Patterson, a five-star recruit committed to UConn, and the Spartans kick off the 4A playoffs Friday against Columbia City.

24. Bishop McNamara (Md.), 10-4

The Panthers squeezed into the rankings this week, but need to beat Paul VI on Saturday to stay relevant in the national conversation.

25. IMG (Fla.), 11-4

Behind a 40-point performance from Arizona commit Kailyn Gilbert last week, the Ascenders beat DME to pick up a statement win late in the season.

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

Cameron Brink likes Caitlin Clark for 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year

Cameron Brink poses with Caitlin Clark at 2024 wnba draft in new york
Cameron Brink poses with fellow draftee — and possible WNBA ROY —Caitlin Clark. (Photo by Emily Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cameron Brink already has her rookie of the year pick for the upcoming WNBA season, and it’s Indiana-bound star Caitlin Clark

In the latest edition of Kelley on the Street, host Kelley O'Hara caught up with Brink in New York hours before the Stanford phenom went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks at the 2024 WNBA Draft. When O’Hara asked who would win the WNBA's rookie of the year, she answered without pause.

"Caitlin Clark," she said, while a fan commented that she thought Brink would take home the award. Brink later added that the extra foul granted to WNBA players will be "good for me."

"I hope it’s me," Charisma Osborne, who was later drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, said when asked her ROY prediction. "But, I don’t know — we’ll see."

Watch more of Kelley on the Street:

Dash winger Maria Sanchez confirms trade request a day shy of NWSL deadline

María Sanchez of Houston Dash during a NWSL game
In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the club worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

Maria Sanchez issued a statement on Thursday, confirming recent reports that she has requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

In it, she revealed that the club has been aware of the request "since late March."

"This has all taken a toll and isn’t an easy thing to talk about, but I want to confirm that I’ve requested an immediate trade," she wrote. "My expectations and reasons have been clear. I trust that my current club’s management will honor my decision in a timely manner and proceed with accepting a trade."

"I’m eager to refocus and dive back into what I love most: playing football," she concluded.

Reports of Sanchez's trade request first surfaced on ESPN last week, and were later confirmed by multiple sources. 

In December of last year, Sanchez signed a three-year contract with the Dash valued at $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. It was the largest contract in NWSL history at the time — a figure that would be eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

Sanchez spent the offseason as a restricted free agent, meaning that Houston could match any other team's offer to retain her rights. Should the Dash trade Sanchez, her current contract terms would remain intact, limiting potential buyers to teams able to afford to take on an inking of that size.

The Dash has yet to address the trade, instead reiterating to ESPN that Sanchez is "under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close tonight, April 19th, at 12 a.m. ET. The window will stay closed through the next 11 regular season games, reopening on August 1st, 2024.

Seattle Storm debut state-of-the-art $64 million practice facility

Jewell Loyd #24 of the Seattle Storm during warms up during practice on July 11, 2020 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida
Jewell Loyd, seen here practicing at Florida's IMG Academy, and her team are in for a major upgrade this season. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The four-time league champion Seattle Storm unveiled their new practice facility on Thursday, with Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel dubbing Interbay's Seattle Storm Center for Basketball Performance the team’s "new home."

"It's just such a special space," Brummel told Fox 13 Seattle. "I think when the players get here, it's gonna be overwhelming."

The sprawling 50,000-square-foot, $64 million property is just the second designated practice facility to be designed and built expressly for a WNBA team, with the Storm further noting that 85% of all design and engineering team members involved in the project's construction were women and people of color. The finished product holds two professional indoor courts, two 3x3 outdoor courts, a state-of-the-art locker room, and players' lounge, plus designated areas for strength and conditioning, kitchen, dining, and nutrition, and recovery. 

"This facility reflects our commitment to providing our athletes an exceptional environment that supports their growth, health, and performance," said Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder in an official team release. "It’s built for women, by women, embodying our dedication to leading the way in professional women’s sports."

For their part, the team can't wait to make the faciilty their own.

"It's amazing," Storm guard Jewell Loyd told Fox 13. "Not having to drive everywhere around, knowing you have access anytime of the day to get into the gym, to workout." 

Head coach Noelle Quinn said she predicts the team is "never going to leave this building."

"Which is a good thing for me," she continued. "You talk about having an edge in performance. We want our athletes to not only perform on the court, but get whatever they need."

All of the Storm's staff and operations will now live under one roof, and the team also has plans to launch a youth basketball program operating out of the building.

Mystics relocate game to accommodate Caitlin Clark fans

Maya Caldwell, Erica Wheeler, and Lexie Hull of the Indiana Fever celebrate Caitlin Clark
Get ready — Caitlin Clark is coming to town. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Caitlin Clark effect is quickly making its mark on the big leagues, as WNBA host teams around the country rush to upgrade their Fever games to larger arenas in order to accommodate surging ticket sales.

With Clark mere weeks away from her Indiana Fever debut, both the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics have officially relocated their scheduled home games with head coach Christie Sides' squad. On Thursday, the Mystics became the latest to adjust their plans, moving their June 7th matchup from Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southwest DC to the more centrally located — and much larger — Capital One Arena "due to unprecedented demand."

The Mystics home court's capacity taps out at 4,200, while Capital One Arena — home to the Wizards, Capitals, and Georgetown Hoya's Men's Basketball — can fit nearly five times that crowd at some 20,000 spectators.

"The move to Capital One Arena will allow for additional fans in the stands as well as premium hospitality options, including Suites and the all-new all-inclusive courtside Hennessy Lofts," the team announced via Thursday's press release.

The Aces were one of the first teams to switch venues, aiming to take on the Indiana Fever in front of as many as 20,000 fans inside T-Mobile Arena on July 2nd. That’s a sizable a boost from their home venue, which holds just 12,000.

For those still planning to face the Fever in their home arenas, ticket prices have skyrocketed. Previously scheduled construction has already forced the LA Sparks to relocate their first five games — including their May 24th clash with the Fever — to Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid. The temporary venue is quite the downsize, holding just 4,000 in comparison to Arena's near-19,000. As of Friday, the get-in price for that game started around $400.

Despite fans launching a petition urging relocation, the Chicago Sky say they're unable to move their June 23rd Fever meeting from Wintrust Arena's 10,000-seat facility to the 23,500-seat United Center due to a concert. Tickets for that game start around $325 as of Friday.

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