New Hope makes case for GEICO Nationals, rises in rankings

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(Courtesy of Sam Caldwell)

The New Hope basketball team had one final chance to make its case for GEICO Nationals last Friday, and the team did not disappoint.

Coach Sam Caldwell’s team crushed Virginia Academy, 81-46, in the National Association of Christian Athletes Division I championship game and placed three players on the All-Tournament team: Jalyn Brown (Louisville commit), Kennedy Fauntleroy (Georgetown commit) and Alphonsia Eleko.

Whether or not New Hope’s season continues is out of its control, but there’s no doubt the team has made one final push, and that’s why it moved up one spot in this week’s high school basketball rankings. If New Hope does make it to Nationals, it might very well have to play No. 1 Sidwell Friends, which has led our rankings all five weeks.

1. Sidwell Friends (D.C.), 25-0

The Quakers thrashed Maret, 70-36, to claim their first ISL conference championship in more than 15 years.

2. Hopkins (Minn.), 19-1

The Royals crushed Buffalo, 74-31, in their regular season finale.

3. DeSoto (Tex.), 31-2

The Eagles beat Tomball Memorial and then Duncanville to advance to the 6A state semifinals.

4. Etiwanda (Calif.), 27-0

The Eagles overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to down Sierra Canyon, 69-57, in the CIF Southern Section title game.

5. La Jolla Country Day (Calif.), 24-2

The Torreys bested Mission Hills, 68-53, and won the CIF San Diego Section championship.

6. Classen SAS (Okla.), 19-1

The Comets kicked off the 4A Area 3 postseason bracket with a 63-18 win over Byng on Tuesday.

7. St. John Vianney (N.J.), 26-1

The Lancers enter the state playoffs with momentum after rolling through the Shore Conference tournament.

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

New Hope beat its three opponents in the National Association of Christian Athletes tournament by an average of 57.7 points.

9. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 26-2

The Trailblazers’ loss to Etiwanda was disheartening, but the team has the tools to make a run in the SoCal Open Open Division tournament.

10. Conway (Ark.). 28-1

The Wampus Cats received a first-round bye in the 6A playoffs.

11. Montverde (Fla.), 18-3

The Eagles are hanging tight in hopes of receiving a bid to GEICO Nationals.

12. Cedar Park (Tex.), 34-0

The Timberwolves rolled past Liberty Hill, 50-37, and into the 5A state semifinals.

13. Incarnate Word (Mo.), 25-0

The Red Knights put their undefeated record on the line Friday against Howell Central in the district finals game.

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

The Highlanders won the 4A state championship with a 75-57 win over Calvary Christian.

15. Fremont (Utah), 23-2

A win over Westlake on Thursday would set the Timberwolves up for a state championship matchup against unbeaten Lone Peak.

16. Hazel Green (Ala.), 32-0

Fresh off a 74-54 win over Park Crossing on Wednesday, the Trojans will challenge Oxford in the 6A championship game this weekend.

17. Johnston (Iowa), 24-0

The unbeaten Dragons meet Pleasant Valley on Thursday in the 5A semifinals.

18. Woodward Academy (Ga.), 26-2

The War Dragons play Warner Robbins on Saturday in the AAAAA semifinals.

19. DME (Fla.), 21-3

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

20. IMG (Fla.), 11-4

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

21. 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.

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

The Panthers annihilated Silver Creek, 93-35, in the 3A state championship game on Saturday.

23. Rock Bridge (Mo.), 23-1

The Bruins play Blue Springs South on Thursday in the district championship game.

24. St. John’s (D.C.), 19-4

The Cadets knocked off Bishop McNamara, 68-50, in the WCAC conference championship game.

25. Mount Notre Dame (Ohio), 27-0

The team is one win away from qualifying for the Division I semifinals.

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