All polls are now final and Neumann-Goretti High School out of the Philadelphia Catholic League is our Swish Appeal Prep Poll of Polls unanimous mythical national high school champion for the 2014-2015 season having finished first in all four polls.
Movement since our last poll in March
The big new was Miami Country Day winning the Dick's Sporting Goods High School Nationals held in NY City this past weekend. The team defeated two ranked team (Gonzaga Prep of Spokane, Washington, and Dillard High School of Fort Lauderdale, Florida). The Dillard game brought revenge for a loss from earlier this year. For these triumphs, Miami Country Day moved into a tie with Myers Park of Charlotte, North Carolina, for the fifth spot in our poll.
The other major development was St. Mary's High School of Stockton, California, winning over Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana, California, in the California (CIF) Open Division final. For that title, St. Mary's nudged ahead of Blackman High School of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It appears the polls placed more weight on the California title and one less St. Mary's loss over a Blackman two-loss record but one which did include a win over each St. Mary's and Myers Park (our #5-6). A tough call either way! With grand majority of its team returning, look for St. Mary's to start next season #1 in at least some polls.
At the very top
In finishing 30-0, Neumann-Goretti High School won the Pennsylvania 2A state title, ran the table in the Philadelphia Catholic League and posted quality out-of-state road victories over three of the top teams from the DC area (including #7 Paul VI High School). Sadly, off-court issues outside of the team's control took some of the joy away from the year's accomplishments.
"These kids went through so much (see link to Philadelphia-based story which details this sad tale: Smear campaign against nation's top girls basketball team -- Philly's Neumann-Goretti - traced to rival coach | PhillyVoice ) and went 30-0. We had to tune out so much."
First-year Saints' coach Andrea Peterson went on to say the team had two mottos "Family first" (referring to her coaching staff and 12 players dealing with this unfortunate situation outlined in the linked story) and "Unfinished business" (referring to losing last year's state final to Seton LaSalle of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on which the Saints got revenge with a 79-34 victory to conclude this season).
Agreements and disagreements
There was very strong consensus amongst the four polls as to the top six and reasonable agreement down through twelve after which you will find differing opinions as to who belonged in the top 25.
Perhaps the sharpest differences of opinion centered around Heritage Christian School (our #17) ranked in the top 15 by two polls (ESPN and MaxPreps), an honorable mention by Blue Star and without mention by USA Today. The difference of opinion probably centers around the team playing (and winning) one of Indiana's smaller (2A) classes versus its record against some of the best teams in Indiana and Illinois which included several quality wins but also two losses. Having seen the team personally, it is hard to believe Heritage Christian was not at a minimum top fifty nationally.
The four national polls (links below) were reviewed and 25 points assigned to the team ranked first down to one point for a team ranked 25th. Then the points were added up (maximum score 100) to create the ranking order.
Here are the links to the individual polls:
Blue Star Media: WIRE TO WIRE: Neumann-Goretti (PA) goes the distance to earn Blue Star Media Elite 25 girls' basketball National Championship!
ESPN: espnW 25 Power Rankings - ESPN
MaxPreps: Final 2014-15 MaxPreps Top 25 high school girls basketball rankings - MaxPreps
USA Today: Girls Varsity Basketball Expert Rankings | USA Today High School Sports
Swish Appeal Prep Poll of Polls (from polls released week of April 5, 2015)
1 Neumann-Goretti High School (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 100 (4 first place) (#1)
2 St. Mary's High School (Stockton, California) 94 (#2-3)
3 Blackman High School (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) 91 (#2-3)
4 Cypress Woods High School (Cypress, Texas) 86 (#4)
5-6 Miami Country Day School (Miami, Florida) 78 (#9)
5-6 Myers Park High School (Charlotte, North Carolina) 78 (#5)
7 Paul VI High School (Fairfax, Virginia) 69 (#8)
8 Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, California) 68 (#6)
9 Columbus North High School (Columbus, Indiana) 60 (#10)
10 Dillard High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 55 (#7)
11 Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Washington) 51 (#12)
12 Marian High School (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) 49 (#11)
13 Hopkins High School (Minnetonka, Minnesota) 42 (#13)
14 Cumberland Valley High School (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) 34 (#15)
15-16 Capital Prep (Hartford. Connecticut) 30 (#16)
15-16 Chaminade College Prep School (West Hills, CA) 30 (#14)
17 Heritage Christian School (Indianapolis, Indiana) 26 (#17-19)
18-19 Braintree High School (Braintree, Massachusetts) 25 (#17-19)
18-19 Manasquan High School (Manasquan, New Jersey) 25 (#17-19)
20 Archbishop Alter High School (Kettering, Ohio) 24 (#20)
21 Ursuline Academy (Wilmington, Delaware) 20 (#21)
22 Whitney Young High School (Chicago, Illinois) 19 (#22)
23 Elizabethtown High School (Elizabethtown, Kentucky) 17 (#23-24)
24 Eastview High School (Apple Valley, Minnesota) 16 (#23-24)
25-26 Konawaena High School (Kealakekua, Hawaii) 14 (#25)
25-26 Warren Easton Charter High School (New Orleans, Louisiana) 14 (NR)
Teams with location are listed according to number of points garnered with prior poll standing in parenthesis. Where there are ties, teams are listed alphabetically. NR stands for "not ranked" in last poll. Again, for more details on each team, see the four polls individually. Our next update will be the final update for this year based on the final posted poll by each of the four media outlets, hopefully to be released in mid-April.