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Lady Crusaders move up one spot

Jan. 11—A week after Grace Christian's women's basketball team broke into ESPN's SCNext national high school rankings, the Lady Crusaders moved up one spot in the second poll of the 2024 calendar year.

One of the teams ranked above undefeated Grace (16-0) lost last week and fell out of the top 25, advancing the team from No. 23 to No. 22 in the new poll released Monday night.

The Lady Crusaders played just one game last week, traveling to South Carolina for a game with Legacy Early College, that state's sixth-ranked team according to MaxPreps. Grace defeated them 63-48. A game earlier this week against defending NCHSAA 1A state champion Bishop McGuinness was rescheduled to Jan. 18. Grace hosts NC GBB Academy National on Friday night at 7 p.m.

The team entered the rankings after a 59-55 win over highly regarded Rutgers Prep (N.J.) in the John Wall Holiday Invitational on Dec. 30. Likely helping Grace hold its spot was the fact that Rutgers Prep won three games last week, including a 25-point rout of St. John's, the top-ranked team in Washington, D.C.'s 2A division.

Grace has not yet broken into MaxPreps' national rankings, but remains the top-ranked team in the NCISAA 3A ranks, the Raleigh metro area, and the entire state, all by a wide margin.

The complete poll:

1. Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) 11-0

2. Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.) 10-1

3. Montverde Academy (Fla.) 13-1

4. Sidwell Friends (Washington) 6-1

5. Sierra Canyon (Calif.) 15-1

6. IMG Academy (Fla.) 15-1

7. Bishop McNamara (Md.) 10-3

8. Morris Catholic (N.J.) 11-0

9. DME Academy (Fla.) 13-0

10. Duncanville (Texas) 20-3

11. Etiwanda (Calif.) 13-2

12. Hebron Christian (Ga.) 12-2

13. Timberview (Texas) 26-1

14. San Antonio Clark (Texas) 22-1

15. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) 12-4

16. Pickerington Central (Ohio) 10-1

17. Purcell Marian (Ohio) 13-1

18. Grayson (Ga.) 14-0

19. Putnam City West (Okla.) 10-0

20. Incarnate Word Academy (Mo.) 11-0

21. DeSoto HS (Texas) 13-5

22. Grace Christian Sanford (N.C.) 16-0

23. Johnston (Iowa) 13-0

24. Hopkins HS (Minn.) 10-2

25. Mater Dei (Calif.) 14-5

Also Considered: Rutgers Prep (NJ), Dr. Phillips (Fla.), Christ the King (N.Y.), South Grand Prairie (Texas), Bethany (Okla.), Summer Creek (Texas) Sacred Heart (Ky.), McDonogh (Md.), Hazel Green (Ala.), St. John's College Prep (Washington) 10-3, Minnetonka (Minn.), Thomas Dale (Va.).