Nebraska high school girls basketball ratings by World-Herald staff writer Mike Patterson, as published in The World-Herald on Dec. 4.
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TOP 10, Record, 2019
1. Millard South, 21-4, 5
The Patriots deserve the top spot with the return of eight seniors, including Division I commits Jayme Horan and Maddie Krull. This senior class is 71-11 the past three years and there's only one way this group wants to finish the season.
2. Lincoln Pius X, 20-5, 3
The Thunderbolts have the inside game to give opposing teams problems but must replace graduated forward and top scorer Kloee Sander. A triple-overtime loss to eventual champion Millard North in last year's state tourney semifinals also will serve as motivation.
3. Fremont, 18-8, NR
Any team coached by Kelly Flynn and led by Taylor McCabe, who averaged 18 points as a freshman, has to be considered a threat in Class A. The Tigers came agonizingly close to state last season, losing 57-56 to Papillion-La Vista in the district final.
4. Lincoln East, 19-7, 4
The Spartans upset Millard South in the first round of last year's state tourney before losing in the semifinals. East returns everyone from that squad — including top scorer Charlotte Bovaird — so the motivation and talent are definitely there.
5. Crete, 21-6, NR
An ambitious rating for a Class B squad but definitely deserved with the presence of veteran coach John Larsen and Creighton recruit Morgan Maly, who averaged 20 points and 8.5 rebounds last season. The Cardinals graduated just one reserve from last year.
The Mustangs won't sneak up on anyone this season after capturing state last year as the No. 5 seed. Three starters graduated from that squad but the return of guard Nicole Avila-Ambrosi, who averaged almost 14 points last season, is a positive.
7. Papillion-La Vista, 22-5, 6
The Monarchs were one of the top Class A teams much of last year but three late-season losses and a first-round exit at state wasn't the way Papio wanted to finish. Replacing playmaking guard Josey Ryan won't be easy but the return of 3-point bomber Olivia Boudreau will help.
8. Omaha Westside, 22-5, 7
Three senior starters return for the Warriors, who lost in the first round of last year's state tournament. Five seniors graduated from that squad but the return of guard Ella Wedergren and forward Jasmine McGinnis-Taylor makes Westside a threat.
9. Grand Island NW, 18-5, 9
The Class B Vikings crack the overall Top 10 coming off the school's fourth state championship. The graduation of seven seniors might be problematic but the return of All-Nebraska guard Whitney Brown, who averaged 16.4 points, is a big plus.
10. Lincoln Christian, 19-9, NR
No, former all-stater Chloe Dworak hasn't returned to the Crusaders. But coach Nick Orduna's Class C-1 squad returns everyone from last year's team that finished as the state runner-up and that's good enough to make Christian an early favorite to make some noise.
Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.