The Washington girls basketball team continues to build its reputation as one of the best teams in the state.
The Class 4A No. 1 Panthers, as expected, are at the top of the High School Hoops performance rankings.
Washington improved to 6-0 on Tuesday night with an 85-15 Northern Indiana Conference win in Saint Joseph. The Panthers, now 4-0 in the NIC, are ranked 15th nationally by ESPN.
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Coach Steve Reynolds’ team, which went 28-3 a season ago and won the Class 3A state title, opened a few more eyes at their Nov. 18 competition in Penn. Washington trailed the hosts Kingsmen by 20-11 after the opening period before storming back for an 86-45 NIC win. Star guard Rashunda Jones went 8-of-8 from 3-point land for a game-high 32 points.
The star trio of Jones from Purdue, senior and Maryland recruit Amiyah Reynolds and sophomore Kira Reynolds continue to lead the dominant Panthers. Washington boasts a per game margin of over 51 points per game.
Washington faced No. 3 and defending Class 4A champion Noblesville Saturday night at the Sneakers 4 Santa tournament in Brownsburg.
Here’s a quick look at the top 10 area teams. Team records are through Tuesday night’s games as no regional teams are scheduled to play Wednesday through Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
1. Washington (6-0)
The Panthers show no signs of slowing down. Washington has it all: talent, length, speed and athleticism. The Panthers were a defensive dynamo, only allowing 27 ppg.
The Knights, ranked No. 2 in the most recent 3A poll, outplayed Jimtown 59-29 in Tuesday night’s NIC game. Senior All-Star hope Nevaeh Foster led the Knights with 21 points.
3. Penn (4-2)
The Kingsmen bounced back from the loss to Washington with a solid 41-38 out-of-conference win Tuesday night at home to Warsaw. The win was the 300th for Penn coach Kristi Ulrich, now 300-45 in her 14th season. Jessa Troy had 13 points to lead Penn to victory.
4. North Ridge (5-1)
The Raiders clinched a strong 63-44 home win over Elkhart in a non-league matchup in Middlebury on Tuesday night. Savannah Boerema had 16 points and senior standout Eva Fisher had 15 for coach Doug Springer’s team in the win.
5. Elkart (5-3)
The Lions fell short at Northridge Tuesday night. Samiyah Stout led Elkhart by 19 points.
6. Mishawaka (6-2)
Mishawaka beat South Bend Trinity 48-24 on Tuesday night. Jayden Handley lost six Treys to take the 22-point lead.
7. New Prairie (6-3)
The Cougars pulled off two straight wins by defeating Clay 64-29 in Tuesday night’s NIC action. Four players scored in double figures for New Prairie in the league win.
8 Fairfield (5-1)
The Falcons, ranked 14th in 3A, lost just 51-46 to Columbia City on Saturday. Coach Brodie Garber’s squad is led by his daughter Brea, who will play at the University of Indianapolis next season. Fairfield lost 35-34 in the Class 2A semistate last season.
The Trojans held NorthWood 41-40 Tuesday night in Bourbon. Addyson Viers scored 14 points to speed up the Trojans, who are No. 7 in Class 1A.
10. Bethany Christian (5-1)
The Bruins clinched a 49-46 overtime win over Westview on Tuesday night. Bethany is led by two underrated players in Zoe Willems and Mariah Stoltzfus. The pair scored 40 points together in Tuesday night’s win.