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  • Writer's pictureSheldon Shealer

Northwest returns to the Top 25 amidst a playoff ranking reshuffle

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

After two weeks of postseason play, there's only one new team joining the Top 25.

Northwest, which stunned previous No. 4 Quince Orchard, returns to the Top 25 at No. 14 this week. The Jaguars started the season in the rankings, climbed as high as 15, then dropped out following regular season losses to Quince Orchard and Winston Churchill.

Now, Northwest is among the favorites remaining in the Class 4A state title chase since two of the pre-tournament top three 4A teams are out of the running.

Northwest's addition highlights the movement in this week's state poll that saw some shuffling but very little turnover. The only team to make an exit was Riverdale Baptist following a season-ending loss.

While Quince Orchard lost its way out of the Class 4A playoffs, former state No. 7 Flowers was never even given a chance. Just hours before its regional semifinal game against Eleanor Roosevelt, Flowers was informed by the county that the team had to forfeit its playoff game. Ever since the forfeit, the outcry has been loud and consistent from the Flowers faithful in this ongoing saga that has been heavily covered in D.C. broadcast and print media.

Quince Orchard and Flowers, last year's 4A state champ and runner-up, respectively, were expected to make bids for this year's title. With those two out, the label of favorite falls to PG 4A champion Wise, which moved up to No. 5 in this week's rankings. Northwest, now, also considered a serious challenger could face state-ranked Winston Churchill in the state semifinals if it survives a first-round game with state-ranked Broadneck.

Flowers dropped to No. 10 and Quince Orchard, which had its 39-game win streak halted, slipped to No. 11 this week. Generally, Northwest would vault in front of Quince Orchard, but apparently, the voters were OK with QO remaining higher for the time being given the strong overall season showing and the fact the teams split their meetings.

Elsewhere in the rankings, No. 1 Good Counsel and No. 2 DeMatha both won their Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals setting up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 clash that will settle both the WCAC title and the state's No. 1 ranking for the 2023 season.

Archbishop Spalding, which goes for an MIAA A Conference repeat this week, checks in at No. 3 followed by St. Frances Academy and Wise.

There will not be any state rankings until the conclusion of the season. The final ranking will be released on the Tuesday following the MPSSAA state finals.

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