AIA releases first Arizona girls basketball rankings of 2021

By Brittany Bowyer | Photo by Arianna Grainey

Wednesday marked the three-week point of the AIA winter sports season as teams are quickly looking to fill voids in their schedules caused by cancellations and players work to stay safe and protected from COVID-19 away from the gym.

In a season where every game counts given the limited opportunity, it’s been a constant fluctuation between a sprint and a dead stop while attempting to get kids fully prepared for games despite the closures and lockdowns both within programs and across the state. 

This year, the AIA announced there would be a change to the format of the basketball playoffs. Here’s a quick breakdown. 

4A-6A – Teams ranked 1-16 at the end of the regular season will receive an automatic bid to the playoffs. Teams must have played a minimum of 10 games before the playoffs to be eligible. 

3A – Seven region champions will receive automatic qualification and nine at-large teams will be selected by the conference.

Here are the AIA’s initial girls basketball rankings for the 2021 season as teams hunt for playoff spots:

6A: 

  1. Westwood (8-0)
  2. Highland (9-0)
  3. Valley Vista (3-0)
  4. Hamilton (8-1)
  5. Dobson (7-1)
  6. Sandra Day O’Connor (6-1)
  7. Rincon/University (3-1)
  8. Desert Ridge (5-4)
  9. Desert Vista (5-2)
  10. Xavier Prep (4-3)
  11. Pinnacle (5-4)
  12. Perry (5-4)
  13. Boulder Creek (6-2)
  14. Mesa (5-2)
  15. Cibola (5-1)
  16. Tucson (3-2)

5A:

  1. Casteel (8-0)
  2. Millennium (6-1)
  3. Verrado (8-1)
  4. Cactus Shadows (6-1)
  5. Willow Canyon (6-0)
  6. Apollo (6-2)
  7. Sunrise Mountain (7-1)
  8. Sunnyside (4-1)
  9. Flowing Wells (3-1)
  10. Gilbert (4-4)
  11. Catalina Foothills (2-0)
  12. Paradise Valley (4-1)
  13. Williams Field (6-2)
  14. Washington (2-1)
  15. Kellis (5-3)
  16. Horizon (2-2)

4A:

  1. Seton Catholic (8-0)
  2. Estrella Foothills (8-0)
  3. Salpointe Catholic (8-0)
  4. Thunderbird (6-0)
  5. Flagstaff (6-1)
  6. Mesquite (6-1)
  7. Combs (9-0)
  8. Sahuaro (4-0)
  9. Coconino (6-2)
  10. Notre Dame Prep (7-1)
  11. Deer Valley (7-1)
  12. St. Mary’s (6-2)
  13. Paradise Honors (5-3)
  14. Moon Valley (4-3)
  15. Pueblo Magnet (4-2)
  16. Desert Edge (5-3)

3A:

  1. Snowflake (8-0)
  2. Holbrook (6-2)
  3. Valley Christian (8-0)
  4. Page (6-0)
  5. Yuma Catholic (6-0)
  6. Thatcher (5-2)
  7. Gilbert Christian (9-1)
  8. Winslow (4-3)
  9. Show Low (5-5)
  10. Safford (4-4)
  11. Sabino (3-1)
  12. Bourgade Catholic (6-3)
  13. Kingman (2-2)
  14. Florence (6-3)
  15. Wickenburg (6-3)
  16. Blue Ridge (3-4)

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