Who is No. 1? Week 1 boys, girls basketball power rankings for Southwest Florida

Adam Regan
The News-Press

Who are the best high school boys and girls basketball teams in the region?

Each week The News-Press and Naples Daily News ranks the top 10 teams from Lee and Collier counties and LaBelle. The power rankings are based on record, strength of schedule and head-to-head matchups.

Cierra Alderman of Barron Collier and Raija Mottley of Dunbar dive for a loose ball in the 2019 Bokampers Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot at Barron Collier High School in Naples.

Here are the Dec. 10 rankings:

BOYS

1. Lehigh (1-2): The Lightning started off their season with two losses at the Wildwood Thanksgiving Classic to undefeated teams Wildwood and Weston Sagemont. After winning regional championships in two out of the last three years, Lehigh has two All-Area first-team selections back in seniors Darron Humphrey and Quinton Desamours. In its first taste of local competition, it knocked off a Canterbury team which upset a loaded Fort Myers team three nights prior.

2. Naples (3-0): None of the teams the Golden Eagles have beaten have winning records. However, Naples has enough talent back from last year’s district title team to be ranked high. That includes 6-foot-5 junior Tony Green and Lely transfer Byntley Theork.

3. Canterbury (3-1): A 10-point victory at Fort Myers was quite a way to kick off the season. The Cougars have one of the top backcourts in the area with juniors Chase Garrett and Alan Cedeno. It should interesting to see what kind of production they get from 6-7 forward Jovan Kojic.

4. Fort Myers (3-1): This may be the lowest the Green Wave will be ranked all season thanks to a loss to Canterbury last week. The Green Wave were a few seconds from a regional final appearance last season and return reigning News-Press Player of the Year Javian McCollum as well as forward Kyle Riemenschneider and guard Brady Luttrell. They also added talent in forward Cayden Baker and a coach with a championship-winning pedigree in Keeth Jones.

5. First Baptist (3-1): The Lions lost six seniors from last year’s team that won its first regional title, including the program’s all-time leading scorer Preston Urbancic. However, younger brother Peyton Urbancic (6-foot-5, 180 lbs) returns and FBA has a pair of 6-foot-7 junior forwards in Yan Bundurin and Christopher Nielson.

6. CSN (2-1): The Seahawks started the season with a loss to Fort Myers but earned two road wins last week. CSN has four of its top six scorer’s back from last year’s 22-6 team, including 6-foot-5 junior Ryker Vance and 6-foot-3 senior Jay Beshears.

7. Lely (3-0): Lely has won three straight road games to start the season despite losing its top four scorers from last year. The Trojans have enough talent back and solid coaching in Fritz Jacques to compete for a second straight district title.

8. Evangelical Christian (2-1): The Sentinels ended last year's 21-5 campaign with a bad taste in their mouths following a district semifinal loss to Canterbury. Coach Scott Guttery's squad will get strong senior leadership from Sean Shore and Dylan McDaniel while 6-7 junior Aaron Jones could take the next step in his ascent to becoming one of the top players in the area.

9. Dunbar (1-0): The Tigers are coming off a heartbreaking district semifinal loss to Fort Myers last season in coach Tim Maloney's first season. Junior Caleb Jones will lead the way for the team that will present a handful of matchup problems each week. 

10. Riverdale (3-1): Former Canterbury coach Darrin Wallace took over a Raiders team that won a district championship and reached a regional semifinal last season. Riverdale is armed with News-Press Player of the Year finalist Tyrone Baker and senior guard CJ Cooper.

GIRLS

1. Gulf Coast (5-1): The Sharks have reloaded after graduating eight seniors, including their top five scorers from last year’s 19-5 team. Last week Gulf Coast beat Port Orange Spruce Creek, which won a Class 7A district title last year, before losing to Tampa-Brooks DeBartolo, a regional finalist last year.

Girls basketball game between Bishop Verot  and Gulf Coast High at Gulf Coast High on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

2. Fort Myers (3-3): The Green Wave, who are led by reigning News-Press Player of the Year Chaniya Clark and point guard Janay Outten, have made five straight final four appearances with their run of three consecutive state championships coming to an end last season. They beat up on local competition to start this season before losing three straight to Tampa Plant, Tampa Carrollwood Day and Port Orange Spruce Creek.

3. Dunbar (8-1): The Tigers' suffocating full-court press is going to give a lot of teams problems. That's nothing new. On offense, they boast the triple threat of D'Shannon Powell, Luxury Vance and Aaliyah Williams. Dunbar has already posted impressive wins over Cape Coral, Barron Collier and Seffner Christian.

4. Barron Collier (7-1): The Cougars have piled up wins early in the season thanks to the prolific scoring of Jada McCray. The 5-4 senior is averaging 25.3 points per game, including 40 points in the season opener. McCray also averages six rebounds and 7.8 steals.

5. Lely (6-0): The Trojans have picked up where they left off after winning a district championship last season. After leading the team in scoring last year as a freshman, sophomore Gabby Wetzel averages 15.2 points to lead the team.

6. Cape Coral (4-2): The Seahawks are coming off a 20-9 season that included a regional quarterfinal appearance. They return leading scorer Savannah Lang who will be surrounded by 6-foot junior Sierra Moore, junior Yarily Pacheo and freshman Haley Lang.

7. Mariner (5-2): After winning a combined eight games the last two seasons the Tritons own wins over South Fort Myers, Golden Gate, Naples, ECS and Estero. Freshman guard D'Yanis Jimenez and senior Naomi Darrett are a formidable 1-2 punch. 

8. Naples (3-4): Since starting the year 0-2, the Eagles have won three of their past five games. All four losses have come by single digits, including a six-point loss to Barron Collier last week. Naples has been bolstered by the addition of point guard Sabrina Fakhoury, who transferred from Barron.

9. Bishop Verot (1-4): The Vikings have taken their lumps against a tough schedule early under new coach Andy Potts, losing to Tampa Brooks DeBartolo, Gulf Coast, Dunbar and Sarasota. Don't expect sophomore guard Addison Potts and senior guard Catie Reszel to stay down for long.

10. Community School (5-0): Led by freshman Kiaraly Cabrera and sophomore Elly Beshears, the Seahawks have won four of their five games on the road.