The St. Mary’s (Phoenix) high school girls basketball team has accomplished a first in the history of girls basketball in Arizona.
After closing out the 2011-2012 season undefeated at 30-0, the St. Mary’s Knights is ranked the No. 1 team in the nation, according to ESPN’s Powerade Fab 50 rankings. They repeated as Arizona state champions with a 65-40 win over Chandler Hamilton.
With less than five victories by less than 10 points, the Knights practically breezed through the season. The closest game was against Windward High School (Los Angeles), who is ranked No. 6 nationally, and the Knights won by four points.
Led by Coach Curtis Ekmark, this team is poised to make another run at being one of the nation’s elite again in the 2012-2013 season — despite the team’s graduating seniors Shilpa Tummala, No. 68 prospect signed to Harvard, and Courtnee Walton, No. 58 prospect signed to Louisville.
With returning players to the AAU U9 National Championship team — Chantel Osahor and twin sisters Danielle and Dominique Williams, plus Courtney Ekmark, one of the top prospects in the nation for the 2014 class — the Knights are in good shape.
On top of that, the core of this basketball team has been playing together since they were nine to 11 years old; and the on-court chemistry is proof.
The Knights started the 2012 season by winning the biggest high school girls basketball tournament in the nation, the Nike Tournament of Champions, hosted in Phoenix, Ariz.