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CoBL-area D-III Power Rankings: Feb. 21, 2023 (WBB)

02/21/2023, 12:00pm EST
By Jeff Griffith

By Jeff Griffith (@hooplove215)

It’s officially conference tournament season in the Division III women’s ranks, and an array of area teams enter their respective postseasons on eye-catching winning streaks. With the regular season concluded, here’s our last batch of rankings. We’ll have end-of-season teams and awards sometime in April:

Previous Rankings: Preseason | Nov. 29 | Dec. 12 | Jan. 18 | Jan. 30

Others Considered: Gwynedd Mercy (15-10, 8-4 Atlantic East), Arcadia (15-11, 7-9 MAC Freedom), Lancaster Bible (14-10, 9-7 United East), Bryn Athyn (13-11, 11-6 CSAC), Muhlenberg (13-12, 9-11 Centennial), Cabrini (13-13, 8-4 Atlantic East), Immaculata (13-13, 7-5 Atlantic East), Lebanon Valley (13-13, 9-7 MAC Commonwealth)

Moravian and senior guard Ashley Robinson come in at No. 10 in the rankings. (Photo by Christian Jancsarics/Moravian Athletics)

10. Moravian (LW: NR)

Record: 15-10, 8-6 Landmark

Recent Results: vs. Drew (W, 55-52), vs. Elizabethtown (W, 75-70), at Goucher (W, 60-48), at Juniata (W, 75-51), vs. Scranton (L, 73-45), vs. Susquehanna (W, 71-65)

Moravian got hot at the right time, winning five of six to close the regular season including an impressive upset win over No. 3 Elizabethtown. The Greyhounds face a major challenge in the first round of Landmark Conference Tournament play, taking on a Scranton team that ranks No. 3 in the nation, hasn’t lost a game all season and downed Moravian by nearly 30 points February 15. Even so, to go from sub-.500 in January to 15-10 in February is a major achievement entering postseason play. Graduate forward Tessa Zamolyi finished the regular season with a double-double average, leading the Greyhounds with 15.7 ppg and 11.2 rpg. 

Next Up: at Scranton (Landmark Conference Tournament, Feb. 22) 

9. Haverford (LW: 4)

Record: 15-9, 12-7 Centennial

Recent Results: vs. Johns Hopkins (L, 55-49), at Muhlenberg (L, 49-38), vs. Gettysburg (L, 70-53), vs. Swarthmore (W, 51-38)

After rising into the area’s top five in late January, Haverford struggled down the stretch, losing three of its last four regular season games. Even so, the Fords wrapped up the Centennial Conference’s No. 4 seed and a home first-round conference tournament game. For Haverford to flip the script and make a postseason run, the Fords will need junior guard Ally Landau (16.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and senior forward Kayla Robinson (13.2 ppg, 13.8 rpg) to continue their impressive campaigns. 

Next Up: vs. Muhlenberg (Centennial Conference Tournament, Feb. 24)

8. Penn State Harrisburg (LW: 10)

Record: 16-9, 13-3 United East

Recent Results: at Wells (W, 75-8), at Morrisville State (L, 79-68), at Penn State Abington (W, 80-46), vs. Gallaudet (W, 71-50), vs. Penn College (W, 59-43)

A four-game win streak to end the regular season has PSU Harrisburg headed in the right direction entering conference tournament play, and two spots higher in the area rankings than Jan. 30’s edition. The Lions had a pair of close matchups with their upcoming United East Conference Tournament opponent, Saint Mary’s, splitting the series with a two-point victory and seven-point defeat. Junior guard Ciani Redd-Howard was one of several standout on a balanced roster during the Lions’ 2022-23 regular season, averaging 10.5 points and 4.8 boards while shooting 44.8 percent from the field. 

Next Up: Neutral vs. Saint Mary’s (United East Conference Tournament, Feb. 24)

7. Alvernia (LW: 7)

Record: 16-9, 11-5 MAC Commonwealth

Recent Results: at Eastern (W, 47-38), at Albright (L, 57-56), vs. Messiah (L, 59-49), vs. Lebanon Valley (W, 58-52), at Hood (W, 66-48)

Alvernia closed out the regular season on a positive note after dropping a pair of tough losses, one by 10 against a dominant Messiah squad and the other in heartbreaking fashion against rival Albright. The Red Wolves will have another shot at Albright in postseason play, though, taking on the Lions in Feb. 22’s MAC Commonwealth semifinal round. Junior forward Kayla Williams (11.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and junior guard Jordan Karmonick continued to spark Alvernia down the stretch; Karmonick averaged 13.5 points in Alvernia’s last four contests. 

Next Up: at Albright (MAC Commonwealth Conference Tournament, Feb. 22)

6. Dickinson (LW: 8)

Record: 17-7, 14-5 Centennial

Recent Results: vs. Muhlenberg (W, 56-38), vs. Washington College (W, 61-35), at Muhlenberg (W, 57-35), at Johns Hopkins (L, 53-43), vs. Franklin and Marshall (W, 62-42), at Bryn Mawr (W, 69-19)

The Red Devils have been perfect in February aside from one road loss at Johns Hopkins, and earned a home first-round conference tournament game against a Washington College team with which it swept two meetings this season. Sophomore wing Clair Marion had a standout game in Dickinson’s recent 26-point win over Washington College, pacing the Red Devils with 19 points while adding four assists and three boards. She chipped in 19 points, six rebounds and four assists while connecting on 5-of-9 triples in Dickinson's win at Muhlenberg five days later, and has led the way with 14.3 ppg on the season. 

Next Up: vs. Washington College (Centennial Conference Tournament, Feb. 21)

First-year guard CJ Apistar and Albright are No. 5 in the rankings. (Photo: John Pankratz/Albright Athletics)

5. Albright (LW: 6)

Record: 18-7, 12-4 MAC Commonwealth

Recent Results: at York (W, 70-64), vs. Alvernia (W, 57-56), at Eastern (W, 70-47), vs. Stevenson (W, 59-48), vs. Widener (W, 72-61)

Albright caught fire down the stretch, winning 10 of its last 11 to rise all the way from an 8-6 start to finish second in the MAC Commonwealth and earn a home conference tournament game against rival Alvernia. The Lions’ close win over the Red Wolves was one of two meetings this season; Alvernia took the other in dominant fashion, 74-47 on December 17, just prior to Albright’s turnaround. Graduate forward Gabby Boggs, who leads Albright this season in points (14.5) and rebounds (11.0), did it all in the recent win over Alvernia, pitching in 11 points, nine boards, six assists, three blocks, and two steals while logging just one turnover. 

Next Up: vs. Alvernia (MAC Commonwealth Conference Tournament, Feb. 22)

4. Gettysburg (LW: 5)

Record: 19-6, 16-4 Centennial

Recent Results: at Franklin and Marshall (W, 51-41), vs. Ursinus (W, 69-29), at Johns Hopkins (W, 66-54), at Haverford (W, 70-53), at Bryn Mawr (W, 71-12), vs. McDaniel (W, 69-46), vs. Swarthmore (W, 61-43)

Gettysburg has been just as hot as — if not hotter than — Albright, winning seven in a row in February and 14 of 15 dating back to Jan. 10. Gettysburg has lost just three times in the current calendar year; two came in overtime, and one came by two points at Muhlenberg to close out the month of January. Gettysburg will take on either Washington College or Dickinson at home in the Centennial Conference semifinals as it looks to play its way into the NCAA Tournament; the Bullets split their season series with both squads. At regular season’s end, sophomore guard Mackenzie Szlosek stands as Gettysburg’s clear statistical leader, averaging 13.4 points and 6.2 rebounds; she logged 21 points and 10 boards in the Bullets’ regular season finale against Swarthmore. 

Next Up: vs. TBD (Centennial Conference Tournament, Feb. 24)

3. Elizabethtown (LW: 1)

Record: 21-3, 11-3 Landmark

Recent Results: vs. Juniata (W, 86-44), at Moravian (L, 75-70), vs. Catholic (W, 68-58), vs. Scranton (L, 79-72), at Drew (W, 87-65), at Goucher (W, 74-56)

While the Blue Jays are likely still in the NCAA Tournament picture, the Blue Jays have limped into the postseason — in a relative sense, at least, for a team that won 18 of its first 19 games. Two of Elizabethtown’s three losses this season have come against Scranton, which, as previously mentioned, hasn’t lost all season. But the Blue Jays also took an unexpected late-season loss against Moravian. If Elizabethtown can get past Catholic in the Landmark Conference semifinals, it’s likely the Blue Jays will get a third shot at undefeated Scranton. In Elizabethtown’s close Feb. 11 loss to Scranton, sophomore guard and leading scorer Summer McNulty (18.2 ppg) logged a stunning 35 points on 51 percent shooting from the field.

Next Up: vs. Catholic (Landmark Conference Tournament, Feb. 22)

2. Messiah (LW: 3)

Record: 23-2, 16-0 MAC Commonwealth

Recent Results: at Hood (W, 70-52), at Alvernia (W, 59-49), vs. Eastern (W, 63-52), vs. Stevenson (W, 56-44), at Lebanon Valley (W, 55-49)

For the first time this season, Messiah moves up from No. 3 after Elizabethtown’s pair of late-season losses. The Falcons have remained consistent in February, finishing the year with an unbeaten conference mark — the only area team to do so. As such, Messiah enters conference tournament play as the heavy MAC Commonwealth favorite and is likely looking at a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Messiah has lost just twice this season, once in its second game of the year against Rochester, and the other at area No. 1 DeSales. Junior guard Reese Harden (13.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg), junior forward Morgan Adams (11.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and company will open conference tournament action at home against Widener. 

Next Up: vs. Widener (MAC Commonwealth Tournament, Feb. 22)

1. DeSales (LW: 2)

Record: 24-1, 15-1 MAC Freedom

Recent Results: at Wilkes (W, 72-42), at Misericordia (W, 67-51), vs. Delaware Valley (W, 74-37), vs. Immaculata (W, 88-54), vs. Stevens (W, 61-50), at Arcadia (W, 86-37)

The Bulldogs, who were the area’s No. 1 all year before a respectable late-January slip up at Stevens — which currently has a record of 21-4 — are back in the top spot and riding a nine-game winning streak. That streak includes a revenge win over Stevens, plus a dominant showing at Arcadia to close the regular season. In those two contests, senior wing and Souderton alum Megan Bealer — who leads the Bulldogs with 14.4 ppg — totaled 47 points, and averaged 22.3 ppg and 8.0 rpg in the over the last week of the season. 

Next Up: vs. Arcadia (MAC Freedom Conference Tournament, Feb. 22)

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