Salesian takes top spot in USA Today poll after former No. 1 loses game

The Salesian girls varsity basketball team is No. 1 in the nation, according to USA Today's preseason poll.

The Salesian girls varsity basketball team is No. 1 in the nation, according to USA Today’s latest poll.

Last month, we told you the incredible news that the Pride had been ranked No. 2 in the Super 25 girls basketball rankings behind Tennessee’s Blackman, which went 34-1 last season and has several players committed to powerhouse colleges.

On Tuesday, however, USA Today announced Blackman had been knocked from the top spot after the team lost to formerly No. 12 Potter’s House Christian Academy of Jacksonville, 80-69, in the recent Tennessee Turkey Jamm.

“That turn of events allowed Salesian (Richmond, Calif.), the No. 2 team, to slide into the top spot and also gave Oakland an elevator ride near the top of the rankings at No. 2. Potter’s House advanced No. 4,” according to USA Today.

Meanwhile, Salesian started off the season with a 60-44 win over Middletown on Tuesday. The team opened with a 21-4 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, according to the boxscore provided by

JulieAnne Martin led the Pride with 16 points while fellow junior Jordan Hobson added 12 points and 2 blocks.

Freshman Taimane Lesa-Hardee chipped in 9 points, 8 rebounds and snagged 4 steals; Minyon Moore had 6 points, 4, rebounds and 4 steals; Kian McNair had 6 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals; freshman Taisia Fleming had 4 points, 5 rebounds; fellow freshman Sydni Stewart added 4 points, 8 rebounds; and senior Maya Williams had 2 points, 5 rebounds.

The Pride next face Kennedy of Sacramento on Thursday in the Christian Brothers Tournament.