Posted By: Sports
The Lincoln Southeast High School girls' basketball team has finished No. 56 nationally for the 2012-13 season. The announcement was made by MaxPreps, a California-based company that ranks more than 20,000 high school girls' varsity basketball teams nationwide.
Lincoln Southeast (24-3) beat Bellevue West, 65-57, on March 2 to claim its 10th Nebraska Class A state championship. The school's last title came following the 2008 season. Lincoln Southeast is one of 10 basketball teams being honored on the sixth annual girls' MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard.
"MaxPreps is thrilled to work with the Army National Guard to honor America's finest high school girls' basketball teams with the prestigious Army National Guard national ranking trophy," said President and Founder Andy Beal. "Coach Graham and the Lincoln Southeast Knights have proven on the court that they are among the nation's truly elite high school hoops teams. We salute the coach, the young ladies on the team and Lincoln Southeast High School for a job well done."
"I think it's a great honor considering the number of schools playing girls basketball. I have great respect for the work our kids did this year and we really appreciate it (the honor)," said Lincoln Southeast head basketball coach Kara Graham, who completed her second season. Her teams are a combined 49-5 (.907 winning percentage).
Lincoln Southeast's average margin of victory was nearly 25 points per game. Sophomore sensation Jessica Shepard, who has already committed to play at the University of Nebraska, netted 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds per game to spark the Knights. Senior Alex Kastanek, who will play at the University of Iowa in Des Moines next fall, contributed 15 points and six caroms per game.
Nebraska Lieutenant Colonel Georgia Kroese presented Coach Graham and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during a school assembly Tuesday morning. The team also received a banner for its accomplishments.
"For years, the Army National Guard has recognized nationally ranked basketball teams with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy," said Lieutenant Colonel Christian J. Johnson of the Army National Guard. "We take great pride in doing so because it symbolizes the indomitable spirit common to high school athletes and the U.S. Soldier. It is our honor to share this symbol with the team, coaches, parents, and school. It is an award for the entire community and is much deserved."
MaxPreps uses a sophisticated computer program, known as the Freeman Rankings, to determine team rank for the Tour of Champions. The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents), margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighted 2.1 times a regular season game.
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With 375 years of service, the Army National Guard is the largest reserve component, as well as the oldest branch of the U.S. military. In the National Guard, you get the training from us, serve in your own community, and enhance your marketability for the higher paying jobs. We provide our members with money for college and offer attractive benefits on top of paid career training in one of 200 fields. The National Guard has career opportunities in every State and U.S. Territory, more than 3,600 training locations, and more than 350,000 members. Visit the National Guard Web site at