Malu Tahitenge-Mutombo of St. John's makes a shot against McNamara's Liatu King during the team’s first meeting, in January. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

With one of the nation’s most formidable trios, McNamara has been building toward this season since 2013 in pursuit of its first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title in 11 years.

But McNamara has had to go through St. John’s, last year’s WCAC and D.C. State Athletic Association champion. McNamara and St. John’s’ two games this season have been decided by a combined eight points, and St. John’s has shown it’s still the area’s top team by beating the Mustangs for the second time Saturday.

Still, McNamara can achieve its objective in the WCAC playoffs, where it could again matchup with St. John’s.

In Montgomery County, Churchill proved itself as one of the area’s top public schools by taking down Whitman, 59-48, after losing to the Vikings by one point last month.

Northern Virginia’s district playoffs start this week, as Edison, Freedom-South Riding and Woodbridge hope to begin deep postseason runs. The D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs also occur this week, with Wilson the favorite to win its first title in three years.

1. St. John’s (25-1) Last ranked: 1

Last season’s All-Met Player of the Year, Azzi Fudd, scored 28 points in the Cadets’ second win over McNamara this season.

2. McNamara (24-2) LR: 2

Both of the Mustangs’ losses have come in close defeats to St. John’s.

3. New Hope (27-3) LR: 3

The Tigers continued to dominate out-of-state teams, defeating Patrick School (N.J.), 63-37.

4. Edison (19-1) LR: 4

Virginia commit Carole Miller scored 18 points in the Eagles’ 73-26 win over Wakefield.

5. Riverdale Baptist (25-4) LR: 5

Forward Rayne Tucker recorded 10 points and 11 rebounds in the Crusaders’ 61-42 win over Rock Creek Christian.

6. Freedom-South Riding (22-0) LR: 6

Morgann Harden and Jaelyn Batts combined for 27 points in the Eagles’ 50-22 victory against Champe.

7. Woodbridge (21-1) LR: 7

The Vikings didn’t allow any second-half points in their 83-7 win over Gar-Field.

8. Paul VI (22-7) LR: 8

For the second time this season, the Panthers used a fourth-quarter spurt to top Bishop Ireton.

9. National Christian (18-7) LR: 9

Guard Promise Cunningham’s four three-pointers lifted the Eagles in a 56-25 win over Life Center (N.J.).

10. Georgetown Visitation (20-3) LR: 10

In the Cubs’ 57-43 win over Bullis, guard Taylor Webster scored a game-high 20 points.

11. Churchill (18-1) LR: 15

Guard Brittini Martin netted a game-high 31 points in the Bulldogs’ 59-48 win over Whitman.

12. Bishop Ireton (18-9) LR: 11

Boston College signee Akunna Konkwo’s game-high 26 points weren’t enough in a 63-59 loss to Paul VI.

13. Rock Creek Christian (11-5) LR: 12

Guard Kennedy Fauntleroy recorded 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the Eagles’ 65-43 win against Capitol Christian.

14. Gwynn Park (15-3) LR: 14

Denai Bowman and Jenae Dublin combined for 59 points and 26 rebounds in the Yellow Jackets’ 71-58 victory over Largo.

15. Whitman (15-2) LR: 13

About a month after beating Churchill, the Vikings fell to the Bulldogs, 59-48, at home.

16. Sidwell Friends (16-4) LR: 16

Center Nalani Lyde notched 18 points and 18 rebounds in the Quakers’ 76-44 win over Potomac School.

17. North Point (16-3) LR: 20

In a win over Lackey, the Eagles permitted a season-low nine points.

18. South River (17-2) LR: 17
The Seahawks rebounded from their first Anne Arundel County loss with wins against Severna Park, Glen Burnie and Arundel.

19. Old Mill (15-3) LR: NR

The Patriots rebounded from a tough stretch by routing Arundel and North County.

20. Oxon Hill (13-4) LR: NR

Guard Mossi Staples scored 22 points in the Clippers’ 76-18 win over Central.

Dropped out: No. 17 South River (17-3), No. 18 West Springfield (18-3), No. 19 Maret (18-4)

On the bubble: Long Reach, C.H. Flowers, Paint Branch, Oakland Mills.