Defending FAB 50 champion Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) remains in the top spot after impressive early season victories and enters this week’s Culligan City of Palms Classic as the No. 1 seed. Preseason No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and new No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) are also off to fine starts despite setbacks to programs ineligible for national rankings consideration. Look for the City of Palms, the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas and other holiday tournaments that begin the day after Christmas to cause considerable change to the first FAB 50 update in 2014.
By Ronnie Flores & Mark Tennis
Contributing: Doug Huff
Head coach Kevin Boyle of Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) knew he was going to have another good team this year. It wasn’t going to be as dominant on the interior as last year’s club, but a good team nonetheless. If the first six wins are any indication, the Eagles will be a strong contender to become the first program to repeat as mythical national champion since Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) in 1993-94.
Montverde served notice it was the team to beat in its second game with an 84-47 victory over preseason No. 30 Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) and with a 80-54 victory over preseason No. 25 Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) on November 30. To give you an idea of Montverde’s strength, Providence bounced back from that drubbing with a 93-74 win over No. 24 Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) on December 7. Montverde opens as the top seed at this week’s City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla.
Preseason No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) is rolling along with a 14-1 won-loss record and the program looks like it will be a viable FAB 50 national title contender under new coach Jerome Williams. The decision to keep the Pilots in the No. 2 position was for three reasons. Their 73-71 loss to Future College Prep (Harbor City, Calif.) was to a program that carries post-graduates, isn’t allowed to play California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) member schools, and plays a schedule that includes mainly junior colleges and post-graduate programs. Findlay Prep, which played that game without UCLA-bound Jonah Bolden and Oshae Brissett, tied it on a 3-pointer by sophomore Derryck Thornton with 16 seconds remaining but lost on an offensive rebound put back.
The second reason to keep Findlay Prep in its preseason position is the Pilots already owned a 76-72 win over Future College Prep, which is coached by former UCSB guard Leslie Bean. The third reason is Findlay Prep faces No. 8 Prime Prep Academy (Fort Worth, Texas) in a showcase game at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas on December 20 that will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.
The field at the Tarkanian Classic also includes No. 6 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), No. 15 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and No. 27 Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.). Mater Dei, which is 5-0, is led by Mr. Basketball USA candidate Stanley Johnson. The Monarchs won last year’s Tarkanian Classic with a title game win over Bishop Gorman.
Speaking of Bishop Gorman, the Gaels suffered a 60-54 loss to new No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) on Saturday evening at the Spalding Hoophall West in Phoenix. Coach Steve Smith’s program enters the week 15-1 on the season with its lone loss to ineligible Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.). The Warriors’ victories over Bishop Gorman and Yates (Houston) at the Hoophall West served notice that Oak Hill Academy is back as a major FAB 50 title contender after a six-loss 2012-13 season. As a comparison, Oak Hill defeated Yates 102-56 whereas No. 8 Prime Prep defeated the same team 85-79.
“I like the way we responded Saturday night (against Bishop Gorman) against their zone,” Smith said. “We made the plays in the second half and really defended. We made our free throws down the stretch and it was a good win over a well coached and talented team.”
Prime Prep had an early game scheduled versus new No. 4 White Station at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Kentucky that was canceled because of inclement weather.
This week, White Station is headed for the Iolani Classic in Hawaii while No. 5 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), No. 11 Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and No. 17 Nuemann-Goretti (Philadelphia) will join Montverde Academy at the City of Palms.
Updated Student Sports FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings
(First poll of the 2013-14 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, December 15; Preseason ranking in parentheses)
|1||1||Montverde Academy||(Montverde, Fla.)||6-0|
|2||2||Findlay Prep||(Henderson, Nev.)||14-1|
|3||3||Oak Hill Academy||(Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||15-1|
|4||5||White Station||(Memphis, Tenn.)||6-0|
|6||6||Mater Dei||(Santa Ana, Calif.)||5-0|
|8||13||Prime Prep Academy||(Ft. Worth, Texas)||8-0|
|9||20||Paul VI||(Fairfax, Va.)||5-0|
|13||14||Blue Valley Northwest||Overland Park, Kan.)||2-0|
|15||24||Sunrise Christian Academy||(Bel Aire, Kan.)||4-1|
|17||9||Bishop Gorman||(Las Vegas)||2-2|
|22||22||Miller Grove||(Lithonia, Ga.)||8-1|
|23||27||Apple Valley||(Apple Valley, Minn.)||5-1|
|24||16||Arlington Country Day||(Jacksonville, Fla.)||8-1|
|27||41||Bishop O'Dowd||(Oakland, Calif.)||1-0|
|29||19||De La Salle||(Minneapolis, Minn.)||2-1|
|31||47||Corona del Sol||(Tempe, Ariz.)||7-0|
|33||NR||Archbishop Carroll||(Radnor, Pa.)||3-0|
|34||36||Christ The King||(Middle Village, N.Y.)||1-0|
|38||38||Roselle Catholic||(Roselle, N.J.)||0-0|
|39||NR||Northside Christian Academy||(Charlotte, N.C.)||8-0|
|43||NR||Bishop Montgomery||(Torrance, Calif.)||6-0|
|44||NR||Iowa City West||(Iowa City, Iowa)||4-0|
|45||45||St. Joseph||(Metuchen, N.J.)||0-0|
|46||NR||Redondo Union||(Redondo Union, Calif.)||5-1|
|47||23||St. John's College||(Washington, D.C.)||3-1|
|49||15||St. John Bosco||(Bellflower, Calif.)||2-2|
|50||NR||Orlando Christian Prep||(Orlando, Fla.)||9-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 17 St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.); No. 18 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.); No. 21 St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio); No. 28 Plano West (Plano, Texas); No. 30 Norcross (Norcross, Ga.); No. 31 Lone Peak (Highland, Utah); No. 32 Yates (Houston, Texas); No. 33 Pershing (Detroit, Mich.); No. 35 North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.); No. 40 Math, Civics & Sciences (Philadelphia, Pa.); No. 42 South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas); No. 43 Northland (Columbus, Ohio); No. 48 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.); No. 50 Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
Bubble Teams: Arthur Hill (Saginaw, Mich.) 1-0; Arsenal Tech (Indianapolis, Ind.) 4-1; Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) 4-0; Chester (Chester, Pa.) 4-0; Compton (Compton, Calif.) 7-1; De Soto (De Soto, Texas) 9-1; Hamilton (Memphis, Tenn.) 4-1; Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 6-1; Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 3-0; Jackson (Mill Creek, Wash.) 1-0; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 3-0; Judson (Converse, Texas) 15-1; Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 3-1; Mayfair (Lakewood, Calif.) 3-1; Montrose (Rockville, Md.) 4-1; Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) 2-0; North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 5-1; Reserve (Riverside, La.) 2-0; St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 5-1; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 2-0.
Note: The STUDENT SPORTS FAB 50 is a continuation of the National Sports News Service ratings that began in 1952. These were the first national high school rankings and they were compiled by the late Art Johlfs of Minnesota. They were compiled for many years by the late Barry Sollenberger of Phoenix, who merged them into the FAB 50 14 years ago.