Montverde Academy of Florida remains in the top spot in the first GrassrootsHoops.net FAB 50 rankings of the 2014-15 regular season. Oak Hill Academy of Virginia and Findlay Prep of Nevada hold their spots at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, which the change beginning at No. 4. There are ten newcomers to the rankings with the highest being No. 23 Atascocita (Humble, Texas).
By Ronnie Flores
Contributing: Mark Tennis
Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) captured the FAB 50 national title the past two years even though the Eagles suffered on-curt losses. So far this season Kevin Boyle’s program remains unbeaten, as the top-ranked team in the nation pushed its season record to 6-0 with a 71-57 victory over bubble club Ballard (Louisville, Ky.) and a 68-51 win over No. 13 Plano West (Plano, Texas) at the Buckeye Elite National Showcase in West Virginia.
Last season, the Eagles lost on the court to Curie (Chicago), but that game was later awarded to Montverde Academy via forfeit. Officially, Montverde has won 40 consecutive games, but it’s always the on-court results that will cause movement up — or down — in the FAB 50 rankings.
Montverde Academy next game will be against No. 6 Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) on December 12 in a matchup televised by ESPN2. O’Dowd opened its season on November 29 with a 63-55 victory over preseason No. 4 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) at the NorCal Tip-Off Classic in Newark, Calif.
It seemed as O’Dowd’s victory gave us a good indication the Dragons could give Montverde Academy a good test and that the San Francisco Bay Area program was a legit No. 1 contender — until Bishop Gorman shockingly lost to unranked Jesuit (Carmichael, Calif.) 51-49 last Saturday night in the title game of the Wild West Shootout in Reno, Nev. Jesuit didn’t even begin the season ranked in the Top 20 of the CalHiSports.com state rankings and the loss dropped Gorman out of this week’s FAB 50 rankings. The Gaels are the highest-ranked of the ten clubs that dropped out of the FAB 50 from the preseason. They will have the opportunity to climb back in because of a strong schedule, but their national title aspirations are all but over.
Oak Hill, Findlay Prep Keep Pace
While some FAB 50-ranked clubs have yet to play, perennial title contender Oak Hill Academy of Virginia already has 14 games under its belt. Its best wins are probably against two against teams ineligible for the FAB 50 — a 54-46 win over Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and last Saturday’s two-point triumph over Mr. Basketball USA candidate Chieck Diallo and his team at Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.) at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Kentucky.
Oak Hill Academy will play No. 16 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) in Washington, D.C. this upcoming weekend before heading to participate against a quality field that includes Bishop O’Dowd at the Iolani Prep Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, December 15-20.
Findlay Prep hasn’t yet hit the meat of its schedule, but it has tough games coming up, including a matchup with the Our Savior New American team Oak Hill defeated by two points at the Hoophall West in Arizona on January 2. The next day, Findlay Prep will take on No. 26 Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.).
Preseason No. 6 Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) has also lost to Quality Education Academy, as well as two other clubs ineligible for the FAB 50 – Huntington St. Joseph Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) and Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.), neither of which can participate against association members in their home state. Arlington Country Day does drop in the FAB 50 as a result of those losses, but not as much as if it would have lost to eligible programs.
These rankings are done through the weekend, but we already know on Monday night No. 27 Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill). lost 80-69 to Detroit Jesuit of Michigan. That and any other result for Nick Irvin’s club will be counted on our next rankings shuffle.
In a nationally televised game on Monday, No. 13 Plano West bounced back from the loss to Montverde Academy to defeat Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas) 56-55, as Texas A & M bound Tyler Davis had 15 points and 16 rebounds while fellow Aggie recruit D.J. Hogg chipped in 14 points and six rebounds. This past Saturday, Lancaster lost to No. 11 Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 87-72 at the Chicago Elite Classic. It was the first game of the season for the Windy City club.
On Tuesday, No. 45 Velma Jackson (Camden, Miss.) will take on Mr. Basketball USA canidate Malik Newman and his club at No. 46 Callaway (Jackson, Miss.) for the second time this season. Velma Jackson won the first matchup 72-65. Callaway does have a victory over No. 47 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) but did not fare well at the Marshall County Hoopfest, losing to No. 34 Archbishop Carroll (Wayne, Pa.) and Orangeville Prep of Canada.
Updated Grassroots Hoops FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings
(First poll of the 2014-15 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, December 7; Preseason ranking in parentheses; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included)
|1||1||Montverde Academy||(Montverde, Fla.)||6-0|
|2||2||Oak Hill Academy||(Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||14-0|
|3||3||Findlay Prep||(Henderson, Nev.)||8-0|
|4||5||Roselle Catholic||(Roselle, N.J.)||0-0|
|5||8||St. Benedict's||(Newark, N.J.)||3-0|
|6||7||Bishop O'Dowd||(Oakland, Calif.)||2-0|
|9||15||La Lumiere||(La Porte, Ind.)||7-0|
|10||10||Wayne||(Huber Heights, Ohio)||0-0|
|13||13||Plano West||(Plano West, Texas)||6-1|
|14||14||Sierra Canyon||(Chatsworth, Calif.)||0-0|
|16||24||Paul VI||(Fairfax, Va.)||2-0|
|17||17||Mater Dei||(Santa Ana, Calif.)||1-0|
|19||32||Cape Henry Collegiate||(Virginia Beach, Va.)||4-0|
|20||6||Arlington Country Day||(Jacksonville, Fla.)||3-3|
|21||35||Wesleyan Christian Academy||(High Point, N.C.)||8-0|
|22||36||Long Island Lutheran||(Brookville, N.Y.)||1-0|
|24||46||Christ the King||(Middle Village, N.Y.)||2-0|
|25||28||Corona del Sol||(Tempe, Ariz.)||5-0|
|26||31||Riverside Academy||(Reserve, La.)||0-0|
|27||27||Morgan Park||(Chicago, Ill.)||2-0|
|28||33||Rainier Beach||(Seattle, Wash.)||1-0|
|29||37||John Carroll School||(Bel Air, Md.)||8-0|
|30||38||DeMatha Catholic||(Hyattsville, Md.)||2-0|
|32||30||Chaminade||(St. Louis, Mo.)||3-1|
|33||45||Villa Angela-St. Joseph||(Cleveland, Ohio)||1-0|
|34||18||Archbishop Carroll||(Wayne, Pa.)||1-1|
|35||NR||Poly||(Long Beach, Calif.)||4-0|
|36||23||Prestonwood Christian Academy||(Plano, Texas)||9-1|
|37||39||Putnam City West||(Oklahoma City, Okla.)||3-0|
|38||41||Arthur Hill||(Saginaw, Mich.)||0-0|
|39||NR||St. Joseph||(Westchester, Ill.)||6-0|
|40||NR||Greensboro Day||(Greensboro, N.C.)||10-0|
|41||NR||Bishop Montgomery||(Torrance, Calif.)||5-0|
|42||NR||Lake Minneola||(Minneola, Fla.)||6-1|
|44||49||Dominican||(Whitefish Bay, Wis.)||1-0|
|45||NR||Velma Jackson||(Camden, Miss.)||7-1|
|47||47||Miller Grove||(Lithonia, Ga.)||4-1|
|50||20||St. Francis||(Alpharetta, Ga.)||5-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 4 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), No. 25 Potter’s House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.), No. 26 Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.), No. 29 North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.), No. 34 Prime Prep Academy (Dallas, Texas), No. 40 Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.), No. 43 Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.), No. 44 St. Rita (Chicago, Ill.), No. 48 North Shore (Galena, Texas), No. 50 Lone Peak (Highland, Utah).
Bubble Teams: Ballard (Louisville, Ky.) 3-1; Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 2-2; Bogan (Chicago, Ill.) 5-0; Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.) 1-0; Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) 3-0; Central (Beaumont, Texas) 10-0; Christian Brother’s (St. Louis, Mo.) 3-0; De Soto (De Soto, Texas) 12-2; Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) 2-2; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 2-0; Kinston (Kinston, N.C.) 1-0; La Salle College Prep (Wyndmoor, Pa.) 1-0; McComb (McComb, Miss.) 7-0; North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 4-1; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 5-1; Potter’s House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) 2-2; Prime Prep Academy (Dallas, Texas) 7-3; Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) 10-0; Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.) 3-2; Regis Jesuit (Denver, Colo.) 3-0; Sagemont (Weston, Fla.) 6-0; Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.) 4-1; Southport (Indianapolis, Ind.) 2-0; St. Anthony’s (Jersey City, N.J.) 0-0; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 1-0; Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-0; West Linn (West Linn, Ore.) 0-0; Wing’s Academy (Bronx, N.Y.) 2-0.
Note: The Grassroots Hoops 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 15 years ago.