Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) keeps pace with Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) in the Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 with a victory over Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.) at the Hoophall West Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) notches another quality win after capturing Maxpreps Holiday Classic with a victory over previously unbeaten DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.).
With Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) losing its first game of the season in the championship game of the City of Palms Tournament in Ft. Myers, Fla., there is a good possibility there will be a new No. 1 team in the updated Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 national rankings on January 5.
Montverde Academy rebounded to win the Les Schwab Invitational in Oregon, but the two-time defending FAB 50 champion Eagles weren’t able to meet up with the Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) team that beat them in Florida. With Montverde’s loss and Wheeler subsequently losing to West Linn (West Linn, Ore.) at the Les Schwab, No. 2 and unbeaten Oak Hill Academy is in great position to take over the top spot in the FAB 50 in the first poll of 2015.
No. 3 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) is entering the meaty portion of its schedule and got past a major test against two-loss Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.) at the Hoophall West Classic in Arizona. That team is not eligible for the FAB 50, but still presented a major test with 6-foot-9 Cheick Diallo in the lineup.
Diallo got into early four trouble and the New Yorkers couldn’t slow down the Findlay Prep guard duo of senior Allonzo Trier and junior Derryck Thornton Jr., who combined for 53 points in a 82-69 victory over Our Savior on Friday afternoon.
Findlay Prep (14-0) took control when Trier nailed a 3-pointer right before the first quarter ended to give the Pilots a 24-17 lead. Trier also hit a 3-pointer to begin the quarter and Thornton Jr. hit a left-handed driving layup in the closing seconds of the quarter to give Findlay Prep a 41-31 halftime lead.
The Pilots led by eight entering the final period and even though Our Savior New American cut its deficit to as low as four points, Findlay Prep was in control throughout. Trier had 33 points while Thornton had 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the win.
Diallo finished with 15 points and seven rebounds for Our Savior New American (7-3).
No. 14 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) also ventured to the City of Palms and dropped one game to No. 17 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.). The young Trail Blazers squad, which starts one junior and four sophomores, kept up the positive momentum by capturing the Maxpreps Holiday Classic after Christmas.
At the Hoophall West, Sierra Canyon used a big performance from sophomore Cody Riley to hand No. 28 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) its first loss and up its own record to 9-1.
Riley was just too powerful on the block and made key shots down the stretch in Sierra Canyon’s 65-60 victory. Not only did he have 22 points and eight rebounds, Riley also blocked a couple of shots, including one in the last minute to seal DeMatha’s fate.
DeMatha (10-1) had eight turnovers in the first half and went into intermission trailing 38-27 after Sierra Canyon’s Terrence McBride hit a 3-pointer as the second quarter clock expired. DeMatha’s D.J. Harvey went scoreless in the first half, but keyed a 10-0 Stags run in the third quarter to keep his team in range.
In the end, however, Riley and company hit more shots down the stretch to put Sierra Canyon in excellent position to grab a top 10 spot in the next FAB 50 despite its youth.