The New Year brings big changes to the GrassrootsHoops.net FAB 50, as Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) takes over the No. 1 spot. The big rankings question this week is what to do with previous No. 1 Montverde Academy and the Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) team that beat the Eagles. There are 14 newcomers to the rankings with the highest being No. 16 Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J .), which could be in hot water with the NJSIAA.
By Ronnie Flores
Contributing: Mark Tennis
With the New Year’s falling in the middle of the week, there was an extra round of showcase games and tournaments after the traditional post-Christmas Tournaments and it created some volatile movement among the nationally ranked teams in the Grassroots Hoops FAB 50.
With two-time defending FAB 50 national champ Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) losing in the title game of the City of Palms Tournament, previous No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) takes over the top spot. The Warriors have played a tough enough schedule, and have plenty of top competition coming up, to warrant the top spot as we welcome in 2015. Oak Hill Academy is no stranger to being the hunted in the FAB 50, as Steve Smith’s club has finished No. 1 seven times since 1993, most recently in 2012 with a school best 44-0 mark.
What Do We Do With Montverde?
After Montverde Academy lost to Wheeler, thoughts of the great boxing champion Sugar Ray Robinson crossed our mind. Arguably the greatest boxer ever did lose a few times, but scribes and fans always said, “Let’s see if he can beat him again.” The Montverde-Wheeler rematch figured to come in the title game of the Les Schwab Tournament in Portland after Christmas, but Wheeler got tripped up and lost to unranked West Linn (West Linn, Ore.).
Now, there is no question Montverde Academy has beaten the most FAB 50 ranked teams, and we did give consideration to leaving the Eagles No. 1 in the country. Having seen West Linn play at the Tarkanian Classic, there is no question Wheeler had to be dinged for that loss, while at the same time getting credit for its win over the Eagles.
We decided to drop Montverde Academy No. 3 behind Findlay Prep. Now, Findlay Prep hasn’t played a daunting schedule, and we didn’t consider them for No. 1 at all. The Pilots do have some tough games down the pike and their 82-69 victory over Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.) at Hoophall West was a key victory. Oak Hill defeated the same team by two points (68-66). That result allowed the Pilots to move up one spot. Montverde Academy can absorb a loss, but should Findlay Prep lose a game before the end of the regular season, it will surely fall more than two spots.
Garden State Madness
We decided to keep Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) at No. 4 one spot ahead of Wheeler because it too has one of the nation’s best players in Isaiah Briscoe and has a tough schedule coming up. The Lions passed a major test on January 2 with a 51-48 victory over No. 48 St. Anthony’s (Jersey City, N.J.) and have a monster game this week with No. 16 Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.), the highest of 14 FAB 50 newcomers this week.
The Celtics were one of three newcomers from the Garden State, the third being No. 35 Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.), which recorded a key 55-48 win over previous No. 21 Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.).
Patrick School showed it has the makings of one of the nation’s best teams at the Under Armour Holiday Classic in Del Mar, Calif. It looked like the Celtics were on their way to the tourney championship game when a melee broke out in a semifinal contest against No. 40 Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.) with 7.5 seconds remaining. Not only did the rhubarb cause the Celtics to lose the game it led by three points at the time of the outbreak — it might cost them a lot more.
According to a report by Jeremy Schneider for NJ.com, the Patrick School is facing a ban from the state tournament after five players were ejected from the game versus Redondo Union. Those five players, who did play in the third place game versus Centennial (Corona, Calif.) the next day, were suspended by Patrick School for the next two games, per NJSIAA rules.
According to NJSIAA rules, “Any varsity team accumulating three or more player or coach disqualifications for flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct prior to the start of a tournament will not be permitted to participate in same.”
If the rule is applied and the disqualification holds up, it would mark the second time in five years that the program is banned from the state tournament.
Updated Grassroots Hoops FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings
(Third poll of the 2014-15 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, January 4; Previous ranking in listed in second column under “Prev.”; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included)
|1||2||Oak Hill Academy||(Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||21-0|
|2||3||Findlay Prep||(Henderson, Nev.)||15-0|
|3||1||Montverde Academy||(Montverde, Fla.)||16-1|
|4||4||Roselle Catholic||(Roselle, N.J.)||7-0|
|6||9||Bishop O'Dowd||(Oakland, Calif.)||5-2|
|8||18||Cape Henry Collegiate||(Virginia Beach, Va.)||9-1|
|9||19||Wesleyan Christian Academy||(High Point, N.C.)||16-2|
|10||14||Sierra Canyon||(Chatsworth, Calif.)||10-1|
|11||10||Wayne||(Huber Heights, Ohio)||6-2|
|12||29||Villa Angela-St. Joseph||(Cleveland, Ohio)||7-0|
|13||28||DeMatha Catholic||(Hyattsville, Md.)||11-1|
|15||31||Greensboro Day||(Greensboro, N.C.)||20-0|
|16||NR||Patrick School||(Elizabeth, N.J.)||6-1|
|19||NR||St. Vincent-St. Mary||(Akron, Ohio)||8-0|
|20||5||St. Benedict's||(Newark, N.J.)||12-1|
|21||16||Mater Dei||(Santa Ana, Calif.)||11-3|
|23||23||Christ the King||(Middle Village, N.Y.)||9-2|
|24||24||Corona del Sol||(Tempe, Ariz.)||12-1|
|25||NR||Cardinal Gibbons||(Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)||17-0|
|26||46||St. Joseph||(Westchester, Ill.)||12-2|
|27||45||St. Rita||(Chicago, Ill.)||8-2|
|28||35||Bishop Montgomery||(Torrance, Calif.)||15-1|
|29||NR||Roman Catholic||(Philadelphia, Pa.)||8-0|
|32||32||Archbishop Carroll||(Wayne, Pa.)||6-3|
|33||8||La Lumiere||(LaPorte, Ind.)||11-2|
|34||NR||Chaminade||(St. Louis, Mo.)||9-2|
|35||NR||Seton Hall Prep||(West Orange, N.J.)||7-0|
|36||21||Long Island Lutheran||(Brookville, N.Y.)||9-1|
|37||NR||Fairfax||(Los Angeles, Calif.)||10-0|
|39||41||Dominican||(Whitefish Bay, Wis.)||6-1|
|40||NR||Redondo Union||(Redondo Beach, Calif.)||11-4|
|41||33||Putnam City West||(Putnam City, Okla.)||7-1|
|42||42||Poly||(Long Beach, Calif.)||10-2|
|43||44||Thomas Jefferson||(Brooklyn, N.Y.)||13-1|
|44||40||Oldsmar Christian||(Oldsmar, Fla.)||20-2|
|45||NR||St. John's||(Washington, D.C.)||11-2|
|46||NR||Bishop Gorman||(Las Vegas, Nev.)||13-4|
|48||NR||St. Anthony's||(Jersey City, N.J.)||4-1|
|49||NR||Parkview||(Little Rock, Ark.)||9-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 12 Centennial (Corona, Calif.); No. 13 Plano West (Plano, Texas); No. 17 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.); No. 20 Arlington Country Day; No. 25 Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.); No. 26 Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.); No. 27 John Carroll School (Bel Air, Md.); No. 30 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.); No. 34 Lake Minneola (Minneola, Fla.); No. 36 Sagemont (Weston, Fla.); No. 37 Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.); No. 39 Constitution (Philadelphia, Pa.); No. 48 West Linn (West Linn, Ore.); No. 50 Ballard (Louisville, Ky.).
Bubble Teams: Ballard (Louisville, Ky.) 11-2; Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.) 4-3; Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.) 8-0; Champlin Park (Champlin, Minn.) 11-0; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 9-4; Central (Beaumont, Texas) 16-2; De Soto (De Soto, Texas) 18-3; East (Wichita, Kan.) 5-0; Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) 9-4; John Carroll School (Bel Air, Md.) 15-1; Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa) 7-0; Lake Minneola (Minneola, Fla.) 12-2; La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.) 9-1; McComb (McComb, Miss.) 8-0; Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 10-2; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 4-1; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 8-0; North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) 9-0; North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) 13-0; Plano West (Plano, Texas) 15-2; Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) 18-1; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 8-1; Regis Jesuit (Denver, Colo.) 8-0; Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.) 6-3; Sagemont (Weston, Fla.) 12-3; Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) 12-1; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 4-1; Tift County (Tifton, Ga.) 15-0; Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) 9-3; Velma Jackson (Camden, Miss.) 12-2; Wando (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) 10-3; Wing’s Academy (Bronx, N.Y.) 8-1.
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.