There are only four new teams in the GrassrootsHoops.net FAB 50, but for the second consecutive week there is a new No. 1 after previous No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) went down at the Penny Hardaway HoopFest. The new No. 1 is a familiar team to coaches, players and fans who follow the rankings. Among the four newcomers, Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) is the highest ranked at No. 44.
By Ronnie Flores
Contributing: Mark Tennis
RELATED: How Teams Get Ranked In The FAB 50
Give seven-time Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 national champion Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wlson, Va.) credit — the Warriors play about 40 games per season and a vast majority of the tough opponents come in road games.
This past Saturday, then No. 1 Oak Hill Academy ventured to the Penny Hardaway HoopFest at Haywood County High School (Brownsville, Tenn.) to take on No. 7 Hamilton (Memphis, Tenn.). In a game televised on ESPN, the Road Warriors jumped out to a 8-0 start before the roof caved following some bang-bang charging fouls. Oak Hill turned the ball over too many times and got pounded on the offensive glass by the Hamilton trio of 6-foot-8 Dedric Lawson, his 6-foot-7 brother K.J. Lawson and 6-foot-7 Terrence Baker.
As a result, Oak Hill trailed Hamilton by 15 points at halftime (40-25), trailed by as many as 20 points in the third quarter (49-29) and its fourth quarter comeback attempt fell short as the Wildcats went on to win the event’s marquee game 87-76.
Hamilton’s versatile trio combined for 29 of Hamilton’s 40 points in the first half and finished with a combined 69 points for the unbeaten Wildcats, who moved one spot ahead of Oak Hill in this week’s FAB 50 to No. 5.
K.J. Lawson, a prime McDonald’s All-American candidate as his brother, made key free throws down the stretch and finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. Dedric had 20 points and 11 rebounds while Baker came up big with 23 points as Oak Hill dropped its first game after 22 victories.
As a result, there is a new FAB 50 No. 1 team.
Why Montverde Academy Is The New No. 1
We mentioned it last week when we were deciding on our No. 1 team following the holiday season and New Year’s events — No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) was not strongly considered for No. 1 but No. 3 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) was despite a loss.
This week Findlay Prep was strongly considered, but the strength of schedule factor for Montverde was just too prevalent and the Eagles, the two-time defending FAB 50 national champion, are back at No. 1. Findlay Prep will have an opportunity to prove its the No. 1 team in the country as the season wears on, but for now the Pilots don’t have enough key wins. They could at the end of the season, but not quite yet.
Findlay Prep’s best win so far is a 82-69 win over Our Savior New American of New York, a FAB 50 caliber team not eligible for our rankings who Oak Hill Academy defeated by two points. Montverde Academy, meanwhile, has a loss to No. 4 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) but has wins over No. 7 Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.), No. 11 Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio), No. 28 Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ga.) and No. 47 Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.), not to mention a whopping eight wins over teams that were at one point ranked in the FAB 50.
Findlay Prep plays the toughest portion of its regular season schedule the next two weeks versus Wayne, No. 14 Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.) and No. 42 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.). Those results will give us a better idea how how the Pilots stack up against battle-tested Montverde Academy.
Dreaming Of Big Matchups
Over the past 20 years, it has become tradition for big showcase style matchups to take place over the Martin Luther Jr. holiday weekend. As a result, next week’s FAB 50 will be published on Tuesday, January 2o.
The event with the most FAB 50 showdowns takes place at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. This year’s top games at that five-day event include:
No. 19. Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) vs. Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.), No. 17 Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) vs. No. 37 Archbishop Carroll (Wayne, Pa.), No. 3 Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) vs. No. 13 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) vs. No. 14 Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.), No. 24 Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) vs. Putnam Vo-Tech (Springfield, Mass.), No. 36 St. Anthony’s (Jersey City, N.J.) vs. Constitution (Philadelphia, Pa.), No. 4 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) vs. No. 7 Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.), No. 6 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) vs. No. 12 Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland, Ohio), No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) vs. No. 42 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), and No. 34 Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) vs. Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)
Updated Grassroots Hoops FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings
(Fourth poll of the 2014-15 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, January 11; Previous ranking in listed in second column under “Prev.”; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included)
|1||3||Montverde Academy||(Montverde, Fla.)||19-1|
|2||2||Findlay Prep||(Henderson, Nev.)||16-0|
|3||4||Roselle Catholic||(Roselle, N.J.)||9-0|
|6||1||Oak Hill Academy||(Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||22-1|
|7||6||Bishop O'Dowd||(Oakland, Calif.)||7-2|
|8||8||Cape Henry Collegiate||(Virginia Beach, Va.)||12-1|
|9||9||Wesleyan Christian Academy||(High Point, N.C.)||18-2|
|10||10||Sierra Canyon||(Chatsworth, Calif.)||11-1|
|11||11||Wayne||(Huber Heights, Ohio)||8-2|
|12||12||Villa Angela-St. Joseph||(Cleveland, Ohio)||8-0|
|13||13||DeMatha Catholic||(Hyattsville, Md.)||13-1|
|15||15||Greensboro Day||(Greensboro, N.C.)||22-0|
|18||19||St. Vincent-St. Mary||(Akron, Ohio)||10-0|
|19||23||Christ the King||(Middle Village, N.Y.)||10-2|
|20||21||Mater Dei||(Santa Ana, Calif.)||13-3|
|22||27||St. Rita||(Chicago, Ill.)||11-2|
|23||29||Roman Catholic||(Philadelphia, Pa.)||12-0|
|24||24||Corona del Sol||(Tempe, Ariz.)||14-1|
|25||25||Cardinal Gibbons||(Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)||19-0|
|26||28||Bishop Montgomery||(Torrance, Calif.)||17-1|
|29||33||La Lumiere||(La Porte, Ind.)||12-2|
|30||35||Seton Hall Prep||(West Orange, N.J.)||9-0|
|31||36||Long Island Lutheran||(Brookville, N.Y.)||11-1|
|33||37||Fairfax||(Los Angeles, Calif.)||14-0|
|34||34||Chaminade||(St. Louis, Mo.)||10-3|
|35||39||Dominican||(Whitefish Bay, Wis.)||7-1|
|36||48||St. Anthony's||(Jersey City, N.J.)||6-1|
|37||32||Archbishop Carroll||(Wayne, Pa.)||8-4|
|38||16||Patrick School||(Elizabeth, N.J.)||8-2|
|39||44||Oldsmar Christian||(Oldsmar, Fla.)||21-2|
|40||40||Redondo Union||(Redondo Beach, Calif.)||11-4|
|41||42||Poly||(Long Beach, Calif.)||12-2|
|42||46||Bishop Gorman||(Las Vegas, Nev.)||14-4|
|44||NR||Montrose Christian||(Rockville, Md.)||11-2|
|45||43||Thomas Jefferson||(Brooklyn, N.Y.)||15-2|
|47||NR||Central Catholic||(Portland, Ore.)||10-2|
|48||NR||Rainier Beach||(Seattle, Wash.)||10-1|
|49||49||Parkview||(Little Rock, Ark.)||10-1|
|50||NR||Lake Forest||(Lake Forest, Ill.)||16-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 20 St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.); No. 26 St. Joseph (Westchester, Ill.); No. 41 Putnam City West (Putnam City, Okla.); No. 45 St. John’s (Washington, D.C.).
Bubble Teams: Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.) 13-1; Ballard (Louisville, Ky.) 13-2; Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.) 7-3; Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.) 10-1; Champlin Park (Champlin, Minn.) 14-0; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 9-4; Central (Beaumont, Texas) 18-2; De Soto (De Soto, Texas) 19-3; East (Wichita, Kan.) 9-0; East Kentwood (Kentwood, Mich.) 7-0; Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.) 14-0; Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) 11-4; John Carroll School (Bel Air, Md.) 18-1; Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa) 9-0; Laney (Augusta, Ga.) 15-1; La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.) 11-2; Lincoln (Gahanna, Ohio) 11-0; McComb (McComb, Miss.) 13-0; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 5-1; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 11-1; Plano West (Plano, Texas) 17-2; Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) 20-1; Putnam City West (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 10-2; Regis Jesuit (Denver, Colo.) 10-0; Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.) 10-4; Sagemont (Weston, Fla.) 15-3; St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 13-2; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 6-1; St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.) 14-3; St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 12-3; St. Joseph (Westchester, Ill.) 14-3; Tift County (Tifton, Ga.) 15-1; Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) 11-3; Tulsa Union (Tulsa, Okla.) 8-1; Velma Jackson (Camden, Miss.) 13-2; Wando (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) 12-3; Weaver (Hartford, Conn.) 7-0; Wing’s Academy (Bronx, N.Y.) 11-1; Word of God (Raleigh, N.C.) 18-1.
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.