There are 10 new teams in this special MLK edition of the GrassrootsHoops.net FAB 50, which includes results through Monday’s games. Montverde Academy of Florida is still No. 1 with two teams hot on the Eagles’ tail for the top spot. Linden (N.J.) leads the newcomers at No. 22 after two big wins last week with Iowa City West of Iowa cracking the FAB 50 in the final spot in the new rankings.
By Ronnie Flores
Contributing: Mark Tennis
RELATED: How Teams Get Ranked In The FAB 50
Each year, the three-day MLK weekend is arguably high school hoops’ biggest of the regular season. With prime time matchups all over the country pitting some of the nation’s best teams against one another, there is always movement in the national rankings that follow it.
As is tradition, we don’t try to rush out the Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 national rankings early MLK Monday morning only to have them rendered useless by mid afternoon. There are just too many good showcase games around country, especially at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
This year’s Spalding Hoophall Classic featured 16 FAB 50 ranked teams overall — including the top four and five of the top seven in last week’s national rankings. When the dust settled, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) remained in the top spot following its 76-57 shellacking of previous No. 42 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.). In the preseason, this game figured to have mythical national title implications, but Gorman has struggled with taking care of the ball and against the Eagles it was no different. The Gaels also had no answer for Mr. Basketball USA front-runner Ben Simmons, who finished with 36 points and nine rebounds in the victory.
Earlier in the week, Montverde Academy participated in the Wally Keller Classic in Charlotte, N.C., where it downed previous No. 16 Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.).
Tough MLK Road Trips
For top teams such as Montverde Academy, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) an appearance at two national events on MLK weekend is not abnormal and it often proves very difficult for ranked teams to win at two events.
Before taking on No. 12 Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland, Ohio) on Monday afternoon in Springfield, Oak Hill Academy captured the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo. on Saturday night with a 82-59 victory over then No. 9 Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.). McDonald’s All-American candidate Dwayne Bacon was named tourney MVP after netting 33 points against Wesleyan.
Not surprisingly, Oak Hill Academy came out a bit sluggish against VA-SJ at the Hoophall Classic. The Warriors trailed by double digits early and gutted out a 76-72 victory behind Bacon, bound for Florida State. He nailed a big 3-pointer to end the third quarter and another on the first possession of the final period to spark Oak Hill. He finished with 33 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
As a result, Oak Hill was able to move up three spots to No. 3 in this week’s FAB 50 and MLK results turned out well for Hamilton (Memphis), which handed Oak Hill its only loss of the season so far at the Penny Hardaway Hoopfest the weekend prior. After dominating three local foes and remaining unbeaten, Todd Day’s Hamilton club is up to No. 2 this week behind Montverde Academy, which took over the top spot following Oak Hill’s loss.
As for Findlay Prep, MLK weekend figured to give the Pilots its toughest test of the regular season. Findlay Prep remained No. 2 in last week’s rankings with some consideration given to them for the No. 1 spot following Oak Hill’s loss to Hamilton. We explained we wanted to see how the Pilots did against Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.) at the Hoophall Classic on Saturday and then in their tough MLK Monday matchup with Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio) at the Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational in Dayton, Ohio.
Findlay Prep had no problem with Stevenson, downing that club 84-58 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. Against Wayne, it was a different story. It’s tradtionally tough for visiting teams to go into Ohio and win and making the matchup even more interesting was Wayne wasn’t nowhere to be found in other national polls — despite losing only to Montverde Academy and Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) at the City of Palms Tournament in December.
The result of the game wasn’t as surprising as some made it out to be, but in the end Findlay Prep couldn’t get over the hump and fell to Wayne in overtime, 76-68. Findlay Prep entered the game No. 2, but we previously mentioned if it didn’t get these two particular victories the Pilots would be penalized more harshly than Montverde Academy and Oak Hill was after losing one game.
After analyzing all the results of games through Monday, Wayne moves up two spots to No. 9 with Findlay Prep checking in at No. 10. Findlay Prep will try to right the ship this weekend versus crosstown No. 44 Bishop Gorman in the featured game of the Pangos Dream Classic. It’s a game Findlay Prep definitely doesn’t want to drop considering the results of the Gaels’ other games against FAB 50 ranked foes.
Rewarding Unbeaten Clubs
Rankings after MLK Monday are always tricky because we have to gather all the results before teams resume play on Tuesday afternoon. Once in a while, a big result will occur before we can publish the FAB 50 — and that was the case Tuesday night.
Unbeaten Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) upped its record to 25-0 with a 56-48 victory over battle-tested Wesleyan Christian Academy, which had moved up to No. 5 following its finals appearance in the Bass Pro Shops TOC. Greensboro Day went into this game at No. 12 in the FAB 50, as this week’s rankings do not reflect that result, nor where they influenced by it. Greensboro Day would have been at No. 12 this week regardless.
This is the time of the regular season when we begin to reward teams which may not have played in top national tournaments or showcases but remain unbeaten. In addition to Greensboro Day, No. 13 St. Vincent-St. Mary’s (Akron, Ohio), No. 20 Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), No. 27 Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.) and No. 33 Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) saw nice bumps up in this week’s rankings.
Of the 10 newcomers this week, five have zero blemishes on their 2014-15 overall won-loss record.
Updated Grassroots Hoops FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings
(Fifth poll of the 2014-15 regular season; Through games played on Monday, January 19; Previous ranking in listed in second column under “Prev.”; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included)
|1||1||Montverde Academy||(Montverde, Fla.)||22-1|
|3||6||Oak Hill Academy||(Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||27-1|
|4||8||Cape Henry Collegiate||(Virginia Beach, Va.)||15-1|
|5||9||Wesleyan Christian Academy||(High Point, N.C.)||21-3|
|6||7||Bishop O'Dowd||(Oakland, Calif.)||10-3|
|8||10||Sierra Canyon||(Chatsworth, Calif.)||12-1|
|9||11||Wayne||(Huber Heights, Ohio)||11-2|
|10||2||Findlay Prep||(Henderson, Nev.)||17-1|
|11||13||DeMatha Catholic||(Hyattsville, Md.)||15-1|
|12||15||Greensboro Day||(Greensboro, N.C.)||24-0|
|13||18||St. Vincent-St. Mary||(Akron, Ohio)||12-0|
|14||12||Villa Angela-St. Joseph||(Cleveland, Ohio)||10-1|
|15||20||Mater Dei||(Santa Ana, Calif.)||15-3|
|17||22||St. Rita||(Chicago, Ill.)||13-2|
|18||24||Corona del Sol||(Tempe, Ariz.)||17-1|
|20||25||Cardinal Gibbons||(Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)||22-0|
|21||26||Bishop Montgomery||(Torrance, Calif.)||19-1|
|23||23||Roman Catholic||(Philadelphia, Pa.)||14-1|
|24||3||Roselle Catholic||(Roselle, N.J.)||10-2|
|25||37||Archbishop Carroll||(Wayne, Pa.)||11-4|
|26||29||La Lumiere||(La Porte, Ind.)||14-2|
|27||33||Fairfax||(Los Angeles, Calif.)||18-0|
|28||34||Chaminade||(St. Louis, Mo.)||12-3|
|30||36||St. Anthony||(Jersey City, N.J.)||10-1|
|32||35||Dominican||(Whitefish Bay, Wis.)||9-1|
|35||39||Oldsmar Christian||(Oldsmar, Fla.)||21-2|
|37||NR||Ely||(Pompano Beach, Fla.)||17-0|
|38||31||Long Island Lutheran||(Brookville, N.Y.)||12-2|
|39||45||Thomas Jefferson||(Brooklyn, N.Y.)||19-2|
|40||40||Redondo Union||(Redondo Beach, Calif.)||14-4|
|41||NR||John Carroll||(Bel Air, Md.)||21-1|
|42||NR||East Kentwood||(Kentwood, Mich.)||9-0|
|43||NR||Champlin Park||(Champlin, Minn.)||16-0|
|44||42||Bishop Gorman||(Las Vegas, Nev.)||14-5|
|46||49||Parkview||(Little Rock, Ark.)||12-1|
|47||NR||Plano West||(Plano, Texas)||19-2|
|48||NR||Wing's Academy||(Bronx, N.Y.)||14-1|
|49||NR||Regis Jesuit||(Denver, Colo.)||13-0|
|50||NR||West||(Iowa City, Iowa)||11-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 16 Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.); No. 19 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.); No. 27 Southport (Indianapolis, Ind.); No. 30 Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.); No. 38 Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.); No. 41 Poly (Long Beach, Calif.); No. 44 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.); No. 47 Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.); No. 48 Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.); No. 50 Lake Forest (Lake Forest, Ill.).
Bubble Teams: Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.) 15-1; Ballard (Louisville, Ky.) 17-2; Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.) 15-1; Cathedral (Los Angeles, Calif.) 14-3; Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill, Texas) 19-1; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 12-4; Central (Beaumont, Texas) 20-2; Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 11-3; De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 14-1; East (Wichita, Kan.) 11-0; Franklin (Franklin, Ohio) 13-1; Germantown (Germantown, Wis.) 12-0; Laney (Augusta, Ga.) 18-1; La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.) 14-2; Lincoln (Gahanna, Ohio) 13-0; Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 13-3; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 7-1; Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) 10-3; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 14-4; Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) 22-1; Putnam City West (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 12-2; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 11-3; Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.) 11-4; Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.) 8-0; Sagemont (Weston, Fla.) 19-3; Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) 11-1; Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) 12-1; St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 16-2; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 10-1; St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.) 16-3; St. Joseph (Westchester, Ill.) 15-3; Tift County (Tifton, Ga.) 18-1; Velma Jackson (Camden, Miss.) 17-2; Webster Groves (Webster Groves, Mo.) 12-2.
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.