Four new teams crack this week’s GrassrootsHoops.net FAB 50, including fast-rising Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.), which has advanced to the semifinals of the loaded CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs, where they face No. 7 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) on Tuesday evening. State titles have been captured in North Carolina and Florida with some of those winners and other top-ranked independents eyeing an invitation to Dick’s Nationals in New York at the end of the season.
By Ronnie Flores
Contributing: Mark Tennis
Last week we got out the Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 as quickly as possible because of the Philadelphia Catholic League title game taking place Monday night at the famed Palestra. Roman Catholic defeated previous No. 23 Neumann-Goretti 64-59 behind a 23-point performance by Nazeer Bostick. Later in the week, Roman downed Philly’s Martin Luther King 58-57 behind 15 points from Tony Carr to win the Class AAAA District 12 title.
As a result, the Cahillite move up nine spots in this week’s FAB 50, one spot ahead of newly-crowned Florida Class 5A state champ Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Gibbons defeated Rickards (Tallahassee, Fla.) 74-58 behind the 26-point performance of highly-regarded junior guard Maverick Rowan. The Chiefs also move up nine spots to No. 18 with their only loss of the season a 69-63 setback to unbeaten Class 7A champ Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.), which cracks the top 10 of the FAB 50 for the first time.
Ely’s 72-60 win over Osceola (Kissimmee, Fla.) gave coach Melvin Randall his sixth state title.
It’s always important for teams to keep the positive momentum going after a big week — or to put a big loss behind them and rebound — in order to remain in the FAB 50. That’s what Neumann-Goretti accomplished after Roman Catholic ended its run of six consecutive Philly Catholic League championships. Goretti bounced back with a 77-74 victory over Philly’s Imhotep Charter to capture the District 12-AAA championship behind a clutch performance by Quade Green. He scored 25 points and hit the game-winning 3-pointer to hand head coach Carl Arrigale his 400th career victory. Goretti’s only two losses so far this season are to Roman Catholic and as a result, the Saints drop only one spot in the rankings this week.
Another team that dropped in the FAB 50 this week that suffered two losses to the same team is previous No. 7 Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.), which fell to Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) for the second time last week. WCA actually defeated Greensboro Day by two points in one of three meetings this season, but the Bengals won the rubber match 44-34 in the one that really mattered — for the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 3A state title.
Greensboro Day moves up ten spots as it defeated both teams it lost to this season (the other being Davidson Day), while WCA drops only six spots because of the quality wins on its overall schedule. Greensboro Day’s NCISAA title should secure it a spot in the talented field at Dick’s Nationals, the end of season tournament held in New York City taking place this year April 2-4.
FHSAA state champions have been allowed to compete at Dick’s Nationals since 2010 and that bodes well for Ely. It remains to be seen if tournament organizers will invite two FHSAA champions since it has traditionally taken the same amount of boys and girls FHSAA teams and this year’s field will likely include VISAA Division I state champion and No. 3 Cape Henry Collegiate (Virginia Beach, Va.), plus the usual strong contingent of independent programs.
On Tap Early This Week
One-loss and No. 15 Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) takes on bubble club Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.) for the Arizona Division I title on Monday night.
This week’s highest-ranked newcomer is No. 36 Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.), which knocked off previous No. 15 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 65-60 in the CIF Southern Section Open Division quarterfinals last Wednesday. This Tuesday night, the Eagles take on No. 7 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) in the semifinals. Etiwanda and Mater Dei have had some memorable playoff battles in recent seasons and Tuesday’s winner will take on No. 9 Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) in Saturday’s CIFSS Open Division title game at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Updated Grassroots Hoops FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings
(Eleventh poll of the 2014-15 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 1; Previous ranking in listed in second column under “Prev.”; *Indicates season complete; **Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; ***Indicates season complete & forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included)
|1||1||Montverde Academy||(Montverde, Fla.)||28-1|
|2||2||Oak Hill Academy||(Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||42-1**|
|3||3||Cape Henry Collegiate||(Virginia Beach, Va.)||31-2|
|4||4||St. Vincent-St. Mary||(Akron, Ohio)||22-0|
|5||5||Bishop O'Dowd||(Oakland, Calif.)||22-4|
|7||8||Mater Dei||(Santa Ana, Calif.)||25-3|
|9||10||Bishop Montgomery||(Torrance, Calif.)||29-1|
|10||14||Ely||(Pompano Beach, Fla.)||28-0|
|12||22||Greensboro Day||(Greensboro, N.C.)||33-2|
|13||7||Wesleyan Christian Academy||(High Point, N.C.)||28-5|
|15||16||Corona del Sol||(Tempe, Ariz.)||32-1|
|16||18||Chaminade||(St. Louis, Mo.)||21-3|
|17||26||Roman Catholic||(Philadelphia, Pa.)||24-2|
|18||27||Cardinal Gibbons||(Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)||32-1|
|20||24||Findlay Prep||(Henderson, Nev.)||28-2|
|21||21||La Lumiere||(LaPorte, Ind.)||23-2|
|22||20||St. Anthony||(Jersey City, N.J.)||25-1|
|23||29||Fairfax||(Los Angeles, Calif.)||29-2|
|26||37||Parkview||(Little Rock, Ark.)||22-1|
|27||38||Plano West||(Plano, Texas)||28-2|
|28||30||East Kentwood||(Kentwood, Mich.)||20-0|
|29||34||Champlin Park||(Champlin, Minn.)||27-0|
|30||31||Archbishop Carroll||(Wayne, Pa.)||19-6|
|34||35||St. Rita||(Chicago, Ill.)||23-3|
|35||36||Bishop Gorman||(Las Vegas, Nev.)||27-6*|
|37||15||Sierra Canyon||(Chatsworth, Calif.)||22-4|
|38||17||DeMatha Catholic||(Hyattsville, Md.)||27-4|
|39||40||Rainier Beach||(Seattle, Wash.)||23-3|
|40||41||Thomas Jefferson||(Brooklyn, N.Y.)||26-3|
|42||42||Iowa City West||(Iowa City, Iowa)||22-0|
|43||47||Wing's Academy||(Bronx, N.Y.)||26-2|
|44||11||Roselle Catholic||(Roselle, N.J.)||20-4|
|46||46||Putnam City West||(Oklahoma City, Okla.)||20-2|
|47||48||Sacred Heart||(Waterbury, Conn.)||21-0|
|49||50||Velma Jackson||(Camden, Miss.)||30-2|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 25 Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland, Ohio), No. 43 Centennial (Corona, Calif.), No. 44 Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.), No. 49 East (Wichita, Kan.).
Bubble Teams: Ballard (Louisville, Ky.) 28-2; Bel Air (El Paso, Texas) 32-0; Bellevue (Bellevue, Wash.) 23-3; Bogan (Chicago, Ill.) 22-6; Boys & Girls (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 19-8; Calvert Hall (Baltimore, Md.) 29-5; Cathedral (Los Angeles, Calif.) 20-7; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 22-5; Central (Beaumont, Texas) 30-3; Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 22-4; Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.) 26-4; De Soto (De Soto, Texas) 29-4; East (Wichita, Kan.) 21-1; Franklin (Franklin, Ohio) 22-1; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 24-2; Germantown (Germantown, Wis.) 22-0; Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 21-10; Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas) 29-4; Lake Forest (Lake Forest, Ill.) 25-2; Lawrence (Lawrence, Kan.) 19-1; Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 25-4*; Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 23-3; Norfolk (Norfolk, Neb.) 24-0; Oldsmar Christian (Oldsmar, Fla.) 32-6***; Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) 24-5; Ozen (Beaumont, Texas) 29-3; Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.) 25-3; Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) 33-1*; Reitz (Evansville, Ind.) 23-1; Sagemont (Weston, Fla.) 29-4*; Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) 23-1; Southview (Sylvania, Ohio) 22-0; St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 25-5; St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.) 27-3; Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio) 19-4; Western International (Detroit, Mich.) 17-0; Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) 25-3.
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.