Two newly-crowned state champions crack the second-to-last GrassrootsHoops.net FAB 50 of the 2014-15 season: Homestead (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.). All state playoffs around the country are now complete with Dick’s Nationals in New York April 2-4 the only games left to be played.
By Ronnie Flores
Contributing: Mark Tennis
All the state championships around the country have been decided and some absolute thrillers closed out the 2014-2015 season in California and Indiana. All that’s left is Dick’s Nationals April 2-4 in New York City.
In California, Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) ended the four-year title reign of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) with a 65-64 overtime win in the CIF Open Division title game. Not only did O’Dowd end Mater Dei’s historic championship run, the Dragons also laid to rest its own eight-game losing streak in CIF state championship games. O’Dowd is now 2-8 in CIF state title games, having won its first in 1981 before all 10 of California’s sections participated in the event.
Bishop O’Dowd clinched the game on a free throw by McDonald’s All-American and Mr. Basketball USA candidate Ivan Rabb with 0.8 seconds remaining. He was fouled after taking a dish from guard Paris Austin. After short-arming the first free throw attempt, Rabb rattled home the second to clinch the game and send the pro-O’Dowd crowd at Cal’s Haas Pavilion into a frenzy.
Rabb finished with 19 points, 21 rebounds and two blocked shots while Austin had 21 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and only two turnovers. Although O’Dowd’s season is done, its position in next week’s final Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 national rankings is far from finalized. O’Dowd owns a victory over No. 5 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) and three of its four losses are two No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) and No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.). All three of those clubs are competing at Dick’s Nationals.
In Indiana, it was another McDonald’s All-American that helped his club clinch a state title with an overtime victory. Caleb Swanigan’s team at Homestead (Fort Wayne, Ind.) overcame an eight-point point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation to pull out a stunning 91-90 overtime win over Reitz (Evansville, Ind.) in a Class 4A final at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Swanigan drained two free throws to cut Homestead’s deficit to 73-69 with 1:09 left, then two critical turnovers by Reitz allowed Homestead to tie the game up. Reitz worked for the final shot, but a 3-point attempt was off. Reitz scored first in OT, but Homestead took control with a 9-0 run before time ran out on Reitz’s rally. Swanigan finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds while junior Tahj Curry had 23 points, six assists and the two big steals that ignited Homestead’s rally.
Homsestead is the highest ranked newcomer in the FAB 50 at No. 47, while Reitz holds on to the final spot in the national rankings.
Another team to capture a state title whose final rating will be influenced by the results at Dick’s Nationals is Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio). The Warriors began the season as Ohio’s top-ranked team, played a national schedule and defeated No. 13 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) before dropping a couple of contests locally. Wayne re-grouped to capture the tough Ohio Division I championship with a 65-57 victory over Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio) and move up 11 spots in this week’s FAB 50. Senior guard D’Mitrik Trice led four Wayne players in double figures with 19 points.
In addition to No. 5 Wheeler, No. 7 Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.) and No. 8 Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.), Wing’s Academy (Bronx, N.Y.) enters Dick’s Nationals as a state champion. The New York PSAL champs were invited regardless of how it fared at the New York Federation state tournament over the weekend, but after winning two games this past weekend Wings proved it is one of the nation’s best teams and deserving of an invite.
After downing bubble club and NYSPHSAA champ Shenendehowa (Clifton Park, N.Y.) 44-35 in the semifinals, Wing’s rallied from a 10-point deficit with five minutes remaining to defeat CHSAA champion Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) in the Federation Class AA title game. Wing’s 79-73 victory ended CTK’s two-year run as Federation champions.
Georgetown-bound forward Jessie Govan led Wing’s with 24 points. The newly-crowned Federation Class AA champs, which trailed 62-51 to begin the fourth quarter, will open Dick’s Nationals on Thursday with top seed and FAB 50 No. 2 Oak Hill Academy.
Updated Grassroots Hoops FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings
(15th poll of the 2014-15 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 29; 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.)||44-1**|
|3||3||Cape Henry Collegiate||(Virginia Beach, Va.)||31-2*|
|4||4||Bishop O'Dowd||(Oakland, Calif.)||28-4*|
|7||7||Ely||(Pompano Beach, Fla.)||28-0|
|8||8||Greensboro Day||(Greensboro, N.C.)||33-2|
|9||9||Wesleyan Christian Academy||(High Point, N.C.)||28-5*|
|10||10||Roman Catholic||(Philadelphia, Pa.)||29-2*|
|13||13||Findlay Prep||(Henderson, Nev.)||28-2|
|14||14||Corona del Sol||(Tempe, Ariz.)||32-1*|
|15||15||Cardinal Gibbons||(Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)||32-1*|
|16||16||Mater Dei||(Santa Ana, Calif.)||29-5*|
|19||20||Plano West||(Plano, Texas)||33-2*|
|20||23||Wing's Academy||(Bronx, N.Y.)||30-2|
|21||21||Bishop Montgomery||(Torrance, Calif.)||31-2*|
|23||24||DeMatha Catholic||(Hyattsville, Md.)||33-4*|
|24||25||Roselle Catholic||(Roselle, N.J.)||28-4*|
|25||29||Western International||(Detroit, Mich.)||26-0*|
|26||32||Sacred Heart||(Waterbury, Conn.)||28-0*|
|27||27||Fairfax||(Los Angeles, Calif.)||32-3*|
|29||30||Sierra Canyon||(Chatsworth, Calif.)||26-4*|
|30||31||Archbishop Carroll||(Wayne, Pa.)||23-7*|
|32||35||St. Anthony||(Jersey City, N.J.)||28-2*|
|33||44||Wayne||(Huber Heights, Ohio)||26-4*|
|34||19||La Lumiere||(LaPorte, Ind.)||24-3*|
|35||36||Velma Jackson||(Camden, Miss.)||33-2*|
|36||33||Christ the King||(Middle Village, N.Y.)||26-5*|
|39||39||Bishop Gorman||(Las Vegas, Nev.)||27-6*|
|40||40||Apple Valley||(Apple Valley, Minn.)||30-2*|
|41||41||Champlin Park||(Champlin, Minn.)||31-1*|
|44||48||Blue Springs South||(Blue Springs, Mo.)||29-2*|
|47||NR||Homestead||(Fort Wayne, Ind.)||28-2*|
|48||NR||Creighton Prep||(Omaha, Neb.)||27-2*|
|49||46||Normal Community||(Normal, Ill.)||33-2*|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 26 Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.), No. 45 Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.).
Bubble Teams: Andress (El Paso, Texas) 33-2; Atascocita (Humble, Texas) 35-2; Cathedral (Los Angeles, Calif.) 22-8; Central (Beaumont, Texas) 30-4; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 26-4; Clear Lake (Houston Texas) 35-3; Colonial Forge (Stafford, Va.) 26-2; Damien (La Verne, Calif.) 29-5; East Kentwood (Kentwood, Mich.) 21-1; Franklin (Franklin, Ohio) 26-2; Garner Magnet (Garner, N.C.) 28-1; Germantown (Germantown, Wis.) 27-1; Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa) 25-1; Lake Forest (Lake Forest, Ill.) 28-3; Lorain (Lorain, Ohio) 25-1; Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) 24-6; Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 24-4; North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 25-5; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 23-2; North Scott (Eldridge, Iowa) 24-3; Oldsmar Christian (Oldsmar, Fla.) 32-6***; Overland (Aurora, Colo.) 23-5; Owensboro (Owensboro, Ky.) 31-4; Ozen (Beaumont, Texas) 33-4; Parkview (Little Rock, Ark.) 22-2; Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas) 32-5; Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.) 29-4; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 25-4; Sagemont (Weston, Fla.) 29-4; Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) 25-2; Shenendehowa (Clifton Park, N.Y.) 25-1; Southport (Indianapolis, Ind.) 23-3; Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wis.) 27-1; St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 31-6; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 21-6; St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.) 29-3; St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 27-9; St. Joseph (Westchester, Ill.) 30-6; St. Rita (Chicago, Ill.) 26-4; St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 26-1; Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 26-4; Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio) 27-2; Westfield (Chantilly, Va.) 27-2; West Linn (West Linn, Ore.) 24-5; Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) 29-3.
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.