FAB 50 No. 5 Chino Hills (Calif.) sees its consecutive game winning streak snapped at 60 games in a 96-91 loss to No. 12 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) at the Nike Extravaganza. Chino Hills winning streak is ended in dramatic fashion and ends up as the third longest in California state history. Read on for what Oak Hill’s big win means as relates to the national landscape.
Chino Hills (Calif.) versus Oak Hill Academy (Va.) was one of the best games we’ve ever recorded and analyzed during the Ballislife era! It had a bit of everything: intensity, drama, and the Three R’s: Records, Recruiting, and Rankings.
The “Records” was the 60-game winning streak Chino Hills rode entering the game, the third longest in California history according to Cal-Hi Sports. The state’s best mark of 66 games was set between 1967 and 1969 by Compton High School and the second best of 65 by Oakland McClymonds in the late 1950s. Although Oak Hill Academy ended the Huskies’ run, when you consider the competition level, national schedule and who Chino Hills beat along the way, it was as remarkable as any winning streak in state history. Chino Hills won a CIF Open Division state title, a CIFSS Open Division section crown, a mythical FAB 50 National Championship, and beat nationally-ranked teams along the way. Chino Hills won the prestigious City of Palms Tournament last season, twice won the Rancho Mirage Holiday Invitational (including in 2015 when the event included Kentucky’s Malik Monk), won the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas and beat a host of FAB 50-ranked teams on its run to section and state crowns last season.
The “Recruiting” included some of the nation’s best players. Oak Hill’s Billy Preston, a Southern California native and 2017 McDonald’s All-American selection, helped lead Oak Hill to victory with 16 points and 21 rebounds. The Kansas-bound Preston helped neutralize Chino Hills (25-1) on the glass, where it usually has a big advantage over its opponents. Oak Hill out rebounded Chino Hills in this game, 52-47. Oak Hill Academy (27-3) trailed 72-68 at the end of the third period and 80-72 with five minutes remaining, and that’s when Iowa St.-bound Lindell Wigginton took over down the stretch. He scored 14 points in the final five minutes and finished with a team-high 35 points, including 4-of-6 3-pointers. The Nova Scotia, Canada native is underrated nationally and probably should have got more consideration for the McDonald’s All-American Game. His scoring output was a season and Oak Hill career high after he had 29 points in Friday’s easy win over Jaylen Hands and Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.). LaMelo Ball, a 6-foot-2 and growing sophomore, scored a game-high 36 points for Chino Hills and even surprised some of Oak Hill’s talented guards with his ability to get in the key and not just make off-balanced jumpers. More than one McDonald’s All-American voter in attendance called him a Top 15 recruit in the national Class of 2019.
“The Rankings” included two of the top dozen teams in the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. Oak Hill Academy came in No. 12, and with its win, will likely move up ahead of No. 5 Chino Hills in next week’s rankings shuffle. No. 2 Sierra Canyon, which won its Nike Extravaganza game over Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), now has a key common opponent factor in its favor over Chino Hills. Earlier this season, Sierra Canyon snapped Oak Hill Academy’s 56-game winning streak 83-79, so if the one-loss Trailblazers win out the rest of the regular season, they should snag the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs. Oak Hill’s only loss of the season is a 80-77 setback to No. 1 Nathan Hale (Seattle, Wash.). In addition to Chino Hills going down after 60 consecutive wins, the nation’s longest winning streak also came to a end on Saturday night. FAB 5o No. 39 Federal Way (Federal Way, Wash.) saw its 63-game winning streak end in a 69-59 setback to Kentwood (Covington, Wash.) in the North Puget Sound League title game. The Eagles haven’t played close to the national competition Chino Hills has faced the past two season and could drop from next week’s rankings.
If Chino Hills played Oak Hill 100 times, the teams could conceivably split 50 games. The teams went back and forth in a game that was sloppy at times. Oak Hill was another team that wasn’t quite ready for Chino Hills’ unique style and quickly fell behind. The Warriors, however, had enough athletes and size to get back in the game. After trailing 11-2 and 14-4, Oak Hill only trailed 24-21 to close out the first quarter and it was a big phycological lift.
“We definitely were confident, but we didn’t play like I thought we would, Oak Hill Academy coach Steve Smith said. “Lindell said ‘Coach, I can score on these guys, they are soft’. They weren’t soft, but that’s just his mentally against anyone we play. When we got down early, I told the guys, there is going to be a billion more possessions in the game. Yes, I thought this was a big win, especially considering some of our struggles this season.”
Chino Hills has won many games in which it struggled shooting, but luck wasn’t on its side in this one. Gelo Ball scored 23 points, but made only 4-of-22 3-pointers. Still, Chino Hills had a chance to force the game into overtime when it forced a turnover with 9.9 seconds remaining. Gelo Ball, a senior headed for UCLA, was off target on a three after a good contest by Preston. The other two returning starters from last year’s FAB 50 championship team, LMU-bound Eli Scott and sophomore Onyeka Okongwu, were efficient. “The Big O” finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Scott had some big-time put backs, finishing with 16 rebounds and 12 points. Scott, however, struggled from the line, making only 4-of-10, while Chino Hills made 14-of-25 as a team. Oak Hill made 14-of-20.
With the loss, Chino Hills’ chances of a repeat No. 1 national FAB 50 finish are greatly diminished. If Oak Hill had been No. 1 and still unbeaten, it could potentially bounce back in the post-season to have a shot at No. 1. For now, however, that looks like a tall task because of some of the other clubs ranked in front of the Huskies and some of the unbeaten teams that could win state championships without a loss on its 2016-17 record.
ALL-TIME STATE RECORD LIST
MOST CONSECUTIVE WINS
Source: Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book
66 — Compton, 1967-1969
65 — Oakland McClymonds, 1957-60*
60 — Chino Hills, 2015-2017
59 — Santa Ana Mater Dei, 1984-86
57 — San Anselmo Drake, 1980-82
53 — Compton, 1951-53
53 — Stockton Stagg, 1971-73
49 — La Mesa Helix, 1968-70
49 — Cloverdale, 1982-84
48 — Oxnard Santa Clara, 1988-90
46 — Bakersfield East, 1966-68
46 — Easton Washington Union, 1984-86
46 — Santa Ana Mater Dei, 2013-2015
*Three abbreviated post-season games (one half in length) at the 1957 Acker Tournament in Redding are not officially counted as wins. If those three were counted, Mack’s streak would be 68.
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