FAB 50: Special MLK Edition w/ Monday Results!
National Grassroots Editor
Ronnie has evaluated basketball talent for 20 years and has over 15 years of experience in publishing, editing and managing high school sports websites for companies such as Student Sports, ESPN and Ballislife. Ronnie compiles the FAB 50 National Team Rankings while serving as an account manager and consultant for grassroots event run by Ballislife and other companies, in addition to serving as a color commentator on high school broadcasts.
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Chino Hills (Calif.) retains its No. 1 ranking in the FAB 50 powered by Ballislife.com with its second dominant win over High Point Christian (High Point, N.C.) at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., over MLK weekend. No. 3 Oak Hill Academy successfully completed the “Springfield Double Dip” by capturing the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions title in Springfield, Mo., then winning a game Monday at the Hoophall. So why does Montverde Academy deserve to stay in front of the Warriors in the rankings?
By Ronnie Flores
Early this season, some national media and scouts scoffed at the playing style of Chino Hills (Calif.), the No. 1 ranked team in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. A gimmick, not translatable to the next level, and wouldn’t work against the best high school competition the country has to offer were the most prominent arguments made.
The Huskies started to make believers by winning the prestigious City of Palms Tournament in Ft. Myers, Fla. over the holidays, including a win over three-time defending FAB 50 champion Montverde Academy. Coach Steve Baik’s club also defeated High Point Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) in Ft. Myers and that club, led by McDonald’s All-American Bam Adebayo, got its second crack at “Run GMZ” on national television on MLK Monday at the Hoophall in Springfield, Mass.
Would High Point have a chance to pull off the upset having seen the unique uptempo style Chino Hills plays? Would Chino Hills make believers of a national audience, some who had never seen the Huskies in action?
The answers were “no” and a resounding “yes”, as High Point stayed with Chino Hills for a half before it was run out of the gym, as RUN GMZ rolled to a 100-75 victory. The unique ability of 6-foot-6 point guard Lonzo Ball was on full display, as he dominated the action with 15 points, 22 assists, 11 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. One of his “dimes” was a 90-foot falling-out-of-bounds full court pass to younger brother La’Melo Ball that was later named ESPN SportsCenter “Top Play of the Night”.
Lonzo Ball, a UCLA recruit, was No. 3 in the latest Mr. Basketball USA Tracker and there are now few if, any, who don’t feel Chino Hills’ catalyst is a serious national player of the year candidate.
Oak Hill Academy’s Successful MLK Weekend
Three teams did the “Springfield Double Dip” and the only school that won Monday at the Hoophall after playing in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo., was Oak Hill Academy of Mouth of Wilson, Va., the Bass Pro TOC champions. Coach Steve Smith’s club downed Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 49-48, on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Creighton commit Ty-Shon Alexander off an in-bounds pass with 3.2 seconds remaining. Alexander’s shot gave Oak Hill its only lead of the entire game at the buzzer.
Sierra Canyon led by five points with 3:25 remaining in the game, but could not sustain its lead. Alexander finished with 14 points and six rebounds while Braxton Key added 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Sierra Canyon had to turn around and play Montverde Academy on Monday and ran out of gas after leading 27-24 at halftime. Sophomore Simi Shittu had a big game for the Eagles in their 81-67 victory with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Ohio State commit Micah Potter added 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Although Oak Hill has an impressive MLK weekend, easily defeating bubble club Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 74-55 on Monday, Montverde Academy deserves to be ranked ahead of the Warrriors for now because of the comparative results with regards to Sierra Canyon. Sierra Canyon was the second team this year to play Montverde and Oak Hill in back-to-back games that came up short in both games.
The other team to play those national powers back-to-back was No. 5 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), which took on the third team doing the Saturday-Monday “Springfield Double Dip” — Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.). The Stags trailed late, but DeMatha coach Mike Jones did a masterful job of extending the game to force overtime and watched as his team came away with a 72-69 victory.
Duke-bound, Jayson Tatum, who was No. 2 in the latest Mr. Basketball USA Tracker ahead of Ball and behind Josh Jackson of Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.), finished with 40 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort.
Despite its two losses over the weekend, Sierra Canyon moved up one spot in this week’s FAB 50 to No. 16, while Chaminade retained last week’s ranking despite its fifth loss against one of the nation’s toughest schedules. On Tuesday, Sierra Canyon’s program also found out the CIF Southern Section ruled sophomore transfer Marvin Bagley ineligible to play for the Trailblazers this season. Bagley, last year’s National Freshman of the Year at Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.), is one of the most talented players in the country and his presence would have made Chino Hills’ run to a mythical national title even more intriguing had he suited up for Sierra Canyon this season.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(Fifth poll of the 2015-16 regular season; Through games played on Monday, January 18; Previous ranking in parentheses; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.)||17-0|
|2||2||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||18-1|
|3||3||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||26-1|
|4||4||Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)||18-0|
|5||5||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||16-2|
|6||6||Atascocita (Humble, Texas)||24-0|
|7||10||St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)||11-0|
|8||8||St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)||16-2|
|9||9||Garfield (Seattle, Wash.)||13-1|
|10||12||Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.)||16-0|
|11||14||Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.)||18-0|
|12||18||University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.)||10-0|
|13||13||St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.)||16-1|
|14||19||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||14-2|
|15||15||Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.)||19-3|
|16||17||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||14-3|
|17||22||Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)||15-1|
|18||20||Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wis.)||12-0|
|19||23||Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)||17-0|
|20||24||Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.)||12-2|
|21||21||Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.)||16-5|
|22||25||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||13-2|
|23||26||Hammond (Columbia, S.C.)||17-0|
|24||27||Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.)||15-1|
|25||11||Greenforest Christian Academy (Decatur, Ga.)||17-2|
|26||29||Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.)||13-1|
|27||32||Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.)||12-1|
|28||28||Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio)||12-2|
|29||37||DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas)||22-1|
|30||31||Lima Senior (Lima, Ohio)||12-0|
|31||47||La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)||17-3|
|32||7||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||8-3|
|33||33||Archbishop Carroll (Radnor, Pa.)||16-1|
|34||39||Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.)||17-2|
|35||35||Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)||22-3|
|36||36||High Point Christian (High Point, N.C.)||16-4|
|37||43||West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.)||13-1|
|38||38||Norland (Miami, Fla.)||17-3|
|39||40||Norcross (Norcross, Ga.)||16-2|
|40||44||Oldsmar Christian (Oldsmar, Fla.)||18-4|
|41||49||Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio)||12-0|
|42||42||West Linn (West Linn, Ore.)||10-3|
|43||NR||Dakota (Macomb, Mich.)||7-0|
|44||NR||Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.)||11-3|
|45||34||Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.)||10-4|
|46||NR||Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)||17-2|
|47||48||Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.)||14-5|
|48||50||Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.)||12-0|
|49||NR||Althoff Catholic (Belleville, Ill.)||14-2|
|50||NR||Victory Rock Prep (Sarasota, Fla.)||15-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 16 Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.), No. 30 North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.), No. 41 Simeon (Chicago, Ill.), No. 45 Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.), No. 46 Copper Hills (West Jordan, Utah).
Bubble Teams: Advanced Prep International (Dallas, Texas) 19-7; American Fork (American Fork, Utah) 12-2; Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) 11-2; Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 12-6; Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 10-3; Brandeis (San Antonio, Texas) 22-0; Burlington School (Burlington, N.C.) 22-0; Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.) 19-0; Clarkston (Clarkston, Mich.) 7-1; Copper Hills (West Jordan, Utah) 12-1; Crespi (Encino, Calif.) 18-1; Curie (Chicago, Ill.) 15-1**; De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 14-1; Eaglecrest (Centennial, Col.) 12-0; Father Tolton (Columbia, Mo.) 11-2; Fenwick (Oark Park, Ill.) 15-2; Folsom (Folsom, Calif.) 16-2; Fort Bend Elkins (Missouri City, Texas) 22-1; Gwynn Park (Brandywine, Md.) 12-0; H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) 20-0*; Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ga.) 16-3; Kenwood (Chicago, Ill.) 13-1; Kickapoo (Springfield, Mo.) 14-2; Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas) 21-2; Linden (Linden, N.J.) 11-1; Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 10-3; Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) 14-2; Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 17-3; McComb (McComb, Miss.) 16-0; Mercer County (Harrodsburg, Ky.) 19-0; Meridian (Meridian, Miss.) 20-2; Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) 18-2; Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.) 15-1; Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) 14-1; Mustang (Mustang, Okla.) 6-4; National Christian Academy (Ft. Washington, Md.) 14-1; Norman North (Norman, Okla.) 10-2; Omaha South (Omaha, Neb.) 13-0; Overland (Aurora, Colo.) 10-2; Park School of Buffalo (Snyder, N.Y.) 11-0; Peabody (Alexandria, La.) 20-1; Pike (Indianapolis, Ind.) 13-2; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 10-3; Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.) 15-4; Renaissance (Detroit, Mich.) 8-1; Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.) 14-3; Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.) 8-2; Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.) 20-2; Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.) 14-4; Shenendehowa (Clifton Park, N.Y.) 14-0; Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 14-3; Steele (Cibolo, Texas) 22-1; Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) 10-3; Westfield (Chantilly, Va.) 11-2; Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.) 18-5; Wilmington (Wilmington, Ohio) 12-0.
Note: The FAB 50 powered by Ballislife.com is a continuation of the National Sports News Service ratings that began in 1952. These were the first national high school rankings and the late Art Johlfs of Minnesota compiled them. They were compiled for many years by the late Barry Sollenberger of Phoenix, who merged them into the FAB 50 16 years ago.