NEW FAB 50: 1st State Champs Crowned!
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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The post-season is heating up and we have our first FAB 50 state champion in No. 49 Concord First Assembly (Concord, N.C.). The recent big result was the 78-64 win by undefeated Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.) over previous No. 11 Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.). For the second straight week, there are three newcomers led by red-hot Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) at No. 31
By Ronnie Flores
The early rounds of the playoffs usually are calm for the nation’s top rated teams in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. In the next two weeks is when the competition stiffens and some ranked teams will go down. When a team loses perhaps a bit sooner than expected, it doesn’t automatically mean it won’t finish the season nationally ranked. On the flip side, a team near the bottom of the FAB 50 hopes the team(s) it loses to also finish strong in order to secure a final ranking on April 6.
We already have our first ranked state champion crowned, as Concord First Assembly (Concord, N.C.) captured the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) Class 3A title with a 68-48 victory over Village Christian Academy (Fayetteville, N.C.) and a dominant run through the post-season. The NCISAA Class 3A is traditionally a strong playoff bracket to navigate through, but there is no guarantee the Eagles will remain in the final rankings. There are simply too many results upcoming that could change the rankings. It will help the Eagles considerably, however, if No. 25 Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.) were to go on and capture the Alabama Class 7A state crown. If the Spartans don’t, the 80-57 margin in that loss may be too great for Concord First Assembly to hold on to one of the coveted 50 spots in the rankings.
One team that controls its own destiny is No. 11 Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.), which hasn’t been on the national radar, besides in the FAB 50, until recent weeks. Also known as the Eagles, Eden Prairie moved into the FAB 50 at No. 48 on our December 16 update and has been climbing steadily ever since. Last week the Class 4A front-runners met the Class 3A king, Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.), in a game pitting the two best and highest-ranked teams in the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL).
Because of some key out-of-state wins and the presence of Mr. Basketball USA candidates Jalen Suggs and Chet Holmgren, some were anointing Minnehaha Academy perhaps the state’s best team ever. It was Eden Prairie, however, that was unbeaten with a veteran unit that didn’t get rattled after trailing on the road at halftime by six points (31-25). Eden Prairie keep focus and got hot from the outside to pull out a big 78-64 victory to move to 24-0 on the year. John Henry got hot at the right time, hitting three consecutive 3-pointers during a key Eden Prairie spurt and finishing with seven for the game. Henry, headed to The University of Sioux Falls, led four Eden Prairie double-digit scorers with 29 points. Liberty-bound Drake Dobbs added 19 points for the Eagles, while Suggs led Minnehaha Academy with 23 points.
Minnehaha Academy came into the game ranked No. 11 in the FAB 50, and the club with four experienced senior starters move up five spots to occupy that same spot in this week’s rankings. The highest ever FAB 50 finish for a MSHSL program is No. 15 by the 2010-11 Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) led by state Mr. Basketball Joe Coleman that finished 32-1 and won a third consecutive Class 4A state crown. With an undefeated finish, Eden Prairie likely will finish ranked higher than Hopkins did.
Minnehaha Academy can’t fall too far in the FAB 50, mainly because it owns a 78-58 victory over California No. 1 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) before 17,378 fans at the Target Center. Sierra Canyon stays put at No. 17, which Minnehaha Academy dropping five spots to No. 16 where Eden Prairie was last week.
Sierra Canyon will take on Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) for the coveted California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Open Championship this Friday at the Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. Mater Dei, the 11-time major division CIF state champion, is this week’s highest ranked newcomer at No. 31. Sierra Canyon and the Monarchs both went 3-0 in CIFSS open pool play, which Mater Dei winning three road games to win its respective pool outright. A Sierra Canyon loss would mean a big tumble in next week’s rankings, as Mater Dei currently cannot be ranked ahead of Chicago No. 1 Curie because of a regular season loss to Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.), which currently rates no better than No. 9 in the greater Windy City metro region. Mater Dei will have done enough to overcome that loss with a Friday victory.
One team that already opened this week up with a big win is current No. 6 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), which won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) crown on Monday evening with a 70-56 win over No. 13 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.). It was the 41st WCAC title in the program’s storied history and the Stags have now win 30 or more games in a season for the 19th time. For veteran coach Mike Jones, it was his 500th career win.
DeMatha’s and Paul VI’s season is not over and that WCAC title game result will be reflected in next week’s rankings, where there should be more movement as the playoff competition heats up.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(Tenth poll of 2019-20 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, February 23; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***indicates season complete)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||25-0|
|2||2||Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)||27-2|
|3||4||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||21-3|
|4||5||Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)||28-1|
|5||6||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||19-6|
|6||8||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||29-3|
|7||3||Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.)||25-3|
|8||9||La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)||22-3|
|9||7||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)||35-4|
|10||10||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||36-3|
|11||16||Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.)||25-0|
|12||12||Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.)||27-1|
|13||13||Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)||24-7|
|14||14||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||22-3|
|15||15||Poly (Baltimore, Md.)||20-2|
|16||11||Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)||20-3|
|17||17||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||27-4|
|18||18||West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.)||25-6|
|19||19||Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.)||22-0|
|20||20||Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio)||22-1|
|21||21||Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)||26-3*|
|22||24||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||17-6|
|23||23||Richardson (Richardson, Texas)||31-3|
|24||25||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||23-1|
|25||30||Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.)||31-2|
|26||28||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||22-10|
|27||33||North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)||26-1|
|28||29||Westlake (Austin, Texas)||32-1|
|29||31||St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)||24-8|
|30||38||Curie (Chicago, Ill.)||25-2|
|31||NR||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||25-6|
|32||32||Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.)||24-1|
|33||34||Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas)||30-2*|
|34||35||St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Alexandria, Va.)||24-3|
|35||27||Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.)||28-3|
|36||36||Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)||27-3|
|37||37||Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.)||31-3|
|38||40||St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.)||20-4|
|39||42||Beecher (Flint, Mich.)||18-1|
|40||41||Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)||21-1|
|41||43||Male (Louisville, Ky.)||26-4|
|42||45||St. Mary’s Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)||16-1|
|43||44||Rangeview (Aurora, Col.)||23-0|
|44||47||Jackson South Side (Jackson, Tenn.)||27-0|
|45||NR||St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio)||20-1|
|46||46||Lawrence Central (Indianpolis, Ind.)||21-2|
|47||48||Del City (Del City, Okla.)||21-1|
|48||49||Rocky Mountain (Meridian, Idaho)||22-1|
|49||50||Concord First Assembly (Concord, N.C.)||35-3***|
|50||NR||St. Augustine (New Orleans, La.)||29-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 22 Shiloh (Snellville, Ga.), No. 26 Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.), No. 39 Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.).
Bubble Teams: Allen (Allen, Texas) 29-4; Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) 19-5; Bartow (Bartow, Fla.) 26-1; Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 31-2; Benton Harbor (Benton Harbor, Mich.) 16-2; Bloom (Chicago Heights, Ill.) 25-5; Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, Okla.) 17-5; Brentwood (Brentwood, N.Y.) 21-1; Brookfield Central (Brookfield, Wis.) 20-1; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 27-4; Clarkston (Clarkston, Mich.) 16-1; Cleveland (Cleveland, Tenn.) 29-0; Davidson Day (Davidson, N.C.) 30-1***; Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 21-1; Dickinson (Dickinson, Texas) 27-5; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 22-3; Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.) 18-2; Elizabeth (Elizabeth, N.J.) 19-3; Farmville Central (Farmville, N.C.) 24-2; Fort Bend Hightower (Missouri City, Texas) 28-5; Garfield (Seattle) 21-4; Grand Rapids Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 16-1; Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.) 18-3; Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 24-6; Hellgate (Missoula, Montana) 16-0; Houston (Germantown, Tenn.) 25-3; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 20-2; John Paul II (Plano, Texas) 38-1; Lee (Montgomery, Ala.) 31-1; Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.) 15-2; Manasquan (Manasquan, N.J.) 25-1; McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 21-6; Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) 26-6; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 20-4; North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 20-4; O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.) 20-5; Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.) 25-2; Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) 22-7; River Rouge (River Rouge, Mich.) 17-1; Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 17-6; Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.) 22-1; Santa Fe Catholic (Lakeland, Fla.) 26-2; Shadow Creek (Pearland, Texas) 25-3; Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) 25-5; Silver Creek (Sellersburg, Ind.) 21-2; Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 22-8; Southmoore (Moore, Okla.) 19-3; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 27-2; St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) 27-4; Thornton (Harvey, Ill.) 27-1; Union (Vancouver, Wash.) 24-0; Westover (Fayetteville, N.C.) 25-0; Whitehaven (Memphis, Tenn.) 22-3; Wyoming (Wyoming, Mich.) 16-1; Yates (Houston, Texas) 21-4.
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 20 years ago. Starting with a weekly format for the 1987-88 season, the FAB 50 is the longest-running weekly national rankings.