NEW FAB 50: Teams Jockey For Position!
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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Teams are wrapping up their seasons and some, such as newcomers Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) and Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.), are getting hot and healthy at the right time. There’s plenty of movement on the back end of the FAB 50 Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, and there will be more movement among the top teams as states around the country finish up their post-season tournaments. In addition to Stepinac and Sheldon, there are two additional newcomers.
By Ronnie Flores
While there is calm at the top of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, there is plenty of movement on the back end of the rankings. The top portion of the rankings will see change when the GEICO Nationals field is announced and various state tournaments crown champions in its highest classifications.
The highest ranked team to drop out of the FAB 50 this week is No. 25 Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.), which fell to one-loss Lee (Birmingham, Ala.), 40-38, in the AHSAA Class 7A state championship game. The Generals, which only dropped one game by one point in January, claimed their first state crown and clinched it when Jamari Smith hit a free throw with 18.2 seconds remaining. The Spartans, who lost their first in-state game, missed a shot at the buzzer.
Lee point guard Duke Miles led the Generals with 12 points to help keep Mountain Brook from winning four straight state titles. Lee’s win had a big impact on the rankings because Mountain Brook had some quality wins this season. The Generals are the highest ranked newcomer this week at No. 39, while Mountain Brook dropped out. Mountain Brook owned wins over previous No. 27 North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.), which is still alive in the North Carolina Class 4A state playoffs, and previous No. 49 Concord First Assembly (Concord, N.C.), which has already captured the NCISAA Class 3A state crown.
That result in Alabama caused North Mecklenburg to drop to No. 46 in this weeks rankings, and because Concord First Assembly had two additional losses, it caused them to drop out even though its season is already completed. Teams near the bottom of the FAB 50 have to hope the teams they beat (and lost to) perform well thereafter to maintain their rankings position.
Mountain Brook’s other two losses were to No. 4 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) and unranked Olive Branch (Miss.), results which also played a role in this week’s pecking order. It’s a swoon for newcomer Starkville (Starkville, Miss.), which checks in at No. 44 after defeating Olive Branch in the MHSAA Class 6A state quarterfinals after trailing by 12 points at halftime. Starkville senior guard Forte Prater scored on a drive with 1.2 secs remaining to give the Yellowjackets a dramatic 65-63 win. Male (Louisville, Ky.) has an overtime loss to talented Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.), which lost to Olive Branch, so that dropped the Bulldogs three spots behind Starkville even though they did not lose last week.
Another team that owns a victory over Briarcrest Christian (which has a win over No. 5 IMG Academy of Florida) is Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.), which checks in at No. 40 this week after downing previous No. 42 St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.), 73-68, in the New York CHSAA Archdiocesan Championship at Mount St. Michael. Stepinac’s loss total is high, but that’s mainly because of a prolonged injury to Duke-bound small forward Adrian Griffin. With he and North Carolina-bound R.J. Davis both healthy, the Crusaders are one of the best teams in the Northeast Region and must get credit for some of their earlier victories with both elite players in the lineup. Archbishop Stepinac not only has beaten St. Raymond two of three times, it also owns victories over bubble club O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.) and No. 13 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) with one of the losses a 70-64 setback to No. 29 Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.).
The final newcomer in the FAB 50 came down to a trio of Florida clubs led by Orlando Christian Prep, Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.), which also has lost to Scotlandville, and Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.). We went with Sheldon as the final newcomer from the West Region because when it lost to Vashon, it played without Arizona St.-bound Marcus Bagley. In fact, four of Sheldon’s five losses have come with at least one starter out with injury, but the Huskies have their unit intact as they prepare for a run at the CIF NorCal open championship. At full strength, Sheldon owns a wins over No. 30 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and bubble club Centennial (Corona, Calif.), which has a split with Mater Dei and defeated No. 31 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.). The Gaels just captured their ninth consecutive NIAA title in Nevada in dominant fashion.
Sheldon is the top seed in the NorCal open regional playoffs, while Mater Dei is the No. 2 seed in the SoCal open regional behind top seeded Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), which just defeated Mater Dei for the CIF Southern Section open division tile on Friday. If Sheldon is healthy, the Huskies are big favorites to meet one of the CIFSS powers for the CIF Open state title on March 14 at the Golden One Center in Sacramento.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(Eleventh poll of 2019-20 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 1; *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||3||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||22-3|
|4||4||Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)||30-1|
|5||5||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||19-6|
|6||6||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||29-3|
|7||7||Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.)||28-3|
|8||8||La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)||23-3|
|9||9||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)||38-4|
|10||10||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||37-3|
|11||11||Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.)||26-0|
|12||12||Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.)||29-1|
|13||13||Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)||27-8|
|14||14||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||22-3|
|15||15||Poly (Baltimore, Md.)||21-2|
|16||16||Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)||22-3|
|17||17||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||28-4|
|18||19||Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.)||23-0|
|19||20||Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio)||24-1|
|20||21||Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)||28-3**|
|21||22||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||19-6|
|22||24||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||25-1|
|23||23||Richardson (Richardson, Texas)||33-3|
|24||26||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||25-10|
|25||30||Curie (Chicago, Ill.)||26-2|
|26||33||Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas)||32-2**|
|27||34||St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Alexandria, Va.)||26-4|
|28||45||St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio)||21-1|
|29||37||Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.)||31-3|
|30||31||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||25-7|
|31||36||Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)||29-3|
|32||39||Beecher (Flint, Mich.)||18-1|
|33||35||Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.)||28-3|
|34||18||West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.)||26-7|
|35||29||St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)||24-9|
|36||40||Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)||22-2|
|37||44||Jackson South Side (Jackson, Tenn.)||29-0|
|38||42||St. Mary’s Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)||18-1|
|39||NR||Lee (Montgomery, Ala.)||33-1***|
|40||NR||Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)||18-9|
|41||46||Lawrence Central (Indianpolis, Ind.)||22-2|
|42||38||St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.)||21-5|
|43||43||Rangeview (Aurora, Col.)||24-0|
|44||NR||Starkville (Starkville, Miss.)||28-2|
|45||41||Male (Louisville, Ky.)||27-4|
|46||27||North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)||28-1|
|47||47||Del City (Del City, Okla.)||23-1|
|48||48||Rocky Mountain (Meridian, Idaho)||23-1|
|49||NR||Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.)||27-5|
|50||NR||St. Augustine (New Orleans, La.)||29-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 25 Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.), No. 28 Westlake (Austin, Texas), No. 32 Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.), No. 49 Concord First Assembly (Concord, N.C.).
Bubble Teams: Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) 20-5; Bartow (Bartow, Fla.) 28-1; Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 33-2; Benton Harbor (Benton Harbor, Mich.) 16-2; Blazer (Ashland, Ky.) 30-0; Bloom (Chicago Heights, Ill.) 26-5; Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, Okla.) 19-5; Brentwood (Brentwood, N.Y.) 23-1; Brookfield Central (Brookfield, Wis.) 21-1; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 27-4; Clarkston (Clarkston, Mich.) 17-1; Cleveland (Cleveland, Tenn.) 30-1; Concord First Assembly (Concord, N.C.) 35-3***; Davidson Day (Davidson, N.C.) 30-1***; Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 23-2***; Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.) 27-3; Dickinson (Dickinson, Texas) 29-5; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 23-3; Elizabeth (Elizabeth, N.J.) 19-4; Farmville Central (Farmville, N.C.) 27-2; Fort Bend Hightower (Missouri City, Texas) 30-5; Fremont (Plain City, Utah) 23-3***; Garfield (Seattle) 22-4; Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.) 19-3; Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 24-6; Hellgate (Missoula, Montana) 18-0; Houston (Germantown, Tenn.) 27-3; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 22-2; John Paul II (Plano, Texas) 40-1***; Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.) 16-2; Manasquan (Manasquan, N.J.) 27-1; McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 22-7***; Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.) 24-5; Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.) 32-3***; Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) 26-7; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 22-4; North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 21-5; O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.) 21-5; Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.) 27-2; Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) 22-7; River Rouge (River Rouge, Mich.) 18-1; Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 18-7; Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.) 25-1; Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, Ariz.) 30-1***; Seminole (Sanford, Fla.) 26-1**; Shadow Creek (Pearland, Texas) 27-3; Silver Creek (Sellersburg, Ind.) 22-2; Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 22-8; Southmoore (Moore, Okla.) 20-4; St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) 29-4***; Thornton (Harvey, Ill.) 29-1; Union (Vancouver, Wash.) 25-0; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 20-5; Westover (Fayetteville, N.C.) 28-0; Whitehaven (Memphis, Tenn.) 24-3; Wyoming (Wyoming, Mich.) 18-1; Yates (Houston, Texas) 23-4.
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.