NEW FAB 50: Top Teams Roll Into MLK Weekend!
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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Two consistent themes come into play in this week’s FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, as we don’t just drop teams out of sight that play tough schedules and reward teams that remain undefeated as the playoffs approach. How far did previous No. 9 Ranney School of New Jersey, No. 14 Rancho Christian of California fall after upset losses? There is one newcomers this week from Nevada but next week things could change quite a bit after all the results from MLK weekend come in.
By Ronnie Flores
One thing we’ve learned over the year compiling the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com is not to over panic if a really talented team playing a tough schedule has an untimely loss. It’s very hard for teams that play quality schedules or come from a traditional power state to go unbeaten. Both factors are easily displayed in this week’s FAB 50, as teams that have still not tasted defeat are on the move up.
With regards to upset losses, the whole body of work must be considered and what the losing team has coming up is usually factored into the equation as well. Ranney School (Tinton Falls, N.J.) losing to MacDuffie School (Granby, Mass.) 79-75 at the Sun Empire Invitational caused the Panthers to drop two spots in the FAB 50 to No. 11. MacDuffie is a traditional New England prep school (part of the NEPSAC) that plays with and competes against post-graduates. The loss also came came less than 24 hours after Ranney School defeated previous No. 24 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), 56-55, in the marquee game of the Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcase in Middletown, N.J. to hand that club its first loss off the season.
Villanova-bound Bryan Antoine netted 26 points and Florida-bound Scottie Lewis added 17 points in the critical win. Freshman Elijah Perkins also stepped up to make some key plays down the stretch as the Panthers have played their first 10 games without the services of senior Ahmadu Sarnor and talented junior transfer Phillip Wheeler. Based on what has transpired so far, Ranney School deserves to be the No. 1 ranked team in New Jersey and will play state No. 2 and defending TOC champion Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) on January 30. Monday, January 21 at the Spaulding Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts, Ranney School will take on No. 20 Federal Way (Federal Way, Wash.) and has a game down the line versus No. 3 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) at the Metro Classic in Union, N.J. (February 8).
Bergen Catholic fell three spots to No. 27 after the tough loss and remain in front of the Memphis East team that fell to Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.), 66-56, in a nationally-televised contest in West Memphis, Ark. last Friday. In a game that was billed as the battle between the top prospects in the national senior (James Wiseman of Memphis East) and junior (Evan Mobley of Rancho Christian) class, it was junior guard and Gonzaga recruit Dominick Harris that had a big game to lead the visiting Eagles to victory, as he scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half.
Less than 24 hours back in Southern California, Rancho Christian faced a state-ranked and talented team from Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) at their own Eagle Showcase. Rancho Christian, which flew back from Memphis at 6 am Central Time on Saturday morning, didn’t rebound the ball with ferocity and didn’t hit its outside shots as Santa Margarita pulled off the upset victory, 72-60. Santa Margarita also got huge offensive outings from UCLA-bound Jake Kyman and USC-bound Max Agbobnkpolo, who combined for 53 points.
Even though Rancho Christian fell behind No. 22 Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.) and No. 33 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Claif.) and other teams in some local rankings, from a national perspective it cannot fall behind any other California team. Rancho Christian comes in at No. 19 because it defeated Federal Way at the Tarkanian Classic and captured two other holiday tournament titles against quality competition. When you consider the circumstances of the Santa Margarita loss and the fact coach Ray Barefield’s club faces No. 2 McEachern (Powered Springs, Ga.) at the Hoophall Classic it doesn’t make any sense to drop them more than five spots.
Rancho Christian is not done with its national travel either, as it will take off from Massachusetts and head to Florida to participate in the eight-team Montverde Academy Invitational January 24-26, where it could potentially face No. 7 Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) and the host Eagles.
Big MLK Weekend On Tap
In addition to Ranney School facing Federal Way (1/21, 11 am ET) and Rancho Christian facing McEachern (1/21, 1 pm ET), there are a plethora of high-level games involving FAB 50 ranked teams at the Hoophall Classic. MLK weekend has turned into a basketball extravaganza in the past 15-20 years and all the results from MLK events around the country should cause some change in next week’s rankings.
Below are the other big games on tap in Springfield:
Christ the King High (Middle Village, N.Y.) vs. No. 25 Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 1/19, 3 pm ET
Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) vs. No. 31 Olive Branch (Olive Branch, Miss.) 1/19, 4:30 pm ET
No. 13 Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) vs. Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 1/19, 6 pm ET
No. 14 Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) vs. No. 3 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 1/19, 7:30 pm ET
No. 46 Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) vs. Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta, Ga.) 1/20, 5:45 pm ET
No. 8 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) vs. No. 5 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 1/20, 7:30 pm ET
No. 18 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) vs. No. 17 Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.) 1/21, 9 am ET
No. 3 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) vs. No. 4 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 1/21, 3 pm
No. 6 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) vs. No. 1 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 1/21, 5 pm
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(Sixth poll of 2018-19 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, January 13; Previous ranking in parentheses; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Indicates scrimmages and foundation games not included; ****Indicates season not complete)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)||17-0|
|2||2||McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)||14-0|
|3||3||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||10-2|
|4||4||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||19-1|
|5||5||IMG Academy (Brandenton, Fla.)||19-1|
|6||6||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||14-1|
|7||7||Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)||18-0|
|8||8||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||16-1|
|9||10||Belleville West (Belleville, Ill.)||17-0|
|10||11||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||12-2|
|11||9||Ranney School (Tinton Falls, N.J.)||10-1|
|12||12||Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.)||13-0|
|13||13||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||12-0|
|14||15||Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)||9-4|
|15||16||Mountain Brook (Mountain Brook, Ala.)||19-3|
|16||17||University School (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)||12-3|
|17||18||Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.)||15-1|
|18||19||Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)||12-3|
|19||14||Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.)||15-2|
|20||20||Federal Way (Federal Way, Wash.)||14-1|
|21||21||Nicolet (Glendale, Wis.)||12-1|
|22||22||Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.)||18-1|
|23||23||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)||17-3|
|24||29||Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio)||12-0|
|25||25||Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.)||11-2|
|26||37||Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn, N.Y.)||14-0|
|27||24||Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.)||10-1|
|28||28||Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.)||17-1|
|29||26||Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)||12-4|
|30||27||Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.)||19-3|
|31||30||Olive Branch (Olive Branch, Miss.)||14-5|
|32||31||Guyer (Denton, Texas)||20-4|
|33||34||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||20-1|
|34||35||Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)||18-0|
|35||38||Curie (Chicago, Ill.)||18-1|
|36||32||Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)||11-3|
|37||33||Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.)||11-2|
|38||40||Cox Mill (Concord, N.C.)||14-1|
|39||42||Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas)||19-2|
|40||47||Carmel (Carmel, Ind.)||10-0|
|41||41||Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.)||23-1|
|42||43||Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)||14-4|
|43||44||Bartlett (Barlett, Tenn.)||18-2|
|44||36||Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.)||11-3|
|45||45||Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, N.C.)||18-1|
|46||46||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||11-1|
|47||49||Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio)||12-0|
|48||48||South Central (Winterville, N.C.)||13-1|
|49||50||Benton Harbor (Benton Harbor, Mich.)||11-0|
|50||NR||Clark (Las Vegas, Nev.)||15-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 39 Bonner-Prendergast (Drexel Hill, Pa.).
Bubble Teams: Abington (Abington, Pa.) 10-1; Allen (Allen, Texas) 24-2; Baylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 15-0; Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.) 14-1; Biloxi (Biloxi, Miss.) 19-0; Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 5-1; Bloom (Chicago Heights, Ill.) 17-1; Bogan (Chicago, Ill.) 17-2; Bonner-Prendergast (Drexel Hill, Pa.) 10-1; Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, Okla.) 9-1; Brentwood (Brentwood, N.Y.) 11-0; Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 7-1; Cass Tech (Detroit, Mich.) 8-1*; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 18-3; Center Hill (Olive Branch, Miss.) 18-1; Central Plains (Claflin, Kan.) 10-0; Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.) 12-1; Dallas Jesuit (Dallas, Texas) 20-3; Del City (Del City, Okla.) 12-1; Discovery (Lawrenceville, Ga.) 17-3; Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 7-1; Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.) 15-3; Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) 16-7; Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.) 12-1; Edmond Santa Fe (Edmond, Okla.) 11-1; Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.) 17-1; Gill St. Bernard’s (Gladstone, N.J.) 11-1; Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 11-5; Grandview (Grandview, Mo.) 11-2; Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 16-2; Haverford School (Haverford, Pa.) 13-0; Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 15-2; Independence (Charlotte, N.C.) 10-3; Keenan (Columbia, S.C.) 18-1; Kennedy Catholic (Hermitage, Pa.) 8-3; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 16-0; Lewis-Palmer (Monument, Col.) 11-0; Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas) 22-2; Maria Goretti (Hagerstown, Md.) 15-3; Maryville (Maryville, Tenn.) 19-1; Meadowcreek (Norcross, Ga.) 16-4; Memorial (Tulsa, Okla.) 12-3; Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.) 17-0; Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Ky.) 9-2; Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.) 15-3; Mountain Vista (Highlands Ranch, Col.) 11-0; Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) 14-3; New Haven (New Haven, Mich.) 9-1; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 12-7; North Scott (Eldridge, Iowa) 13-0; North Shore (Houston, Texas) 21-1; Pinnacle (Phoenix, Ariz.) 17-3; Pleasant Grove (Pleasant Grove, Utah) 12-2; Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) 12-0; Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) 11-4; Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.) 23-1; South Shore (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 14-3; Springfield Southeast (Springfield, Ill.) 14-1; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 15-1; St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 16-2; Teas Valley Christian Prep (Scott Depot, W. Va.) 13-1; Trinity Catholic (St. Louis, Mo.) 12-0; Upson-Lee (Thomaston, Ga.) 16-1; Wagner (San Antonio, Texas) 19-5; Wilson (Washington, D.C.) 15-6; Wright (New Orleans, La.) 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 19 years ago.