NEW FAB 50: HS Madness!

Players in this post:
Rahsool Diggins

Two new teams crack the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com as two major upsets shake up the pecking order. By this time next week, only the states who moved their season to the spring will still be playing.

By Ronnie Flores

RELATED:   “In The Paint” Podcast |“On The Rise” Show | The Future Of Big-Time HS Basketball | FAB 50 Rankings Criteria | How To Make A HS Version Of March Madness  | Updated Mr. Basketball USA Tracker 

As we mentioned with the debate at the top of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com between No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) and No. 2 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) when the two powerhouses split two games, sometimes when you lose is the most important rankings factor.

In the rankings system we’ve developed over the past 30 years, the final FAB 50 No. 1 team cannot lose its last game. Similarly, sometimes a terrific team will lose at the wrong time and must drop behind the team it lost to in a championship game or big matchup.

When was a big factor in the case for the talented teams at Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) and St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.), both which were looking to wrap up undefeated seasons by winning their respective championship games last week. Archbishop Wood advanced to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class 6A championship at Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., where it took on twice-beaten Reading (Reading, Pa.). The Red Knights were confident and extremely motivated for the opportunity and handed Wood its first loss of the season, 58-57.

The win gave Reading its second state 6A crown in four years, as the program won the inaugural state title in that division.

Wood jumped out to a 13-2 lead and led 30-23 at halftime. Reading was able to mount an improbable comeback behind the play of 6-foot-6 pivot Moro Osumanu, who scored 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 shooting from the line, according to the Reading Eagle. Reading actually took a 51-44 lead with less than four minutes to go when Wood made a final push. UConn-bound Rahsool Diggins (26 points) hit a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds remaining to cut his team’s deficit to one (58-57).

With 3.2 seconds remaining, Reading’s Joey Chapman turned the ball over to give Wood one last chance to salvage its unbeaten season, but Chapman went from potential goat to hero when he stole Wood’s inbound pass to seal the game.

Reading perhaps should have been ranked higher throughout the season and makes a big splash in to the FAB 50 at No. 24. The only team the Red Knights lost to all season was bubble club Wilson (West Lawn, Pa.) a team they split four games with. Wood obviously doesn’t deserve to drop out of the rankings, but does drop from No. 6 to No 28. Wood’s loss also doesn’t bode well for Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.), which lost its only on-court game to Wood in overtime. Neumann-Goretti drops ten spots and could drop more in the coming weeks because if did not participate in the post-season.

The two teams we dropped out of the rankings to make room for Reading and No. 47 Ballard (Louisville, Ky.), the favorite to win the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Sweet Sixteen, did not play anything close to a complete season. Previous No. 33 Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) lost twice last week in a home-and-away series to No. 9 Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) and previous No. 39 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) was only able to play two sanctioned games this season, with losses to higher ranked Washington Catholic Athletic Conference WCAC foes. Gonzaga coach Steve Turner told Ballislife he really felt like his team was Top 25 caliber, has it played its normal slate of games. Just too many other teams played a bigger slate of games for Gonzaga to remain in the rankings without a win.

The other team that had to drop in the rankings because it lost it last game was St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.), which was going for its fourth consecutive Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) title over five-loss John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.). St. Frances just didn’t have its usual potent offensive weapons clicking and was stunned in overtime, 66-62, as it dropped its first game of the season in its last game.

St. Frances was able to send the game to overtime on a clutch wing 3-pointer by Byron Ireland (20 points) right before the regulation buzzer. The Panthers did not score in the extra period.

Sophomore Jeannot Basima had a career-type game, scoring 29 points and hitting two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining to seal his team’s improbable win. The No. 6 seed in a six-team BCL field, John Carroll became just the second No. 6 seed to win the title and the first since Towson Catholic in 1989. John Carroll also prevented St. Frances Academy from becoming the first undefeated BCL title-winning team since 1982, when Calvert Hall went 34-0 and was named mythical national champions by the National Sports News Service (FAB 50 precursor).

We decided to keep St. Frances Academy FAB 50 ranked because of their overall season success and track record. It also took John Carroll overtime to defeat the Panthers and St. Frances Academy was able to win the regular season game. It’s still a tough pill to swallow for coach Nick Myles, and there is no guarantee the Panthers won’t drop in future FAB 50 editions.

The games this week at GEICO Nationals in Ft. Myers, Fla., just won’t affect the 10 teams participating, it will affect their common opponents just as the results of last week’s games did for Archbishop Wood and St. Frances Academy.

A team’s final position in this year’s FAB 50 is not final until all sanctioned games across the country have been completed.

RELATED:   “In The Paint” Podcast |“On The Rise” Show | The Future Of Big-Time HS Basketball | FAB 50 Rankings Criteria | How To Make A HS Version Of March Madness  | Updated Mr. Basketball USA Tracker 

Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com

(15th poll of 2020-21 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 28; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Does not include results vs. out-of-season opponents; ****Indicates season not complete.)

No.Prev.High School (City)Record
11Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)21-1****
22Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)18-3****
33IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)21-2****
44DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)9-0***
55Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)18-6***
67Camden (Camden, N.J.)13-0
78Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)19-1****
89Milton (Milton, Ga.)28-2****
910Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)3-0****
1011Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)0-0
1112Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)29-1
1213Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)28-0
1314O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.)0-0
1416Houston (Germantown, Tenn.)21-3**
1518Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)26-3
1617St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)13-0****
1719Westlake (Austin, Texas)30-2
1820Millard North (Omaha, Neb.)27-2
1923Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)20-8****
2028Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.)19-0
2121St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.)0-0
2224Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)7-4
2325St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)25-2
24NRReading (Reading, Pa.)26-2
2526Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)14-1
2627Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)28-1****
2729Carmel (Carmel, Ind.)25-2****
286Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)19-1
2930Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.)24-3
3032Waukee Senior (Waukee, Iowa)16-2
3134Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)28-2****
3222Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)9-1
3331Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.)2-0
3435Victory Rock Prep (Bradenton, Fla.)27-6
3536Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)31-0
3637Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.)31-7
3738Clinton (Clinton, Miss.)21-1
3815St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)15-1
3940Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.)26-6
4041Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)0-0
4142Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)22-1
4243Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.)24-3
4344Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)0-0
4445Huron (Ann Arbor, Mich.)17-0**
4546Kingfisher (Kingfisher, Okla.)25-1
4647Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, Calif.)0-0
47NRBallard (Louisville, Ky.)19-2****
4848Sunnyslope (Phoenix, Ariz.)21-1
4949North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.)21-2
5050Wauwatosa East (Wausatosa, Wis.)23-3

Dropped Out: Previous No. 33 Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.), No. 39 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.).

Bubble Teams:  Adams (South Bend, Ind.) 23-2; Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 0-0; Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) 4-2****; Ardrey Kell (Charlotte, N.C.) 10-1; Atascocita (Humble, Texas) 24-3; Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) 7-2; Blue Ridge (St. George, Va.) 15-0; Bowling Green (Bowling Green, Ky.) 23-2****; Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 17-7; Cannon School (Concord, N.C.) 27-5; Catalina Foothills (Tuscon, Ariz.) 19-1; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 1-0****; Centerville (Centerville, Ohio) 26-3; Central (Little Rock, Ark.) 23-5; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 22-2; Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Col.) 17-1; Christ The King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 0-0; Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.) 23-3; Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 22-4; Del City (Del City, Okla.) 22-4; DePaul College Prep (Chicago, Ill.) 14-2; Eagle’s Landing (McDonough, Ga.) 29-1; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 0-0; Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.) 17-2; Elder (Cincinnati, Ohio) 20-4; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 0-2***; Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 22-4; Green Run (Virginia Beach, Va.) 9-1; Homestead (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) 26-1; Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 14-0; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 0-0; John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) 11-5; Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 21-7; Kickapoo (Springfield, Mo.) 28-2; La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 10-9****; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 0-0; Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.) 14-7; Manasquan (Manasquan, N.J.) 12-0; McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 24-5; Mentor (Mentor, Ohio) 25-1; Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) 17-5**; Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) 22-3; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 25-4; Pine Crest (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 21-1; Richardson (Richardson, Texas) 25-2; Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 12-3; Seattle Prep (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; South Central (Winterville, N.C.) 13-0**; South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) 21-1; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 21-3; Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.) 16-1; St. Catherine’s (Racine, Wis.) 28-1; St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 0-0; St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) 7-1; St. Mary’s (Pheonix, Ariz.) 20-1; St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) 19-3; Thunderidge (Highlands Ranch, Col.) 13-2; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 15-1**; Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas) 20-3; Westlake (Saratoga Springs, Utah) 21-4; Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 27-5; Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 15-1; Wilson (West Lawn, Pa.) 20-2;
Windward (Los Angeles, Calif.) 0-0.

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 21 years ago.

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at ronnie@ballislife.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *