No. 1 Montverde Academy of Florida won the biggest game of the week on national television. A majority of the nation's top teams will participate in tournaments over the next three weeks that will shake up the national picture. Look for the next FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com on January 4, 2016.
By Ronnie Flores
Just as the ink was drying on last week's FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, newly-crowned No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) was preparing to take its home floor versus Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) in the biggest game of the young season so far.
Had the Eagles lost, it would have opened up the floodgates in terms of deserving teams for the nation's No. 1 ranking. The Fightin' Irish gave Montverde Academy all it could handle before falling, 63-59, in a game televised on ESPN2.
Six-foot-6 freshman R.J. Barrett had his national coming out party and helped Montverde Academy retain its No. 1 FAB 50 ranking by nailing four consecutive free throws in the final 16 seconds after Huntington Prep had a chance to tie the game on its possession before Barrett was intentionally sent to the line for first time. The Canadian transplant's first two made the score 61-57 in favor of Montverde Academy before Huntington Prep standout forward Miles Bridges made two of his own with 7.8 seconds remaining. Barett, whom Montverde Academy coach Kevin Boyle was recently quoted as saying is already the program's second or third best player at worst, then sealed the win in the closing seconds. He finished with 18 points and four rebounds.
Had Huntington Prep pulled out the game, the No. 1 rating might have been up for grabs because No. 2 Roman Catholic needed overtime to capture the championship of the Gonzaga D.C. Classic on Sunday at American University. Host Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) gave the Cahillites all it could handle and tied the game on a tip-in basket by Prentiss Hubb with approximately 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
Roman Catholic was just a bit too strong on the boards and pulled away for a 77-72 victory. Lamar Stevens, headed for Penn State, led the Cahillites with 32 points. In the semifinals, the Cahillites defeated Good Counsel (Onley, Md.), 72-60, and easily knocked off Calvin Coolidge (Washington, D.C.), 90-41, in the opening round, as senior guard Nazeer Bostick, like Stevens headed for Penn State, netted 27 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field.
Because of the quality of its opponent and its big games coming up, we decided to keep Roman No. 2. As for Gonzaga, it actually moved up four sports in this week's FAB 50 to No. 30.
In another big game over the weekend, the highest-ranked team with one loss, No. 12 Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.), downed previous No. 16 Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.), 76-57, in an electric game played at Chaminade's home gym. The game was a battle between two serious Mr. Basketball USA candidates: Duke-bound Jayson Tatum and Kentucky-bound Malik Monk.
After Bentonville won at home last year, Tatum got revenge of sports with a spectacular 40-point, 17-rebound performance that locals will be talking about for years to come. On Friday night, Monk broke his own school scoring record by netting 53 points and finished with 36 points versus Chaminade, including seven 3-pointers.
Chaminade's victory drops Bentonville six spots in this week's FAB 50 to No. 22 and also hurts Mustang (Mustang, Okla.), which lost to Bentonville to open its season. The defending Oklahoma Class 5A state champs drop four spots in the FAB 50 to No. 29 despite not losing last week.
There are five newcomers this week, including No. 47 Lone Peak (Highland, Utah), which won the Freetaxusa.com Shootout in Orem, Utah with a 73-71 win over bubble club Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.). Duke-bound Frank Jackson netted 38 points in the victory, while UConn-bound Alterique Gilbert went for 37 points in a losing effort that had the whole gym buzzing. Lone Peak also defeated Fremont (Los Angeles, Calif.) 90-55 and bubble club Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 68-65 earlier in the tournament.
Montverde Academy and Chaminade will be among the nine FAB 50-ranked teams participating in the The City of Palms Tournament in Ft. Myers, Fla., Dec. 18-23.
The first round matchups are: The First Academy (Orlando, Fla.) vs. No. 44 High Point Christian (High Point, N.C.); Lehigh Senior (Fla.)-Father Tolton (Mo.) winner vs. No. 16 Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio); Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.) vs. No. 1 Montverde Academy; No. 9 Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.) vs. Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.); No. 39 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) vs. Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.); No. 12 Chaminade vs. Bartow (Bartow, Fla.), No. 38 West Linn (West Linn, Ore.) vs. No. 15 Norland (Miami, Fla.); No. 14 The Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.), bye.
The way the bracket is set, Montverde Academy could meet No. 9 Chino Hills in the second round.
Because that tournament overlaps two weeks and because the major post-Christmas tournaments will begin on a Saturday, our next FAB 50 installment will be the first Monday of calendar year 2016.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(Second poll of the 2015-16 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, December 13; Last week's ranking in parentheses; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Montverde Academy (Monterde, Fla.)||7-0|
|2||2||Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.)||4-0|
|3||3||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||13-1|
|4||4||Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)||10-0|
|5||5||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||6-0|
|6||6||Garfield (Seattle, Wash.)||3-0|
|7||7||La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)||9-0|
|8||8||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||2-0|
|9||9||Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.)||5-0|
|10||10||Atascocita (Humble, Texas)||15-0|
|11||11||Greenforest Christian Academy (Decatur, Ga.)||9-0|
|12||12||Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.)||5-1|
|13||13||St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)||0-0|
|14||14||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||0-0|
|15||18||Norland (Miami, Fla.)||7-0|
|16||17||Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio)||4-0|
|17||22||Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.)||6-0|
|18||24||St. John's (Washington, D.C.)||5-0|
|19||20||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||6-0|
|20||23||Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.)||4-0|
|21||21||Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.)||0-0|
|22||16||Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.)||6-1|
|23||26||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||0-0|
|24||28||Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wis.)||4-0|
|25||27||St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.)||5-0|
|26||29||Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.)||6-0|
|27||39||Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)||7-0|
|28||32||Althoff Catholic (Belleville, Ill.)||6-1|
|29||25||Mustang (Mustang, Okla.)||2-1|
|30||34||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||5-1|
|31||42||University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.)||3-0|
|32||35||Moreau Catholic (Hayward, Calif.)||3-0|
|33||36||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||4-1|
|34||31||Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.)||7-2|
|35||NR||Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)||7-0|
|36||15||Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.)||6-1|
|37||44||Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.)||9-2|
|38||40||West Linn (West Linn, Ore.)||1-0|
|39||46||Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.)||5-1|
|40||45||Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.)||3-1|
|41||48||Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.)||8-0|
|42||43||Lima Senior (Lima, Ohio)||1-0|
|43||33||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||2-1|
|44||47||High Point Christian (High Point, N.C.)||6-1|
|45||NR||Starkville (Starkville, Miss.)||9-1|
|46||49||Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)||13-1|
|47||NR||Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)||5-0|
|48||50||Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.)||4-1|
|49||NR||North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.)||5-0|
|50||NR||Father Tolton (Columbia, Mo.)||4-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 19 Oldsmar Christian (Oldsmar, Fla.), No. 30 Westfield (Chantilly, Va.), No. 37 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.); No. 38 Advanced Prep International (Dallas, Texas), No. 41 Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
Bubble Teams: Advanced Prep International (Dallas, Texas) 8-4; American Fork (American Fork, Utah) 4-0; Beecher (Flint, Mich.) 3-1; Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 4-1; Bowling Green (Bowling Green, Ky.) 5-0; Cape Henry Collegiate (Virginia Beach, Va.) 3-0; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 4-1; Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.) 6-1; Columbus (Columbus, Miss.) 7-2; Corona Del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) 3-1; Davis (Houston, Texas) 13-0; De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 3-0; DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas) 11-1; East English Village Prep (Detroit, Mich.) 1-1; Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.) 5-0; Evelyn Mack (Charlotte, N.C.) 11-2; Fenwick (Fenwick, Ill.) 7-0; Folsom (Folsom, Calif.) 5-0; Garfield Heights (Garfield Heights, Ohio) 4-0; Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 10-2; Hammond (Columbia, S.C.) 6-0; Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.) 4-1; Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa) 3-1; J.O. Johnson (Huntsville, Ala.) 8-2; Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas) 8-2; Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 4-1; Meridian (Meridian, Miss.) 10-1; Merrillville (Merrillville, Ind.) 4-0; Mesa (Mesa, Ariz.) 8-0; Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) 7-2; Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) 1-0; National Christian Academy (Ft. Washington, Md.) 4-0; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 6-1; Norman North (Norman, Okla.) 4-1; North Crowley (Fort Worth, Texas) 10-1; Oldsmar Christian (Oldsmar, Fla.) 6-2; Omaha South (Omaha, Neb.) 4-0; Overland (Aurora, Colo.) 3-0; Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) 4-2; Queens High School of Teaching (Queens, N.Y.) 5-1; Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.) 5-0; Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.) 8-0; St. Raymond's (Bronx, N.Y.) 4-1; St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 1-1; Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) 5-2; Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 7-1; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 9-1; Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) 8-1; Westfield (Chantilly, Va.) 1-2; West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.) 6-1; Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 1-1.
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.