Nation’s elite teams are looking to capture league and conference titles and earn favorable playoff seedings as the playoffs near. For one ranked team, however, the wins and losses are put in perspective after a scare in which one of its top players collapsed on the court during a Sunday game involving another FAB 50 ranked foe. There are four newcomers to this week’s FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, led by No. 41 Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and No. 44 Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.).
By Ronnie Flores
The program at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) has been ranked in the final FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com each season since 2016-17, but that streak is now in jeopardy after the Gaels fell to defending NIAA Class 5A champion Liberty (Henderson, Nev.), 78-55, last Tuesday. The Gaels are one of four teams to fall out of this week’s FAB 50 and that was cemented after Liberty traveled to California to play in the marquee game of the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and lost to No. 7 Centennial (Corona, Calif.), 90-64.
Liberty handed California No. 2 and FAB 50 No. 13 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) its only loss of the season in the title game of The Classic at Damien in November. That common opponent result should make Centennial the top team in the upcoming CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs, provided the Huskies close out the regular season undefeated in Big VIII League play.
Speaking of Mater Dei, the Monarchs’ 65-57 loss to St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) means the program’s state record 34-year league winning streak (according to Cal-Hi Sports) will come to an end this season. The Monarchs also won’t be selected for the eight-team CIFSS open playoffs, the first time the program won’t be selected since its advent in 2013-14. St. John Bosco is leading the Trinity League by two games and now has defeated Mater Dei five consecutive times at home.
Another team that fell from the FAB 50 this week that has a long streak in jeopardy is previous No. 37 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.). The Trailblazers have appeared in the final FAB 50 each season since 2014-15, but fell out after falling to bubble club Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), 66-62, before 7,500 at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion on Friday. Sierra Canyon will participate in the Mission League tournament this week with top-seeded Harvard-Westlake and No. 2 seed Notre Dame, the latter being the team Sierra Canyon would meet in Wednesday’s semifinal provided it beats Monday’s Crepsi-Chaminade winner on Tuesday. Making the task difficult will be injuries to elite 2024 guard Isaiah Elohim and 2023 McDonald’s All-American Bronny James. Elohim will not play this week and the earliest James would consider playing would be if Sierra Canyon advanced to Friday’s championship game.
A big result this week’s was Roselle Catholic’s 68-60 victory over Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), one of the teams that handed Centennial one of its three out-of-state losses at the John Wall Holiday Invitational. When the McDonald’s All-American teams were announced last Tuesday, Roselle Catholic’s Simeon Wilcher, who is headed to North Carolina, was considered one of the legitimate snubs along with Oregon-bound Jackson Shelstad of FAB 50 No. 25 West Linn (West Linn, Ore.) and Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster, a talented guard headed to Duke. Wilcher made a loud statement vs. Don Bosco, scoring 11 consecutive points with his team trialing 58-55 with 2:46 remaining in the game to lead the comeback win. Wilcher finished with 20 points.
The Lions defeated Bergen Catholic (Bergen N.J.), 78-67, on Friday, but the festive mood after the two big wins went sour during a game versus FAB 50 No. 12 Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) on Sunday afternoon in Long Island, N.Y. In the second quarter with LuHi leading Roselle Catholic, 21-10, Roselle Catholic 6-foot-7 junior forward Tarik Watson collapsed on the court. According to national scout Andrew Slater, 911 was immediately called, the teams were escorted to their locker rooms and the crowded gym went silent.
Watson reportedly lost consciousness momentarily, but regained it and was able to raise his arm and gave the crowd a “thumbs-up” as he was removed on a stretcher. It was a scary and surreal moment, as LuHi coach John Buck led the crowd in prayer before the game was canceled
“He’s doing okay,” Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff told Ballislife.com on Monday. “We are waiting for results of tests, but he’s doing well and the doctors have had good news for us so far.”
Ballisife wishes Tarik Watson a speedy recovery from the scary incident.
As far as on-the-court, Roselle Catholic is now up to No. 21, one spot in front of Don Bosco Prep. The game with LuHi is a “no contest” as far as the FAB 50 goes. Roselle’s three losses are to No. 5 Duncanville (Texas), No. 11 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) and to Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), which is another club that fell out of the rankings this week after taking back-to-back losses in WCAC play, including a 70-57 setback to FAB 50 No. 1 Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.). The Panthers also defeated No. 15 St. John’s (Washington, D.C.), 69-60, to remain unbeaten in WCAC play.
RELATED: Preseason 2022-23 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker | “In The Paint” Podcast (Spotify) | “In The Paint” Podcast (YouTube)
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(7th poll of 2022-23 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, Jan. 29; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)||20–1|
|2||2||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||19-2|
|3||3||Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)||22-0|
|4||4||John Marshall (Richmond, Va.)||19-0|
|5||5||Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)||23-1|
|6||6||Columbus (Miami, Fla.)||19-3|
|7||7||Centennial (Corona, Calif.)||23-3|
|8||8||Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.)||22-0|
|9||9||Lake Highlands (Dallas, Texas)||22-3|
|10||10||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||17-2|
|11||11||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||13-5|
|12||13||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||12-2|
|13||15||Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)||26-1|
|14||14||Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)||16-3|
|15||12||St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)||18-2|
|16||16||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||14-4|
|17||17||AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.)||16-4|
|18||18||Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)||25-1|
|19||21||Central Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.)||20-0|
|20||22||Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.)||23-1|
|21||25||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||10-4|
|22||20||Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)||18-2|
|23||23||Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.)||22-1|
|24||24||West Ranch (Valencia, Calif.)||25-1|
|25||26||West Linn (West Linn, Ore.)||17-1|
|26||27||DME Academy (Daytona Beach, Fla.)||20-4**|
|27||28||Garfield (Seattle, Wash.)||13-0|
|28||29||Park Center (Brooklyn Park, Minn.)||14-0|
|29||32||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||14-2|
|30||33||Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)||24-3|
|31||34||Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.)||16-1|
|32||36||St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio)||15-0|
|33||35||Carter (Dallas, Texas)||23-2|
|34||42||Cass Tech (Detroit, Mich.)||15-0|
|35||38||Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.)||16-0|
|36||39||Pinson Valley (Pinson, Ala.)||23-0|
|37||46||Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.)||24-3|
|38||47||Bullis (Potomac, Md.)||20-1|
|39||48||Olympia (Orlando, Fla.)||22-1|
|40||43||Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas)||20-3**|
|41||NR||Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)||13-1|
|42||30||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||21-2|
|43||44||Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.)||13-6|
|44||NR||Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)||12-6|
|45||40||Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.)||15-4|
|46||45||Lake City (Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho)||15-0|
|47||49||Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow, Okla.)||16-0|
|48||50||Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.)||23-2|
|49||NR||North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)||19-1|
|50||NR||Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.)||20-2|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 19 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), No. 31 Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.), No. 37 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), No. 41 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.).
Bubble Teams: Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.) 23-1; Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 16-6; Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) 13-3; Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) 16-1; Centerville (Centerville, Ohio) 16-2; Central (Little Rock, Ark.) 20-4; Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) 12-8; Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah) 16-2; De Pere (De Pere, Wis.) 17-0; Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) 21-0; Eagle’s Landing (McDonough, Ga.) 21-1; Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.) 14-2; Ellison (Killeen, Texas) 27-3; Federal Way (Federal Way, Wash.) 18-1; Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 18-3; Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 15-5; Hayfield (Alexandria, Va.) 16-1; Jackson-Reed (Washington, D.C.) 22-6; Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.) 20-3; Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 18-2; Kennedy (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) 14-0; Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Ill.) 19-5; Kimball (Kimball, Texas) 22-2; Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 13-8; MacArthur (Decatur, Ill.) 22-2; Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.) 24-1; Martin (Arlington, Texas) 25-3; McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 16-6; Metamora (Metamora, Ill.) 22-2; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 12-0; Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.) 16-4; Newton (Covington, Ga.) 13-7; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 19-3; Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) 19-8; North Farmington (Farmington Hills, Mich.) 11-1; Northern Nash (Rocky Mount, N.C.) 20-0; Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 19-11; Oak Park (Kansas City, Mo.) 19-1; O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.) 15-4; Olympic (Charlotte, N.C.) 19-1; Penn (Wishawaka, Ind.) 16-1; Radnor (Radnor, Pa.) 18-0; Sacred Heart Griffin (Springfield, Ill.) 22-2; Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 19-6; Staley (Kansas City, Mo.) 17-2; St. Augustine (San Diego, Calif.) 20-4; The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) 23-9; UOD Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.) 12-2; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 11-7; Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.) 19-1; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 10-9.
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 23 years ago.
Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores
One Reply to “NEW FAB 50: Quartet Breaks In!”
Carmel Christian School (NC) stands at 24-3 currently. Their only losses came to Souther Cal.Academy (ranked in the top 15 at the time),, Northwood (top NC publish sdchool 4A), and Catholic School (Top VA Private School in VA).
The team is led by Bryce Cash (Top Unsigned Senior 2023), Jaeden Mustaf (Top 30 2024) Khamani Wertz, and other D1 recruits.