NEW FAB 50: Spring Playoff Time!

Players in this post:
Amari Bailey

California power Mater Dei loses its first game and loses a key player for the playoffs, which opens the door up for another Golden State team this week in the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by California still has four weeks of playoffs remaining, while the New York Catholic High Schools Athletic Association will wrap up this week.

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  | Final Southwest Region Top 20 | Final Midwest Region Top 20 | Final Southeast Region Top 20 | Final East Region Top 20

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section released its open division pool play matchups on Sunday and there were some surprises, but not at the top. Sierra Canyon, led by junior Amari Bailey, secured the top seed in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs by closing out the regular season with a 88-76 victory over Heritage Christian (Northridge, Calif.) on Saturday.

That game essentially knocked Heritage Christian out of the eight-team field comprised of two, four-team pools. Whomever wins each pool will play for the CIFSS open championship at the home site of the highest remaining seed.

The question was, who was going to be the No. 8 seed to open up against the Trailblazers? To our surprise, that team ended up being St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), which last week handed Trinity League rival Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) its first loss of the regular season, as the two teams split games in league play. That loss knocked the Monarchs out of this week’s FAB 50 after they came into the game ranked No. 33.

The Monarchs did win their 33rd consecutive outright or shared league title, but in the process lost Nebraska-bound Wilhelm Breidenbach for the post-season. He was injured in a win over St. Augustine (San Diego, Calif.) on May 15 at the Nike Extravaganza and did not play versus St. John Bosco. We figured Mater Dei would be seeded above Bosco, but are surprised by the Braves’ No. 8 seed. We don’t feel they have the weakest resume of the eight teams in the field nor the weakest roster.

The new team in this week for Mater Dei (which will be judged in the playoffs for the team it has on the floor, not the one that went 26-1 during the regular season) is No. 2 seed Centennial (Corona, Calif.) at No. 45. The Huskies only lost one regular season game to No. 37 Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.), which is the favorite to win the CIF San Diego Section open crown. Torrey Pines would get its crack at the top CIFSS teams in the SoCal Regional playoffs, which begin June 15.

Mater Dei got the third seed (which makes Bosco’s No. 8 even more surprising) with Etiwanda (Calif.) grabbing the No. 4 seed. Ribet Academy, which has spent time in the FAB 50 and only lost to Centennial in overtime, is the No. 5 seed. The No. 6 seed in Damien (La Verne, Calif.), which lost twice to Etiwanda in league play, with talented Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) grabbing the No. 7 seed.

The first pool play games are scheduled for May 28, the second set (1 vs. 5, 4 vs. 8 in pool A and 2 vs. 6 and 3 vs. 7 in pool B) June 1 and the final set (1 vs. 4, 5 vs. 8 in pool A and 2 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 7 in pool B) June 4.

CHSAA Spring Tourney Finals Set

The New York Catholic High Schools Athletic Association (CHSAA) Spring Tournament concludes its six-week run of games that salvaged a season for New York parochial schools this week. On Thursday it will be FAB 50 bubble club Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.) taking on bubble club Xavieran (Brooklyn, N.Y.) for the Class AA title in the Kevin Pigott / Ray Nash Division Championship.

Both teams were the No. 2 seed in their respective division and enter the title game with identical 5-1 records. Both teams lost their first pool play game, and both needed overtime to win their fifth consecutive game on Monday in the tournament semifinals.

Cardinal Hayes defeated St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) in OT, 60-57, as the Terriers lost their first game of the tournament. Tobe Awaka led the way for Hayes in its semifinal victory with 25 points.

Xavieran needed two overtimes to defeat Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.), 57-53, as Nick Folk finished with 25 points. He canned six 3-pointers and made all six of his free throws. Samuel Gibbs added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the victors.

After the conclusion of the CHSAA Spring Tournament, we’ll release the final East Region Top 20 rankings.

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 |Final Southwest Region Top 20 | Final Midwest Region Top 20 | Final Southeast Region Top 20 |  Final East Region Top 20

Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
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(23rd poll of 2020-21 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, May 23; *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.)24-1
22Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)20-4
33IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)22-3
44DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)9-0***
55Camden (Camden, N.J.)13-0
66Milton (Milton, Ga.)28-3
77Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)22-1
88Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)18-7***
99Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)3-0
1010Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)12-0****
1111Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)29-1
1212Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)28-0
1313Houston (Germantown, Tenn.)21-3**
1414Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)26-3
1515Westlake (Austin, Texas)30-2
1616Millard North (Omaha, Neb.)27-2
1717Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.)19-0
1818Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)7-4
1919St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)25-2
2020Reading (Reading, Pa.)26-2
2121Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)14-1
2222Carmel (Carmel, Ind.)26-2
2323Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)21-9
2424Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.)24-3
2525Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)19-1
2626Waukee Senior (Waukee, Iowa)16-2
2727Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)9-1**
2828Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)31-0
2929Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)28-3
3030Victory Rock Prep (Bradenton, Fla.)27-6
3131Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.)2-0
3232Clinton (Clinton, Miss.)21-1
3334Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.)31-7
3435Grand Blanc (Grand Blanc, Mich.)15-2
3536Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.)26-6
3637St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)15-1***
3743Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.) 24-0****
3838Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)28-2
3939Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)22-1
4040Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.)24-3
4141Manasquan (Manasquan, N.J.)12-0
4242Kingfisher (Kingfisher, Okla.)25-1
4344Huron (Ann Arbor, Mich.)20-1**
4445Sunnyslope (Phoenix, Ariz.)21-1
45NRCentennial (Corona, Calif.)18-1****
4646North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.)21-2
4747Wauwatosa East (Wausatosa, Wis.)23-3
4848Centerville (Centerville, Ohio)26-3
4949Wayzata (Plymouth, Minn.)19-2
5050St. Catherine’s (Racine, Wis.)28-1

Dropped Out: Previous No. 33 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.).

Bubble Teams:  Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) 8-3; Ardrey Kell (Charlotte, N.C.) 10-1; Atascocita (Humble, Texas) 24-3; Blue Ridge (St. George, Va.) 15-0; Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 17-7; Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.) 5-1****; Catalina Foothills (Tuscon, Ariz.) 19-1; Catholic Central (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 20-0; Central (Little Rock, Ark.) 23-5; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 22-2; Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Col.) 17-1; Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.) 14-1; 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; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 0-0; Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.) 17-2; Elizabethtown (Elizabethtown, Ky.) 22-3; Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 0-2***; Green Run (Virginia Beach, Va.) 9-1; Highlands (Ft. Thomas, Ky.) 30-4; Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 14-0; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 0-0; John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) 11-5; Kickapoo (Springfield, Mo.) 28-2; La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 10-10; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 14-1; Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 26-1****; Mentor (Mentor, Ohio) 25-1; Richardson (Richardson, Texas) 25-2; Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, Calif.) 11-1****; Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 12-3; South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) 21-1; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 21-3; St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) 5-1; Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.) 16-1; St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.) 15-1; St. Mary’s (Pheonix, Ariz.) 20-1; 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; Xaverian (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 5-1****.

Note: The FAB 50 powered by 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 He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores2

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