This was the week in the playoffs that caused major change in the new FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. Tough foes in the deep playoff rounds and championship games caused some teams top drop after being upset or finding out perhaps they weren’t as highly-touted as last week’s ranking indicated. There’s a whopping seven newcomers this week and all were recently crowned state champs. Some state champs will play on and what teams those are is becoming clearer.
A majority of the states around the country are now done for the 2022-23 season, as a plethora of state champions were crowned over the past week. The results of those games created much change in this week’s FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com.
Perhaps the most anticipated state title game was the University Intersholastic League’s (UIL) Class 6A title game between then No. 8 Lake Highlands (Dallas, Texas) and No. 13 Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) Saturday evening at the Alamodome in San Antonio. It was a close affair that Lake Highlands took control of with a 13-1 run to close the third period with the Wildcats holding a 42-37 lead.
Beaumont United, which was looking to capture a third consecutive UIL state crown after winning in Class 5A in 2022 and 2021, put together a quick 5-0 run to cut its deficit to 44-42 with five minutes remaining in the game. The Timberwolves, however, did not score a field goal in the final 4:54 of the contest, as Lake Highlands went on to record a 55-44 victory to capture its first UIL state crown since 1968.
Tre Johnson, a talented 6-foot-5 junior who many respected analysts feel is the top 2024 prospect in the country, finished with 29 points on 8-of-17 shooting and added eight rebounds for Lake Highlands. Johnson made tough field goal attempts look easy and certainly has the look of a two-time All-American. Another key was the defensive presence of 6-foot-10 Yale bound Samson Aletan. His play in the pivot down the stretch was key in limiting Beaumont United’s ability to make a goal, as he finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and set a Class 6A state title game record with seven blocked shots.
Beaumont United, which was led by All-American candidate Wesley Yates III with 21 points, did not drop in the updated rankings. The Timberwolves owns wins over No. 14 Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.), No. 44 Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.) and No. 47 Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah) with its first loss coming in the second game of the season.
Lake Highlands is able to move up one spot this week to No. 7 after the previous team in that spot, Centennial (Corona, Calif.), saw its two-year reign as California’s best team end with a 80-61 home loss to Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) in the CIF SoCal open final on Tuesday. The margin of defeat in that game and the fact it was at home drops the Huskies 14 spots to No. 21 this week. They are now behind New Jersey Non-Public B state champ Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.), a team that beat the Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) club Centennial lost to.
Harvard-Westlake is one of the big risers this week after capturing the CIF open crown at the Golden One Center in Sacramento with a 76-65 victory over St. Joseph (Santa Maria, Calif.), which became the first ever team from Santa Barbara County to appear in a CIF major division title game. Harvard Westlake was able to avenge its section pool play loss to No. 32 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) in the SoCal open semifinals, 69-64. Harvard-Westlake’s team, featuring senior forward Brady Dunlap and junior point guard Trent Perry, was one of the most balanced and well-rounded on both ends of the floor that we’ve been in CIF play over the past 40 years and likely will end up as the second highest-rated team ever in program history. In 1996-97, a Harvard-Westlake club led by the Collins twins (future NBA players Jason and Jarron) won the CIF D3 state title (there was no open division then) and finished No. 5 in the National Prep Poll (FAB 50 precursor) after losing one game to a Tracy McGrady-led Mt. Zion club from North Carolina by four points in the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational Tournament title game.
Speaking of St. John Bosco, West Linn (Ore.) must remain in front of the Braves after an upset loss to Tualatin (Ore.) in the Oregon Schools Activities Association (OSAA) Class 6A title game at the Chiles Center becasue of a head-to-head result. The Timberwolves, who had three prior losses to their Three Rivers League opponent earlier in the season, came out on top of a 60-47 game behind a stellar defensive performance and 20 points from senior point guard Josiah Lake. Tualatin held West Linn to one field goal in the first quarter and out-rebounded the top seed, 37-23.
Junior forward Jaden Steppe had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while junior pivot Jayden Fortier added nine points and 15 rebounds for a club that breaks into the FAB 50 at No. 30, one spot ahead of West Linn and two spots ahead of St. John Bosco. Veteran FAB 50 observers might feel it’s too high a jump for the Timberwolves, but upon further inspection Tualatin deserves plenty of rankings credit. Three of its losses were to West Linn and in the quarterfinals of the Lew Schwab Invitational in December, Tualatin could have beat the Lions in regulation, but missed some free throws and lost in overtime. Tualatin’s core has played together since middle school and this is actually its second consecutive Class 6A state crown.
At the Les Schwab, West Linn defeated FAB 50 No. 4 Duncanville (Texas), so Tualatin got the big win it needed at the right time over a team that had built a terrific resume. Duncanville will finish as the highest ranked UIL club after beating Class 6A champ Lake Highlands, 53-52, in November. Duncanville, the 2022 FAB 50 National Champions, opted not to participate in this year’s UIL playoffs after it was stripped of last year’s state crown for violation of UIL bylaws.
The team right in front of Duncanville in the FAB 50, No. 3 John Marshall (Richmond, Va.), closed out its season in dominant fashion and is in the running for the FAB 50 national title. Its Virginia High School League (VHSL) Class 2A state title game win over Radford (Va.) was more like a coronation than a contest. In the 91-34 domination, the Justices got out to a 16-0 lead and were up 51-13 at halftime. If there was ever a state association that needed an open division or Tournament of Champions, it’s the VSHL.
John Marshall, which owns wins over No. 6 Columbus (Miami, Fla.) and No. 33 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), had an average playoff game winning margin of a whopping 65.5 points in six contests. In order for the Justices to have a shot at the FAB 50 crown, it will need some help from some of the six teams ranked behind No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) and No. 2 Link Academy (Branson, Mo.) who are part of the eight-team 2023 GEICO Nationals field. CLICK HERE for the announcement of the participating teams in the event set for March 30 through April 1.
Teams still alive in their respective state playoffs or those projected to participate in the second annual State Champions Invitational set for April 6-8 in the DMV region do not have an asterisk by their won-loss record.
RELATED: 2023 GEICO Nationals Field Announced | Updated 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
(13th poll of 2022-23 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 12; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Indicates season complete)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||23-2|
|2||2||Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)||24-1|
|3||3||John Marshall (Richmond, Va.)||28-0***|
|4||4||Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)||28-1***|
|5||5||Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.)||30-0|
|6||6||Columbus (Miami, Fla.)||26-4***|
|7||8||Lake Highlands (Dallas, Texas)||34-3***|
|8||9||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||21-2|
|9||12||Central Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.)||32-0***|
|10||10||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||23-2***|
|11||11||Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)||26-3|
|12||21||Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)||33-2***|
|13||13||Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)||36-2***|
|14||15||Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.)||27-4|
|15||16||St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)||32-4***|
|16||17||Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)||31-3|
|17||14||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||21-7|
|18||18||Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.)||30-1***|
|19||19||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||16-7|
|20||22||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||22-5|
|21||7||Centennial (Corona, Calif.)||31-4***|
|22||26||Penn (Wishawaka, Ind.)||27-1|
|23||23||AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.)||21-6|
|24||24||Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.)||24-3|
|25||25||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||23-3|
|26||28||Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)||38-4***|
|27||29||Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.)||29-0***|
|28||30||De Pere (De Pere, Wis.)||27-0|
|29||31||Cass Tech (Detroit, Mich.)||23-1|
|30||NR||Tualatin (Tualatin, Ore.)||24-5***|
|31||20||West Linn (West Linn, Ore.)||28-2***|
|32||32||St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)||26-7***|
|33||33||Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.)||26-6***|
|34||34||Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas)||31-3**|
|35||39||Richmond Heights (Richmond Heights, Ohio)||27-0|
|36||40||Kimball (Kimball, Texas)||33-2***|
|37||NR||Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.)||26-2***|
|38||NR||Christ School (Arden, N.C.)||31-4***|
|39||42||Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.)||29-2***|
|40||44||Warren Central (Bowling Green, Ky.)||32-1|
|41||47||Radnor (Radnor, Pa.)||27-0|
|42||43||Lake City (Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho)||26-0***|
|43||48||Curtis (University Place, Wash.)||28-3|
|44||NR||Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.)||30-3***|
|45||46||Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.)||30-11***|
|46||49||Durango (Las Vegas, Nev.)||21-6***|
|47||50||Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah)||24-2**|
|48||NR||Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)||27-10***|
|49||NR||Moline (Moline, Ill.)||35-3***|
|50||NR||Kell (Marietta, Ga.)||28-2***|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 27 Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), No. 35 Simeon (Chicago, Ill.), No. 36 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), No. 37 Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.), No. 38 Carter (Dallas, Texas), No. 41 Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow, Okla.), No. 45 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio).
Bubble Teams: Andover (Andover, Kan.) 23-2***; Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) 21-9; Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.) 35-2***; Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 21-4***; Bondurant-Farrar (Bondurant, Iowa) 24-0***; Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.) 29-3***; Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.) 32-3**; Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) 27-2***; Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.) 28-4***; Carter (Dallas, Texas) 31-4***; Catholic B.R. (Baton Rouge, La.) 28-6***; Centerville (Centerville, Ohio) 25-3; Cherokee (Canton, Ga.) 25-7***; Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 23-5***; East (Denver, Col.) 26-2***; DME Academy (Daytona Beach, Fla.) 26-8**; Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) 29-1***; Eagle’s Landing (McDonough, Ga.) 29-2***; Ellison (Killeen, Texas) 38-4***; Farmville Central (Farmville, N.C.) 30-1***; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 25-2***; Grand Blanc (Grand Blanc, Mich.) 22-2; Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 24-6***; Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) 30-5***; Hammond Central (Hammond, Ind.) 26-1; Hayfield (Alexandria, Va.) 30-1***; Highland (Warrenton, Va.) 30-3***; Highland Park (Topeka Kan.) 21-0**; Hoover (Hoover, Ala.) 31-4***; Isidore Newman (New Orleans, La.) 32-6***; Kapun Mt. Carmel (Wichita, Kan.) 23-2***; Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 21-10***; McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 23-7***; Metamora (Metamora, Ill.) 34-2***; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 22-2; Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.) 28-4***; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 26-5***; North Farmington (Farmington Hills, Mich.) 21-1; North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) 29-3***; Northside (Roanoke, Va.) 27-1***; Park Center (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) 24-2; Reidsville (Reidesville, N.C.) 26-1***; Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.) 33-4***; Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 32-4***; Staley (Kansas City, Mo.) 28-2; St. Augustine (San Diego, Calif.) 28-5***; St. Maria Goretti (Hagerstown, Md.) 27-7***; UOD Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.) 20-4; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 22-7; Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa) 21-5***; Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.) 29-1***; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 19-10***; West Oaks (Orlando, Fla.) 21-8; West Ranch (Valencia, Calif.) 29-3***; Yazoo City (Yazoo City, Miss.) 30-5.
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