NEW FAB 50: Teams Gear Up For Playoffs!

Showcase games and tournaments are winding down for the 2021-22 season, and last weekend’s marquee games brought some change to the latest edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. There are five new teams and for the second consecutive week the highest newcomer comes from the powerful Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), as teams vie for conference or district titles around the country.

By Ronnie Flores

Some of the nation’s top teams play in districts or conferences where they will easily win a vast majority of those games. It’s amazing when you think of all the high school games played around the country each week and how the vast majority of the teams in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com and on the bubble win their games.

It’s really difficult to crack the rankings and even the bubble clubs are extremely good.

Easy conference victories are the reason why top teams wants to travel nationally and play in tournaments and showcases. Last weekend was no different, as four FAB 50 ranked teams traveled to Montverde, Fla. to participate in the 2022 Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament.

After defeating then No. 21 Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) in the semifinals, 54-51, then No. 11 Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) took on host and No. 4 Montverde Academy in the MAIT title game. The Eagles had a chance to shake up the rankings, playing the six-time and defending FAB 50 champions tough on their home court, before Kentucky-bound Skyy Clark knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give MVA a dramatic 79-76 victory. Calvary Christian led 33-23 at halftime before Montverde Academy made a frantic comeback.

Clark, who missed most of his junior season with injury and is just now rounding into form after sitting out the first semester, was named MAIT MVP after scoring 19 points. Clark’s teammates, Dillon Mitchell (Texas) and Dariq Whitehead (Duke), were also named all-tournament, as was the Calvary Christian duo of Taylor Hendricks (Central Florida) and Marvel Allen (LSU).

Montverde Academy remained No. 4 in the FAB 50, while Calvary Christian Academy actually rose a spot in the rankings to No. 10. CCA has beaten No. 13 Camden (N.J.), No. 14 North Little Rock (Ark.), and No 18 Dr. Phillips twice.

Camden rose up two spots this week after taking down previous No. 10 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) on Saturday, 66-62, at the sold-out PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. and before a live television audience. Sierra Canyon couldn’t get anything going early, falling behind 15-2 after one period of play. Sierra Canyon outscored The High in each of the final three quarters, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the slow start. Mr. Basketball USA candidate D.J. Wagner led Camden with 21 points, while McDonald’s All-American Amari Bailey (UCLA) led Sierra Canyon with 23 points.

This week’s highest rated newcomer is No. 40 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) from the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC). The legendary program got back on the winning track by handing previous No. 17 Bishop McNamara (Forrestville, Md.) both its first WCAC and overall loss with a 77-50 victory.

DeMatha replaced previous No. 33 Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) in the FAB 50 after the Knights fell to unranked St. John’s (Washington, D.C.), 63-59. Bishop McNamara still remains in first place in the WCAC with only one loss (7-1) and comes in at No. 28 in the FAB 50 this week. DeMatha currently is 7-2 in conference, No. 30 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) and No. 35 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) are both 5-2, with O’Connell at 4-2.

This week Gonzaga will face St. John’s and O’Connell, DeMatha will face Paul VI, while Paul VI will also face St. John’s. There will also be a WCAC tournament at the conclusion of the regular season.

GEICO Nationals Announced

Last week it was announced GEICO Nationals will return to Suncoast Credit Arena in Fort Myers, Fla., for the second consecutive season. The end-of-season event designed to crown a national champion will take place March 31-April 2.

GEICO Nationals (previously known as Dick’s Nationals and the National High School Invitational) will field an eight-team bracket. The event was created at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season. The field will consist primarily of teams from the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC), as five it its eight teams are ranked in the Top 9 of the current FAB 50. It it closes strong, No. 6 Link Academy (Branson, Mo.) will be in line for an invite in its first year of existence.

In order for any in-season transfers to be eligible to participate in the event, they must have been registered for classes and enrolled at that particular school by January 10. The field will be announced on March 16.

Currently, FAB 50 No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy is 7-1 in NIBC play, No. 3 IMG Academy is 7-2, No. 4 Montverde Academy is 6-3, No. 9 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) is 5-3 and No. 8 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) is 5-5.

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Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com

(8th poll of 2021-22 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, January 30; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)

No.Prev.High School (City)Record
11Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)18-1
22Duncanville (Duncanville (Texas)22-1
33IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)19-2
44Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)16-4
55Centennial (Corona, Calif.)24-1
66Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)26-0
77Richardson (Richardson, Texas)25-1
88Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)22-7
99La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)13-3
1011Calvary Christian Academy (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)14-2
1112Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)24-0
1213Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)21-0
1315Camden (Camden, N.J.)12-2
1414North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.)17-3
1510Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)20-3
1618Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)15-1
1719Centerville (Centerville, Ohio)17-0
1821Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.)20-4
1916Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.)16-1
2020Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)12-4
2122Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)24-2
2224Weddington (Matthews, N.C.)19-0
2326Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio)16-0
2428Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.)21-0
2525Garfield (Seattle, Wash.)14-0
2627Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)14-4
2730Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.)17-3
2817Bishop McNamara (Forrestville, Md.)12-1
2929Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)20-2
3034Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)16-3
3135Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)13-4
3244Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)15-3
3331Liberty (Henderson, Nev.)13-3
3432Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas)23-4**
3537Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)11-3
3638St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)24-3
3723Glenbrook South (Glenview, Ill.)22-2
3839Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)13-4
3931Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)15-4
40NRDeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)12-4
4143New Hanover (Wilmington, N.C.)15-0
42NRSouth Shore (Brooklyn, N.Y.)17-2**
43NRArchbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.)16-3
4447Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.)18-1
45NRDurango (Las Vegas, Nev.)15-4
4646Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone, N.J.)10-3
47NRPebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.)18-2
4848York Prep (Rock Hill, S.C.)17-0
4949George Rodgers Clark (Winchester, Ky.)20-1
5050Westfield (Houston, Texas)23-1

Dropped Out: Previous No. 33 Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.), No. 36 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.), No. 40 Newton (Covington, Ga.), No. 42 Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Ill.), No. 45 Milton (Milton, Ga.).

Bubble Teams:  Auburn (Auburn, Wash.) 17-1; Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 25-3; Beecher (Flint, Mich.) 9-1; Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) 11-7; Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 10-1; Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, Okla.) 15-1; Brophy Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 19-2; Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.) 19-3; Catholic Central (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 12-1; Chambers (Charlotte. N.C.) 14-5; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 11-4; Chesterton (Chesterton, Ind.) 16-0; Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.) 22-0; Christian Brother’s (St. Louis, Mo.) 13-5; Damien (La Verne, Calif.) 22-2; Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 17-1; Del City (Cel City, Okla.) 14-3; Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) 18-5; Fairmont (Kettering, Ohio) 16-1; Hayfield (Alexandria, Va.) 16-0; John Marshall (Richmond, Va.) 10-3; Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Ill.) 18-6; King (Detroit, Mich.) 11-1; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 21-0; Lawrence Free State (Lawrence, Kan.) 10-0; Magnolia (Magnolia, Ark.) 16-0; Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas) 26-3; Memorial (Tulsa, Okla.) 17-1; Milton (Milton, Ga.) 16-7; Mountain Pointe (Phoenix, Ariz.) 14-1; Mount Si (Snoqualmie, Wash.) 16-0; Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) 9-0; Newton (Covington, Ga.) 17-4; New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.) 22-2; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 7-2; North Hills (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 16-0; Omaha Westside (Omaha, Neb.) 17-1; Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) 18-4; Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio) 16-1; Poly (Riverside, Calif.) 23-2; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 13-1; Reading (Reading, Pa.) 16-2; Richmond (Rockingham, N.C.) 16-1; Shiloh (Snellville, Ga.) 19-0; Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.) 17-1; South St. Paul (South St. Paul, Minn.) 16-0; Sunnyslope (Pheonix, Ariz.) 21-2; Staley (Kansas City, Mo.) 17-2; St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) 12-1; St. Thomas Aquinas (Edison, N.J.) 17-0; St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 12-3; The Burlington School (Burlington, N.C.) 22-5; Varina (Richmond, Va.) 15-0; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 16-2; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 10-8; West Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) 12-2; Westlake (Austin, Texas) 29-1; Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 17-4; Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 15-8**; Williamston (Williamston, Mich.) 12-0; Wisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee, Wis.) 15-1.

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 22 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

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