Four new teams crack the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com as the unprecedented 2020-21 season rolls along. More teams continue to begin their season, but winning teams are finding the road up the FAB 50 mountain to be difficult. New teams come from tough playoff brackets, as competition heats up across the country.
By Ronnie Flores
Three more highly-regarded teams got their 2020-21 season underway as Chicago Public League “favorite” Simeon (Chicago) and New York State powers Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) and Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) notched wins last week. As of now, only seven 0-0 teams remain in the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, with four of those from California. Of course, if those teams don’t play sanctioned games, they will eventually be removed from the rankings to make way for deserving teams.
Simeon opened its season February 25 with a 72-68 win over Curie (Chicago), but the favorite tag is for rankings purposes only. The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) will not conduct playoffs. Stepinac, which is part of the New York Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) Class AA league, got creative to get games in this season. Stepinac is taking part in the Brother Stoldt Best-of-Seven Series Trophy Competition with Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.). Most of the CHSAA’s teams are in New York City’s five boroughs and don’t have local health department approval to play sanctioned high school sports.
For teams with a small number of games under its belt, the climb up the FAB 50 will prove difficult and a loss will send them tumbling down the ladder. For ranked teams in the 20-game range that play in difficult playoff brackets, the situation will be different. Three of this week’s newcomers come from difficult playoffs brackets, with the fourth being an independent program: Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.), which is no longer a full member of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).
Patrick School returns to the rankings at No. 39 after opening up No. 38 in the preseason, as does new new No. 48 Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.). Coach Jack Keefer’s club is one of the main contenders for the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Class 4A state crown along with front-runner and No. 16 Homestead (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) and FAB 50 bubble clubs Adams (South Bend, Ind.) and Carmel (Carmel, Ind.). Unbeaten Homestead, led by standout junior transfer Fletcher Loyer and Illinois-bound Luke Goode, has made a slow move up the FAB 50 ladder and defeated Lawrence North in overtime, 55-50. Lawrence North’s other loss is to Carmel. Crispus Attucks (Indianapolis) is a talented team Lawrence North will have to contend with just to get out of its own region.
More than one IHSAA Class 4A team may end up in the final FAB 50 and it’s basically a lock at least two from Texas’ University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 6A tournament will. No. 14 Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) and No. 15 Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas) are neck-and-beck in the rankings and could meet in the Region 2 final. Waxahachie won the regular season contest in overtime, 88-85, but remain behind Duncanville in the rankings because of losses to unranked but talented iSchool (Lewisville, Texas) and McKinney (McKinney, Texas). The second regular season game between the two District 11 powers was cancelled while Duncanville is gunning for its second UIL Class 6A crown in three years after last year’s state UIL final four was cancelled because of COVID-19.
No. 24 Westlake (Austin, Texas) has only lost to Duncanville (77-67) and is a major contender out of Region 4. This week’s newcomer from the UIL Class 6A ranks is No. 44 Richardson (Richardson, Texas), which has only lost to Waxahachie (71-68) and is in Region 1. Richardson broke into the FAB 50 at No. 44 by knocking out South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) from the ranks of the unbeaten, 64-54, and ending that team’s season at 21-1 behind 33 points from junior forward Cason Wallace.
The fourth team to enter the fray this week is No. 37 Victory Rock Prep (Bradenton, Fla.), which captured the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association (SIAA) crown in Florida with a 93-77 victory over The Rock School (Gainesville , Fla.). The big win for Victory Rock Prep came in the SIAA semifinals, as it knocked off previous No. 26 Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.) after defeating Downey Christian (Orlando, Fla.) in the quarterfinals.
The Blue Devils were led to victory by Kevin “Boopie” Miller, a six-foot senior point guard originally from Chicago. He netted 27 points and added six rebounds and seven assists in the win over Downey Christian, had 31 points, three rebounds and seven assists in the win over Central Pointe Christian and 29 points, four rebounds and eight assists in the title game win over The Rock School.
Victory Rock Prep, Central Pointe Christian and highly-regarded and SIAA member West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.) are now headed to the Grind Session Championships, which begin March 2 in Phoenix, Ariz. So even though Victory Rock Prep won the SIAA crown, it’s not a done deal that this year’s SIAA champ will end up as the highest ranked FAB 50 team from the talent-laden conference.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(11th poll of 2020-21 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, February 28; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Does not include results vs. out-of-season opponents; ****Season complete.)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||20-1|
|2||2||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||18-2|
|3||3||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||21-2|
|4||4||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||9-0***|
|5||5||Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)||18-6|
|6||6||Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)||9-0|
|7||7||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||1-0|
|8||8||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||6-0|
|9||9||Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)||11-1|
|10||10||Milton (Milton, Ga.)||25-2|
|11||11||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||0-0|
|12||12||O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.)||0-0|
|13||13||Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)||26-0|
|14||14||Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)||25-1|
|15||15||Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas)||19-2|
|16||16||Homestead (Ft. Wayne, Ind.)||23-0|
|17||18||North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)||11-0|
|18||19||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||1-0|
|19||17||Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.)||2-0|
|20||20||St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.)||0-0|
|21||21||Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.)||20-0|
|22||22||Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.)||21-2|
|23||23||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)||5-0***|
|24||24||Westlake (Austin, Texas)||27-1|
|25||25||Houston (Germantown, Tenn.)||17-3|
|26||30||St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)||6-0|
|27||27||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||18-8|
|28||28||Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)||7-4****|
|29||32||Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.)||6-0|
|30||31||Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)||1-0|
|31||29||Poly (Baltimore, Md.)||0-0|
|32||36||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||6-1|
|33||34||Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.)||26-4|
|34||35||Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)||24-3|
|35||37||Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)||25-1|
|36||44||Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.)||21-2|
|37||NR||Victory Rock Prep (Bradenton, Fla.)||27-5|
|38||39||St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio)||18-2|
|39||NR||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||10-1|
|40||26||Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.)||30-6|
|41||40||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||0-2***|
|42||42||St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)||21-2|
|43||43||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||0-0|
|44||NR||Richardson (Richardson, Texas)||23-1|
|45||46||Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)||0-0|
|46||47||Waukee Senior (Waukee, Iowa)||10-2|
|47||49||Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.)||14-1|
|48||NR||Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)||22-2|
|49||48||Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, Calif.)||0-0|
|50||50||Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Col.)||11-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 33 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.), No. 38 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), No. 41 Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.), No. 45 Ballard (Louisville, Ky.).
Bubble Teams: Adams (South Bend, Ind.) 21-1; Auburn (Auburn, Ala.) 20-3; American Fork (American Fork, Utah) 16-6; Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 17-1; Blue Ridge (St. George, Va.) 15-0****; Blue Valley North West (Overland Park, Kan.) 19-1; Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 15-7; Cannon School (Concord, N.C.) 27-5****; Cedar Falls (Cedar Falls, Iowa) 18-0; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 0-0; Central (Little Rock, Ark.) 20-4; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 17-1; Christ The King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 0-0; Clinton (Clinton, Miss.) 19-1; DePaul College Prep (Chicago, Ill.) 6-0; Eagle’s Landing (McDonough, Ga.) 26-1; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 0-0; Elder (Cincinnati, Ohio) 19-3; Forest Hill (Jackson, Miss.) 21-1; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; Grand Blanc (Grand Blanc, Mich.) 4-1; Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 22-4****; Green Run (Virginia Beach, Va.) 9-1****; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 0-0; Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 19-6; Kingfisher (Kingfisher, Okla.) 21-1; Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.) 21-3; La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 10-9; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 0-0; Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.) 9-7; Magnolia (Magnolia, Ark.) 18-0; McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 23-4; Mentor (Mentor, Ohio) 21-0; Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) 23-2; Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) 14-4; Mundelein (Mundelein, Ill.) 10-1; North Laurel (London, Ky.) 18-0; Notre Dame College Prep (Niles, Ill.) 11-1; Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) 22-2; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 24-3; Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) 12-1; Rangeview (Aurora, Col.) 11-0; River Rouge (River Rouge, Mich.) 7-1; Seattle Prep (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; Shawnee (Lima, Ohio) 22-1; South Central (Winterville, N.C.) 13-0**; South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) 21-1****; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 20-2; Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.) 16-1****; St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 0-0; St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 0-0; St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) 7-1; Sunnyslope (Phoenix, Ariz.) 14-1; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 9-1**; Westlake (Saratoga Springs, Utah) 19-3; Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 24-5; Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 6-0; Windward (Los Angeles, Calif.) 0-0.
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 21 years ago.