Some states have already wrapped up their seasons and many others will crown state champions this upcoming weekend. As the season comes to a close, we reward teams in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com whose resumes have been good enough to crack the list without a blemish. High-risers this week include H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) and Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). Among three newcomers, one is unbeaten Shenendehowa (Clifton Park, N.Y.).
By Ronnie Flores
Public schools in Washington, D.C. don’t get the notoriety many of the private and parochial schools in the region do, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t good basketball played in programs where there isn’t any tuition to pay in order to attend.
According to head coach Trey Mines, many of the players in his program at H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) come from rough backgrounds and don’t have it easy. The everyday struggle makes what transpired on the court this season, particularly in the past week, that much sweeter.
This past Thursday night, Woodson senior Kavon Montgomery was shot in the back near his home hours after the Warriors knocked off Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 105-102 in double overtime in the D.C. State Athletic Association semifinals behind Kiyon Boyd’s 37 points. Gonzaga was previously ranked in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com and comes from the WCAC, arguably the nation’s top basketball conference and one that has had as many of four of its programs nationally-ranked at the same time in recent seasons.
H.D. Woodson proved it could play with any team in the region and climbed in the Washington Post’s weekly rankings as the season wore along. The Warriors capped off a improbable season, and luckily avoided tragedy as Montgomery wasn’t seriously hurt and was able to play in Woodson’s next game: a 60-47 win over Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.) in the DCSAA title game.
Montgomery netted the Warriors’ first field goal, senior Antwan Walker led the way with 19 points, while Boyd contributed 11 to cap off an unbeaten season. With its unblemished mark (Woodson won one game via default), the Warriors became the first D.C. public school to finish undefeated since the 1984-85 season, according to the Washington Post.
With its 32-0 on-court record, H.D. Woodson moves up 13 spots in this week’s FAB 50, as we will continue to reward deserving teams that finish undefeated from here until the final poll on April 4.
Is H.D. Woodson Done?
As noted in the FAB 50 rankings, many teams have won conference or state championships to conclude their 2015-2016 season. For some teams, such as previous No. 19 Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio), which was upset by Lakota East, 60-57, in a OHSAA Division I district title game, the season ends with a loss. The overall resume, however, is still good enough to be considered for the FAB 50.
H.D. Woodson’s default win is noted, but as is the case with other teams that have won titles such as No. 15 Greenforest Christian Academy (Decatur, Ga.) and No. 40 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), its season may not be over. That’s because those three state association member clubs and other independent programs are under consideration for the eight-team field at the Dick’s Nationals to be played in New York March 31-April 2.
Expect No. 2 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), No. 7 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), No. 8 St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.), No. 9 Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.) and No. 11 La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) to participate with two spots remaining for elite independent programs or state champions from Georgia, South Carolina, Florida or Utah.
There would be some Tile IX limitations, but as the event approaches a decade in existence, we’d love to see the Dick’s Nationals field expand to 16 teams.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(Twelfth poll of the 2015-16 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 6; Previous ranking in parentheses; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Indicates season complete)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.)||31-0|
|2||2||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||25-1|
|3||3||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||40-1|
|4||4||Atascocita (Humble, Texas)||37-0|
|5||5||St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)||28-0|
|6||6||University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.)||20-0|
|7||10||Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)||28-1|
|8||11||St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.)||32-1|
|9||9||Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.)||30-3|
|10||7||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||26-4|
|11||12||La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)||25-3|
|12||8||St. John's (Washington, D.C.)||28-4|
|13||13||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||28-5|
|14||14||Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.)||28-1|
|15||15||Greenforest Christian Academy (Decatur, Ga.)||30-2|
|16||20||Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.)||28-3|
|17||16||Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wis.)||24-0|
|18||21||Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.)||26-0|
|19||17||Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.)||23-5|
|20||27||Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.)||26-2|
|21||18||Dakota (Macomb, Mich.)||20-0|
|22||24||Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.)||24-4|
|23||30||Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)||31-0|
|24||25||Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)||28-1|
|25||26||Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.)||28-1|
|26||33||Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)||28-2|
|27||40||H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.)||32-0**|
|28||28||Lima Senior (Lima, Ohio)||26-0|
|29||29||Althoff Catholic (Belleville, Ill.)||27-2|
|30||31||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||23-4|
|31||32||Archbishop Carroll (Radnor, Pa.)||23-3|
|32||35||Advanced International Prep (Dallas, Texas)||34-7|
|33||38||Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)||29-3|
|34||34||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||26-3|
|35||NR||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||21-7|
|36||36||Fenwick (Oak Park, Ill.)||27-2|
|37||23||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||23-6|
|38||41||Federal Way (Federal Way, Wash.)||29-0***|
|39||37||West Linn (West Linn, Ore.)||23-3|
|40||42||Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)||30-2|
|41||39||Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.)||24-3|
|42||46||Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.)||33-2|
|43||47||Fort Bend Elkins (Missouri City, Texas)||35-2|
|44||44||High Point Christian (High Point, N.C.)||24-6***|
|45||45||Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)||28-5***|
|46||48||West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.) 25-4***||25-4***|
|47||49||Rangeview (Aurora, Col.)||26-0|
|48||NR||Overland (Aurora, Col.)||23-3|
|49||50||DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas)||33-2|
|50||NR||Shenendehowa (Clifton Park, N.Y.)||24-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 19 Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio), No. 22 Garfield (Seattle, Wash.), No. 43 Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ga.).
Bubble Teams: Aliquippa (Aliquippa, Pa.) 26-0; Allderdice (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 25-1; Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) 24-2; Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 25-7***; Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 20-7; Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) 25-4***; De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 28-2; Del-Val Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 25-4; Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 28-5***; East English Village Prep (Detroit, Mich.) 16-4; Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.) 24-4; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 26-3***; Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 23-8; Grandview Prep (Boca Raton, Fla.) 34-0***; Hammond (Columbia, S.C.) 22-2; Houston Math Science & Tech (Houston, Texas) 33-4; Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ga.) 28-5***; Kickapoo (Springfield, Mo.) 26-2; Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas) 34-2; Lee’s Summit (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) 27-0; Liberty County (Hinesville, Ga.) 28-1***; Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 23-7; Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) 22-3; Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 27-4; McComb (McComb, Miss.) 28-0**; Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.) 30-1; Mustang (Mustang, Okla.) 19-6; National Christian Academy (Ft. Washington, Md.) 28-2; New Albany (New Albany, Ind.) 23-1; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 26-4***; Norland (Miami, Fla.) 25-5***; Norman North (Norman, Okla.) 22-3; Oldsmar Christian (Oldsmar, Fla.) 29-9*; Omaha South (Omaha, Neb.) 25-1; Ozen (Beaumont, Texas) 31-4***; Peabody (Alexandria, La.) 34-1; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 24-6***; Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.) 21-2; Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.) 27-5***; Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) 19-6; Victory Rock Prep (Sarasota, Fla.) 25-6***; Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio) 25-1***; Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio) 22-4; Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.) 27-4***; Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.) 28-6***; Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 22-6***; Wilmington (Wilmington, Ohio) 24-1.
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 16 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