Montverde Academy of Florida, the three-time defending champion, takes over the top spot in the first FAB 50 Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com of the 2015-16 regular season. There are seven newcomers to the rankings led by No. 35 Moreau Catholic (Hayward, Calif.) and No. 39 Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.).
By Ronnie Flores
With Duke-bound Harry Giles injured right out of the gate for preseason FAB No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), it figured to be a tough grind to retain its ranking and remain unbeaten against a loaded schedule.
On November 14, the Warriors were caught flat against 22ft Academy (Greenville, S.C.) and lost 70-67 at the Phenom Hoops National Showcase. Now, we are cognizant that program carries post-graduates and every so often Oak Hill Academy and other national academy-type programs take on teams with players who’ve exhausted their regular high school eligibility. It comes with the territory for many of the teams in serious contention for the nation’s No. 1 ranking, and such games are still good barometers because of the common opponent factor among ranked teams.
We didn’t over penalize Steve Smith’s club for that loss because of the unique situation, as other results have shown the Warriors still have a fine team without Giles. Oak Hill Academy proved that with a 69-62 win over Giles’ future Duke teammate and Mr. Basketball USA candidate Jayson Tatum and his team at Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) at the recent Marshall County Hoopest in Kentucky. Senior Braxton Key led Oak Hill with 18 points while junior Lindell Wigginton added 17. The Warriors, who closed the Chaminade game on a 13-2 run, also defeated Thon-Maker and Athletes Institute (Orangeville, Ontario, Canada) at the Marshall County Hoopfest and own a victory over No. 44 Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.).
Oak Hill drops two spots to No. 3 while Chaminade drops five spots to No. 12. Oak Hill has plenty more tests on its national schedule as does Chaminade, which takes on Mr. Basketball USA candidate Malik Monk and No. 24 Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.) on December 12 before heading to the loaded City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla. Dec. 18-23.
Bentonville moved up eight spots after defeating defending Oklahoma Class 5A state champ Mustang (Mustang, Okla.) on November 28, 84-79. Monk netted 46 points and the game was iced when Tyler Robinson hit two free throws with seven seconds remaining. Mustang drops two spots as the last team in the Top 25 of the FAB 50.
With Oak Hill losing, the new No. 1 is three-time defending FAB 50 champion Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.). This young Eagles team is off to a 6-0 start, but has a major test looming on Monday versus Huntington St. Joseph Prep (Huntington, W. Va.). Montverde Academy takes on the Fightin’ Irish (a program not eligible for the FAB 50) at home in a game televised by ESPN2 before it too heads to the City of Palms Classic.
Montverde Academy has handed No. 31 Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.) and No. 46 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) its only losses so far in what is proving to be an excellent season with regards to the depth of quality teams in Georgia. Greenforest Christian Academy (Decatur, Ga.) is off to a 7-0 start and moves up to No. 11 after impressive wins over bubble club Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 77-48 and Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) 56-44. Greenforest Christian Academy is now one spot ahead of Chaminade, which needed overtime to knock off Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), which just missed the FAB 50, at the Chicago Elite Classic.
The top newcomer is Moreau Catholic (Hayward, Calif.), which opened its season with a 60-59 win over preseason No. 13 Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth, Calif.) at the NorCal Tip-Off Classic in Newark, Calif. on November 28. The Mariners won the contest on a last-second lay-up by San Jose St.-bound Terrell Brown. NorCal’s top raked team moves into the FAB 50 at No. 35, one spot ahead of the Sierra Canyon club it beat and was No. 1 in the nation in one poll.
California’s most impressive club so far has been No. 9 Chino Hills, which has scored over 100 points three times, including a 108-86 win over new No. 50 Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.) in The Battle Zone championship game last Saturday evening. Foothills Christian breaks in as the final FAB 50 team after knocking off previous No. 43 Centennial (Corona, Calif.) earlier in the tournament, 69-61, after trialing by seven points in the final period.
Chino Hills will join Bentonville, Moreau Catholic and No. 37 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) at the Maxpreps Holiday Classic in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Dec. 26-30.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
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(First poll of the 2015-16 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, December 6; Preseason ranking in parentheses; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||2||Montverde Academy (Monterde, Fla.)||6-0|
|2||3||Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.)||1-0|
|3||1||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||9-1|
|4||4||Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)||8-0|
|5||5||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||2-0|
|6||6||Garfield (Seattle, Wash.)||1-0|
|7||10||La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)||8-0|
|8||9||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||1-0|
|9||11||Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.)||5-0|
|10||15||Atascocita (Humble, Texas)||13-0|
|11||18||Greenforest Christian Academy (Decatur, Ga.)||7-0|
|12||7||Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.)||2-1|
|13||14||St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)||0-0|
|14||16||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||0-0|
|15||17||Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.)||4-0|
|16||24||Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.)||4-0|
|17||20||Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio)||2-0|
|18||33||Norland (Miami, Fla.)||5-0|
|19||12||Oldsmar Christian (Oldsmar, Fla.)||4-1|
|20||19||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||1-0|
|21||21||Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.)||0-0|
|22||30||Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.)||3-0|
|23||26||Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.)||1-0|
|24||36||St. John's (Washington, D.C.)||3-0|
|25||23||Mustang (Mustang, Okla.)||1-1|
|26||29||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||0-0|
|27||35||St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.)||3-0|
|28||42||Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wis.)||3-0|
|29||40||Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.)||4-0|
|30||45||Westfield (Chantility, Va.)||0-0|
|31||31||Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.)||5-1|
|32||32||Althoff Catholic (Belleville, Ill.)||5-1|
|33||38||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||1-0|
|34||47||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||2-0|
|35||NR||Moreau Catholic (Hayward, Calif.)||1-0|
|36||13||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||0-1|
|37||39||Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)||2-0|
|38||8||Advanced Prep International (Dallas, Texas)||7-2|
|39||NR||Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)||6-0|
|40||44||West Linn (West Linn, Ore.)||0-0|
|41||NR||Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.)||2-0|
|42||NR||University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.)||0-0|
|43||48||Lima Senior (Lima, Ohio)||0-0|
|44||NR||Providence Country Day (Charlotte, N.C.)||7-2|
|45||NR||Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.)||2-0|
|46||46||Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.)||4-1|
|47||25||High Point Christian (High Point, N.C.)||4-1|
|48||50||Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.)||1-0|
|49||49||Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)||10-1|
|50||NR||Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.)||4-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 22 Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.), No. 27 Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ga.), No. 28 Norman North (Norman, Okla.), No. 34 Southport (Indianapolis, Ind.), No. 37 Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), No. 41 Starkville (Starkville, Miss.), No. 43 Centennial (Corona, Calif.).
Bubble Teams: American Fork (American Fork, Utah) 2-0; Barstow (Kansas City, Mo.) 1-0; Bartow (Bartow, Fla.) 3-0; Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) 0-0; Cape Henry Collegiate (Virginia Beach, Va.) 1-0; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 4-1; Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.) 4-1; Columbus (Columbus, Miss.) 6-1; De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 0-0; DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas) 10-1; East English Village Prep (Detroit, Mich.) 0-0; Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.) 1-0; Evelyn Mack (Charlotte, N.C.) 8-1; Father Tolton (Columbia, Mo.) 3-0; Fenwick (Fenwick, Ill.) 6-0; Folsom (Folsom, Calif.) 2-0; Garfield Heights (Garfield Heights, Ohio) 3-0; Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 7-1; Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 5-0; Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.) 3-0; Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa) 1-1; J.O. Johnson (Huntsville, Ala.) 6-2; Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 2-0; Meridian (Meridian, Miss.) 8-1; Merrillville (Merrillville, Ind.) 3-0; Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) 4-1; Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) 1-0; New Albany (New Albany, Ind.) 2-0; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 4-1; Norman North (Norman, Okla.) 3-1; North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) 3-0; North Crowley (Fort Worth, Texas) 9-1; Overland (Aurora, Colo.) 1-0; Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) 2-0; Queens High School of Teaching (Queens, N.Y.) 4-0; Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.) 4-0; Southport (Indianapolis, Ind.) 2-1; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 7-1; St. Raymond’s (Bronx, N.Y.) 1-0; Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) 5-2; Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 4-1; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 6-0; Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) 6-1; Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 1-0.
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 16 years ago.