The Top 10 remains the same in the latest edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, but there is tons of shake-up and four new teams. Leading the charge among the new teams is No. 33 Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.).
By Ronnie Flores
In was a light week for clubs at the top of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com after a heavy MLK weekend. Particularly for clubs in the powerful National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC) there wasn’t much action and no movement.
It’s easy to point to the NIBC’s dominance (five of the FAB 50 Top 10), but the reality is two of the top five teams in the country are public schools: No. 2 Duncanville (Texas) and Centennial (Corona, Calif.). Duncanville remained unbeaten in district play, while Centennial had a busy week with four games in four days, including two on Saturday with one taking place at the State Preview Classic in Ontario, Calif., against bubble club Crean Lutheran (Irvine, Calif.). Not only did Centennial have to play in the morning and again at night against California’s No. 6 ranked team, it did so without 6-foot-9 2022 forward Devin Williams, who was out nursing a sprained ankle.
Even with New Mexico-bound point guard Donovan Dent picking up three fouls in the first quarter, Centennial still dominated the pace of the game and defeated Crean Lutheran, 72-57. Jared McCain, a 2023 point guard, controlled tempo and finished with 23 points, while 2023 forward Aaron McBride stepped up in Williams’ absence with 19 points. On Monday evening, Centennial had another tough road test against state No. 4 and bubble club Poly (Riverside, Calif.). The Huskies won in even more dominant fashion, downing Poly 62-37 (in a result that will be reflected in next week’s rankings) as Dent had 20 points with McCain adding 19.
Centennial’s recent results should result in home-court advantage for the CIF Southern Section open division playoffs and solidifies the fact the Huskies and No. 10 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) are far and away the CIF’s best two clubs. While Centennial had a heavy week, Sierra Canyon had a light one although it does have some big games coming up.
Sierra Canyon is scheduled to take on FAB 50 No. 15 Camden (N.J.) on January 29 at the Showdown in Allentown (Pennsylvania). Since October, Sierra Canyon has had on its school website schedule a February 5 game with FAB 50 No. 29 Simeon (Chicago) at the United Center in Chicago. That proposed matchup was to be part of an event produced by New York City-based Gold Level Sports & Entertainment.
Last weekend there was rumblings at When Sides Collide at Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.) that the Sierra Canyon-Simeon clash was not going to take place. On Sunday, Ballislife.com learned Sierra Canyon was going to play undefeated and then No. 15 Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), which easily dispatched then No. 41 Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.), 74-59, in a game not as close as the final score indicated. Also at the When Sides Collide event, then No. 35 Glenbrook South (Glenview, Ill.) beat then No. 29 Simeon (Chicago), 57-54.
It was announced on Monday by Skokie, Ill.-based Paragon Marketing Group No. 10 Sierra Canyon will face Glenbard West, which moved up to No. 12 after its big win over Whitney Young, on Saturday at Wintrust Arena in downtown Chicago. Also on the slate is Glenbrook South, which moved up to No. 23 after defeating Simeon with its only loss to Glenbard West, against bubble club Curie (Chicago). Both games will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Simeon will still play in a showcase event produced by Gold Level Sports & Entertainment, as it will take on regionally-ranked Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) at 7:30 pm CT as part of the Donda Homecoming at Credit Union 1 Arena on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago. Also on the slate are No. 42 Kenwood Academy (Chicago) taking on Hillcrest (Country Club Hills, Ill.) at 6 pm CT and Donda Academy (Simi Valley, Calif.) taking on Chicago Prep at 9 pm CT. Those games will be televised by NBC Chicago and streamed on Peacock.
Last week Bishop McNamara (Forrestville, Md.) was the highest ranked newcomer at No. 22 and this week its another club from the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) that is the highest ranked of four newcomers. It’s Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.), which currently sits in second place in the WCAC behind still unbeaten Bishop McNamara after recording victories over then No. 24 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) and No. 12 (12) Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) last week. Coach Joe Wootten’s club defeated Paul VI, 64-61, and downed Gonzaga 85-83, in overtime, on Sunday after losing to Bishop McNamara on Friday, 62-55.
Bishop O’Connell’s resume is a swoon for Liberty (Nev.), which moves up 18 spots this week to No. 31. Liberty defeated O’Connell, 78-62, at the Tarkanian Classic in December and is coming off a big 77-55 win over Coronado last week. Liberty will face No. 13 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) on Thursday.
New No. 32 Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas) would love to see Liberty take down Gorman or play them real close. Coach Brandon Thomas’ club lost to Liberty in the Tarkanian Classic semifinals and one week later saw a double-digit lead evaporate in the fourth quarter against Bishop Gorman in the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic title game. Oak Cliff Faith Family handed new No. 47 Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.) its only loss so far in the first round of the Holiday Classic.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(7th poll of 2021-22 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, January 23; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||16-1|
|2||2||Duncanville (Duncanville (Texas)||21-1|
|3||3||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||15-2|
|4||4||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||13-4|
|5||5||Centennial (Corona, Calif.)||20-1|
|6||6||Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)||26-0|
|7||7||Richardson (Richardson, Texas)||23-1|
|8||8||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||18-7|
|9||9||La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)||13-3|
|10||10||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||19-2|
|11||11||Calvary Christian Academy (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)||13-1|
|12||15||Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)||22-0|
|13||13||Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)||18-0|
|14||14||North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.)||15-3|
|15||16||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||10-2|
|16||17||Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.)||14-0|
|17||22||Bishop McNamara (Forrestville, Md.)||11-0|
|18||18||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||13-1|
|19||19||Centerville (Centerville, Ohio)||14-0|
|20||20||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||11-2|
|21||21||Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.)||17-3|
|22||23||Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)||21-2|
|23||35||Glenbrook South (Glenview, Ill.)||20-1|
|24||34||Weddington (Matthews, N.C.)||17-0|
|25||29||Garfield (Seattle, Wash.)||12-0|
|26||37||Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio)||14-0|
|27||27||Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)||14-4**|
|28||39||Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.)||20-0|
|29||26||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||16-2|
|30||48||Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.)||15-3|
|31||49||Liberty (Henderson, Nev.)||12-2|
|32||50||Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas)||21-4**|
|33||NR||Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.)||11-6|
|34||24||Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)||14-3|
|35||25||Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)||12-4|
|36||31||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||5-1|
|37||12||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||10-3|
|38||28||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)||21-3|
|39||32||Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)||12-4|
|40||33||Newton (Covington, Ga.)||15-3|
|41||30||Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)||12-3|
|42||40||Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Ill.)||16-5|
|43||44||New Hanover (Wilmington, N.C.)||13-0|
|44||36||Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)||12-3|
|45||38||Milton (Milton, Ga.)||13-7|
|46||46||Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone, N.J.)||8-3|
|47||NR||Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.)||15-1|
|48||NR||York Prep (Rock Hill, S.C.)||16-0|
|49||42||George Rodgers Clark (Winchester, Ky.)||17-1|
|50||NR||Westfield (Houston, Texas)||21-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 41 Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.), No. 43 Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.), No. 45 Word of God (Raleigh, N.C.), No. 47 Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.).
Bubble Teams: Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.) 14-3; Auburn (Auburn, Wash.) 14-1; Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 23-3; Beecher (Flint, Mich.) 8-1; Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 10-1; Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, Okla.) 13-1; Brophy Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 16-2; Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.) 17-3; Catholic Central (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 10-1; Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.) 19-5; Chambers (Charlotte. N.C.) 13-5; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 10-4; Chesterton (Chesterton, Ind.) 14-0; Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.) 20-0; Christian Brother’s (St. Louis, Mo.) 11-5; Crean Lutheran (Irvine, Calif.) 17-2; Curie (Chicago, Ill.) 19-2; Damien (La Verne, Calif.) 20-2; Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 16-0; Del City (Cel City, Okla.) 12-3; DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 9-4; Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) 16-4; Fairmont (Kettering, Ohio) 14-1; Hayfield (Alexandria, Va.) 14-0; John Marshall (Richmond, Va.) 10-3; King (Detroit, Mich.) 9-1; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 19-0; Lawrence Free State (Lawrence, Kan.) 8-0; Magnolia (Magnolia, Ark.) 14-0; Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas) 24-3; Memorial (Tulsa, Okla.) 16-1; Mountain Pointe (Phoenix, Ariz.) 11-1; Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) 9-0; North Hills (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 14-0; Omaha Westside (Omaha, Neb.) 15-1; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 17-2; Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) 17-4; Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio) 14-1; Poly (Riverside, Calif.) 21-1; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 10-1; Reading (Reading, Pa.) 15-2; Richmond (Rockingham, N.C.) 15-0; Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.) 13-1; South Shore (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 15-2**; South St. Paul (South St. Paul, Minn.) 14-0; Sunnyslope (Pheonix, Ariz.) 18-2; Staley (Kansas City, Mo.) 15-2; St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) 10-1; St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) 8-1; St. Thomas Aquinas (Edison, N.J.) 14-0; St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 10-3; The Burlington School (Burlington, N.C.) 20-3; Varina (Richmond, Va.) 13-0; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 15-2; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 10-8; Westlake (Austin, Texas) 27-1; Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 14-7**; Williamston (Williamston, Mich.) 10-0; Wisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee, Wis.) 13-1.
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.