UPDATED FAB 50: Public School Statement!

There is plenty of change and six newcomers in this week’s FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. Academy-type programs and private schools have created an arms race for elite talent, but the notion that public schools can’t compete on a national level is a misnomer. No. 2 Duncanville (Texas) and No. 5 Centennial (Corona, Calif.) are prime examples and ended their seasons on high notes as top division state champions. Group of newcomers led this week by Texas Class 5A state champ Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas).

By Ronnie Flores

RELATED:   “In The Paint” Podcast  | Ballislife Podcast Network | How To Create A High School March Madness |  State Champions Invitational Announced   | History of High School Team RankingsAll-Time No. 1’s

The pressure has never been greater or the stakes higher in high school basketball than now. Some see enrolling at academy-type programs that play national schedules as their release valve; the best way to ensure scholarship opportunities. There is no doubt the competition level at these programs is higher than ever before, but basketball in our nation’s public schools can still compete and a national level. In fact, many of them thrive.

It was only six years ago when Chino Hills (Calif.) captured the FAB 50 national title with a group of home-grown talent that captured the nation’s imagination in compiling a 35-0 mark and eventually producing three Top 6 NBA lottery picks. This year there is another public school in the running for the No. 1 spot and over the weekend at the Alamodome in San Antonio that club, Duncanville (Texas), wrapped up the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 6A state crown with a 69-49 victory over then No. 25 McKinney (McKinney, Texas) in the championship game.

Senior guard Anthony Black scored 18 points, had four rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Texas State-bound senior forward Davion Sykes had 13 points and five rebounds for a team that led 46-21 at halftime and was able to withstand a 11-0 surge to begin the third quarter by the Lions, who knocked off previous No. 30 Westlake (Austin, Texas) in the state semifinals, 68-66, in double overtime.

In Duncanville’s semifinal contest with bubble club Atascocita (Humble, Texas), David Peavy’s Panthers found themselves in a major hole. In fact, Duncanville trailed 16-7 after one quarter and by 20 points (30-10) with 4:40 remaining in the second period. The Panthers went on to outscore Atascocita 40-6 the rest of the game to record a 50-36 semifinal victory. Duncanville allowed two points the rest of the second quarter and two in each of the last two quarters in what will go down as one of the best defensive clinics in the history of high school basketball.

For Duncanville, it has won three consecutive Class 6A state crowns and been Texas’ top ranked team for the past four seasons. In 2019-20, Duncanville finished No. 20 in the FAB 50 after the season was cancelled because of the outbreak of COVID-19 with the Panthers in the UIL state final four.

There is no doubt one-loss Duncanville is ultra-talented, but there is no denying its special team chemistry; something easier built by building a winning culture in a program over time rather than by stockpiling talent. The same can be said for the public school program at Centennial (Corona, Calif.), which also wrapped up a one-loss championship season a couple of hours after Duncanville on Saturday night by capturing the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Open Division state title with a 59-50 victory over bubble club Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.) before approximately 5,500 fans.

Centennial used a 11-2 spurt at the end of the game to clinch the program’s first CIF state title after the Crusaders had the game tied at 48 with just over three minutes remaining. New Mexico-bound senior Donovan Dent keyed the late run and finished with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-19 shooting, while adding eight points and five assists. Backcourt mate Jared McCain, a junior, made 3-of-5 on 3-pointers and finished with 16 points.

Duncanville handed No. 5 Centennial its only loss, a 75-70 setback at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Dallas. The second-ranked Panthers lost in overtime to Richardson (Texas) at the Whataburger Tournament over the holidays. Richardson fell in the UIL playoffs to the McKinney club Duncanville defeated in the state title game. Duncanville still has a chance to finish as the 2021-22 FAB 50 national champions, but it will need help from the results of the games at GEICO Nationals (March 31-April 2) in Florida. Regardless, Duncanville will finish as the highest ranked public school for 2021-22 with Centennial not far behind.

Another public school that will finish with a high FAB 50 mark is Weddington (Matthews, N.C.), which is No. 13 this week after capturing the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Class 4A crown with a 75-58 victory over bubble club Panther Creek (Cary, N.C.). With the win, Weddington will enter 2022-23 on a 49-game winning streak, currently second longest in the nation. Last season, Weddington won the Class 3A crown with a 18-0 mark.

Seniors Kyle Frazier (21 points), Chase Lowe (20) and A.J. Cook (17) led the way offensively for the Warriors in their state title game win over Panther Creek.

In Ohio, No. 11 Centerville (Centerville, Ohio) is two victories from a magical 30-0 season. The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Division I Final Four set for March 19-20 at the University of Dayton Arena is highly-anticipated. Three No. 1 seeds have made it, with Centerville taking on No. 3 seed St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) and top seeds Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio) and St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) battling in the opposite bracket. Pickerington Central cracks this week’s FAB 50 at No. 43.

This week’s highest ranked newcomer is public school and UIL Class 5A state champ Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) at No. 28. The Timberwolves captured their second consecutive 5A state crown with a 62-57 victory over bubble club Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas). Houston-bound Terrance Arceneaux scored 10 of his 14 points in the final two minutes to help the Timberwolves seal another state title. Arceneaux, who nailed the game-tying and game-winning shot in the 2021 Class 5A title game, also had 10 rebounds and four steals.

In the semifinals, Beaumont United downed bubble club and battle-tested Kimball (Dallas, Texas), 66-64, by closing the game on a 14-4 run over the final three minutes. Beaumont United-Kimball was a rematch of last year’s Class 5A state title game.

Class 6A finalist McKinney (McKinney, Texas) fell two spots in the FAB 50 right in front of Beaumont United. McKinney did lose to the Mansfield Timberview club Beaumont United defeated, but McKinney gets rankings credit for its semifinal win over then No. 30 Westlake and for downing Richardson in the regional quarterfinals when that club was No. 7 in the FAB 50. Beaumont United is alble to hop over UIL Class 4A state champ Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas) because it defeated the Kimball club that defeated the Eagles, 81-77. Beaumont United lost to No. 17 North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.), 82-72, while Oak Cliff Faith Family fell to the same club, 79-63.

Hayfield (Alexandria, Va.) should also be mentioned as a public school who turned in an unblemished season, capturing the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Class 6 title with a 67-47 victory over Battlefield (Haymarket, Va.).

RELATED:   “In The Paint” Podcast  | Ballislife Podcast Network | How To Create A High School March Madness |  State Champions Invitational Announced   | History of High School Team RankingsAll-Time No. 1’s

Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com

(14th poll of 2021-22 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 13; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Indicates season complete)

No.Prev.High School (City)Record
11Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)25-1
22Duncanville (Duncanville (Texas)35-1***
33Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)19-4
44Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)32-1
55Centennial (Corona, Calif.)33-1***
66IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)20-4
77La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)20-4
88Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)33-7
99Calvary Christian Academy (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)24-2
1010Camden (Camden, N.J.)30-2
1111Centerville (Centerville, Ohio)28-0
1212Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)27-2
1313Weddington (Matthews, N.C.)31-0***
1417Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)37-1***
1515Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)31-5***
1618Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.)29-1
1719North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.)27-3***
1821Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)24-4**
1923Liberty (Henderson, Nev.)22-4
2024Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)30-1***
2120Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.)22-6***
2231Chesterton (Chesterton, Ind.)28-0
2329Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.)26-3***
2428Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.)28-3***
2526Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)26-4***
2622Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)26-4***
2725McKinney (McKinney, Texas)35-6***
28NRBeaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)36-3***
2936Hayfield (Alexandria, Va.)32-0***
3033Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas)34-4**
3116Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)26-5***
3235Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.)28-0***
3339Auburn (Auburn, Wash.)27-2
3434Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)32-7***
3543Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)20-4
3648Park Center (Brooklyn Park, Minn.)27-1
3738St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)35-7***
3850Neenah (Neenah, Wis.)27-1
39NRVarina (Richmond, Va.)25-1***
4027Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)25-4***
4142Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.)26-3
42NRMemorial (Tulsa, Okla.)27-1***
43NRPickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio)23-2
4444Columbus (Miami, Fla.)29-2***
4547George Rogers Clark (Winchester, Ky.)33-1
4630Westlake (Austin, Texas)38-2***
4746Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)33-4***
4849Catholic Central (Grand Rapids, Mich.)21-1
49NRNorcross (Norcross, Ga.)26-6
50NRVolcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.)29-0***

Dropped Out: Previous No. 14 Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio), No. 32 Richardson (Richardson, Texas), No. 37 Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.), No. 40 Glenbrook South (Glenview, Ill.), No. 41 King’s Fork (Suffolk, Va.), No. 45 Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.).

Bubble Teams:  American Fork (American Fork, Utah) 16-12***; Atascocita (Humble, Texas) 34-7***; Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 36-3***; Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) 20-8; Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.) 26-5***; Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.) 29-1***; Bristol Central (Bristol, Conn.) 22-0; Brophy Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 25-3***; Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.) 28-2***; Carver Collegiate Academy (New Orleans, La.) 33-5***; Chambers (Charlotte. N.C.) 22-7***; Christian Brother’s (St. Louis, Mo.) 24-6; Columbia Heights (Columbia Heights, Minn.) 24-0; Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.) 25-5***; Curtis (University Place, Wash.) 27-3***; Damien (La Verne, Calif.) 32-4***; Del City (Cel City, Okla.) 24-4***; DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 21-7***; Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) 26-6***; Durango (Las Vegas, Nev.) 20-6***; Eagle Academy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 18-5; Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.) 24-5***; Fox Chapel (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 26-1; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 25-1***; Gill St. Bernard’s (Gladstone, N.J.) 20-7***; Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 18-12***; Gray Collegiate Academy (West Columbia, S.C.) 23-4***; John Marshall (Richmond, Va.) 22-4***; Kimball (Kimball, Texas) 30-9***; Kingfisher (Kingsfisher, Okla.) 28-1***; King’s Fork (Suffolk, Va.) 24-1***; Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.) 28-4***; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 31-1***; Laurel Highlands (Uniontown, Pa.) 27-0; Liberty (Liberty, Mo.) 24-3***; Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) 19-7; Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.) 31-6***; Magnolia (Magnolia, Ark.) 29-0***; Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas) 36-5***; Milton (Milton, Ga.) 22-8***; Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.) 28-6**; Mount Si (Snoqualmie, Wash.) 25-1***; Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) 20-0; Newton (Covington, Ga.) 24-6***; North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) 27-5***; Northview (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 22-1; North Hills (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 26-1; Panther Creek (Cary, N.C.) 23-8***; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 28-3***; Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) 25-5; Pewaukee (Pewaukee, Wis.) 26-3; Quaker Valley (Leetsdale, Pa.) 25-0; Raymond (Raymond, Miss.) 29-5***; Richardson (Richardson, Texas) 32-2***; Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) 21-4; South Shore (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 21-3**; South St. Paul (South St. Paul, Minn.) 27-0; Staley (Kansas City, Mo.) 26-4; St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) 22-4***; St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.) 18-4; St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 23-4; The Burlington School (Burlington, N.C.) 30-7; The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) 25-8***; Tualatin (Tualatin, Ore.) 26-2***; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 14-10; West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.) 21-4; Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 26-10**; Williamston (Williamston, Mich.) 22-0; Wisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee, Wis.) 25-3; York Prep (Rock Hill, S.C.) 27-1***; Zachary (Zachary, La.) 36-3***.

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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