The fifth edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com for the 2017-18 season is a special edition that includes all the results of the MLK Monday showcases across the country. After all the dust settled with those games, there are six new teams in the rankings and two clear cut teams at the top: top-ranked Montverde Academy of Florida and No. 2 Oak Hill Academy of Virginia. Will those two clubs meet for the Dick’s Nationals and FAB 50 crown at the end of the season?
By Ronnie Flores
The common opponent factor is a critical component in compiling national rankings and is especially useful in recent years because a majority of the top-ranked teams in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com play each other during various tournaments and showcases.
While head-to-head is the most important factor, the common opponent methodology made our hunch that Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) was more deserving of the No. 2 spot than University School (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) after the latter won the prestigious City of Palms Tournament in Florida ring true when the two teams met on Monday in the marquee game of the Spaulding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
The Sharks were forced into double overtime by previous No. 17 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) in Florida, while Oak Hill Academy was in total control when it met Mater Dei in the title game of the Les Schwab Invitational in Oregon. University School also beat No. 19 Wesleyan Christian Academy of North Carolina by one point and it turned our head to see WCA beat Mater Dei, 82-73.
It was interesting to see Mater Dei not even be able to stay competitive with top-ranked Montverde Academy (Fla.) a game before the Oak Hill-University showdown in Springfield. The Eagles, who beat No. 6 Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) at the event on Saturday by two points (62-60) in their toughest game of the season so far, defeated Mater Dei, 74-48, after their suffocating defense held the Monarchs to six second quarter points and give them a 46-19 halftime advantage. While the common opponent factor doesn’t always work, it did in this case as Oak Hill Academy defeated University School, 83-69, giving the Warriors their biggest victory of the season so far and handing the Sharks their first loss of the season.
The still unbeaten Warriors got a big boost at the end of the second quarter, as back-to-back 3-pointers by Will Richardson and Maurice Calloo (at the buzzer) capped off a 11-0 run for Oak Hill, which led 44-30 at halftime. Coach Steve Smith’s club led 60-46 at the end of the third period and kept the Sharks at bay with superior guard play and better execution in the half court. University made much too many mistakes executing it offense and blew a couple of key fast break opportunities down the stretch.
Kentucky-bound Keldon Johnson led the way for Oak Hill Academy with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Oregon-bound point guard Will Richardson added 18 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Oak Hill, which had five players in double figures versus University, completed the impressive “Springfield Double” by capturing the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions title in Missouri on Saturday night with a 78-70 win over No. 12 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.). Johnson had 23 points and 10 rebounds while Keyontae Johnson (no relation) scored a team-high 24 points in a game Oak Hill Academy was in control of throughout.
La Lumiere fell two spots this week in front of the No. 13 Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) club it previously defeated. Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) moves up to No. 14, replacing the Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) team it defeated at the Hoophall Classic, 80-69. Imhotep Charter had one less loss than Oak Ridge, as both clubs have fallen to DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md).
The Stags defeated Imhotep, 56-43. and downed Oak Ridge, 86-67. As for DeMatha (which easily defeated Archbishop Malloy of New York as part of the Ballislife Weekly Showcase at Hoophall), it lost its second game of the season in WCAC action to No. 11 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), 71-62, two days after that club lost its first game of the season in conference play to Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 67-53. Despite the loss, DeMatha Catholic doesn’t drop in the FAB 50 because the Stags own a win over No. 5 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) and that club owns a victory the Simeon club that lost by only two points to top-ranked Montverde Academy.
With their win over Gonzaga, the Panthers moved up two spots and one spot ahead of Eagles, and play DeMatha Catholic on Tuesday. If DeMatha Catholic were to lose its second WCAC game, then the win over McEachern will carry less weight, but for now the Stags stay put in the FAB 50.
A team on the bubble and now getting some FAB 50 consideration is Gate City (Va.), which only has one loss to 16-1 North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.), and has an impressive win over Fern Creek (Louisville, Ky.) at the Arby’s Classic in Bristol, Tenn. That club has a split with FAB 50 No. 30 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.).
Gate City is led by point guard and Georgetown commit Mac McClung. You can catch McClung and the rest of the Blue Devils on the Ballislife HS Basketball Weekly Showcase live on January 26 when they host Union (Tenn.) at 7:45 pm (ET) and the next night when they host Cleveland (Tenn.) at 6 pm (ET). Make sure to check the Ballislife Show Page to get a reminder link a week before the game and for other game updates.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
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(Fifth poll of 2017-18 regular season; Through games played on Monday, January 15; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||24-0|
|2||2||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||28-0|
|3||3||University School (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)||17-1|
|4||4||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||15-2|
|5||5||McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)||15-2|
|6||6||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||15-3|
|7||7||Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.)||13-0|
|8||11||Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)||13-3|
|9||9||Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)||20-2|
|10||12||Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)||13-2|
|11||8||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||13-1|
|12||10||La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)||16-3|
|13||13||Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)||12-2|
|14||16||Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.)||16-3|
|15||15||Guyer (Denton, Texas)||25-1|
|16||18||Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.)||17-0|
|17||19||Garfield (Seattle, Wash.)||14-0|
|18||20||Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, N.J.)||7-3|
|19||21||Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.)||18-5|
|20||14||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||10-2|
|21||22||Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.)||23-0|
|22||23||Riley (South Bend, Ind.)||13-0|
|23||24||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||11-2|
|24||25||Upson-Lee (Thomaston, Ga.)||18-0|
|25||27||Cox Mill (Concord, N.C.)||14-3|
|26||34||Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.)||14-0|
|27||36||Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.)||14-2|
|28||28||Clarkston (Clarkston, Mich.)||9-1|
|29||37||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)||21-2|
|30||30||Trinity (Louisville, Ky.)||15-1|
|31||31||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||14-2|
|32||32||Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio)||9-3|
|33||38||Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.)||15-1|
|34||39||Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)||14-3|
|35||40||Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)||17-1|
|36||NR||Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio)||11-0|
|37||46||Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)||7-0|
|38||48||Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa)||10-0|
|39||29||Jefferson (Portland, Ore.)||11-3|
|40||42||Gill St. Benard's (Gladstone, N.J.)||8-2|
|41||45||Clark (Las Vegas, Nev.)||15-3|
|42||NR||Huffman (Birmingham, Ala.)||21-1|
|43||35||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||13-5|
|44||NR||Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas)||18-4|
|45||NR||West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.)||16-3|
|46||44||John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.)||12-5|
|47||NR||Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)||14-3|
|48||47||Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)||10-1|
|49||50||Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.)||14-0|
|50||NR||Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Fla.)||18-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 17 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), No. 26 Cass Tech (Detroit, Mich.), No. 33 McCallie School (Chattanooga, Tenn.), No. 41 Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas), No. 43 West (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), No. 49 Oshkosh North (Oshkosh, Wis.).
Bubble Teams: Belleville West (Belleville, Ill.) 15-1; Brentwood Academy (Nashville, Tenn.) 11-4; Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) 10-1; Camel Christian (Matthews, N.C.) 19-3; Canton (Canton, Miss.) 17-2; Cass Tech (Detroit, Mich.) 8-1; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 11-2; Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.) 10-1; Cypress Falls (Houston, Texas) 20-3; DeKaney (Houston, Texas) 22-3; East Lansing (East Lansing, Mich.) 6-0; Federal Way (Federal Way, Wash.) 16-0; Fern Creek (Louisville, Ky.) 14-3; Garfield Heights (Garfield Heights, Ohio) 9-2; Gate City (Gate City, Va.) 12-1; Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) 19-3; Hazel Park (Hazel Park, Mich.) 8-0; Hazelwood Central (Florissant, Mo.) 15-1; Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 15-1; Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 15-4; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 17-0; Lincoln (Tacoma, Wash.) 14-0; Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas) 20-4; Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 11-6; McCallie School (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 17-1; McPherson (McPherson, Kan.) 9-1; Memorial (Tulsa, Okla.) 13-1; Mills University Studies (Little Rock, Ark.) 14-2; Meridian (Meridian, Miss.) 21-1; Morgan County (Madison, Ga.) 18-0; Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) 11-1; New Albany (New Albany, Ind.) 11-1; North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) 16-1; Northwest Classen (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 14-1; Olive Branch (Olive Branch, Miss.) 13-4; Olympus (Salt Lake City, Utah) 14-0; Osceola (Kissimmee, Fla.) 13-4; Oshkosh North (Oshkosh, Wis.) 12-1; Pickerington North (Pickerington, Ohio) 9-2; Plymouth-Whitemarsh (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) 11-0; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 10-3; Ranney School (Tinton Falls, N.J.) 9-3; Richland (Richland, Wash.) 14-0; Rock Canyon (Highlands Ranch, Col.) 13-0; Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.) 17-4; Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 12-3; South Central (Winterville, N.C.) 13-0; South Garland (Garland, Texas) 23-3; Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) 18-1; St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 15-2; Trinity Episcopal (Richmond, Va.) 13-2; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 15-2; Webster Groves (Webster Groves, Mo.) 8-6; West (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) 10-1; Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.) 16-3*; Westlake (Austin, Texas) 23-3.
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 18 years ago.