Five new teams crack the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com as another team had to drop out before ever playing a sanctioned game. Teams are now moving into deep playoff rounds and that means some teams are taking tough losses, while others seize the opportunity to move up with big wins.
By Ronnie Flores
While some teams are quickly wrapping up their 2020-21 season, another fell victim to the fallout of COVID-19. The teams in the Baltimore City Public Schools received word there would be no season last week. That means previous No. 31 Poly (Baltimore, Md.) has dropped out of the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com without having played a sanctioned game.
Public school districts in urban areas have been hit hardest by health department guidelines associated with playing interscholastic and youth sports. Public and parochial schools in New York City await the fate of their seasons and out West, it took a lawsuit for California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) sanctioned indoor sports to get the green light. There is still tons of work to do, however, for CIF programs to meet the protocols and requirements to play indoors. Some school districts will opt out of playing.
Three of the four other teams that fell out of the FAB 50 this week did it the old-fashioned way: they took a tough playoff loss to end their respective season.
The highest ranked team to get tripped up was previous No. 15 Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas), which fell to No. 14 Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 6A, Region 2 final, 70-65. Duncanville was led to victory by Sam Houston State-bound wing Damon Nicholas Jr. with 20 points, while underrated guard Juan Reyna added 15 points. The Panthers were ranked ahead of Waxahachie in the industry’s longest running weekly rankings, but actually avenged a regular season overtime loss to the Indians to advance to the state final four, where it will face No. 34 Richardson (Richardson, Texas) on Tuesday at Southern Methodist University. The other Class 6A semifinal pits No. 17 Westlake (Austin, Texas) versus unranked and two-loss Atascocita (Humble, Texas) at Northside ISD in San Antonio.
While dropping out may seem like a harsh penalty for Waxahachie considering it beat Duncanville during the regular season, it doesn’t mean the Indians can’t get back in the FAB 50. It would bode well for them if Richardson were to knock off Duncanville in the state semis and go on to win the Class 6A state crown. Waxahachie handed Richardson its only regular season loss. Westlake’s only regular season loss was to Duncanville.
Unfortunately previous No. 17 North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) won’t finish with a strong enough resume to return to the rankings, as the Vikings fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 65-62 loss to Ardrey Kell (Charlotte, N.C.) in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Class 4A state semifinals. Ardrey Kell was handed its first loss of the season, in overtime, by another unbeaten club in the state final.
That team was Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.), which capped an undefeated season with a come-from-behind 67-65 victory to land at No. 36 in this week’s rankings as the highest newcomer. The Wildcats overcame a four-point deficit with under 30 seconds remaining in overtime behind junior Silas Demary. He hit four three throws and came up with a steal and lay-in with four seconds remaining to give his team an improbable victory.
Silas led Millbrook with 22 points, while Louisville-bound big man Eric van der Heijden added 21 points before fouling out in regulation. It was the first state title in Millbrook’s history.
New No. 37 Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.) has a chance to shake up next week’s FAB 50, as it faces No. 10 Milton (Milton, Ga.) in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class AAAAAAA title game. Milton defeated the Patriots during the regular season.
As quickly as some seasons got underway, it seems as if they are coming to an end. The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) teams outside of Chicago will see their seasons come to an end this week, while Chicago Public School (CPS) teams have two weeks remaining to play. There will be no IHSA playoffs, but at least some of the better teams in the greater Chicago metro will have a chance to battle it out.
The Chipotle Clash of Champions takes place March 12-13 at St. Patrick (Chicago) and Notre Dame College Prep (Niles, Ill.). The eight-team field was seeded on Sunday and the top seed is FAB 50 No. 18 Simeon (Chicago). The No. 2 seed is one of the newcomers to this week’s FAB 50: No. 41 Whitney Young (Chicago). The quarterfinals will take place Friday at St. Patrick (the No. 8 seed) and the semis and championship are set Saturday at Notre Dame (the No. 4 seed).
On March 12, a single-game clash at Arlington High School in Memphis (Tenn.) will determine the inaugural champion of the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC). FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) will face No. 2 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) at 8:30 pm ET (ESPN3).
The two teams have split two regular season contests so far. Although the clash will determine the NIBC champion and next week’s No. 1 team, it will not determine the mythical national title, as both teams are expected to to participate at GEICO Nationals, April 1-3.
Sunrise Christian is led by a pair of McDonald’s All-American selections: forward Kendall Brown and Mr. Basketball USA candidate Kennedy Chandler, a point guard. Montverde Academy counters with a McDonald’s All-American of its own in Michigan-bound Caleb Houstan and its own Mr. Basketball USA candidate in junior center Jalen Duren.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
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(12th poll of 2020-21 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 7; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Does not include results vs. out-of-season opponents; ****Season complete.)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||20-1|
|2||2||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||18-2|
|3||3||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||21-2|
|4||4||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||9-0***|
|5||5||Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)||18-6***|
|6||6||Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)||13-0|
|7||7||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||1-0|
|8||8||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||13-0|
|9||9||Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)||12-1|
|10||10||Milton (Milton, Ga.)||27-2|
|11||11||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||0-0|
|12||12||O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.)||0-0|
|13||13||Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)||28-0|
|14||14||Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)||27-1|
|15||16||Homestead (Ft. Wayne, Ind.)||26-0|
|16||23||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)||8-0***|
|17||24||Westlake (Austin, Texas)||29-1|
|18||18||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||4-0|
|19||19||Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.)||2-0|
|20||20||St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.)||0-0|
|21||26||St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)||8-0|
|22||22||Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.)||22-2|
|23||25||Houston (Germantown, Tenn.)||18-3|
|24||32||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||9-1|
|25||27||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||20-8|
|26||34||Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)||24-3|
|27||36||Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.)||22-2|
|28||28||Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)||7-4****|
|29||33||Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.)||28-4|
|30||39||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||13-1|
|31||30||Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)||3-0|
|32||38||St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio)||19-2|
|33||35||Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)||27-1|
|34||44||Richardson (Richardson, Texas)||25-1|
|35||42||St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)||23-2|
|36||NR||Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.)||19-0****|
|37||NR||Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.)||26-5|
|38||37||Victory Rock Prep (Bradenton, Fla.)||27-6****|
|39||46||Waukee Senior (Waukee, Iowa)||11-2|
|40||40||Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.)||31-7****|
|41||NR||Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.)||11-0|
|42||48||Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)||25-2|
|43||41||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||0-2***|
|44||43||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||0-0|
|45||47||Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.)||15-1|
|46||45||Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)||0-0|
|47||50||Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Col.)||14-0|
|48||NR||Clinton (Clinton, Miss.)||21-1****|
|49||49||Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, Calif.)||0-0|
|50||NR||Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.)||19-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 15 Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas), No. 17 North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.), No. 21 Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.), No. 29 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), No. 31 Poly (Baltimore, Md.).
Bubble Teams: Adams (South Bend, Ind.) 23-2****; Ardrey Kell (Charlotte, N.C.) 10-1****; Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 19-1; Blue Ridge (St. George, Va.) 15-0****; Blue Valley North West (Overland Park, Kan.) 21-1; Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 17-7****; Cannon School (Concord, N.C.) 27-5****; Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) 22-2; Carver (New Orleans, La.) 28-1; Cedar Falls (Cedar Falls, Iowa) 19-0; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 0-0; Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.) 15-1; Central (Little Rock, Ark.) 21-4; Christ The King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 0-0; Covington Catholic (Park Hills, Ky.) 21-3; Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 22-4****; Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) 24-3****; Eagle’s Landing (McDonough, Ga.) 28-1; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 0-0; Elder (Cincinnati, Ohio) 20-3; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; Grand Blanc (Grand Blanc, Mich.) 6-1; Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 22-4****; Green Run (Virginia Beach, Va.) 9-1****; Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 11-0; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 0-0; Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 21-6; Kingfisher (Kingfisher, Okla.) 22-1; La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 10-9; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 0-0; Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.) 14-7****; Lexington Catholic (Lexington, Ky.) 19-1; Magnolia (Magnolia, Ark.) 19-0; Manasquan (Manasquan, N.J.) 12-0; McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 24-5****; Mentor (Mentor, Ohio) 23-0; Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) 24-2; Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) 15-4; Mundelein (Mundelein, Ill.) 13-1; Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) 22-3****; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 25-4****; Rangeview (Aurora, Col.) 13-0; Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 12-3; Seattle Prep (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; Shawnee (Lima, Ohio) 24-1; South Central (Winterville, N.C.) 13-0**; South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) 21-1****; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 21-3****; Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.) 16-1****; St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 0-0; St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 0-0; St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) 7-1****; St. Mary’s (Pheonix, Ariz.) 16-1; Sunnyslope (Phoenix, Ariz.) 17-1; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 11-1**; Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas) 20-3****; Westlake (Saratoga Springs, Utah) 21-4****; Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 26-5; Windward (Los Angeles, Calif.) 0-0.
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 21 years ago.