UPDATED FAB 50: Who Can Stay In?

Two California teams lost last week and a new team from the Golden State has replaced one of them. Who was it and can that team stick in the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com? The next team in comes from the Midwest region and there is no guarantee any of the teams from the bottom portion of the rankings will stick in the Final FAB 50 in June.

By Ronnie Flores

RELATED:   “In The Paint” Podcast |“On The Rise” Show | The Future Of Big-Time HS Basketball | FAB 50 Rankings Criteria | How To Make A HS Version Of March Madness  |Final Southwest Region Top 20 | Final Midwest Region Top 20 | Final Southeast Region Top 20 

The competition in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section ranks is among the best in the country. Once in a while, a team will dominate from start to finish (such as eventual FAB 50 national champ Chino Hills did in 2015-16), but usually the top teams from the section beat up on each other, especially since there are plenty of rematches in the SoCal regional playoffs.

Beating up on each other could really ring true in 2020-21 for two reasons. One, three-time defending SoCal open division champ Sierra Canyon doesn’t appear to be as dominant as recent seasons. The Trailblazers are unbeaten and holding steady at No. 10 in the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, but are missing six players the coaching staff figured would be part of the rotation: Chance Westry (transferred out), LeBron James Jr. (injury), Shy Odom (injury), Max Allen (never played), Alpha Chibambe (hasn’t played) and Harold Yu (not in the country). That’s alot of missing fire power, but junior Amari Bailey is leading a unit that should garner the top seed in the eight-team CIFSS open division pool play field if it remains unbeaten heading into the post-season.

Reason two is the teams haven’t been able to play much, if any, out-of-region competition so the teams are harder to rank with less ranked common opponents. As a result, the top teams could play each other in both the CIFSS open playoffs and once again in the SoCal open regional, which will also include the CIF L.A. City, Central and San Diego Sections. (NorCal won’t have regional playoffs in 2020-21).

Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, Calif.) was sitting towards the bottom of the FAB 50 for a majority of the season (even at 0-0 before California began its spring season) and got its first real test last Monday night. A talented Centennial (Corona, Calif.) team, which starts four sophomores and a junior, went on the road and overcame a 10-point deficit with approximately five minutes remaining to win in overtime, 79-75, and hand the Fightin’ Frogs their first defeat of the season.

Sophomore guard Kylan Boswell tied the game with a 3-point at the regulation buzzer, gave Centennial its first lead since the first quarter with a lay-up to begin overtime and finished with a season-high 29 points. Ribet Academy, which came in No. 44 in the rankings, dropped out, as did previous No. 46 Etiwanda (Calif.), which suffered its first loss at Saturday’s Nike Extravaganza to state-ranked Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.), 71-62. Harvard-Westlake won decisively enough that Etiwanda will enter the week ranked No. 9 in the Cal-Hi Sports State Top 25 and off FAB 50 bubble consideration. That’s how tough the competition in the CIFSS is.

Ribet Academy is still on the bubble, but now must be ranked behind one-loss Centennial, which was heavily considered for a FAB 50 spot. With two teams dropping out, that opened up the door for the top team from the CIF San Diego Section, new No. 43 and still unbeaten Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.). The school sits in scenic Del Mar, but the Falcons are athletic, unselfish and play a hellish brand of defense that you’d normally see from top tier L.A. City Section teams.

Torrey Pines handed Centennial its only loss so far (65-62) and has four regular season league contests remaining. The Falcons are led by St. Mary’s signee Chris Howell and productive senior Nick Herrmann and break in at No. 43 this week. The big question is, can the Falcons remain by winning the San Diego Section open crown and defeating the top CIFSS teams in the SoCal regional (the final is set for June 19)?

San Diego section teams have not fared well in the SoCal open regional and should the Falcons falter, there will be plenty of candidates from the CIFSS open division to potentially take their place. We strongly considered Centennial for the second open FABS 50 spot, but instead went with the next team from the Midwest Region: new No. 50 and Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division 3 champ St. Catherine’s (Racine, Wis.).

The Angels completed a 28-1 season by defeating Lake Country Lutheran, 68-49, in the D3 title game to capture their sixth state crown. St. Catherine’s only lost to a Greendale Martin Luther team it split games with. Kamari McGee scored a game-high 26 points in the state title game and fellow senior guard Tyrese Hunter was one of 26 players recently selected as a 2021 Ballislife All-American Game selection.

For the second consecutive year, the Ballislife All-American Game won’t take place because of COVID-19-influenced ordinances still in place as it pertains to indoor sports gym capacities and restrictions on indoor gatherings in Los Angeles County. Even though a game won’t take place, Ballislife wanted to honor the players on the original selection ballot.

To view all 26 players, CLICK HERE.

RELATED:   “In The Paint” Podcast |“On The Rise” Show | The Future Of Big-Time HS Basketball | FAB 50 Rankings Criteria | How To Make A HS Version Of March Madness |Final Southwest Region Top 20 | Final Midwest Region Top 20 | Final Southeast Region Top 20 

Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com

(22nd poll of 2020-21 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, May 16; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Does not include results vs. out-of-season opponents; ****Indicates season not complete.)

No.Prev.High School (City)Record
11Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)24-1
22Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)20-4
33IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)22-3
44DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)9-0***
55Camden (Camden, N.J.)13-0
66Milton (Milton, Ga.)28-3
77Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)22-1
88Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)18-7***
99Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)3-0
1010Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)9-0****
1111Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)29-1
1212Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)28-0
1313Houston (Germantown, Tenn.)21-3**
1414Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)26-3
1515Westlake (Austin, Texas)30-2
1616Millard North (Omaha, Neb.)27-2
1717Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.)19-0
1818Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)7-4
1919St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)25-2
2020Reading (Reading, Pa.)26-2
2121Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)14-1
2222Carmel (Carmel, Ind.)26-2
2323Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)21-9
2424Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.)24-3
2525Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)19-1
2626Waukee Senior (Waukee, Iowa)16-2
2727Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)9-1**
2828Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)31-0
2929Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)28-3
3030Victory Rock Prep (Bradenton, Fla.)27-6
3131Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.)2-0
3232Clinton (Clinton, Miss.)21-1
3333Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)23-0****
3434Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.)31-7
3535Grand Blanc (Grand Blanc, Mich.)15-2
3636Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.)26-6
3737St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)15-1***
3838Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)28-2
3939Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)22-1
4040Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.)24-3
4141Manasquan (Manasquan, N.J.)12-0
4242Kingfisher (Kingfisher, Okla.)25-1
43NRTorrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.) 22-0****
4443Huron (Ann Arbor, Mich.)20-1**
4545Sunnyslope (Phoenix, Ariz.)21-1
4647North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.)21-2
4748Wauwatosa East (Wausatosa, Wis.)23-3
4849Centerville (Centerville, Ohio)26-3
4950Wayzata (Plymouth, Minn.)19-2
50NRSt. Catherine’s (Racine, Wis.)28-1

Dropped Out: Previous No. 44 Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, Calif.), No. 46 Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.).

Bubble Teams:  Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) 8-2****; Ardrey Kell (Charlotte, N.C.) 10-1; Atascocita (Humble, Texas) 24-3; Blue Ridge (St. George, Va.) 15-0; Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 17-7; Catalina Foothills (Tuscon, Ariz.) 19-1; Catholic Central (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 20-0; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 16-1****; Central (Little Rock, Ark.) 23-5; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 22-2; Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Col.) 17-1; Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.) 14-1; Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.) 23-3; Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 22-4; Del City (Del City, Okla.) 22-4; DePaul College Prep (Chicago, Ill.) 14-2; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 0-0; Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.) 17-2; Elizabethtown (Elizabethtown, Ky.) 22-3; Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 0-2***; Green Run (Virginia Beach, Va.) 9-1; Highlands (Ft. Thomas, Ky.) 30-4; Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 14-0; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 0-0; John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) 11-5; Kickapoo (Springfield, Mo.) 28-2; La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 10-10; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 14-1; Mentor (Mentor, Ohio) 25-1; Monsignor Scanlan (Bronx, N.Y.) 3-1****; Richardson (Richardson, Texas) 25-2; Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, Calif.) 8-1****; Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 12-3; South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) 21-1; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 21-3; St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) 4-0****; Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.) 16-1; St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.) 15-1; St. Mary’s (Pheonix, Ariz.) 20-1; Thunderidge (Highlands Ranch, Col.) 13-2; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 15-1**; Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas) 20-3; Westlake (Saratoga Springs, Utah) 21-4; Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 27-5; Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 15-1; Wilson (West Lawn, Pa.) 20-2.

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.

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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