High-SchoolWashington-DC: Boys Basketball

Paul VI ends winter No. 1 in hoop rankings

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
1:01
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When Justin Anderson's desperation heave clanked off the rim, it signaled the end of Montrose Christian's NHSI title defense as well as the conclusion of the hoops season in Greater D.C. The loss dropped the Mustangs out of the top spot and cemented Paul VI as the top local squad. Greater D.C. finished with four squads ranked in the final POWERADE FAB 50, led by the Panthers, who check in at No. 12. DeMatha was No. 13, Montrose No. 14 and Gonzaga No. 46.

Here's a look at the final top three:
1. Paul VI (35-3) — last week No. 2
2. DeMatha (30-5) — last week No. 1
3. Montrose Christian (21-3) — last week No. 3
Click here for the rest of the POWERADE state basketball rankings.

Montverde squeaks past Montrose Christian

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
2:46
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BETHESDA, Md. -- Instant analysis from No. 3 seed Montverde’s (Fla.) 50-47 win over No. 2 seed Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) in the semifinals of the ESPNHS National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep on Friday:

Overview: The Eagles, who are ranked No. 12 in the POWERADE FAB 50, had to adjust to Montrose’s frantic defensive pressure, but when they figured it out, they made the Mustangs pay by moving the ball around and finding the open man. Michael Frazier knocked down two threes to ignite an early 8-0 run and put the Eagles ahead after falling behind 4-0. Still, neither team could do much to separate itself in the first half. It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Eagles’ duo of Frazier and Kasey Hill, who led the Eagles with 20 points, started to really expose Montrose’s overzealous defensive scheme. That led to a 12-point Montverde lead headed into the fourth. The Mustangs, who are ranked No. 9 in the FAB 50, stormed back in the fourth quarter and took their first lead, 41-40, with 2:11 left in regulation on Michael Carrera’s putback layup. Down the stretch, Hill came up with big buckets to give the Eagles a cushion. Mustangs forward Justin Anderson’s halfcourt heave at the buzzer missed off the back of the rim and the Eagles marched on. Montrose won the ESPNHS NHSI last year, a double-overtime thriller over Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.).

“They just couldn’t score in the halfcourt set,” said Montverde coach Kevin Boyle said. “They had one basket in the halfcourt in the first half. We just really tightened up defensively and got a big win over a great team.”

Turning Point: After the Mustangs opened the fourth quarter on a 14-2 run and eventually took the lead, Hill responded by scoring six of the Eagles’ final 10 points to seal the win.

“I wasn’t gonna lose the game,” said Hill, a Florida commit. “I knew that I could get to the rim when I wanted to, and I would have to step up and make plays. I didn’t want to let my team down.”

Key Player: Anderson, the No. 55 player in the ESPNU 100, had one of his worst statistical games of the season, shooting just 1 of 14 from the field and finishing with just three points. He was scoreless in the first half, and scored his only field goal on a breakaway layup with 5:14 left in the third quarter.

“It happens as a ballplayer,” said Anderson, a Virginia signee. “Sometimes you have bad games. This was just a bad game for me.”

Added Boyle: “Kasey did a terrific job guarding Justin. He forced him into tough shots all day and when he drove he had to shoot over our big guys. Kasey’s impact defensively was huge.”

Key Stat: The Mustangs shot 7 of 16 from the 3-point line in their quarterfinal win over Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.). But in the loss to Montverde, Montrose missed all seven of its attempts from downtown.

“We did a great job of getting our hands up on their shot attempts,” Boyle said. “I don’t think they had a clean look all day, and that’s a credit to the kids and their defensive pressure.”

Up Next: The Mustangs will face the winner of No. 1 seed Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and No. 4 St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) in the title game Saturday (2 p.m. ET on ESPN). Findlay Prep is ranked No. 2 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Findlay Prep cruises into NHSI semis

March, 29, 2012
3/29/12
10:45
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video
BETHESDA, Md. -- Instant analysis from No. 1 seed Findlay Prep's (Henderson, Nev.) 79-44 victory over No. 8 seed Coolidge (Washington, D.C.) in Thursday's quarterfinals of the ESPNHS National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep.

Overview: Findlay Prep coach Mike Peck didn't start forwards Anthony Bennett and Brandon Ashley, McDonald's All-Americans who played in Chicago on Wednesday night. It hardly mattered as the Pilots were just too big and talented. Nearly every field goal Coolidge made was a chore and Coolidge was out rebounded, 60-29.

After leading 18-12 at the end of the first quarter, Findlay Prep doubled up on the Colts by the middle of the second quarter and never looked back. "Rebounding was the difference in the game," Coolidge coach Mike Jones said. "Our speed usually gives top teams problems, but we just missed the shots we needed to make."

Turning Point: When Findlay Prep took the floor and jumped out to a 7-2 lead. The Pilots quickly established it would take a near miracle for the Washington D.C. Public Schools champs to stay within single digits. Outside of two spectacular lay-ups by Central Connecticut State recruit Khalen Cumberlander (team-high 13 points) that cut Coolidge's deficit to three points (12-9) midway through the first quarter, once-beaten Findlay Prep was firmly in control. To put it into perspective, Coolidge lost to POWERADE FAB 50 No. 13 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) in the Abe Polin City Title Game on March 20 by six points, 70-64.

Key Player: Bennett. When he entered the game with 4:32 remaining in the first quarter it changed its complexion. Bennett, ranked No. 7 in the ESPNU 100, played 13 minutes in the McDonald's Game. While Ashley's fatigue from his 15 minutes in that game, combined with the travel from Chicago to Maryland, caused him to play sluggishly, Bennett was dialed in. The unsigned recruit played inspired on the defensive end and was a difficult match up for Coolidge's defense. He constantly drew fouls underneath and finished plays in transition.

Bennett finished with a game-high 23 points in 18 minutes. He made 14-of-17 free throws and also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. "I didn't want to have the same thing that happened to us last year (a quarterfinal loss) happen again," Bennett said. "I want to play for the opportunity to win a national championship."

Key Stat: Findlay Prep made 18-of-23 free throws in the first half when they built a 43-25 lead. Coolidge just didn't have the size inside to contend with the two-time NHSI champions. When the Pilots got fouled, they went to the line and converted to create separation. For the game, Findlay Prep went 31-of-43 from the charity stripe, whereas Coolidge went 8-of-15.

Up Next: The Pilots, ranked No. 2 in the FAB 50, will meet No. 15 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) in tomorrow's second boys' semifinal at 1:30 PM ET. All the top seeds and higher ranked team won in their openers.

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

Montrose Christian rolls past Ravenscroft

March, 29, 2012
3/29/12
7:19
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video

BETHESDA, Md. -- Instant analysis from No. 2 seed Montrose Christian’s (Rockville, Md.) 64-48 win over No. 7 seed Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.) in the quarterfinals of the National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep Thursday:

Overview: Montrose Christian, ranked No. 9 in the POWERADE Fab 50, caught fire early, draining three 3-pointers in the first quarter to claim an early 16-7 lead. Montrose forward Justin Anderson had two of his own and ramped up the defensive pressure to help the Mustangs force eight turnovers and keep the Ravens at bay for much of the first half.

Montrose shot 60 percent from the 3-point line in the first half. Then Mustangs went on a 9-0 run midway through the third that devastated Ravenscroft.

The Ravens started forcing tough, contested threes and folding under the Mustangs’ intense defensive pressure.

“We had to get our rhythm back because we hadn’t played in a long time,” said Montrose coach Stu Vetter. “But these guys are strong and they really battled. Our defensive intensity was the difference in the game. We picked up our momentum defensively and that’s what got it done.”

Turning Point: Up just 36-32 midway through the third quarter, Montrose forward Ishmail Wainright caught Yuri Togashi’s missed three off the rim and flushed it with authority, sending the Montrose-heavy crowd into a frenzy. On the next play, the Mustangs forced a turnover and found Anderson in the right corner for the three. Then, after another Ravenscroft turnover, Togashi threw Anderson an alley-oop in transition.

That sequence of events seemed to take the Ravens’ heart.

“Their physicality hurt us,” Ravenscroft coach Kevin Billerman said. “We’d cut it to four, but then they went on that explosion and that made it really tough for us.”

Key Player: Anderson was a matchup problem for the Ravens all night. When they sagged off he drained threes and when they pushed up on him he drove the lane and made plays. Anderson finished with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists.

“Justin’s one of the best players in the country,” Vetter said. “I’ve coached a lot of great players and he’s one of the best players I’ve ever coached. I think a lot of people have overlooked him as far as McDonald’s and Jordan All-American games. He’s one of the best players in the country without question.”

Ravenscroft guard Anton Gill drained two 3-pointers in the loss, tying the Ravenscroft record for career 3-pointers at 106, which had been held by Corwin Davis, who starred at Ravenscroft from 1997-2001.

Key Stat: The Ravens shot just 4 of 21 (19 percent) from the 3-point line in their loss. During the regular season they shot 34 percent and broke a school record for 3-pointers made with 138. The old record was 130.

“We haven’t played a game in 32 days,” Billerman said. “We’ve only had seven practices over that time so that’s rough. We had good looks, but we just couldn’t get them to fall.”

Up Next: The Mustangs will face No. 3 seed Montverde (Fla.) Friday (11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2) in the semifinals. Montverde, ranked No. 12 in the POWERADE FAB 50, knocked off La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 62-54 Thursday in the quarterfinals.

“They’re a great team,” Wainright said of Montverde. “They really play hard, and I’m looking forward to playing against them.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

PVI takes City title to move back to No. 2

March, 27, 2012
3/27/12
1:57
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Despite the suspension of leading scorer Stanford Robinson, Paul VI ended its winter by capturing the City Title in a 70-64 win over Coolidge last week. The win was the 35th of the season for the Panthers, who moved up to No. 13 in the POWERADE FAB 50. Patrick Holloway and Coleman Johnson tallied 15 points each and Jamal Robinson added 12 points and 13 boards to make up for the absence of Robinson. With the win, PVI moves back ahead of DeMatha for the No. 2 spot locally. The lone team in action this week is Montrose Christian, which puts its NHSI title on the line beginning March 29 against Ravenscroft (N.C.). A repeat by the Mustangs should land the squad in the top 10 of the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here's a look at the top three teams:
1. Montrose Christian (20-2) — last week No. 1
2. Paul VI (35-3) — last week No. 3
3. DeMatha (30-5) — last week No. 2
Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Greater D.C. boys' basketball rankings.

NHSI preview: Calvin Coolidge

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
10:45
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Team: No. 8 seed Calvin Coolidge (Washington, D.C.)
Record, FAB 50 Rank: 29-7, NR
Head Coach: Vaughn Jones (5th year at school, 153-40 career record)

Key Players:

Khalen Cumberlander
The 6-foot-3 senior guard is the Colts’ leading scorer, averaging 17.5 points per game to go with five rebounds and 5.3 assists. Cumberlander, a Central Connecticut State signee, is the Colts’ floor general, but also hunts his shots and typically has no problem finding them with more than 1,000 points in his career. Cumberlander is an exceptional athlete who gets into the lane at will.

DeShaun Morman
Morman is arguably the toughest matchup problem for opposing teams because of his relentless athletic ability. He averages 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, five assists and five steals per game and has turned in more highlights for the Colts than any other player. Morman dropped 30 points in the Colts’ big win over Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) this season and has led the Colts in scoring over their last 10 games.

Maurice Jeffers
Jeffers anchors the paint for the Colts and pumps in 10 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks per game despite only playing organized basketball for four years. Jeffers, a 6-foot-9 forward who is signed to Delaware, is the king of intangibles and has a knack for being wherever the ball is at the right time.

Road to NHSI:

The Colts are riding a 20-game winning streak and had one of their most impressive wins over NHSI No. 2 seed Montrose Christian in early February. That gave Coolidge an incredible amount of confidence to finish out the season strong. The Colts went on to win the DCIAA league title for the first time in 25 years. Coolidge will face Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), who is ranked No. 9 in the POWERADE FAB 50, Tuesday for the city title.

“We’ve had our plate full this year,” Jones said. “But our guys have really risen to the challenge and battled hard. I definitely feel like we’re one of the top teams in the country, and that’s what we want to prove in the NHSI.”

Inside Scoop:

You better lace up your track shoes when facing Coolidge, as the Colts push the ball up the floor every chance they get. With exceptional guards like Morman and Cumberlander, the Colts effectively utilize the dribble-drive offense and make 11 threes on average every game. Omar Roberts and Sam Briggs are the Colts' most deadly 3-point marksmen.

“We’re definitely not shy about letting the shots go up,” Jones said. “We just attack at all times and just try and bring it to the opposing team on the offensive end. We also defend really well.”

The Colts hold teams to just 55 points per game and score 78 points per game.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

NHSI preview: Montrose Christian

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
10:43
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Team: No. 2 seed Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)
Record, FAB 50 Rank: 20-2, No. 9 (No. 4 in the East)
Head Coach: Stu Vetter (13th year at school, 301-41 record; 36-year career, four schools, 858-107 record)

Key Players:

Justin Anderson
The 6-foot-7, 220-pound senior forward is capping his four-year Mustang career with a chance to repeat as an NHSI champion. Vetter describes him as a "winner" since he has played the last two years on teams with only three losses by a total of six points. The University of Virginia recruit is ranked No. 55 in the ESPNU 100 and has surpassed the 1,000 point mark for his career. "He's improved each year on both ends of the court and is an amazing athlete, maybe the best I've coached and I've had some good ones," says Vetter. "He not only jumps high, but with power." This season, Anderson averages a team-best 18 points a game. He shoots over 70 percent both from the floor and free throw line.

Michael Carrera
A three-year Montrose veteran, the 6-foot-6 senior forward is the team's top rebounder (10.2) and second-leading scorer (13 ppg.). "Michael is one of six seniors who provide leadership to the team," Vetter says. "He's steady and consistent and makes plays. He's a rock under the basket and has been a big part of our success the last couple of years. He's gotten stronger and can match up with a lot of opponents." Carrera does more than turn in double-doubles, as he's also makes big defensive plays when the Mustangs need them and provides an emotional spark.

Ishmail Wainwright
Vetter labels this 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward "one of the best juniors in the country. He can play all five positions." Rated No. 27 in the ESPNU 60, Wainwright is one of the better passing forwards around with a team-best 8.2 assists per game. He also averages eight points and 2.9 steals a game. "He makes everyone better," Vetter notes. The touted underclassman has several college offers including UCLA, Kansas and Duke.

Road to NHSI:

The defending NHSI champion started the season ranked No. 4 in the FAB 50 and has only faltered twice — both by two points. The Mustangs bowed to host Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) by 42-40 in mid-December before competing in the Iolani Holiday Classic in Honolulu, a regular stop in recent seasons.

At that event, the Mustangs defeated two teams who have been nationally ranked this season — Westbury Christian (Houston, Texas) and current FAB 50 No. 28 Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.). Marcus, ranked No. 5 in the FAB 50, ended its season with a 39-2 record and repeat Texas championship.

The other Mustang loss came on Jan. 26 when District of Columbia champion and NHSI participate Coolidge scored a 51-49 win. Otherwise, it was business as usual for Montrose and its talented cast of cagers.

Inside Scoop:

It all starts with Anderson. "We go as he goes," Vetter offers. "He's our four-year veteran and plays like it." Vetter rotates a lot of players but starts Anderson, Carrera, Wainwright, 5-foot-8 four-year veteran point guard Yuki Togashi, and one of three players: 6-foot-10, 240-pound senior Kevin Larsen, 6-foot-6 senior Cedric Blossom or 6-foot-2 sophomore Kevin Zabo.

Larsen averages eight points and 7.4 rebounds, Blossom five points and 5.6 rebounds, and Zabo six points and 3.8 assists. In last season's NHSI championship win over Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Larsen played well off the bench.

"We're a deeper, stronger team than last year," Vetter says. "Eight of our 12 players were in the NHSI last season and the kids look forward to competing again for a national title. It's a great experience and one of our team goals each year to compete in the event. It's a chance to compete against the best and great for high school basketball. This year's field could be the best, top to bottom, in the four years. There's no easy games and all will be a battle. The TV exposure makes it special and some players not playing in it probably are envious of the ones competing."

Findlay Prep gets No. 1 seed for NHSI

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
11:36
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ESPNHS has announced the seedings for the eight boys' teams that will compete in the fourth annual ESPNHS National High School Invitational.

The year's event, which features six POWERADE FAB 50-ranked teams, will be March 29-31 at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md. The championship game is set for 2 p.m. ET March 31 on ESPN.

As expected, two-time NHSI champion Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) was awarded the top seed and will face No. 8 seed Coolidge (Washington, D.C.) March 29. Coolidge (29-7) will have its hands full with the No. 2 team in the country. In three years, only Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) has played the top seed in the No. 1 versus No. 8 game down to the wire, and that came in 2010 when Montrose lost to Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) by two points.

This year, FAB 50 No. 9 Montrose Christian (20-2) snagged the second seed and opens the tournament with seventh-seeded Ravenscroft (Ravenscroft, N.C.). The North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 3A champions come in with a 31-3 mark, but they didn't venture too far from home this season and are decided underdogs against the defending NHSI champions.

Returning from last year's championship team is emotional leader Justin Anderson, a Virginia recruit, and Michael Carrera, who averaged a record 12.7 rebounds in Montrose Christian's three victories. Stu Vetter's club has to show its backcourt is capable without reigning tourney MVP Tyrone Johnson (now at Villanova), but Ravenscroft has even more to prove. The last two years, the NCISAA entrant has been routed in its opener.

After missing last year's event because of key early season losses, No. 12 Montverde Academy is back in the fold as the third seed. Kevin Sutton coached the team in 2010 when they advanced to the finals, but this year the 21-3 Mustangs have a new coach in Kevin Boyle. He turned St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) into a national power but his program never had the opportunity to compete at the NHSI.

Boyle now gets the opportunity against No. 6 seed La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.), a newcomer on the national scene with a big and talented roster. Montverde not only faces the challenge of a hungry 25-2 team ranked No. 23, they also face the challenge of idle time. Montverde had not played another high school since Feb. 4.

One team that certainly won't have any problems with idle time is fourth seed St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.), which competed in the prestigious Alhambra Catholic Invitational last weekend. Gray Bees lost only their second game of the season (33-2) to eventual tournament champion DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) in the semifinals.

Had St. Benedict's won that tournament without its point guard (Tyler Ennis) and sixth man (Jordan Forehand), there's a strong possibility they would have been seeded second. They only dropped five spots in the FAB 50 to No. 15 (two spots behind DeMatha) and will open the NHSI against fifth-seeded Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.), the FHSAA Class 7A state champ ranked No. 16. If Ennis and Forehand are not healthy for St. Benedict's, they could have trouble stopping the backcourt of Ely, which has proven its scoring ability in big games this season.

If St. Benedict's situation is any indication, this could be the most balanced NHSI field yet. Findlay Prep wants another crack at La Lumiere to avenge its only loss, but in order for that to occur both teams have to advance to the championship game. If history is any indication, La Lumiere might have a good shot at the semifinals (where defending champion Montrose Christian could be waiting) since the No. 6 seed has won in the opening round the past two years.

"You play 30 games for a seeding, but when the ball goes up, everyone is 0-0," said Findlay Prep coach Michael Peck. "We're blessed to be able to participate, as these games give the competing teams some closure."

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

PVI drops, Montrose rises in hoop rankings

March, 20, 2012
3/20/12
1:34
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The Alhambra Catholic Invitational really shook up the top of our rankings, as Paul VI falls out of the No. 1 spot for the first time in several weeks. DeMatha was able to knock the Panthers from their perch with a convincing win in the finals after dropping the three previous head-to-head matchups. Montrose Christian, which plays in next week's ESPNHS NHSI, now occupies the No. 1 spot followed by DeMatha, PVI and Gonzaga. the rest of the rankings remain unchanged as the season is over for the rest of the region.

Here's a look at the top three:
Montrose Christian (20-2) — last week No. 3
DeMatha (30-5) — last week No. 3
Paul VI (34-3) — last week No. 1
Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Greater D.C. boys' basketball rankings.

Magruder wins 4A crown; checks in at No. 5 in rankings

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
1:02
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The Maryland and Virginia championship games were played this past weekend. While five local squads made it to the finals, only one emerged victorious. That squad was No. 5 Magruder which topped Eleanor Roosevelt in the Class 4A title game. Thomas Stone came up short in the 3A contest, Largo was bounced int he 2A finals and George Mason lost to Lancaster in the Virginia Division 2 finals.

The top of the rankings could see some movement as Paul VI, DeMatha and Gonzaga will all play in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament and Montrose Christian looks to defend its crown at the NHSI.



Here's a look at the top three teams:
1. Paul VI (32-2) — last week No. 1
2. Montrose Christian (20-2) — last week No. 2
3. DeMatha (27-5) — last week No. 3

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Greater D.C. boys' basketball rankings.

Paul VI continues its title chase

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
12:44
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Paul VI continues to rack up the championship hardware, adding the VISAA Division I crown to a haul that includes the WCAC regular season and postseason titles. They hope to complete a sweep at the City Title game on March 20. The Maryland and Virginia playoffs are still going strong with ranked squads Magruder, North Point and newcomer Thomas Stone still vying for a crown.

Here's a look at the top three teams:
1. Paul VI (32-2) — last week No. 1
2. Montrose Christian (20-2) — last week No. 2
3. DeMatha (27-5) — last week No. 3
Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Greater D.C. boys' basketball rankings.

Coolidge upsets Riverdale, makes debut in hoop rankings

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
2:04
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A couple surprising losses led to some movement between teams 6-10 of the rankings. Coolidge upset Riverdale Baptist and Episcopal dropped a decision at home against Georgetown Prep dropping the teams down three spots each. North Point continues its rise and is now up to No. 6, while Bullis rises to No. 7 after capturing the IAC title. Coolidge has wins over Montrose Christian and Riverdale, leading to its debut in the rankings at No. 8. Paul VI closes the regular season at No. 1 after going unbeaten in the WCAC.

Here's a look at the top three teams:
1. Paul VI (26-2) — last week No. 1
2. Montrose Christian (18-2) — last week No. 2
3 DeMatha (25-4) — last week No. 3

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Greater D.C. boys' basketball rankings.

DeMatha routs Gonzaga in rematch

February, 10, 2012
2/10/12
10:06
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When pressed about the keys to DeMatha Catholic’s (Hyattsville, Md.) rematch with Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), Stags point guard James Robinson offered one reason why he thought DeMatha would avenge its early-season loss to the Eagles.

“We’ve just got a lot of talent,” Robinson said. “Too many weapons."

Too many indeed.

Jerami Grant and BeeJay Anya dominated the paint, combining for 33 points, while Jairus Lyles was stellar in the backcourt with 15 points to help the Stags, ranked No. 29 in the POWERADE FAB 50, leave little doubt about who runs the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference with a 76-47 win over No. 14 Gonzaga Friday night at DeMatha in a game that was nationally televised on ESPN2.

The win avenged a two-point loss to the Eagles on Jan. 21.

Nate Britt led Gonzaga with 21 points.

Fueled by a raucous crowd, the Stags stormed out of the gate early with a 9-2 run. But Gonzaga responded and Britt capped off a late first-quarter 8-0 run with a 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Eagles their first lead of the game, 13-12.

Lyles reignited the Stags’ transition game midway through the second quarter, throwing down a hard breakaway slam and following that up with an easy layup to give the Stags a 28-21 lead.

When the Eagles answered with a 6-2 run, Lyles heaved a halfcourt buzzer-beater to give DeMatha a 33-27 lead at the half.

The Stags kept the momentum rolling, opening the third quarter with a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 40-27. Then with 4:33 left in the third quarter, Robinson got ejected when he picked up his second technical foul after hitting Gonzaga guard Charles Glover in the back with the ball. Robinson’s first tech came in the first half after swatting Eagles’ guard Tavon Blackmon’s shot out of bounds and mouthing off about it.

It helped the Stags that the Eagles scored their first points of the second half – when Anya goaltended Britt’s layup – at the 1:59 mark of the third quarter.

The Stags did an exceptional job down the stretch of exposing mismatches to continue the rout. The Stags also held Kris Jenkins, the Eagles’ leading scorer, to just three points in the second half and 12 total.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

PVI, Gar-Field headline this week's hoop rankings

February, 7, 2012
2/07/12
1:13
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It's Paul VI's turn, finally. With statement wins over both DeMatha and Gonzaga in recent weeks, PVI has supplanted the perennial powers for the top spot in the Greater D.C. rankings. Glenn Farello's squad is the lone undefeated WCAC squad and has jumped up to No. 9 in the POWERADE FAB 50. With rematches against the conference's elite looming, could PVI be heading toward a top-five national ranking? New to the rankings is Gar-Field, an undefeated squad on the cusp of a historic campaign. With leading scorer Marcus Knight pouring in 20.5 points a contest, the Indians have racked up 20 straight wins with two contests to go. Win out and they'll claim the school's first undefeated campaign in 30 years.

Here's a look at the top three teams
1. Paul VI (20-2) — last week No. 3
2. Montrose Christian (15-2) — last week No. 2
3. Gonzaga (21-2) — last week No. 1

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Greater D.C. boys' basketball rankings.

Paul VI breaks into top three of hoop rankings

January, 31, 2012
1/31/12
2:32
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When we highlighted Paul VI in our January issue, we did it because we thought the Panthers were ready to make the leap in WCAC play. They proved us right by downing DeMatha last week courtesy of a Patrick Holloway buzzer beating trey. the win catapulted Paul VI back in the POWERADE FAB 50 where they occupy the No. 28 spot. That makes four Greater D.C. teams in the national rankings as Gonzaga (No. 9), Montrose Christian (No. 12) and DeMatha (29) all stumbled but remained ranked. Magruder took advantage of Episcopal's loss to Landon to leap into the top 5.

Here's a look at the top three teams:
1. Gonzaga (19-1) — last week No. 1
2. Montrose Christian (14-2) — last week No. 2
3. Paul VI (18-2) — last week No. 4

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Greater D.C. boys' basketball rankings.

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