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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Updated: March 11, 5:04 PM ET
Mater Dei falls to shake up FAB 50

ESPNRISE.com

Editor's note: The ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, Ronnie Flores, Ryan Canner-O'Mealy and Doug Huff. They will be released each Tuesday throughout the season.

Click here for regional rankings.

Leonard Kawhi
Kawhi Leonard led Martin Luther King's shocking upset of former No. 1 Mater Dei.

The postseason continues to be cruel; this week eight teams dropped out of the ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings. The playoffs also knocked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) from its No. 1 perch after falling in the section final.

Fear not, the newly-minted No. 1 is Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.). This is familiar territory for coach Steve Smith and the Warriors who have earned the moniker as America's Team. Last week, the Warriors outlasted No. 9 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) by six points on ESPN2. The game feature several Division I players.

OHA, Montrose, No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and No. 6 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) have accepted invites to participate in the inaugural National High School Invitational from April 3-5 in North Bethesda, Md. Four others will be selected.

Out west, No. 35 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) tumbled 28 spots after getting upset in the sectional playoffs. No. 21 Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.) made the biggest splash after upsetting previous-No. 1 Mater Dei by 15 points in the Southern Section, Division I-AA final. MLK is the top seed in this week's loaded Southern California Region tournament, which features the likes of Mater Dei, No. 7 Westchester (Los Angeles), No. 22 Taft (Woodland Hills), No. 26 Fairfax (Los Angeles) and No. 36 Dominguez (Compton). No. 18 McClymonds (Oakland) is the favorite in Northern California.

Wednesday is a big night in the New York-New Jersey market as the long awaited rematch between No. 4 St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) and No. 41 Paterson Catholic at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway for the Non-Public North B title. In New York, the New York Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA intersectional semifinal doubleheader at St. John's University's Carnesecca Arena features No. 10 Rice (Manhattan) vs. All Hallows (Bronx) and No. 12 Christ the King (Middle Village) vs. Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn). The final is Sunday at Fordham University's historical Rose Hill Gymnasium.

Keith Gallon
Keith Gallon has Oak Hill Academy on top of this week's ESPN RISE FAB 50.

Buckle up for another exciting week in the postseason.

Three-Point Play

Game Ball: Kawhi Leonard of No. 21 Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.), may not have led his team in scoring but his superior all-around game was pivotal, earning him player of the week honors. Leonard, a 6-foot-7 senior forward produced a monster game with 12 points, 20 rebounds, six blocks and three steals as MLK pounded previous-No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana), 71-56, in the CIF-Southern Section, Division I-AA final. Leonard has signed with San Diego State.

Game of the Week: Wednesday, the place to be is Virginia Commonwealth University's Siegel Center in Richmond for the Virginia Group AAA semifinals. Four AAA semifinals -- two boys' and two girls' games -- will decide the final, tipping at 3 p.m. The feature game is No. 20 Petersburg against regionally-ranked King's Fork (Suffolk) at 9 p.m. ET. Petersburg features the front line of 6-foot-6 Du-Vaughn Maxwell, 6-9 Cadrian Raines and 6-6 Chris Evans. King's Fork, which has won 20 straight games, needed a late 8-1 run to hold off George Washington (Danville), 60-53, in the quarterfinals. The winner plays William Fleming (Roanoke) or John Marshall (Richmond) Saturday for the crown.

Just Golden: Coach Louie Golden went out on his own terms after 37 seasons on Saturday night in Columbia, S.C. Golden won his 699th game and a sixth state championship as Southside (Greenville, S.C.), No. 13 in the Southeast Region, clubbed Mullins, 72-47, in the Class AA final. Southside closed out the Golden Era winning back-to-back state championships for the second time in the coach's tenure. Golden coached at three different Greenville County (S.C.) schools. Golden, 69, is succeeded by assistant B.J. Jackson.

Records are through March 8.

Rankings: Preseason / Week 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 14 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / Final

ESPN RISE FAB 50 BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS: WEEK 18
Rank Team Record Previous Note
1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 38-0 2 The Warriors closed out the regular season, defeating No. 9 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.), 69-63. Keith "Tiny" Gallon, a McDonald's All-American selection, had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Lamont Jones added 12. The Warriors will regroup in a few weeks for the National High School Invitational from April 3-5 in North Bethesda, Md.
2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 30-0 3 The Pilots are idle until the National High School Invitational on April 3-5.
3 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 30-1 1 The Monarchs lost to Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.), 71-56, in CIF Southern Section Division I-AA final. The Monarchs aren't done, though, they defeated Chino Hills Monday in the Southern California Region first round and will face Fairfax (Los Angeles) in the quarterfinals. The Monarchs would need three wins this week to reach the CIF State final on March 21 in Sacramento.
4 St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) 25-3 4 The Celtics took a 43-8 lead at the break en route to a 73-37 win over St. Mary's (Jersey City) in the Non-Public B North quarterfinals. Dexter Strickland hit for 15 points and junior guard Kyree Irving added 13. Coach Kevin Boyle's team defeated St. Mary (Elizabeth) Monday in the semifinals. The Celtics face No. 41 Paterson Catholic Wednesday at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway (8 p.m. ET).
5 Strake Jesuit (Houston) 37-0 5 The Crusaders rule Class 5A, Region III after edging plucky Chavez (Houston), 59-58, in the final. Wes Williams made a free throw with 5.9 seconds left snapping a 58-58 tie. Notre Dame-bound Joey Brooks dropped in a game-high 29 points and Steven Rogers scored 11. The Crusaders, who lost to Chavez in the area playoffs in 2008, play Friday against DeSoto in the 5A semifinals at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. The winner meets Wagner (San Antonio) or No. 30 Cedar Hill Saturday for the crown.
6 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) 23-2 6 The Gray Bees are idle until the National High School Invitational which tips on April 3.
7 Westchester (Los Angeles) 30-2 8 The Comets won their seventh CIF-Los Angeles City Championship of this decade, knocking off previous-No. 21 Taft (Woodland Hills), 60-55. Junior guards Jordin Mays scored 18 points and Kareem Jamar added 12 giving Coach Ed Azzam his 10th sectional crown. The Comets downed Fresno Central Monday in the CIF-Southern California Region, Division I playoffs. They play Tuesday against El Camino (Oceanside) in the quarterfinals. The final is Saturday at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion (11 p.m. ET).
8 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) 28-3 10 The Stags are Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champions, taking a thrilling 62-61 decision over previous-No. 11 Gonzaga (Washington D.C.). Naji Hibbert's winning shot beat the buzzer as the Stags won their fourth WCAC title in five years. Sophomore Quin Cook scored 13 points, Hibbert added 11 and freshman James Robinson had nine, but drained a pair of jumpers late in the fourth, enabling the Stags to rally from five down. The Stags routed D.C. public champion Ballou Monday night in City Title game at the Verizon Center.
9 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 20-2 9 Montrose Christian lost to No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), 69-63, in regular season finale. The Mustangs were paced by Villanova-bound center Mouphtaou Yarou's 24 points and 10 boards. Next up is the National High School Invitational on April 3.
10 Rice (Manhattan) 21-3 12 The Raiders were on fire in the quarterfinals of the New York Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA intersectional playoffs. Miami-bound Durand Scott pumped in 25 points and had seven assists to top five Raiders in double figures during a 96-64 win over Archbishop Molloy (Briarwood). The point total was Rice's top for the season as Jermaine Sanders added 18 and Scott Aria had 15 (making five 3-pointers). Next up is All Hallows (Bronx) Wednesday in the semifinals at St. John's University's Carnesecca Arena. The winner plays No. 12 Christ the King (Middle Village) or Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn) Sunday at Fordham University Rose Hill Gymnasium in the title game.
11 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 26-5 11 The Purple Eagles edged Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 57-48, in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals. Ian Hummer (20 points) and junior Tyler Thornton (13) combined for 33 points. In the quarterfinals, they topped St. John's (Washington), 73-68, in overtime.
12 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 24-3 13 Sean Johnson flipped in 19 of his game-high 32 points in the first half as the Royals cruised by Holy Cross (Flushing), 72-49, in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional quarterfinals. Johnson's 19 points helped CTK build a 40-27 edge at the break. Junior center Dominykas Milka added 14 points. The Royals play Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn) in the semifinals Wednesday at St. John's University in Flushing.
13 Christ School (Arden, N.C.) 36-2 14 The Greenies won their third straight North Carolina Independent Schools 3A title.
14 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) 25-2 17 The Saints won their first-ever PIAA playoff game, knocking off Steelton-Highspire, 98-71, in the Class AAA first round. Next up is Susquehanna Township Tuesday in the second round at Reading High's Geigle Complex. The winner plays Shamokin or Archbishop Carroll (Radnor) in Friday's quarterfinal.
15 Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.) 22-0 15 Indiana's top-ranked Class 4A team captured a sectional title with wins over rival Bloomington North, 48-34, and East Central (St. Leon), 52-41. It was the fourth sectional championship in the last five seasons for the Panthers.
16 Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 25-0 16 Minnesota's top-ranked Class 4A team pounded rival Minnetonka, 100-72, and Robbinsdale Armstrong (Plymouth), 119-88.
17 Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.) 19-1 18 After a week off, the Yellowjackets routed Lahser (Bloomfield Hills), 95-63, in Class B action.
18 McClymonds (Oakland, Calif.) 26-1 19 Mack captured the CIF-Oak Section Championship, beating Skyline (Oakland), 73-56, as William Cherry (22 points) and Damon Powell (20) combined for 42 points. Mack put the game on ice with a 23-10 third-quarter showing for a 53-30 lead. Cherry was voted the Oakland Athletic League's Most Valuable Player and Powell was on the first team. Justin Standley and Quincy Hill were second team. McClymonds, the defending Division I state champion, plays the winner of Lincoln (San Francisco)-Franklin (Elk Grove) on Tuesday in the CIF-Northern California Region, Division I playoffs.
19 South Atlanta (Atlanta) 27-3 20 The Hornets swept Cairo, 87-44, and Washington County (Sandersville), 90-67, advancing to the Class AAA Final Four in Macon. Friday the Hornets play 29-2 Columbia (Decatur), No. 2 in Class AAA, at the Macon Centreplex. The winner meets Westover (Albany) or Gainesville Saturday for the title.
20 Petersburg (Va.) 30-0 28 The Wave beat Hayfield (Alexandria), 59-48, in the Group AAA state quarterfinals before 5,200 in Richmond. Du-Vaughn Maxwell and Chris Evans each scored 13 points and hauled down seven rebounds and Cadrian Raines had 12 points and three blocks. Next up is regionally-ranked King's Fork (Suffolk) Wednesday in the AAA semifinals.
21 Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.) 27-2 NR The Wolves defeated previous top-ranked mater Dei (Santa Ana), 71-56, in the CIF Southern Section, Division I-AA final. The Wolves used a 15-0 run to close the third quarter and take control. Senior forward Tony Snell and Taylor Cunningham scored 16 points and Kawhi Leonard contributed a double-double, 12 points and 20 rebounds. Coach Tim Sweeney Jr.'s club played Monday against Cleveland (Reseda) in the CIF-Southern California Region, Division I playoffs. The winner plays Tuesday against Torrey Pines (San Diego) or Tesoro (Las Flores).
22 Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) 25-4 21 The Toreadors lost to No. 7 Westchester (Los Angeles), 60-55, in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Championship game. Michael Williams tossed in a game-high 32 points, sinking 9-of-17 shots and 9-of-10 free throws. Taft got by Ventura, 68-55, in the CIF-Southern California Region, Division I playoffs. The Toreadors play Tuesday vs. No. 36 Dominguez (Compton) in the quarterfinals.
23 Thornton (Harvey, Ill.) 26-1 22 The Wildcats survived a Class 4A regional tournament scare from rival Thornwood (Dolton), 54-52, but crushed Lincoln-Way Central, 76-33. Reggie Smith, a 6-foot junior guard, scored 23 vs. Thornwood. The Wildcats take their 26-game win streak against Bloom (Chicago Heights) this week in the sectional playoffs.
24 Northland (Columbus, Ohio) 22-1 23 The Vikings defeated rival Whetstone (Columbus), 64-50, advancing to the Division 1 district tournament final. Trey Burke scored a career-high 17 points.
25 Butler (Huntsville, Ala.) 34-3 24 The Rebels won their second straight Class 5A championship. Season complete.

ESPN RISE FAB 50 BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS: WEEK 18
Rank Team Record Previous
26 Fairfax (Los Angeles) 25-4 25
27 Yates (Houston) 32-1 42
28 LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) 29-3 26
29 Bearden (Knoxville, Tenn.) 34-2 31
30 Cedar Hill (Texas) 34-3 46
31 Pershing (Detroit) 19-1 29
32 Lawrence North (Indianapolis) 24-2 30
33 Fayetteville (Ark.) 29-0 32
34 Lake Clifton (Baltimore) 26-0 33
35 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 26-2 7
36 Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) 25-6 34
37 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) 31-3 36
38 Princeton (Cincinnati) 21-1 38
39 Franklin (Seattle) 24-1 39
40 Holmes (Covington, Ky.) 31-2 40
41 Paterson Catholic (Paterson, N.J.) 26-4 NR
42 Jamesville-Dewitt (Dewitt, N.Y.) 22-1 45
43 Mount Vernon (N.Y.) 20-3 49
44 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 23-7 NR
45 Jenks (Okla.) 25-1 NR
46 Friends Central (Wynnewood, Pa.) 28-2 NR
47 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) 26-3 NR
48 Centennial (Champaign, Ill.) 28-1 NR
49 Hall (Little Rock, Ark.) 28-2 NR
50 Norcross (Ga.) 27-3 47

Dropped out: No. 27 Plano West (Plano, Texas); No. 35 Centennial (Roswell, Ga.); No. 37 Provo (Utah); No. 41 Bellevue (Wash.); No.43 Olympia (Orlando, Fla.); No. 44 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.); No. 48 North Crowley (Fort Worth); No. 50 Madison (San Antonio).