Postseason play claims two FAB 50 teams
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.
The first salvos were fired as the postseason claimed two teams from the ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings.
No. 26 LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) for the second straight year was picked off in Alabama's Class 5A semifinals, leaving the door open for two-time champion No. 24 Butler (Huntsville, Ala.) to prevail and preventing a dream matchup in Birmingham.
No. 50 Madison (San Antonio) plummeted 45 spots after bowing to Wagner (San Antonio) in the Class 5A Area playoffs. It was a bitter end to a wonderful season for the Mavericks who finished 33-2.
Top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) plays for a Southern Section championship Saturday against Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.). The biggest game might be Thursday's Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final against No. 10 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) and No. 11 Gonzaga (Washington D.C.). The winner plays Ballou for the City Championship next week at the Verizon Center.
Two teams enter the rankings after strong performances. No. 21 Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) vaults into the national spotlight after upending No. 25 Fairfax (Los Angeles) in the City Section semifinals. Taft plays No. 8 Westchester (Los Angeles) on Friday for the title. No. 49 Mount Vernon (N.Y.) won its fourth consecutive Section 1 championship and 26th in program history. The Knights go for their first Public School State title since 2007 and ninth overall.
Expect more of the unexpected as state such as Utah and Florida conduct state championships this week.
Three-Point PlayGame Ball: Terrell Vinson was the main reason No. 36 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) won a second-straight championship, earning him player of the week honors. Vinson, No. 47 in the ESPNU 100, scored 20 points and made three free throws and blocked two shots in the final seconds as the Panthers stopped Loyola (Baltimore), 44-41 in the Baltimore Catholic League final. Vinson also scored 15 points and the winning basket in the semifinals during a 66-66 overtime victory over Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore). For his efforts, he was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
In September, the 6-foot-7 Vinson transferred from powerhouse Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) and later signed with Loyola Marymount.
Games of the week: No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) meets No. 9 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) Friday at Georgetown Prep's Hanley Center in North Bethesda, Md. at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The last time they played, it was in the finals of the Iolani Prep Classic in Honolulu before Christmas. OHA prevailed, 74-62, in overtime. Virginia Tech-bound Lamont Jones of OHA was named the tournament's MVP. Coaches Stu Vetter of Montrose and Steve Smith of OHA are two of the best. This won't be the last time the two national powerhouses will visit the state-of-art facility in suburban Washington, D.C. They are expected to compete for three days at the inaugural National High School Invitational starting April 3. If they meet, it would be the third time this season.
Final Five: Five coaches, whose teams are in the ESPN RISE rankings, are finalist for the Naismith Boys' High School Coach of the Year Award. Kevin Boyle of St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.); Kurt Keener of Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.); Gary McKnight of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.); Michael Peck of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.); and Steve Smith of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.). The winner will be announced later this month at a banquet provided by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club.
Records are through March 1.
|ESPN RISE FAB 50 BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS: WEEK 17|
|1||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||30-0||1||The Monarchs held off two quality opponents, advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA final. In the semifinals, a 9-0 run late in the fourth broke a 58-58 tie en route to a 70-60 win over Etiwanda. Tyler Lamb hit two key buckets during the mini-surge and finished with 19 points, including 12 in the pivotal fourth quarter. Franklin also had another big game with 21 points for the Monarchs, who will take on King (Riverside, Calif.) Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Franklin scored 23 points in a 72-65 victory over Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley, Calif.) in the quarterfinals.|
|2||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||36-0||2||The Warriors defeated Charlotte (N.C.) Christian, 76-66. Austin Alecxith became the fifth Warrior headed to a Division I school when he verballed to UNC-Asheville. The Warriors close out the regular season against Covenant Christian (Smyrna, Ga.) Monday and No. 9 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) Friday on ESPN2.|
|3||Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)||30-0||3||The Pilots closed out their regular season last week with a 107-57 victory over Impact Prep Academy and will begin preparations for the National High School Invitational in Maryland in early April.|
|4||St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.)||24-3||4||The Celtics won the Union County Tournament title for the 12th time in 17 seasons under Coach Kevin Boyle after an 89-72 victory over Elizabeth. Junior Kyree Irving pumped in 29 points, George Mason-bound forward Paris Bennett added 18. They beat Linden, 49-36, in the semifinals. The Celtics are off until Friday when they open the New Jersey Non-Public B tournament against Morristown Beard or St. Mary's (Jersey City) in the North quarterfinals.|
|5||Strake Jesuit (Houston)||34-0||7||The Crusaders won twice in the Class 5A playoffs. Joey Brooks scored 21 points and Penn State-bound Tim Frazier hit for 18 during a 69-57 win over Madison (Houston) in the Area playoff game before 8,000. They also stopped Katy, 72-43, in the bi-district playoffs. Next up is Alief Taylor Wednesday in the Region 3 quarterfinals.|
|6||St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.)||23-2||8||The Gray Bees concluded the regular season crushing Franklin, 77-47. Coach Dan Hurley's team will take some time off before preparations for the National High School Invitational in April.|
|7||De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)||26-1||10||The Spartans won their opening round in the North Coast Section playoffs over James Logan (Union City), 65-55. DLS had 4 players in double figures, with Beau Levesque recording a double-double, 15 points with 15 rebounds. John McArthur scored 12 and grabbed 10 rebounds while Joe Stein and Jeff Powers tossed in 11 and 10, respectively. Next up is Newark Memorial Wednesday in the section quarterfinals.|
|8||Westchester (Los Angeles)||29-2||11||Coach Ed Azzam has been pleased with the way his underclass-dominated team has performed and it was probably hard for him to find any faults in 75-33 thumping of Fremont (Los Angeles) in CIF-Los Angeles City Section quarterfinals and a 71-56 win over Cleveland (Reseda) in the semifinals. Against Cleveland, 6-foot-7 junior Dwayne Polee had 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Comets will be seeking their seventh city title of the decade against Taft (Woodland Hills) on Friday.|
|9||Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)||20-1||9||Villanova-bound center Mouphtaou Yarou dropped in 19 points, making 11 of 15 free throws, and Terrence Ross scored 12 points in a 62-42 win over KIMA (Washington D.C.). The Mustangs play No. 2 Oak Hill Academy Friday on ESPN2.|
|10||DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)||27-3||13||The Stags beat Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), 59-56, in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals. In the quarterfinals, they stopped St. Mary's Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.), 55-42. The championship game against No. 11 Gonzaga (Washington) is Thursday at American University's Bender Arena.|
|11||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||26-4||14||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||Rice (Manhattan, N.Y.)||20-3||17||The Raiders captured their fourth straight CHSAA New York Archdiocesan championship, stopping St. Raymond (Bronx), 65-58. Miami-bound Durand Scott netted 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Raiders rallied from a 45-36 deficit. Next up is the New York AA Intersectional quarterfinals on Friday against Archbishop Molloy (Briarwood) in Middle Village. Earlier in the week, Scott and James Stuke were named to the CHSAA's first team.|
|13||Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.)||23-3||18||The Royals won the CHSAA AA Brooklyn-Queens Diocesan championship for the first time since 2006, beating Xaverian (Brooklyn), 66-60. Sean Johnson scored a game-high 29 points and sophomore point guard Corey Edwards added 10. The Royals play Thursday against Holy Cross (Flushing) in the quarterfinals of the New York AA intersectional in Fresh Meadows. Earlier in the week, Johnson was tabbed the Most Valuable Player of the CHSAA AA while juniors, Maurice Barrow named to the second team and Dominykas Milka to the third team.|
|14||Christ School (Arden, N.C.)||36-2||19||The Greenies capped a great season by winning their third straight North Carolina Independent Schools 3A title, beating Ravenscroft (Raleigh), 62-54, as Lakeem Jackson scored 12 points and Duke-bound center Mason Plumlee had 19. In the semifinals, they beat Charlotte Christian, 59-47, as Reggie King scored 18 points. Plumlee scored 12 points during a 44-31 win over Charlotte Latin in the quarterfinals. Plumlee and Jackson were named all-state.|
|15||Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.)||20-0||15||The Panthers jumped out to a 27-15 lead after a quarter and defeated Decatur Central (Indianapolis), 84-72, capping an unbeaten regular season. Guard Jordan Hulls, an Indiana recruit, led the scoring with 21 points and sophomore Spencer Turner contributed 18.|
|16||Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)||23-0||16||The Royals capped an unbeaten regular season with two east wins last week against Edina, 81-54, and Wayzata (Plymouth), 84-53. Against Wayzata, six Royals scored in double digits with Trent Lockett, an Arizona State recruit, leading the way with 14 points.|
|17||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia)||24-2||20||The Saints rule Philadelphia after capturing a pair of prestigious titles. Coach Carl Arrigale's club defeated archrivals Roman Catholic, 86-53, to win a fifth Philadelphia Catholic League Tournament in 11 years. The Saints followed that title with an impressive 80-78 win over Franklin Learning Center in the Philadelphia City Class AAA District 12 final. Next up is the school's maiden voyage in the PIAA Class AAA playoffs on Friday against Steelton-Highspire in Philadelphia.|
|18||Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.)||19-1||21||The Yellowjackets wrapped up regular season, defeating Berkley, 81-51. DCD will set its sights on the Class B state championship.|
|19||McClymonds (Oakland, Calif.)||25-1||22||McClymonds secured a second consecutive unbeaten Oakland Athletic League slate with a 51-35 victory over Castlemont (Oakland). Guard Will Cherry produced 18 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. The Warriors will be top seed in the CIF-Oakland Section playoffs.|
|20||South Atlanta (Atlanta)||25-3||23||The Hornets beat Thomson, 92-53, in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament. Next up is Cairo in the second round.|
|21||Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.)||25-3||NR||The Toreadors throttled previous-No. 12 Fairfax (Los Angeles), 67-45. Coach Derrick Taylor ordered his backcourt to sag off of Fairfax's perimeter players and crowd around USC-bound center Renardo Sidney, who finished with 13 points and only one made field goal after the third quarter. Justin Hawkins (20 points) and Michael Williams (23) not only executed the game plan defensively, they were also the offensive catalysts to combine for 43 points.|
|22||Thornton (Harvey, Ill.)||24-1||24||The Wildcats, Illinois' top-ranked Class 4A team, closed the regular season last week with their 24th straight victory, 85-52 over rival Thornridge (Dolton).|
|23||Northland (Columbus, Ohio)||21-1||25||The Vikings cruised to a state Division 1 district tournament title with two easy wins over Watkins Memorial (Pataskala), 70-25, and Jerome (Dublin), 65-46. Junior Jared Sullinger, a 6-foot-9 Ohio State recruit, totaled 47 points in the two games.|
|24||Butler (Huntsville, Ala.)||34-3||32||The Rebels capped their season by winning their second straight Class 5A championship, beating Parker (Birmingham), 55-45. Ryan Ervin had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Dallas Jones added 11 points.|
|25||Fairfax (Los Angeles)||25-4||12||The Lions lost to No. 21 Taft (Woodland Hills), 67-45, in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section semifinals.|
|ESPN RISE FAB 50 BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS: WEEK 17|
|26||LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.)||29-3||6|
|27||Plano West (Plano, Texas)||30-2||27|
|30||Lawrence North (Indianapolis)||21-2||30|
|31||Bearden (Knoxville, Tenn.)||32-2||31|
|33||Lake Clifton (Baltimore)||23-0||34|
|34||Dominguez (Compton, Calif.)||25-6||27|
|35||Centennial (Roswell, Ga.)||25-4||35|
|36||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore)||31-3||36|
|40||Holmes (Covington, Ky.)||29-2||40|
|43||Olympia (Orlando, Fla.)||26-4||44|
|44||St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)||22-4||45|
|45||Jamesville-Dewitt (Dewitt, N.Y.)||22-1||46|
|46||Cedar Hill (Texas)||31-3||47|
|48||North Crowley (Fort Worth)||32-5||50|
|49||Mount Vernon (N.Y.)||20-3||NR|
|50||Madison (San Antonio)||33-2||5|
Dropped out: No. 42 Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.); and No. 48 Newman Smith (Carrollton, Texas).
BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS
|Rank||School (City, State)||Rec|
|1||Oak Hill Academy|
Mouth of Wilson, VA
Jersey City, NJ
Flower Mound, TX
|See the full boys' basketball rankings »|