NEW FAB 50 Rankings: NEW No. 1 & 11 Newcomers!

There is a new No. 1 in the updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, as Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) takes over the top spot after IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) falls to Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.). Knocking off the No. 1 team was not even the most incredible performance by the Panthers in the past two weeks, as they needed an incredible seven overtimes to remain unbeaten heading into the holiday tournament season. There have been plenty of key results over the past two weeks that have resulted in a whopping 11 newcomers this week, led by No. 31 Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.) down to No. 50 Concord First Assembly (Concord, N.C.). Our next set of rankings will be January 6.

By Ronnie Flores

RELATED: Preseason FAB 50 No. 1 Loses

Usually it’s the two week period between the pre-Christmas tournaments and the first set of rankings for the New Year that results in big changes in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com.This season, however, plenty of big changes have already taken place before teams tip off in prestigious tournaments across the country beginning December 17. As a result, there are 11 FAB 50 newcomers in the updated rankings, which is a high number compared to what we usually see in the set of rankings right before the holidays. Traditionally, that’s around the number of new teams we see crack the rankings after the holidays.

Not only do we have 11 new teams, but a new No. 1, as preseason No. 1 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) fell to No. 4 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 67-56, at the National High School Hoops Festival in Hyattsville, Md. two weekends ago. The Panthers led by as much as 17 points and were led to victory by Duke-bound point guard Jeremy Roach (16 points, four rebounds, three assists) and junior wing Trevor Keels (25 points, four rebounds, two steals.

Paul VI began the season No. 4 FAB 50 and almost didn’t have a chance to move up because it went on the road to face a tough Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) club on December 14 and needed an incredible seven overtimes to gut out a 130-128 victory. The Panthers, who trailed by 17 points in the fourth period, needed all their big-time backcourt guns to survive and come out with a “W”, as Roach had 31 points, six rebounds and two steals and Keels poured in 30 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Sophomore guard “Dug” McDaniel had 21 points, five assists and five steals and senior guard Josiah Freeman added 20 points, including four 3-pointers, and three steals. All four players fouled out in the Paul VI win.

Paul VI moves up to No. 2, which naturally means Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) takes over at No. 1 following its 76-56 win over preseason No. 3 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) that wasn’t really as close as the score indicated. The Eagles play suffocating defense and have length and scoring at each position. If early comparative scores are any indication, it’s going to take an incredible effort to knock off Montverde Academy.

Grayson, Oak Hill Academy Make Statement

Paul VI was not the only team to make a statement in the past couple of weeks, as perennial FAB 50 power Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) both came up with important victories.

Oak Hill Academy avenged its only loss of the season with a 83-62 victory over Combine Academy (N.C.). LSU-bound All-American candidate Cam Thomas finished with 23 points and eight rebounds while Jamari Sibley added 15 points in the home win.  The following night at the Battle at the Rock in Fort Mill (S.C.), the Warriors defeated previous No. 33 Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.), 63-52, as Thomas went bonkers with 42 points (including 4-of-8 from 3-point range) and 15 rebounds. As a result, the Warriors move up seven spots to No. 10 as they prepare to do battle at the Iolani Classic in Hawaii this week.

Grayson snapped the 39-game winning streak of McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) with a resounding 83-57 victory as South Florida commit Caleb Murphy came up with a monster 24-point, seven-rebound performance against the defending GHSA AAAAAAA champs. The Rams are a balanced club and got plenty of contributions from their other starters, including Toneari Lane (17 points, seven rebounds), Deivon Smith (17 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) and Ian Schieffelin (13 points, 10 rebounds, 11 blocked shots).

Grayson moves up three spots to No. 14 and the only reason it didn’t climb into the Top 10 or to Oak Hill’s spot was because of its 84-80 loss to Newton (Covington, Ga.) on December 10, four days before its signature win versus the Indians. Newton hit 14 3-pointers and needed a field goal at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. Grayson will have a chance to avenge the loss when its hosts Newton on January 14.

Can Anyone Beat Montverde Academy at City of Palms?

Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Fla.) is on the bubble and its comparative scores in its two losses (to Montverde Academy and IMG Academy) are telling. MVA had no problem with Tampa Catholic, downing the Crusaders 97-43, while IMG Academy (which is playing without Duke-bound Jalen Johnson) needed two overtimes to down the same team, 76-70.

“We played much better against IMG and that was a home game for us which also helped,” Tampa Catholic coach Don Dziagwa told Ballislife.com. “But Montverde showed no weakness against us. Their defensive intensity just took us out of everything we wanted to run.”

New No. 1 Montverde Academy now is the odd-on favorite to capture the City of Palms Tournament in Ft. Myers, Fla. If early scores are any indication, IMG Academy will have its hands full its its second game between the winner of No. 20 Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)-No. 34 Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.). If Montverde Academy were to lose before the final, it would be considered quite an upset.

On West at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, the December 20 semifinals would pit No. 17 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) versus No. 19 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) in one semifinal with No. 27 Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) taking on host and No. 5 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) in the other at the Orleans Arena off the Las Vegas Strip. There are plenty of dangerous regionally-ranked teams that could knock off any one of the top four seeds by the quarterfinal round.

No. 6 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), which is coming off an emotional win over regionally-ranked St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) in Ohio, will play two showcase games at the Tarkanian Classic, including one on Wednesday evening versus No. 47 Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.).

Joining Oak Hill Academy at the Iolani Classic are No. 18 Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.), No. 21 21. (22) Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) and No. 30 Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.).

The next FAB 50 update is scheduled for Monday, January 6 after all the results from the holiday tournaments from around the country are in.

RELATED: Preseason FAB 50 No. 1 Loses

Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com

(Second poll of 2019-20 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, December 15; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)

No. Prev. High School (City) Record
1 2 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 6-0
2 4 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) 6-0
3 7 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) 10-0
4 10 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) 9-0
5 5 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 4-0
6 6 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 8-0
7 8 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 7-0
8 1 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 4-1
9 15 Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 11-0
10 16 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 17-1
11 12 Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 0-0
12 3 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 4-2
13 14 Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) 0-0
14 17 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 10-1
15 11 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 7-2
16 9 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 7-1
17 18 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 3-0
18 20 Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) 3-0
19 19 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 6-0
20 32 Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) 3-0
21 22 Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 12-0
22 25 Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) 9-2
23 28 O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.) 3-0
24 33 Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.) 4-1
25 13 Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.) 3-1
26 21 Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.) 8-1
27 36 Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) 4-0
28 34 West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.) 9-2
29 38 Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 9-0
30 31 Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) 1-2
31 NR Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.) 4-0
32 NR Milton (Milton, Ga.) 8-1
33 37 Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 2-0
34 44 Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.) 6-0
35 41 St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Alexandria, Va.) 6-1
36 NR Poly (Baltimore, Md.) 3-0
37 NR St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.) 4-1
38 NR Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.) 5-1
39 27 Lawrence Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) 2-1
40 39 Gray Collegiate Academy (West Columbia, S.C.) 6-1
41 42 Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) 3-0
42 NR Collinsville (Collinsville, Ill.) 8-0
43 NR Jemison (Huntsville, Ala.) 12-0
44 45 Tri-Cities (East Point, Ga.) 11-0
45 48 La Crosse Central (La Corsse, Wis.) 4-0
46 46 Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.) 12-1
47 NR Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) 5-0
48 NR Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.) 4-0
49 NR Westlake (Austin, Texas) 15-1
50 NR Concord First Assembly (Concord, N.C.) 13-1

Dropped Out: No. 23 Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio), No. 24 Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.); No. 26 Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.), No. 29 Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.), No. 30 The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.), No. 35 Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.), No. 40 Coronado (Henderson, Nev.), No. 43 Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.), No. 47 Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.); No. 49 Callaway (Jackson, Miss.), No. 50 Park Center (Brooklyn Park, Minn.).

Bubble Teams:  Allen (Allen, Texas) 13-2; Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 13-1; Benton Harbor (Benton Harbor, Mich.) 2-0; Bloom (Chicago Heights, Ill.) 8-1; Bogan (Chicago, Ill.) 9-1; Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, Okla.) 2-1; Brooklyn Collegiate (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-0; Callaway (Jackson, Miss.) 7-2; Camden (Camden, N.J.) 0-0; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 6-2; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 1-0; Christian Brother’s (St. Louis, Mo.) 2-3; Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) 2-1; Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.) 5-1; Durham Academy (Durham, N.C.) 13-1; Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.) 5-1; Evanston (Evanston, Ill.) 8-0; Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.) 7-0; Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.) 3-0; Gill St. Bernard’s (Gladstone, N.J.) 0-0; Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) 12-1; Guyer (Denton, Texas) 10-2; Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 11-0; John Paul II (Plano, Texas) 12-1; Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas) 10-2; Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.) 0-1; Madisonville-North Hopkins (Madisonville, Ky.) 4-0; Male (Louisville, Ky.) 5-1; Marion (Marion, Ark.) 2-2; Meridian (Meridian, Miss.) 10-1; Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.) 9-0; Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.) 7-2; Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 5-0; Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) 2-1; Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.) 4-2; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 1-0; Orchard Lake (Orchard Lake, Mich.) 1-0; Niles Notre Dame (Niles, Ill.) 8-2; North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 7-1; North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) 8-0; Rangeview (Aurora, Col.) 4-0; Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 5-1; River Rouge (River Rouge, Mich.) 2-0; Sanford School (Hockessin, Del.) 1-1; Southmoore (Moore, Okla.) 2-0; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 8-1; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 3-0; St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 6-0; St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) 8-2; St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.) 4-1; St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 3-1; Summer Creek (Houston, Texas) 12-3; Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Fla.) 3-2; The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) 9-4; University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.) 9-0; Whitehaven (Memphis, Tenn.) 8-0; Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 4-2; Wildwood Catholic (North Wildwood, N.J.) 0-0; Windward (Los Angeles, Calif.) 10-1;
Yates (Houston, Texas) 5-4.

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 20 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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