New FAB 50 National Rankings
Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) falls from the top 10 after a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference loss to newcomer O’Connell (Arlington, Va.). The Panthers remain in the top 25 because of their overall strength of schedule and a victory later in the week over DeMatha Catholic. The upcoming WCAC playoffs and other section post-season games are sure to cause changes in the next two weeks after this week brings only four newcomers to the FAB 50.
By Ronnie Flores & Mark Tennis
Contributing: Doug Huff
After the late January showcases, there are traditionally a couple of calm rankings weeks around the country before league, section, conference and district playoffs get underway.
The calm occurs when nationally ranked teams play games against traditional league foes before the post-season begins. Outside of a few strong leagues in power states, most leagues just don’t have more than one other state or regionally ranked team and upsets are rare. That’s evident as there was little movement in the top 25 of this week’s Student Sports FAB 50 national rankings.
There is one league near the nation’s capitol, however, that bucks that trend.
WCAC No Ordinary Conference
The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference has been in existence since 1961 and has been dominated by nationally recognized DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.). The Stags have won 38 WCAC titles overall, but in recent years the conference has been tougher than ever. FAB 50 No. 6 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) is the conference’s highest ranked team, but new No. 50 and defending WCAC champion O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) is currently tied with the Cadets for first place after knocking off previous No. 9 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) 73-66 last week and coming back Sunday night to squeak by Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 69-68.
Sophomore Lewis Djonkam had a big night for O’Connell in the win over Paul VI with a career-high 22 points. Senior guard Romello Trimble had seven assists against Paul VI but against Gonzaga in a close game, the McDonald’s All-American put the Cadets on his back. He scored a school-record 47 points, making six three-pointers, and connecting on 21-of-23 free throws to help O’Connell overcome a 13-point deficit.
St. John College and O’Connell have one loss each in WCAC play while Paul VI and DeMatha have three losses. Paul VI bounced back from its loss to O’Connell to record a 55-48 victory on Sunday over DeMatha that knocked the Stags out of the FAB 50. Paul VI does have two losses to O’Connell but remains in the top 25 because of its national schedule.
We’re now getting in the point in the season where some teams have to be behind teams it lost to head-to-head earlier in the season. In the case of Paul VI, it does get credit for some of its wins but is now behind FAB 50 No. 10 Whitney Young (Chicago) in spite of its 57-52 win over the Dolphins.
According to Sheldon Shealer of StudentSports.com, DeMatha last won the WCAC in 2011. If the Stags don’t win it this year, it will mark the first time since the conference (previously called the Metro League and before that the Catholic League) was created that the Stags’ program would go three years without a boys basketball title.
Curie vs. Whitney Young?
Speaking of Whitney Young, the Dolphins are currently in the Chicago Public League playoffs along with No. 1 Curie. Whitney Young will face defending Class 3A state champion Morgan Park in a quarterfinal showdown this Sunday. Curie, led by Mr. Basketball USA front-runner Cliff Alexander, will face four-time defending Class 4A state champ Simeon in its Sunday quarterfinal game.
The reason we elevated Curie to the No. 1 spot after it defeated current No. 2 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) is we knew it would be a tough road for the Condors to win the Chicago Public League and state titles without a blemish the rest of the way.
Curie actually defeated Simeon back in December in the title game of the Pontiac Holiday Classic and if the brackets hold to form, the Curie vs. Whitney Young clash for the 2014 Chicago Public League title would take place Friday, Feb. 21 at Chicago State.
Updated Student Sports FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings
(Seventh poll of the 2013-14 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, Febuary 9; Previous ranking in parentheses)
|2||2||Montverde Academy||(Montverde, Fla.)||22-1|
|3||3||Rainier Beach||(Seattle, Wash.)||20-0|
|4||4||Mater Dei||(Santa Ana, Calif.)||25-0|
|6||6||St. John's College||(Washington, D.C.)||23-1|
|7||7||Northside Christian Academy||(Charlotte, N.C.)||24-1|
|9||10||Arlington Country Day||(Jacksonville, Fla.)||20-3|
|11||11||Oak Hill Academy||(Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||30-3|
|13||14||Apple Valley||(Apple Valley, Minn.)||21-1|
|16||17||Arsenal Tech||(Indianapolis, Ind.)||18-2|
|17||18||La Lumiere||La Porte, Ind.)||18-2|
|18||19||Prime Prep Academy||(Ft. Worth, Texas)||19-5|
|19||20||Findlay Prep||(Henderson, Nev.)||25-4|
|20||21||Cardinal Hayes||(Bronx, N.Y.)||22-0|
|22||25||Greater Atlanta Christian||(Norcross, Ga.)||25-0|
|24||9||Paul VI||(Fairfax, Va.)||20-5|
|27||27||Bishop O'Dowd||(Oakland, Calif.)||18-4|
|28||28||Bishop Gorman||(Las Vegas)||22-4|
|29||29||Corona del Sol||(Tempe, Ariz.)||26-1|
|33||37||Roman Catholic||(Philadelphia, Pa.)||19-3|
|35||41||Brookfield Central||(Brookfield, Wis.)||17-0|
|36||46||City College||(Baltimore, Md.)||17-0|
|37||39||Sierra Canyon||(Chatsworth, Calif.)||23-2|
|38||42||Scotlandville||(Baton Rouge, La.)||26-1|
|41||NR||Chaminade||(St. Louis, Mo.)||19-1|
|42||44||Orlando Christian Prep||(Orlando, Fla.)||26-1|
|44||49||Archbishop Carroll||(Radnor, Pa.)||19-3|
|45||50||Redondo Union||(Redondo Beach, Calif.)||20-4|
|48||48||Sunrise Christian Academy||(Bel Aire, Kan.)||10-5|
|49||NR||Lone Peak||(Highland, Utah)||16-2|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 32 East Side (Newark, N.J.); No. 34 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.); No. 35 Zion-Benton (Zion, Ill.); No. 43 Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.).
Bubble Teams: Allentown Central Catholic (Allentown, Pa.) 22-0; Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 11-2; Cape Henry Collegiate (Virginia Beach, Va.) 17-0; Capital Christian (Sacramento, Calif.) 21-3; Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) 14-1; Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.) 21-4; De Matha (Hyattsville, Md.) 21-3; Denver East (Denver, Colo.) 15-3; De Soto (De Soto, Texas) 25-3; East Side (Newark, N.J.) 15-1; Eastside (Paterson, N.J.) 17-1; Fossil Ridge (Fort Collins, Colo.) 19-0; Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) 25-4; Jackson (Mill Creek, Wash.) 19-1; Johnson (St. Paul, Minn.) 20-2; King (Milwaukee, Wis.) 17-1; Lanphier (Springfield, Ill.) 23-0; Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights, Ill.) 19-2; New Castle (New Castle, Pa.) 21-0; North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 17-1; Parkview (Little Rock, Ark.) 17-1; Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) 15-5; Potomac (Dumfries, Va.) 22-0; Siegel (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) 25-0; Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 18-4; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 17-1; St. Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.) 18-1; Washington (Charles Town, W. Va.) 13-0; Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) 20-9; Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.) 22-5; Zanesville (Zanesville, Ohio) 19-0; Zion-Benton (Zion, Ill.) 20-2.
Note: The STUDENT SPORTS FAB 50 is a continuation of the National Sports News Service ratings that began in 1952. These were the first national high school rankings and they were compiled by the late Art Johlfs of Minnesota. They were compiled for many years by the late Barry Sollenberger of Phoenix, who merged them into the FAB 50 14 years ago.