BENSALEM, Pa. – The latest Blue Star Media Elite 25 boys’ basketball rankings featured movement when teams went head-to-head, a mammoth win streak that bit the dust and an injection of talent from a Midwest hotbed.
The recap is simple: No. 21 Bolingbrook (Ill.) enters the Elite 25 as the top-ranked team in Illinois (Class 4A); No. 5 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) beat then-No. 2 Chino Hills (Calif.) to snap their win streak at 60 games; and the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana, Calif., produced great action as usual.
Moving ahead here we go.
The basketball attention shifts back to New Jersey, namely Union County where two long-time staples roll out national tinged talent.
First, the Metro Classic, which takes place Friday and Saturday at Kean University in Union, N.J. There are 11 games, three on Friday and eight more Saturday at Harwood Arena—one of the top Division III facilities on the East Coast.
On Friday, it’s Elite 25 teams (and archrivals from New Jersey) No. 25 Linden and No. 19 The Patrick School (Elizabeth) at 8:30 p.m. EDT. On Saturday, three standout games are: Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y,) vs. St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), 4 p.m.; No. 5 Oak Hill Academy vs. St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.), 7; and No. 13 Montverde (Fla.) Academy vs. Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, 8:30.
Sunday is the Prime Time Shootout at Roselle Catholic for seven games, tipping at 11 a.m. The top three games are: Linden vs. Trenton Catholic Academy (Hamilton, N.J.), 12:30 p.m.; Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone, Pa.) vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2; and Patrick School vs. Archbishop Molloy (Briarwood, N.Y.), 6:30.
The Elite 25 rankings are back on February 14 (Happy Saint Valentine’s Day!). The Elite 25 will include the results from an event in northern New Jersey and the state playoffs. Get out to a game this week; the season is dwindling to a precious few weeks in certain regions. Be sure to support your local high school teams and attend a Senior Night celebration. We hope to see you at a game soon. — Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Boys Basketball Rankings, Feb. 7, 2017
1. Nathan Hale, Seattle (20-0)
Previous ranking: 1.
Low-down: The Raiders closed out a perfect regular and won the Metro League title with a 15-0 record. They open the playoffs Wednesday in the Metro semifinals. Michael Porter Jr. scored 52 points in a 90-68 win over Seattle Prep.
2. Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, Calif. (22-1)
Low-down: After brushing aside two opponents by 54 and 27 points, the Trailblazers walloped Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 98-72, at the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana, Calif. Marvin Bagley III set an event record with 43 points.
3. La Lumiere School, La Porte, Ind. (22-1)
Low-down: The Lakers swept two games at the McCallie School Dr. Pepper TEN Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn.
4. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (24-1)
Low-down: Defeated Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.), 65-44, and
Previously ranked No. 17 Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.), 75-66. Silvio De Sousa (27 points) and Trevon Duval (22) teamed for 49 points in the latter game. The Ascenders have booked a ticket to the DICK’S Nationals in March.
5. Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va. (28-3)
Low-down: Rallied to beat then-No. 2 Chino Hills (Calif.), 96-91, at the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana, Calif. Lindell Wigginton, an Iowa State recruit, netted a game-high 35 points as the Warriors trailed by 10 points at halftime. Also beat Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.), 86-58.
6. Chino Hills, Calif. (25-1)
Low-down: Lost to then-No. 8 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), 96-91, at the Nike Extravaganza in Santa Ana, Calif. The Huskies claimed their 60th straight win in a 91-60 win over Upland. Li’Angelo Ball dropped in 29 points but that streak has been halted.
7. Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev. (23-3)
Low-down: The Pilots face Las Vegas (Nev.) High and Foothills (Henderson), staying home this week after sweeping two Arizona foes on the road last weekend.
8. East, Memphis, Tenn. (22-3)
Low-down: The regular season closes Tuesday at district rival White Station (Memphis).
9. Imhotep Charter, Philadelphia (19-2) #
Low-down: Beat league rivals Constitution, 71-64, and Math, Civics & Sciences, 75-49.
10. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (26-1)
Low-down: The Monarchs swept two games in the Nike Extravaganza on the home floor, including a 74-62 win over St. Augustine (San Diego). Junior C Bol Bol scored 26 points and Justice Sueing had 20.
11. Shadow Mountain, Phoenix (23-0)
Low-down: Mike Bibby’s team is headed to the 4A Conference state tournament starting on Feb. 15.
12. Klein Forest, Houston (27-0)
Low-down: Two more lopsided District 15-6A wins keep the Eagles undefeated with three games remaining.
13. Montverde (Fla.) Academy (20-4)
Low-down: Lost in the championship game of the St. James Invitational in Hagerstown, Md. to St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.), 50-49.
14. Bishop Montgomery, Torrance, Calif. (22-2)
Low-down: The curtain falls on the regular on Monday against Cathedral (Los Angeles).
15. Gonzaga, Washington, D.C. (19-3)
Low-down: Notched a pair of WCAC wins over O’Connell (Arlington, Va.), 83-77, and St. Mary’s Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.) 74-64, as Miami-bound PG Chris Lykes totaled 44 points and eight assists.
16. Skyline, Dallas (26-1)
Low-down: Avenged the lone loss of the season beating Richardson, 70-57. Marcus Garrett poured in 28 points.
17. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (16-3)
Low-down: D.J. Harvey flipped in a game-high 28 points and snagged six rebounds to lift the Stags over then-No. 18 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 75-70. Friday is a rivalry game at O’Connell (Alexandria, Va.). Expect a packed gymnasium and an intense environment. Definitely the place to be!
18. Paul VI, Fairfax, Va. (20-3)
Low-down: Lost to then-No. 21 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), 75-70, but rebounded to topple Bishop Ireton (Alexandria, Va.), 75-47. The Panthers have two more Washington Catholic Conference games this week and then close out the regular season against No. 15 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) on Feb. 14 and DeMatha on Feb. 20. Nobody said life in the WCAC is easy … just the best!
19. The Patrick School, Elizabeth, N.J. (17-4)
Low-down: Lost to No. 6 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), 75-66, as Monmouth-bound G Marcus McClary finished with 14 points. In a 64-58 victory over Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, Kentucky-bound C Nick Richards had 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Celtics have played one of the nation’s best schedules; this will help in the playoffs.
20. Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati (18-0)
Low-down: Keegan McDowell’s 17 points were enough for the Crusaders in a 47-41 win over league rivals La Salle (Cincinnati). Friday is another league showdown with St. Xavier (Cincinnati).
21. Bolingbrook, Ill. (21-0)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: The Raiders are Illinois’ top-ranked Class 4A squad. Nana Akenten totaled 31 points and 12 rebounds in an 85-70 win over Belleville East. The playoffs start in two weeks.
22. Garfield, Seattle (17-3)
Low-down: J’Raen Brooks is averaging a double-double at 19.6 points and 10.8 rebounds as the Metro League playoffs start this week.
23. Jefferson, Portland, Ore. (14-1)
Low-down: The Dems knocked off Lincoln (Portland), 64-38, improving to 8-0 in the Portland Interscholastic League. This week brings three more games.
24. Curie, Chicago (20-2)
Low-down: The Condors opened the Chicago Public League playoffs on Monday vs. Clemente (Chicago). The second round is Wednesday and the quarterfinals are Friday both at the higher seed.
25. Linden, N.J. (15-2)
Low-down: Tavon Jones dropped in 20 points and Khalief Crawford posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards in a 64-61 win over The Hun School (Princeton). The Tigers also crushed Point Pleasant Beach, 61-40.
Dropped: No. 18 Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology (Houston).
High-Fives by Region
- Mount St. Joseph, Baltimore (26-2)
- Hillhouse, New Haven, Conn. (16-0)
- Rindge and Latin, Cambridge, Mass. (13-0)
- Lincoln, Brooklyn, N.Y. (21-2)
- Long Island Lutheran, Brookville, N.Y. (17-2)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian (12-0)
- Champlin Park, Champlin, Minn. (17-0)
- Simeon, Chicago (19-2)
- Oshkosh (Wis.) North (16-0)
- Jackson, Massillon, Ohio (16-1)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga. (24-0)
- San Antonio (Texas) Wagner (28-1)
- Madison Prep Academy, Baton Rouge, La. (26-3)
- Hamilton Heights Christian Academy, Chattanooga, Tenn. (24-6)
- Fern Creek, Louisville, Ky. (24-2)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Prolific Prep, Napa, Calif. (20-1)
- Basha, Chandler, Ariz. (26-0)
- Corona del Sol, Tempe, Ariz. (23-2)
- Federal Way, Wash. (20-1)
- Wasatch Academy, Mount Pleasant, Utah (20-4)
Geography: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
# Includes a forfeit loss
About: The Blue Star Media Elite 25 High School Boys Basketball Rankings are released weekly from November until the conclusion of the high school season. Criteria considered are the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Blue Star Media’s Christopher Lawlor, who consults with a national network of coaches, talent evaluators and prep sports writers. The final rankings will be released in April. Follow him on Twitter at #clawlor.