BENSALEM, Pa. – The latest Blue Star Media Elite 25 boys’ basketball rankings feature two newcomers, one each from the East and Far West regions.
No. 24 Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah) and No. 25 Roselle (N.J.) Catholic are the latest additions to the Elite 25. Wasatch has pieced together a solid season and is in line for an invitation to the DICK’S Nationals in March in New York. Meanwhile, Roselle Catholic is back in the Elite 25 after recording three quality wins last week and will take on No. 1 Montverde (Fla.) Academy on Friday at the Metro Classic at Kean University in Union, N.J.
No. 6 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) made the biggest splash moving up 10 spots after capturing the prestigious Saint James Invitational Tournament in Hagerstown, Md. The Buffaloes have positioned themselves for an invite to the DICK’S Nationals. This weekend Sunrise Christian plays No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) on Saturday night at the Heartland Hoops Classic in the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Neb.
There are two other events in New Jersey that deserve attention.
The Metro Classic has 12 games over three days starting on Friday afternoon at Kean University in Union. A few miles up the Garden State Parkway is the PrimeTime Shoot to be played over two days (Saturday and Sunday) at East Orange Campus High School. There are 14 games with the marquee matchups include Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) vs. Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) on Saturday and Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) vs. St, Mary’s (Elizabeth, N.J.) and Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.) vs. Linden (N.J.) both on Sunday evening.
The Elite 25 rankings return on Feb. 13 and after that the stretch run begins in earnest. Enjoy the games. Hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Boys Basketball Rankings, Feb. 6, 2018
1. Montverde (Fla.) Academy (28-0)
Previous rank: 1.
Low-down: The Eagles remained in Florida, defeating Lake Gibson, 101-69, and Westminster Academy (Fort Lauderdale), 81-65. Now coach Kevin Boyle takes his boys to his old stomping grounds, New Jersey, for three games this weekend against the area’s best; Roselle (N.J.) Catholic on Friday; Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone, N.J.) on Saturday and Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) on Sunday at the Metro Classic in Union, N.J.
2. Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va. (35-0)
Low-down: Won twice at the Dr. Pepper TEN Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn., toppling Ensworth School (Nashville, Tenn.), 87-51. The Warriors nearly had their perfect season spoiled but rallied from 19 points down at halftime to knock off McCallie School (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 77-73. A third quarter run of 33-13 made it 58-57.
3. University School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (24-1)
Low-down: The Sharks close out the regular season with a pair of games against Somerset Prep (North Lauderdale) Tuesday and Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah) Friday (Senior Night).
4. Bishop Montgomery, Torrance, Calif. (25-0)
Previous rank: 4.
Low-down: Defeated St. Bernard (Playa del Rey), 55-46, and Cathedral (Los Angeles), 83-59, remaining perfect in the Del Rey League. The regular season concludes Wednesday hosting Cantwell-Sacred Heart (Montebello).
5. Paul VI, Fairfax, Va. (23-2)
Low-down: The Panthers went 11-0 in the month of January and established themselves as a national power in the nation’s best league. Back in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, the Boys in Black and Gold defeated Good Counsel (Wheaton, Md.), 69-31, St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.), 65-55, and Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.), 59-54. Super sophomore Jeremy Roach netted a game-high 26 points, bucketing four 3-pointers in the latter game.
6. Sunrise Christian Academy, Bel Aire, Kan. (22-2)
Low-down: Won the Saint James Invitational Tournament in Hagerstown, Md., defeating St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.), 65-58, in the final. Blake Hinson topped all scorers with 19 points. N’faly Dante was the tournament Most Valuable Player and teammate Malik Hall earned most-valuable honors.
7. Gonzaga, Washington, D.C. (22-1)
Low-down: Defeated Bishop Ireton (Alexandria, Va.), 65-41, capping a three-win week. Sophomore F Terrence Williams averaged 17.7 points in three games
8. Shadow Mountain, Phoenix (20-1)
Low-down: The Matadors are unbeaten against Arizona competition and extended the win streak to five games in an 88-54 victory over St. Mary’s (Phoenix). The regular season closed at Cactus Shadows (Cave Creek) on Monday.
9. Denton (Texas) Guyer (31-1)
Low-down: Defeated Wylie, 78-54, and McKinney Boyd, 89-59, in District 6-6A action. Grayson Carter totaled 39 points in two wins. Three games remain in the regular season.
10. Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev. (26-4)
Low-down: Went 2-1 at the Saint James Invitational Tournament in Hagerstown, Md., finishing in third place.
11. Simeon, Chicago (20-3)
Low-down: Idle. Next up are the Chicago Public League playoffs.
12. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (19-4)
Low-down: The Stags split two games in the WCAC, getting upended by Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.), 65-62.
13. La Lumiere School, La Porte, Ind. (16-3)
Low-down: Defeated Horizon Christian (Indianapolis), 86-49. PG Tyger Campbell, who collected 36 points and 10 assists, said his final college choices are UCLA, Purdue, DePaul and Maryland.
14. McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga. (22-2)
Low-down: The Indians closed out the regular season on an n 11-game win streak.
15. East, Memphis, Tenn. (19-3)
Low-down: Defeated Southwest Christian Academy School (Little Rock, Ark.), 90-78.
Penny Hardaway’s team aims for a perfect district record with two games on this week’s docket.
16. Garfield, Seattle (20-0)
Low-down: The Bulldogs completed a perfect regular season, stopping Franklin (Seattle), 87-62. The 3A Metro League playoffs are this week.
17. Salesian College Prep, Richmond, Calif. (23-1)
Low-down: Defeated El Cerrito, 80-37. The Pride plays Albany Thursday in the season finale.
18. Imhotep Charter, Philadelphia (20-2)
Low-down: Defeated Philadelphia Public School rivals Constitution, 72-63, and Math, Civics & Sciences, 63-44. Also topped Camden (N.J.), 61-48.
19. Oak Ridge, Orlando, Fla. (21-3)
Low-down: Texas A&M-bound Antwann Jones scored 14 points and LSU-signee Emmitt Williams added 12 to take down local rivals Jones (Orlando), 60-35.
20. Etiwanda, Calif. (25-1)
Low-down: The Eagles won two games last week and need two more victories against Upland Tuesday and Damien (La Verne) Thursday to clinch the outright Baseline League championship.
21. Clarkston, Mich. (13-1)
Low-down: Defeated Hazel Park, 70-39, and Bloomfield Hills, 75-29. Michigan State-bound G Foster Loyer cracked the 2,000-point barrier with 31 points against in the latter game. The Wolves took control of the Oakland Activities Association-Red in the former when Loyer flipped in 34 points, making 9-of-13 shots and three 3s, and 6-9 Taylor Currie, a Wisconsin pledge, posted a double-double with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 5 blocks.
22. Westlake, Austin, Texas (28-3)
Low-down: The Chaps clipped Lake Travis (Austin), 70-65. Only three District 25-6A contests remain before the bi-district playoffs.
23. Wesleyan Christian Academy, High Point, N.C. (24-4)
Low-down: Aaron Wiggins scored 11 straight points in the second quarter and finished with 31 as the Trojans beat then-No. 21 Greensboro (N.C.) Day School, 66-52. The rematch between the league rivals is Tuesday and they will meet again in the NCISAA state tournament.
24. Wasatch Academy, Mount Pleasant, Utah (18-2)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: Trey Williams scored 20 points and Matilja Ilic had 14 as the Tigers thumped Summit Academy (Bluffdale, Utah), 85-37. Games this week include Timpanogos (Orem) Tuesday and Davis (Kaysville) Saturday.
25. Roselle (N.J.) Catholic (16-3)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: New Jersey’s top-ranked team returns to the Elite 25 after defeating Patrick School (Elizabeth), 69-67. Alanzo Frink had 23 points and 10 rebounds and LSU-bound Naz Reid had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Also defeated Ranney School (Tinton Falls), 75-49, as Reid tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds and surpassed 1,000 career points.
Dropped: No. 11. Riverside Academy, Reserve, La.; and No. 21 Greensboro (N.C.) Country Day.
High-Fives by Region
- Long Island Lutheran, Brookville, N.Y. (16-2)
- St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (28-2)
- Hudson Catholic, Jersey City, N.J. (15-4)
- Mount Vernon, N.Y. (18-1)
- Plymouth-Whitemarsh, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. (20-0)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul, Minn. (16-1)
- Curie, Chicago (20-3)
- Orr, Chicago (19-3)
- Riley, South Bend, Ind. (17-0)
- Wayne, Huber Heights, Ohio (18-0)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Cox Mill, Concord, N.C. (19-3)
- Pebblebrook, Mableton, Ga. (22-2)
- Mountain Brook, Birmingham, Ala. (28-4)
- Scott County, Georgetown, Ky. (24-1)
- Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (22-2)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Jefferson, Portland, Ore. (16-3)
- Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, Calif. (19-3)
- Rancho Christian, Temecula, Calif. (24-2)
- Gonzaga Prep, Spokane, Wash. (20-0)
- Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (18-6)
Geography: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
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. Teams with fifth-year players cannot be ranked. 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 @clawlor.