BENSALEM, Pa. – The latest Blue Star Media Elite 25 boys’ basketball rankings featured limited movement and three additions—one from the Southland Region and two from the Far West.
The weather seems to be in back on the Elite 25 radar screen. Last week teams in the Southeast and Deep South were affected with school closings and cancelled or postponed games. That limited the action in states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. Once the Elite 25 teams from those states reschedule, we’ll have the results in the team blurbs.
As we hit late January, two teams enter the Elite 25 rankings: No. 18 Salesian College Prep (Richmond, Calif.), No. 22 Etiwanda (Calif.) and No. 25 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.). Etiwanda is one of the nation’s hottest teams, riding a 17-game win streak and one of California’s top teams. Trinity is fresh off winning its fifth Louisville Invitational Tournament on Sunday afternoon and is Kentucky’s top-ranked squad. Salesian is a guard-oriented team, having won 11 straight from the Bay Area.
All three belong in the Elite 25 but have stern tests in the coming weeks.
Entering this week, No. 7 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) is playing like a champion and unbeaten in the uber-competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Wins over ranked teams DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) and Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) punctuate the Panthers’ sparkling dossier.
For those of you near Washington, D.C., check out the NJ-DC Collision at Gonzaga High School (two blocks from Union Station). There are four games on Saturday, starting at 2:45 p.m. between schools from the Garden State and DC area. Best game of the day is No. 7 Paul VI vs. Roselle (N.J.) Catholic at 4:45. There’s lots of talent from the Interstate 95 Corridor on display. Word to the wise: Arrive early!
The Elite 25 rankings return on Jan. 30. There are more events this weekend, most notably the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament (or the MAIT) being played outside of Orlando, Fla. The three-day, eight-team power event could pair top-ranked Montverde Academy and No. 4 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) in Saturday’s championship.
Enjoy the games. Hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Boys Basketball Rankings, Jan. 23, 2018
1. Montverde (Fla.) Academy (23-0)
Previous rank: 1.
Low-down: Filip Petrusev and RJ Barrett each flipped in 14 points in a 62-25 dismantling of Berkeley Prep (Tampa) Saturday at the ARS Rescue Rooter Tampa National Classic. The Eagles host the high-powered Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament starting Thursday against The Villages (Fla.) in the first round. The tournament wraps up Saturday.
2. Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va. (29-0)
Low-down: Kansas-bound David McCormack had 13 points and 15 rebounds to take home team Most Valuable Player honors and Keldon Johnson added 23 points and 8 rebounds during a 78-72 win over St. Petersburg at the ARS Rescue Rooter Tampa National Classic. The Warriors were up 60-39 after three quarters. Also knocked off then-No. 3 University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 82-69, at the Hoophall Classic.
3. University School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (20-1)
Low-down: The Sharks dropped their first game of the season, falling to No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), 82-69, at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. They rebounded to win three games, including a 66-62 decision over Osceola at the Walter Keller Classic.
4. Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev. (22-2)
Low-down: Bol Bol, who earlier last week was selected to play in the McDonald’s All American Game, had 26 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks to subdue Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 75-68, at the Big City Showdown in the South Point Arena in Las Vegas. Next up is the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament in Florida, starting Thursday with Abington (Pa.) in the first round
5. Bishop Montgomery, Torrance, Calif. (19-0)
Low-down: A three-win week was capped by a narrow 64-61 victory over Westchester (Los Angeles). The Knights play Fairfax (Los Angeles) in the State Preview Classic on Saturday.
6. Shadow Mountain, Phoenix (14-0)
Low-down: The Matadors are off to Florida to play in the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament, opening with Westminster Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in the first round on Thursday.
7. Paul VI, Fairfax, Va. (16-2)
Low-down: Routed Bishop Ireton (Alexandria, Va.), 76-59, and Good Counsel (Wheaton, Md.), 82-33, to stay unbeaten in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Coach Glenn Farello’s squad plays Roselle (N.J.) Catholic Saturday at the NJ-DC Collision in Washington.
8. Gonzaga, Washington, D.C. (15-1)
Low-down: The Purple Eagles host Immaculate Conception (Montclair, N.J.) at the NJ-DC Collision on Saturday evening.
9. Riverside Academy, Reserve, La. (23-0)
Low-down: Two games were postponed due to inclement weather that gripped the South.
10. Denton (Texas) Guyer (27-1)
Low-down: The weak district competition is not testing the Wildcats, who waxed Plano, 89-46, and Plano East, 90-54. De’Vion Harmon, a 5-11 junior guard who has committed to Oklahoma, totaled 37 points in two games.
11. Simeon, Chicago (17-3)
Low-down: The Wolverines remain undefeated in the Chicago Public League, crushing two opponents last week, including a 75-52 win over Chicago Vocational as Talen Horton-Tucker posted 22 points and 10 rebounds and Zion Young netted 13 points. Next up is a tussle with league powerhouse Curie (Chicago) on Thursday.
12. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (15-3)
Low-down: Lost to No. 7 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 93-78. Earl Timberlake scored 29 points, but the Stags surrendered a 21-11 second-quarter run and trailed 40-29 at the break. Another nonconference challenge this weekend with Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) at the NJ-DC Collision in Washington.
13. La Lumiere School, La Porte, Ind. (14-3)
Low-down: Defeated Aspire Academy (Louisville, Ky.), 73-70, at Flyin’ to the Hoop in Kettering, Ohio.
14. McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga. (15-2)
Low-down: The Indians played only once last week and are Georgia’s top-ranked team in Class AAAAAAA.
15. East, Memphis, Tenn. (13-3)
16. Sunrise Christian Academy, Bel Aire, Kan. (15-2)
Low-down: The Buffaloes have two games at the Quincy (Ill.) Shootout this weekend and then go to the Saint James Invitational Tournament in Maryland from Feb. 1-3.
17. Garfield, Seattle (16-0)
Low-down: The Bulldogs traveled to Oregon and beat then-No. 15 Jefferson (Portland), 63-57, at the MLK Invitational. Also stayed perfect in the Metro-Valley with two easy wins.
18. Salesian College Prep, Richmond, Calif. (19-1)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: The Pride has won 11 straight and have three chances this week to push that streak to 14 games. Connecticut-bound G James Akinjo drives his team’s engine.
19. Imhotep Charter, Philadelphia (14-2)
Low-down: The Panthers opened a two-game lead in the Philadelphia Public League A after defeating Martin Luther King (Philadelphia), 54-40. Bernard Lightsey paced the offense with 16 points. This week’s schedule features three league games.
20. Oak Ridge, Orlando, Fla. (18-3)
Low-down: Defeated Tampa Prep, 81-45, at the ARS Rescue Rooter Tampa National Hoopfest. An 11-0 run early in the third quarter by the Pioneers ice it.
21. Greensboro (N.C.) Country Day (20-3)
Low-down: Defeated Trinity Christian (Fayetteville), 62-45, at North Carolina Scholastic Classic.
22. Etiwanda, Calif. (21-1)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: The Eagles carry a gaudy 17-game win streak into a pair of Baseline League road games.
23. Clarkston, Mich. (11-1)
Low-down: The Wolves are 4-0 in Oakland Activities Association-Red and likely will face undefeated Hazel Park for first place on Jan. 30.
24. Westlake, Austin, Texas (25-3)
Low-down: Defeated Leander 93-47 and Vista Ridge (Cedar Park), 48-28, in district play.
25. Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (18-1)
Previous: Not ranked.
Low-down: The Shamrocks vault into the Elite 25 after capturing the program’s fifth Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament title, toppling Doss (Louisville), 66-58. Jay Scrubb produced 29 points and cleared 9 rebounds, earning the prestigious LJ “Butch” Charmoli Tournament Most Valuable Player award.
Dropped: No. 15 Jefferson, Portland, Ore.; No. 18 IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.; and No. 21 Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, Calif.
High-Fives by Region
- Roselle (N.J.) Catholic (12-2)
- Long Island Lutheran, Brookville, N.Y. (13-2)
- Hudson Catholic, Jersey City, N.J. (9-3)
- St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (21-2)
- Mount Vernon, N.Y. (13-1)
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. (12-1)
- Curie, Chicago (17-2)
- Orr, Chicago (16-3)
- Riley, South Bend, Ind. (15-0)
- Wayne, Huber Heights, Ohio (12-0)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Cox Mill, Concord, N.C. (15-3)
- Wesleyan Christian Academy, High Point, N.C. (18-4)
- Pebblebrook, Mableton, Ga. (17-2)
- Mountain Brook, Birmingham, Ala. (22-5)
- Scott County, Georgetown, Ky. (18-1)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Wasatch Academy, Mount Pleasant, Utah (16-2)
- Rancho Christian, Temecula, Calif. (19-2)
- Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, Calif. (14-3)
- Mountain Pointe, Phoenix (20-1)
- Jefferson, Portland, Ore. (13-3)
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.