UPDATED FAB 50: Showdowns Await!

UPDATED FAB 50: Showdowns Await!


There are plenty of playoff showdowns coming up among teams in the latest edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. There are also two newcomers this week, led by new No. 32 Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.). Read on to see why the Knights jump back in while leap-frogging 18 others teams.

By Ronnie Flores

This weekend some big matchups will take place that will crown league or section titles for highly-regarded teams in the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. In the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Open Division title game, No. 10 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) will take on No. 21 Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.), as no matter the outcome there will be a first-time winner for the prestigious sectional crown.

Teams advance to the CIFSS open championship game by winning their respective pool of four teams each among the eight teams chosen by the section’s open playoff committee. It’s only right the Wolverines and Mustangs face each other Friday night at Cal Baptist University in Riverside after each going 3-0 in pool play the past two weeks.

For Roosevelt, which moves up one spot in this week’s FAB 50, it clinched a spot in the section title game after its second of three pool games, a 64-59 victory over bubble club St. Pius X-St. Matthias (Downey, Calif.). Roosevelt trailed by eight points in the third period and didn’t take control of the game until the final six and a half minutes of the game. Junior guard and All-American candidate Brayden Burries scored a game-high 21 points for Roosevelt. Even though a trip to the section title game was already secure, the Mustangs pulled out a 80-76 overtime victory over 11-time CIF state champ Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) after junior guard Isaac Williamson sent the game in an extra stanza with a clutch 3-pointer.

We gave some thought about moving up Roosevelt a few more spots, but for now it can’t be in front of No. 20 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.). The Indians took Harvard-Westlake to overtime before bowing to the CIF’s top-ranked team in a showcase game at the Spalding Hoophall Classic on MLK Monday, 60-59. Obviously, that comparative score criteria between Roosevelt and McEachern could change next week.

McEachern, the Region 3-AAAAAAA champions, will enter the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class AAAAAAA state tournament as one of its favorites along with No. 40 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), which has lost to No. 39 Ridge View (Columbia, S.C.) and to highly-regarded Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.). Should our rankings hold up, McEachern would meet Grayson in the GHSA’s highest classification state title game on March 9.

After returning from Springfield, Mass., Harvard-Westlake had a tough week, losing to both Mission League foes Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) and Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.). Harvard-Westlake is able to move up two spots this week after avenging the loss to Sierra Canyon in resounding fashion in its second pool play game, 72-38. The Wolverines defense was stifling last week and role players Christian Horry and Amir Jones were hitting their outside shots to make this team the favorite to capture the CIF state open title on March 9 at the Golden One Center in Sacramento.

It’s no secret Harvard-Westlake is extremely motivated to win both the section and state open titles after winning last year’s CIF open crown in Sacramento after failing to advance to the CIFSS open final two weeks prior. Harvard-Westlake, which avenged the earlier loss to Notre Dame this season with a 60-56 victory in the Mission League Tournament semifinals, punched its ticket for this year’s CIFSS title game with a 64-40 victory over No. 34 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) in its third pool game. McDonalds’ All-American Trent Perry had 24 points and the defense once again was the difference-maker, as Bosco converted a mere three field goals in the first half and trialed 29-9 at halftime in a game that wasn’t really as close as the final score indicated.

This week’s top newcomer is Notre Dame, which was not chosen for the CIFSS open playoffs even though it split with Harvard-Westlake, the top seed. Notre Dame is the top seed in the CIFSS D1 playoffs and advanced to Saturday’s title game at the Toyota Arena in Ontario vs. No. 2 seed Windward (Los Angeles) courtesy of victories over state ranked clubs Santa Margarita of Orange County (63-50) and Redondo Union of Los Angeles County (67-60).

Notre Dame was able to leapfrog St. John Bosco and No. 35 Salesian (Richmond, Calif.), which has only lost to Bosco in overtime, because of Harvard-Westlake’s dominance in its pool game victories over St. John Bosco and Sierra Canyon. The Wolverines dominated those two teams and for now, Notre Dame owning a victory over the CIF’s top ranked team and playing them close in another game carries plenty of weight in our rankings criteria. Obviously, that could change going into next week when we once again update the FAB 50.

We’ll look to get it out as soon as we can, because next Monday evening the Philadelphia Catholic League final will take place at The Palestra. Wednesday’s semifinals will pit No. 24 Roman Catholic (Philadelphia) vs. Father Judge (Philadelphia) and No. 38 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) vs. Archbishop Ryan (Philadelphia). Roman Catholic could avenge on of its two losses in the semifinals vs. Father Judge, which also owns a win over Neumann-Goretti.

Also taking place on Feb. 26 is the championship game of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) tournament at American University. WCAC regular season champion and FAB 50 No. 3 Paul VI is the top seed and has only lost to the two teams ranked ahead of it in the nation’s longest running weekly national poll.

RELATED:  Preseason 2023-24 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker | “In The Paint” Podcast (Spotify) |  “In The Paint” Podcast (YouTube) 

Updated FAB 50 National Team RankingsPowered by Ballislife.com

(9th poll of 2023-24 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, February 18; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)

No. Prev. High School (City)Record

11Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)27-0

22Columbus (Miami, Fla.)23–4

33Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)27-2

44Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)17-4

55Plano East (Plano, Texas)33-0

66Stony Point (Round Rock, Texas)32-1

77Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.)22-2

88Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.)26-5

99Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)19-6

1012Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)29-3

1110Central Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.)24-0

1211AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.)21-5

1313IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)15-8

1414Wisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee, Wis.)23-0

1520Fishers (Fishers, Ind.)21-1

1616St. Rose (Belmar, N.J.)25-2

1717Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) 21-3

1818Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)24-3

1919Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.) 21-2

2021McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)22-5

2122Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.)30-2

2223Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)25-4

2324De Pere (De Pere, Wis.)21-1

2426Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.)21-2

2529Cordova (Cordova, Tenn.)27-1

2625Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)26-3

2727La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)19-4

2828Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.)22-7

2932St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)19-1

3030Great Crossing (Georgetown, Ky.)28-1

3131Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.)24-3

32NRNotre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)28-3

3315Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)21-4

3433St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)24-7

3534Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)27-1

3635North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)21-3

3736Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.)23-4

3837Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)21-2

3938Ridge View (Columbia, S.C.)24-2

4039Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)25-2

4140John Marshall (Richmond, Va.)19-3

4241Westfield (Westfield, Ind.)18-2

4342Bartlett (Bartlett, Tenn.)26-4

4443Kell (Marietta, Ga.)23-3

4544Jackson-Reed (Washington, D.C.)32-2

4645Bullis (Potomac, Md.)23-2

4747Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.)22-4

4848Huntsville (Huntsville, Ala.)31-2

4950Curie (Chicago, Ill.)27-2

50NRWinter Haven (Winter Haven, Fla.)25-1

Dropped Out: Previous No. 46 Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah), No. 49 Homewood Flossmor (Flossmor, Ill.).

Bubble Teams: Alexander (Douglasville, Ga.) 25-2; Atascocita (Humble, Texas) 32-3**; Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.) 22-1; Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) 21-7; Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.) 24-4; Brennan (San Antonio, Texas) 28-4; Camden (Camden, N.J.) 24-2; Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 18-2; Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 20-4; Dale (Dale, Okla.) 24-2; Dearborn (Dearborn, Mich.) 20-0; De Paul Prep (Chicago, Ill.) 28-2; East Lansing (East Lansing, Mich.) 18-2; Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.) 18-3; Fort Bend Clements (Sugar Land, Texas) 30-0; Garfield Heights (Garfield Heights, Ohio) 20-1; Homewood Flossmor (Flossmor, Ill.) 26-4; Hoover (Hoover, Ala.) 31-4; Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 21-3; Kennedy (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) 21-0; Kokomo (Kokomo, Ind.) 21-3; Ladue (St. Louis, Mo.) 23-1; Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va.) 20-1; Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.) 20-3; Lexington (Lexington, S.C.) 25-2; Lexington Catholic (Lexington, Ky.) 26-2; Liberty Magnet (Baton Rouge, La.) 29-4; Lincoln Park (Midland, Pa.) 19-3; Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.) 27-3; Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) 19-2; Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) 32-4; Newport (Newport, Ky.) 26-3; Noblesville (Noblesville, Ind.) 19-2; North Crowley (Ft. Worth, Texas) 30-3; Northwest (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 18-0; Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 18-4; Pascagoula (Pascagoula, Miss.) 28-1; Pewaukee (Pewaukee, Wis.) 18-4; Reidsville (Reidsville, N.C.) 21-0; Southern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) 23-1; St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) 18-3; St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 22-6; St. Joseph (Santa Maria, Calif.) 29-2; St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) 24-2; St. Pius X-St. Matthias (Downey, Calif.) 24-6; Thornton (Harvey, Ill.) 25-4; Union (Tulsa, Okla.) 21-2; Varina (Richmond, Va.) 18-1; Veterans Memorial (San Antonio, Texas) 35-1; Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.) 23-1; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 13-4; Wayzata (Plymouth, Minn.) 22-1.

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 24 years ago.

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


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