NEW FAB 50: Holiday Madness!

NEW FAB 50: Holiday Madness!


Explosive play on the court leads to explosive movement off it, as the second edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by for the 2023-24 season shows the most newcomers of any poll in recent memory. There is plenty of movement and a whopping 13 newcomers this week, led by No. 24 Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas). This week also shows the return of two well-known national powers to the nation’s longest running weekly national rankings. The upcoming major holiday tournaments should lead to more movement.

By Ronnie Flores

The highly-anticipated No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between top-ranked Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) and No. 2 Link Academy (Branson, Mo.) didn’t quite materialize as expected on Dec. 8 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. as part of the EYBL Scholastic Showcase. Coming into the contest, Link Academy already took a 77-76 loss on Dec. 2 to then No. 8 Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) at the Derek Smith Shootout in Louisville, Ky.

Regardless of the prior results or ranking coming in, Link Academy figured to be one of the few teams capable of upsetting the top-ranked Eagles. If anything, it was expected to be a competitive game and it turned out to be that even though Montverde Academy led by 23 points (56-33) after three quarters. The Lions played a spirited fourth quarter and got their deficit down to six (48-42), but shot selection and getting enough defensive stops proved to be their downfall as Montverde Academy moved to 8-0 with the 71-59 victory.

Texas-bound Tre Johnson was the catalyst that made the game interesting in the fourth quarter, as the Mr. Basketball USA candidate finished with 25 points, including 6-of-8 3-pointers, for the Lions. Montverde Academy out-rebounded Link Academy, 40-25, and was credited with 16 assists to Link Academy’s six.

Mr. Basketball USA front-runner and Duke-bound forward Cooper Flagg was one of four Eagles in double figures with 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Undecided big man Derik Queen led MVA in the scoring department with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Baylor-bound point guard Robert Wright had 16 points and six assists.

Saturday afternoon at the Las Vegas Aces practice facility in Henderson, Nev., No. 15 AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) actually gave the Eagles a tough game as well, but never led and trialed by 19 points mid-way through the third period. Still the 16-16 fourth quarter stalemate was a moral victory of sorts for the Dragons, who similar to Link Academy, got within 48-42 before falling 58-46.

Georgia-bound power forward Asa Newell led Montverde Academy with 16 points and also had eight rebounds. Junior point guard Jeremiah Fears had a productive game for the Dragons, finishing with 13 points.

There are no moral victories in credible national rankings, although losing to the Eagles didn’t hurt AZ Compass Prep or hurt the other teams that have lost to MVA so far. Each week across the country there are controversial finishes, disputed calls and notable circumstances that could cause a team to lose a game it felt it should have won. We have hundred of results to pour over and consider each week, and even though winning in the bottom line, sometimes those circumstances come into play.

One such case occurred when Stony Point (Round Rock, Texas) met Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) in a battle of unbeaten clubs on Dec. 2. The game was decided at the buzzer when Stony Point’s Uzziah Bunytn, a 6-foot- junior guard, intercepted a mid-court heave, squared up and launched a shot from half-court that went in to give his team a dramatic 66-63 victory. There was 0.8 seconds showing on the game clock when the long inbounds pass was thrown. There was some controversy as to if the shot should have counted, but what there was no question about is Stony Point tied the game with two seconds and Lake Travis still doesn’t have any other loss on its resume.

As a result, Lake Travis is one of 13 newcomers this week at No. 26, two spots behind the highest ranked newcomer, fellow University Interscholastic League (UIL)club Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) at No. 24. The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) has Beaumont United, last season’s Class 6A state runner-up, as its top-ranked club, but we go with Stony Point as Texas’ top-ranked club based on national results. Not only have the Tigers’ handed Lake Travis its only loss, they have handed No. 35 Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.) its only loss, 82-69.

Millennium is another newcomer and replaces previous No. 29 Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) as the top-ranked Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) club. Perry lost to Sunnyslope (Phoenix, Ariz.), 53-53, and one of Sunnyslope’s two losses is to Millennium. Its other setback is to No. 18 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.). Because Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) lost to unranked Pinnacle (Phoenix, Ariz.) and defeated previous No. 38 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) in overtime, no other Arizona team can crack the back end of the FAB 50.

There are tons of other results in the past two weeks that caused as much change as we’ve seen in any poll in recent years, but the one event that has the biggest impact on the rankings was the National High School Hoops Festival at DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) over the weekend. When the dust settled two FAB 50 mainstays returned to the FAB 50 this week: The host Stags at No. 39 and Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) at No. 31.

On Dec. 10, DeMatha downed previous No. 42 Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), 75-51, to remain unbeaten on the young season, as Ashton Meeks finished with a game-high 23 points. On Saturday, DeMatha easily downed Campbell Hall (North Hollywood, Calif.), 80-54.

Earlier on Sunday, new No. 3 Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.) defeated then No. 10 Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.), 65-47. Sidwell Friends other loss was to No. 13 John Marshall (Richmond, Va.) in overtime. On Saturday evening, John Marshall dominated the overtime period, 11-3, to defeat Sidwell Friends, 63-55. Paul VI also needed a dominant overtime (16-8) on Saturday to knock off No. 12 Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.), 78-70. Myers Park’s second loss is to No. 43 Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.), which suffered its only loss to battle-tested Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas).

Oak Cliff Faith Family is one of this season’s surprising teams to take multiple losses and fall from the rankings. Perhaps no bigger surprise is preseason No. 10 Richmond Heights (Richmond Heights, Ohio) losing its first three games of the season to fall all the way out this week.

As for Oak Hill Academy, the Warriors are back in the FAB 50 with a 11-1 mark, with their only loss a 84-57 setback to new No. 2 Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Kentucky. Oak Hill Academy wasn’t ranked in this year’s preseason for the first time since 1988-89.

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

(2nd poll of 2023-24 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, December 10; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)

No. Prev. High School (City)Record

11Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)9-0

23Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)3-0

34Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)5-0

48Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.)12-1

52Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)9-2

66Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)5-2

77Columbus (Miami, Fla.)3-2

813Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)5-0

912Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)9-0

1014Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)3-0

1117Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)8-0

1226Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.)4-2

139John Marshall (Richmond, Va.)4-1

1410Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.)2-2

1515AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.)9-3

1618De Pere (De Pere, Wis.)3-0

1719Don Boso Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)0-0

1820St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)7-0

1924Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.)4-0

2027North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)6-0

2130Stony Point (Round Rock, Texas)15-0

2222Lincoln Park (Midland, Pa.)3-0

2343Plano East (Plano, Texas)15-0

24NRBeaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)13-0

25NRFishers (Fishers, Ind.)6-0

26NRLake Travis (Austin, Texas)14-1

27NRLawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)4-0

2833Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)7-0

2940Bullis (Potomac, Md.)3-0

305IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)3-3

31NROak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)11-1

3235Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.)3-0

3316La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)6-1

3436St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)1-0

35NRMillennium (Goodyear, Ariz.)8-1

3637Hudson Catholic (Hudson, N.J.)0-0

3739St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio)2-0

38NRNotre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)6-0

39NRDeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)6-0

40NRSalesian (Richmond, Calif.)6-0

4141Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)5-0

42NRJackson-Reed (Washington, D.C.)4-1

4321Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)12-1

4444Alta (Sandy, Utah)5-0

4547McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)5-2

4631Archbishop Ryan (Philadelphia, Pa.)3-1

47NRThornton (Harvey, Ill.)6-1

48NRWayzata (Plymouth, Minn.)3-0

4950Owyhee (Meridian, Idaho)1-0

50NRCurie (Chicago, Ill.)7-1

Dropped Out: Previous No. 11 Richmond Heights (Richmond Heights, Ohio), No. 23 Kokomo (Kokomo, Ind.), No. 25 Winston-Salem Christian (Winston-Salem, N.C.), No. 28 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), No. 29 Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.), No. 32 Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.), No. 34 Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.), No. 38 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), No. 42 Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), No. 45 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.), No. 46 Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), No. 48 Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.), No. 49 Totino-Grace (Fridley, Minn.).

Bubble Teams:  Alexander (Douglasville, Ga.) 9-0; American Fork (Utah) 4-2; Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) 1-2; Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.) 3-1; Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.) 8-1; Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) 3-1; Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 3-0; Brennan (San Antonio, Texas) 13-4; Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) 7-1; Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) 2-0; Camden (Camden, N.J.) 0-0; Canton (Canton, Miss.) 8-0; Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) 5-0; Centerville (Centerville, Ohio) 1-0; Central Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.) 5-0; Central (Little Rock, Ark.) 6-0; Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 0-0; Dakota Valley (North Sioux City, S.D.) 1-0; De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 7-0; Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 4-1; Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.) 8-0; Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) 4-5; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 2-0; Fort Bend Marshall (Missouri City, Texas) 16-0; Homewood Flossmor (Flossmor, Ill.) 8-1; Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 2-0; Iowa (Iowa, La.) 5-1; JSerra (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) 11-0; Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 4-3; Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Ill.) 4-2; Kokomo (Kokomo, Ind.) 4-2; Liberty Magnet (Baton Rouge, La.) 9-1; Little Rock Christian Academy (Little Rock, Ark.) 5-1; Lyon County (Eddyville, Ky.) 3-1; Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.) 5-1; Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wis.) 3-0; Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) 4-0; Moravian Prep (Hudson, N.C.) 12-0; Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) 8-0; Newton (Covington, Ga.) 6-1; North Crowley (Ft. Worth, Texas) 14-1; Oak Park (Kansas City, Mo.) 4-0; Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) 4-2; Park Center (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) 4-0; Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) 5-3; Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.) 9-1; Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 8-1; Southern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) 7-0; South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) 13-3; St. Rose (Belmar, N.J.) 0-0; Sunnyslope (Phoenix, Ariz.) 3-2; Totino-Grace (Fridley, Minn.) 1-1; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 4-2; Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.) 5-0; Westfield (Westfield, Ind.) 5-0; Westminster Academy (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 3-0; Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 7-2; W.T. White (Dallas, Texas) 8-2; Yazoo City (Yazoo City, Miss.) 11-0.

Note: The FAB 50 powered by 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 He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


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