UPDATED FAB 50: State Championships On The Line!

UPDATED FAB 50: State Championships On The Line!

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Teams that captured 2023-24 state championship caused movement in the latest edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. In addition, there are six newcomers this week, led by Arizona state open champ No. 34 Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.). More state champs in power states will be crowned this weekend.

By Ronnie Flores

It’s not how you start, but how you finish and for teams that do suffer a loss at an inopportune time, the hope should be that their foes do well the rest of the way. That theme definitely applied to the team at Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.). The Pumas began No. 33 in the preseason FAB 50 after capturing the first ever Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) open division state tile in 2222-23. Perry dropped out of the nation’s longest-running weekly national rankings earlier this season after dropping games to Arizona clubs, including Sunnyslope (Phoenix, Ariz.), the team it beat in last year’s open title game.

This week the Pumas made a grand return as the highest of six newcomers at No. 34 after defeating then No. 38 Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.), 71-67, to repeat as AIA open division state champs. Millennium had an early 17-point lead, but Perry chipped away at its deficit behind some big shots by guard Barron Silsby down the stretch and the clutch play of All-American Koa Peat. Silsby had 10 second half points to help Perry overcome a 41-32 halftime deficit, while Peat, still a junior and a returning first team Elite All-American, finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds and four assists.

Millennium’s Sabien Cain finished with 33 points, including an incredible seven 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes of the game for a team that drops five spots this week. Sunnyslope was the only in-state team Perry didn’t end up defeating, as its out of state losses were to No. 18 Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) and to No. 10 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.), twice. On Tuesday, Harvard-Westlake hosts No. 24 Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.) in the California InterscholasticFederation (CIF) SoCal open division regional title game with the winner taking on either No. 37 Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) or unranked Riordan (San Francisco, Calif.) for the CIF Open Division state title on March 9 at the Golden One Center in Sacramento.

It goes without saying Perry would benefit from Harvard-Westlake winning back-to-back open state crowns, while Salesian would hop the Pumas if it goes on to win its final two games to capture its first CIF open state title. Perry has now won three consecutive AIA state titles and Peat has never lost a AIA playoff game in his stellar three-year career. Perry defeated Basha (Chandler, Ariz.) in the semifinals, 83-79, as Peat poured in 35 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.

Another team enjoying a three-peat that finished strong is No. 28 Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.), which captured the District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA) Class AA title with a 47-37 victory over St. John’s (Washington, D.C.). The Quakers got 16 points from Acaden Lewis and 15 from Jalen Rougier-Roane in the title game victory. The big win in terms of rankings position, was the 53-52 semifinal victory over then No. 16 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), as the Quakers’ Lewis was a difference-maker in a tight game with 21 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Sidwell Friends has now won three consecutive DCSAA state titles and four in the past five seasons and is up 18 spots this week. The Purple Eagles, who were runners-up in the WCAC Tournament to No. 3 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) on Monday, drop 13 spots but can’t go down any further. No. 30 Great Crossing (Georgetown, Ky.) has only lost in overtime to WCAC member Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.), a team Gonzaga split with. No. 31 Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) has also lost to Bishop O’Connell with another loss to a club Gonzaga beat: Westminster Academy (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). Oak Ridge’s third loss is to FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy of Florida.

This Friday, Oak Ridge will battle No. 46 Winter Haven (Winter Haven, Fla.) in the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 7A semifinals. The other semifinal pits Evans (Orlando, Fla.) vs. No. 2 Columbus (Miami) with the winners of each game playing on Saturday evening.

In addition to Florida and California, another power state that will crown state champions this week is Texas. The University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 6A Final Four will take place at The Alamodome in San Antonio. No. 5 and unbeaten Plano East (Plano, Texas) will take on Lake Ridge (Mansfield, Texas) in one semifinal, with No. 6 Stony Point (Round Rock, Texas) facing new No. 49 Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) in the other. Beaumont United will be making its fourth consecutive state Final Four appearance, while Stony Point has only lost to Plano East.

Another attractive state final takes place in Georgia, where the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class AAAAAAA title game at the Macon Coliseum pits No. 20 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) vs. No. 35 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) on Saturday evening. Grayson has only lost to state champ and No. 25 Ridge View (Columbia, S.C.) and to Perry.

The 2023-24 season will conclude with the Chipotle High School Basketball Nationals, April 4-6, at Brownsburg (Ind.) just outside of Indianapolis. Expect an invite for Columbus provided it captures a state title and the other top four teams in the FAB 50. All games at the event will be broadcast live on ESPN platforms.

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

(11th poll of 2023-24 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 3; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Indicates season complete.)

No. Prev. High School (City)Record

11Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)29-0

22Columbus (Miami, Fla.)25–4

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

44Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)19-4

55Plano East (Plano, Texas)38-0

66Stony Point (Round Rock, Texas)37-1

77Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.)26-2

88Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.)29-5

99Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)20-6

1010Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)31-3

1111Central Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.)29-0

1212AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.)25-5

1313IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)17-8

1414Wisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee, Wis.)26-0

1515Fishers (Fishers, Ind.)25-1

1618De Pere (De Pere, Wis.)25-1

1717St. Rose (Belmar, N.J.)27-2

1819Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)23-4

1920Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)27-3

2021McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)26-5

2122Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.)24-2

2225St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)22-1

2323Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.) 21-2

2424Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.)31-3

2532Ridge View (Columbia, S.C.)27-2***

2645Bullis (Potomac, Md.)25-2

2740John Marshall (Richmond, Va.)24-3

2846Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.)27-4

2916Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)28-6

3029Great Crossing (Georgetown, Ky.)31-1

3130Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.)26-3

3227La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)23-5

3328Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.)26-7

34NRPerry (Gilbert, Ariz.)24-5***

3533Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)29-2

3635St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)26-7

3736Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)30-1

3839Bartlett (Bartlett, Tenn.)30-4

3934Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)26-4

40NRCamden (Camden, N.J.)28-2

4137North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)26-3

4248Curie (Chicago, Ill.)31-2

4338Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.)25-5***

4443Kell (Marietta, Ga.)27-3

4542Cordova (Cordova, Tenn.)29-3

4649Winter Haven (Winter Haven, Fla.)27-1

47NRMater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)29-5

48NRWayzata (Plymouth, Minn.)25-1

49NRBeaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)34-3

50NRMoeller (Cincinnati, Ohio)24-1

Dropped Out: Previous No. 26 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), No. 31 Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), No. 41 Westfield (Westfield, Ind.), No. 44 Jackson-Reed (Washington, D.C.), No. 47 Huntsville (Huntsville, Ala.), No. 50 Pascagoula (Pascagoula, Miss.).

Bubble Teams: Alexander (Douglasville, Ga.) 29-2; Bay Shore (Bay Shore, N.Y.) 23-0; Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.) 24-1; Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 24-5***; Brennan (San Antonio, Texas) 31-5***; Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.) 25-3; Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 21-2; Dale (Dale, Okla.) 27-2; De Paul Prep (Chicago, Ill.) 32-2; Downers Grove North (Downers Grove, Ill.) 31-4; East Lansing (East Lansing, Mich.) 22-2; Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.) 21-3; Fort Bend Clements (Sugar Land, Texas) 32-1***; Garfield Heights (Garfield Heights, Ohio) 22-1; Homewood Flossmor (Flossmor, Ill.) 30-4; Hoover (Hoover, Ala.) 30-3***; Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 24-3; Jackson-Reed (Washington, D.C.) 33-3; Kennedy (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) 23-0; Kokomo (Kokomo, Ind.) 25-3; Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va.) 25-1; Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.) 24-3; Lehi (Lehi, Utah) 24-4***; Lexington (Lexington, S.C.) 28-2***; Lexington Catholic (Lexington, Ky.) 30-2; Liberty Magnet (Baton Rouge, La.) 31-4; Lincoln Park (Midland, Pa.) 22-3; Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.) 29-3; Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) 21-2; Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) 36-5***; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 22-3; Newport (Newport, Ky.) 29-3; Noblesville (Noblesville, Ind.) 22-3***; Northwest (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 22-0; Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) 31-4***; Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 21-4; Pewaukee (Pewaukee, Wis.) 22-4; Raymond (Raymond, Miss.) 31-4***; Reidsville (Reidsville, N.C.) 25-0; Seven Lakes (Katy, Texas) 35-4**; Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 26-4***; Southern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) 28-1; St. Anne’s-Bellfield (Charlottesville, Va.) 26-4***; St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) 20-3; St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) 26-2; St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.) 23-5; Thornton (Harvey, Ill.) 29-4; Union (Tulsa, Okla.) 24-2; Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 22-6; Veterans Memorial (San Antonio, Texas) 40-1; Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.) 26-1; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 15-5; Westfield (Westfield, Ind.) 19-3***; Woodside (Newport News, Va.) 27-1.

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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