While No. 1-ranked Yates of Houston, Texas, capped its season with a state title Saturday night, fellow top five teams Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.) and Paterson Catholic (Paterson, N.J.) weren't as lucky last week.
Then-No. 3 Bloomington South saw its 49-game win streak come to an end in Indiana and was denied an opportunity for back-to-back state titles. In New Jersey, then-No. 4 Paterson Catholic was knocked out by St. Anthony before even getting to the state's Tournament of Champions.
Bloomington South and Paterson Catholic's misfortune caused the first major shake-up in the top 10 in over a month.
Read on to see how postseason twists and turns shaped this week's rankings.
Xcellent 25 National High School Boys Basketball Rankings
1. (1 last week) Yates (Houston, Texas), 34-0
Mission accomplished. Nearly 17,000 fans packed the Frank Erwin Events Center in Austin on Saturday night to watch the Lions deliver a dramatic run in the closing minutes and capture their second-straight Class 4A state title with a 92-73 win over Lancaster. Yates closed the season on a 58-game winning streak and averaged a national record 116.2 points per contest. Head coach Greg Wise’s squad has held down the No. 1 ranking since Jan. 19 and likely cemented at least a share of that spot in the final release scheduled for April 5. 2. (2) Northland (Columbus, Ohio), 22-0
The Vikings advance to the Division I regional semifinals with a 61-42 win over Westerville Central on Saturday. Division I recruits Jared Sullinger
(Ohio State), J.D. Weatherspoon
(Ohio State) and Trey Burke
(Penn State, junior) keyed the victory by combining for 40 of the team’s 61 points. Northland faces Cincinnati Colerain on Thursday.
3. (5) St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.), 20-1
Season complete. The Gray Bees announced last week they would not participate in the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational.
4. (6) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 32-1
The Monarchs passed one big test in the Southern California Division I semifinals Saturday night with a 75-73 win over Woodland Hills Taft, and now get No. 15 Westchester on Saturday with a trip to the state championship game on the line. Against Taft, Gary Franklin and Tyler Lamb combined for 40 points to help Mater Dei overcome a three-point halftime deficit.
5. (7) Ames (Ames, Iowa), 27-0
With future college coach Roy Williams among the crowd of 13,000 fans at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Harrison Barnes capped his legendary high school career Saturday night by leading Ames to a 47-37 win over Southeast Polk for the school’s second-straight Class 4A state title. Barnes scored 19 points and Doug McDermott a team-high 21 as the Little Cyclones notched their 57th win in a row.
6. (8) Christ School (Arden, N.C.), 37-1
The Greenies captured their fourth North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A championship in as many years on Feb. 27 and expect to earn a spot in April’s National High School Invitational in Baltimore, Md.
7. (9) Neumann & Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.), 26-1
Wake Forest-bound senior guard Tony Chennault pumped in 23 points to help the Saints beat Harrisburg Susquehanna Township, 64-44, in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs. Neumann-Goretti meets Wilkes-Barre Holy Redeemer in second-round action Tuesday.
8. (10) Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), 29-2
Regular season complete. The Pilots expect to be part of the eight-team field at the April 1-3 National High School Invitational in Baltimore.
9. (11) Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.), 31-1
The Stallions captured Florida’s Class 2A state championship but could continue their season at the National High School Invitational.
10. (13) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), 30-2
Season complete. Nevada Class 4A state champions.
11. (14) Half Hollow Hills West (Dix Hills, N.Y.), 23-1
West should still be unbeaten after knocking off Uniondale, 63-50, in Class AA regional play Saturday night, but the school self-reported an ineligible player last week and was forced to forfeit a Feb. 12 contest against Smithtown West. Tough to penalize the Colts for what by all accounts was an honest mistake handled in up-front fashion. The ineligible player was a junior varsity call-up. HHHW will face Rochester East on Saturday night at the Glen Falls Civic Center with a spot in the Class AA championship game on the line.
12. (15) Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), 29-3
Regular season complete. The Warriors will likely be one of eight teams selected for the National High School Invitational.
13. (15) Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), 22-4
Regular season complete. Expect Montverde Academy to earn a spot in the National High School Invitational.
14. (17) Penn Wood (Lansdowne, Pa.), 24-3
The Patriots opened Pennsylvania’s Class AAAA state tournament with a 76-57 thumping of Millersville Penn Manor behind 31 points from 5-9 senior point guard Tyree Johnson. The defending state champs actually trailed after the first quarter, but used a 25-5 second stanza to gain control of the contest. Penn Wood meets Neshaminy in second-round action Wednesday.
15. (19) Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.), 30-3
The Comets set up the aforementioned showdown with No. 4 Mater Dei by rallying for a 65-53 win over Long Beach Poly on Saturday night. Dwayne Polee
continued to star for Westchester in the postseason with 22 points. Earlier in the week, Ed Azzam’s squad advanced with wins over Ontario Colony (77-42) and Santa Monica (73-64).
16. (21) DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), 30-3
The Stags were in action Sunday night, beating Ballou of Washington, D.C., 80-70, for the Abe Pollin City Title. Junior guard Quinn Cook led the way for DeMatha – winners in 11-straight games – with 28 points in front of more than 7,000 fans at the Verizon Center.
17. (4) Paterson Catholic (Paterson, N.J.), 28-1
The Cougars won’t have a state title to add to a great 2009-10 resume after getting handled by then-No. 20 Jersey City St. Anthony on Saturday night. But state championships aside, Paterson Catholic captured one of the biggest crowns in high school basketball back in December by winning the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. At that event, the Cougars knocked off three teams ranked in this week’s Xcellent 25 (No. 14 Penn Wood, No. 15 Westchester and No. 21 Winter Park) before running roughshod over every opponent on the schedule in January and February.
18. (3) Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.), 23-1
The Panthers were stunned Saturday night in the Class 4A regional finals by Jeffersonville – a team they ran off the court by 31 points in December. It was Bloomington South’s second game of the day after beating Evansville Harrison 71-61. Leaving South in the national rankings is a tough decision since they will not finish the season with a state title, but 49-straight wins dating back to last year is too big of an achievement in a basketball-crazed state to disregard. While 2008-09 results have no bearing on this season, the Panthers were only involved in two games decided by less than 10 points in going 23-0.
19. (18) St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.), 23-3
Season complete. The New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association banned the Celtics from postseason due to improper workouts.
20. (22) Melrose (Memphis, Tenn.), 32-4
After beating Jackson North Side in sectional play last Monday, 87-63, the Golden Wildcats waited for the Class AAA state tournament draw, which was announced Saturday. Melrose will face Murfreesboro Siegel on Thursday in the quarterfinals. A fifth meeting with Memphis rival White Station is possible in the championship game.
21. (23) Winter Park (Winter Park, Fla.), 28-5
The Wildcats captured Florida’s Class 6A state championship but could continue their season at the National High School Invitational.
22. (25) Plymouth Whitemarsh (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), 26-2
The Colonials were dominant in the first round of Pennsylvania’s Class AAAA state tournament, blasting Lewisberry Red Land 74-31. C.J. Aiken, a 6-10 senior, scored 13 points to lead a balanced PW attack with seven players scoring seven points or more. The Colonials meet Philadelphia Frankford in the second round Wednesday.
23. (NR) Milton (Alpharetta, Ga.), 29-4
The Eagles captured Georgia’s Class AAAAA title Saturday night with a 56-46 win over Atlanta Westlake, making head coach David Boyd the first coach in state history to notch championships at four different schools. Junior wing Dai-Jon Parker led Milton with 19 points and forward Julian Royal added 15 against Westlake. The Eagles closed with wins in their final 10 contests and with four Division I-bound stars returning (Parker, Royal, junior guard Shannon Scott and sophomore forward Evan Nolte), will be in the conversation for the No. 1 national ranking entering next season.
24. (NR) Peabody (Alexandria, La.), 41-0
Without a nationally-ranked measuring stick on the schedule, the Warhorses flew under the radar for much of the season despite piling up an impressive number of wins, usually in blowout fashion (25 wins by 20 points or more). Peabody capped a perfect campaign Saturday night by beating Bossier, 61-58, for the Class 4A state title – its fourth in six years. Oklahoma State-bound wing Markel Brown led the way with 25 points in the final and was named tournament MVP.
25. (NR) Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 26-1
It’s unlikely that four Pennsylvania teams – including three in the AAAA classification – will remain in the Xcellent 25 through the end of the season, but the Blue Devils belong as of today. Mount Lebo opened the state tournament with a 59-41 win over McKeesport, getting 17 points from Paul Lang. Next up is Wexford North Allegheny on Wednesday. A Mount Lebanon-Plymouth Whitemarsh matchup could materialize in the semifinals.
Dropped out: No. 16 Wagner (San Antonio, Texas), No. 20 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), No. 24 Romulus (Romulus, Mich.)