After winning Ohio’s Division I title in 2009,
Northland (Columbus, Ohio)
showed little vulnerability against in-state competition this winter and was an overwhelming favorite to repeat.
Prior to Saturday night, the Vikings played 20 games against Buckeye State teams and each of them was decided by 10 points or more. Northland won 19 of those contests by 17 points or more and 12 by 30 points or more.
Led by Ohio State-bound stars
and J.D. Weatherspoon
, the Vikings were playing for a possible No. 1 national ranking in addition to back-to-back state titles.
But Lincoln High School of Gahanna – eight miles northeast of Columbus – gave high school basketball its own dose of March Madness in a weekend owned by Cornell, Northern Iowa and St. Mary’s at the college level.
The Golden Lions didn’t just beat Northland. They dominated Northland – shooting 60 percent from the field en route to a 71-45 final score.
The loss will likely give unbeaten Texas 4A state champion Yates (Houston, Texas) the 2009-10 national title nod by MaxPreps.
Northland wasn’t the only highly-ranked team to go down over the weekend. Read on to find out how those setbacks impacted this week’s national rankings.
Xcellent 25 National High School Boys Basketball Rankings
1. (1 last week) Yates (Houston, Texas), 34-0
Season complete. Texas Class 4A state champions.
2. (3) St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.), 20-1
Season complete. The Gray Bees will not participate in the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational.
3. (5) Ames (Ames, Iowa), 27-0
Season complete. Iowa Class 4A state champions.
4. (6) Christ School (Arden, N.C.), 37-1
Regular season complete. North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A champions. The Greenies expect to earn a spot in April’s ESPN Rise National High School Invitational in Baltimore, Md.
5. (7) Neumann & Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.), 28-1
The Saints have seemingly dialed it up a notch in Pennsylvania’s Class AAA state playoffs, winning all three games by 15 points or more. Neumann & Goretti meets Wrightsville Eastern York on Tuesday in the semifinals with a trip to Penn State University’s Bryce Jordan Center on the line for the state finals. Senior guard Tony Chennault helped the Philly power advance last week by averaging 22 points per game in wins over Wilkes-Barre Holy Redeemer (91-56) and Radnor Archbishop Carroll (53-38).
6. (NR) Lincoln (Gahanna, Ohio), 26-0
How impressive and shocking was Lincoln’s dismantling of then-No. 2 Northland on Saturday night? The Golden Lions went from unranked and off the radar to looking down the ladder at teams that have been entrenched in the top 25 since the preseason. Behind 19 points from 6-2 guard Rob Brandenberg and 17 from junior Stevie Taylor, Lincoln crushed the Jared Sullinger-led Vikings 71-45. The mission isn’t complete for head coach Tony Staib’s squad, however. Ohio’s Division I finals take place Friday and Saturday at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus. Lincoln opens with Massillon Jackson with the winner facing Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller or Mentor.
7. (8) 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.
8. (9) 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.
9. (10) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), 30-2
Season complete. Nevada Class 4A state champions.
10. (2) Northland (Columbus, Ohio), 23-1
Outside of a 10-point win over Canton Timken on Jan. 30, the Vikings pounded every Buckeye State opponent they faced by 17 points or more prior to Saturday night. Twelve victories came by 30 points or more. That should help illustrate the stunning nature of Lincoln’s regional final victory. Despite the unexpected early departure from the postseason, the career resume for Jared Sullinger and Northland’s senior class is impressive. The loss snapped a 37-game winning streak and the Viks captured Ohio’s Division I state title a year ago. Looking strictly at 2009-10, beating academy powerhouses Findlay Prep and Oak Hill Academy in the same season is a monumental accomplishment for a public school.
11. (12) 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.
12. (13) Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), 22-4
Regular season complete. Expect Montverde Academy to earn a spot in the National High School Invitational.
13. (15) Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.), 31-3
The Comets captured their sixth Division I Southern Regional title since 1998 by holding on for a 71-63 win over then-No. 4 Santa Ana Mater Dei on Saturday night
. Westchester led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter but had to fend off a fierce rally in the final stanza to advance to Bakersfield for Saturday’s (March 27) Division I state championship game against Newark Memorial. Arizona-bound guard Jordin Mayes paced the Comets with 21 points while Dwayne Polee added 20.
14. (14) Penn Wood (Lansdowne, Pa.), 26-3
The Patriots are one win away from a chance to defend their Class AAAA state title after handling Langhorne Neshaminy (75-60) and Scranton (66-55) last week. Led by Will Brown’s 20 points, four Penn Wood scorers reached double figures against Neshaminy. Six-foot-five junior Aaron Brown led the way with 22 points and 10 boards against Scranton. The Patriots face Bethlehem Liberty on Wednesday for the right to advance to the state finals.
15. (20) Melrose (Memphis, Tenn.), 37-4
The Golden Wildcats landed their first state title since 1983 by beating Memphis rival White Station for the fourth time this season Saturday night, 75-70. Junior guard Chris Jones – the Class AAA state tournament MVP – stole the spotlight from star White Station guard Joe Jackson by pouring in 35 points in the final. Fellow junior Adonis Thomas added 19 points and 13 rebounds as Melrose won its 13th game in a row after a three-game losing streak in early February. Under the direction of head coach Jermaine Johnson, the G-Cats pounded Murfreesboro Siegel (78-55) and Knoxville Bearden (69-57) to reach the championship game.
16. (17) Paterson Catholic (Paterson, N.J.), 28-1
17. (3) Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.), 23-1
18. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 32-2
The Monarchs saw their season and a 26-game win streak come to an end Saturday night in a Division I Southern Regional final loss to Westchester. UCLA-bound senior wing Tyler Lamb did his best to help the Monarchs advance with 32 points.
19. (19) 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. (21) 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.
21. (22) Plymouth Whitemarsh (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), 28-2
C.J. Aiken, a 6-10 senior, delivered 22 points and five boards Saturday night to help the Colonials get past Philadelphia Roman Catholic, 54-46, and advance to the Class AAAA semifinals. Plymouth Whitemarsh meets Wexford North Allegheny on Wednesday with a trip to the state championship game on the line.
22. (23) Milton (Alpharetta, Ga.), 29-4
Season complete. Georgia Class AAAAA state champions.
23. (24) Peabody (Alexandria, La.), 41-0
Season complete. Louisiana Class 4A state champions.
24. (16) DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), 32-4
DeMatha piled up 32 victories and captured both the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title and the Washington, D.C. city title this season. But things ended on a bitter note with a loss to archrival Gonzaga at the 50th annual Alhambra Catholic Invitational on Saturday night. The Stags reached the final by beating Cathedral of Ontario, Canada, and Benedictine of Richmond, Va. DeMatha downed Gonzaga twice in the last month, but saw the tables turned when Cedrick Lindsay hit a pair of free throws with 0.5 seconds remaining to give the Eagles the tournament championship.
25. (NR) Jesuit (Portland, Ore.), 26-2
Season complete. Oregon Class 6A state champions.
Dropped out: No. 10 Half Hollow Hills West (Dix Hills, N.Y.), No. 25 Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh, Pa.)