It didn't take long for the high school basketball season to present a tricky situation at the top of the national rankings.
No. 1-ranked Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas)
went down over the weekend, but fell to another top-ranked team in Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
, who claimed the top spot in MaxPreps.com's debut edition of the Academy Top 10.
Marcus led by two at the half before wearing down against Findlay Prep's all-star roster, which likely features 12 future Division I players. Eight are listed at 6-foot-7 or taller. Pilot head coach Michael Peck was highly-complimentary of the defending Texas Class 5A champions following the contest.
"That might be the best-coached team we've ever gone against," Peck said. "They are so disciplined and do an unbelievable job of packing it in defensively."
The Marauders owned a 42-game winning streak prior to the Findlay Prep loss and remain No. 1 in this week's Xcellent 25 High School Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard.
A couple of points in Marcus' defense;
1. The Xcellent 25 is designed to be a measure of what teams have accomplished to this point in the season, not necessarily an indication of what's to come. Marcus has already knocked off two of the top five teams in Texas' 5A classification (DeSoto and San Antonio Warren) and the top-ranked team in Class 4A (Houston Yates). They also sent Rodney Purvis and Upper Room Christian (Raleigh) back to North Carolina with a loss.
2. The decision to split the rankings between high school and academy/independent schools was made in part because traditional high schools shouldn't be held to the same standard as programs that draw players from all over the country. It's a huge accomplishment for any high school team to lead Findlay Prep by two at halftime and keep it within 10 points at the final buzzer. The Pilots are as loaded as any sub-collegiate basketball team will ever be.
Read on for a complete look at this week's rankings.Xcellent 25 High School Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
1. (No. 1 last week) Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) (9-1)
No shame in losing to Findlay Prep, but the margin for error gets microscopic for the Marauders. Remaining No. 1 will be a tall order as defending National High School Invitational champ Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) is the next big test Dec. 15.
2. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (4-0)
Watch out. The Monarchs roared to a tournament victory at the Diablo Inferno, pasting four very respectable opponents by an average margin of 45.5 points per game, including a 91-55 win over Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) in the final. UNLV-bound Katin Reinhardt
and Colorado-bound Xavier Johnson
earned co-MVP honors. Head coach Gary McKnight topped himself by listing 23 players on the roster submitted to MaxPreps. 3. (3) Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) (2-0)Tony Parker
picked up where he left off last year – earning National Junior of the Year honors – by going for 26 points and 18 rebounds in the Wolverines' opener against Redan (Stone Mountain), an 86-51 drubbing. Both Parker and Georgia-bound Brandon Morris
posted double-doubles in an 81-44 win over Mays (Atlanta) on Friday night.4. (4) Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) (2-0)
No. 1-ranked Class of 2013 prospect Jabari Parker
scored 26 points in his junior debut to lead Simeon to a 69-51 win over Hillcrest (Country Club Hills) on Saturday at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He pumped in 22 more in a 73-53 win over Notre Dame (Niles) on Sunday night.5. (5) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) (0-0)
Opens season Dec. 9 vs. Durango (Las Vegas).