Xcellent 25 National Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard1. (No. 8 last week) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 10-0
The Monarchs are coming off a tournament win at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas and haven't been truly tested heading into the post-Christmas Orange Holiday Classic. Elijah Brown
and Stanley Johnson
are both averaging more than 20 points per game in Gary McKnight's user-friendly offense. It's simply embarrassing we excluded the Monarchs from preseason rankings. 2. (1) Lone Peak (Highland, Utah), 10-1
If it were possible, the Knights would slot in at 1B. The first team from Utah to ever participate in the prestigious City of Palms Classic, Lone Peak knocked off then-No. 3 Chester (Pa.) and then-No. 5 Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) en route to the championship game.3. (2) Long Beach Poly (Calif.), 8-1
Like Lone Peak, Poly's only loss at the City of Palms Classic came against Montverde Academy (Fla.). The Jackrabbits beat ranked teams in Tift County (Tifton, Ga.), Omaha Central (Neb.) and Southwind to collect third place in Fort Myers. Head coach Sharrief Metoyer's squad will need to remain dialed in after Christmas as it gets back on the road for the Whataburger Tournament in Texas.4. (4) Whitney Young (Chicago), 6-1
Yet another City of Palms participant that went down to Montverde Academy, the Dolphins bounced back with wins over Omaha Central and Chester. 5. (6) Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia), 4-0
The Saints head to Oregon for the Les Schwab Invitational after Christmas.