South Dakota and Oregon are near the bottom of the list as far as states that would be expected to factor into the Academy Top 10 National Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard.
But on back-to-back nights last week, results in those states resulted in a new No. 1-ranked team.
Then-No. 1 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
fell to La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)
at the Mike Miller Classic in Mitchell, S.D., on Dec. 29. One night later Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
beat Jesuit (Portland)
in the final of the Les Schwab Invitational in Hillsboro, Ore., to secure to the top spot.
Several of the programs in the rankings will take time off this week after exhaustive holiday schedules.
The Spalding Hoophall Classic Jan. 12-16 in Springfield, Mass., is the next big event to point to on the calendar for the academy elite. Oak Hill Academy and Findlay Prep will both be in action taking on nationally ranked high school teams.Academy Top 10 National Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard1. (No. 2 last week) Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) (25-0)
The Warriors will get some rest this week after beating teams from six different states and winning two major tournament titles in the last 19 days. Oak Hill will host Christian Faith Center (Creedmoor, N.C.) Jan. 12 before heading to the Spalding Hoophall Classic to face Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas).2. (1) Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) (14-1) *
No. 8 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) edged the Pilots by a point Dec. 29 at the Mike Miller Classic in South Dakota, ending hopes of a third undefeated season under head coach Michael Peck. Key games against Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and Simeon (Chicago) are ahead this month.3. (3) Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) (9-1)
The Mustangs haven't played since Dec. 21, when they beat Orlando Christian Prep (Fla.) in the championship game of the Iolani Classic in Hawaii. Montrose returns to the court this weekend at the 7 Cities Roundball Classic against Kecoughtan.4. (4) Huntington Prep (W.Va.) (10-1) *
The Express beat up on a pair of Ohio powers at the Ironton Classic before Christmas, getting by Northland (Columbus) 71-62 and Taft (Cincinnati) 72-53. Plenty of big tests remain, including Whitney Young (Chicago) this weekend and nationally ranked high school teams St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) and Westbury Christian (Houston) in February.5. (5) Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) (8-0)
The Apaches will join Montrose Christian in Newport News, Va., for the 7 Cities Roundball Classic, taking on Phoebus (Hampton, Va.). ACD also has a trip to Alaska coming up mid-month.6. (6) Montverde Academy (Fla.) (12-1)
Despite a loss in the semifinals of the City of Palms Classic before Christmas, head coach Kevin Boyle signaled that there is no rebuilding going on at Montverde Academy in his first season. The Eagles went 7-1 at the City of Palms and Kingdom of the Sun tournaments, winning the latter with double-digit victories in the semifinals and championship game.7. (8) St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.) (9-1)
First-year head coach Mark Taylor looked like he was about to secure a signature win just 10 games into his tenure Sunday night, but head coach Bob Hurley and St. Anthony (Jersey City) erased a six-point deficit in the final quarter to sneak out of the New Year's Jump Off with a win. The Gray Bees have another tough challenge coming Friday against Math, Civics & Sciences (Philadelphia), which hammered Aquille Carr and Patterson (Baltimore) by 18 at the Jameer Nelson Classic on Dec. 30.8. (10) La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) (11-2)
La Lumiere has been all over the place results-wise over the last two weeks. The Lakers reached the final of the Elgin Holiday Tournament in Illinois with three easy wins (average winning margin of 30.3 points per game) then got humbled by host Elgin 40-34 in the final Dec. 22. The Hoosier State independent responded with an upset of No. 2 Findlay Prep, then struggled to get past O'Gorman of Sioux Falls, S.D., by a single point the next night. 9. (7) Christ School (Arden, N.C.) (15-2)
After a two-game skid that included a disappointing first-round loss to Word of God (Raleigh) at the Chick-fil-A Classic in South Carolina, the Greenies put together a six-game win streak and won the Arby's Classic in Tennessee to close out the holidays. Christ School beat King of the Bluegrass champion Christ Presbyterian Academy (Nashville, Tenn.) and high-scoring Mentor – averaging 96.5 points per game this season – of Ohio.10. (NR) Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) (12-4)
There were four undefeated and one-loss teams under consideration for the No. 10 spot but none have a win as impressive as SCA's championship-game triumph at the Neosho Holiday Classic in Missouri. After beating each of their first three opponents by 12 points or more, the Buffaloes dominated Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas) and its superstar junior twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison. Sunrise also reached the final of the National Prep Classic in California prior to Christmas. Post-graduate power Tilton School (N.H.) and No. 4 Huntington Prep handed the Kansas school two of its losses.Teams to watch: Bullis (Potomac, Md.)
; Episcopal (Alexandria, Va.)
; Malvern Prep (Pa.)
; Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore)
; Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.)* Record includes forfeit victory