High school basketball: Sunrise Christian Academy strengthens hold on National Top 20 top spot

Jordan Divens | MaxPreps.com Tuesday, January 11, 2022 12:15pm

Spalding Hoophall Classic takes center stage over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

As the National Top 20 continues to be shaped by head-to-head matchups, the La Porte Invitational helped determine the pecking order over the weekend. Sunrise Christian Academy strengthened its grip on the top spot following a 3-0 weekend that saw the Buffaloes move to 6-1 in NIBC play.

No. 2 IMG Academy is tied atop the NIBC standings with the Kansas academy after a 3-0 showing at the La Porte Invitational.

As NIBC play has helped craft the National Top 20 rankings, the Spalding Hoophall Classic is expected to settle some debates with 11 ranked teams in the field, including Sunrise Christian Academy, IMG Academy, No. 3 Link Academy, No. 4 AZ Compass Prep, No. 5 Montverde Academy, No. 6 La Lumiere, No. 8 Oak Hill Academy, No. 9 Prolific Prep, No. 11 Combine Academy, No. 13 Wasatch Academy and No. 17 Patrick School heading to Springfield, Mass.

The Flyin' to the Hoop Invitational and Kevin Durant MLK Hoopfest are other top events to watch this weekend.
Gradey Dick had a big weekend for Sunrise Christian Academy, averaging 21.7 points at the La Porte Invitational.
Photo by Annette Wilkerson
Gradey Dick had a big weekend for Sunrise Christian Academy, averaging 21.7 points at the La Porte Invitational.
1. Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)
Record: 12-1 | Last week: 1
Avenged their only loss of the season 71-61 over No. 5 Montverde Academy to finish 3-0 at the La Porte Invitational. Kansas signee Gradey Dick led the way averaging 21.7 points over three wins. The Buffaloes face No. 11 Combine Academy on Saturday and No. 13 Wasatch Academy on Sunday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.



Record: 12-2 | Last week: 2
Went 3-0 over the weekend at the La Porte Invitational defeating Bishop Walsh (Cumberland, Md.) 79-61, Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.) 80-43 and No. 13 Wasatch Academy 76-67 to move to 6-1 in NIBC play. The Ascenders face No. 4 AZ Compass Prep on Saturday and No. 5 Montverde Academy on Monday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Record: 21-0 | Last week: 4
Return to the court for the first time since capturing the Les Schwab Invitational title prior to New Years. The Lions battle International Sports Academy (Willoughby, Ohio) and No. 18 Huntington Prep at the Flyin' to the Hoop Invitational before facing No. 9 Prolific Prep on Monday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Record: 19-1 | Last week: 5
The Dragons battle No. 2 IMG Academy on Saturday and No. 6 La Lumiere on Sunday in a major test at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. They can bolster a resume that already includes wins over No. 8 Oak Hill Academy, No. 11 Combine Academy and No. 13 Wasatch Academy.

Record: 11-3 | Last week: 3
Fell to No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy before wins over Bishop Walsh (Cumberland, Md.) 78-45 and No. 6 La Lumiere 63-55. The Eagles continue their daunting schedule this week, facing MaxPreps Top 25 No. 1 Camden (N.J.) on Thursday at the Metro Classic before matchups with MaxPreps Top 25 No. 9 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) on Saturday and No. 2 IMG Academy on Monday at Hoophall.

Record: 11-2 | Last week: 6
The Lakers defeated Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.) 74-46 and No. 8 Oak Hill Academy 70-56 before falling to No. 5 Montverde Academy to move to 5-2 in NIBC play. LaLu faces No. 8 Oak Hill Academy again on Saturday before a showdown with No. 4 AZ Compass Prep on Sunday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Record: 12-2 | Last week: 8
An influx of transfers joined the program over the past two weeks, headlined by the recent addition of five-star USC signee Vincent Iwuchukwu. The Rams face MaxPreps Top 25 No. 15 Centerville (Ohio) on Sunday and Jackson (Massillon, Ohio) on Monday at the Flyin' to the Hoop Invitational.

Record: 15-7 | Last week: 7
No. 6 La Lumiere handed the Warriors their seventh loss of the year, but the perennial power was impressive in wins over No. 13 Wasatch Academy 91-49 and Bishop Walsh (Cumberland, Md.) 99-68. They take on No. 6 La Lumiere on Saturday and MaxPreps Top 25 No. 7 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) on Sunday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.



Record: 17-2 | Last week: 9
A challenging weekend awaits the Crew as they match up with MaxPreps Top 25 No. 14 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) at the Kevin Durant MLK Hoopfest on Saturday before Monday's battle with No. 3 Link Academy at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Record: 14-3 | Last week: 10
The Holy Rams take on Winston-Salem Christian (Winston-Salem) on Wednesday before facing unbeaten New Hanover (Wilmington) on Monday. Junior Freddie Dilione is likely to see a boost in the next Class of 2023 rankings update at the 6-5 guard continues his breakout season.

Record: 11-3 | Last week: 11
Play top-ranked Sunrise Christian Academy on Saturday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic before a Monday contest against Taft (Cincinnati) at the Flyin' to the Hoop Invitational.

Record: 16-1 | Last week: 12
Escaped with a 68-66 victory over PHH Prep (Phoenix) sparked by a 14-0 late third-quarter run. The Bruins are scheduled to face No. 17 Patrick School on Jan. 21 and MaxPreps Top 25 No. 13 Roselle Catholic on Jan. 22 in the upcoming Big North Shootout.

Record: 10-7 | Last week: 13
Despite going 0-3 at the La Porte Invitational, the Tigers showed the ability to compete with the nation's best in close losses to No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy and No. 2 IMG Academy. Wasatch Academy faces No. 17 Patrick School on Saturday before a rematch with Sunrise Christian Academy on Sunday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Record: 7-1 | Last week: 14
The Gray Bees have seen a handful of games canceled due to COVID-19 protocols following their Dec. 23 loss to Westtown (West Chester, Pa.). They're expected to return to the court Wednesday against Hill School (Pottstown, Pa.).



Record: 9-2 | Last week: 15
Under-the-radar guard Maurice Odum continued his strong senior campaign with 24 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals in a 102-66 win over Wade Christian Academy (Melbourne, Fla.). A big SIAA showdown takes place Tuesday when the Flame host No. 16 Central Pointe Christian Academy.

Record: 17-3 | Last week: 16
Picked up wins over Bella Vista College Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 61-48 and Minnesota Prep Academy (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) 77-58 at Mustang Madness. The White Tigers travel to No. 15 West Oaks on Tuesday in SIAA play.

Record: 9-4 | Last week: 19
The Celtics have reeled off nine consecutive wins following a rough 3-4 start. The talented group looks to keep the momentum going against No. 13 Wasatch Academy on Saturday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Record: 6-5 | Last week: 17
Look to rebound from a 1-2 finish at the Chick-fil-A Classic this week, facing Dream City Christian (Glendale, Ariz.) on Friday and No. 3 Link Academy on Saturday at the Flyin' to the Hoop Invitational.

Record: 12-4 | Last week: 18
Return to the court Tuesday for the first time since Dec. 22 to face Downey Christian (Orlando) following an extended holiday break. DME Academy is a top contender to take home the SIAA crown this season with a 4-2 record in league play.

Record: 12-5 | Last week: 20
The fourth team representing the SIAA in the National Top 20, the Lions defeated Bucholz (Gainesville, Fla.) 83-42 behind 25 points from senior guard T.J. Hurley. Take on Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville) in league play tonight.