Another North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association program joins this week's Academy Top 10 presented by the Army National Guard.
Head coach Brandon Clifford at High Point Christian Academy
might be wondering, "What took so long?"
Clifford's High Point Christian Cougars are 22-0 with impressive wins over North Carolina foes Christ School (Arden) and Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem).
"I'm kind of oblivious to it and so are the kids," Clifford said. "We don't feel like we are 22-0. Our goal isn't to go undefeated but it is to win every game we play. Our kids have bought into that. It's a good group of kids and we are just having a lot of fun."
The third-year head coach has seen his program bolstered by the arrival of transfers Michael Obacha
, a 6-foot-7 forward headed to Appalachian State, and 6-7 junior guard Jackson Kent
, who leads the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game.
Kent's story is a unique one as he came to the program from Page High School in Greensboro, where his father Robert is the head coach. Clifford actually played for the elder Kent at Page and has a longstanding relationship with the family.
"I've known Jackson since he was 4 years old," Clifford said. "It's kind of a big brother, little brother relationship. They had a lot of success (together) at Page last year but as a family they felt like their son needed a different environment and made the switch. I think it would be hard not to say it has been a good thing."
Page is 16-2 without Jackson, now the leading scorer on an unbeaten, nationally ranked team. Look for more on High Point Christian Academy on the Basketball Recruiting Report
blog later this week.
Read on for a complete look at this week's rankings.Academy Top 10 Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard1. (No. 1 last week) Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) (30-0)
The Warriors cut it a little closer than they would have liked in a pair of wins at Penny Hardaway's Hoopfest in Memphis over the weekend. OHA survived against Craigmont on Friday night, 69-66, then let a big lead slip away Saturday against Melrose only to hang on for a 76-71 victory.2. (2) Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) (19-1) *
With Saturday's win over Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
, the Pilots have been extremely impressive in taking out two of the best high school teams in the country in the span of six days.3. (3) Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) (13-1)
Stu Vetter's Mustangs are allowing a paltry 38.5 points per game this season and could run the table from here.4. (4) Huntington Prep (W.Va.) (15-1) *
Huntington Prep has won each of its last five games by 19 points or more. The next big test for the Express comes Jan. 29 at the Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout against St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio).5. (5) St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.) (17-1)
The Gray Bees continue to be one of the pleasant surprises of the season, dominating NIA Prep (Newark) and Trent Internationale (Sugar Land, Texas) last week.6. (7) La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) (17-2)
The Lakers are getting an immediate boost from mid-year transfer Jalen James
, a junior committed to Illinois. The 6-2 guard contributed 11 points in a 70-39 win over Trader's Point Christian Academy (Whitestown, Ind.) last week.7. (NR) High Point Christian Academy (N.C.) (22-0)
The Cougars will have their hands full Tuesday with 19-1 Greensboro Day.8. (9) Christ School (Arden, N.C.) (21-2)
The Greenies take on No. 1 Oak Hill Academy on Feb. 4.9. (8) Montverde Academy (Fla.) (16-3)
The Orlando-area school split of pair of weekend games at Penny Hardaway's Hoopfest in Memphis, beating host White Station and losing to Ridgeway. The Eagles host a compelling eight-team tournament starting Thursday, including Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia), Mount Vernon (N.Y.), Orlando Christian Prep, Roman Catholic (Philadelphia) and Shiloh (Snellville, Ga.).10. (10) Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) (17-4)
After capturing the Topeka Invitational on Saturday night with a 51-36 win over Topeka, SCA has claimed a pair of tournament crowns this season and reached three tournament finals.* Record includes forfeit victory