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Tournaments impacting rankings

12/23/2008

Editor's note: The ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, Ronnie Flores, Ryan Canner-O'Mealy and Doug Huff. They will be released each Tuesday throughout the season.

Click here for regional rankings.

The December holiday tournaments have impacted the ESPN RISE Top 50 boys' basketball rankings. Two of the most powerful tournaments -- the Iolani Prep Classic in Honolulu and Bank of America City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. -- have produced a few surprises and several ranked teams going head to head.

Four new schools enter the rankings this week.

In Hawaii, No. 9 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) and No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) played late Monday night for the Iolani crown. No. 12 Fairfax (Los Angeles) and No. 7 LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) met in the third-place game.

The results of both tournaments will be reflected in next week's rankings.

The biggest surprise from Florida was the play of No. 25 Winter Park (Fla.), which advanced to Monday's semifinals after knocking off ranked teams Duncanville (Texas) and Westchester (Los Angeles). The Wildcats, from suburban Orlando, rebounded from a loss earlier this month to register a solid 10-1 record.

After Christmas the tournament schedule intensifies, with more impactful contests.

Records for the ESPN RISE boys' rankings are through Dec. 21.

Three-point play

Game Ball: Austin Rivers of No. 25 Winter Park (Fla.) is considered one of the nation's premier sophomores and earns player of the week honors after a pair of scintillating performances at the City of Palms Classic in Florida. Rivers, 6-foot-3, totaled 56 points, nine rebounds, three steals and shot 6 of 15 from 3-point range (40%) as the Wildcats upended two nationally ranked clubs, Duncanville and Westchester.

Against Westchester he canned 11 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter. In a 69-64 victory over Duncanville, he sank 9 of 16 shots for 26 points. Rivers comes from basketball bloodlines, with his father Glenn "Doc" River the head coach of World Champion Boston Celtics and a brother, Jeremiah, at Indiana University.

Games of the Week: The ESPN RISE rankings should receive a jolt following the final and third-place game at the City of Palms. Tuesday's games will be shown on ESPNU starting at 3 p.m. ET. In the opener No. 25 Winter Park (Fla.) plays No. 18 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) for third place. Then it's the nation's top two teams -- No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and No. 2 St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) -- tangling for the championship at 5 p.m. Mater Dei last won the Palms title in 2007, while St. Patrick is winless all-time in four Palms' title games.

Must-see event: The action heats up Friday in Myrtle Beach, S.C., when the 29th annual Beach Ball Classic tips off for a five-day run at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. (Note: South Carolina state rules do not permit high school activities or athletic contests on Sundays).The 16-team tournament field features six teams from the ESPN RISE rankings, including No. 2 St. Patrick, No. 34 Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) and No. 18 Wheeler. The championship is Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Records through Dec. 21.

Dropped out: No. 32 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.); No. 34 Olympia (Orlando); No. 46 Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.); No. 50 Yates (Houston).