<
>

Mater Dei falls to shake up FAB 50

3/11/2009

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 postseason continues to be cruel; this week eight teams dropped out of the ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings. The playoffs also knocked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) from its No. 1 perch after falling in the section final.

Fear not, the newly-minted No. 1 is Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.). This is familiar territory for coach Steve Smith and the Warriors who have earned the moniker as America's Team. Last week, the Warriors outlasted No. 9 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) by six points on ESPN2. The game feature several Division I players.

OHA, Montrose, No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and No. 6 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) have accepted invites to participate in the inaugural National High School Invitational from April 3-5 in North Bethesda, Md. Four others will be selected.

Out west, No. 35 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) tumbled 28 spots after getting upset in the sectional playoffs. No. 21 Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.) made the biggest splash after upsetting previous-No. 1 Mater Dei by 15 points in the Southern Section, Division I-AA final. MLK is the top seed in this week's loaded Southern California Region tournament, which features the likes of Mater Dei, No. 7 Westchester (Los Angeles), No. 22 Taft (Woodland Hills), No. 26 Fairfax (Los Angeles) and No. 36 Dominguez (Compton). No. 18 McClymonds (Oakland) is the favorite in Northern California.

Wednesday is a big night in the New York-New Jersey market as the long awaited rematch between No. 4 St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) and No. 41 Paterson Catholic at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway for the Non-Public North B title. In New York, the New York Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA intersectional semifinal doubleheader at St. John's University's Carnesecca Arena features No. 10 Rice (Manhattan) vs. All Hallows (Bronx) and No. 12 Christ the King (Middle Village) vs. Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn). The final is Sunday at Fordham University's historical Rose Hill Gymnasium.

Buckle up for another exciting week in the postseason.

Three-Point Play

Game Ball: Kawhi Leonard of No. 21 Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.), may not have led his team in scoring but his superior all-around game was pivotal, earning him player of the week honors. Leonard, a 6-foot-7 senior forward produced a monster game with 12 points, 20 rebounds, six blocks and three steals as MLK pounded previous-No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana), 71-56, in the CIF-Southern Section, Division I-AA final. Leonard has signed with San Diego State.

Game of the Week: Wednesday, the place to be is Virginia Commonwealth University's Siegel Center in Richmond for the Virginia Group AAA semifinals. Four AAA semifinals -- two boys' and two girls' games -- will decide the final, tipping at 3 p.m. The feature game is No. 20 Petersburg against regionally-ranked King's Fork (Suffolk) at 9 p.m. ET. Petersburg features the front line of 6-foot-6 Du-Vaughn Maxwell, 6-9 Cadrian Raines and 6-6 Chris Evans. King's Fork, which has won 20 straight games, needed a late 8-1 run to hold off George Washington (Danville), 60-53, in the quarterfinals. The winner plays William Fleming (Roanoke) or John Marshall (Richmond) Saturday for the crown.

Just Golden: Coach Louie Golden went out on his own terms after 37 seasons on Saturday night in Columbia, S.C. Golden won his 699th game and a sixth state championship as Southside (Greenville, S.C.), No. 13 in the Southeast Region, clubbed Mullins, 72-47, in the Class AA final. Southside closed out the Golden Era winning back-to-back state championships for the second time in the coach's tenure. Golden coached at three different Greenville County (S.C.) schools. Golden, 69, is succeeded by assistant B.J. Jackson.

Records are through March 8.

Dropped out: No. 27 Plano West (Plano, Texas); No. 35 Centennial (Roswell, Ga.); No. 37 Provo (Utah); No. 41 Bellevue (Wash.); No.43 Olympia (Orlando, Fla.); No. 44 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.); No. 48 North Crowley (Fort Worth); No. 50 Madison (San Antonio).