By Fivestar Basketball
December 21, 2011

With the most competitive tournament of the young season upon us, this week's Power Rankings include the biggest changes to date. The top five teams remain the same, but the rest of the field was drastically shuffled. Bishop Gorman, Mater Dei and Miller Grove all lost at City of Palms, falling to No. 10, No. 13 and No. 19, respectively.

Others were more fortunate. Grace Prep vaulted into the Top 10 behind three convincing victories, and Prestonwood Christian and Riverside Academy entered the rankings for the first time this season. Heading into the holiday, here's how things stand.

High School Basketball Power Rankings
1 Brewster Academy
Last Week: 1
Brewster had two games scheduled for this week, including a trip to Durham for the highly anticipated Clash at Cameron. Unfortunately, both were cancelled. The nation's No. 1 team won't return to action until Jan. 6, when the Bobcats take on New Hampton.
Last week: None
Next game: Jan. 6 vs. New Hampton
2 Findlay Prep
Last Week: 2
Findlay breezed through another easy week, beating Southwest, Las Vegas and Redemption Christian in succession. After an off week, Brandon Ashley and Co. could be tested. The Pilots play a talented La Lumiere squad -- led by Indiana-bound Hanner Perea -- on Dec. 29.
Last week: Beat Southwest, 100-67; Beat Las Vegas, 86-43; Beat Redemption Christian, 120-93
Next game: Dec. 29 vs. La Lumiere
3 Oak Hill Academy
Last Week: 3
Oak Hill may not be No. 1, but at 19-0, it boasts arguably the nation's best early-season resume. The Warriors notched their third trademark victory in a nationally televised 82-78 bout against Miller Grove, with Georgetown-bound D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera playing hero: He scored 20 points and did all the little things right, converting 12-of-12 free throw attempts.
Last week: Beat Miller Grove, 82-78; Beat Evelyn Mack, 81-55; Beat Westtown, 93-43
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. W.J. Keenan
4 Simeon
Last Week: 4
Like Brewster, Simeon dealt with a scheduling shake-up, as its planned meeting with Huntington Prep at Cameron Indoor was canceled. In response, the Wolverines whipped three less talented foes. They crushed Carver by 56, and then beat Brighton by 30. But the real highlight was Monday's 82-40 over Perspectives-Calumet. Junior Jabari Parker poured in a game high -- and new school-record -- 40 points.
Last week: Beat Carver, 79-23; Beat Brighton, 87-57; Beat Perspectives-Calumet, 82-42
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Corliss
5 Tilton School
Last Week: 5
After losing to Brewster in overtime last week, Tilton righted the ship with three easy victories, including a 30-point rout of Friends Central. Iowa State commit Georges Niang scored 20 points, and Nerlens Noel added 19 rebounds. Several of Noel's teammates -- including Brandon Bibbs and Wayne Selden -- recently commented on the 6-foot-10 center's college prospects. It's early, but this much is clear: He's considering Kentucky.
Last week: Beat St. Mark's, 71-55; Beat Hotchkiss, 78-59; Beat Friends Central, 80-55
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Willbraham Monson
6 St. Anthony
Last Week: 7
It took a while for St. Anthony to break into action, but when it did, it didn't disappoint. Kyle Anderson scored 15 points en route to a beatdown of Emily Fischer, and the Friars pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Trenton Catholic. On Tuesday, Anderson reached a milestone: He scored his 1,000th career point in a 78-21 rout of Newark Central.
Last week: Beat Emily Fischer Academy, 80-16; Beat Trenton Catholic, 53-33; Beat Newark Central (N.J.)
Next game: Dec. 28 at Christmas Tournament (Boston)
7 Huntington Prep
Last Week: 8
Thanks to the cancellation of its primetime showdown with No. 3 Simeon, Huntington enjoyed a luxurious week off. That changes tonight. Elijan Macon and Co. play back-to-back games against Ohio contenders Northland and Taft.
Last week: None
Next game: Dec. 23 vs. Northland Ohio
8 Grace Prep
Last Week: 13
It was a statement week for Grace Prep, which recorded four wins -- three against ranked opponents. First, it topped rankings' newcomer Prestonwood Christian behind 18 points from Isaiah Austin. Then, it disposed of Mater Dei, rallying from an 18-point deficit behind 23 second half points from Jordan Mickey. On Tuesday, it stifled Montverde, holding the Eagles to a meager 32 percent shooting. If the Lions can edge Prestonwood Christian for the second time in the City of Palms championship, they could make a run at the top five -- if not higher.
Last week: Beat Prestonwood Christian, 79-64; Beat Taft, 65-62; Beat Mater Dei Christian, 86-80; Beat Montverde Academy, 53-45
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Prestonwood Christian
9 DeMatha Catholic
Last Week: 10
DeMatha remains in the Top 10 with a 21-point win over Archbishop Carroll, a game in which BeeJay Anya, Marcellous Bell and Kameron Taylor all dropped 13 points. The schedule gets busy soon. The Stags play in the action-packed Holiday Classic beginning on Dec. 27.
Last week: Beat Archbishop Carroll, 71-50
Next game: Dec. 22 vs. St. Mary's Ryken
10 Bishop Gorman
Last Week: 6
Shabazz Muhammad posted the best individual scoring performance in the City of Palms -- netting 42 points against Prestonwood Christian on Monday -- but it wasn't enough. Five-star power forward Julius Randle and Co. completed the upset. Though the Gaels recovered nicely, beating Miller Grove 62-50, they drop four spots to No. 10.
Last week: Beat Desert Oasis, 82-52; Beat Ely, 58-57; Lost to Prestonwood Christian, 76-70; Beat Miller Grove, 62-50
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Mater Dei
11 Marcus
Last Week: 14
In a back-and-forth game, Marcus earned its biggest win of the year in a dramatic escape over Montrose Christian. Oklahoma State commits Marcus Smart and Phil Forte combined for 22, but the biggest basket came from New Mexico-bound forward Nick Banyard. His three-pointer with 46 seconds left proved to be the eventual game-winner.
Last week: Beat Montrose Christian, 42-40; Beat Amarillo, 53-33
Next game: Jan. 3 vs. Plano
12 Prestonwood Catholic
Last Week: NR
Already a watch list team, Prestonwood vaulted into the Top 25 with a surprising -- and unmistakably impressive -- victory over Bishop Gorman. Julius Randle was unstoppable: The 6-foot-8, 235-pounder tallied 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the 76-60 upset. Following another statement win over Riverside on Tuesday, the Lions have a chance to avenge their lone loss against Grace Prep in the City of Palms championship.
Last week: Lost to Grace Prep, 79-64; Beat Constitution, 70-63; Beat Bishop Gorman, 76-70; Beat Riverside, 71-66
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Grace Prep
13 Mater Dei
Last Week: 12
Mater Dei fell out of the running for a City of Palms championship, falling 86-80 to Grace Prep. Katin Reinhardt had 20 points, but it didn't make the loss sting any less: The Monarchs led by 18 points (48-30) at the half. They rebounded to beat St. Raymond on a crucial late three from Elijah Brown, and play Bishop Gorman tonight.
Last week: Beat Lake Wales, 76-60; Lost to Grace Prep, 86-80; Beat St. Raymond, 63-58
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Bishop Gorman
14 Montverde Academy
Last Week: 16
Montverde came to play at City of Palms -- particularly Ole Miss-bound center Anthony Perez. The senior big man scored 22 points in a win over Salesian, then dropped 18 and seven boards in a win over St. Raymond. Despite a misstep to Grace Prep -- Montverde lost 53-45 -- the Eagles proved they have the pieces to contend with anyone.
Last week: Beat Salesian, 55-42; Beat St. Raymond, 80-61, Lost to Grace Prep, 53-45
Next game: Dec. 27 vs. North Clayton
15 Montrose Christian
Last Week: 11
Montrose Christian was a mix of both good and bad this week. The bad: It lost Marcus in one of the marquee matchups of the week, ending its previously unbeaten season. The good: It also went to Hawaii and won three games by an average of 24.3 points. It plays Orlando Christian Prep for the Iolani Classic title tonight.
Last week: Lost to Marcus, 42-40; Beat AOP, 48-29; Beat Iolani, 65-28; Beat Westbury Christian, 48-31
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Orlando Christian Prep
16 New Hampton
Last Week: 15
New Hampton won its third consecutive Mercer Tournament title, thriving behind the stellar play of tournament MVP Aaron Hendricks. He scored 11 points in the final against Hill School, and ballyhooed D-I prospect Noah Vonleh added 10. The Huskies knocked down four three-pointers in the opening two minutes.
Last week: Beat Kent School, 38-27; Beat Blue Ridge, 58-43; Beat Hill School, 52-47
Next game: Jan. 4 vs. Vanier Prep
17 Arlington Country Day
Last Week: 17
After a bye week, the Apaches will take the floor tonight as part of the Chick-fil-A Classic against Lexington. Expect a tight one. The Wildcats are currently 8-1, and boast a two-sport star in South Carolina-bound Shaq Roland.
Last week: None
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Lexington
18 St. Thomas More
Last Week: 18
St. Thomas More continued its strong start early in the week, thrashing Canada's Montmorency by a striking 46 points. Despite Qudeer Morgan's 15 points on Tuesday, however, it dropped a heartbreaker to Wheeler School. Connecticut's top-ranked team shouldn't be challenged again until a rematch with revenge-minded New Hampton -- who the Chancellors beat on Nov. 30 -- in January.
Last week: Last week: Beat Maine Central Institute, 75-70; Beat Robinson School, 77-62; Beat Montmorency, 97-51; Lost to Wheeler School, 57-49
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. NIA Prep
19 Miller Grove
Last Week: 9
It was a brutal week for Miller Grove, who dropped three close games to Oak Hill, Riverside and Bishop Gorman. The Wolverines were done in by careless late-game play. They went a paltry 12-of-24 from the line against Riverside, and were outscored 19-11 in the fourth quarter against Gorman. The road doesn't get any easier: Simeon looms on Jan. 7.
Last week: Lost to No. 3 Oak Hill, 82-78; Lost to Riverside Academy, 59-55; Lost to Bishop Gorman, 62-50
Next game: Jan. 7 vs. Simeon
20 Wichita Heights
Last Week: 20
Wichita Heights escaped with a six-point victory in the HyVee Shootout Basketball Classic, defeating Raytown South 54-48. Perry Ellis notched 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Gavin Thurman furthered his status as a dangerous second option. The Missouri State commit chipped in 12 points in the win.
Last week: Beat Raytown South, 54-48
Next game: Jan. 1 vs. Carroll
21 Columbia
Last Week: 21
Columbia can sit and relax for a bit, reliving Jhaustin Thomas' backboard-shattering incident. The Eagles return to the court the day after Christmas, when they'll take on Butler (5-2).
Last week: None
Next game: Dec. 26 vs. Butler
22 Loyola
Last Week: 22
Last week's Top 25 newcomer enjoyed a bye week, nestled in its new spot in the rankings. Staying there won't be easy. Its next opponent, Bellarmine Prep, is currently 5-0.
Last week: None
Next game: Dec. 28 vs. Bellarmine Prep
23 Gonzaga
Last Week: 23
After enjoying the week off, Gonzaga suits up against Bishop McNamara. Nate Britt and Kris Jenkins will look to continue their hot starts. The UNC-bound guard and three-star power forward are averaging 19 and 17.7 points, respectively.
Last week: Beat Central Catholic (Pa.), 74-64; Beat Sagemont, 62-47; Beat Sts. Neumann & Goretti, 56-52
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Bishop McNamara
24 La Lumiere
Last Week: 24
Another victim of the Clash at Cameron cancellation, La Lumiere had some down time before the Elgin Holiday Tournament. They took care of Walther Lutheran in the first round, with Raphael Davis and Hanner Perea scoring a combined 30 points, and defeated Dundee-Crown in the second, with Davis dropping another 21. The Lakers play Batavia -- fresh off a 51-49 thriller -- tonight in the final.
Last week: Beat Walther Lutheran, 81-36; Beat Dundee-Crown, 64-42
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Batavia
25 Riverside Academy
Last Week: NR
Now that's how you make an entrance. A relative unknown among top contenders at the City of Palms, Riverside made a statement by stunning Miller Grove 59-55 in the second round. Ricardo Gathers added to his growing legend: He contributed 19 points and 15 rebounds. The 6-foot-6 power forward also led a late charge against Prestonwood, even helping the Rebels take the lead momentarily, but came up just short in a 71-66 loss.
Last week: Beat Gill St. Bernard's, 80-73; Beat Miller Grove, 59-55; Lost to Prestonwood Christian Academy, 71-66
Next game: Dec. 21 vs. Montverde Academy

Dropped out: South Kent (South Kent, Conn.), North Central (Indianapolis)

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)