By Fivestar Basketball
February 22, 2012

And once again, history repeats itself. Brewster edged Tilton for the third time on Monday, securing a 60-56 victory behind the heroics of Aaron Thomas. The Bobcats have surpassed all expectations, and, heading into the final week of February, should be considered the favorites at the national crown.

Among other headlines: Grace Prep fell to shooting guard Keith Frazier and Kimball, dropping the Lions out of the top 10. Paul VI completed a sweep of DeMatha (and an undefeated WCAC season), and Wichita Heights lost its unbeaten streak. The best time of the high school season is upon us. Here's how things stand.

High School Basketball Power Rankings
1 Brewster Academy
Last Week: 1
Is there any remaining doubt that Brewster is the top team in the nation? The Bobcats polished off Tilton for the third time this season, with Florida State commit Aaron Thomas (19 points) and forward Jakarr Sampson (11 points, 14 rebounds) leading the charge. The unsung hero was Joe Bramanti -- his steal with 19 seconds remaining iced a 60-56 victory.
Last week: Beat Winchendon, 94-69; Beat New Hampton, 76-42; Beat Tilton, 60-56
Next game: Feb. 22 at Bridgton Academy
2 Oak Hill Academy
Last Week: 2
Oak Hill continued its run toward perfection, topping Ignatios Prep and Flora McDonald Academy. Jordan Adams and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera both poured in 24 points in the latter, helping this group become the winningest team in school history. That's quite an accomplishment given some of the alumni -- Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson, among others -- to don a Warriors' uniform.
Last week: Beat Ignatios Prep, 88-63; Beat Flora McDonald Academy, 73-51
Next game: Feb. 24 vs. Kennedy Charter School
3 Findlay Prep
Last Week: 3
Evidenced again this week, Findlay simply overwhelms opponents with its talented roster. Recent San Diego State commit Winston Shepard tallied 13 points and nine rebounds against Stoneridge Prep, and three-star point guard Armedeo Della Valle scored 25 points (7-of-10 from three) against Impact Academy.
Last week: Beat Westwind Prep, 103-80; Beat Stoneridge Prep, 71-52; Beat Impact Academy, 109-63
Next game: Feb. 25 vs. La Jolla Prep
4 St. Anthony
Last Week: 5
An ankle strain held UCLA-bound point guard out of Saturday's showdown with Long Island Lutheran, but Kody Jenkins scored 18 points to lead the Friars to victory. On Tuesday, St. Anthony extended their vaunted winning streak to 57 games by staving off Lincoln behind double figures from Anderson, Jerome Frink and Josh Brown.
Last week: Beat Bishop Eustace Prep, 53-43; Beat Long Island Lutheran, 48-39; Beat Lincoln, 51-45
Next game: Feb. 23 vs. Passaic County Tech
5 Tilton School
Last Week: 4
How much heartbreak can Tilton suffer? After dropping their first two meetings to Brewster by a combined 10 points, the Rams fell to the Bobcats again, 60-56. Iowa State bound Georges Niang did his part, racking up a game-high 32 points, but five-star center Nerlens Noel was held in check. The 6-foot-10 uncommitted prospect netted just eight points in defeat.
Last week: Beat Phillips Exeter Academy, 65-56; Beat Holderness School, 60-37; Lost to Brewster, 60-56
Next game: Feb. 22 at Proctor Academy
6 Huntington Prep
Last Week: 6
Huntington traveled to Canada over the weekend, picking up victories over Next Level Prep and McNabb Prep. Javontae Hawkins, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound South Florida committed shooting guard, scored 26 points in the latter.
Last week: Beat Rio Grande JV, 124-63; Beat Next Level Prep, 100-84; Beat McNabb Prep, 94-48
Next game: Feb. 23 vs. Univ. of Charleston JV
7 Simeon
Last Week: 7
Though star player Jabari Parker scored just 11 points on Friday, Simeon knocked off Curie to capture its first Public League Championship since the Derrick Rose-era in 2007. It kept the momentum rolling the next day. Parker collected 23 points and 14 rebounds and Kendrick Nunn added 14 points as the Wolverines took down De La Salle.
Last week: Beat Orr, 61-51; Beat Curie, 53-49; Beat De La Salle, 59-51
Next game: TBD
8 Marcus
Last Week: 8
Marcus started frighteningly slow against Justin Northwest -- shooting 0-of-10 beyond the arc to begin the game -- but escaped with a closer-than-expected victory. The Marauders will need to be sharper as they continue their Class 5A title defense.
Last week: Beat Plano East, 76-48, Beat Flower Mound, 82-51; Beat Justin Northwest, 51-39
Next game: TBD vs. Duncanville
9 Mater Dei
Last Week: 10
Mater Dei's playoff run continued on Tuesday, as the Monarchs routed Palmdale to advance to the CIF Division 1AA quarterfinals. Colorado commit Xavier Johnson notched 14 points and 10 rebounds -- his 12th double-double of the season.
Last week: Beat Chaparral, 79-34; Beat Palmdale, 71-41
Next game: Feb. 24 vs. Foothill
10 La Lumiere
Last Week: 11
If the Lakers would've beaten Oak Hill (they lost, 75-59, on Dec. 3), they'd be all but assured a top 10 ranking. It hasn't had any lingering effects. La Lumiere dominated Gary West Side, benefiting from 17 points (4-of-4 from three) from 6-foot-7 wing Matej Buovac.
Last week: Beat Gary West Side, 69-42
Next game: Feb. 25 vs. North Chicago
11 Paul VI
Last Week: 14
Paul VI's balanced attack again proved to be too much for DeMatha to handle, as the Panthers emerged with a 58-55 victory -- and improved their conference record to a perfect 18-0 -- on senior night. Coleman Johnson (12 points), Patrick Holloway (11) and Jamall Robinson (11) all finished in double figures.
Last week: Beat St. John's, 60-56, Beat DeMatha, 58-55
Next game: Feb. 24 in WCAC playoffs
12 St. Benedict's
Last Week: 12
St. Benedict's beatdown of Lawrenceville Academy -- spearheaded by 20 points from Kamall Richards -- sets the stage for Wednesday's Prep A Tournament finals against Blair Academy. It won't come easy. The Gray Bees have to contain Buccaneers' 6-foot-10 Virginia-bound center Mike Tobey.
Last week: Beat Lawrenceville School, 88-50
Next game: Feb. 22 vs. Blair Academy
13 Notre Dame Prep
Last Week: 13
With another dominant outing against CJEOTO, the Crusaders are firmly entrenched in the top 15. Xavier commit Myles Davis and Fordham commit Mandell Thomas both scored 23 points in victory, and Notre Dame Prep outscored its opponent 62-28 in the second half.
Last week: Beat CJEOTO, 96-61
Next game: Feb. 22 at Putnam Science Academy
14 Hargrave Military Academy
Last Week: 15
Hargrave played at the Dean Dome on Saturday, stomping UNC JV behind 40 fast break points. Three-star forward Ryan Taylor collected 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Virginia Tech commit Montrezl Harrell finished with 20 and seven. Wake Forest commit Andrew Washington added 10 points, two rebounds and two blocks.
Last week: Beat Lynchburg College, Beat UNC JV, 102-89; Beat Virginia Western C.C.
Next game: Feb. 24 at First Piedmont Invitational
15 Montrose Christian
Last Week: 16
The Mustangs took care of business this week, cruising to three easy victories by an average of 37 points. Virginia commit Justin Anderson scored 20 at Takoma Academy, adding to an already sensational senior campaign.
Last week: Beat Washington Latin, 80-24; Beat Takoma Academy, 50-37; Beat St. Maria Goretti, 66-24
Next game: Feb. 23 vs. Don Bosco
16 Ridgeway
Last Week: 17
And the rubber match goes to Ridgeway. After splitting their first two meetings with rival Southwind, the Roadrunners beat the Jaguars, 61-60, to capture the District 15-AAA championship. Kordario Fleming scored a team-high 13 points and Craig Hill netted 12 -- six in a pivotal 2:30 stretch in the fourth quarter.
Last week: Beat Southwind, 61-60
Next game: TBD vs. White Station
17 Grace Prep
Last Week: 9
Five-star sophomore point guard Emmanuel Mudiay scored 18 points against Kimball, but the Lions fell to Knights, 70-66. Grace Prep, and Baylor-bound big man Isaiah Austin, need to right the ship before the TAPPS 1-4A playoffs.
Last week: Lost to Kimball, 70-66
Next game: TBD in Class 4A Playoffs
18 Montverde Academy
Last Week: 18
Montverde's regular season is finished, punctuated by back-to-back victories over Lake Wales and North Broward Prep. The Eagles won eight of their final nine games, the only setback coming via a 73-69 defeat to Ridgeway.
Note: Montverde's record has been updated to reflect its correct mark of 21-3
Last week: None
Next game: Regular season complete
19 Chester
Last Week: 19
The Clippers continued their quest for a perfect season, dropping Downingtown West and Methacton to improve to 23-0. Their defense forced 23 turnovers in the latter, and Rondae Jefferson notched six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Last week: Beat Downingtown West, 65-27; Beat Methacton, 59-31
Next game: Feb. 24 vs. Norristown
20 Milton
Last Week: 20
The Eagles won their region after taking down Alpharetta and Centennial, games in which Shaq Johnson, Jalyn Patterson and Evan Nolte were especially impressive. Milton has won every contest since its only true loss (the other three were forfeits) to Tift County on Dec. 10.
Last week: Beat Alpharetta, 97-64; Beat Centennial, 100-73
Next game: Feb. 25 vs. Walton
21 Bishop Gorman
Last Week: 21
The Gaels have yet to be challenged in the NIAA playoffs, rolling three opponents by a combined 89 points. Shabazz Muhammad scored 28 points and Oregon-bound forward Ben Carter added 18 points and 11 rebounds in their most recent win over Palo Verde.
Last week: Beat Bonanza, 96-55; Beat Cinmarron-Memorial, 81-41; Beat Legacy, 73-43; Beat Palo Verde, 102-83
Next game: Feb. 23 vs. Douglas
22 Prestonwood Christian
Last Week: 22
Now that's how to finish in style. Prestonwood outscored Houston Christian 31-9 in the third quarter en route to a decisive 25-point win in its final regular season affair. Kansas commit Zach Peters scored 23 points in the triumph.
Last week: Beat Houston Christian, 88-53
Next game: Feb. 24 vs. Central Catholic
23 DeMatha Catholic
Last Week: 24
DeMatha fell just short in its bid at revenge, losing a heartbreaker at Paul VI on Sunday. The Stags were outscored 4-0 over the final 2:30, and were did in when Stanford Robinson tipped in his missed shot in the closing seconds. Even in defeat, however, DeMatha's star shone bright: Syracuse commit Jerami Grant scored 15 points against the top team in the DMV area.
Last week: Beat Bishop McNamara, 60-38; Lost to Paul VI, 58-55
Next game: TBD
24 Columbia
Last Week: NR
Three straight wins en route to a region championship pushes Columbia back into the Power Rankings. Chris Horton recorded triple-doubles in both of the first two contests, and Tahj Shamsid Deen tallied 13 points and 10 assists in the title game. The Eagles haven't lost in more than two months.
Last week: Beat Cedar Grove, 75-46; Beat Washington, 61-46; Beat Towers, 68-29
Next game: TBD vs. Shaw
25 Gonzaga
Last Week: NR
One week after slipping from the national picture, Gonzaga reenters at No. 25. Kris Jenkins (19.9 ppg), Nate Britt (16.5) and Co. are the third WCAC team in the Power Rankings -- solidifying its status as one of the toughest high school basketball conferences in America.
Last week: Beat Good Counsel, 66-51; Beat St. Mary's Ryken, 68-48
Next game: TBD

Dropped out: New Hampton (New Hampton, N.H.); Wichita Heights (Wichita Heights, Kan.)

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