By Fivestar Basketball
March 08, 2012

Let the debate over the No. 1 team in the nation begin. Brewster took home the National Prep Championship on Wednesday, but suffered its first loss to Northfield Mount Hermon in the NEPSAC AAA finals earlier in the week. It leaves a minor blemish on a season that includes two wins over top 10 opponents (No. 5 Hargrave Military Academy and No. 9 Notre Dame Prep) and begs the question: Is their one-loss, title-winning season any less impressive than Oak Hill's undefeated mark?

While their seasons are complete, other contenders continue to play. Paul VI and La Lumiere remain in action, and several others will look to boost their stock at the ESPN National High School Invitational at the end of the month. Following a wild week, check out the latest movement in this week's Power Rankings below.

High School Basketball Power Rankings
1 Oak Hill Academy
Last Week: 2
It figures. The week that Oak Hill is off -- it's played 44 games, more than anyone else in the Power Rankings -- the Warriors vault to No. 1. They've knocked off Prestonwood Christian, Grace Prep, La Lumiere and Paul VI en route to a perfect season, and with Brewster's loss, have the most impressive spotless resume. Oak Hill is playing in China instead of the ESPN National High School Invitational, but it may not matter. The alma mater of Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Jennings and Rajon Rondo seems primed for another national crown.
Last week: None
Next game: Season complete
2 Brewster Academy
Last Week: 1
The Bobcats captured the National Prep Championship on Wednesday, taking down a very good Hargrave Military Academy team behind 22 points from Jakarr Sampson. They also knocked off a ranked Notre Dame Prep squad, and, for the most part, proved exactly why they've topped the rankings since the preseason. But they also suffered their first setback, an 87-83 loss to Northfield Mount Hermon. And despite their Wednesday triumph, it drops the New England powerhouse to No. 2 nationally.
Last week: Beat Winchendon, 92-71; Lost to Northfield Mount Hermon, 87-83; Beat Massanutten Military Academy, 92-88, Beat Notre Dame Prep, 78-74; Beat Hargrave Military Academy 87-76
Next game: Season Complete
3 Findlay Prep
Last Week: 3
After a near-perfect regular season -- the only loss coming at the hands of La Lumiere on Dec. 29 -- Findlay has some time off before the ESPN National High School Invitational tips off. That doesn't mean the team will be resting, though. Blue-chip prospects Anthony Bennett (uncommitted) and Brandon Ashley (Arizona) will compete in the McDonald's All American Game on March 28.
Last week: None
Next game: March 29 at the ESPN National High School Invitational
4 St. Anthony
Last Week: 4
One year later, the script looks destined to repeat itself. St. Anthony knocked off Oratory Prep and Dwight-Englewood to advance to the Non-Public, North B finals, riding the play of UCLA-bound point guard Kyle Anderson (60 combined points in the two games). The last test won't be easy, though. The Friars' opponent, Hudson Catholic, features three players from Kyle Anderson's travel program, the Playaz Basketball Club (Mike Young, Reggie Cameron, Kavon Stewart). Expect a tight -- and likely season-defining -- contest.
Last week: Beat Carteret, 58-31; Beat Medford Tech, 77-53; Beat Oratory Prep, 90-24; Beat Dwight-Englewood, 69-30
Next game: March 8 vs. Hudson Catholic
5 Hargrave Military Academy
Last Week: 14
After beginning the regular season unranked, Hargrave came one win shy of an undefeated season and a valid argument as the nation's No. 1 team. After taking down New Hampton and Northfield to improve to 38-0, the Tigers connected on 10 first-half three-pointers to threaten Brewster's supremacy. It wasn't enough. Ambrose Mosley (18 points) Charles Buggs (15 points) and Codi Miller-McIntyre (10 points) came up just short in a 87-76 defeat. But there was a silver lining: Hargrave cemented its spot among the nation's premier programs and moved up to No. 5, its highest ranking of the season.
Last week: Beat New Hampton, 75-61; Beat Northfield Mount Hermon, 79-75; Lost to Brewster, 87-76
Next game: Season complete
6 Huntington Prep
Last Week: 5
After routing Capital City International Prep on Sunday, a game that West Virginia commit Elijah Macon scored 28 points, Huntington sits at a very impressive 28-2. Unfortunately, that looks like its final mark. The Express tried to work with the state governing body to enter the ESPN NHSI, but to no avail. They weren't included in the eight-team field.
Last week: Beat Capital City International Prep, 108-71
Next game: Season Complete
7 Simeon
Last Week: 6
Simeon is well on its way to a third straight Class 4A state title. The Wolverines topped Whitney Young to advance to the finals, winning primarily behind the strength of their defense. Though Jabari Parker scored 18 points and Kendrick Nunn netted 11, Simeon stifled five-star center Jahlil Okafor to a mere nine points, including holding him scoreless in the second half. Some A-listers were in attendance: Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo and Thad Matta were all at the game.
Last week: Beat Chicago Vocational, 54-30; Beat Whitney Young, 52-42
Next game: TBD in Class 4A Final
8 Paul VI
Last Week: 7
The dream season for Paul VI continues. The Panthers added three more wins to their nationally sparkling resume, including the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Championship, a game that Patrick Holloway poured in 16 points in the second half. They'll compete next week in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational, likely with a chance to crack the top five.
Last week: Beat Potomac School, 81-48; Beat Blue Ridge, 68-49; Beat Episcopal 62-61
Next game: March 15 vs. Bishop Walsh
9 Notre Dame Prep
Last Week: 13
The Crusaders came together at the end of the season with the addition of five-star forward Steven Adams. Even though they couldn't upend Brewster in the National Prep Championship -- losing despite 27 points from Sam Cassell Jr. and 23 from Mandell Thomas -- they proved to be one of the best teams in the nation. After a forgettable start, Notre Dame Prep finishes far higher than its preseason billing.
Last week: Beat St. Thomas More, 80-76; Lost to Brewster, 78-74
Next game: Season complete
10 Marcus
Last Week: 8
There are defensive battles, and then there was Marcus' Class 5A Region I title game against South Grand Prairie. The Marauders escaped 39-38, overcoming a 1-for-10 shooting performance from Oklahoma State-bound guard Phil Forte. Here's how: Marcus, known for its suffocating D, forced 15 turnovers and limited South Grand Prairie to 14-of-35 shooting. The next test comes Friday against Texas-bound Prince Ibeh and Naaman Forest.
Last week: Beat Mansfield Timberview, 78-56; Beat North Crowley, 66-55; Beat South Grand Prairie, 39-38
Next game: March 9 vs. Naaman Forest
11 Mater Dei
Last Week: 9
Colorado committed small forward Xavier Johnson isn't trying to finish his season anytime soon. He collected an incredible 19 points and 20 rebounds against Long Beach Poly, and followed that up with 25 points against Crescenta Valley as Mater Dei embarked on its quest for a CIF title.
Last week: Beat Long Beach Poly, 62-59; Beat Crescenta Valley, 66-47
Next game: March 10 vs. Mission Viejo
12 La Lumiere
Last Week: 11
The Lakers landed a spot in the ESPN National High School Invitational, benefiting from their status as the only team to beat No. 3 Findlay Prep. Hanner Perea and Co. will prepare to take on a nationally loaded field -- and potentially to climb even higher in the rankings.
Last week: None
Next game: March 29 at ESPN National High School Invitational
13 St. Benedict's
Last Week: 12
Even with the completion of its regular season, St. Benedict's is starving for competition. The Gray Bees will take part in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational --also featuring Paul VI and DeMatha -- and the ESPN NHSI at the end of the month. They'll also look to ride their milestone momentum. Kamall Richards scored his 1,000th career point in the first quarter against Life Center Academy, and Melvin Johnson scored his 2,000th in the fourth quarter.
Last week: Beat Life Center Academy, 82-45
Next game: March 8 vs. Mont Clare Academy
14 Montrose Christian
Last Week: 15
The Mustangs are in dire need of some signature wins, and their best chance will come at the ESPN NHSI. It was announced on Thursday that Montrose Christian will join Montverde, Findlay Prep and St. Benedict's, among others, in the field. It should offer one final chance to shine for Justin Anderson, Michael Carrera and Co.
Last week: None
Next game: March 29 in ESPN National High School Invitational
15 Grace Prep
Last Week: 16
The Lions are TAPPS Class 4A state champions again. Underclassmen Jordan Mickey and Emmanuel Mudiay combined for 41 points in the final, and Grace Prep dusted Westbury Christian, 77-54. After falling in a surprise loss to Trinity Christian, the Arlington power won its next five games by an average of 26 points.
Last week: Beat San Antonio Christian, 81-64; Beat Westbury Christian, 77-54
Next game: Season Complete
16 New Hampton
Last Week: 22
Despite finishing with nine losses, the Huskies proved that they can hang with top national competition. New Hampton notched two late-season victories against Tilton, including a 58-56 win at the National Prep Championship, and skated by South Kent after overcoming a 16-point halftime deficit. Still, losses to Brewster and Hargrave show that the Huskies are still a tier behind the top. They're good -- they're just not elite.
Last week: Beat South Kent, 70-69; Loss to St. Thomas More, 67-66; Beat Tilton, 58-56; Lost to Hargrave Military, 76-61
Next game: Season Complete
17 Chester
Last Week: 18
The Clippers continued their unbeaten season, holding off Lower Merion, the alma mater of Kobe Bryant, to win its second straight PIAA District 1 Class 4A boys' basketball title. Rondae Jefferson scored 15 points, and more importantly, Chester extended its winning streak to 53 consecutive games. They'll put that -- and their championship aspirations -- on the line in the first round of the state playoffs on Saturday.
Last week: Beat Lower Merion, 61-53
Next game: March 10 vs. J.P. McCaskey
18 Montverde Academy
Last Week: 17
After a sizable break (Montverde hasn't played since Feb. 4), the Eagles will finally begin gearing up for action again. Kevin Boyle and crew were named among the eight-team field at the ESPN NHSI, an opportunity to make one final 2012 charge. Michael Frazier and Kasey Hill compose a one-two duo on par with any tandem in the nation.
Last week: None
Next game: March 29 at ESPN National High School Invitational
19 Tilton School
Last Week: 10
After serving as a national frontrunner for the majority of the season, the Rams closed their 2011-12 campaign with a whimper. Tilton lost a two-point heartbreaker to New Hampton in the first round of the National Prep Championship before dropping a six-point contest to Arizona-bound center Kaleb Tarczewski and St. Mark's in the NEPSAC AA Final. The impact of Wayne Selden's loss, once brushed aside, became unmistakably evident.
Last week: Beat Vermont Academy, 59-54; Beat Wilbraham & Monson, 68-51; Lost to St. Mark's, 59-53; Lost to New Hampton, 57-55
Next game: Season complete
20 Milton
Last Week: 19
Things won't be easy for the Eagles as they head into the stretch run of the 5A state playoffs. After handily taking care of North Gwinnett, a game in which Evan Nolte scored 30 points, they'll have to play Harrison (23-7) without the services of Charles Mann. The Georgia committed shooting guard was suspended after picking two technical fouls in Milton's 80-58 victory.
Last week: Beat Centennial, 100-73; Beat Walton, 68-62; Beat Shiloh, 72-52; Beat North Gwinnett, 80-58
Next game: March 8 vs. Harrison
21 Bishop Gorman
Last Week: 20
The Gaels season is over, but Shabazz Muhammad's awards season is just beginning. The 6-foot-6 Bishop Gorman swingman averaged 29.1 points in his sensational senior year and could win a number of state and national honors before participating in the McDonald's All-American Game on March 28.
Last week: None
Next game: Season complete
22 Prestonwood Christian
Last Week: 21
After a tough stretch in late December (back-to-back losses to Whitney Young and St. Augustine), Prestonwood righted the ship and rattled off 11 wins to capture the TAPPS 5A title. The scary part? It could be even better next year. Given the return of five-star power forward Julius Randle and budding small forward Mickey Mitchell, the Lions should be a top 10 favorite heading into 2012-13.
Last week: Beat St. Thomas Catholic, 51-39; Beat John Paul II, 72-46
Next game: Season complete
23 Columbia
Last Week: 23
Two more Georgia Class 3A playoff games, two more convincing wins for powerhouse Columbia. The Eagles are rolling into their semifinal showdown with Eagle's Landing, largely behind the stellar play of Tahj Shamsid-Deen. The 5-foot-10 point guard collected 10 points and 11 assists in Columbia's latest win over Carrollton.
Last week: Beat Dalton, 71-54; Beat Carrollton, 51-30
Next game: March 9 vs. Eagle's Landing
24 DeMatha Catholic
Last Week: 24
After three gut-wrenching losses to Paul VI this season -- including a 55-54 affair in the WCAC Championship -- DeMatha may get another crack at the Panthers, after all. The Stags join Paul VI and New Jersey's St. Benedict's in the field at next week's Alhambra Catholic Invitational, offering the tantalizing prospect of long-awaited revenge.
Last week: None
Next game: March 15 vs. Benedictine College Prep
25 Fort Bend Travis
Last Week: NR
Absent from the rankings for roughly three months, Fort Bend Travis reenters after a dazzling playoff spree. The Tigers have won five playoff games by an average of 22.6 points and are firing on all cylinders: Aaron and Andrew Harrison average 20 and 16 points, respectively. Fort Bend Travis is quickly transforming into the scariest team in Texas and, if all goes right, could meet Marcus for the UIL 5A title.
Last week: Beat Cypress Springs, 92-58; Beat Fort Bend Hightower, 57-34
Next game: March 9 vs. Warren

Dropped out: Ridgeway (Memphis)

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