By Fivestar Basketball
January 04, 2012

The top 10 finally takes on a different feel in this week's Power Rankings. La Lumiere pulled off a shocking upset by topping previously unbeaten Findlay Prep, and Prestonwood Christian suffered two losses to extinguish momentum gained via its City of Palms title. Marcus dropped four spots following a surprising defeat, and Bishop Gorman -- led by top recruit Shabazz Muhammad -- fell out of the rankings entirely after a beatdown against Milton (Ga.).

Thanks to a Woodward (Calif.) stunner over Archbishop Mitty, St. Benedict's and Neumann-Goretti also entered the national conversation. After a wild week, here's how things stack up.

High School Basketball Power Rankings
1 Brewster Academy
Last Week: 1
After 26 days off, the nation's No. 1 team finally returns to the court this week against a talented New Hampton squad. Will T.J. Warren and crew be even better with more practice time, or noticeably rusty?
Last week: None
Next game: Jan. 6 vs. New Hampton
2 Oak Hill Academy
Last Week: 3
The newly christened No. 2 team just keeps on winning. This week, it earned four victories to capture the Les Schwab Invitational, with marksman Jordan Adams winning the three-point contest. But trouble could be on the horizon: A big-time contest looms with Prestonwood Christian Academy at the Hoop Hall Classic.
Last week: Beat Lincoln, 74-46; Beat Westview, 80-43; Beat Jesuit, 57-50
Next game: Jan. 12 vs. Christian Faith Center
3 Simeon
Last Week: 4
Despite a challenge from Manual -- a closer-than-expected 48-47 affair -- the Wolverines took home the Pontiac Holiday Tournament to improve to 12-0. The road gets tougher. Simeon plays Miller Grove on Jan. 7, and Marquette commit Steve Taylor will have to be sharp to hang with five-star forward Tony Parker.
Last week: Beat Bloomington 70-31; Beat United 71-33; Beat Curie 44-27; Beat Manual 48-47
Next game: Jan. 7 vs. Miller Grove
4 Tilton School
Last Week: 5
While speculation over Nerlens Noel's college prospects continues to grow, Tilton School has fixed its focus solely on the present. This Friday, the Rams play Proctor Academy before a showdown with No. 1 Brewster at the Hoop Hall Classic. The latter could cause wholesale changes in upcoming Power Rankings.
Last week: None
Next game: Jan. 6 vs. Proctor
5 Findlay Prep
Last Week: 2
Since the schedule was released, Findlay's Dec. 29 matchup with La Lumiere loomed as a potential upset. It justified those fears. The Pilots trailed by as many as 18 points before making a late run, eventually falling to the Lakers 67-66 after Antonio Drummond converted two clutch free throws. Nigel Williams-Goss -- who finished with 25 points -- will need to continue his high level of play to keep Findlay from beginning a free fall. It plays Simeon on Jan. 16 at the Hoop Hall Classic.
Last week: Lost to La Lumiere, 67-66; Beat Roosevelt, 89-53
Next game: Jan. 6 vs. Macdonald Academy
6 St. Anthony
Last Week: 6
The Friars remain unblemished -- extending their winning streak to 40 games -- after pulling out a tough win against guard-heavy St. Benedict's. Kyle Anderson and St. Anthony shouldn't be challenged until a Hoop Hall Classic matchup with Miller Grove on Jan. 16.
Last week: Beat St. Benedict's, 51-50; Roman Catholic, 57-35; Beat New Mission, 68-25; Beat Morris Knolls, 91-38
Next game: Jan. 4 vs. Mainland Regional
7 Huntington Prep
Last Week: 7
After a much needed week off, the Express face a Whitney Young team fresh off an upset of Prestonwood Christian Academy. It begs the question: How will Elijah Macon and Co. handle the highly touted duo of Jahlil Okafor and Paul White?
Last week: None
Next game: Jan. 8 vs. Whitney Young
8 Grace Prep
Last Week: 9
Five-star center Isaiah Austin was on fire in Grace Prep's first game since losing the City of Palms final. He collected 27 points and 13 rebounds to begin TAPPS District 1-4A play.
Last week: Beat Pantego Christian, 89-30
Next game: Jan. 6 vs. Fort Worth Christian
9 DeMatha Catholic
Last Week: 10
DeMatha kept on rolling in the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic, a tournament in which it avoided Archbishop Mitty following a surprise upset loss. They'll face a tougher test this week with rankings' newcomer Neumann-Goretti looming.
Last week: Beat Mayfair, 83-47; Beat Newark Memorial, 64-49; Beat Windward 74-64; Beat St. John's, 67-54
Next game: Jan. 5 vs. Our Lady of Good Counsel
10 Montverde Academy
Last Week: 12
Big sequence for Kasey Hill: Not only did he rack up 13 points and four assists against Ely to cap a 3-0 week, but he committed to Florida on Dec. 31, instantly becoming the Gators' point guard of the future. Montverde plays Forest Lake Academy on Jan. 5.
Last week: Beat Lake Highland Prep, 67-61; Beat Dwyer, 72-50; Beat Ely, 67-53
Next game: Jan. 5 vs. Forest Lake Academy
11 Mater Dei
Last Week: 19
The Cali boys are playing well, rolling since coughing up a double-digit lead to Grace Prep at City of Palms. Four-star sophomore forward Stanley Johnson -- being courted by Kentucky, USC and UNLV, among others -- is one of the primary reasons why.
Last week: Beat Dorsey, 81-36; Beat Foothill, 98-67; Beat Lincoln, 76-69
Next game: Jan. 4 vs. Santa Margarita
12 Montrose Christian
Last Week: 13
Montrose Christian has been off for a while, resting since their 47-36 victory over Orlando Christian Prep on Dec. 24. Justin Anderson and Co. will get back into gear this weekend against Kecoughtan at the Seven Cities Roundball Classic.
Last week: None
Next game: Jan. 7 vs. Kecoughtan
13 New Hampton
Last Week: 14
After two weeks off, Noah Vonleh and Co. bounce back against Vanier Prep. Aaron Hendricks, Evan Manning and Noah Vonleh will look to build off momentum gained from their mid-December Mercer Tournament title.
Last week: None
Next game: Jan. 4 vs. Vanier Prep
14 Arlington Country Day
Last Week: 15
After an off week, Arlington heads to the Seven Cities Roundball Classic to take on Phoebus and ultra-athletic swingman Troy Williams. It should help gauge the Apaches' potential -- and offer a glimpse of their chances in future matchups with Oak Hill and Montrose Christian.
Last week: None
Next game: Jan. 7 vs. Phoebus
15 Marcus
Last Week: 11
An uncharacteristic loss to Richland at the Whataburger Tournament hurts the Marauders in this week's rankings, but a rebound win over Duke-bound Matt Jones and DeSoto was a nice recovery. Marcus Smart and Phil Forte combined for 31 points in the latter.
Last week: Lost to Richland 56-53; Beat Northwest, 45-38, Beat DeSoto, 59-45; Beat Plano, 58-44
Next game: Jan. 6 vs. Allen
16 St. Thomas More
Last Week: 16
Here's a recipe for moving up in the Power Rankings: defeat the teams slated above you. That's exactly what St. Thomas More will have an opportunity to do during its Jan. 11 clash with New Hampton. Chier Ajou and C.J. Jones will need to come up big.
Last week: Last week: None
Next game: Jan. 11 vs. New Hampton
17 Prestonwood Christian
Last Week: 8
How the mighty have fallen. Riding high after a City of Palms title, Prestonwood dropped two of its past three, including a buzzer-beater to Whitney Young on Dec. 29. More troubling: It blew a 10-point halftime lead in an eventual 13-point loss to St. Augustine. Five-star forward Julius Randle needs to get the Lions back on track to avoid slipping from the Power Rankings entirely.
Last week: Beat Grace Prep, 62-42; Beat Scott County, 64-53, Lost to Whitney Young, 46-44, Lost to St. Augustine, 70-57
Next game: Jan. 6 vs. Liberty Christian
18 Wichita Heights
Last Week: 17
Perry Ellis and friends returned from an extended vacation with a resounding victory. They'll need to continue to win -- and likely by double digits -- to continue to stay relevant amid a decidedly weak schedule.
Last week: Beat Carroll, 63-46
Next game: Jan. 3 vs. Bishop Carroll
19 Hargrave Military Academy
Last Week: 18
The holidays are officially over, and Hargrave Military Academy faces a wake-up call. True Academy lurks on Jan. 7, as Wake Forest-bound Codi Miller-McIntyre and the Tigers look to remain perfect.
Last week: None
Next game: Jan. 7 vs. True Academy
20 Gonzaga
Last Week: 21
Now that's how to make an impression. Gonzaga won four games by an average of 19.5 points, and should continue to dust local competition before playing Whitney Young over the weekend. Nate Britt continues to impress: He's averaging 16.6 points per game.
Last week: Beat James Island, 64-42; Beat Goose Creek, 73-45; Beat Effingham County, 51-31; Beat Archbishop Carroll, 63-55
Next game: Jan. 5 vs. Bishop O'Connell
21 La Lumiere
Last Week: 25
La Lumiere certainly made up for a pair of early losses, upending Findlay Prep behind 15 points from Antonio Drummond, 14 from Raphael Davis and 13 from Hanner Perea. The Lakers have firmly cemented their spot among the nation's contenders, but will need to maintain momentum throughout a schedule that lacks any additional marquee games.
Last week: Beat Findlay Prep, 67-66; Beat O'Gorman, 74-73
Next game: Jan. 6 vs. AIM Christian Prep
22 Loyola
Last Week: 22
Add the Father George National Jesuit Classic to Loyola's growing list of conquests. With a lack of ranked teams upcoming, the Cubs should continue to keep winning -- and better their national standing in the process.
Last week: Beat Bellarmine Prep, 65-62; Beat Jesuit, 64-43; Beat Georgetown, 66-53
Next game: Jan. 4 Crespi
23 Chester
Last Week: 24
Rondae Jefferson's squad topped Omar Calhoun and Christ the King on New Year's Day, solidifying their spot in this week's rankings. The only problem: The rest of the Clippers' schedule lacks national appeal. For now, Chester slides up to No. 23.
Last week: Beat Christ the King, 63-53; Beat Hodgson Vo-Tech, 60-57; Beat Imhotep Charter 56-36; Beat Newark, 69-41
Next game: Jan. 7 vs. Kellam
24 St. Benedict's
Last Week: NR
The Power Rankings doesn't factor in moral victories, but St. Benedict's one-point loss to No. 6 St. Anthony comes dangerously close to qualifying. With a 9-1 record, Miami-bound Melvin Johnson and four-star point guard Tyler Ennis have earned their place among the nation's top 25.
Last week: Lost to St. Anthony, 51-50; Beat Princeton Day, 79-55; Beat Piscataway, 68-54
Next game: Jan. 6 vs. Math Civics & Science
25 Neumann-Goretti
Last Week: NR
Aside from an early loss to Gonzaga, Neumann-Goretti has been perfect in 2011-12. Its Dec. 30 versus Christ the King was a prime example: The Saints pummeled the Royals 73-41 behind 18 points from John Davis. They'll look to build off their rankings entrance -- and continue their upward trend -- on Jan. 5 against La Salle.
Last week: Beat Mount Vernon 65-61; Beat St. Thomas Aquinas, 72-48; Beat Christ the King, 73-41
Next game: Jan. 5 vs. La Salle College

Dropped out: Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)

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