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SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25: Montverde Academy vaults to No. 1 in national boys basketball rankings

The Eagles beat three of the best teams in the country to capture a record sixth GEICO Nationals championship

For the first time since early January, there is a new No. 1 team in the land.

Montverde Academy leaps from No. 4 to re-take the top overall spot in the SBLive/SI Power 25 national boys basketball rankings after winning its second consecutive - and record sixth - GEICO Nationals on Saturday.

Led by Duke-bound Dariq Whitehead, Texas commit Dillon Mitchell and Malik Reneau, Montverde defeated AZ Compass Prep in the quarterfinals, IMG Academy in the semis and Link Academy, 60-49 in the title game.

Link moves up to No. 4 after its runner-up finish, falling just short of becoming the first team to win GEICOs in its first appearance.

Montverde's dominance headlined a storyline-filled GEICO Nationals that saw decorated Oak Hill coach Steve Smith, the "Coach K of high school basketball," coach his last high school game.

Prolific Prep made a Cinderella run to the semifinals after becoming the first 8-seed in tournament history to knock off the top overall seed, beating Sunrise Christian 59-56 in the quarters. Neither California-based Prolific Prep nor Arizona's Compass Prep are eligible for the Power 25 (see criteria below).

With GEICOs complete, there is one more week of high school basketball - and one final SBLive/SI Power 25. The final rankings will be published Monday, April 11 after No. 6 Calvary Christian, No. 16 Sidwell Friends, Auburn (Wash.) and Norcross (Ga.) compete in the inaugural State Champions Invite in Tampa, Fla. Thursday through Saturday.

Find the complete breakdown of the latest SBLive/SI Power 25 below:

The Power 25, sponsored by Discount Tire, is a collaboration between SBLive and Sports Illustrated. Power 25 rankings are compiled by SBLive reporter Andy Buhler and SI Director of Basketball Recruiting Jason Jordan based on observations and conversations with an extensive network of coaching and media sources across the country. Reach Andy on Twitter @AndyBuhler or email him at

Watch their weekly Power 25 breakdowns on Instagram @SBLiveSports and @SIAllAmerican Monday at 11 a.m. PT.



April 4, 2022

1. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) (22-4)

Last ranking: No. 4

Season status: Finished

Won its second straight and sixth-overall GEICO Nationals, sweeping a three-day stretch over AZ Compass Prep in the quarters, No. 5 IMG Academy (for the first time in three matchups this season) in the semis and finally No. 4 Link Academy in the title game behind stellar play from Duke-bound multi-year standout Dariq Whitehead.

2. Duncanville (Duncanville, Tex.) (35-1)

Last ranking: No. 2

Season status: Finished

Three-peated as UIL (Texas) 6A state champions by beating McKinney 69-49 in the title game on March 12. Five-star and SI99 guard Anthony Black, who makes his long-awaited college announcement Monday, had 17 point.

3. Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Air, Kan.) (25-2)

Last ranking: No. 1

Season status: Finished

After winning the NIBC, the top-seed entering GEICO Nationals and No. 1 in the Power 25, Sunrise was upset in the quarterfinals 59-56 by Jordan Pope, Tre White and Prolific Prep, the 8-seed, which was missing its two McDonald's All-Americans.

Last ranking: No. 5

Season status: Finished

Finished its first year as a varsity program strong. Reached the GEICO Nationals finals, where it lost to Montverde 60-49 — nearly becoming the first team to win it all in its first appearance. To get there, it beat Oak Hill Academy in the quarters and Prolific Prep in the semis.

5. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) (22-5)

Last ranking: No. 3

Season status: Finished

Thrashed No. 7 La Lumiere in the first round of GEICOs 76-51 then lost to 'rival' Montverde — a team it beat twice this season — in the semifinals. Baylor pledge Keyonte George was a standout, as was Houston commit Jarace Walker.

6. Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (24-2)

Last ranking: No. 6

Season status: Ends with the State Champions Invitational

Named the top overall seed in the inaugural State Champions Invitational after repeating as 4A FHSAA state champions. Will face D.C. area champ No. 16 Sidwell Friends, the No. 4 seed, on Thursday in the semifinals.

7. Corona Centennial (Corona, Calif.) (33-1)

Last ranking: No. 8

Season status: Finished

New Mexico-bound senior guard Donovan Dent led the Huskies in a win over Modesto Christian to win its first CIF State Open Division title on March 12, completing a dominant postseason run. Lone loss to No. 2 Duncanville.

8. La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.) (21-5)

Last ranking: No. 7

Season status: Finished

Season came to an end in a 76-51 loss to IMG Academy in the GEICO Nationals quarterfinals as standouts JJ Starling (six points), Jeremy Fears (two points) and Aden Holloway (five) were held to single-digit scoring. Ryan Mabrey had 15 and Taj Manning scored 14.

9. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) (32-8)

Last ranking: 9

Season status: Finished

Judah Mintz, who committed to Syracuse over the weekend, put up 21 points, but it wasn't enough to overcome Jordan Walsh, Julian Phillips and Link Academy in the GEICO quarterfinals. The loss ended the illustrious, decorated coaching career of longtime Oak Hill coach Steve Smith.

10. Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) (28-2)

Last ranking: 10

Season status: Finished

Exacted revenge on Camden in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title game, 61-58 — a win sealed by senior guard Braxton Jones' go-ahead jump shot with 29 seconds left in overtime.

11. Camden (Camden, N.J.) (31-3)

Last ranking: No. 11

Season status: Finished

Beat Elizabeth (N.J.) in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions semifinals before losing in the finals to UNC-bound Simeon Wilcher and Roselle Catholic, 61-58, on Sunday.

12. North Little Rock (Little Rock, Ark.) (27-3)

Last ranking: No. 12

Season status: Finished

The Charging Wildcats pulled away and beat Bentonville convincingly — 65-47 — to win the AAA 6A state title on March 10. Oregon-bound Kel'el Ware had eight points, 11 boards and seven blocks and Arkansas pledge and McDonald's All-American Nick Smith Jr. was named tournament MVP.

13. Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.) (23-4)

Last ranking: No. 13

Season status: Finished

Patrick Wessler and Jayden Epps combined for 49 points to lead the Goats past Moravian Prep 84-70 for its second straight Phenom Hoop State Championship.

14. St. Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.) (31-5)

Last ranking: No. 14

Season status: Finished

After winning its first WCAC title since 2014 on Jaquan Womack's buzzer beater, then taking home the VISAA Division I state title, the Panthers finished Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament runners-up to WCAC foe DeMatha, losing 67-59 on March 12.

15. Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) (37-1)

Last ranking: No. 15

Season status: Finished

Dominance confirmed: The. Hilltoppers gave a final show of its dominance over the state of Illinois on March 12, beating Whitney Young 56-34 in the IHSA Class 4A title behind Paxton Warden's 21 points and Gonzaga-bound Braden Huff's 19 points and five assists. Lone loss to Sierra Canyon (Calif.)

16. Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.) (29-1)

Last ranking: No. 16

Season status: Ends with State Champions Invitational

The 4-seed faces top-seeded No. 6 Calvary Christian Thursday in the inaugural State Champions Invitational semifinals. Knocked off Wilson to win the DCSAA Class AA championship on Mar. 6, 46-45, thanks to a buzzer-beater from sophomore Caleb Williams. Notched wins over members of the vaunted WCAC, including one over previously ranked Bishop McNamara on Feb. 5.

17. Beaumont United (Beaumont, Tex.) (36-3)

Last ranking: No. 17

Season status: Finished

Houston-bound Terrance Arceneaux earned Class 5A UIL state title MVP honors for the second straight year after leading it to a 62-57 win over Mansfield Timberview on March 12. He had 14 points, 10 boards and three assists to bring Beaumont United off the Power 25 bubble.

18. Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah) (14-10)

Last ranking: No. 18

Season status: Finished

Led by Ohio State signee Roddy Gayle Jr. and imposing 6-8 four-star big Keba Keita, the Utah power finished sixth in NIBC play — the toughest conference slate in the country — notched notable wins over Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.) and Patrick School (N.J.), and took No. 9 Oak Hill to OT played top-ranked Sunrise Christian to a one-point loss.

19. Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.) (26-3)

Last ranking: No. 20

Season status: Finished

Two weeks after losing to Archbishop Stepinac in the New York Archdiocesan title, the Cardinals snapped its 14-game winning streak in the CHSAA city championship on March 11, 79-59, in the teams' fourth matchup of the season.

20. Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) (29-4)

Last ranking: No. 20

Season status: Finshed

Scored the game's first 14 points, a lead that grew to 18 in the third quarter, and pulled away from New Castle (27-3) in the PIAA Class 5A state championship. Junior Justin Edwards, a consensus five-star prospect, posted a game-high 20 points.

21. Columbus (Miami, Fla.) (29-2)

Last ranking: No. 22

Season status: Finished

Its emphatic end-of-season stamp could mark the start of a special multi-year run. Led by standout twin freshmen Cayden and Cameron Boozer — sons of former NBA standout Carlos Boozer — the Explorers finished an FHSAA 7A state title run with a win over defending champ over previously Power 25-ranked Dr. Phillips, 45-44 on Mar. 5.

22. Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.) (28-3)

Last ranking: No. 23

Season status: Finished

Defeated Marion by 27 to win the AAA 5A state title on March 10. Losses to Link Academy (by 31) and previous Power 25 team Dr. Phillips (by 11) in December is offset by a 14-point win over North Little Rock (Ark.) on Dec. 4.

23. Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.) (26-3)

Last ranking: No. 24

Season status: Finished

Beat previously ranked Greensboro Day 71-66 for its third N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 4A state title in five years on Feb. 26 behind Belmont-bound senior Cade Tyson's 31 points.

24. Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio) (25-2)

Last ranking: 24

Season status: Finished

Devin Royal, a 6-6 junior forward, had 16 of his game-high 20 points after halftime and the Tigers did two things: ended defending OHSA Division I champ Centerville's 45-game win streak in the state finals Sunday, 55-48, and held off a second half run by containing the Elks' formidable trio of junior guard Gabe Cupps (Indiana commit), Tom House (Florida State) and Rich Rolf.

25. Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) (22-4)

Last ranking: No. 25

Season status: Finished

After three previous losses, the Patriots upended Nevada power and previous Power 25 mainstay Bishop Gorman 63-62 in overtime to win the NIAA Class 5A state championship, ending the Gaels' near-historic run of nine in a row. Consensus four-star point guard Dedan Thomas' had 20 points.

Who qualifies for the Power 25?

In order to qualify, programs must be either affiliated with the state high school athletic association in the state it resides in or recognized by the association and allowed to play member high schools in its home state.

— Andy Buhler, SBLive – @AndyBuhler

— Jason Jordan, SI – @JasonJordanSI