Rankings as of Dec. 27, 2004
1. St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) – (2-0) *2
St. Anthony remained undefeated with an 87-43 win over Create and moved into the top spot in the rankings thanks to a loss by former No. 1 Lawrence North (Ind.). Junior David Bullock led the Friars with 16 points.
- As previously reported, Sean McCurdy is out for at least a month with an injury. For more info, please go to this story
2. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) – (10-1) *5
After a loss to Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) earlier this season, Oak Hill has regained its swagger with a stellar 10-1 mark. Oak Hill defeated Taft (Calif.), 63-50, in the title game of the Top of the World Tournament at Cerritos College (Calif.).
3. St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) – (4-0) *8
Senior Tyrone Cook scored a team-high 15 points while senior Andre Davis chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds in a 71-65 win over Frederick Douglass (N.Y.) in the second round of the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach (S.C.).
4. Niagara Falls (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) – (8-0) *NR
Niagara Falls enters the rankings after squeaking by new No. 7 Palm Beach Lakes (Fla.), 52-51, to capture the City of Palms Classic title in Fort Myers, Fla. Palm Beach Lakes had previously beaten two nationally ranked teams on its way to the finals. Senior Greg Gamble led Niagara Falls with 16 points, while junior shooting guard Paul Harris added 13 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Harris, who was named tournament MVP, is rated the No. 20 recruit in the Class of 2006 by SchoolSports.com.
5. Hillcrest (Country Club Hills, Ill.) – (9-0) *NR
Hillcrest debuts in the Top 25 after starting off the season undefeated. Among the Hawks' victories was a 68-62 win over then-No. 4 Homewood-Flossmoor in which Hillcrest senior guard Jerel McNeal, who has signed with Marquette, poured in 22 points and added nine steals.
6. Homewood-Flossmoor (Flossmoor, Ill.) – (9-1) *4
The Vikings lost their first game of the season to new No. 5 Hillcrest, 68-62, despite 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists from senior forward Julian Wright.
7. Palm Beach Lakes (West Palm Beach, Fla.) – (9-1) *NR
Palm Beach Lakes shined at the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., with victories over then-No. 3 South Gwinnett (Ga.) and then-No. 20 Seattle Prep (Wash.) before losing to new No. 4 Niagara Falls (N.Y.), 52-51, in the tournament championship.
8. Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) – (8-1) *7
The Apaches were edged by No. 4 Niagara Falls (N.Y.), 68-67, in the semifinals of the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. Arlington Country Day went on to defeat then-No. 20 Seattle Prep (Wash.), 64-62, in the third-place game behind 22 points from senior guard and Florida recruit David Huertas.
9. Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.) – (6-1) *1
Arlington upended Lawrence North, 70-60, to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season. In fact, it was the first loss for Lawrence North since losing to Bloomington South on Feb. 17 last season. Arlington senior guard Deonta Vaughn scored a game-high 31 points, while Lawrence North junior center Greg Oden had 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.
10. South Gwinnett (Snellville, Ga.) – (7-1) *3
The Comets lost to No. 7 Palm Beach Lakes (Fla.), 82-73, in the first round of the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., but went on to win three times in the tournament, including a 60-48 win over then-No. 10 Mater Dei (Calif.) in the consolation bracket. South Gwinnett senior guard Louis Williams had 28 points and seven rebounds in the win over Mater Dei.
11. Putnam City (Oklahoma City, Okla.) – (8-0) *13
Putnam City continued its strong start by remaining undefeated.
12. Benton Harbor (Benton Harbor, Mich.) – (4-0) *14
Benton Harbor remained undefeated with wins over Dowagiac and St. Joseph.
13. Arlington (Indianapolis, Ind.) – (6-0) *NR
Senior guard Deonta Vaughn poured in a game-high 31 points to lead Arlington to a 70-60 win over then-No. 1 Lawrence North. Vaughn followed that up with 28 points to lead Arlington past East Chicago, 72-60.
14. Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.) – (3-1) *15
Westchester plays in the Academy National Invitational in Houston this week.
15. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) – (6-0) *16
Sophomore guard Austin Freeman scored 28 points and junior forward Jeff Allen added 10 points and 13 rebounds as DeMatha defeated Herndon (Va.), 89-76, in the Morgan Wootten Invitational.
16. Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) – (4-0) *17
Mount Vernon defeated Myrtle Beach (S.C.), 76-51, in the first round of the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach. Junior forward Jonathan Mitchell led Mount Vernon with 18 points. He's rated the No. 34 recruit in the Class of 2006 by SchoolSports.com.
17. Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) – (6-0) *18
Montrose Christian extended its winning streak to 26 games with its 6-0 start this season.
18. St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) – (6-0) *NR
St. Xavier enters the rankings after defeating then-No. 6 North College Hill, 78-63.
19. Kingwood (Humble, Texas) – (18-0) *21
Kingwood continued its stellar start with a 52-22 win over Beaumont West Brook. Junior point guard Nic Wise led the Mustangs with 15 points.
20. Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) – (4-0) *23
Senior guard Andrew Pusar scored a team-high 16 points to lead Seton Hall Prep to a 66-30 victory over Morristown.
21. Carter (Dallas, Texas) – (15-1) *24
Steffon Wiley scored a game-high 18 points as Carter defeated Molina, 62-52.
22. Rice (New York, N.Y.) – (6-0) *NR
Rice moves into the rankings after defeating Xaverian, 62-42, in the Iolani Prep Classic title game. Rice senior guard Taskico Brown led all scorers with 24 points, while junior power forward Curtis Kelly added 12 points and eight rebounds. Kelly is rated the No. 10 recruit in the Class of 2006 by SchoolSports.com.
23. Northside (Lafayette, La.) – (18-0) *NR
Northside defeated then-No. 19 Brother Martin, 82-56, in the championship game of the Country Day Classic. Warren Fuselier led Northside with 21 points and five assists.
24. Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) – (9-0) *NR
Etiwanda remained undefeated after beating Fremont, 77-64, in the Los Angeles City Classic final. Senior point guard and UCLA recruit Darren Collison scored 21 points and dished out five assists in the game. He's rated the No. 96 recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.
25. North College Hill (Cincinnati, Ohio) – (6-1) *6
The Trojans suffered their first loss of the season in a 78-63 setback to new No. 18 St. Xavier.
No. 9 Deer Valley (Glendale, Ariz.) – (8-1)
No. 10 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) – (8-2)
No. 11 Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.) – (7-1)
No. 12 Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) – (6-1)
No. 19 Brother Martin (New Orleans, La.) – (18-1)
No. 20 Seattle Prep (Seattle, Wash.) – (7-2)
No. 22 Vincent (Milwaukee, Wis.) – (5-2)
No. 25 Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.) – (6-2)
* previous ranking
To get more information on the nation's top teams, including in-depth preseason rankings on the Top 50 teams in the nation and the Top 20 teams in each region, check out SchoolSports.com's 2005 HS Hoops yearbook. Once again, SchoolSports and the Sporting News have combined forces on this annual preview which includes in-depth player rankings and analysis for the Class of 2005, 2006 and 2007 and features on some of the top prep players in the country.