Niagara Falls No. 1 In The Nation

In this week's National Basketball Top 25, <b>Oak Hill Academy (Va.)</b> drops from No. 1 to No. 10 after losing to nationally ranked <b>South Gwinnett (Ga.)</b>. As a result, <b>Niagara Falls (N.Y.)</b> takes over the top spot in the rankings.


Rankings as of Jan. 18, 2005

1. Niagara Falls (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) – (12-0) *2
Niagara Falls moves up to No. 1 thanks to Oak Hill Academy's (Va.) loss last week. Junior shooting guard Paul Harris had 21 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in Niagara Falls' 76-56 win over Canisius at the Martin Luther King Memorial Basketball Showcase.

2. St. Mary's (Manhasset, N.Y.) – (11-0) *3
The Gaels defeated Paterson Catholic (N.J.), 62-60, at the Big Apple Classic Invitational. Senior shooting guard Danny Green hit two free throws with nine seconds left to lead St. Mary's to the victory. Senior forward Tyson Johnson was named tournament MVP after he had 16 points and eight rebounds in the final.

3. Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) – (13-1) *4
Christ the King defeated Central Catholic (Mass.), 56-55, at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame High School Invitational in Springfield, Mass. Senior point guard Chris Martin led Christ the King with 17 points.

4. Putnam City (Oklahoma City, Okla.) – (12-0) *7
Senior shooting guard C.J. Henry poured in a game-high 23 points to lead Putnam City to a 66-56 win over Edmond North.

5. Benton Harbor (Benton Harbor, Mich.) – (10-0) *8
Senior forward Wilson Chandler had 26 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks as Benton Harbor defeated Portage Central, 64-54.

6. Arlington (Indianapolis, Ind.) – (12-0) *9
Deonta Vaughn scored a game-high 26 points and David Squires chipped in with 13 points in an 89-46 win over Broad Ripple.

7. Thornton (Harvey, Ill.) – (17-0) *10
Senior forward Donnell Lyons had 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocks and junior center Joevan Catron added 16 points, five assists and four steals as Thornton defeated Peoria Manual, 54-42, at the Peoria Manual Tournament.

8. Lanier (Jackson, Miss.) – (20-2) *NR
Lanier jumps all the way to No. 8 after upending then-No. 6 South Gwinnett (Ga.), 88-79, in double overtime. Senior shooting guard Monta Ellis had 46 points, six assists and four rebounds in the win. He's rated the No. 9 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.

9. South Gwinnett (Snellville, Ga.) – (16-2) *6
The Comets lost to new No. 8 Lanier (Miss.), 88-79, in double overtime but rebounded to defeat then-No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Va.), 82-68. Senior shooting guard Louis Williams scored a game-high 32 points in the win over Oak Hill, while senior point guard Mike Mercer added 22.

10. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) – (18-2) *1
Oak Hill won three games last week, but lost to No. 9 South Gwinnett (Ga.), 82-68.

11. St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) – (9-1) *11
Travon Woodall scored a team-high 14 points and David Bullock added 12 as St. Anthony defeated Lincoln (Texas) at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame High School Invitational in Springfield, Mass.

12. Rice (New York, N.Y.) – (11-0) *12
Junior power forward Curtis Kelly had 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks to lead Rice to a 64-55 win over No. 25 Mount Vernon at the Nike Super Six.

13. St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) – (9-1) *14
Junior power forward Derrick Caracter had 11 points and 13 rebounds in a 69-51 win over Raritan.

14. Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) – (16-0) *15
Junior point guard James Washington scored 18 points to lead Vashon to a 72-50 win over East St. Louis in the Martin Luther King Shootout. It was Vashon's 47th consecutive win.

15. Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) – (14-2) *16
Arlington Country Day defeated Towson Catholic (Md.) and Gulf Shores Academy (Texas) in the West Virginia Showcase.

16. Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.) – (8-2) *17
Westchester won three games last week, including a 78-61 win over Fresno San Joaquin Memorial at the California Hoops Challenge.

17. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) – (12-1) *18
DeMatha defeated St. John's (D.C.), 76-48, behind 17 points and five rebounds from senior forward Mamadi Diane and 16 points and six assists from junior guard Nigel Munson.

18. St. Joseph (Westchester, Ill.) – (15-0) *19
Junior guard Jonathan Peoples scored a game-high 16 points and senior guard Tony Freeman added 13 points to lead St. Joseph to a 67-31 win over St. Viator.

19. LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) – (24-0) *NR
LeFlore enters the rankings after running its record to 24-0 with an 84-45 win over Vigor as five players scored in double figures for the Rattlers.

20. Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) – (17-1) *20
Etiwanda's three victories last week included a 72-67 win over Bishop Gorman (Nev.). Senior guard David Carter led Etiwanda with 16 points and five assists.

21. Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) – (14-0) *22
Junior forward Earl Pettis scored 18 points to lead Neumann-Goretti to a 65-35 win over Archbishop Carroll.

22. Steele Canyon (Spring Valley, Calif.) – (14-0) *25
Junior Raymond Williams scored 21 points as Steele Canyon defeated Hoover, 63-49, at the Martin Luther King Showcase.

23. Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) – (20-0) *NR
Bryan Bostic scored 19 points as Norcross moved to 20-0 with a 64-57 win over Central Gwinnett.

24. Seattle Prep (Seattle, Wash.) – (13-2) *NR
Since losing to nationally ranked Arlington Country Day (Fla.), Seattle Prep has reeled off six straight wins, including an 80-55 win over Cleveland in the King Holiday Hoopfest. Senior forward Martell Webster lit up the scoreboard for 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while junior center Spencer Hawes was just as dominant with 26 points, 20 rebounds and two blocks.

25. Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) – (10-2) *23
Mount Vernon lost to No. 12 Rice, 64-55, at the Nike Super Six. Junior power forward Jonathan Mitchell had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Knights. The loss was not enough to drop Mount Vernon out of the rankings since Rice is a nationally ranked team.


Dropped Out:

No. 5 Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.) – (8-2)

No. 13 East Hall (Gainesville, Ga.) – (16-1)

No. 21 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) – (14-3)

No. 24 Palm Beach Lakes (West Palm Beach, Fla.) – (13-3)


* 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.


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