SchoolSports Basketball Top 25

The National Top 25 is back after the holidays and there are many big changes in this week's rankings as nine teams drop out. Among the teams entering the rankings are Brentwood Academy (#6) and Hamilton (#8) from Tennessee and Christ the King (#21) and St. Benedict's Prep (#23) from the New York City area.

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Rankings as of Jan. 9, 2005

1. Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.) – (9-0) *1
Senior point guard Mike Conley scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and added four assists and five steals as Lawrence North defeated Franklin Central, 57-38. It was Lawrence North's 25th consecutive win. Senior center Greg Oden had 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting and had eight rebounds and three blocks.

2. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) – (21-0) *2
Oak Hill hasn't exactly played a cupcake schedule while rocketing to a 21-0 start. The Warriors defeated No. 11 Fairfax (Calif.), 75-48, to win the Academy National Invitational in Houston, Texas. Senior point guard Tywon Lawson poured in a game-high 21 points and had six rebounds, three assists and four steals.

3. North College Hill (Cincinnati, Ohio) – (11-0) *4
Junior center Keenan Ellis nailed a 15-foot jumper as time expired to lead North College Hill to a 69-67 win over No. 7 Canton McKinley. It was the Trojans' 32nd consecutive win. Junior forward Bill Walker had 26 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and junior guard O.J. Mayo had 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ellis added 14 points, 10 boards and two blocks.

4. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) – (14-0) *5
The Stags defeated St. John's (D.C.), 62-53. Guard Austin Freeman, who's rated the nation's No. 43 junior recruit by, led DeMatha with 16 points. The Stags also captured the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., by defeating Mitchell (Tenn.), 89-67. Senior guard Nigel Munson, a Virginia Tech recruit, was named tournament MVP after recording 23 points and eight assists in the championship game.

5. Westfield (Spring, Texas) – (21-0) *12
Westfield has been cruising all season. The Mustangs crushed Edgewater (Fla.), 79-37, to win the Great Florida Shootout in Kissimmee, Florida, and beat Alief Hastings, 61-53, to capture the Texas Division title at the Academy National Invitational in Houston, Texas. This past week, the Mustangs defeated Port Arthur Memorial, 86-38, as senior guard Brandon Dison scored 16 points.

6. Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.) – (15-1) *NR
Brentwood has picked up some big wins this season. In particular, Brentwood defeated then-No. 25 Episcopal Academy (Pa.), 74-68, in the City of Palms Classic championship in Fort Myers, Fla. Senior forward Brandan Wright, a North Carolina recruit, had 31 points and six rebounds in the win. He's rated the nation's No. 4 senior recruit by

7. McKinley (Canton, Ohio) – (8-2) *13
McKinley lost to No. 3 North College Hill, 69-67. Senior forward Raymar Morgan scored 24 points in the loss. McKinley is in the top 10 because its only two losses are to North College Hill and No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Va.), both of whom are in the top 5.

8. Hamilton (Memphis, Tenn.) – (14-0) *NR
Among Hamilton's 14 wins is a 68-61 victory over S.R. Butler (Ala.) in the Division II bracket championship of the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia, S.C.

9. Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) – (12-1) *10
After losing to No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Va.), Wheeler took third place at the Academy National Invitational in Houston, Texas, by defeating then-No. 14 Neumann-Goretti (Pa.), 77-63. Power forward J.J. Hickson, who's rated the nation's No. 33 junior recruit by, averaged 20 points per game during the tournament.

10. Artesia (Lakewood, Calif.) – (14-1) *15
Junior forward James Harden had 24 points and 10 boards in Artesia's 68-32 win over La Miranda. Artesia's only loss this season was to Hughes Center (Ohio) at the Bay Ball Classic in Lewes, Del.

11. Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.) – (9-2) *17
Fairfax lost to No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Va.), 75-48, at the Academy National Invitational in Houston, Texas. Fairfax's only losses this year are to Oak Hill and No. 10 Artesia. Fairfax picked up a big win when it defeated No. 12 Montrose Christian (Md.), 39-38, in the Iolani Prep Classic championship in Honolulu, Hawaii. Senior Jerren Shipp was named tournament MVP after scoring 17 in the title game.

12. Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) – (6-1) *3
Montrose Christian upended Herndon (Va.), 71-57, behind 20 points and 10 boards from forward Kevin Durant, who's rated the nation's No. 2 senior recruit by Montrose's only loss this year was a 39-38 setback to No. 11 Fairfax (Calif.) in the Iolani Prep Classic championship game in Honolulu, Hawaii.

13. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) – (14-1) *6
Junior forward Taylor King posted 24 points and eight boards to lead Mater Dei to a 71-45 win over Dos Pueblos. Mater Dei's only loss this season was to Herndon (Va.) at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Mater Dei took fifth place at the event with an 86-71 victory over St. Edward (Ohio) in which King had 32 points and 14 boards.

14. Glenbrook North (Northbrook, Ill.) – (14-1) *8
Glenbrook North drops after losing to Proviso West, 85-79, in the Proviso West tournament. Senior guard Jon Scheyer scored a single-game tournament record 52 points in the loss. He added 30 points and six rebounds in a 72-46 win over Maine East.

15. Kingwood (Kingwood, Texas) – (19-2) *18
Kingwood's only losses this season are to No. 5 Westfield and No. 9 Wheeler (Ga.). This past week, junior guard/forward Mike Singletary scored a game-high 21 points and senior point guard Nic Wise added 15 in a 48-45 win over Humble.0

16. St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) – (8-1) *11
St. Patrick's only loss this year was to No. 6 Brentwood Academy (Tenn.) at the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. St. Patrick finished in third place in the event. This past week, senior guard Ruben Guillendeux drained one of two free throws as St. Patrick edged No. 23 St. Benedict's Prep, 45-44.

17. DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas) – (22-0) *NR
DeSoto's 22 straight wins to start the season places it in the Top 25. Junior Murray Shaw scored 22 points and senior Jermaine Beal had 20 in a 69-49 win over Arlington Sam Houston.

18. Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) – (11-1) *23
Vashon has enjoyed an eight-game winning streak, which includes a 71-43 victory over Milwaukee Custer (Wis.) in the Poplar Bluff Showdown. It was Vashon's fifth Showdown title. Senior forward Bobby Hill scored a game-high 23 points in the win.

19. Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, N.C.) – (18-0) *NR
Charlotte Christian debuts in the Top 25 after it defeated Norcross (Ga.) in the Division I bracket of the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia, S.C. and won the Bojangles Shootout in Charlotte.

20. Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) – (17-0) *NR
Senior Louis Birdsong, a George Mason recruit, had 12 points and held Towson Catholic junior star Donte Greene, who has committed to Syracuse, to just eight points to lead Mount St. Joseph to a 56-55 win.

21. Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) – (7-0) *NR
Senior forward Larry Davis, a North Carolina State recruit, and sophomore guard Erving Walker have led the way.

22. Palo Verde (Las Vegas, Nev.) – (18-0) *NR
Senior guard P'Allen Stinnett, an Iowa State recruit, scored 23 points to lead the Panthers to a 74-55 win over Mojave.

23. St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.) – (13-1) – *NR
St. Benedict's enters the rankings after starting the season 13-1. The Gray Bees' only loss is to No. 16 St. Patrick. St. Benedict's rebounded from the loss to St. Patrick with a 63-45 win over Paramus Catholic. Sophomore center Samardo Samuels led the Gray Bees with 15 points. He's rated the nation's No. 2 sophomore recruit by

24. Santa Fe (Edmond, Okla.) – (8-1) *9
Santa Fe's only loss this season is a 92-88 double-overtime setback to Jenks.

25. Newton North (Newton, Mass.) – (5-0) *NR
The defending Division I state champions are led by senior guards Anthony Gurley, a Wake Forest recruit, and Corey Lowe (Providence). Gurley is rated the nation's No. 60 senior recruit by

Dropped Out:

No. 7 Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) – (11-2)

No. 14 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) – (7-4)

No. 16 Redford (Detroit, Mich.) – (7-1)

No. 19 Bellaire (Bellaire, Texas) – (13-4)

No. 20 Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) – (5-2)

No. 21 Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) – (14-2)

No. 22 Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.) – (11-2)

No. 24 Rice (New York, N.Y.) – (2-4)

No. 25 Episcopal Academy (Merion, Pa.) – (12-3)

* previous ranking

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