Compiled by Dallas Jackson (email)
Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh.com.
The RivalsHigh100 is compiled with the help of the Rivals.com network of high school site publishers, recruiting analysts and AMP team, as well as the input of coaches and other media partners around the country.
St. Anthony wins third national title
The game was in hand. The last significant hurdle to a national championship had been cleared. The timeout was for ceremonial purposes – a chance for Myles Mack of No. 1 Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony to get a well-deserved ovation from the sellout crowd after a rousing victory over then-No. 2 Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick.
But as he headed to the bench, legendary St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley did what he does best – a little bit of coaching.
Myles, it appeared, had not cradled the ball properly while signaling for the timeout. Hurley, before giving him a celebratory hug, spent just a few seconds for another piece of instruction.
No doubt, No. 1
St. Anthony came together as a team and took home the RivalsHigh 100 national championship.
St. Anthony wrapped up the top spot in the final RivalsHigh Top 100 three victories later. It finished the season at 31-0.
It’s the third national title in the illustrious career of Hurley, one that saw him earn a spot in the Naismith Hall of Fame and win his 1,000th career game in the past 12 months.
But this title – and this team – has been unlike any other in Hurley’s 39-year career.
While Hurley is used to reloading his powerhouse program with fresh young talent year after year, this season brought a different scenario as Mack and fellow starter Kyle Anderson transferred to St. Anthony after their previous school, Paterson (N.J.) Catholic, closed. Interestingly, their final game at Paterson Catholic was a loss to St. Anthony.
“It’s been difficult for them,” Hurley said of Mack and Anderson .
The transition wasn’t easy.
“We have kids here who can play,” Hurley said, “so we had to figure out how to have them play with these two - and these two had to figure out how we play.”
And while the season ended at 31-0, it was not a smooth ride to perfection – nothing like the St. Anthony team that rolled to the 2008 national title behind six Division I players.
The team took over the top spot in mid-January after it overwhelmed Hyattsville, 75-25, at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
Two weeks later, St. Anthony had one of its toughest tests, needing to rally for a 43-38 victory over New York City (N.Y.) Boys & Girls.
Its biggest game – and the most anticipated in the country this season – came on March 9 against St. Patrick at Rutgers.
St. Patrick had the best player in the game – Kentucky-bound forward Michael Gilchrist – and had the upper hand in the first half, when it took a 28-23 lead over a St. Anthony squad that was struggling to keep up.
Hurley, relying on his years of experience, turned the game after a halftime talk that was more basics than bravado.
“To yell and scream at someone who is giving all they have (doesn’t make sense),” he said. “Mistakes were made because St. Patrick was so good.”
St. Anthony was better in the second half: Better conditioned, better disciplined. The Friars pulled to within a point after three quarters, then pulled away in the fourth.
Three games later, St. Anthony had completed another unbeaten season – and had won another national title.
This one, however, was unlike all the others.
National Champion. New Jersey Tournament of Champions winner: The showdown with St. Patrick is one of a few that lived up to its hype. St. Anthony grabbed the top spot in early January and never let loose.
Texas Class 5A State Champion: Defense wins championships and the clamps that Marcus put on teams throughout the playoffs proved that time and again.
Virginia Group AAA State Champion: Norcom is a squad with an outlier look-ahead loss. It is the class of Virginia and could compete with anyone; had it been undefeated, it could have an argument for a national title.
St. Patrick was one quarter away from controlling its destiny and winning a national title. It was clearly a Top 5 team on the season despite the loss to St. Anthony.
NHSI Champions: Montrose lost a classic look-ahead game to Linden (N.J.) but rebounded win the rest of its games including the season-ending NHSI. It is easy to forgive another outlier game within the Top 10.
Oak Hill Academy
Mouth Of Wilson
Two of the four losses for Oak Hill came in double overtime to Montrose Christian. The team climbed to No. 1 in the middle of the season and ends inside the Top 10.
Kansas Class 6A State Champion: Perry Ellis and the rest of the team rolled to a state title. The group of juniors in Wichita alone makes winning the state a great season, let alone go undefeated in.
Georgia AAAA State Champion: Miller Grove also has a win over Milton on its resume along with a state title in a very good hoops state.
California Division I State Champion: Mater Dei has used a different style of play the last three years and each has been successful.
Centennial ended up the No. 2 team in Texas; this season, that is no small feat.
West Palm Beach
Florida Class 5A State Champion: Not just a football standout, Jacoby Brisset was a star on the basketball court as well. Dwyer ended nationally-ranked in both sports.
Illinois Class 4A State Champion: A young team that likes to play defense could be primed for a No. 1 preseason ranking next year.
The senior-led team finished as the No. 2 team in California. It was the No. 2 team in the country at one point.
The talent is always there and the team showed well all season.
Pennsylvania Quad A State Champion: Chester was the preseason favorite in the Keystone State and proved to be the best throughout the year.
Texas Class 4A State Champion: Kimball suffered some early losses but rebounded for a state title by beating La Marque.
A very strong basketball season for the Huskies. A strong run in the playoffs keep this team inside the Top 5 of California teams.
The Express is a team on the rise. In only its second year of existence, the Huntington Prep team made its mark with some big wins.
Ohio Division I State Champion: La Salle entered the Ohio tournament as the top-ranked team and it proved why, taking home the title.
Minnesota Class 4A State Champion: A poor shooting performance cost this team a perfect season. Hopkins twice avenged its lone loss to Eden Prairie including the state final.
Georgia Class AAA State Champion: The top teams in Georgia could compete nationally regardless of class.
Booker T. Washington
Oklahoma Class 5A State Champion: The best team in Oklahoma overcame off-the-court issues and remained focused to win the state title.
North Carolina Private School 3A State Champion: Christ School proved to be the best team in the state.
Indiana Class 4A State Champion: The top team in Indiana is almost always among the Top 25 in the country and this year is no different.
Tennessee Division I Class 3A State Champion
: It is no surprise that the best team in the state is from Memphis. It is a little surprising it was Craigmont.
Georgia Class AAAAA State Champion: Norcross made a fantastic run to prove what we thought all along - this was one of the best teams nationally.
A brutal regular season schedule can be undone with not finishing strong. A loss to Norcross in the state final was a tough end to the season.
Missouri Class 5 State Champion: Knocking off Chaminade put this squad in the driver's seat and it took home the state title.
Bradley Beal and squad was one game away from an undefeated season. When you lose is important and not taking home a state title hurts.
Oklahoma Class 4A State Champion: Douglass was marked as the team to beat in Oklahoma at the beginning of the season. It was the best in class but not best in state.
California Division II State Champion: Mitty represented well for the NorCal teams winning a state title.
The season did not end with a state title but an impressive run to the final results in a major boost in ranking.
New York Class A Federation Champion: Speculation that LuHi was the best team in New York started in January. Dominating St. Mary's in the finals confirmed it.
New York Class AA Federation Champion: Mt. Vernon bounced in and out of the rankings all season. Winning its Federation tournament cements its place.
Imhotep Inst Charter School
Pennsylvania Class AA State Champion: The gap was not too far between Imhotep and Chester; both are Top 50 teams in the country.
Oak Ridge Military Academy
Oak Ridge made its debut in the RivalsHigh 100 this season and maintained its spot nearly the entire season.
De La Salle
Like its football team, the Spartans defense is the heart of the team. The hoops program is gaining ground based on fundamental defense.
A good season came to an end at the hands of La Marque in the 4A playoffs.
One of the most talented teams in the state of Texas ended the year without a state title.
Memphis is still one of the best hoops cities in the county and the No. 2 team in the city belongs inside the Top 50 nationally.
Mississippi Class 6A State Champion: The Wildcats were the clear top team in the state this year.
Utah Class 4A State Champion: Being called BYU's junior varsity team is not a bad thing.
Northland was the No. 2 team in Ohio entering the playoffs and ended as the rankings suggested it would. A runner-up finish this year is better than the team did with NCAA breakout player Jared Sullinger last year.
Michigan Class A State Champion: Central downed Southeastern to win the title. The team was fairly balanced and had few bad games this season.
Christ The King
The list of losses are impressive. It would have been nice to steal a win in some of those games to improve the ranking.
Boys & Girls
Boys & Girls had an up-and-down season with great wins and surprising losses. It also nearly took the national title hopes of St. Anthony in a very close contest mid-season.
Florida Class 6A State Champion: Austin Rivers led the team to another state title. A nationally remarkable schedule had ups-and-downs but the season ended with a banner.
Montverde's season ended with both a tough loss on the court and then the loss of its coach.
Friends Central School
The private school played plenty of tough games and lost some narrow defeats. The No. 3 team in Pennsylvania making the Top 50 is a rarity.
Bearden fell in the state final to Craigmont. This team is generally the best hoops team from East Tennessee every year.
Linn Mar Community School
Iowa Class 4A State Champion: Iowa has produced better state champions; however, this team can still play with many others nationally.
There were times during the season that it looked like St. Mary's was the best team in New York.
Lincoln exited the season with three losses. Looking back, the only one that makes sense was to Boys & Girls.
The season ended with a playoff loss to Corona Centennial. Taft is still a national name and has a tremendous hoops program.
Louisiana Class 4A State Champion: Class 4A was one of the best in the state this year and Bossier came out on top.
Some of its wins help overlook the six-loss season.
Kokomo played for the state title in Class 4A. The season was a success despite the loss.
Kentucky Sweet Sixteen Champion: One of two remaining unclassified tournaments in the country has proven some surprise winners the last few years. Christian County was this year's Cinderella.
Eastern lost in the semifinals to state champ Christian County. Certainly a tough loss and one that not many saw happening.
Michigan Class B State Champion: At points this season, Sexton could have been as high as No. 1 in Michigan or as low as No. 6 depending on what night you saw it play. The team ends No. 2.
Castro Valley had the talent to win a state title. The run ended with a loss to defensively-minded De La Salle.
A semifinal-round loser in Indiana checks in at No. 3 in the state final rankings.
Lincoln suffered what we believe to be an outlier loss at the worst possible time - in the state playoffs.
Oregon Class 6A State Champion: The class of Oregon all season takes home the title.
Washington Class 4A State Champion: Gonzaga Prep spent several rankings periods just missing the RivalsHigh 100. A state title seals the deal.
A close private school debate was settled on the floor with Grace Prep beating Westbury at season's end.
As the year wore on, Loyola played better hoops and this placement felt justified.
Garfield ended the year as the state runner-up in Washington.
South Carolina Class AAA State Champion: Irmo took advantage of a wide-open Palmetto State tournament, winning the No. 1 spot in the state.
Lloyd C Bird
Bird fought hard to get to the Group AAA final before falling to Norcom.
A loss to La Marque ended the year after winning the previous season's national title.
Maryland Class 4A State Champion: An undefeated state winner in Maryland is something to be very proud of.
Florida's No. 4 team is usually a safe bet for a solid placement. This year, hoops in the state were a little down and so the placement for Dr. Phillips shows just that.
Michigan hoops is solid as always and Southeastern looks like it can play with any of the top teams. It was the runner-up in Class A.
North Las Vegas
Nevada Class 4A State Champion: Canyon Springs downed Bishop Gorman and continued on to win a state title. An impressive feat, without question.
A loss in a state semifinal was not expected. The young team could use it as fuel for a national title run next season.
Alabama Class 4A State Champion: The best in Alabama was a few points away from an undefeated season.
Ballard could not get a win over Eastern this season going 0-3 against the squad. But 29-1 in its remaining games is an impressive resume.
Dunbar was, at one point, in the discussion for the top spot in Ohio.
Delaware State Champion: It took a buzzer-beater to down Red Lion Christian. A fantastic finish to the season.
Illinois Class 2A State Champion: Hales had a few significant out-of-state wins as well as a state title. Hailing from Chicago doesn't hurt the argument either.
The lone loss of the season came in the semifinal round in the Indiana playoffs.
Oklahoma Class 6A State Champion: A one-loss season and a state title is a great year for the No. 3 team in Oklahoma.
Heights lost in the state final to Sexton.
The preseason No. 1 team did not come close to living up to expectations. However, playing in Memphis against several top programs will nearly guarantee several losses by season's end.
The battle for Memphis was hotly contested and the roundabout between Melrose, Central and White Station was not clearly defined.
William Howard Taft
Underrated for much of the season, Taft gained plenty of respect with its late season performance.
Two losses to Long Beach Poly to end the season are nothing to be ashamed of.
Salesian faced many challenges this year and ended the year with the most losses of any ranked team nationally - a testament to the quality of the program.
A successful season for Cedar Hill ended with a loss to eventual champion Marcus.
Arkansas Class 6A State Champion: Jacksonville went through some of the best in the Natural State to claim the title.
The state runner-up in Arkansas had a solid season.
Arkansas Class 7A State Champion: Usually Hall is the name-brand team in Arkansas, but this season it was clear the 6A teams were the cream of the crop.
Arizona Class 5A Division I State Champion: Arizona was slightly down this season and its state title winner barely slides into the 80s.
Louisiana Class 2A State Champion: Switching in and out of the rankings all season will be taken care of with a state title.
Peabody ended the year as the No. 3 team in Louisiana - a spot it occupied much of the season. It also lost the state final to Bossier.
Losing in the state final to North Point was a tough way to the end the year.
Delaware-bound guard Jarvis Threatt nearly took the team to the state final, losing to Norcom in a semifinal.
Mississippi Class 5A State Champion: An all-around solid season ends with a spot in the RivalsHigh 100.
Arizona Class 2A State Champion: Numerous teams in Arizona could claim the No. 2 spot in the state. Westwind was playing the best at season's end.
The RivalsHigh 100 is compiled by Dallas Jackson with the help of the Rivals.com network of high school site publishers, recruiting analysts and AMP team. To view the site in your area click here.