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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Super 25 boys' basketball rankings

Analysis by Christopher Lawlor

Maddening: March Madness paid a visit to the Super 25 boys' rankings as the top two teams lost last week. No. 1 Lawrence North (Indianapolis) moves up two spots following losses by previous No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and No. 2 Westfield (Spring, Texas). No. 25 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) slips 18 spots after losing in the Class 5A semifinals. Oak Hill (40-1) drops to No. 2 after losing to then-No. 12 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.). Montrose, No. 1 in the preseason, cracks the Top 10 at No. 9.

Player of the week: Junior Eric Gordon of North Central (Indianapolis) scored a career-high 45 points (on 16-of-31 shooting) and had seven rebounds and four assists in a 59-57 win over Noblesville in the Class 4A sectional semifinals. Gordon, who says he'll sign with Illinois, made the game-winning free throws with four seconds left. He concluded the season in a 57-48 loss to Carmel with 20 points.

Game of the week: Friday, No. 14 Vashon (St. Louis) plays Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) in the Class 5 semifinals at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

In memory: Derrick Rivera of Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia), nephew of the late Hank Gathers, made a game-winning three-pointer with 1.4 seconds left in a 44-41 win over Roman Catholic (Philadelphia) in the city Catholic League final. Rivera, who has signed with Saint Joseph's, made the shot on March 4, 16 years to the day his uncle died on the court while playing for Loyola Marymount. Rivera changed his jersey number to 44 from 10 earlier this season to honor Gathers.

Pioneers: For the first time an all-female crew (AP) — Mae Foley, Lori Nelson and Gale Peterson — officiated a Florida boys' state final — the Class 5A game between Chamberlain (Tampa) and Eastside (Gainesville).

Milestones: Coach Paul Hatcher of Robert E. Lee (Staunton, Va.) won his 800th game, beating Tabb (Staunton) 68-44 in the Group AA quarterfinals. Lee (29-0) has won 84 consecutive games, 10th all-time, according to the 2005 National High School Sports Record Book. Hatcher is Virginia's winningest coach. ... Bob Oliva of Christ the King (Queens, N.Y.) improved to 500-167 in a 73-50 victory over Xaverian (Brooklyn) in the New York Catholic League AA intersectional playoffs.

Updates: Damon Bailey, USA TODAY's player of the year in 1990, coached his alma mater, Bedford (Ind.) North Lawrence to an 11-10 record in his first season. BNL lost to New Albany 63-46 Friday in the Class 4A sectionals. ... Greece (N.Y.) Athena and its autistic 17-year-old manager Jason McElwain were Section V champions after defeating Irondequoit 54-51 before 8,000 in Rochester. McElwain received national attention after scoring 20 points during a four-minute stretch of a game last month. When Athena coach Jim Johnson was given the championship trophy, he handed it to McElwain, who kissed it, lifted it over his head, and passed it off to a teammate.

Free throws: No. 5 Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore) won its third Baltimore Catholic League crown in four seasons in a 62-52 win over Towson (Md.) Catholic. Forward Louis Birdsong, who signed with George Mason, was MVP, after scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds in the final. ... 6-4 guard Ben Hansbrough, whose brother Tyler was second team All-USA in 2005 and now plays for North Carolina, closed out his career with 28 points as Poplar Bluff (Mo.) lost 59-51 to Kirkwood in the Class 5 sectionals. Ben has signed with Mississippi State ... Nic Wise of Kingwood (Texas), No. 9 in the South Region, had a two-game total of 54 points, 14 assists and eight steals in the Class 5A, Region III tournament. Wise, who signed with Arizona, was named the region MVP, scoring 32 points in a 76-67 win over then-No. 2 Westfield (Spring) in the final. ... Schenley (Pittsburgh) won its 38th consecutive City League game, defeating Allderice (Pittsburgh) 82-46 in the city final. ... No. 3 North College Hill (Cincinnati) played without junior O.J. Mayo (pneumonia), but received 17 points and five rebounds from 6-6 junior Bill Walker in a 75-48 victory over Purcell Marian (Cincinnati) in the Division III playoffs.

1. Lawrence North, Indianapolis (25-0)
Previous: 3. Result: Beat Warren Central (Indianapolis) 64-39 in Class 4A Sectional final. Also beat Manual (Indianapolis) 72-42 in semifinals and Arlington (Indianapolis) 51-35 in first round.

2. Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va. (40-1)
Previous: 1. Result: Lost to then-No. 12 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 74-72. Season complete.

3. North College Hill, Cincinnati (21-1)
Previous: 4. Result: Beat Purcell Marian (Cincinnati) 75-48 and Blanchester 103-30 in Division III sectional playoffs.

4. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (30-1)
Previous: 5. Result: Won Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship, beating St. John's (Washington, D.C.) 66-48.

5. Mount St. Joseph, Baltimore (36-0)
Previous: 8. Result: Won Baltimore Catholic League title, beating Towson (Md.) Catholic 62-52.

6. Artesia, Lakewood, Calif. (29-1)
Previous: 6. Result: Beat Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) 74-44 in CIF-Southern Section, Division III-AA final.

7. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (28-1)
Previous: 9. Result: Won CIF-North Coast Section final, beating Deer Valley (Antioch) 44-28 in final. In three wins allowed only 28 points per game.

8. Hamilton, Memphis (34-0)
Previous: 10. Result: Won Class AAA, Region 8, beating White Station (Memphis) 89-72 in championship. Also beat Ridgeway (Memphis) 76-66 in semifinals and Kirby (Memphis) 88-73 in first round.

9. Montrose Christian, Rockville, Md. (20-2)
Previous: 12. Result: Beat No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 74-72. Season complete.

10. Canton (Ohio) McKinley (19-2)
Previous: 11. Result: Beat Warren Harding (Warren) 73-53 in Division I section playoffs.

11. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (29-2)
Previous: 13. Result: Beat Villa Park 80-67 in CIF-Southern Section, Division II-AA final.

12. Bloomfield (N.J.) Tech (26-1)
Previous: 14. Result: Beat Hoboken 72-30 in Group 1, North Jersey Section 2 quarterfinals and County Prep (Jersey City) 92-25 in second round.

13. Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy (34-2)
Previous: 17. Result: Beat Evangelical Christian (Memphis) 68-44 in Division II final. Also beat Harding Academy (Memphis) 78-51 in semifinals and Memphis University School 65-48 in quarterfinals. Season complete.

14. Vashon, St. Louis (25-2)
Previous: 18. Result: Beat Vianney (St. Louis) 71-42 in Class 5 quarterfinals and Hazelwood Central (Florissant) 69-60 in sectional playoff.

15. Arlington Country Day, Jacksonville (27-3)
Previous: 19. Result: Beat The Benjamin School (North Palm Beach) 73-37 in Class 2A final and Port St. Joe 63-34 in semifinals. Season complete.

16. Fairfax, Los Angeles (24-3)
Previous: 16. Result: Season complete.

17. San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno, Calif. (31-3)
Previous: 20. Result: Beat Kingsburg 84-41 in CIF-Central Section, Division IV final and Firebaugh 74-14 in semifinals.

18. Wings Academy, Bronx, N.Y. (29-0)
Previous: 21. Result: Beat Martin Van Buren (Queens) 100-61 in PSAL second round.

19. Clovis West, Fresno, Calif. (27-2)
Previous: 22. Result: Beat Edison (Fresno) 63-59 in CIF-Central Section, Division I final and Clovis East (Clovis) 77-33 in semifinals.

20. St. Patrick, Elizabeth, N.J. (24-4)
Previous: 23. Result: Beat Kearny Christian 96-56 in Non-Public B North quarterfinals.

21. St. Joseph, Westchester, Ill. (27-1)
Previous: 24. Result: Beat Morton 59-37 in Class AA regional playoffs.

22. Westchester, Los Angeles (24-6)
Previous: 25. Result: Beat Taft (Woodland Hills) 68-58 in CIF-City Section Championship Division final.

23. Norcross, Ga. (29-4)
Previous: Not ranked. Result: Won Class 5A state championship, beating Beach (Savannah) 66-49 in final and Redan (Stone Mountain) 65-47 in semifinals. Season complete.

24. Westfield, Spring, Texas (36-1)
Previous: 2. Result: Lost to Kingwood 76-67 in Class 5A, Region III final. Beat Aldine 63-51 in semifinals and Clear Creek (League City) 67-43 in quarterfinals. Season complete.

25. Wheeler, Marietta, Ga. (29-2)
Previous: 7. Result: Lost to Beach (Savannah) 72-63 in Class 5A semifinals. Season complete.

Dropped out: No. 15 DeSoto, Texas (35-2) lost to Montwood (El Paso) 48-44 in Class 5A, Region I semifinals.

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