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Photo by Randy Sartin/CBS MaxPreps

Emmanuel Mudiay earned MVP honors in the weekend's biggest game as Prime Prep knocked off Quality Education Academy at the Marshall County Hoopfest.


Xcellent 25 National Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard

1. (No. 1 last week) Montverde Academy (Fla.), 6-0
After comfortable wins over Lakewood (St. Petersburg) and Deerfield Beach, the Eagles are off until Dec. 19 when they open play at the City of Palms Classic. Junior Ben Simmons – a 6-foot-8 native of Australia – has drawn rave reviews.

2. (2) Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), 13-0
We are still a couple of weeks away from getting a good gauge on these Pilots. Findlay has upcoming showdowns against No. 4 Prime Prep (Dallas) and Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) at the Tarkanian Classic before Christmas.

3. (3) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 4-0
The Monarchs dominated the Diablo Inferno tournament in Mission Viejo last week as star senior Stanley Johnson averaged more than 30 points per game and earned MVP honors. But Mater Dei also took a hit as senior forward Mario Soto elected to leave the program in pursuit of a bigger role. Next up is perennial Texas power Yates (Houston) at the Hoophall West Classic in Phoenix.

4. (5) Prime Prep (Dallas), 7-0
Thanks to a big outing from game MVP Emmanuel Mudiay (17 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists), Prime passed an important test Saturday at the Marshall County Hoopfest by beating then-No. 15 Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 67-50.

5. (7) Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 3-0
The Panthers opened the season in dominant fashion last week, beating Takoma Academy (Takoma Park, Md.) 97-59, Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) 95-38 and Bishop Ireton (Alexandria, Va.) 57-43. Sophomore transfer Curtis Jones led a balanced scoring attack in the first two outings. If there are doubts about Paul VI appearing this high, remember that much of this cast helped notch wins over Montverde Academy and Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) a year ago.


6. (8) White Station (Memphis, Tenn.), 4-0
Weather nixed a trip to the Marshall County Hoopfest and a potential meeting with No. 4 Prime Prep, but the Spartans still notched an impressive win last week over rival Ridgeway (Memphis).

7. (9) Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.), 3-0
After sweeping three games at the State Farm Tournament of Champions at the end of November, the Buffaloes don't take the court again until Friday.

8. (13) Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), 4-0
Head coach Douglas Lipscomb has won five state titles at Wheeler, so big games and big wins are defined a bit differently for the Wildcats. But Saturday's 63-52 win over then-No. 18 Miller Grove (Lithonia) had to feel significant for a program looking for a signature win with its current roster.

9. (NR) Curie (Chicago), 2-0
It was a wild week for the Condors. There was controversy regarding star Kansas recruit Cliff Alexander's status after receiving two technical fouls in a game last week and a weather-related cancellation of a game at the Marshall County Hoopfest. When it was all said and done, the 6-9 Alexander did play against then-No. 4 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and dominated with 22 points and 20 rebounds in a 66-62 win. Curie's win over St. Rita (Chicago) in the season opener is also a major resume enhancer.

10. (10) Roselle Catholic (N.J.), 0-0
Roselle Catholic opens Dec. 20 vs. The Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.). The Lions haven't experienced much movement in the rankings since the preseason release in early November. Roselle shouldn't be penalized for the late start date but climbing the ladder by default isn't a winning rankings approach either.


11. (11) St. Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.), 0-0
St. Joseph opens Dec. 20 at East Brunswick. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) and No. 1 Montverde Academy are among the highlights on St. Joe's schedule this season.

12. (12) Germantown (Wis.), 4-0
The Warhawks got a bit of a push Friday against Whitefish Bay in an 80-72 win. Things got back to normal – and by normal we mean total dominance – Saturday in an 83-47 win over Menomonee Falls to push the nation's longest winning streak to 60 games.

13. (NR) Wenonah (Birmingham, Ala.), 6-0
The Dragons went into enemy territory and got a win over defending Georgia AAAAAA state champ Norcross on Saturday, getting 41 points from senior guard Justin Coleman. Wenonah also has quality wins over Carver (Montgomery, Ala.) and Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) this season.

14. (19) Northside Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.), 4-0
Northside has posted point totals of 118 and 106 early on this season. Appearances in the Chick-fil-A Classic and Wild Wings Café High School Hoops Classic are on deck later this month.

15. (20) Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), 12-1
The Warriors were able to make it to Kentucky for the Marshall County Hoopfest, but the Atlanta Sports Academy (Ga.) probably wishes they didn't as Oak Hill cruised to an 88-41 victory. It's a big weekend ahead as Steve Smith's team heads to the Hoophall West in Phoenix for games against Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and Yates (Houston).


16. (22) Apple Valley (Minn.), 4-0
Tyus Jones pumped in 29 points Saturday to lead the Eagles past DeLaSalle (Minneapolis) in a highly anticipated showdown between defending state champions. Apple Valley takes on Whitney Young (Chicago) this week in an ESPN-televised contest.

17. (23) Etiwanda (Calif.), 5-0
USC-bound point guard Jordan McLaughlin led the way with 19 points as the Eagles beat Kentucky-bound point guard Tyler Ulis and Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights, Ill.) 74-68 at the Chicago Elite Classic. Etiwanda will close out the month with a pair of tournaments in Southern California.

18. (NR) North Little Rock (Ark.), 3-0
The Charging Wildcats probably should have been here a week ago after winning the Rumble on the Ridge tournament in Forrest City convincingly. NLR was scheduled to participate in the Battle on the Border over the weekend but that was wiped out due to weather.

19. (15) Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 7-1
Despite the loss to No. 4 Prime Prep at the Marshall County Hoopfest, QEA's early-season resume is strong – including a 16-point win over No. 13 Oak Hill Academy.

20. (25) Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.), 0-0
Blue Valley Northwest opens Dec. 10 at Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.). It will face No. 16 Apple Valley on Jan. 4 at the Timberwolves Shootout in Minneapolis.
File photo by Paul DiSalvo

Dominique Collier of Denver East earned MVP honors at the Great Western Shootout in Utah over the weekend.

21. (NR) Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.), 5-0
The Aztecs were originally slated to appear in our preseason national rankings but were replaced when 6-9 forward Connor MacDougall was denied eligibility after transferring. That decision was eventually reversed and Corona del Sol has rolled through the early part of its schedule.

22. (NR) Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.), 5-1
After a lopsided early loss to No. 1 Montverde Academy, the Stallions gained a measure of redemption Saturday night by running away from then-No. 14 Arlington Country Day for a 93-74 win.

23. (21) Carlisle (Martinsville, Va.), 9-2
Rarely does a two-loss team get a pass when it comes to the national rankings this early in the season, but both of Carlisle's losses came against No. 15 Oak Hill Academy by a combined total of seven points.

24. (NR) Denver East, 3-0
Last year's big winner at the Great Western Shootout (Lone Peak) ended up being crowned national champ. After a 3-0 weekend at the same event this season, the Angels earn a spot in the X25. Senior guard Dominique Collier earned MVP honors as East notched wins over American Fork (Utah), Orem (Utah) and Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.).

25. (17) Mentor (Ohio), 0-0
Staying with the philosophy of not penalizing teams with late start dates, Mentor stays in despite some uncertainty surrounding the program. Several of the team's top players finished a long run with the Cardinal football team Saturday in a state championship game loss. Then a bombshell dropped Thursday via Cleveland.com that head coach Bob Krizancic was mulling a job offer from Nike. Krizancic's son Conner – a double figures scorer on the basketball court as a junior – threw for over 400 yards and ran for over 100 more in Ohio's Division I football title game and will continue on the gridiron at Cincinnati.

Dropped out: No. 4 last week Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), No. 6 Whitney Young (Chicago), No. 14 Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.), No. 16 Northland (Columbus, Ohio), No. 18 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), No. 24 Huntington St. Joseph Prep (Huntington, W.Va.)

Tough to leave out: Arsenal Technical (Indianapolis), Callaway (Jackson, Miss.), Milford Mill Academy (Baltimore), Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia), Simeon (Chicago). Arsenal Tech pulled off an impressive doubleheader Saturday at the Marshall County Hoopfest by beating Kentucky state title contender Ballard (Louisville) and Huntington St. Joseph Prep. But the Titans also have a loss to Bowman Academy (Gary, Ind.), which perhaps deserves a nod here too.

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