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It’s been a long time coming, we know. A lot has happened since the first NPH Top 25 release, with action across the country.
St Mike’s Claims the Top Spot in the Nation
For starters, Father Henry Carr (NPH Pre-Season #1) went on a magical run that lasted nearly four months without a loss, until the young and hungry #6-Ranked St Mike’s squad out of Toronto pulled off the upset in January. Naturally, this victory has raised SMC to the #1 spot in the nation, however FHC is very close behind, and now have a major chip on their shoulders.
Claiming the top spot is certainly an achievement, but the tough part is maintaining it. Can the Blue Raiders handle the pressure? The target is now on their backs, and time will tell.
Winston Churchill of Alberta had a hick up in the pre-season against Bishop O’Byrne which lead us to believe that they may not be the real deal. However, as the season progressed Coach Mike Fullerton got his team back on track, picking up tournament victories including the BRIT where they defatted top ranked teams from various provinces including Garden City (Manitoba) Campbell (Saskatchewan) and Oak Bay, South Kamloops (British Columbia).
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NPH Top 25 Newcomers
D’Youville out of Brampton, Ontario was undoubtedly slept on, but have now earned respect claiming several tournament titles while picking up a victory over previous #5-Ranked Catholic Central. The Panthers can bang with the best of them, and have continued to improve as a team, lead by break out player Josiah Riley. A team with depth, will challenge for a provincial title.
Abbotsford’s Yale Lions are BC’s top ranked AAA team, and have suffered only one loss against Canadian competition all year – an early season defeat to Kitsilano. Led by two of the top players in their respective classes, 2013 F J.J. Pankratz and 2015 PG Jauquin Bennett-Boire, the Lions may have the best one-two punch in the province. The only argument to be made against Yale is that they have yet to prove themselves against some of the top teams in BC. However, with only one loss, and impressive victories over Kelowna and Tamanawis, the Yale Lions have earned their ranking, but head coach Al Friesen keeps them playing like a team with everything to prove.
Cardston is the only team in the nation still undefeated, at 19-0. With this being said, they have not faced any NPH ranked teams; however if their season progresses to the post-season, their challenges will get stronger. It has to.
Four words to sum up the Tamanawis Wildcats: young, talented, versatile, and inconsistent. Led by 6-6 2014 G/F Sukhjot Bains and a roster of almost entirely Grade 11’s, the Wildcats are learning to win on the fly. When the shots are falling – like in their early season win against White Rock Christian or their buzzer beating loss to Yale – they look like the best team in the province. However, in their recent double digit losses to those same two teams Tamanawis came out flat and got buried early. First year head coach Mike McKay knows his team needs to find a balance, and when they do the Tamanawis Wildcats are as difficult a matchup as there is in BC.
Cardinal Newman has had a chip on their shoulders since the post-season, and have used to to pile up two key victories over Hamilton rival ACMT. Coach Jeff Joseph has his squad playing quality ball, however they will need to rack up some more notable victories to climb up the ladder.
Don’t be fooled by Edmund Campion’s record as the Brampton contingent has repeatedly gone up and competed against the best in the nation. This is a well coached team with enough fire power to create some surprises in the post season. A wildcard to look out for.
Surrey’s Holy Cross Crusaders may have shocked some by knocking off Kitsilano this past week, but after an 0-3 start the Crusaders have rattled off 21 straight wins and are far and away the top AA team in the province. With two players standing at 6-7, the 2014 Maduabueke brothers at 6-5, and 6-2 2015 Taylor Browne at the point, Holy Cross may have one of the biggest and most athletic teams in the province. They’ve been running over AA competition all year, and after three early losses to AAA teams, they’ve finally knocked off one of the big boys. Keep an eye on the Holy Cross Crusaders, their program is definitely on the rise.
Bishop O’Byrne is an interesting team in that they have two very impressive victories on their resume, defeating Winston Churchill and Bishop Grandin; two NPH ranked teams that were caught by surprise in the pre-season. However, this team has also lost a few games against lower ranked opposition, which evens things out. Does BOB have more tricks up their sleeve? Are they the real deal? The rest of the season will decide.
Auburn has proved a lot of people wrong (including us), as they remain a perennial power in the East Coast. Lead by Atlantic Canada’s top lead guard Davonte Provo, the Eagles are flying high with only one blemish one their season that came in a loss against rival Citadel. Auburn could cruise to a provincial title unless their rivals or an undercard has something to say about it.
Other New teams to #NPHTop25
- Bishop Grandin
Records against Canadian competition
NPH Top 25 High School Rankings – School (Previous Rank) Record
- St Mikes (#6) 30-1 – Wins – Father Henry Carr, Catholic Central, Oakwood, Martingrove – Losses – Eastern Commerce – Ontario
- Father Henry Carr (#1) 26-1 – Wins – Eastern Commerce (x3) D’Youville, Oakwood, Holy Trinity – Ontario
- Holy Trinity (#10) 35-3 Wins – Catholic Central, D’Youville – Losses – Henry Carr, Eastern Commerce, Oakwood – Ontario
- D’Youville (U/R) 26-3 – Wins – Catholic Central – Losses – Henry Carr, Holy Trinity (twice) – Ontario
- Yale- (U/R) 17-1 – Wins – Tamanawis (x2), Kelowna – Losses – Kitsilano – British Columbia
- Winston Churchill (#9) 16-1 – BRIT Champion — Wins – Garden City, Campbell, Oak Bay – Losses – Bishop O’Byrne – Alberta
- WRCA (#12) 23-3 Wins- Walnut Grove (x2), Tamanawis – Losses – Kits (x2), Tamanawis – British Columbia
- Catholic Central (#5) 16-3 Wins – No key wins — Losses – St Mikes, Holy Trinity, D’Youville – Ontario
- Garden City (#19) 18-2 – Wins – St Pauls, St FX, Evan Hardy – Losses – Winston Churchill, St Paul’s – Manitoba
- Walnut Grove (#4) 19-3 – Wins – Kitsilano (x2) – Losses – WRCA – British Columbia
- Cardston (U/R) 19-0 Wins – LCI, Harry Ainlay, Medicine Hat – Alberta
- Tamanawis (U/R) – 23-4 Wins – WRCA, WJ Mouat, Holy Cross – Losses – Yale, WRCA, New Westminster – British Columbia
- Mount Carmel (#14) 21-3 Wins – ACMT, Campion, Cardinal Newman – Losses – Henry Carr, MacNab, Martingrove – Ontario
- St Paul’s (#11) 17-2 Wins – Garden City, KEC – Losses – Garden City, Kilodan East – Manitoba
- Kitsilano (#7) 18-4 Wins – Yale, WRCA – Losses – Walnut Grove, Holy Cross, Winston Churchill – British Columbia
- Auburn (U/R) 28-1 Wins – KVHS (NB), Fredericton (x2), Citadel (x2) Losses: Citadel – Nova Scotia
- Bishop Grandin (U/R) 13-1 Wins – St Francis Xavier – Losses – Bishop O’Byrne – Alberta
- St Francis Xavier (#24) 17-3 Wins – Bishop O’Byrne (X2), Jasper Place – Losses – Bishop Grandin, Garden City – Alberta
- Cardinal Newman (U/R) 27-4 Wins – ACMT x2 – Losses – Mount Carmel, Mother Teresa, Holy Trinity, D’Youville – Ontario
- Campion – (U/R) 17-9 – Wins – Mother Teresa, Vaughan – Losses- Holy Trinity, MacNab (x2), Eastern, Martingrove, Mount Carmel, Cameron Heights, FHC, Mother Theresa – Ontario
- Bishop O’Byrne (U/R) 12-4 Wins – Winston Churchill, Bishop Grandin – Losses – St Francis Xavier, Campbell, LCI – Alberta
- Holy Cross (U/R) 21-3 Wins – Kitsilano, Burnaby South, Delta – Losses –Tamanawis, Mouat, Sardis – British Columbia
- ACMT (#16) 24-8 Wins – Mother Teresa – Losses – St Mikes, Henry Carr, D’Youville, MacNab, Cardinal Newman (x2), Mount Carmel – Ontario
- Citadel (#13) 21-3 Wins – Auburn — Losses – Auburn (x2), Prince Andrew – Nova Scotia
- Campbell (U/R) 10-1 – Saskatchewan
On the Bubble: Mother Teresa (ON), Crescent (ON), O’Neill (SK), Harry Ainlay (AB), LCI (AB), Gonzaga Vikings (NFLD)
Due to the Public School “Work To Rule” in Ontario, the following Top-Ranked teams have been forced to end their High school seasons:
- Eastern Commerce