Top 25 North Pole Hoops National High School Basketball Power Rankings – Week 1

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Welcome to week one of your 2018-2019 Top 25 North Pole Hoops National High School Basketball Power Rankings.

Below is the first week of rankings across Canada; a list that will be updated every Wednesday, from November 2018 to March 2019.

The initial rankings have been composed based off of the following criteria:

  • Roster (Talent)
  • Record (Key wins, Key Losses)
  • Pedigree (Coaching staff, program history)
  • Strength of schedule

Moving forward, the power rankings will reflect each programs’ performances on a week-by-week basis.

These past two weeks, we had two major tournaments in Southern Ontario, namely the Pinky Lewis Invitational and the Father Henry Carr Early Bird Invitational. Meanwhile, a number of programs on this list travelled out to the Bahamas for the Caribbean Tip-Off Showcase, that featured some of the top prep programs in the world. With plenty of action to review from the first month of showcases, exhibition games, and regular season matchups, without further a due, we present the first week of the NPH Canadian High School Prep Top 25 Power Rankings.

1. Orangeville Prep (Orangeville, Ontario)

League Record: 3-0 Overall Record: 9-1 Key Wins: Brebeuf College (71-68) (CEGEP), RISE Prep (102-85), Thornlea Prep (61-49) Key Losses: Champlain College (71-69) (CEGEP)

Orangeville Prep arguably has the most dominant front court in Canada at this point in the season. With the tandem of 6’9 Joe Jones and 6’7 Jevonnie Scott, most opponents find their bigs in foul trouble by the start of the third quarter. If you have the size to match them, then you have to contend with the fast break athleticism and shooting of Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, along with a roster filled out with a who’s who of national program players like Tyrese Samuel, Shemar Rathan-Mayes, and Jefferson Kouliabaly. After taking home gold in the Father Henry Carr Early Bird Invitational this past weekend, Orangeville has still yet to take a loss against a Canadian high school this year.

2. Canada TopFlight Academy (Ottawa, Ontario)

League Record: 0-0 Overall Record: 4-0 Key Wins: Key Losses:

Right behind Orangeville is the defending two-time NPA National Champions, Canada Top Flight Academy out of Ottawa. As one of the most well coached teams in the country under the leadership of Tony House, this team sports a number of high-level D-1 prospects. None are more prolific though than Muon Reath, a lengthy guard who burst onto the scene during last years NPA National Championship game by managing to keep current South Carolina freshman, AJ Lawson in check for most of that game.

3. Ridley College (St. Catharines, Ontario)

League Record: 3-0 Overall Record: 6-2 Key Wins: Lincoln Prep (73-52), King’s Christian (92-72) Key Losses: Brewster Academy (NH) (89-78), Putnam Science Academy (CT) (96-60)

Rounding out the top 3 in the country is the OSBA finalists from last year, St. Catharine’s Ridley College. Despite losing one of their top big men Charles Bediako to the American prep circuit, this is still one of the deepest rosters in all of Canada. Well coached and organized, the Tigers have proven that so far with a perfect 3-0 start in league play, while hanging with some of the very best prep teams in the world this past weekend at the Caribbean Tip-Off Showcase down in the Bahamas. Returning this year are defensive stalwarts Malcolm Bailey and Anthony Duadu, senior point guard in Noah Wharton, and of course Canadian national team member Jaden Bediako holding down the front court. Ridley College is a team that can out-rebound and shoot with just about any team they will come up against this year.

4. Crestwood Prep (Toronto, Ontario)

League Record: 4-1 Overall Record: 8-2 Key Wins:  St. Thomas More (CT) (88-83), Bahamas Select (95-84), Halifax Prep (119-98), Rothesay Netherwood (117-81) Key Losses: Brewster Academy (NH) (104-80), Toronto Basketball Academy (103-92)

Crestwood could be considered as a team that would have a chance to reach as high as number one in the NPH Power Rankings by the end of the season. With a 3-1 start, their one loss coming off three games in three days of travel, against a fresh and talented TBA roster; Crestwood has had a number of strong showings in the early prep showcases throughout North America this season, having also participated in the Caribbean Tip-off Showcase in the Bahamas this past weekend, finishing with a 2-1 record. Having the number one 2023 ranked player in the world, Elijah Fisher, doesn’t hurt either. But this team is much more than just Fisher, senior U18 National team member and high major prospect Jahcobi Neath has shown NBA potential at the point with many scouts and coaches around the prep and college community expecting this to be his breakout season.

The decision for ranking the number 3 and 4 teams was probably the hottest debate around the NPH offices this past week. But luckily, it is possible that we will get a chance to see these two Canadian heavyweights match up this weekend at the Humber Classic in Rexdale.

5. Edge School (Calgary, Alberta)

League Record: 3-0 Overall Record: 3-0 Key Wins: Northstar Prep (89-81), SBA (97-91), SBA (100-75) Key Losses:

The only remaining undefeated team in the NPA, Edge School out of Calgary, rounds out the top 5 in this week’s rankings. Led by 2018 NPA Coach of the Year Adam Huffman, and returning senior Adefolarin “Fofo” Adetogun, this is a program that can also challenge for the top spot in the country by season’s end. Fofo has been a stat monster in his first three games this year, averaging 30 PPG, shooting a ridiculous 50% from the field, along with 11.7 RPG, and 4.3 SPG. 6’5 Senior Manyang Tong has also managed to be a defensive problem capable of guarding the 1 through 4, giving Coach Huffman the ability to draw up multiple defensive schemes regardless of who the opponent has been. Director of the program Eddie Richardson has also shown a clear vision of where this program wants to go, with an administration that has completely bought in behind him. With all of these factors added up, we might be witnessing the birth of a new giant in the west for not only this season, but for many years to come.

6.TRC Academy (Brantford, Ontario)

League Record: 4-0 Overall Record: 5-2 Key Wins: Thornlea (99-92), Lincoln Prep (92-81), Southwest (90-89) Key Losses: Dawson College (59-56), Champlain College (CEGEP) (79-67)

The defending OSBA Champions are still a force to be reckoned with on the national stage. Losing Deon Ejim and Adong Makuoi to the NCAA may have seemed like a major blow to the chances of The Wolfpack repeating, but head coach Tyrell Vernon has managed to galvanize this roster led by sharpshooter Avan Nava and big man Paris Shand, to some impressive wins over what would of been considered teams with superior talent. With their next two matchups against Ridley College and Central Tech however, we will definitely get a much clearer view of what this roster is capable of by the second and third weeks of our power rankings. For now, the champs have earned their top 10 spot, and can never be counted out.

7. Halifax Prep (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

League Record: 4-1 Overall Record: 5-1 Key Wins: Rothesay Netherwood (94-93), GTA Prep (93-82), TBA (102-84) Key Losses: Crestwood Prep (119-98)

After coming off of their inaugural season, Halifax Prep has restocked in a huge way. Along with continued great play from class of 2020 Brandon Muntu and Jaren Johnson, Halifax Prep has brought in some major athletic size. Recruiting from Alberta with 6’6 Chris Ogie, 6’7 Akoi Yuot, and 6’8 Christo Ugodo, they have adopted a very effective run and gun style of play, something that helped keep themselves in their game against Crestwood for the first 3 quarters. As the season progresses, look for HP to be a squad that can be very dangerous against even the very best in Canada, based on their talent, length and athleticism.

8. Father Henry Carr (Toronto, Ontario)

League Record: 3-1 Overall Record: 8-2 Key Wins: RISE Prep (128-123), Vaughan (89-80) Key Losses: Thornlea (112-103), Orangeville Prep (67-50)

One of the most improved teams on this list from last year, FHC has finally seemed to have hit their stride, getting some huge wins over the likes of RISE Prep and Vaughan. Class of 2020 Joshua Morgan and 2019 Jalen Menzies have been a devastating 1-2 punch for the Crusaders, with Morgan dropping 40 in the FHC Early Bird semis vs. Vaughan, while Menzies picked up an all-star nod for the host team. Couple that with a tough defensive effort in the gold medal game against top ranked Orangeville Prep, and you see a team that will have plenty of confidence going into the major prep showcases south of the border in the next few months. Don’t be shocked if you see this team climbing even higher as the season goes on.

9. RISE Prep (Brantford, Ontario)

League Record: 3-2 Overall Record: 6-5 Key Wins: Central Tech (86-84), Thornlea (99-91), Vaughan (116-107), BC Christian Academy (87-86), Dawson College (99-94) Key Losses: Putnam Science Academy (CT) (96-78), Orangeville Prep (102-85), FHC (128-123), Montmorency College (CEGEP) (94-83)

Simply put, RISE Prep wants all of the smoke this year. Only a month and a half into the season, and the Brantford squad has already taken on some of the very best prep programs in the world. Say what you want about their overall record, but this is a program that is not hiding from anyone, and deserves recognition for that. After a successful 2-1 trip to the Bahamas for the Caribbean Tip-Off showcase, their only loss to the 2018 Adidas National Prep Champions Putnam Science Academy.  Until then, they can bask in the fact that Senior Rahmir Moore had a massive month of October, averaging 30.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 3.5 APG.

10. Thornlea (Thornhill, Ontario)

League Record: 3-3 Overall Record: 7-4 Key Wins: GTA Prep (61-58), FHC (112-103), Pine Ridge (60-50), Vaughan (81-74), TBA (72-54) Key Losses: Lincoln Prep (114-102), RISE Prep (99-91), TRC Academy (99-92)

After some big summertime acquisitions like Thow Biel and Keeshawn Barthelemy, along with the arrival of former A.I. Prep Head Coach Charles Hantoumakos, there was a lot of speculation going into this season as to what type of team Thornlea was, and could be by the end of the year. Despite a modest 3-3 league record to start the season, Thornlea has shown flashes of being a force in the Canadian prep circuit, with a bronze medal at the FHC Early Bird Invitational justness as an example this past weekend. They may be beginning to turn a corner, but until we see a win against one of the big dogs that will no doubt be in their way come playoff time, they will remain a bubble team in the top 10 conversation for at least another week.

11. Toronto Basketball Academy (Toronto, Ontario)

League Record: 2-1 Overall Record: 3-2 Key Wins: Crestwood Prep (103-92), Rothesay Netherwood (100-99) Key Losses: Thornlea (72-54), Halifax Prep (102-84)

Led by their floor general Marcus Masters, who is averaging a league-high 7 APG, TBA runs a very effective and efficient three point reliant offense. Sharpshooter Amir Gholizadeh has had a great start to his season and has added a playmaking element to his overall game. It was this run-and-gun style of offense that allowed them to pull off one of the early upsets of the prep season over number 4-ranked Crestwood Prep. However, consistency will be key for this squad, as they have also looked very average in losses to other high-level prep programs such as Thornlea and Halifax Prep. This is a team that could either plummet or skyrocket in the NPH Power Rankings on a week by week basis, it all entirely depends on what they can do in between the lines.

12. Pine Ridge (Pickering, Ontario)

League Record: 0-0 Overall Record: 7-2 Key Wins: Southwest (74-71), Central Tech (68-62), Lincoln Prep (56-52) Key Losses: Thornlea (60-50), Central Tech (72-66)

To some, Pine Ridge might be seen as a surprise entry at the 12 spot, to others, it may be considered downright robbery to keep them out of the top 10. Headed up by a dedicated staff of Trish Biffin, Cam Nekkers, and Cedric Carter, the defending OFSAA champions made a huge statement at the Pinky Lewis Invitational, defeating multiple high-level public schools and prep schools alike to claim first place. Shakael Pryce picked up tournament MVP honours, and has no doubt solidified that this Pine Ridge squad belongs in the upper tier of Canadian high school basketball. They didn’t stop there, however, as they also had an impressive run at the FHC Early Bird Invitational. The wins weren’t as many, but two games against Thornlea and Central Tech that came down to the final minutes, has proven that this public school can hang with just about anybody on this list, and are a heavy favourite to repeat as OFSAA champs once again.

13. King’s Christian Collegiate (Oakville, Ontario)

League Record: 4-1 Overall Record: 6-2  Key Wins: Lincoln Prep (90-82), Montmorency College (CEGEP) (78-70), Dawson College (79-71) Key Losses: Ridley College (92-72), Brebeuf College (CEGEP) (76-72), Southwest Academy 108-105

After a few seasons of growing pains, King’s Christian is finally starting to become what a lot of people in the basketball community have been saying for years: just wait until this roster gets older. Well, they’re now older, bigger, faster, stronger, and wiser. Led by national team guard Luka Sakota, and Coleman Stuke, this is a team that has impressive length and shooting ability from the perimeter. Their early season success has them knocking on the door to the top 10 of our power rankings.

14. Vaughan (Vaughan, Ontario)

League Record: 1-3 Overall Record: 3-6  Key Wins: Central Tech (104-100), Southwest Academy (75-69),  Key Losses: FHC (89-80), Thornlea (81-74), Orangeville Prep (111-81), RISE Prep (116-107), Ridley College (90-83), Crestwood Prep (83-71) 

Despite a 1-3 start to their league season, Vaughan has more than earned its place on this list. They have managed a couple of scrappy wins, while all 6 of their losses have come against an opponent ranked in the top 10, with only two of those L’s in double digits. Ryan Brooks has been an absolute beast for this team, seeming to be able to make a shot just about anywhere he wants on the floor, while continuing to dominate on the glass and in the paint as a throwback post player. Brooks has also flashed a beautiful shooting form from the 3 to top it off. If Vaughan can learn from their early season shortcomings, while Brooks and Reggie Williams can continue their hot shooting, the Voyageurs will be a team to keep tabs on in March, as you know they will continue to make progress under the leadership of Coach Gus Gymnopolous.

15. Southwest Academy (London, Ontario)

League Record: 2-1 Overall Record: 8-3 Key Wins: King’s Christian (108-105), St. Francis Xavier (96-72), Central Tech (75-71),  Key Losses: TRC Academy (90-89),Vaughan (75-69), Pine Ridge (74-71)

Southwest Academy has been a pleasant surprise to start this season. They have managed a couple of quality wins over Central Tech and King’s Christian, and have managed to avoid any potential upsets over lower ranked programs. UofT commit point guard Alec McGregor has shown some impressive development coming into this season, and is now showing a ton of more confidence on his passing and shot selection so far. This has been a big factor in this London club sporting an 8-3 overall record. Like a number of teams on this part of the list, a few more signature wins over top level teams should have them knocking on the door for a spot in the top 10 in the next few weeks.

16. Central Tech (Toronto, Ontario)

League Record: 3-3 Overall Record: 10-7  Key Wins: LBA (92-82), Lincoln Prep (78-65), Pine Ridge (72-66)  Key Losses: Orangeville Prep (77-75), Vaughan (104-100), Pine Ridge (68-62), Southwest Academy (75-71)

Central Tech might be one of the most interesting teams to watch this year in the Canadian prep circuit, and is in the conversation for top 10 behind their electric guards Malachi Davis and Kalyem Liburd-Mullings. Central Tech is never truly out of a game thanks to their three point shooting as seen against Orangeville Prep, however, that same style of play has resulted in some tough losses to Southwest Academy and Pine Ridge to name a few. The Blues are another program that will play anyone, and they have the record to show for it, as they have already played the highest amount of games than any team in the top 25 (17) this early in the year.

17. London Basketball Academy (London, Ontario)

League Record: 1-0 Overall Record: 3-1 Key Wins: GTA Prep (91-82) Key Losses: Central Tech (92-82)

London still has plenty left to prove on the prep circuit and as history has shown us, they will make a great deal of progress in a short time. Okay Djamgouz has been as advertised so far this season, with a 28 point performance against AI Red and a 33 point outing in the the team’s first loss of the year to Central Tech at the Pinky Lewis Invitational. If this squad can manage to get a few more wins against some tougher competition as their schedule picks up, then they will definitely see a rise in their stock.

18. Lincoln Prep (Hamilton, Ontario)

League Record: 1-3 Overall Record:  1-7 Key Wins:  Thornlea (114-102) Key Losses: TRC (92-81), King’s Christian (90-82), Ridley College (73-52), Orangeville Prep (95-64), Central Tech (78-65), Pine Ridge (56-52)

They may only have one win so far, but Lincoln Prep out of Hamilton may very well have the toughest schedule to start the season for any team on this list. When you also consider that they have lost all but one of those league games by single digits, combined with their 114-102 win over one of the most talented rosters in the country in Thornlea, and you can see why this scrappy program have cracked the top 25 in the country. All the while, Tyler Sagl has quietly been putting on one of the best shooting performances in the country for Lincoln, averaging 30+ points in each of his first four league games.

19. B.C. Christian Academy (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) 

League Record: 0-0 Overall Record: 1-2 Key Wins: Tabernacle Christian Academy (Freeport, Bahamas) (95-89) Key Losses: Putnam Science Academy (CT) (123-71), RISE Prep (87-86)

Behind the strong front line of 6’10 Sammy Hunter, and national team member 6’11 Victor Radocaj, B.C. Christian brings a lot of mobile size to the table. Consistent guard play had been an issue last year, resulting in the Panthers’ inability to exploit their impressive size. After a close matchup against #9-ranked RISE Prep, and the selection of Hunter to the all-tournament team in the Bahamas this past weekend, we may have begun to see this BC program turn a corner and challenge for a top ten spot later this year.

20. Rothesay Netherwood (Rothesay, New Brunswick)

League Record: 2-3 Overall Record: 2-3 Key Wins: GTA Prep (102-76) Key Losses: Halifax Prep (94-93), Crestwood Prep (117-81), TBA (100-99)

RNS has been able to do one thing consistently, get better every year. Behind the strong leadership of the 17U Canadian Nationals MVP, representing Nova Scotia, Kellen Tynes, RNS can control a game’s tempo and pace against anyone if given the chance. Despite being undersized, this team does not lack in heart for what they lack in height, as shown in their 94-93 loss to a much bigger Halifax Prep team. As the season continues, we can expect RNS to make a push for a top 15 spot in the power rankings.

21. Saskatoon Basketball Academy (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)

League Record: 1-2 Overall Record: 1-2 Key Wins: Northstar Prep (90-81) Key Losses: Edge School (90-81), Edge School (100-75)

This first year program out of Saskatoon brings a high pedigree of basketball knowledge & grit behind Head Coach Sean Tyson. Leading the attack is 6’8 Cole Newkirk, and point guard Aliou Sesay, who can fill the cap. The efforts of this program have already started to pay off. They were able to claim their first league win against Northstar Prep earlier this season, while also hanging with Top-5 ranked Edge School for most of their two matchups, not something most first year programs can say.

22. GTA Prep, Mississauga, Ontario

League Record: 2-4 Overall Record: 2-6 Key Wins:  Key Losses: Thornlea (61-58), LBA (91-82), Halifax Prep (93-82), Rothesay Netherwood (102-76), Central Tech (63-53), Ridley College (68-41)

With A.J. Lawson and Kaosi Ezeagu moving on to the NCAA, GTA Prep is in a rebuilding year. However, senior leadership in Joshua Haughton and Dondre Reddick will ensure that GTA Prep will have solid guard play throughout the season. They have beaten everyone that they have been meant to beat so far, and it will take a few upset wins moving forward for them to climb the rankings. But this is something this program will be more than capable of, after reaching the NPA Championship Game last season.

23. Northstar Prep, Winnipeg, Manitoba

League Record: 0-2 Overall Record: 0-2 Key Wins:  Key Losses: Edge School (89-81), SBA (90-81)

This first year program is looking more than respectable, yet still looking to find their footing. Northstar have a couple close losses early in the season, but introduced themselves with Manitoba provincial players Malachi Alexander, and Kwinton Cochrane bringing the 1-2 punch. A couple of winnable games are on the horizon for this Winnipeg program, but they will have to bring that same energy they had for Edge School earlier in the season if they are to record their first league win in the program’s history. The Ottawa NPA central session at the end of the month, will provide a great measuring stick.

24. Saint Laurent, Saint Laurent, Quebec

League Record: 0-0 Overall Record: 0-0 Key Wins:  Key Losses: 

Representing Quebec, Saint Laurent will bring tough guard play and competitive edge. 6’8 Arnaud Ngamije is a knockdown shooter that will man the paint for Saint Laurent throughout the season. Bringing a scrappy style of basketball to the court along with a tough mindset.

25. St. Francis Xavier, Mississauga, Ontario

League Record: 0-0 Overall Record: 1-2 Key Wins:  Key Losses: Pine Ridge (74-59), Southwest Academy (97-62)

Rounding out the top 25 for this week is the only other true traditional high school besides Pine Ridge. Having gone to the Pinky Lewis Invitational, last year’s OFSAA finalists managed to grab at least one win after getting soundly beaten by cross region rivals Pine Ridge. A number of public or prep teams could have gotten this last spot, but we decided to give it to the Tigers based on the fact that they have a number of players such as Justus Salmon, who have proven that they are more than capable of playing at the highest level. Add in that Xavier will be considerable favourites to repeat as ROPSSAA champs and take another crack at a provincial title in March, and you have a team that is likely to only get better as the year progresses.

Have Your Say…Who Should be in the Top 25?

On The Bubble:

  • St. Mike’s (Toronto, Ontario)
  • St. Martin’s (Mississauga, Ontario)
  • Brebeuf (Quebec City, Quebec)
  • Jeanne Mance (Montreal, QC)
  • Henri-Bourassa (Montreal, QC)
  • Middlefield Collegiate (Markham, Ontario)
  • Luther Lions (Regina, Saskatchewan)
  • Burnaby South Rebels (Burnaby, British Columbia)
  • Holy Cross Crusaders (Surrey, British Columbia)
  • Kennedy HS (Windsor, ON)
  • Herman SS (Windsor, ON)
  • St. Joseph’s (Saskatoon, SK)
  • Cathedral HS (Hamilton, ON)
  • St. John Paul II (Scarborough, ON)
  • Oakwood CI (Toronto, ON)
  • Holy Trinity (Oakville, ON)

 

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