The high school season is winding down with just a few games of national impact left to be played.
The show is almost over for this high school season. A few remaining states (most principally California and New York) are wrapping up this weekend. The other major event which will affect our final poll is the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals which will be played April 3-4. See link: DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament in New York April 2-4, 2015
Agreement at the very top
Undefeated Neumann-Goretti High School won the Pennsylvania 2A state title and barring something unforeseen, will be this year’s mythical national champions. The results in the California (CIF) Open Division final (Mater Dei versus St. Mary’s of Stockton this weekend) will go a long way in deciding the next few slots. The Dick’s event is another factor that could cause some shake-up. Now #6 Mater Dei High School recently beat now #14 Chaminade in the semifinals of the CIF Open Division, getting revenge for two prior one-point losses. That nudged Mater Dei up in the respective polls.
Further down the list
A group of teams in the second ten all won various classes of state tournaments and nudged up the poll a few slots. The biggest loser, but remaining in the poll, is Elizabethtown High School, which was upset the Kentucky State quarterfinals 41-40 by Holy Cross High School (Covington, High School). Elizabethtown’s impressive resume prior to the loss allowed the team to maintain a position in two polls and garner enough points to be ranked here.
Looking at the philosophy of the various polls as the season finishes up
The Blue Star and USA Today polls appear to place greater emphasis on winning state titles than the ESPN and MaxPreps polls. While MaxPreps certainly values how a team finished, it tends to reward quality wins during the regular season more than these other two polls. The ESPN Power Rankings, while obviously considering results, is more into the theoretical argument as to who would win a match-up if teams played, sometimes ignoring actual on court results in favor of a belief as to who would win the next meeting if it occurred. You will notice that Miami Country Day is ranked ahead of Dillard (beat Country Day 66-62 in January) in the ESPN poll but behind Dillard in the other three polls which tend to be more results oriented. Given that these teams could meet again in the Dick’s final, the ESPN rankings would be put to the test regarding these two teams.
All four polls in the end are essentially the opinion of the author of each poll. And if you may ask which author actually sees the most teams ranked in the outlet’s poll, I would state ESPN by far with MaxPreps second.
The four national polls (links below) were reviewed and 25 points assigned to the team ranked first down to one point for a team ranked 25th. Then the points were added up (maximum score 100) to create the ranking order.
Here are the links to the individual polls:
Swish Appeal Prep Poll of Polls (from polls released week of March 22, 2015)
1 Neumann-Goretti High School (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 100 (4 first place) (#1)
2-3 Blackman High School (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) 92 (#2-3)
2-3 St. Mary’s High School (Stockton, California) 92 (#2-3)
4 Cypress Woods High School (Cypress, Texas) 84 (#4)
5 Myers Park High School (Charlotte, North Carolina) 77 (#5)
6 Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, California) 75 (#7-8)
7 Dillard High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 70 (#6)
8 Paul VI High School (Fairfax, Virginia) 69 (#10)
9 Miami Country Day School (Miami, Florida) 66 (#11)
10 Columbus North High School (Columbus, Indiana) 61 (#12)
11 Marian High School (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) 47 (#13)
12 Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Washington) 45 (#15)
13 Hopkins High School (Minnetonka, Minnesota) 42 (#14)
14 Chaminade College Prep School (West Hills, CA) 37 (#9)
15 Cumberland Valley High School (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) 33 (#17)
16 Capital Prep (Hartford. Connecticut) 31 (#19-22)
17-19 Braintree High School (Braintree, Massachusetts) 25 (#19-22)
17-19 Heritage Christian School (Indianapolis, Indiana) 25 (#19-22)
17-19 Manasquan High School (Manasquan, New Jersey) 25 (#23)
20 Archbishop Alter High School (Kettering, Ohio) 23 (#25-26)
21 Ursuline Academy (Wilmington, Delaware) 21 (#25-26)
22 Whitney Young High School (Chicago, Illinois) 19 (#24)
23-24 Eastview High School (Apple Valley, Minnesota) 16 (#18)
23-24 Elizabethtown High School (Elizabethtown, Kentucky) 16 (#7-8)
25 Konawaena High School (Kealakekua, Hawaii) 14 (NR)
Olive Branch High School (Olive Branch, Mississippi) (#19-22)
Poly (Long Beach, California) (#16)
Teams with location are listed according to number of points garnered with prior poll standing in parenthesis. Where there are ties, teams are listed alphabetically. NR stands for “not ranked” in last poll. Again, for more details on each team, see the four polls individually. Our next update will be the final update for this year based on the final posted poll by each of the four media outlets, hopefully to be released in mid-April.