Category: Super 25

South Central (NC) is making noise on the national scene with homegrown talent

WINTERVILLE, N.C. – Every time, without fail, Day’Ron Sharpe walks into the Zaxby’s just off of South Memorial Drive in Winterville, North Carolina, the front desk employees blurt out “Kickin’ Chicken meal” before he can even get a chance to decide on whether he’s going to be a creature of habit.
“They already know,” Sharpe said. “That’s how it is here; it’s a small town and everyone knows everyone, mostly.”
Winterville sits roughly seven miles from the vivacious college town that is Greenville, North Carolina, home of the East Carolina Pirates, but it might as well be clear across the country.
“There’s not a whole lot to do, but it’s home,” Shykeim Phillips said. “It’s quiet here.”
The irony is that Sharpe, Phillips and the rest of Winterville’s high school basketball team – the South Central Falcons – are making a deafening noise on the national scene this season.
Day’Ron Sharpe has been dominant all season. (Photo: John Wall Holiday Invitational)
“We’re putting on for the town and we’re all homegrown so there’s more pride with us,” said Sharpe, a junior forward. “It feels great to be getting all of this attention nationally. Everyone around the city is supporting us and encouraging us. It’s a big thing around here.”
The Falcons debuted in the USA Today Super 25 at No. 23 on Dec. 31 after taking then No. 4 Ranney School (Tinton Falls, N.J.) down to the wire in the prestigious John Wall Holiday Invitational title game.
“That still bothers me that we didn’t win that one,” said Sharpe, a North Carolina commit who is averaging 16.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks a game. “We were up the whole game and fell at the end. That one hurt.”
It’s a familiar emotion for Sharpe and the Falcons the last two years, after putting together dominant regular seasons and falling on their way to the coveted state title.
Still, Phillips said that the he and his teammates don’t worry about history repeating itself for a third-straight season, despite the similarities.
“It’s something that motivates us,” said Phillips, a senior point guard who is averaging 17 points, 3.6 assists and 3.1 steals a game. “We’re not thinking that just because this season is going the way the last two seasons went that it will end like that. Honestly, this season isn’t like those seasons at all. We’re nationally ranked now, and we’ve never been ranked before.”
The Falcons check in at No. 6 overall in the latest Super 25 poll.
That status has added significant attention for the Falcons, especially on social media.
Phillips said he’s added 3,000 followers since the Falcons debuted in the Super 25, Sharpe has added 1,500.
South Central has also seen a 20 percent spike in ticket sales for home games this season.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” Phillips said. “I’m just trying to enjoy this time because I know it only comes around once, but the biggest thing is to keep working hard; that’s what got us here.”
That and locking up defensively.

SOUTH CENTRAL VS SOUTHERN WAYNE [email protected] IS ILL!!!!!! ONE OF THE BEST PG'S IN NC!!!!SOUTH CENTRAL STILL SHARPE AS EVER!!!!
FULL HIGHLIGHTS (https://t.co/VE2qttyPtd)@SouthCentralHS @Hoopcoach88 pic.twitter.com/GnowVoulmq
— StreetzDotNation (@StreetzDotNaion) January 4, 2019

In 2019, the Falcons’ average margin of victory is 38.4 points per game.
This season they’re only allowing opponents 41 points per game, they’re managing 5.5 blocks per game and swiping 12 steals per game.
“Defense is our foundation, there’s no doubt about it,” South Central coach Chris Cherry said. “We keep things basic in our defensive preparation, but we execute everything to perfection or we keep doing it until we do. There’s more praise for defense and everyone’s buying in. The guys are just a lot more mature this year.”
Sharpe added that another difference between this season and the last two is the urgency he feels with eight seniors on the roster. The Falcons have just two regular season games left before starting the playoffs. Their average margin of victory this season over their final two opponents is 27.5 points per game.
“We have to get it done this year,” Sharpe said. “We’ll have a chance next year, but this is the year we’ve got the best chance.”
If the Falcons were to go on and win the state title, they would have a chance at an even bigger prize –
The GEICO Nationals title, but the North Carolina High School Athletic Association does not allow its schools to participate in GEICO Nationals, which runs from April 4-6 in New York. The Falcons would have been a lock to earn a berth.
“That’s crazy,” Phillips said. “We’ve got to do something about that. Our confidence is really high this year and we know that we can play with any team in the country. Hopefully, we can make it happen, but before we can think about that we have to focus on winning states. We don’t want all of this to be for nothing. We want this to be the year it all comes together.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

Super 25 Regional Boys Basketball Rankings: Week 10

USA TODAY High School Sports will make Super 25 Regional Rankings for boys basketball this season as selected by the USA TODAY High School Sports staff with weekly rankings in five regions — Northeast, Midwest, South, Frontier and Pacific.
RELATED: Super 25 Boys Basketball Rankings
Results are through Feb. 10
NORTHEAST
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine.

Long Island Lutheran, Glen Head, N.Y. (19-2)
DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (23-3)
Ranney, Tinton Falls, N.J. (20-3)
Roselle Catholic, Roselle, N.J. (21-3)
Abington, Pa. (23-1)
Imhotep Charter, Philadelphia (17-5)
St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (29-4)
Kennedy Catholic, Hermitage, Pa. (17-3)
Cardinal Hayes, Bronx, N.Y. (16-2)
Gill St. Bernard’s, Gladstone, N.J. (18-4)

SOUTH
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and Louisiana.

McEachern High School, Powder Springs, Ga., (27-0)
Montverde Academy, Fla. (21-2)
IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (26-1)
Mountain Brook High School, Ala. (27-3)
South Central High School, Winterville, N.C. (21-1)
Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va. (26-3)
Cox Mill High School, Concord, N.C. (21-1)
Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte, N.C. (27-1)
Millbrook High School, Raleigh, N.C. (23-0)
University School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (20-4)

MIDWEST
Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

La Lumiere, La Porte, Ind. (26-0)
Nicolet, Milwaukee, Wisc. (17-1)
Curie, Chicago, Ill. (27-1)
Scott County, Georgetown, Ky. (27-1)
Warren Central, Indianapolis, Ind. (20-1)
Huntington Prep, W. Va. (18-3)
Pickerington Central, Ohio (20-1)
Carmel, Ind. (17-1)
Coffman, Ohio (19-0)
Morgan Park, Chicago Ill. (23-3)

FRONTIER
Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Wasatch Academy, Mt. Pleasant, Utah (24-3)
Sunrise Christian Academy, Bel Aire, Kan. (17-5)
Denton Guyer, Texas (32-4)
Mansfield Timberview, Texas (30-2)
Westlake, Austin, Texas (30-3)
Baptist Prep, West Little Rock, Ark. (24-3)
Pleasant Grove, Utah (18-2)
Edmond Memorial, Okla. (20-1)
Blue Valley Northwest, Kansas (19-3)
Chaparral, Parker, Colo. (18-3)

PACIFIC
California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, Alaska.

Federal Way, Wash. (20-2)
Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth, Calif. (25-3)
Rancho Christian, Temecula, Calif. (24-5)
Shadow Mountain, Phoenix (22-3)
Rainier Beach, Seattle (16-4)
Bella Vista Prep, Cave Creek, Ariz. (22-5)
Pinnacle, Phoenix (23-3)
  Centennial, Corona, Calif. (26-3)
Salesian College Prep, Richmond, Calif. (27-0)
Fairfax, Los Angeles (25-1)

GEICO Nationals field is beginning to take shape

We’re less than two months away from opening tip at the GEICO Nationals, which will run April 4-6 at Christ the King High School (Middle Village, N.Y.) and as teams scramble to beef-up their resumes in hopes of earning a bid in the final weeks of the regular season and playoffs, the picture of the eight-team field is becoming clearer.
Of the states that allow teams to participate in GEICO Nationals – Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Hawaii, Washington, District of Columbia, Utah, North Carolina (private schools) and Maryland (private schools) – here are who we’re projecting as locks.
No. 1 seed: La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.)
No. 2 seed: McEachern High School (Powder Springs, Ga.)
No. 3 seed: Montverde (Fla.) Academy
No. 4 seed: IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
No. 5 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
Sharife Cooper, of McEachern, drives to the net during the championship game against Sunrise Christian Academy at the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions at JQH Arena on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.Andrew Jansen/News-Leader
Of our projected locks, McEachern is the only school that’s pursuing a state title in one of the toughest states in the country.
The logical question is: If the Indians stumble on their quest, would GEICO Nationals still take them in April?
It would be the first time in the tournament’s history that it would take a school that didn’t win its state title.
The answer would have to be a resounding yes.
The reality is that McEachern could make a strong case at being No. 1 because its body of work is so strong with seven convincing wins over Super 25 teams this season.
After those five there are a handful of teams on the bubble like Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.), Federal Way (Wash.) High School, Rainier Beach High School (Seattle), Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah), University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas).
In the past, GEICO Nationals has taken he North Carolina private schools champion, but they haven’t traditionally fared well, going 1-7 in the event. If GEICO Nationals opted to take a school from North Carolina, Christ School (Arden, N.C.) or Caramel Christian School (Matthews, N.C.) would likely get the nod.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

Mountain Brook (Ala.) in top five, Abington (Pa.) makes its debut in new Super 25

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The top two teams held their spots with convincing wins, Montverde (Fla.) Academy jumped to No. 3 after destroying two Super 25 teams this past weekend, first a 65-41 win over then No. 19 Roselle (N.J.) Catholic School and then an 89-51 win over then No. 11 Ranney School (Tinton Falls, N.J.).
FULL RANKINGS: Super 25 Boys Basketball Rankings
DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, Md.) dropped out of the top 10 after a 65-58 loss to Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.).
That opened the door for Mountain Brook (Ala.) High School to make its debut in the top five.
Long Island Lutheran High School (Brookville, N.Y.) continued its impressive run with three strong wins last week, including a dramatic buzzer beater to sink Gill St. Bernard’s High School (Gladstone, N.J.).
As a result, the Crusaders jumped from No. 15 to No. 10 this week.
Abington (Penn.) High School made its debut in the Super 25 this week, checking in at No. 24.

POLL: Vote for the Super 25 Boys Basketball Top Star, Week 9

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Here are the candidates for this week’s Super 25 Top Star. Players are nominated based off games played in the previous week.
Vote now in the poll below.
SUPER 25:  TOP 25 | REGIONAL
NOTE: Players can only win once per season | Voting ends Thursday at 2 p.m. ET

Take Our Poll
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Super 25 Regional Boys Basketball Rankings: Week 9

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USA TODAY High School Sports will make Super 25 Regional Rankings for boys basketball this season as selected by the USA TODAY High School Sports staff with weekly rankings in five regions — Northeast, Midwest, South, Frontier and Pacific.
RELATED: Super 25 Boys Basketball Rankings | Top Star
Results are through Feb. 3
NORTHEAST
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine.

DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (20-2)
Ranney, Tinton Falls, N.J. (18-2)
Long Island Lutheran, Glen Head, N.Y. (16-2)
Roselle Catholic, Roselle, N.J. (19-2)
Imhotep Charter, Philadelphia (15-5)
Abington, Pa. (21-1)
St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (23-4)
Kennedy Catholic, Hermitage, Pa. (15-3)
Gill St. Bernard’s, Gladstone, N.J. (17-3)
Cardinal Hayes, Bronx, N.Y. (15-2)

SOUTH
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and Louisiana.

McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga., (25-0)
IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (26-1)
Montverde Academy, Fla. (18-2)
Mountain Brook, Ala. (25-3)
South Central, Winterville, N.C. (19-1)
Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va. (25-3)
Cox Mill, Concord, N.C. (19-1)
Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte, N.C. (24-1)
Hamilton Heights, Chattanooga, Tenn. (26-3)
Carmel Christian, Matthews, N.C. (28-2)

MIDWEST
Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

La Lumiere, La Porte, Ind. (25-0)
Nicolet, Milwaukee, Wisc. (15-1)
Curie, Chicago, Ill. (25-1)
Belleville West, Belleville, Ill. (22-1)
Warren Central, Indianapolis, Ind. (17-1)
Scott County, Georgetown, Ky. (25-1)
Huntington Prep, W. Va. (18-3)
Pickerington Central (Ohio) (17-1)
Hopkins Minnetonka, Minn. (17-2)
Carmel, Ind. (15-1)

FRONTIER
Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

 Sunrise Christian Academy, Bel Aire, Kan. (17-4)
Wasatch Academy, Mt. Pleasant, Utah (23-3)
Denton Guyer, Texas (29-4)
Mansfield Timberview, Texas (28-2)
Westlake, Austin, Texas (28-3)
Blue Valley Northwest, Kansas (17-1)
Baptist Prep, West Little Rock, Ark. (22-3)
Pleasant Grove, Utah (17-2)
Edmond Memorial, Okla. (18-1)
Mountain Vista, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (18-1)

PACIFIC
California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, Alaska.

Federal Way, Wash. (19-2)
Rancho Christian, Temecula, Calif. (24-4)
Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth, Calif. (24-3)
Shadow Mountain, Phoenix (21-3)
Rainier Beach, Seattle (16-4)
Bella Vista Prep, Cave Creek, Ariz. (22-4)
Pinnacle, Phoenix (22-3)
Salesian College Prep, Richmond, Calif. (26-0)
Fairfax, Los Angeles (24-1)
Centennial, Corona, Calif. (25-3)

Super 25 Regional Girls Winter Soccer Rankings – Week 3

Each week USA TODAY High School Sports and United Soccer Coaches will release Super 25 Regional Girls Winter Soccer Rankings. Rankings are based on results from the 2018-19 season, quality of players and strength of schedule. Regions are determined by the United Soccer Coaches.
MORE: Super 25 Girls Winter Soccer Rankings
MORE: Super 25 Boys Winter Soccer Rankings
RELATED: Regional Boys Soccer Winter Rankings
Records shown are through games of Jan. 20, 2019
REGION I (Florida)

Rank
School
W-L-T

1
Archbishop McCarthy (Southwest Ranches, Fla.)
15-0-0

2
Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
13-0-0

3
St. Johns Country Day School (Orange Park, Fla.)
10-2-0

4
Bartram Trail (St. Johns, Fla.)
10-1-2

5
Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.)
12-0-0

6
The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.)
9-3-1

7
Oviedo (Oviedo, Fla.)
12-1-0

8
University (Palm Harbor, Fla.)
9-0-1

9
Newsome (Lithia, Fla.)
12-0-0

10
Stanton (Jacksonville, Fla.)
12-1-2

REGION II (Louisiana, Mississippi)

Rank
School
W-L-T

1
St. Scholastica Academy (Covington, La.)
13-0-3

2
West Lauderdale (Collinsville, Miss.)
17-0-3

3
St. Thomas More (Lafayette, La.)
13-2-1

4
Mandeville (Mandeville, La.)
9-1-2

5
Madison Central (Madison, Miss.)
12-2-2

6
Loyola College Prep (Shreveport, La.)
16-3-3

7
Lakeshore (Mandeville, La.)
11-3-3

8
Brandon (Brandon, Miss.)
15-2-2

9
C.E. Byrd (Shreveport, La.)
13-1-3

10
Gulfport (Gulfport, Miss.)
17-4-0

REGION III (Texas)

Rank
School
W-L-T

1
Tompkins (Katy, Texas)
8-0-0

2
Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
9-0-1

3
Hebron (Carrollton, Texas)
5-0-1

4
Guyer (Denton, Texas)
7-0-1

5
Grapevine (Grapevine, Texas)
7-1-2

6
Coppell (Coppell, Texas)
10-1-1

7
Vandergrift (Austin, Texas)
5-1-2

8
Independence (Frisco, Texas)
5-0-1

9
Churchill (San Antonio, Texas)
6-1-2

10
Cypress Woods (Houston, Texas)
8-1-0

REGION IV (Arizona, California and Hawaii)

Rank
School
W-L-T

1
JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
12-0-1

2
Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
19-0-4

3
Upland (Upland, Calif.)
12-1-0

4
Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.)
16-0-1

5
Davis (Davis, Calif.)
11-0-0

6
Our Lady of Peace (San Diego, Calif.)
11-2-2

7
Clovis North (Clovis, Calif.)
15-1-2

8
Monte Vista (Monte Vista, Calif.)
10-1-2

9
Flintridge Prep (La Canada, Calif.)
18-0-1

10
Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
12-2-2

Records shown are through games of Jan. 20, 2019

POLL: Vote for the Super 25 Girls Basketball Top Star, Week 5

Here are the candidates for this week’s Super 25 Top Star. Players are nominated based off games played in the previous week.
Vote now in the poll below.
RELATED:  Super 25 Girls Basketball Rankings, Week 5 
MORE: Super 25 Boys Basketball Top Star, Week 5
NOTE: Players can only win once per season | Voting ends Friday at 2 p.m. ET

Take Our Poll
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*Weekly winners will receive a t-shirt

POLL: Vote for the Super 25 Boys Basketball Top Star, Week 5

Here are the candidates for this week’s Super 25 Top Star. Players are nominated based off games played in the previous week.
Vote now in the poll below.
SUPER 25:  TOP 25 | REGIONAL
MORE: Super 25 Girls Basketball Top Star, Week 5
NOTE: Players can only win once per season | Voting ends Friday at 2 p.m. ET

Take Our Poll
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*Weekly winners will receive a t-shirt

Super 25 Girls Basketball: The top stays steady, Archbishop Mitty enters back into the rankings

The top seven teams went undefeated this week, and that was evident from the rankings — not a single team from that list of seven dropped down.
Full Rankings: Super 25 Girls Basketball Rankings
Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.) High School is still unbeaten and remains atop the rankings for the third week in a row. Miami Country Day (Fla.) and Saint John’s College (Washington D.C.) are ranked second and third, respectively, and the two each have one loss.
Centennial (Las Vegas) was a big mover in the middle of the rankings. The Bulldogs move up to No. 12 after being ranked No. 18 the previous week. The team won twice this week with blowout victories over Fairmont Prep (Anaheim, Calif.) and Windward (Los Angeles). Windward moves down to 20th after ranking 8th last week.
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) was the preseason No. 1 but after back-to-back losses to Southridge (Beaverton, Ore.) and Grandview (Aurora, Colo. ) they dropped out of the top 25. Since those two losses, the Monarchs have reeled off seven straight wins, playing their way back into the rankings. The team, which is No. 24 in the rankings, is led by Haley Jones. Jones has committed to Stanford and is considered the top recruit in the nation, according to ESPNW.