Boys basketball top 20: Teams take care of business ahead of holiday


Winter break doesn’t offer much rest and relaxation for the best high school basketball teams. Just a month into the season, the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s are usually when the top teams challenge themselves in tournaments or showcase events.

As a result, many of the teams in these rankings are gearing up for more basketball across the country. Before they go, it’s important not to fall into that trap this past week. Preparing for the future can sometimes lead to disappointment in the present.

But the best teams in the region are mostly in business. The top eight teams in our top 20 all won, and only one team dropped out of the rankings. The Shabach Christian Academy, a new private project in Prince George’s County, fills that void.

1. Paul VI (6-0) last ranking: 1

The Panthers got off to a strong start with a 76-27 victory over Canterbury (FL) at the Palm City Classic in Florida.

No. 1 Paul VI at home and abroad looks deep and dangerous

After winning the Gonzaga DC Classic last week, the Eagles have 10 days off before their clash with Bishop Elton at the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

3. St. John (7-0) LR: 3

The Cadets won last week at two private schools in Prince George’s County: Riverdale Baptist and Grace Brethren.

4. Sidwell Friends (8-1) LR: 4

The Quakers conquered Georgetown this week, defeating Georgetown Day and Georgetown Reserve.

The Eagles still looked unimpressed for most of Northern Virginia, beating Justices and Annandale by double digits last week.

6. Jackson Reed (9-1) LR: 6

The regional powerhouse snapped a four-game winning streak on Saturday with a 59-42 win over Gwynn Park.

The Bulldogs won the Bullis Holiday Classic with three wins in three days.

The Pioneers beat Highland Springs 66-54 in the Kyle Honore Tip-Off Classic.

9. Bishop McNamara (6-1) LR: 10

The Broncos capped off a strong week with an overtime win over Carroll (Pennsylvania).

The Bucks continued to try their luck in the nonconference last week, losing to Word of God (NC) and beating Broughton (NC).

11. Churchill (3-0) LR: 11

The Bulldogs edged out Sherwood to win, then beat Wheaton in a rout.

12. Bishop O’Connell (3-1) LR: 14

The Cavaliers won their only game of the week, continuing against Madison.

13. Battlefield (9-0) LR: 16

The Bobcats scored three easy wins to keep their undefeated start alive.

On Saturday, the Pumas beat Good Counsel to snap a three-game winning streak for the week.

15. Eleanor Roosevelt (2-2) LR: 13

The Raiders lost to CH Flowers by three points in overtime.

16. Ethnic Christianity (5-2) LR: 15

The Eagles had an up-and-down week, beating Word of Life (Virginia) but losing to Rosedale Christian (Maryland).

17. Good Advisor (6-2) LR: 12

The Falcons have lost two games this week, to Shabah Christian and Wise.

The Broncos beat Severna Park and Arundel last week.

19. Shabach Christian (12-3) LR: Unranked

The Eagles, a first-year program, have had wins over Good Counsel and St. Stephen/St. So far, Agnes.

20. Elton Bishop (4-2) circa: 19

The Cardinals lost to Highland (Virginia) in a close game but bounced back with a win over St. Louis. John Paul the Great.

drop out: Do not. 18 Alexandria

About bubbles: Gaithersburg, Oxon Hill, Potomac (Virginia), Riverdale Baptist Church

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