Pass Tha Ball Prep Polls in Review (week of April 3, 2016) – Duncanville takes the title!
By Bob Corwin
The high school season is now in the books and Duncanville (Texas) High School has finished first in all four of the individual polls for the 2015-2016 season. Thus the school can claim the mythical national title in addition to the on court Texas 6A crown. St. Mary’s High School of Stockton, California, had been consensus number one since the season started until it was upset in the California (CIF) Open Division playoffs.
The approach used
An approach which has been used in football is the basis for what is done here. 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.
Current state of affairs – final answer!
There was great consensus among the polls as to who the top nine teams were in the USA as of season’s end. After that, there was quite the divergence of opinion. A good illustration of this was the USA Today poll pushed St. Mary’s to #21 while two other polls only moved them to second. The question for the ages remains how much does your total body of work (wins and strength of schedule) count versus how the team finishes the season (in most cases as a state champion of some kind or not). Chaminade (for winning the California Open Division) and Ribault (for winning The Dick’s) made big jumps since our last poll.
The Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament
Held in New York City, this year’s field of four had a truly national flavor with Arizona (Seton Catholic), Florida (Ribault), Georgia (St. Francis) and Maryland (Riverdale Baptist) represented. Sadly, the grand majority of state associations refuse to allow their teams to participate in this or any event post-state championship. Florida’s state association (FHSAA) has been the leader among its peers in allowing participation since early in the life of the event. Teams from the Sunshine State have not suffered for participation in The Dick’s and winning a state title in Florida is still a prize goal whether getting to participate in New York or not. Opposing state associations claim Dick’s participation would cheapen a state title but for those that have played in The Dick’s, this does not appear to be the case, win or lose. Hopefully, more states will open up to this special opportunity for its players in the near future.
A look at the top three…
Pre-season, the Pantherettes were not considered to be top five nationally coming off a relatively modest (for them) 29-6 record. It became apparent pretty quickly that something special was going on just south of Dallas (The Metro DFW area was stocked with numerous quality teams and players this year). On the year, only one Duncanville contest was decided by less than ten points. The grand majority of its 39 wins was twenty plus in margin. This included the state semifinal and final and a final’s win over Blackman (one of the top teams in Tennessee) in the Sandra Meadows Classic. While Duncanville had a roster filled with future division one players, nationally there were a few other teams that could be argued to have had more on paper. What could not be argued was how Coach Cathy Self-Morgan got her players to fully buy into the system. If one was handing out a national coach of the year for 2015-2016, she would be a very strong candidate.
For the second year in a row, Paul VI finishes as one of the top teams in the country (three losses total in the last two years). This year’s team lost only once by two points in winning the highly competitive DC Catholic League (WCAC), also beating a couple of teams that won state titles elsewhere and a couple more that were state runners’ up. The Panthers were expected to be strong this year and the team did not disappoint.
Having been a power in Nevada for many years, the Bulldogs showed their strength with a third place finish at the Nike Tournament of Champions and did not otherwise lose this season. With multiple Power 5 prospects, this team, from a state not known for being a girls basketball hotbed, packed a big punch.
Based on current returning roster, it is hard to say for next season who should start number one. For the just concluded season, St. Mary’s of Stockton (had won California Open Division with a young team) was an obvious pick (which held up into March). Rather than list a lot of teams here from the rankings below, a ** is put for teams with enough coming back to likely be seen in the rankings of one or more polls early in the 2016-2017 season. Transfers and off-season injuries will, for better or worse, affect these calculations. Teams not noted were heavy to seniors or lost its star to graduation.
Here are the links to the individual polls:
Pass Tha Ball Prep Polls in Review (from polls released week of April 3, 2016)
1 Duncanville High School (Duncanville, Texas) 100 (2) [4 first place votes] **
2 Paul VI Catholic High School (Fairfax, Virginia) 93 (3-4) **
3 Centennial High School (Las Vegas, Nevada) 87 (3-4) **
4 Chaminade College Preparatory School (West Hills, California) 79 (14-15)
5-6 Neumann-Goretti High School (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 76 (7)
5-6 Ribault High School (Jacksonville, Florida) 76 (16) **
7 St. Mary’s High School (Stockton, California) 74 (1) **
8 Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) 71 (6)
9 Bellevue High School (Bellevue, Washington) 69 (9)
10 St. Francis High School (Alpharetta, Georgia) 54 (10) **
11 Miramonte High School (Orinda, California) 52 (5)
12 St. John Vianney High School (Holmdel, New Jersey) 43 (12)
13 Forestville High School (Forestville, Maryland) 37 (13)
14-15 Benet Academy (Lisle, Illinois) 24 (21-24)
14-15 Wadsworth High School (Wadsworth, Ohio) 24 (NR)
16-18 Argyle High School (Argyle, Texas) 21 (18) **
16-18 Riverdale High School (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) 21 (NR) **
16-18 Wenonah High School (Birmingham, Alabama) 21 (21-24)
19-20 Dekaney High School (Houston, Texas) 20 (21-24)
19-20 Princess Anne High School (Virginia Beach, Virginia) 20 (NR)
21-22 Canyon High School (Canyon, Texas) 19 (19-20) **
21-22 Central Valley High School (Spokane Valley, Washington) 19 (21-24) **
23-24 Konawaena High School (Kealakekua, Hawaii) 18 (19-20)
23-24 Seton Catholic Preparatory School (Chandler, Arizona) 18 (17) **
25 South High School (Wichita, Kansas) 16 (NR)
Archbishop Mitty High School (San Jose, California) #8 **
Highlands Ranch High School (Highlands Ranch, Colorado) #14-15
Hopkins High School (Minnetonka, Minnesota) #25
Villa Maria Academy High school (Malvern, Pennsylvania) #13
Teams with location are listed according to total number of points garnered (25 for first down
to one for 25th place). Where there are ties, teams are listed alphabetically. Prior ranking is listed in parenthesis. NR indicates not ranked in prior update. Again, for more details on each team, see the four polls individually. For explanation of ** please see paragraph above.