FloHoops' Top 25 High School Basketball Rankings (2016-17)
FINAL FloHoops Top 25 High School Basketball Rankings (4/4)
Man, this is tough. What do you do? Which is the final No. 1 team of the 2016-17 season? No predicament is supposed to be easy, but the decision here is ridiculously hard.
Is it Nathan Hale (WA) or La Lumiere School (IN)? Is it the DICK'S Sporting Goods Nationals champion with one loss or the undefeated squad with the best player in the country? The fact there is even a debate here should prove its level of difficulty to decide. Both teams are certainly deserving of the top spot. Each has a case and was ranked at No. 1 for several weeks this season. It's just not going to be a tie. Not a chance.
Before getting into the reasoning, understand this: Nobody knows who would win a game, or even series, between these two teams. They didn't play. Any scenario is hypothetical. It's not fact. It's only speculation.
So, with that said, the only thing to base this decision is the body of work.
Throughout the season, Nathan Hale, which started the season at No. 6, backed up all doubts and took on all comers with a gigantic target on its back. The Raiders finished with a perfect 29-0 record, beat worthy league rivals Rainier Beach and Garfield a combined total of seven times, and capped their season off with a Washington 3A state title. They also had Michael Porter Jr. -- the nation's top player, who was virtually unstoppable all season -- and big-time wins against No. 10 Sierra Canyon (CA) at the Les Schwab Invitational and No. 8 Oak Hill Academy (VA) at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.
La Lumiere, on the other hand, began the season looking to avenge its loss in the DICK'S Nationals title game a year ago as the No. 2 team. The Lakers played a national schedule during the regular season, most notably beating No. 4 Findlay Prep (NV) on the road and winning the Chick-fil-A Classic, and only suffered a two-point loss to No. 10 Sierra Canyon at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. Then, they went on to beat three top 20 teams -- No. 4 Findlay Prep (NV), No. 6 Montverde Academy (FL), and No. 20 Wasatch Academy (UT) -- in three days over this past weekend to take home the DICK'S Nationals hardware.
Hard to decide? There's more.Nathan Hale beat Sierra Canyon, the only team to deal La Lumiere a loss this season.
However, La Lumiere beat Findlay Prep twice, which beat Oak Hill twice, which is Nathan Hale's biggest win of the season in terms of ranking.
Basically, in plainest terms, despite the loss, La Lumiere had better wins.
At the end of the day, the decision had nothing to do with Nathan Hale declining to play at DICK'S Nationals. It did, however, come down to what transpired this past weekend. La Lumiere beat two teams ranked higher than Nathan Hale's best wins to cut down the nets. It's a credit to the Lakers more than anything, and for that, they deserve the nod.
Create a free account to unlock this ranking!
Already a subscriber? Log In