By Local Sports Journal

The Muskegon Big Reds remained in the national boys basketball rankings put together by USA Today, but they slipped one spot back to 36th in the latest listing announced today.

The Big Reds have a 15-0 record going into Friday’s game at Mona Shores (11-3), and that is what has propelled Muskegon into the USA Today Super 25.

The game also will be showdown for the OK Conference Black Division top spot. Muskegon is 7-0 and Mona Shores 6-1 in league games going into the meeting.

Muskegon will play another possible unbeaten team Saturday, Feb. 15, when it hosts Class C power Mount Clemens at 6 p.m. in the school’s Redmond-Potter Gymnasium.

The national leader remained Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana, Calif. Mater Dei ran its record to 25-0 by winning two more games.

The remainder of the top five teams stayed the same. Chicago Curie, now 22-1, remains second; Montverde, Fla., Academy (22-1) is third; Rainier Beach (20-0), of Seattle, Wash., is fourth; and White Station (26-1), of Memphis, Tenn., is fifth.

Muskegon beat Curie in early January in overtime in Muskegon when Curie’s best player had to sit out a one-game suspension that night. The Big Reds have been ranked since that game.

Michigan now has a second team in the listing. Saginaw Arthur Hill, now 13-2, grabbed the 50th spot in today’s poll.

Muskegon now has been included in the national rankings six weeks in a row. Its ratings have been 49th, 44th, 41st, 39th and then 35th before the slip back to 36th today.