Local Sports Journal
MUSKEGON — The Class A state championship boosted the Muskegon Big Reds to the 20th spot in the USA Today Super 25 boys’ basketball ratings announced Tuesday.
The Big Reds moved up two spots from last week’s 22nd spot by ending the season with a school-record 28-0 mark. Muskegon wrapped up the perfect season by winning three games in three tries last week.
A 91-67 victory over Bloomfield Hills in the Class A state championship game wrapped up the spotless season and boosted Muskegon to the 20th spot in the poll. Muskegon’s previous state championships in the boys’ tournament had been in 1937 and 1927.
The poll, now in its 13th week, has a heavy state championship flavor. Of the 19 teams ahead of Muskegon, eight are listed as state champions in their respective class or state. Muskegon has been ranked 12 of the 13 weeks rated so far after starting 49th in the poll’s second week in early January.
The poll leader remains Montverde Academy, of Montverde, Fla. Montverde remained in the poll’s top spot with marks of three in strength of schedule, three in offense, 109th in defense and first in the power category.
In comparison, Muskegon’s rankings are 921 for strength of schedule, 362nd for offense, 398 for defense and 118th for the power category, but all four improved. A week earlier Muskegon had ratings of 1,255 for strength of schedule, 491 for offense, 488 for defense and 205 for power.
The overall computer rankings to date have Montverde Academy first and Muskegon 68th. That is the same ranking in that department the Big Reds have had since breaking into the Super 25 in the March 10 listing.
The other teams in the top five remained the same. Mater Dei High School, of Santa Ana, Calif., is second with a 34-0 record; Rainier Beach, of Seattle, Wash., is third with a 30-0 record and a state championship; Northside Christian Academy, of Charlotte, N.C., is fourth with a 27-4 mark; and Huntington Prep, of Huntington, W.Va., is fifth with a 27-4 season. Northside Christian Academy also won a state title in the independent schools association tournament in North Carolina.
Muskegon remained the only Michigan school ranked in the top 50 compiled by USA Today.
The only dropout in the Super 25 came when Stevenson High School, of Lincolnshire, Ill., dropped from 15th to 49th in the poll. Lincolnshire has a 32-2 season record.