Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON — The Muskegon Big Reds stayed at 20th place in the USA Today Super 25 ratings for boys high school basketball announced Tuesday.

The Big Reds, who captured the MHSAA Class A state tournament title 10 days earlier, wound up their season 28-0 and could not improve their own mark as a result.

The listing, now in its 14th week, had Muskegon as one of 11 state championship teams and one of seven unbeaten teams in the top 20 teams in the poll chosen by the USA Today sports department.

Muskegon had the same ratings as the week before — 921 for strength of schedule, 362 for offense, 398 for defense and 118 for power. It’s computer rating remained at 68.

None of the teams ranked ahead of Muskegon either lost or dropped farther down the poll.

Montverde Academy, of Montverde, Fla., remained the pick for top team in the country. Montverde listed a record of 25-0 and had ratings of three for strength of schedule, three for offense, 109 for defense and one for power.

The top five continued to be the same. Mater Dei High School, of Santa Ana, Calif., stayed second after winning the California state Open Division championship for the fourth year in a row.

Rainier Beach High School, of Seattle, Wash., stayed in the third spot while Northside Christian Academy, of Charlotte, N.C., continued fourth and Huntington Prep, of Huntington, W.Va., fifth.

The latest computer ratings had Montverde Company ranked first; Mater Dei second; Rainier Beach fifth; Northside Christian Academy 12th; and Huntington Prep 19th.

Of the teams ahead of Muskegon, La Lumiere High School, of LaPorte, Ind., had the most victories with 39 in its 39-3 season. Eleven of the 19 teams ahead of Muskegon all won 30 or more games.

Mater Dei had the best record among the top five teams with its 35-0 mark.

Overall, Muskegon became the first West Michigan boys team to go unbeaten in a state championship run since Shelby’s Tigers captured the Class C title in 1971. Shelby had a 24-0 record that year. The Tigers repeated as state champs the following year but suffered three losses during the regular season.

The last Class A team in West Michigan history to go unbeaten and win a state title remains Muskegon Heights. Heights captured the 1957 Class A state crown with a 20-0 season record. Heights advanced to the quarterfinals or beyond four seasons in a row and won state titles in 1954, 1956 and 1957.