Five High School Teams To Watch With Playoffs Wrapping Up

Alex Toral (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)

We released on Tuesday our updated High School Top 25, which had quite a bit of shuffling thanks to playoffs in California, Florida and other states.

With that movement, there are opportunities for teams that were previously outside of the Top 25 to make an impact on our final rankings in two weeks and for teams that are solidly in to make a nice jump into the upper echelon of the list. Of course with that opportunity also comes the risk of dropping, or falling out entirely, as was the case with previously top-ranked Huntington Beach (Calif.) High falling to No. 23.

With the high school season wrapping up or already finished in some states, we’ll zone in on some of our highest-ranking teams that are still playing for state championships and have more to gain (and lose) in the coming days, and some teams who made big jumps to end their seasons.

• No. 2 Archbishop McCarthy High (Southwest Ranches, Fla.) : The Mavericks might not be able to improve their standing in the Top 25--with No. 1 Shawnee finished after going 40-0 and winning the Oklahoma 5A State championship--but they do have the chance to solidify themselves as one of elite teams in the country and the top Florida club. This Thursday, McCarthy takes on Mosley High (Lynn Haven, Fla.) in the semifinal round of the 6A State Tournament, pitting the highest-ranked Florida teams still playing against one another. Mosley jumped to No. 13 in our current rankings, but could play spoiler and enter the top 10 with a win over McCarthy and highly ranked 2017 MLB Draft prospects Joe Perez and Alex Toral.

• No. 6 St. John Bosco High (Bellflower, Calif.): The California rankings were thrown into the air last week after Huntington Beach lost to El Dorado High (Placentia, Calif.) in the Division I CIF Southern Section quarterfinals, and St. John Bosco has been the main beneficiary. Slated to play in quarterfinals of the Division II CIF Southern Section Tuesday afternoon vs. Etiwanda (Calif.) High, the Braves have a chance to solidify themselves as the top California team in the country this season. They went from No. 19 to No. 18 to No. 14 to No. 6 and could improve that ranking, although there’s likely less wiggle room in the top five, as four teams have finished their seasons and are state champions. An Archbishop McCarthy loss would be the easiest way for them to move up, although winning a highly competitive Southern Section could be enough to jump St. John Bosco over schools that won in less-challenging states.

• No. 8 Jackson High (Massillon, Ohio) : Jackson entered the top 10 for the first time this season in Tuesday’s poll, thanks to an almost-flawless season in Division I Ohio. Next on the schedule for Jackson is a semifinal matchup with Lakota West High (West Chester, Ohio) on Friday in the Division I state semifinals. A loss for Jackson means more than a loss for teams out of stronger states like California, Texas and Florida, so it will likely have to run the table and win t state championship game on June 3 to remain highly-ranked, and could even fall out of the top 25 entirely with a loss. Jackson has been one of the most consistent teams this season, as far as its standing in the Top 25 goes, and needs just two more wins to solidify its spot in the top 10.

• No. 12 Riverdale Baptist High (Marlboro, Md.): Another school from a state that makes it tough to rank highly, Riverdale Baptist has flirted with the back end of the Top 25 regularly this season before making a big climb in the past few rankings, going from 23 to 16 to its current No. 12. Riverdale finished its season on a 15-game winning streak and has been blowing out foes, outscoring opponents 155-106 over that stretch.

• No. 10 Chatsworth (Calif.) High: Our second California team benefitting from Huntington Beach’s fall, Chatsworth has played itself into a championship game in Dodger Stadium on June 3, after beating El Camino Real (Woodland Hills, Calif.) High 2-1 in the semifinals of the Division I CIF Los Angeles Section. Chatsworth is the top seed in the bracket and will have to beat Birmingham High (Lake Balboa, Calif.) to take home the crown and finish the year as one of the top California high school clubs.