St. John's takes over No. 1 (top story)

January 28, 1997


Staff Writer

FREDERICK, Md. - This was a year of questions for St. John's at Prospect Hall's boys' basketball team.

Now, the only question is will the Vikings go undefeated and claim at least one national championship.

Monday, St. John's took over as No. 1 in the National Prep Poll, the most established national rankings, compiled by Doug Huff, sports editor of the Wheeling (W.Va.) Intelligencer.

Huff said although St. John's early schedule hasn't been overly demanding, the team's remaining 14 games will determine if its No. 1 ranking is valid. The Vikings figure to play anywhere from three to six teams that are or have been nationally ranked this year.


The Vikings (14-0) are off to their best start in school history. This showing comes one season after the graduation of heavily recruited Nate James, who is playing at Duke University.

"This team has jelled real well," said St. John's coach Stu Vetter. "We have a nice combination of veterans and new players, and I think we've surprised a lot of people."

Huff gave St. John's the No. 1 spot over Peoria (Ill.) Manual, Harvey (Ill.) Thornton, Durham (N.C.) Mount Zion and Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony.

St. Anthony was No. 1 but lost to Rice (N.Y.) last weekend, ending a 66-game win streak.

The USA Today Super 25 will be released today, and Vetter anticipates the Vikings will be ranked No. 3 behind Manual and Mount Zion.

St. John's is ranked No. 1 in the National Prep Poll's East Coast rankings. Thomas Johnson is No. 7.

In this week's Maryland state rankings, Thomas Johnson moves into the No. 3 spot following last week's buzzer-beating victory over DeMatha.

St. John's is No. 1 and surprising Baltimore Southwestern is No. 2. The Patriots (12-1) fall in at No. 3, ahead of DeMatha, St. Vincent Pallotti, Calvert Hall, St. Frances, Lake Clifton, Newport School and Gaithersburg.

Williamsport retained its No. 1 ranking among Class 1A schools. North Hagerstown moved into No. 5 in the 2A classification.

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