URBANDALE, Iowa -- Houston juggernaut Yates has made its closing argument for a mythical national title.
In the Week 17 National Prep Poll released Monday morning, the Lions moved up one spot to No. 3 after winning their second straight Texas 4A state title and finished undefeated in back-to-back years. Yates beat regionally ranked Lancaster, 92-73, before a record crowd of over 16,000 in Saturday's state final at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. In their 106-76 semifinals win over The Colony, the Lions established a new national record of 15 consecutive games scoring at least 100 points.
Yates is vying to become only the second Texas team to claim a National Prep Poll title in basketball. Dallas Lincoln did it in 2002 with a team that went 40-0 and featured future NBA all-star Chris Bosh.
The Lions have won 58 consecutive games since the start of last season and own wins this year over No. 4 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) plus regionally ranked Columbia (Decatur, Ga.) and Kentwood (Covington, Wash.). However, they remain below top-ranked Northland (Columbus, Ohio) and No. 2 Findlay (Henderson, Nev.) on the totem pole for now.
Northland is expected to win its second consecutive state title in Ohio's largest classification. The Vikings have beaten two Top 10 teams and features three starters who will play in college at national powers Ohio State and West Virginia.
Findlay, which finished last season ranked No. 1, already has four wins against the Top 25 and can add to the total when it defends its title in the season-ending ESPN RISE National High School Invitational next month.