URBANDALE, Iowa -- A week ago, winning the Prep Poll title seemed an unlikely proposition for two-time Texas 4A champion Yates (Houston). But a stunning 26-point loss by Northland (Columbus, Ohio) over the weekend opened up the top spot, and the Lions pounced on the No. 1 ranking in the Week 18 poll released Monday morning.
All five teams that were ranked ahead of Yates in the preseason have lost at least once, while the Lions made minced meat of nearly every opponent. Aside from a one-point victory against No. 3 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) in the championship game of the Iolani Classic, Yates beat every other foe by at least seven. The Lions' average score was 116-66 and they set a national record late in the year with at least 100 points in 15 straight games.
Yates' schedule was far from the most difficult in the nation and the Lions did not win the state championship in Texas' largest classification. However, they did defeat four teams that will likely finish the year in the national or regional rankings.
Defending Prep Poll champion Findlay (Henderson, Nev.) remained No. 2 in this week's poll. The Pilots, who are 4-2 against current Top 25 teams, have not played since February 27. They return to action April 2 to defending their title at the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational in Baltimore.