High-SchoolMissouri: Jalen Norman

After games on Sunday, March 4.

McCluer North coach Randy Reed told me before the year that, in hopes of focusing on the new goal and season at end, his team was going to act like they never won the Class 5 title in 2011. But as the season wore on, at times it seemed like the rest of the state acted like the Stars weren't the defending champs, either.

After going under the radar for much of the season, the spotlight has returned to the Stars, who have won 24 straight (including a big quarterfinal win against a tough Vianney squad), are ranked No. 38 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and are two wins away from a repeat title.

Also under the radar and just across the Class 5 bracket is Nixa. The Eagles began the season with a loss, but have yet to taste defeat again, winning 29 straight and avenging their lone loss by downing Rock Bridge in the quarterfinals.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. McCluer North (Florissant) 26-1 (1)
Stars defeated Vianney 63-54 behind Jordon Granger's 18 points to earn 24th straight win and spot in the Class 5 final four. The defending champs face Lee's Summit West on March 8.

2. Vianney (Kirkwood) 27-2 (2)
Golden Griffins saw their best season in school history come to end with a loss to top-ranked McCluer North in the Class 5 quarterfinals.

3. Nixa 29-1 (3)
Led by Jalen Norman's 31 points, the Eagles avenged their lone loss of the year by beating Rock Bridge in overtime to move to Class 5 semifinals. Next up: a Marquette squad they beat by 22 earlier this season.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Missouri hoops rankings.

McCluer North tops preseason basketball rankings in Missouri

October, 19, 2011
10/19/11
11:44
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B.J. Young might be gearing for his freshman season at Arkansas, but that doesn't mean his former McCluer North squad isn't ready to defend its title. After losing four games in February, the Stars peaked at the right time, and with Jordon Granger among nine returning players, the preseason's top squad appears primed for a repeat.

The Stars aren't the only ones ready to make some noise in the Show Me State. DeSmet Jesuit and Nixa are both led by juniors, with Butler commit Nolan Berry pacing the Spartans and standout guard Jalen Norman (20.9 points per game last season) sparking the Eagles.

1. McCluer North (Florissant)
2. DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis)
3. Nixa

Click here for the full POWERADE preseason Missouri basketball rankings.

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