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High school sports: Timeline, impacts of a global pandemic one year later - HIGHSCORE
High school sports: Timeline, impacts of a global pandemic one year later
Billy Durkin walked slowly to midcourt and laid down his gym bag. He sat beside it and stared into the rolled up bleachers. Still proudly dressed in his Hinsdale South (Darien, Ill.) basketball jersey, Durkin had hoped to hear 3,000 fans in the sold out gym cheer on the 30-3 Hornets to a section semifinal playoff victory en route a first state championship.

However, 30 minutes earlier, Durkin and his teammates were told the coronavirus pandemic had hit the United State full force and the Hornets' storybook season, like many others to come, was over. Instead of jubilant celebrations and raucous ovations, Durkin heard the stark silence of an empty gym along with his own somber and bittersweet thoughts.

"So many memories," Durkin said. "The fans. The friendships. And just how far we had come. It was a little overwhelming. It wasn't supposed to end like that."

That was March 12, 2020.

The vision of Durkin's heartbreaking, solitary reaction was captured on a NFHS video stream and a screenshot shared on social media for all the world to see and sigh. The photo represented what many high school athletes and coaches felt that day, ultimately proving Durkin wasn't so alone after all.

Over the next 365 days, hundreds of thousands of student-athletes and their coaches have shared in that isolation, frustration and void, but ultimately similar numbers have returned from the sidelines and empty gyms to return to play.

Below, we chart a timeline of some of the more important dates and happenings surrounding high school sports and the pandemic.
The shot that went viral: Billy Durkin alone with his thoughts at midcourt after Hinsdale South's season ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo courtesy of Billy Durkin
The shot that went viral: Billy Durkin alone with his thoughts at midcourt after Hinsdale South's season ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Preps and the pandemic

March 11, 2020: NBA halts season, prompting sports organizations at all levels to re-evaluate competition going forward.

March 12, 2020: Texas (UIL) suspends state basketball tournament in progress, ultimately cancels.

March 12, 2020: The Central Plains (Claflin, Kan.) girls basketball team, riding a 136-game win streak, wins quarterfinal game but later learns season is over and career ends for Kansas Player of the Year Emily Ryan.

March 12, 2020: California cancels state championship games for first time, halting chances of a three-peat for the nationally-ranked boys team from Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth).

March 12, 2020: In Minnesota, MaxPreps girls basketball Player of the Year Paige Bueckers also has illustrious career unceremoniously unplugged one wins shy of a perfect 31-0 season for Hopkins (Minnetonka).

March 21, 2020: The Jordan Brand Classic, McDonald's All-American Games, Nike Hoop Summit and GEICO Nationals all are canceled. Top-ranked and 25-0 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) misses out on winning a fifth GEICO title in eight years, and with it, a final chance to make case as one of greatest high school boys teams ever.   

April 3, 2020: California becomes 10th state to cancel spring season, joining Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Virginia. By the end of the month, all 50 would join.

June 15, 2020: The scheduled national football showdown between De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) at two-time defending Texas 6A champion North Shore (Houston) is canceled.

June 15, 2020: Baseball, softball fans enjoy action as competition begins in Iowa.

July 20, 2020: California announces fall season moved to 2021, one of 15 to eventually do so.

July 21, 2020: Texas announces six-week delay of two largest football divisions, 6A and 5A.

Aug. 1, 2020: Iowa state baseball tournament comes to an end, drawing nearly 30,000 socially-distanced fans at Principal Park in Des Moines over a week of games.

Aug. 11, 2020: High school associations largely align with Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences, which announce postponement of football season.

Aug. 13, 2020: Football season kicks off in Utah.

Aug. 14, 2020: Michigan becomes 15th state to move football to 2021.

Aug. 21, 2020: American Fork (Utah) athletic director Jeremy Lewis tells football crowd at halftime to practice social distancing or game would halt. Game finishes without pause.

Sept. 3, 2020: Michigan the first of many to reverse course, moves season back from 2021 to 2020.

Oct. 14, 2020: Alaska is first of five states to cancel football postseason due to rising COVID cases.

Nov. 5, 2020: Alabama and Mississippi become first states to tip off basketball seasons.

Nov. 13-14, 2020: North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming become the first states to hold football state championships.

Nov. 20, 2020: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pauses all football playoffs due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Dec. 18, 2020: California pauses Jan. 8 start date indefinitely.

Jan. 9, 2021: Michigan continues playoffs, finishes one week later.

Jan. 16, 2021: Texas finishes 6A and 5A football playoffs at AT&T Stadium, one of 35 states to complete fall football seasons.

Feb. 13, 2021: Washington is first state to begin 2020 football season in 2021.

Feb. 17, 2021: Nevada OKs sports, but Clark County (Las Vegas) remains sidelined.

Feb. 19, 2021: After three-week negotiation between football coaches and advocacy groups with governor's office, California changes guideline to renew contact outdoor sports.

March 12, 2021: California scheduled to open its 2020-21 football season.
Ziaire Williams drills game-winning shot to send Sierra Canyon into the 2020 California Open Division finals. Two days later, the state championships were canceled due to the pandemic.
File photo by Louis Lopez
Ziaire Williams drills game-winning shot to send Sierra Canyon into the 2020 California Open Division finals. Two days later, the state championships were canceled due to the pandemic.

Start dates for high school baseball/softball in all 50 states - HIGHSCORE
Start dates for high school baseball/softball in all 50 states
High school baseball and softball seasons have always had staggered start dates among the 50 states, but COVID-19 has made the differences even more pronounced.

States that have an early February start date, such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Texas, are business as usual and have already begun play. However, some states that normally get started in late March have postponed start dates until mid- to late-April. Maryland may have the most delayed start date as it won't start until April 29.

At least five states have yet to determine a start or finish date, including Hawaii and four other Northeastern states.

Following are the start and state tournament dates for baseball and softball in each state as released by the state associations.
IMG Academy and Marcus (Texas) battle over the weekend.
Photo by Tommy Hays
IMG Academy and Marcus (Texas) battle over the weekend.
Alabama
Baseball — Underway/May 17-22
Softball — Underway/May 18-22

Alaska
Baseball — March 30/June 3-5
Softball — March 30/June 3-5

Arizona
Baseball — March 12/TBA
Softball — March 12/TBA

Arkansas
Baseball — March 1/May 13
Softball — March 1/May 13

California
Baseball — March 19 /June 22, 24, 26
Softball — March 19/June 22, 24, 26

Colorado
Baseball — May 3/June 25-26
Softball — Fall season

Connecticut
Baseball — April 10/TBD
Softball — April 10/TBD

Delaware
Baseball — March 22/TBD
Softball — March 22/TBD

Florida
Baseball — Underway/May 19-22
Softball — Underway/May 18-22

Georgia
Baseball — Underway/May 21-24
Softball — Fall season

Hawaii
Baseball — TBD/TBD
Softball — TBD/TBD

Idaho
Baseball — March 10/May 21
Softball — March 10/May 21

Illinois
Baseball — April 5/June 19
Softball — April 5/June 19

Indiana
Baseball — March 29/June 18-19
Softball — March 22/June 11-12

Kansas
Baseball — March 28/June 25
Softball — March 28/June 25

Kentucky
Baseball — March 29/June 16-19
Softball — March 29/June 17-20

Louisiana
Baseball — Underway/May 13/14/15
Softball — Underway/May 1

Maine
Baseball — TBD/TBD
Softball — TBD/TBD

Maryland
Baseball — April 29/May 22
Softball — April 29/May 22

Massachusetts
Baseball — Third week of March/Third week of June
Softball — Third week of March/Third week of June

Michigan
Baseball — March 26/June 19
Softball — March 26/June 19

Minnesota
Baseball — April 8/June 19
Softball — April 8/June 19
Claire Davidson, Lakewood Ranch
Photo by Stacy White
Claire Davidson, Lakewood Ranch
Mississippi
Baseball — Underway/May 25-29
Softball — Underway/May 13-15

Missouri
Baseball — TBD/TBD
Softball — Fall season

Montana
Softball — March 20/May 21-23

Nebraska
Baseball — March 18/May 15, 17-20
Softball — Fall season

Nevada
Baseball — April 16/TBA
Softball — April 16/TBA

New Hampshire
Baseball — April 12/TBA
Softball — April 12/TBA

New Jersey
Baseball — April 19/June 1-20
Softball — April 19/June 1-20

New Mexico
Baseball — April 10/June 21-26
Softball — April 10/June 21-26

New York
Baseball — TBD/TBD
Softball — TBD/TBD

North Carolina
Baseball — April 26/June 25-26
Softball — March 15/May 14-15

North Dakota
Baseball — April 2/June 3-5
Softball — April 2/June 3-5

Ohio
Baseball — March 27/June 10-12
Softball — March 27/June 3-5

Oklahoma
Baseball — Underway/May 13-15
Softball — Fall season

Oregon
Baseball — April 12/TBD
Softball — April 12/TBD

Pennsylvania
Baseball — March 26/June 17-18
Softball — March 26/June 17-18

Rhode Island
Baseball — TBD
Softball — TBD

South Carolina
Baseball — March 15/June 1-5
Softball — March 15/June 1-5

South Dakota
Baseball — March 18/May 31-June 1
Softball — Fall season

Tennessee
Baseball — March 15/May 25
Softball — March 15/May 25

Texas
Baseball — Underway/June 9-12
Softball — Underway/June 2-5

Utah
Baseball — Underway/May 28-29
Softball — Underway/May 24-28

Vermont
Baseball — TBD
Softball — TBD

Virginia
Baseball — April 26/June 26-27
Softball — April 26/June 26-27

Washington
Baseball — March 1/May 29
Softball — March 1/May 29

West Virginia
Baseball — March 17/June 3-5
Softball — March 17/ May 26-27

Wisconsin
Baseball — April 27/June 29-30 July 1
Softball — April 27/June 28-30

Wyoming
Softball — TBD/May 20-22
California high school football: Behind sophomore Matayo Uiagalelei, St. John Bosco beats Servite 38-28 - HIGHSCORE
California high school football: Behind sophomore Matayo Uiagalelei, St. John Bosco beats Servite 38-28
In one of the biggest high school football games of the spring season in California, 2019 MaxPreps national champion St. John Bosco (Bellflower) beat Servite (Anaheim) 38-28 Friday night. The first half was a defensive battle between the Trinity League rivals with Servite carrying a 7-3 lead into halftime.

Houston Thomas scored the only touchdown on a three-yard run with 10:04 left in the second quarter.

Both offenses got on track in the second half as Katin Houser led the Braves on a six-play, 62-yard drive to begin the third quarter capped by a 26-yard touchdown pass to four-star sophomore tight end Matayo Uiagalelei.

Bosco's defense forced a three-and-out on the Friars' opening possession of the third quarter and took momentum of the game on the following drive that began at its own one-yard line. Sophomore Pierce Clarkson came in under center for the next drive as head coach Jason Negro continued to alternate quarterbacks on each possession. The result was a 99-yard drive culminated with a three-yard touchdown pass to Chedon James.
Pierce Clarkson, St. John Bosco quarterback
Photo by Louis Lopez
Pierce Clarkson, St. John Bosco quarterback
After only completing one pass in the first half, Servite's junior quarterback Noah Fifita started to find his rhythm and connected with five-star wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan four separate times on the ensuing drive after he was held without a catch in the first half.

Fifita scampered in from 11 yards out with 3:03 left in the third quarter to cut the Bosco lead to 17-14.

The Braves answered two plays later as three-star junior running back Jabari Bates took it 75 yards to the house to increase the lead to 24-14. He finished the night with 14 carries for 170 yards.

Fifita connected with McMillan on a 64-yard pass to get inside the red zone, then found the five-star receiver a couple of plays later for a three-yard score with 1:33 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 24-21.

The biggest play of the game came on the following drive for St. John Bosco as it faced a fourth-and-eight on Servite's 12-yard line. Clarkson threw a perfect ball to the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Uiagalelei, who went up and snagged it for his second score of the night to take a 31-21 lead with 9:57 left.
Jabari Bates, St. John Bosco running back
Photo by Louis Lopez
Jabari Bates, St. John Bosco running back
On the following Servite drive, Uiagalelei showed why he is being recruited as both a defensive end and tight end, pulling down Fifita with one arm for his first sack of the night.

After three-star junior linebacker Jalen Woods intercepted Fifita, Servite's defense forced a three-and-out and got the Friars the ball back inside Bosco territory. Fifita led them on a 35-yard drive capped with a three-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 31-28 with 5:18 left.

St. John Bosco responded with a 15-yard touchdown run by Michael Hayes with 1:54 left to take a commanding 38-28 lead.

The Braves improve to 3-0 with the win while the loss drops the Friars to 2-1.

Up next for St. John Bosco is JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano) on April 3. Servite will look to bounce back against state No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana).
Houston Thomas, Servite running back
Photo by Louis Lopez
Houston Thomas, Servite running back
Noah Fifita, Servite quarterback
Photo by Louis Lopez
Noah Fifita, Servite quarterback

Best high school girls basketball team in all 50 states - HIGHSCORE
Best high school girls basketball team in all 50 states
Last week the initial MaxPreps Top 25 high school girls basketball rankings were released, highlighted by defending Florida Class 4A champion Lake Highland Prep (Orlando) at No. 1. Today, we expand our look at the nation's elite by highlighting the best team from all 50 states.

Uncertainty surrounds the season as coronavirus concerns are on the rise heading into the winter months, but optimism remains high we will see high school hardwood action in the near future.

From Alabama to Wyoming and every state in between, we searched coast-to-coast to find the best team from your state heading into the 2020-21 season.
Azzi Fudd, St. John's
File photo by Steven Ryan
Azzi Fudd, St. John's
Alabama — Hoover
Sophomore Reniya Kelly and junior Aniya Hubbard are the major returning pieces for the Buccaneers, but they're not alone. This is a deep and talented team, which is likely to improve on last season's impressive 32-3 record.

Alaska — Anchorage Christian (Anchorage)
Even though the Lions are a 3A school (tops is 4A), three state titles in recent years is a strong statement. And with sophomore Sayvia Sellers and senior Mykaila Pickard both back, another championship might be in reach.

Arizona — Valley Vista (Surprise)
It's no surprise the Monsoon are the state's best, as the No. 21 preseason ranking in the MaxPreps Top 25 suggests. Six-foot wing Jennah Isai and 6-1 power forward Marisa Davis (a Washington commit) make the defending state champs a favorite to repeat.

Arkansas — Northside (Fort Smith)
As a 6-5 perimeter player, Arkansas commit Jersey Wolfenbarger is one of the best players in the country (18.8 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists) but she's not alone: 6-2 power forward Tracey Bershers (Oklahoma State commit) is the real deal as well.

California — Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
The annual gauntlet that is Southern California basketball seldom leaves any record unblemished, but with Stanford-bound Brooke Demetre anchoring a deep roster, the Monarchs have the best chance to emerge as the top team in the Golden State.
Brooke Demetre, Mater Dei
File photo by Gint Federas
Brooke Demetre, Mater Dei
Colorado — Grandview (Aurora)
Lauren Betts is 6-7 and skilled, and Addison O'Grady is 6-3 and skilled — that's a frontline any college would like to have. As proof, the Betts tops the 2023 recruit list and O'Grady has committed to Iowa.

Connecticut — Notre Dame Catholic (Fairfield)
Like so many teams, the Lancers were denied a shot at a state title when the playoffs were canceled, but coach Maria Conlon — who won three NCAA titles in four years at UConn — has junior guard Aizhanique Mayo to lead a team that looks to be the best in the Constitution State.

Delaware — Conrad Science (Wilmington)

With UMass commit Stefanie Kulesza back to fire from long range, the Red Wolves are primed to claim the state title that COVID may have prevented.

District of Columbia — St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
UConn signee Azzi Fudd is back and fully healthy — she was recovering from a torn ACL through much of last season — and St. John's is both back in the national rankings and at the top of the list in Washington, D.C.

Florida — Lake Highland Prep (Orlando)
With eight players returning from the Florida 4A championship team — including top prospects Kayla Blackshear (a senior committed to Alabama) and junior Nyla Harris — the Highlanders are not only the preseason pick in Florida, but the entire country.

Georgia — Westlake (Atlanta)
The Lions may have dropped down a division this year, but the Atlanta school is still the state's best. In fact, led by South Carolina commit Raven Johnson, they're No. 7 in the country.

Hawaii — 'Iolani (Honolulu)
The Raiders return all but one player from a 23-2 team, including sisters Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu and Jovi Lefotu, who combined for nearly 29 points a game.

Idaho — Mountain View (Meridian)
Yes, senior Trinity Slocum (Hawaii commit) is the younger sister of NCAA star Destiny Slocum, but more relevant is that she and junior Naya Ojukwu are the one-two punch for this Mountain View team — which was 29-4 last year and might be better this time around.

Illinois — Simeon (Chicago)
Senior Aneesah Morrow, a DePaul commit, averaged 23.0 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists last season, and will lead a senior-dominated team coming off a 35-2 season.

Indiana — North Central (Indianapolis)
As always, Indiana is a very competitive state, but the preseason rumblings indicate the Panthers, led by junior guard Tanyuel Welch and senior Meg Newman (Arizona State commit), are the best of a solid group.
Meg Newman, North Central
File photo by Julie Brown
Meg Newman, North Central
Iowa — Waukee
Without a senior on the roster, Waukee went 23-2 last year. Point guard Katie Dinnebier, who will play for Drake next year, is back to run the show again.

Kansas — Derby
The two top scorers for last year's 23-2 team were freshmen, so it's reasonable to assume that Maryn Archer and Addy Brown will be even better this time around — which makes it reasonable to assume the Panthers will be the best in the Sunflower State.

Kentucky — Anderson County (Lawrenceburg)
Not many 29-4 teams carry an eighth-grader on their roster, but Anderson also had a seventh-grader — emblematic of a very young team that lost only one senior to graduation. And top player Amiya Jenkins is just a junior.

Louisiana — Ponchatoula
The Green Wave are a perennial power in Louisiana girls' basketball, and return four starters from a team that lost in overtime in the state finals. LSU commit Amoura Graves is the big gun, averaging 23.5 points last season.

Maine — Portland
Cousins Gemima Motema and Amanda Kabantu are refugees from the Congo who found a home on the basketball court in Maine — and they lead a roster that returns a lot of firepower from a 19-4 team.

Maryland — Bishop McNamara (Forestville)
Not surprisingly, the No. 2 team in the country is the No. 1 team in Maryland, as Bishop McNamara, loaded with talent, is expected to dominate most of its in-state opposition. Things will be tougher in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, however.

Massachusetts — Bridgewater-Raynham (Bridgewater)
Led by 6-3 junior Shay Bollin, a verbal commit to Duke, the Trojans look to build off a 21-4 season and claim a first state title since 1990.

Michigan — Edison Academy (Detroit)
It's possible the Pioneers will drop off a little after going 23-0 last year — it's also possible, led by junior Ruby Whitehorn and senior Damiya Hagemann (committed to Michigan State), that they will be even better.

Minnesota — Hopkins (Minnetonka)
The wheels keep turning for the Royals, even though coach Brian Cosgriff retired and star Paige Bueckers moved on to UConn. There's still a boatload of talent in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and smooth sailing ahead.

Mississippi — Meridian
Even though five seniors graduated from a 29-2 team, with junior Debreasha Powe leading the way, Meridian is expected to be the Magnolia State's best.

Missouri — Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
Let's see, the Red Knights were 27-4 last year and return three major contributors: 5-11 senior Jaiden Bryant, 5-6 junior point guard Saniah Tyler and 6-2 sophomore Natalie Potts. To put it another way, IWA will be really good again.

Montana — Capital (Helena)
Twins Dani Bartsch and Paige Bartsch are 6-1 and 6-3, respectively, and will carry much of the load for a team that was 20-1 last year. Capital was denied a shot at the AA title due to COVID, but could well get another chance this year.

Nebraska — Pius X (Lincoln)
The defending state champs bring back 6-3 Nebraska signee Alexis Markowski and point guard Jillian Aschoff, so a changing of the guard is unlikely.

Nevada — Centennial (Las Vegas)
When the Bulldogs wins another state championship, a bunch of seniors graduate and everyone thinks the reign is over. They probably think that way this year, too.
Taylor Bigby, Centennial
File photo by Doug Stringer
Taylor Bigby, Centennial
New Hampshire — Bishop Guertin (Nashua)
The Cardinals haven't lost to a New Hampshire team since January 2018 — and with 6-0 sophomore Meghan Stack topping a young and talented roster, there's no reason to expect that 45-game winning streak to end.

New Jersey — St. John-Vianney (Holmdel)
New Jersey, as always, is loaded with talent, but the Lancers' combination of solid coaching, a deep roster (headed by Madison St. Rose) and a tradition of excellence looks to be the best of a very good group.

New Mexico — Hobbs
The Eagles went 29-1 and won the 5A championship last year, and with sophomore Wisdom Anthony and senior Elise Turrubiates returning, a repeat would not be a surprise.

New York — Christ the King (Middle Village)
It was definitely a down year for perennial power Christ the King, but in 2020-21, a young roster will be boosted by newly eligible transfers and the Royals are expected to begin a climb back to the glory days.

North Carolina — Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh)
After a 27-1 season and a state title, graduation took a toll on Southeast Raleigh, but with junior Bobbi Smith topping a deep roster, the Bulldogs look like the best in the Tar Heel State once more.

North Dakota — Century (Bismarck)
Though Century didn't finish the season as well as expected, the Patriots were still 21-4 – and with sophomore guard Logan Nissley back, they could be better this year.

Ohio — Reynoldsburg
The Raiders were 18-8 last year in a state known for strong girls basketball. But a pair of transfers — Alexia Mobley (bound for Louisville) and Imarianah Russell — will add enough to an already solid roster to make them the preseason favorite.

Oklahoma — Norman
All of the firepower is back from a 24-1 team, including Texas Tech commit Chantae Embry, a power forward who controls the paint, and sharpshooter Kelbie Washington (42 percent from three-point distance).

Oregon — West Linn
With 6-4 Aaronette Vonleh inside and Audrey Roden on the perimeter, the Lions have the foundation for a top-notch offense — but they also have everyone back from a 21-6 team and that makes them a clear preseason favorite.

Pennsylvania — Archbishop Wood (Warminster)
The Vikings were once known as a classic Philly pass-the-ball-10-times team, but no more. Now the talent gets up and down the floor, and there's a lot of it on the roster — which makes them very tough to beat.

Rhode Island — South Kingstown (Wakefield)
Despite losing six seniors from a 20-2 team, the Rebels — led by 5-11 junior Jamisen Hill — are expected to reload and remain the best in state.

South Carolina — Cardinal Newman (Columbia)
The Cardinals finished the season on a 22-game winning streak, and with Ashlyn Watkins and Tanaja Kennedy both back, there's every reason to believe the train will keep rolling.

South Dakota — Washington (Sioux Falls)
With 6-5 senior Sydni Schetnan and 6-1 junior Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda, Washington has a one-two punch no other team in South Dakota can deal with — and maybe a lot of other states, too.

Tennessee — Ensworth (Nashville)
Though graduation hit 28-0 Ensworth hard, the Cambridge sisters — Jaloni Cambridge, who starred as an eighth-grader last year, and Kennedy Cambridge, now a junior — should keep the Tigers ahead of the pack in 2020-21.

Texas — Duncanville
The definition of "perennial power" has to include a reference to mighty Duncanville, which year in and year out, not only is one of the best in Texas, but is also one of the best in the nation. This year, sadly for Lone Star State rivals, will not change that perception.

Utah — Fremont (Plain City)
With senior Emma Calvert and junior Timea Gardiner back for another go-round, the Silverwolves are primed to improve on a 24-3 record from last season, erase the bitter taste of a postseason upset and claim a state title.
Timea Gardiner, Fremont
File photo by Terry Cullop
Timea Gardiner, Fremont
Vermont — Rice Memorial (South Burlington)
Rice Memorial's young players were thrown into the fire last season, playing the toughest schedule in the state, and with some talented transfers, are expected to take a great leap forward in 2020-21.

Virginia — Paul VI (Chantilly)
The Panthers moved their campus from Fairfax to Chantilly but the school's rule over Virginia won't be affected. Led by Duke commit Lee Volker, deep and well-coached Paul VI will once again be the class of the Old Dominion.

Washington — Chiawana (Pasco)
The Riverhakws, as usual, are a state title threat, and with Oregon State-bound Talia Von Oelhoffen (26.2 ppg) leading the way, could claim that so-far elusive championship.

West Virginia — Huntington
The focus of West Virginia girls basketball fans will shift to Huntington this season, as transfers and a veteran roster should lift the Highlanders above the competition.

Wisconsin — Beaver Dam
Though Beaver Dam may have lost a little from its 25-3 team of 2019-20, there's lot of talent coming back — and little reason to expect much of a drop off. In short, look for Beaver Dam to be the Badger State's best once again.

Wyoming — Thunder Basin (Gillette)
Thunder Basin won the 4A state title in 2019 — in its second year of varsity play — and was on track for another championship in 2020 before COVID canceled the playoffs. So it's no surprise the Bolts are expected to the best in Wyoming again this season.
High school basketball: DeMatha job open for just the second time in 65 years as Mike Jones departs for college job - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball: DeMatha job open for just the second time in 65 years as Mike Jones departs for college job
The Virginia Tech basketball program announced Monday that longtime DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) head coach Mike Jones has accepted the associate head coach position with the program.

Jones coached DeMatha for the past 19 years and owns a record of 511-119 (.811 winning percentage) with eight Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships. DeMatha finished 2020-21 ranked No. 4 in the MaxPreps Top 25 with a 9-0 record in an abbreviated campaign.

The 1991 DeMatha graduate took over the helm following the departure of legendary head coach Morgan Wootten, who led the Stags to a record of 1,274-192 from 1956-2002.
The school said via social media the search for Jones' replacement would begin in the coming weeks "but for now we celebrate with coach Jones this opportunity."

The next DeMatha coach will have massive shoes to fill after Wootten and Jones led the national powerhouse to 41 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles and won nearly 85 percent of their games over the past 65 seasons.
Mike Jones coached six players at DeMatha who went on to the NBA.
Photo by Patrick Kane
Mike Jones coached six players at DeMatha who went on to the NBA.