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High School Basketball: No. 12 Prolific Prep, Oak Hill Academy advance to GEICO Nationals quarterfinals - HIGHSCORE
High School Basketball: No. 12 Prolific Prep, Oak Hill Academy advance to GEICO Nationals quarterfinals
A pair of GEICO Nationals play-in games went down to the wire on Wednesday night as No. 12 Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) and Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) each advanced to Thursday's quarterfinal action.

In the opener, Prolific Prep escaped with a 45-43 victory over La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) despite an 11-1 Lakers' run to close the game. Stefan Todorovic split a pair of free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining before La Lumiere sophomore guard Jeremy Fears Jr. grabbed the rebound and drove the length of the court only to miss an off balance mid-range jumper from the left wing as time expired.

Five-star Oregon signee Nathan Bittle led the way for the Crew with eight points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in the win. Chisom Okpara scored a game-high 15 points in the loss for La Lumiere (7-10).

Prolific Prep (31-3) faces No. 3 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) (19-3) in tomorrow's 2 p.m. (ET) quarterfinal.

In a thrilling nightcap, Oak Hill Academy outlasted No. 15 Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) 84-77 to snap the Knights' 28-game win streak.

The Warriors were paced by an outstanding performances from five-star sophomore Caleb Foster, who finished with 23 points, seven assists and three rebounds and three-star senior Camryn Carter who approached a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Oak Hill shot 57 percent from the field.

Florida State signee Matthew Cleveland led Pace Academy (28-2) with a game-high 30 points and eight rebounds.

Oak Hill Academy (20-8) draws top-ranked Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) (21-1) in their 4 p.m. (ET) quarterfinal. The Eagles beat the Warriors twice this season by a combined 55 points.
Jalen Reed and Oak Hill Academy advanced to the next round in the GEICO Nationals with their 84-77 win over Pace Academy on Wednesday.
File photo by Annette Wilkerson
Jalen Reed and Oak Hill Academy advanced to the next round in the GEICO Nationals with their 84-77 win over Pace Academy on Wednesday.

Jordan Hawkins named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Maryland High School Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Jordan Hawkins named 2020-21 MaxPreps Maryland High School Basketball Player of the Year
Each year since 2006, MaxPreps has recognized outstanding performers in high school basketball. America's source for high school sports continues the tradition to close out the 2020-21 season by naming the top player in each state. Selections are based on team success and individual excellence, in addition to local and state accolades.

Jordan Hawkins of DeMatha (Hyattsville) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Maryland High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-5, 170-pound senior helped the Stags go 9-0 in an abbreviated campaign.

Hawkins averaged 18.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.9 blocked shots per contest to lead DeMatha to the No. 5 spot in this week's MaxPreps Top 25.

In the final game of his high school career, Hawkins produced a team-high 29 points as the Stags outlasted rival Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.) 109-107 in overtime.

Committed to Connecticut, Hawkins is regarded as the No. 49 prospect in the Class of 2021 overall according to 247Sports. He received offers from Clemson, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Xavier among others.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team, which is scheduled to be released April 13.
Texas high school football: Defending 6A champ Austin Westlake releases 2021 schedule - HIGHSCORE
Texas high school football: Defending 6A champ Austin Westlake releases 2021 schedule
With the 2021 high school football season less than 100 days away, schools are beginning to release their schedules. Westlake (Austin, Texas), the defending 6A Division 1 state champs, are the latest to do so. Excitement is builds for the Chaps after a 14-0 season in which they grabbed their second straight state title.

They took out the two-time reigning 6A D1 state champs, North Shore (Houston), in the semifinals with a 24-21 win. Clemson-bound quarterback Cade Klubnik scored the game-winning touchdown on fourth down with just under two minutes remaining from 1-yard out.

The following week, Westlake beat Quinn Ewers and Southlake Carroll (Southlake) 52-34 to claim the state title in Texas' largest classification. That win propelled the Chaps to a spot at No. 3 in the final MaxPreps Top 25 high school football rankings and the top-ranked team from the Lone Star State.

Klubnik was named to the MaxPreps Junior All-America first team and four-star wide receiver Jaden Greathouse was a first-team selection on the MaxPreps Sophomore All-America squad. Legendary head coach Todd Dodge was named the 2020 Football Coach of the Year.

Dodge led Westlake to a 15-1 record in 2019, beating Guyer (Denton) 24-0 in the 6A Division 2 state championship and the Chaparrals begin the 2021 season riding a 24-game winning streak.

This upcoming season will be Dodge's eighth year as head coach for the Chaps and he has gone 88-11 during his tenure and expect the two-time state champs to be ranked in the Top 5 when we release our preseason MaxPreps Top 25 rankings on June 23.

After the two largest classifications in Texas (5A, 6A) pushed back the high school football season last year because of the pandemic, football returns to its normal fall start as most Texas schools in the middle spring practice gearing up for the 2021 season.

Earlier this week the Chaps announced their schedule with the first game Aug. 27 against Temple.

The marquee matchups include a Sept. 3 showdown with Ollie Gordon and Trinity (Euless), which went 11-2 last season and made it to the 6A Division 1 quarterfinals. The following week Westlake takes on Mansfield Summit (Arlington) as the Jaguars are coming off a 5A Division 1 semifinal appearance.

After a bye week, the Chaps face their first district foe — Del Valle, which made a huge offseason splash bringing in former IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) head coach Bobby Acosta. He led the Ascenders to an 8-0 season in his only year in Bradenton and they went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country.

The biggest game is at the end of the regular season against rival Lake Travis (Austin). The two didn't play last year as the Cavaliers had to cancel their final two regular-season games because of a positive coronavirus test in the program. Lake Travis is the last team to beat Westlake when Hudson Card led the Cavaliers to a 26-25 win on Oct. 11, 2019.
Cade Klubnik, Austin Westlake
File photo by Robbie Rakestraw
Cade Klubnik, Austin Westlake
2021 Austin Westlake football schedule

Aug. 27 — at Temple

Sept. 3 — vs. Trinity (Euless)

Sept. 10 — vs. Mansfield Summit (Arlington)
*At Mary Hardin-Baylor's Crusader Stadium (Belton)

Sept. 24 — at Del Valle

Oct. 1 — vs. San Marcos

Oct. 8 — vs. Bowie (Austin)

Oct. 14 — at Hays (Buda)

Oct. 22 — vs. Akins (Austin)

Oct. 29 — at Austin

Nov. 5 — vs. Lake Travis (Austin)
2020-21 HIGHSCORE Sophomore All-America Team: D.J. Wagner headlines high school basketball's best from the Class of 2023 - HIGHSCORE
2020-21 MaxPreps Sophomore All-America Team: D.J. Wagner headlines high school basketball's best from the Class of 2023
Our look at high school basketball's best from the 2020-21 season continues with the MaxPreps Sophomore All-America Team, highlighted by National Sophomore of the Year D.J. Wagner of Camden (N.J.).

Wagner, a 6-foot-3 guard regarded as the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2023 by 247Sports, averaged 22.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game this season for Camden, which finished No. 9 in the MaxPreps Top 25. The Panthers have amassed a record of 42-1 in his two years with the program.

The son and grandson of former NBA players, Wagner joins a list of past winners that includes R.J. Barrett, Jayson Tatum and Andrew Wiggins. See the full list of past MaxPreps Juniors of the Year below.

Selections are based on team success, individual production and local, regional and state honors from the recently completed season. Potential at the college or professional level is not a primary consideration. Players in post-graduate or non-scholastic programs are not eligible for inclusion.
First Team

6-9 | Forward | Uncommitted
First team SIAA selection averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks per contest to help the Flame to the Grind Session quarterfinals.

6-2 | Guard | Uncommitted
Scored 32 points in the Phenom Hoops Hoopstate championship game victory over Liberty Heights.

6-11 | Center | Uncommitted
MaxPreps Colorado Player of the Year averaged 22.1 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots per game while shooting better than 65 percent from the field to help the Lions win their fourth state championship.

6-8 | Wing | Uncommitted
Chicago Sun-Times All-Area selection averaged 28.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.5 steals per outing to lead Broncos to 12-2 record.

MAXPREPS NATIONAL SOPHOMORE OF THE YEAR
6-3 | Guard | Uncommitted
A MaxPreps Freshman All-American a year ago, Garden State star scored 20 points or more points in 11 of 13 games in abbreviated season and is already closing in on 1,000 career points.

Second Team

6-0 | Guard | Uncommitted
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class 6A honorable mention selection averaged 14 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals per contest to help lead the Wildcats to their second consecutive state title.

6-0 | Guard | Uncommitted
Tallied 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as the Eagles won their first state title since 2012 and earned first GEICO Nationals berth.

6-4 | Guard | Uncommitted
Division III Southwest District Player of the Year averaged 23.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.3 steals while shooting 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from 3-point range.

6-8 | Forward | Uncommitted
A key cog in the sixth-ranked Panthers' second straight state championship run, averaged 13.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

6-5 | Guard | Uncommitted
TABC All-Region selection and District 5-6A MVP averaged 19.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists to help the Lions to a 25-3 finish.

Third Team

6-3 | Guard | Uncommitted
District 1-5A Player of the Year averaged 24.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 4.0 assists as the Huskies reached the regional semifinals.

6-5 | Guard | Uncommitted
Class 2A first team selection averaged 18.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.3 steals per game, guiding the Greenies to their first state title game appearance since 1993.

6-6 | Guard | Uncommitted
Sent the Scorpions to the Class 1A state semifinals, averaging 20.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

6-9 | Forward | Uncommitted
Elite post presence averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 82 percent from the free throw line.

Mikey Williams, Lake Norman Christian (Davidson, N.C.)
6-2 | Guard | Uncommitted
California native had a strong first season in the Tar Heel State, averaging around 20 points, four rebounds and three assists per contest.

Honorable Mention

6-4 | Guard | Uncommitted
Four-star guard sparked the Eagles' Class 3A championship run, averaging 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

7-0 | Center | Uncommitted
Rapidly-developing South Sudan native averaged 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in his second year of organized basketball.

Ryan Bewley, West Oaks Academy
6-9 | Forward | Uncommitted
Five-star prospect and twin brother of first teamer Matt Bewley regularly produced double-doubles against a challenging national schedule.

6-8 | Forward | Uncommitted
Top 10 prospect averaged 10.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.1 blocks while shooting 64.3 percent from the field to help the Warriors go 16-2 en route to the program's first state championship.

6-4 | Guard | Uncommitted
Helped the Rams reach the 7A state quarterfinals, averaging 13.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.3 steals per contest while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range.

6-3 | Guard | Uncommitted
Five-star prospect averaged 12.6 points per contest, helping the Eagles advance to the section 4-AAA title game.

Julius Clark, Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.)
6-5 | Wing | Uncommitted
Versatile wing prospect was a key cog in the Spartans' Class 6A championship run, producing 14 points and 8 rebounds in the title game.

Jeremy Fears Jr. , La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)
6-1 | Guard | Uncommitted
Top 25 prospect averaged 8.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest while handling primary ball-handling duties for the Lakers.

6-2 | Guard | Uncommitted
Averaged 13.6 points, 5.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds per contest while shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 46.9 percent from beyond the arc.

6-6 | Wing | Uncommitted
Sidelined for nearly a month midway through the season due to COVID-19 protocols, but still averaged 20.5 points and 12.6 rebounds per game for the 8-3 Bulldogs.

6-1 | Guard | Uncommitted
Holloway was a bright spot for the 8-11 Lions, averaging 21.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.3 steals.

6-7 | Wing | Uncommitted
Four-star prospect averaged 11.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per contest to help Attucks go 18-7.

6-8 | Forward | Uncommitted
Top 20 prospect averaged 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest to earn All-United Division first team honors.

6-1 | Guard | Uncommitted
Led the Cougars to their first state championship, averaging 16.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 3.4 assists per outing while shooting 55.9 percent from the field.

6-4 | Guard | Uncommitted
Top 10 prospect took a significant step in his second year with the Lions, averaging 12.4 points, six assists and four rebounds per contest.

Past MaxPreps Sophomores of the Year
2020 — Emoni Bates, Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
2019 — Jonathan Kuminga, Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.)
2018 — Jalen Green, San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.)
2017 — R.J. Barrett, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
2016 — Romeo Langford, New Albany (Ind.)
2015 — M.J. Walker, Jonesboro (Ga.)
2014 — Joshua Jackson, Consortium College Prep (Detroit); Jayson Tatum, Chaminade (St. Louis)
2013 — Malik Newman, Callaway (Jackson, Miss.)
2012 — Andrew Wiggins, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.)
2011 — Aquille Carr, Patterson (Baltimore)
2010 — DaJuan Coleman, Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt, N.Y.)
Extending the Season: No Sierra Canyon-Sheldon trilogy, but three fantastic finishes - HIGHSCORE
Extending the Season: No Sierra Canyon-Sheldon trilogy, but three fantastic finishes
Video: Sierra Canyon wins at buzzer
Trailblazers advance to state in dramatic fashion.

The lights at Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings, have never shined so bright for a high school event.
 
In each of the past two seasons, the star-studded boys basketball team from Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) played against hometown Sheldon (Sacramento). The energy and excitement was palpable for the games that capped the CIF's 12-game state basketball championships.

The Trailblazers brought an entourage that included former NBA players and Hollywood celebrities, who sat courtside for all to see.

They are high school basketball's version of the Showtime Lakers.

The hometown fans walked away disappointed each of the past two seasons as the flashy visitors showed more than just a little glitz — Sierra Canyon won each game handily, 76-52 and 75-62. But Huskies were hopeful that with a strong cast returning, including Marcus Bagley, younger brother of Kings' star Marvin Bagley, they would return in 2020 to flip those results.

The Huskies and Trailblazers appeared on a collision course before the coronavirus pandemic struck the country full force last week.

Sierra Canyon, featuring 5-star prospects in Ziaire Williams, Brandon Boston Jr. and Amari Bailey, plus the sons of LeBron James (Bronny James) and Dwyane Wade (Zaire Wade), captured its third straight Southern California regional title in the most dramatic way possible.
This buzzer beater by Ziaire Williams against Etiwanda would turn out to be the last shot of the season for Sierra Canyon.
Photo by Louis Lopez
This buzzer beater by Ziaire Williams against Etiwanda would turn out to be the last shot of the season for Sierra Canyon.
The Trailblazers pulled off a 63-61 stunner over Etiwanda as Williams, a McDonald's All-American, finished off a 13-0 run to close the game with a fade-away, 17-foot swish at the buzzer to set off a wild celebration.

"It was truly surreal," Sierra Canyon coach Andre Chevalier said a week after the shot. "How magical was it for us to just fight all the way back from that seemingly endless hole? And then to win it on that shot by Ziaire. Truly surreal."

Sheldon's path to the Northern California finals was similarly unlikely — perhaps even more so.

One week before the finals, the plug was pulled on the Huskies' season after a student in Sheldon's district was quarantined as a precaution for coronavirus.

Two days of public outcry and political pressure led to top-seeded Sheldon being reinstated, but the Huskies found themselves down eight late on the road in the semifinals against a very determined Dublin squad.

Yet, they fought back to win 65-64, powered by Bagley's 27 points that included an improbable go-ahead shot with 17.5 seconds remaining.

"I'm proud of all of our guys, our team," Bagley told Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee. "I'm happy. We've been resilient all year. Learned a lot about our team. We're built for this. That's why this game meant so much."

That win vaulted Sheldon in the semifinals against another team built on great resolve, the Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) Dragons. Winners of 18 straight games after a 5-7 start, O'Dowd looked capable of derailing the Sierra Canyon-Sheldon trilogy.

The Dragons had one the top freshman in the country, 6-foot-8 14-year-old forward Jalen Lewis, one of the state's top juniors in Marsalis Roberson and Cal signee Monty Bowser, as well as their own motivation.

It was five years ago that Ivan Rabb sank a game-winning free throw with less than a second to play to shock Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in the state final. A book "Dragon Hoops," was supposed to be released on the anniversary of that game, and O'Dowd was bent on repeating the feat.

It would have been a tall order, but O'Dowd was at the top of its game after a decisive 13-point road win over second seed Archbishop Mitty in the NorCal semifinals.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is our last game," O'Dowd coach Lou Richie said after the game. "Tomorrow is not promised."

Turned out, Richie called it.

The morning of the delayed O'Dowd-Sheldon NorCal finals on March 12, CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti canceled that game and the weekend's 2020 state championship games.

"While we understand this decision is disappointing, we strongly believe that the opportunity to compete in this event does not outweigh our obligation to place the health and safety of our member schools and school communities above all else," he said.

No Sheldon-Sierra Canyon trilogy. No O'Dowd epilogue. No Trailblazers' three-peat.

All three coaches lamented the disappointment — how thrilling it would have been to watch all those talented athletes under the simmering spotlight.

But each coach recognized the bigger picture — health and safety. They also found silver linings in ending on a high note.

Sheldon coach Joey Rollings focused on how his team inspired a community to keep them in the tournament, and how the Huskies reciprocated with a likewise effort, without practicing for three days.

"My kids never quit," Rollings told the Bee's Davidson. "We got to go out on an exciting note. We wish we could play another game, but we can't control that. Our kids seem to understand. They're disappointed, but kids are resilient." 

Richie had a similar message for his Dragons, who featured seven seniors.

"A lot of the kids were very upset," Richie said. "They're hurt. Disappointed. I tried to convey that they had a great season. It's disappointing it ended that way, but don't let things you can't control get you down. Besides that, when we focus on our last game, it couldn't have gone any better. If we played like that in the NorCal or state finals, we definitely would have had a shot."

Teams took their best shot at Sierra Canyon all season, Chevalier said. The Trailblazers had a giant "X" on their back from Day One.

Despite that target they finished 30-4, No. 15 in the final MaxPreps national rankings and won section and regional titles.

"It's always great to win your last game and the way we did was amazing," Chevalier said. "We would have loved to be able and play that last game to try to three-peat as state champion. But sometimes life takes priority over sport. We want our country and this world to be safe.

"All that said, going 30-4 this season, starting in China and going all over the U.S. with a big target on our back is a great testament to who we are as a team. I'm super proud of how they reacted to all they had to deal with, and then to play our best basketball at the end of the season was very special. It is a very special group."