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Buford continues to get strong pitching as it jumps to a 14-0 start. Along with Dylan Lesko's 12 strikeouts against Lanier, Buford also got a no-hitter from Connor Sampers against Habersham Central.
Calvary Christian Academy, which sat at No. 1 spot for one week after preseason No. 1 Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.) had lost two weeks ago, was only able to get one hit off of IMG Academy's Jackson Ferris, who also struck out 10. IMG Academy handed All-America candidate Andrew Painter his first loss of the season.
Only two new teams entered the rankings this week. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), with only a loss to Stoneman Douglas marring its record, joined the rankings at No. 15, while Baylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.) joins at No. 22.
Dropped out: Spruce Creek (Fla.), Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas).
Game of the Week: IMG Academy 2, Calvary Christian Academy 0. The Ascenders knocked off the No. 1 team in the country with a one-hitter by Jackson Ferris. Drake Varnado and Tommy White also hit home runs in the win. Andrew Painter of Calvary Christian Academy suffered his first loss of the season.
Player of the Week: Brady House, Winder-Barrow. The All-America candidate had three doubles and two home runs in leading the Bulldogs to four wins last week.
Recruit Watch: Vito Valincius, Baylor. The first baseman got his season off to a good start with two home runs in Baylor's season-opening win over Gordon Lee.
Game to Watch:IMG Academy vs. Calvary Christian Academy. The Eagles get a rematch with the Ascenders on Friday. This time IMG Academy is No. 3 and Calvary Christian Academy is No. 5 in the country.
1. Buford (Ga.)
Record: 14-0 | Last week: 2
Results: Def. Lanier 8-0, 8-1, def. Habersham Central, 15-0.
Stats: Jax Brockett struck out 10 in the 8-0 win and Stan Zagrodnik added a double and a triple. Dylan Lesko struck out 12 in six innings for the 8-1 win. He also had a triple while Ayden Digiacomo had a home run. Connor Sampers threw a 4-inning no-hitter with 5 strikeouts against Habersham Central.
Next: Wed./Fri. vs. Habersham Central.
2. Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)
Record: 14-0 | Last week: 3
Results: Def. St. Louis Catholic, 2-1; Catholic-B.R. (Baton Rouge), 9-1, 5-3, 1-0.
Stats: Jack Walker struck out 11 in a 9-1 win over Catholic. Adam Guth struck out eight in a 5-3 win while Landon Victorian struck out 8 in the 1-0 win.
Next: Tue. vs. St. Louis Catholic (Lake Charles), Thur. vs. Zachary.
3. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Record: 11-1 | Last week: 5
Results: Def. Montverde Academy, 16-0; def. Calvary Christian Academy, 2-0.
Stats: Drake Varnado had two home runs and Elijah Green and Tommy White had one each against Montverde. Varnado and White each hit home runs against Calvary Christian Academy as well. Jackson Ferris threw a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts.
Next: Fri. vs. Calvary Christian Academy
4. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 4
Next: Tue. vs. Chaparral
5. Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Record: 7-1 | Last week: 1
Results: Lost to IMG Academy, 2-0
Stats: Andrew Painter took the loss, giving up two runs on two hits with four strikeouts.
Next: Tues. vs. North Broward Prep; Fri. vs. IMG Academy.
6. Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.)
Record: 10-1 | Last week: 6
Results: Def. Jefferson 3-0, 7-2, def. Sarasota, 3-0, def. Sickles, 14-4; def. Wharton, 6-5.
Stats: Wes Mendes (6) and Kris Sosnowski (7) combined for 13 strikeouts in the 3-0 win over Jefferson. Mendes also had a double and a grand slam in the 7-2 win over Jefferson with Jake Kulikowski adding a home run. Dominic Castellano threw a 7-inning no-hitter with 8 strikeouts against Sarasota.
Next: Wed. at Saladino Tournament.
7. Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: 14
Results: Def. Parkview, 9-2
Stats: DeYon Cannon was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the win.
Next: Wed./Fri. vs. Parkview
8. Sam Houston (Lake Charles, La.)
Record: 16-0 | Last week: 15
Results: Def. Rosepine, 3-2; def. Ouachita, 11-7; def. Alexandria, 10-7; def. Tioga, 4-2; def. Jena, 11-0, def. Pineville, 3-2.
Stats: Dylan Thompson had a double and home run against Alexandria. Dallas Rhodes had two doubles against Ouachita.
Next: Thur. vs. Airline.
9. Madison Central (Madison, Miss.)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: 16
Results: def. Northwest Rankin, 20-2; def. Germantown, 16-0; def. Neshoba Central, 6-0; def. Ridgeland, 8-1.
Stats: Hunter Hines had a home run against Northwest Rankin. Braden Montgomery threw three, no-hit innings with eight strikeouts against Germantown. Beau Bryans and Brendon Minor combined for a no-hitter against Neshoba Central.
Next: Wed. vs. New Hope, Thur. vs. North Pike.
10. Calvary Christian (Clearwater, Fla.)
Record: 11-1 | Last week: 10
Results: def. Dunedin, 8-2; def. Clearwater Central Catholic, 6-0; def. Berkeley Prep, 10-0, def. Seminole, 3-2.
Stats: Tyler Dietz struck out 10 against Central Catholic and Jack Cebert threw a five-inning no-hitter with eight strikeouts against Berkeley Prep.
Next: Thur. vs. Clearwater Central Catholic.
11. Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.)
Record: 10-1 | Last week: 12
Results: Def. Hialeah, 5-4; def. Boca Raton, 2-0, def. Cardinal Gibbons, 11-10.
Stats: Rolando Lujo had a home run against Hialeah. Chris Arroyo struck out 6 against Boca Raton.
Next: Thur. vs. Monsignor Pace.
12. Carrollton (Ga.)
Record: 14-1 | Last week: 17
Results: Def. Bremen, 6-5. def. South Paulding, 11-5.
Stats: Colton Cosper went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI against Bremen. Cosper also struck out 10 against South Paulding.
Next: Wed. vs. South Paulding; Thur. vs. Douglas County.
13. Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
Record: 14-2-2 | Last week: 7
Results: Def. Cedar Park, 11-0; def. Vista Ridge, 4-1; Harker Heights, 10-0; tied College Station, 7-7; def. Reagan, 5-4; lost to Cedar Park, 3-1.
Next: Tue. vs. San Marcos.
14. Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.)
Record: 9-1 | Last week: 11
Results: Def. Santaluces, 12-0; def. Martin County, 2-0; def. Spanish River, 12-2, def. Boca Raton, 8-0; lost to Saint John Paul II, 4-1.
Stats: Tobin Moran threw a one-hitter with seven strikeouts against Santaluces. Dom Stagliano threw a seven-inning no-hitter with eight strikeouts against Martin County.
Next: March 22 vs. Cardinal Newman.
15. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Record: 10-1 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Northeast, 16-1; def. McArthur, 7-1; def. Cypress Bay, 4-1.
Next: Wed. vs. Pembroke Pines Charter.
16. Gregory-Portland (Portland, Texas)
Record: 17-0-1 | Last week: 19
Results: Def. Veterans Memorial, 8-2; def. Floresville, 8-2; def. John Paul II, 7-2; def. Ingleside, 13-2; def. Bishop, 10-0; def. Robstown, 8-5.
Next: Tue. vs. Flour Bluff; Fri. vs. Victoria West.
17. St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 9
Next: March 27 vs. Catholic Central.
18. Reagan (San Antonio)
Record: 17-2 | Last week: 13
Results: Def. Madison, 10-3; def. Clark, 3-0; lost to Lake Travis, 5-4; def. McNeil, 6-1; def. Vandegrift, 13-0; def. Vista Ridge, 7-2.
Next: Tue. vs. Brandeis; Fri. Johnson.
19. Tompkins (Katy, Texas)
Record: 15-1-1 | Last week: 18
Results: Def. Katy Taylor, 4-3; lost to George Ranch, 3-0; def. Magnolia, 18-5; def. Tomball, 7-0; def. Cypress Ridge, 10-0; def. Tomball Memorial, 4-2.
Next: Tue. vs. Morton Ranch; Thur. vs. Seven Lakes.
20. Auburn (Ala.)
Record: 13-1 | Last week: 20
Results: Def. Tuscaloosa County, 4-3; def. Baker, 9-4; def. Sparkman, 5-3; def. Gulf Shores, 2-0.
Stats: Jack Tullier struck out eight against Gulf Shores. Ryan Austin had a home run against Baker.
Next: Tue. vs. Benjamin Russell. Fri. vs. Harris County.
21. Owasso (Okla.)
Record: 8-0 | Last week: 21
Results: Def. Sapulpa, 10-0; def. Oktaha, 7-1; def. Enid, 4-3; def. Choctaw, 2-1.
Stats: Braden Blundell had a double and a home run against Sapulpa. Brennan Phillips struck out 16 against Choctaw.
Next: at Catoosa/Verdigris tournament.
22. Baylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Record: 1-0 | Last week: NR
Results: .Def. Gordon Lee, 6-2.
Stats: Vito Valincius had two home runs and three RBI in Baylor's opener while Henry Godbout had a solo shot.
Next: Wed. vs. Bradley Central; Thur. vs. Soddy Daisy.
23. Winder-Barrow (Winder, Ga.)
Record: 11-1 | Last week: 25
Results: Def. Dacula, 7-2, 7-4; def, Central Gwinnett, 13-0 and 21-0.
Stats: Brady House had a double and a home run in the 7-2 win. He also had a double in the 7-4 win. Andrew Lewis struck out 11 in a 5-inning no-hitter against Central Gwinnett. House had a double and a home run in the 13-0 win. Andreaus Lewis had a home run in the 21-0 win.
Next: Wed./Fri. vs. Central Gwinnett.
24. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 22
Results: Did not play
Next: Tue. vs. Franklin
25. Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 23
Next: March 16-18 Grand Slam Tournament
Such is the state of high school basketball in the season of COVID-19, which has only added to the challenge of putting together these rankings.
So should an unbeaten team with 10 games be ranked ahead of an unbeaten team that's played 30? After all, every game is a chance to lose, and the 10-game team clearly had fewer opportunities to pick up a loss. But then again, it's certainly not the fault of the teams that they've played fewer games than expected, or didn't have a chance to get that big intersectional win that would have put them on the map.
Which means that this year, more so than any other, the talent on the roster — as measured by individual rankings and recruiting interest — has an impact on where a team is placed. Edison has played four games, but sits at No. 5 thanks to a horde of top-shelf talent that was just as likely to be 24-0 as 4-0.
Is this the way we normally do it? Not at all, but a lot of things aren't normal in the 2020-21 girls basketball season — and like most of these teams you just have to play the hand you're dealt.
NOTE: Coaches and team personnel are encouraged to update schedules and results on MaxPreps – especially those in the mix for MaxPreps Top 25 consideration. For assistance or questions, please reach out to [email protected]
Note that there are two American Heritage high schools in Florida, and the one in the other 4A semifinal — the one Lake Highland Prep might have to face this weekend should it get by Bishop Kenny — is not the American Heritage that's ranked No. 24.
2. Westlake (Atlanta)
Record: 15-0 | Last week: 2
Westlake has waited nearly a month to play a game as opponents were hard to come by, but the AAAAAA postseason begins this week. The first serious test likely will come next week from 23-3 Kell in quarterfinals.
3. Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)
Record: 23-0 | Last week: 3
The Cougars won their first two Division 1 playoff games by an average score of 82-7 but it's possible, if not likely, that 21-2 Centerville — which only lost to host Mount Notre Dame by nine earlier this year — will be the semifinal opponent. We're guessing that game will be a lot closer than 82-7.
4. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: 4
Hopkins easily disposed of Minnetonka, which gave the defending state champs a tough game the first time around. So the next focus will be on the March 5 game at No. 20 Chaska.
5. Edison Academy (Detroit)
Record: 4-0 | Last week: 5
Edison downed perennial rival Renaissance 68-59 on Saturday.
6. Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
Record: 18-0 | Last week: 6
There are two games left in regular season for the Show Me State's best, and neither should pose much of a challenge.
7. Cypress Creek (Houston)
Record: 28-0| Last week: 7
Cypress Creek will play 24-4 Heights on Wednesday, and that record is impressive. But Cypress Creek already played Heights and won by 31.
8. Norman (Okla.)
Record: 13-0 | Last week: 8
Norman has had a long break, but plays Thursday against Grant — and is expected to move on to the 6A Area playoffs, which begin March 4.
9. St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.)
Record: 9-0 | Last week: 9
St. John Vianney's comfortable home in the Top 10 will be threatened Friday by 8-0 Trenton Catholic — but luckily the game will be in the friendly confines of Holmdel.
10. Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: 10
11. DeSoto (Texas)
Record: 22-2 | Last week: 12
DeSoto continues to advance in 6A District play, but down the road must deal with rival Duncanville and No. 7 Cypress Creek.
12. Newark (Ohio)
Record: 24-1 | Last week: 13
Hilliard Darby, Wednesday's opponent in the Division 1 playoffs, is the 25th seed — 16-2 Watkins Memorial, the likely Friday opponent, will be a tougher test.
13. Grandview (Aurora, Colo.)
Record: 9-0 | Last week: 14
There are some very good teams in Colorado, but Grandview won't face any of them until postseason, which begins the week of March 8.
14. Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: 17
Princess Anne completed its abbreviated unbeaten season by winning its eighth straight state title, and 12th overall.
15. Fremont (Plain City, Utah)
Record: 22-0 | Last week: 15
The 6A playoffs begin Thursday, but Fremont is the No. 2 seed, behind once-beaten Herriman, which did play a tougher schedule. We might find out how much that matters if both reach the March 6 finals.
16. Anderson County (Lawrenceburg, Ky.)
Record: 17-0 | Last week: 18
Sometimes it takes a little luck. Anderson County got a banked-in, 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds to left to take a 69-68 lead over Sacred Heart — and then had to watch as Sacred Heart's desperation heave spent some time on the rim before bouncing out.
17. Ponchatoula (La.)
Record: 30-0 | Last week: 22
Ponchatoula is three games away from an unbeaten season, a Top 20 ranking (or higher), and most important, a Louisiana 5A state title.
18. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Record: 21-2 | Last week: 11
Montverde lost by one in the first round of the Independent School National Championships, but bounced back to win its last two and retain a spot in the Top 25. The other loss was to No. 1 Lake Highland Prep, and Montverde has a handful of impressive wins over strong Florida opposition.
19. Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.)
Record: 7-0 | Last week: 19
Rutgers Prep has two games left before a limited postseason, and a loss anywhere along the line would be considered a major upset.
20. Chaska (Minn.)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: 20
Chaska was on no one's radar in preseason — but now you can bet No. 4 Hopkins is already gathering intel for the March 5 matchup.
21. Hazel Green (Ala.)
Record: 32-1 | Last week: 21
Should Hazel Green get past Hartselle Wednesday — and Hazel Green won by 19 back in November — McGill-Toolen would be the 6A semifinals foe. Hazel Green beat McGill-Toolen by 25 in December.
22. New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.)
Record: 10-3 | Last week: NR
New Hope returns to the rankings after winning the Independent School National Championship over a strong field. And if you think three losses are too many for a Top 25 team, think again — all three came against elite opposition.
23. Bearden (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Record: 25-1 | Last week: 23
Oak Ridge is 20-4 and the likely opponent in Monday's Class AAA Regional semifinals, but Bearden should be favored, if not heavily favored, until the state tournament starts March 10.
24. American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
Record: 23-2 | Last week: 24
It's not going to be easy for American Heritage to hold on to this ranking, as Florida is very strong this year, and the 5A Final Four is impressive. First up is 24-4 Clearwater, which hasn't lost since Dec. 11, and the other side of the bracket has 26-1 St. Augustine and a fully healthy, and very talented, 22-3 Palm Bay.
25. Pius X (Lincoln, Neb.)
Record: 20-0 | Last week: 25
Pius X must get past either 12-win Benson or 12-win Bellevue West on Thursday to get to the Class A state tournament, which starts next week. And it would be unwise to bet against the No. 25 team in the country.
Dropped out: No. 16 Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.).
The All-State and al.com Hunstville All-Region Player of the Year smashed 23 kills and dug 19 balls in the Trojans' four-set loss in the 6A title game. She posted 771 kills, 135 blocks, 243 digs and 63 aces for 58-9 Hazel Green.
The Wolverines went 58-10-3 and won the 4A title thanks to Houser's 301 kills (second-best on the team), while she added 156 digs and 61 blocks.
Reagan Hope, Northwest Christian (Phoenix)
6-2 | MB | Sr. | Oregon
While Mavericks libero Hannah Hogue was in the mix, the numbers Fitzgerald posted in the 6A runner-up season are impressive: 414 kills, 117 aces, 82 blocks, 238 digs and 416 serve receives.
Emma Appleman, Guilford
Her 400 kills as a junior inched close to the 1,000-kill mark. The runner-up Indians also benefited from Appleman's 551 digs and 165 aces.
District of Columbia
Rachel Richardson, St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
Earning the District's Gatorade and Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors, Richardson led the Cadets to a 33-3 mark while posting 465 kills, 253 digs and 44 aces.
Paris Thompson, Fort Myers
6-1 | OH | Sr. | Notre Dame
The Fort Myers News-Press chose her as its Player of the Decade. In 2019, she set a school record with 446 kills, including a single-game mark of 31. A three-year standout, Thompson is approaching 1,000 career kills.
Evoni Lemons, Alpharetta
Lindsay Krause, Skutt Catholic (Omaha)
Grace Solberg, Fargo Davies (Fargo)
A four-year starter as Oklahoma has started playing this fall, Cramer helped the Huskies to their second 6A title, capping a 29-5 year with a four-set title win over Broken Arrow. Last year, Cramer posted 505 digs for Edmond North.
Mckenna Wucherer, Brookfield Central (Brookfield)
Sarah Hollenbeck of WFTS Tampa Bay reports that Steinbrenner's varsity team was placed in quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure. The Warriors had the option to forfeit or call up the junior varsity squad en masse to face Palm Harbor University.
Steinbrenner (16-7) elected to give it a go with the JV. The Warriors lost the first set 20-25, rallied to win the second 25-22 then fell again in the third 23-25. With its backs against the wall, the Tampa-area school prevailed 25-22 and 15-13 in the final two sets. Here's the dramatic final sequence:
Thanks to the efforts of the late replacements, Steinbrenner enters the Class 7A state tournament as the top seed from District 13 and is scheduled to face Sickles (Tampa) next Friday. According to Hollenbeck, the varsity team is expected to be available for that contest.
Ready for our very own "Do you believe in miracles" moment?— Hillsborough Schools (@HillsboroughSch) October 16, 2020
Steinbrenner High's Varsity Volleyball Team got quarantined right before District Championships.
They could forfeit - or let JV take the court.
Watch as the JV team does the unthinkable!@gshswarriors @HCPSAthletics pic.twitter.com/lw6pzzmsNW
Palm Harbor University also advances and will meet Plant on Wednesday. There is an outside shot the two teams could meet again in the regional semifinals.