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North Carolina high school football rankings: Zebulon B. Vance crowned 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Champion, finishes No. 1 - HIGHSCORE
North Carolina high school football rankings: Zebulon B. Vance crowned 2020-21 MaxPreps Champion, finishes No. 1
The high school football season in North Carolina has come to a close with eight teams claiming NCHSAA titles. Class 4AA champion Zebulon B. Vance was among the winners, defeating Rolesvile 35-14 in the final and finishing No. 1 in the final MaxPreps Top 25 state computer rankings.

That victory, coupled with its 10-1 record and tremendous play this season, makes Vance the 2020-21 MaxPreps Champion for the state of North Carolina.

Quarterback Austin Grier, voted the title game's MVP, threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns, two going to Asuani Allen in the third quarter to put the game away. It was the second straight 4AA championship for the Cougars, who piled up 531 total yards, including 331 on the ground. Jalen Swindell was named the game’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player by recording a sack and six tackles. His team gave up 67 total yards.

Sophomore Dylan Smothers rushed 12 times for 97 yards and a touchdown and teammate Joseph Morris added 86 yards rushing on 11 carries.

The Cougars, who finished the season outscoring opponents 435-125, repeated as champions for the first time in school history. It will be the last time the school is called Vance, changing its name to Julius Chambers, a civil rights leader, in the summer. As an inspiration throughout the season, the Cougars used the social media hashtag, #TheLastVance.

“We’re a humble team, but we’re a confident team,” Vance coach Glenwood Ferebee told the Charlotte Observer. “We feel like every time (we) go out and do what (we’re) supposed to do, we can win. Our biggest obstacle was us and it’s going to always be us. As long as we can take care of business, with talent we have and the coaching staff we have, I think we’ll be fine for next 2-3 years.”

Of the seven other teams crowned champions, Grimsley (10-0), Mount Tabor (11-0), Reidsville (10-0) and Tarboro (9-0) all finished unbeaten. It took great resolve to finish this first spring season after postponing the traditional fall season due to the pandemic.
Asuani Allen running the ball for Vance in its 4AA championship win over Rolesvile on Saturday at North Carolina State's Finley Stadium.
Photo by Tom Masters
Asuani Allen running the ball for Vance in its 4AA championship win over Rolesvile on Saturday at North Carolina State's Finley Stadium.
2020-21 NCHSAA state champions

Class 4AA — Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte)
Class 4A — Grimsley (Greensboro)
Class 3AA — Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem)
Class 3A — Charlotte Catholic (Charlotte)
Class 2AA — Salisbury
Class 2A — Reidsville
Class 1AA — Tarboro
Class 1A — Murphy

Final North Carolina MaxPreps Top 25

# School Rec. Str. +/-
1ZBVHS (Charlotte)10-134.2--
2Grimsley (Greensboro)10-026.6--
3MTHS (Winston-Salem)11-026.1--
4Weddington (Matthews)6-129.0--
5CCHS (Charlotte)9-130.6+4
7Hough (Cornelius)8-129.7-2
8DWBHS (Matthews)8-225.3-1
9Cleveland (Clayton)10-119.6-1
12CGHS (Raleigh)9-121.1-1
13Myers Park (Charlotte)9-125.1--
16Lake Norman (Mooresville)5-226.3-1
17Dudley (Greensboro)8-218.7--
19CCHS (Charlotte)6-117.6-3
20Ardrey Kell (Charlotte)6-221.1-1
21West Forsyth (Clemmons)4-118.4-3
22EFHS (Kernersville)3-439.5+5
23Glenn (Kernersville)5-229.5+1
24Davie (Mocksville)5-224.4+2
25Mallard Creek (Charlotte)4-327.0-2
Best girls high school basketball player in all 50 states - HIGHSCORE
Best girls high school basketball player in all 50 states
The end of November historically means it's time to look toward the upcoming high school basketball season. Yet, plenty of questions surround the start of the high school basketball season as COVID-19 numbers spike across the country.

Still, a number of states have already forged ahead with their hardwood schedules while many more plan to tip-off shortly.

MaxPreps is gearing up for games amid the uncertain time in the country. We've already dropped our preseason MaxPrep Top 25 rankings, and earlier this week announced the top high school basketball team in all 50 states. Today, we take a look at the individuals who stand out in each state.

Top stars Azzi Fudd, Saniya Rivers, Jersey Wolfenbarger and Aaliyah Moore are among the headliners, with plenty of talent spread throughout the country.

Read on to see who took home the top spot in your state.
Jersey Wolfenbarger, Northside
File photo by Michael Woods
Jersey Wolfenbarger, Northside
Sara Puckett, Sr., Muscle Shoals
A 6-foot-2 forward who's solid inside and out, Puckett is just as comfortable in transition as she is in the half-court. She'll take her all-around game to Tennessee next year.

Sayvia Sellers, So., Anchorage Christian (Anchorage)
An athletic point guard who can score at the rim or from the perimeter, Sellers runs the show for Alaska's top team. Expect college coaches to figure out how to fly to Anchorage sooner rather than later.

Jersey Wolfenbarger, Sr., Northside (Fort Smith)
One of the top players in the country, a 6-5 guard who can distribute and score — and who will make Arkansas a lot better when she arrives next year.

Jennah Isai, Jr., Valley Vista (Surprise)

A tough, physical 6-0 combo guard who can not only get her own shots, but makes everyone around her better. She's a big reason Valley Vista starts the season in the MaxPreps Top 25.

Juju Watkins, So., Windward (Los Angeles)

You'd think that a state as big as California would have some outstanding seniors — and it does — but the 6-0 sophomore is the complete package, and the Golden State's best heading into 2020-21.

Allie Palmieri, Sr., Greens Farms Academy (Greens Farms)

She averaged 24.2 points and 8 rebounds last year, which made it easy for Boston College to decide to sign the 5-9 guard.

Lauren Betts, Jr., Grandview (Aurora)

At 6-7, it's not surprising that Betts is a rim protector, but she can get up and down the court as well. And in an age of 3-point specialists, she's a force on the block.

District of Columbia
Azzi Fudd, Sr., St. John's (Washington, D.C.)

Fudd can do it all at both ends of the floor, which is why she's everyone's preseason pick as Player of the Year, and the prize recruit for Geno Auriemma and UConn.

India Johnston, Sr., Caravel (Bear)

The athletic, aggressive 5-8 point guard, a Towson State signee, is too much for the rest of the Diamond State to handle.

O' Mariah Gordon, Sr., Braden River (Bradenton)

Think Allen Iverson, but more willing to give the ball up, and you've got a mental picture of the 5-5 Florida State signee.

Raven Johnson, Sr., Westlake (Atlanta)

If you like winning, you like Johnson, who will do whatever it takes — score, defend, pass — to get the W. Dawn Staley and South Carolina are excited to have her for next season.

Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu, Jr., 'Iolani (Honolulu)

Wahinekapu is another in a long line of tough, talented Hawaii guards who make it clear there's plenty of talent in the middle of the Pacific.

Naya Ojukwu, Jr., Mountain View (Meridian)

Meridian went 29-4 last year, and Ojukwu, a 6-1 athletic power forward who controls the paint, was a big reason why.

Greta Kampschroeder, Sr., Naperville North (Naperville)

A consummate scoring guard who can dish when needed, Kampschroeder will take her all-around game to Oregon State next year.

Ayanna Patterson, Jr., Homestead (Fort Wayne)

Homestead was 29-2 last year, and the 6-2 Patterson — who adds a mid-range jumper to her heavy lifting around the basket — looks to keep the Spartans in Indiana's upper echelon again this season.
Ayanna Patterson, Homestead
File photo by Julie Brown
Ayanna Patterson, Homestead
Grace Larkins, Sr., Southeast Polk (Pleasant Hill)

Larkins is a feisty, attacking guard who led Southeast Polk to a 19-5 record last season — and she'll play for South Dakota in 2021-22.

Payton Verhulst, Sr., Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission)

She's smooth, skilled and versatile, and was a major contributor to Bishop Miege's 21-2 record last year. She'll play for Louisville next season.

Brooklyn Miles, Sr., Franklin County (Frankfort)

An athletic point guard who attacks the basket — even if she is only 5-6 — Miles will play for Tennessee in 2021-22.

Mikaylah Williams, So., Parkway (Bossier City)

Just a sophomore, scouts consider Williams college-ready right now. She averaged 20 points and nine rebounds a game as a freshman for a 24-win team, so clearly her name is one to remember.

Emily Archibald, Sr., Kennebunk

A 6-2 power forward, Archibald averaged 13.5 rebounds a game to go along 20.0 points and 3.5 assists, so it's not a surprise Providence snapped her up.

Caroline Ducharme, Sr., Noble & Greenough (Dedham)

A 6-2 wing who can shoot is special, but Ducharme has an all-around game to go along with the sweet stroke. She'll play for UConn next season.

Saylor Poffenbarger, Sr., Middletown

At 6-2, Poffenbarger is a guard, not a post, and she's a shooting guard at that. She's also a solid all-around player who will join a loaded UConn freshman class next year.

Damiya Hagemann, Sr., Edison Academy (Detroit)

Edison has emerged as one of the top teams in the country the last few seasons, and it's no coincidence that the 5-8 Hegemann's arrival to play the point occurred at the same time. She'll play for Michigan State.

Adalia McKenzie, Sr., Park Center (Brooklyn Park)

McKenzie is proof there's more to Minnesota basketball than Hopkins, as the Illinois signee averaged 31 points and 11 rebounds a game for 24-5 Park Center.

Bella Fontleroy, Jr., Kickapoo (Springfield)

A 6-1 wing, Fontleroy can get to the rim and finish in the mid-range, but is especially effective in transition.

Debreasha Powe, Jr., Meridian

Meridian went 29-2 last year, thanks in great part to Powe, a 6-0 wing who uses her athleticism to attack the basket.

Mya Hansen, Jr., Billings Central Catholic (Billings)

A polished lead guard who can shoot it, Hansen led Billings Central to a 21-2 record, and has already committed to the Lady Griz of Montana.

North Carolina
Saniya Rivers, Sr., Ashley (Wilmington)

Rivers' high school stats match her elite ranking — 25.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 6.3 steals per game — which is why Dawn Staley is ecstatic to have her signed with South Carolina.

North Dakota
Logan Nissley, So., Century (Bismarck)

Nissley does it all for Century, which went 21-4 last year. The 5-10 combo guard can pass, score and rebound, and has three more years to bedevil opposing teams in North Dakota.

Allison Weidner, Sr., St. Francis (Humphrey)

An explosive slasher who plays hard, Weidner is the engine that drives St. Francis (25-3 last year) — and the 5-9 guard will bring the same package to Nebraska next season.

New Hampshire
Isabella King, Sr., Bedford

King, a 5-8 guard, not only is a shooter, she's also a rebounder — and the combination of skills is one reason she's signed with Bucknell.

New Jersey
Olivia Miles, Sr. Blair Academy (Blairstown)

Many consider Miles the USA Basketball point guard of the future, as she shines at every level of competition (club, high school, USA Basketball). Notre Dame looks for that trend to continue in college basketball next year.

New Mexico
Viane Cumber, Sr. Sandia (Albuquerque)

Cumber averaged 22.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists for 21-5 Sandia last year, but her college destination is unclear after she decommitted from Texas Tech.

Aaliyah Gayles, Jr., Spring Valley (Las Vegas)

Gayles is that unusual point guard who not only can score and dish, but also rebounds (6.4 a game last year for a good Spring Valley team). Given her size (5-8) and athleticism, look for more of the same this season.

New York
Sonia Citron, Sr., Ursuline (New Rochelle)

Citron doesn't dazzle, she just does everything really well — and at 6-1, she's not only a stalwart for USA Basketball youth teams, she's expected to step right in at Notre Dame next year.

KK Bransford, Jr., Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)

At 5-10, Bransford doesn't profile as a power player, but that's exactly who she is. She uses her strength and physicality to get to the rim, and is pretty much unstoppable at the high school level.

Aaliyah Moore, Sr., Moore

No, they didn't name the high school after her, but Aaliyah Moore has definitely made an impression with her size (6-2) and physical play around the rim. She'll go to Texas next year.

Audrey Roden, Sr., West Linn

Roden does a lot of things well, and plays bigger than her 5-8 size would suggest, which adds rebounding to her ability to score (17.2 ppg), pass and defend. She's committed to Nevada.
Audrey Roden, West Linn
File photo by Mark Jones
Audrey Roden, West Linn
Aislin Malcolm, Jr., Chartiers Valley (Bridgeville)

Malcolm has the usual statistical profile for players on this list, but there's one fact that sets her apart: She has not lost a game in her high school career.

Rhode Island
Amaya Dowdy, Sr., St. Raphael Academy (Pawtucket)

Dowdy is a physical power forward who gets a lot done in the paint, but she's also versatile enough to make plays on the perimeter. She will play for UMass-Lowell next season.

South Carolina
Milaysia Fulwiley, So., Keenan (Columbia)

Fulwiley's dazzling numbers as a freshman — 26.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6.3 apg, 6.1 spg — are impressive, and she passes the eye test with flying colors as well. She's one of the top recruits in the country in the Class of 2023.

South Dakota
Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda, Jr., Washington (Sioux Falls)

The game is as long as the name, as Mwenentanda uses her 6-1 size to attack the rim, and her athleticism to make an impact all over the floor.

Denae Fritz, Sr., Maryville

The 5-11 wing averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds a game last season, but her intensity and versatility add even more value. She'll play for Iowa State next season.

Rori Harmon, Sr., Cypress Creek (Houston)

Harmon can shoot (38 percent from 3-point distance), score (15.6 ppg), pass (5.2 apg) and at 5-8, rebound (5.6 rpg). She's committed to Texas.

Timea Gardiner, Jr., Fremont (Plain City)

At 6-2, Gardiner is a force inside, delivering 14.7 ppg and 6.7 rpg last year. But even more impressive for a post (or any other position) was her 87 percent from the free-throw line.

Catherine Gilwee, Sr., Champlain Valley Union (Hinesburg)

A 5-6 point guard, Gilwee ran the show for unbeaten Champlain Valley Union last season, and added 3-point marksmanship as well. She'll play for Vermont next year.

Aziaha James, Sr., Princess Anne (Virginia Beach)

James did it all for powerhouse Princess Anne last year — 18.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 4.7 spg — and North Carolina State will be looking for more of the same in 2021-22.

Talia Von Oelhoffen, Sr., Chiawana (Pasco)

Von Oelhoffen, who committed to Oregon State after averaging 26.2 ppg last year, has athleticism in her genes: Her father Kimo played in the NFL for 14 years.

West Virginia
Dionna Gray, Jr., Huntington

Gray transferred from St. Joseph Central, a nationally ranked team last year, and immediately upgraded the Huntington program. The 5-3 floor general is quick, active, athletic and has a high basketball IQ.

Maty Wilke, Sr., Beaver Dam

The best player on the state's perennial powerhouse, Wilke has a smooth jumper but also is fine with seeking out contact. She's committed to Wisconsin.

Brenli Jenkins, Jr., Rock Springs

At 5-7, Jenkins is a point guard who can handle, shoot and get to the rim, which gives opponents few options. She's also a solid defender, which just adds to the package.
Bryce Hopkins named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Illinois High School Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Bryce Hopkins named 2020-21 MaxPreps Illinois 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.

Bryce Hopkins of Fenwick (Oak Park) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Illinois High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound senior helped the Friars go 13-3 overall and 11-1 in Chicago Catholic League play.

Hopkins averaged 24.4 points and 12.5 rebounds and three assists per contest and was named Chicago Catholic League Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Signed with Kentucky, Hopkins is regarded as the No. 27 prospect in the Class of 2021 overall according to 247Sports. The versatile forward also earned offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Oregon and Wisconsin 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.
Bryce Hopkins is headed to play for the Kentucky Wildcats next season.
Photo by Luke Hales
Bryce Hopkins is headed to play for the Kentucky Wildcats next season.
MLB Draft: Top 5 high school catcher prospects - HIGHSCORE
MLB Draft: Top 5 high school catcher prospects
Video: 10 Extreme high schools via Google Earth
See these campuses that run north to south and east to west.

The Major League Baseball Draft is five rounds this year and the position that perhaps will suffer the brunt of the shortening is high school catcher.

Most mock drafts have one high school catcher going in the first round and mock drafts that project all five rounds show three prep catchers being drafted at all. Mock drafts predict that major league clubs will spend their picks on pitching during the five rounds.

There are at least five high school catchers who have a chance of being drafted, although several of them could move to different positions after they are drafted.

Since there will be far fewer draft selections this year, MaxPreps is providing a truncated look at the top high school selections for the MLB Draft, scheduled for June 10-11. Instead of the usual Top 10, MaxPreps looks at the Top 5 players at six different positions. We've previously presented corner infielders, middle infielders and outfielders.
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
Tyler Soderstrom, Turlock (Calif.)
Nearly every mock draft has Soderstrom going to the San Francisco Giants with the No. 13 overall pick. A catcher throughout his high school playing days, Soderstrom is a high draft pick based on his offensive skills. He showed promise last year when he batted .452 with 12 doubles and four home runs. Speculation is that he will likely end up at third base or in the outfield to maximize his offensive prowess. Projection: No. 13 overall to Giants.

Drew Romo, The Woodlands (Texas)
Romo has an outside shot at going in the first round, but is a likely second-round pick. A defensive standout with quick hands, Romo also has the ability to switch hit. Not necessarily a home run hitter, Romo is still an extra-base threat and is a good enough hitter to eventually switch positions. Projection: second round.

Kevin Parada, Loyola (Los Angeles)
Like Sodestrom, Parada is versatile enough to play another position at the big league level and thus might not stick at catcher. A solid defensive catcher with a strong arm, Parada may also be a candidate for one of the corner spots. He is also an offensive threat after batting around .450 the past two seasons with six home runs. Projection: third round.

Jack Bulger, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)
Bulger had a huge junior season, batting .545 with five home runs. His productivity earned him Gatorade State Player of the Year honors. In any other draft year, Bulger would likely be selected somewhere in the first 10 rounds. However with only five rounds this year, Bulger is right on the edge of getting drafted. With a pop time of around 1.9, Bulger has the skills to catch at the major league level. Projection: Fifth round/undrafted.

Daniel Susac, Jesuit (Carmichael, Calif.)
Brother Andrew is already in the Major Leagues and the younger brother will be there before too long. He has one of the best pop times at the high school level at 1.82 and he can hit for power. He had three home runs last year while batting .378. In a normal draft year, Susac probably goes somewhere in the first 10 rounds. Projection: Fifth round/undrafted.
High school basketball: What's next for Emoni Bates after decommitment from Michigan State? - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball: What's next for Emoni Bates after decommitment from Michigan State?
Emoni Bates, the No. 1 prospect in high school basketball's Class of 2022, announced Friday via Instagram that he is no longer committed to Michigan State and considering options at the college and pro level.

Bates was a MaxPreps All-American this year despite an abbreviated season at Ypsi Prep Academy (Ypsilanti, Mich.) and has long been considered the top player in the rising senior class according to 247Sports.

As a sophomore, the 6-foot-8 wing led Lincoln (Ypsilanti) to a 19-3 record, averaging 32.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals per contest.

Bates appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated at just 15 years old after leading Lincoln to its first state title in program history as a freshman, averaging 28.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest.

In 2019-20, Bates became the first sophomore to win Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors. He was also named a first team MaxPreps All-American after earning fourth team MaxPreps All-American honors as a freshman.

So what's next for Bates?

A jump to the professional level seems to be the most likely move. Multiple paths for high school prospects to bypass college have emerged, including the NBA G League, which showcased straight-out-of-high-school talents Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga and Isaiah Todd this year.

Should he elect to play in college, DePaul, Florida State, Kentucky and Michigan could be options since they were involved in his recruitment prior to committing to Michigan State.
Emoni Bates in action for Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.) during a January 2020 game at Eastern Michigan University.
Photo by Scott Hasse
Emoni Bates in action for Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.) during a January 2020 game at Eastern Michigan University.