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Sara Puckett named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Alabama High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Sara Puckett named 2020-21 MaxPreps Alabama High School Girls 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.

Sara Puckett of Muscle Shoals is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Alabama High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-2 forward averaged 21.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game despite being the focus of opposing defenses, helping the Trojans go 15-10.

Puckett's shooting range and defensive versatility made her a tough matchup for other post players, and her ability close to the basket at both ends of the floor made her even more difficult to contend with.

A Tennessee signee, Puckett is rated the 43rd best prospect in the Class of 2021 by ESPN Hoopgurlz.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team.
MaxPreps/AVCA Players of the Week
MaxPreps/AVCA High School Players of the Week
For the week of Nov. 9-15

6'2" | Senior | OH/MH
6 Sets Played
Kills: 33
Kills/Game: 5.5
Digs: 14
Digs/Game: 2.333
Receptions: 17
Rcpt/Game: 2.83
Aces: 1
Blocks: 1

Senior | S
10 Sets Played

Assists: 80
Assists/Game: 8
Team Hitting%: 0.189
Digs: 43
Digs/Game: 4.3
Aces: 13
Blocks: 1

5'8" | Sophomore | S
3 Sets Played

Assists: 31
Assists/Game: 10.33
Team Hitting%: 0.213
Digs: 11
Digs/Game: 3.67
Aces: 1
Blocks: 1

5'8" | Junior | S
10 Sets Played
Assists: 76
Assists/Game: 7.6
Team Hitting%: 0.190
Digs: 28
Digs/Game: 2.8
Aces: 3
Blocks: 2

Senior | S
14 Sets Played

Assists: 89
Assists/Game: 6.36
Team Hitting%: 0.129
Digs: 32
Digs/Game: 2.29
Aces: 10
Blocks: 0

5'9" | Sophomore | OH
9 Sets Played

Kills: 50
Kills/Game: 5.56
Digs: 31
Digs/Game: 3.44
Receptions: 37
Rcpt/Game: 4.11
Aces: 3
Blocks: 2

6'3" | Junior | MH
14 Sets Played

Kills: 56
Kills/Game: 4
Digs: 31
Digs/Game: 2.21
Receptions: 33
Rcpt/Game: 2.36
Aces: 5
Blocks: 13

6'4" | Senior | MH
10 Sets Played

Kills: 49
Kills/Game: 4.9
Digs: 19
Digs/Game: 1.9
Receptions: 16
Rcpt/Game: 1.6
Aces: 1
Blocks: 13

North Dakota
5'9 | Senior | OH
6 Sets Played

Kills: 28
Kills/Game: 4.67
Digs: 9
Digs/Game: 1.5
Blocks: 1

6'0 | Senior | OH/MH
8 Sets Played

Kills: 25
Kills/Game: 3.13
Digs: 11
Digs/Game: 1.38
Receptions: 25
Rcpt/Game: 3.13
Aces: 3
Blocks: 5

Senior | OH/DS
9 Sets Played

Kills: 36
Kills/Game: 4
Digs: 41
Digs/Game: 4.56
Aces: 5

South Dakota
Corsica/Stickney (Corsica High School, SD), 19 - 3
Sophomore | S/DS
5 Sets Played

Assists: 58
Assists/Game: 11.6
Team Hitting%: 0.136
Digs: 17
Digs/Game: 3.4
Blocks: 1

6'0 | Senior | MH
10 Sets Played

Kills: 60
Kills/Game: 6
Digs: 34
Digs/Game: 3.4
Receptions: 31
Rcpt/Game: 3.1
Aces: 6
Blocks: 6

8 Sets Played

Kills: 16
Kills/Game: 2
Digs: 25
Digs/Game: 3.13
Receptions: 9
Rcpt/Game: 1.13
Aces: 9
Blocks: 1

West Virginia
9 Sets Played

Kills: 75
Kills/Game: 8.33
Digs: 41
Digs/Game: 4.56
Receptions: 35
Rcpt/Game: 3.89
Aces: 4
Blocks: 8
Ohio releases 'Return to Play Recommendations' for Aug. 1 high school sports start - HIGHSCORE
Ohio releases 'Return to Play Recommendations' for Aug. 1 high school sports start
Hours after Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday mandated masks in all 88 counties, the Ohio High School Athletic Association sent a 22-page "Return to Play Recommendations" memo to member schools with additional sport-specific suggestions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic for the fall calendar. Practices for the Ohio fall sports season start Aug. 1.

"The OHSAA fully intends to support its member schools and the student-athletes who desire to compete in interscholastic athletics and will continue to assess all areas as more information becomes available," OHSAA interim executive director Bob Goldring said.

The guidelines — created via input from a myriad of state agencies and the National Federation of State High School Associations — won't supplant orders, mandates or requirements imposed by DeWine or the Ohio Department of Health.

The memo, which comes a day after the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association released a 38-page safety protocol proposal to its membership, includes plans for pre-participation screening, positive tests and travel considerations. It also features details on game-day operations including officials, event staff, spectators, bands, cheerleaders and concessions.

General guidelines for all sports include maintaining social distancing when not on the field or court, using face coverings while not competing, and dialing back or cutting unnecessary travel. It also recommends reducing or eliminating sharing of common equipment, and limiting contact frequency with student-athletes from schools and non-interscholastic programs outside of each school's league, conference or normal competition sphere.

Specific recommendations for football include extending the team box on both sides of the field to the 10-yard lines and having offensive players take the ball back to the huddle between snaps while officials would mark the line of scrimmage with a bean bag.

Staggered start times in cross country and nullifying switching benches between sets in volleyball were suggested.

Postgame handshakes in all sports will be eliminated.

"The OHSAA understands that the physical and mental benefits of participation in education-based interscholastic athletics are numerous and are heightened even more during this pandemic," Goldring said. "There is no doubt that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has already resulted in thousands of our students missing out on these life-shaping educational experiences over the past several months, and we certainly hope we can return to some type of normalcy as it relates to interscholastic athletics soon."

Three of the OHSAA's fall sports have been acknowledged as low contact, including boys and girls golf, girls tennis and volleyball. Those sports can have competitions between schools.

Competitions between schools in football, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country, and field hockey have not yet been approved.

"We just don't know yet," DeWine said. "Our ability to play sports and go back to school depends on what we do in the next few weeks."
Ohio introduced "Return to Play Recommendations" on Thursday for fall sports.
File photo by Jeff Harwell
Ohio introduced "Return to Play Recommendations" on Thursday for fall sports.
High school volleyball: Sizing up HIGHSCORE National Player of the Year candidates - HIGHSCORE
High school volleyball: Sizing up MaxPreps National Player of the Year candidates
While some states are well into their high school volleyball seasons, others are just warming up. Schools in the Midwest and South have eyes on the postseason while some programs in Texas are inching into double-digit contests.

States forging ahead with a traditional calendar, coupled with COVID-19 delays and later starts have made tracking players and teams a unique challenge.

We've assembled a list of 25 players who are into their seasons — some deep — while realizing those who've played longer will have the more appealing numbers. We'll update this list several more times throughout the school year and plan to add those schools with spring starts as well.
Averi Carlson, Lovejoy
Photo by Michael Horbovetz
Averi Carlson, Lovejoy
MaxPreps National Player of the Year watch list

Ally Batenhorst | Sr. | OH | Seven Lakes (Katy, Texas)
The Spartans are off to a 9-0 start and the Nebraska commit is a big reason why. She's posted 200 kills (6.5 per set) in 31 sets this season. She's added 144 digs and 10 aces as large school volleyball in Texas is ramping up.

Eleanor Beavin | Sr. | L | Mercy (Louisville, Ky.)
With 301 digs (8 per set) and 222 serve receives in an 11-2 start for the Jaguars, the Kentucky commit is leading the way for Matt Thomerson's squad. Beavin is closing in on 1,500 digs for her career at Mercy.

Julia Bishop | Sr. | S | Mercy (Farmington Hills, Mich.)
The Michigan State commit has 593 assists (10.6 per game), 107 digs, 46 aces and 85 kills as the Marlins are 23-0 on the year. Bishop came into the season needing two assists to pass the 1,000-career mark and has now surpassed 1,500.

Clara Brower | Sr. | S | The Woodlands (Texas)
The Highlanders dropped their first match of the season on Tuesday, but the Georgia commit became the school's leading setter and now has 3,608 career assists. Brower has 256 assists (8.8 per set) on the season in 29 sets, while adding 97 digs and 37 kills. She also passed the 1,000-dig mark and sits at 1,035.

Riley Buckley | Jr. | MH | North Raleigh Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.)
The Knights are 11-1 as Buckley has posted 94 kills, 85 digs, 138 assists on the young season.

Averi Carlson | Jr. | S | Lovejoy (Lucas, Texas)
The Leopards are 3-0 after having to cancel the first two weeks of the season due to district COVID-19 policies. Now in action, the Baylor commit and MaxPreps Freshman of the Year two seasons ago is starting hot with 71 assists (7.9) thus far. She dished up 31 alone in the season-opening straight sets win over The Colony.

Payton Chamberlain | Sr. | S | Byron Nelson (Trophy Club, Texas)
Like her fellow Texans, the Bobcats are just beginning and have started 5-1. The Wyoming commit has posted 186 assists (8.9 per set) to go with 25 blocks and 53 digs.

Kaylee Cox | Sr. | OH | Flower Mound (Texas)
The Jags are off to an 8-0 start and the preseason All-American is one reason why. Cox has 56 kills and 37 digs in 10 sets on the young season. A few more reasons why Flower Mound might be the team to beat in Texas — setter Caroline Dykes and hitters Angelique Cyr and Izabella Ortiz.

Shaye Eggleston | Sr. | OH | Brentwood (Tenn.)

The Alabama commit is looking to win her fourth state title — and the school's eighth straight — as the Bruins are off to a 31-3 start. Eggleston has 364 kills, 172 digs, 28 aces and 26 blocks while hitting at 33 percent clip.

Ashlyn Goolsby | Sr. | S | Walton (Marietta, Ga.)
A freshman when the Raiders were named the 2017 MaxPreps National Champion, Goolsby has come into her own and leads the team with 408 assists (10.2 per set). She's also tallied 86 digs and 42 kills as fellow senior Emery Dupes also helps pace 16-1 Walton.

Rylee Gray | Sr. | MB | Elkhorn South (Omaha, Neb.)
Hitting at a 47 percent clip for the 22-1 Storm, the Nebraska commit has 262 kills, 29 aces and 71 blocks in what's turning out to be an ultra-competitive season in the Cornhusker State. Junior setter Madi Woodin is also shining with 726 assists on the season.

Lauren Harden | Fr. | OH | Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.)
The lone freshman on the list, Harden is leading a quartet of hitters for the 20-0 Royals. She's notched 216 kills, 83 digs, 23 aces and 24 blocks in 59 sets. Harden has double-digit kills in 15 of 20 matches.
Lauren Harden, Hamilton Southeastern
Photo by Julie Brown
Lauren Harden, Hamilton Southeastern
Sydney Helmers | So. | OH | Assumption (Louisville, Ky.)
Another in the next line of standout hitters for Ron Kordes, the 6-3 sophomore leads the 9-1 Rockets with 118 kills (4.9 per set) on the young season.

Carly Hendrickson | Sr. | OH | Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)
Has 301 kills (7.0 per set) on the season for the 12-1 Cougars and it closing in on 1,000 career kills. The future Florida Gator has 10 matches this season with at least 19 kills and a high of 35 in a four-set win over Seton.

Ali Hornung | Sr. | L/OH | Providence (Clarksville, Ind.)
Leading a quartet of hitters with more than 100 kills for the 18-6 Pioneers, the Purdue commit has 341 kills (4.4), 280 digs and 378 receives. She's hitting at a 38 percent clip.

Ngozi Iloh | Sr. | MH | McIntosh (Peachtree City, Ga.)
The preseason All-American is getting it done for the 24-0 Raiders, pounding out 327 kills (5.9 per set), hitting at 45 percent. The Duke commit also has 32 blocks and 18 aces for Georgia's top-ranked squad.

Lindsay Krause | Sr. | MH/OH | Skutt Catholic (Omaha, Neb.)
The 6-3 Nebraska commit has 201 kills (5.4 per set) for the 15-1 Skyhawks. In 37 sets, Krause also has 41 aces and 116 digs while posting double-digit kills in all but two matches. Setter Allie Gray is also having a standout season thus far with 453 assists (12.2 per set).

Brooke Cirigliano | Sr. | MH | Padua Franciscan (Parma, Ohio)
The Miami (Ohio) commit leads the 15-0 Bruins with 163 kills (3.4 per set) while adding 71 blocks and 13 aces. Cirigliano is hitting nearly 50 percent and leads four senior hitters (Maria Futey, Kate Mihacevich and Jordan Chessar) with at least 100 kills.

Sophia Powell | Sr. | S | Lowell (Mich.)
One of two Red Arrows on the watch list, Powell has dished up 699 assists (10.1 per set) while also adding 94 kills and 165 digs for her 18-3 squad. Powell has tossed up double-digit assist in every match this season with highs of 51, 45 and 40.

Bergen Reilly | So. | S | O'Gorman (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
The Swiss Army knife has done a bit of everything for the 14-0 Knights this season. Reilly has 203 kills (5.2 per set), 20 aces, 37 blocks, 144 digs and 62 assists for the South Dakota squad. In 2238 sets for her young prep career, she has 1,114 assists, 586 digs and 457 kills.

Jenna Reitsma | Sr. | OH | Lowell (Mich.)
The Marquette commit is leading the Red Arrows with 491 kills (7.1 per set), in addition to 243 digs and 36 aces. She's notched 30 kills in a match three times this season and has double-digit kills in all but one match.

Ellee Stinson | Sr. | OH/L | Yorktown (Ind.)
The Tigers are 20-0 and the 5-3 senior is a big reason. The Northwestern commit has 203 kills and 313 digs and provides a great 1-2 punch with 6-0 senior Jaylynn Dunsmore (212 kills, 44 blocks).

Paris Thompson | Sr. | OH | Fort Myers (Fla.)
Headed to Notre Dame, Thompson surpassed 1,000 kills in her career with a 19-kill performance Wednesday in a sweep of Port Charlotte. the 6-3 hitter has posted 288 kills (5.8 per set) this season with 140 digs, 30 aces and 16 blocks.

Mabrey Shaffmaster | Sr. | OH | New Castle (Ind.)
The North Carolina commit set the school record for kills on Sept. 30, passing the 2,000 mark with a 46-smash night (also a record). She's got 409 kills on the year (6.3 per set) to go with 47 aces, 26 blocks, 244 digs and 397 serve receives as the Trojans look for a fourth straight state title. For her career, Shaffmaster has 2,166 kills and 893 digs.

Addie VanderWeide | Sr. | OH | Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
The Eagles are 16-0 and the 5-11 captain is a big reason why. She's posted 232 kills (5.3 per set), along with 165 digs and 19 aces. She's hit double-digit kills in 13 matches thus far with a high of 27 this week in a five-set win over Byron Center.
Mabrey Shaffmaster, New Castle
Photo by Julie Brown
Mabrey Shaffmaster, New Castle

Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco: How to watch high school football's biggest game of the spring - HIGHSCORE
Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco: How to watch high school football's biggest game of the spring
The biggest high school football game of the spring is 7 p.m. Saturday when Southern California heavyweights Mater Dei (Santa Ana) and St. John Bosco (Bellflower) collide. It simply doesn't get any better.

The top two ranked teams in the Golden State have been pegged also among the top five squads in the country the last five years and would have been once more in 2020 had the season not been postponed to the spring due to the pandemic.

With no league, section or state playoffs offered, and Saturday being the last date football teams are allowed to play in the Southern Section, Bosco versus Mater Dei is billed as the unofficial state championship. Mater Dei is No. 1 in the state in the MaxPreps Top 25 California rankings and St. John Bosco is No. 2. 

But the Monarchs and Braves might as well be 1A and 1B.

A staggering 59 players in the game have either 3-star recruiting rankings — see all of them — and the recent history of the series is rich and compelling.

Normally, more than 5,000 fans would jam into Santa Ana Stadium, but only a little more than 1,000 will be allowed in due to social distancing precautions.
How to watch

What: High school football
Teams: Mater Dei (4-0) vs. St. John Bosco (5-0)
Date: Saturday, April 17 | Time: 7 p.m. PT
Location: Santa Ana Stadium (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Television/Streaming: FoxSportsGo
Marceese Yetts (5), Mater Dei running back
File photo by Louis Lopez
Marceese Yetts (5), Mater Dei running back
Matayo Uiagalelei (11), St. John Bosco tight end, defensive end
File photo by Heston Quan
Matayo Uiagalelei (11), St. John Bosco tight end, defensive end