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Mallory Heyer named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Minnesota High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Mallory Heyer named 2020-21 MaxPreps Minnesota 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.

Mallory Heyer of Chaska is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Minnesota High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-1 junior forward was the key to the Hawks' upset of previous No. 4 Hopkins – which entered riding a 72-game win streak – in the Class AAAA semifinals, scoring 24 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Heyer averaged 21.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while shooting 61.4 percent overall and 45.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Chaska won the AAAA title, had an unbeaten season at 17-0 and finished No. 6 nationally in the MaxPreps Top 25.

Heyer is committed to the University of Minnesota.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team, which will be announced April 20.
High school girls basketball rankings: Westlake finishes No. 1, becomes first Georgia team to be crowned HIGHSCORE National Champion - HIGHSCORE
High school girls basketball rankings: Westlake finishes No. 1, becomes first Georgia team to be crowned MaxPreps National Champion
It was the strangest of seasons, but in the end, there is no doubt: Westlake (Atlanta) is the best high school girls basketball team in the country. The Lions went 22-0, won a fourth straight Georgia state title and, most important, took home the title at GEICO Nationals with a convincing performance.

Westlake slides into the No. 1 spot in the final MaxPreps Top 25 and is the 2020-21 MaxPreps National Champion.

There are some very good teams still playing, and some states have yet to even begin, but no team can mount a better case for No. 1 than the Lions no matter what happens the rest of the way.

Previous No. 1 Lake Highland Prep was undone by a torrent of turnovers (28) in a GEICO overtime semifinal loss to new No. 4 Paul VI, which in turn was handled easily by Westlake in the final.

Though junior Taniya Latson had 31 points in the 70-50 win over Paul VI, the key to the Westlake dominant season was senior point guard Raven Johnson, who ran the show with aplomb, passing, scoring, rebounding and stealing whenever the occasion demanded it. And senior Snoop Turnage also played a key role, as her seven blocks in the finals kept Paul VI from mounting any kind of a run.

Latson averaged 23.2 points on the season, while Johnson put up 15.1 points per night and Turnage chipped in just over 10 each contest for the Lions, whose closest game of the season was a 68-64 win Dec. 12 over McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.). Westlake, which has won 37 straight dating back to last season, allowed 819 points on the year with an average margin of victory of just over 32 points.

Even though Mount Notre Dame, Hopkins, Incarnate Word Academy and Norman all claimed state titles with unbeaten seasons, only Westlake faced serious out-of-state competition and won big games far from home. And of course, Westlake was the only team to win the GEICO Nationals.
Photo by Pete Wright / Graphic by Ryan Escobar
Past MaxPreps National Champions
2013 — Riverdale

MaxPreps Top 25 Girls Basketball Rankings

1. Westlake (Atlanta)
Record:
22-0 | Last week: 2

2. Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)
Record: 28-0 | Last week: 3

Record: 11-1 | Last week: 9

4. Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
Record:
29-0 | Last week: 6

5. Edison Academy (Detroit)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: 5

6. Chaska (Minn.)
Record: 17-0 | Last week: 20

7. Norman (Okla.)
Record:
19-0 | Last week: 7

8. St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.)
Record: 14-0 | Last week: 8

9. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Record: 15-1 | Last week: 4

10. Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
Record:
19-1 | Last week: 1

11. DeSoto (Texas)
Record:
28-2 | Last week: 10

12. Fremont (Plain City, Utah)
Record:
26-1 | Last week: 11

13. Newark (Ohio)
Record:
28-2 | Last week: 12

14. Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Record:
17-0 | Last week: 13

15. Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Record:
10-0 | Last week: 14

16. Cypress Creek (Houston)
Record:
32-1 | Last week: 15

17. New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.)
Record:
13-3 | Last week: 16

18. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Record:
21-2 | Last week: 17

19. Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.)
Record:
13-0 | Last week: 18

20. American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
Record:
25-2 | Last week: 19

21. Hazel Green (Ala.)
Record:
36-1 | Last week: 21

22. Pius X (Lincoln, Neb.)
Record:
25-0 | Last week: 22

23. Crown Point (Ind.)
Record:
25-1 | Last week: 23

24. Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte, N.C.)
Record:
12-0 | Last week: 24

25. Shawnee Mission Northwest (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)
Record:
23-0 | Last week: 25
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."
2021 NFL Draft: IMG Academy breaks high school record with seven former players selected - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: IMG Academy breaks high school record with seven former players selected
Coming off a 2020 national championship crowned by MaxPreps, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) added another impressive feat once the 2021 NFL Draft concluded in Cleveland. They had seven players selected breaking the record for most picks by a high school in a single draft. 

The selection of tight end Tre' McKitty by the Los Angeles Chargers late the third round gave IMG Academy its fifth former player, breaking the previous mark of four.

The Ascenders had two more players selected during the final day of the draft when the Kansas City Chiefs selected defensive end Joshua Kaindoh with the last pick of the fourth round at No. 144. Long snapper Thomas Fletcher was taken by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round with the 222nd pick.

The previous record was four set by the same Ascenders (in 2020) and St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in 2014.

Cornerback Greg Newsome II started IMG's run on Thursday with his selection by the Cleveland Browns in the first round (26th pick overall). The rest of the Ascenders went in the third round on Friday. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected defensive back Andre Cisco with the first pick at No. 65 and Minnesota promptly went after quarterback Kellen Mond at No. 66. Defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay chose offensive guard Robert Hainsey at No. 95 and McKitty finished things off Friday for the Ascenders at No. 97.
Quarterback Kellen Mond was one of four former IMG Academy players selected during the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
File photo by Louis Lopez
Quarterback Kellen Mond was one of four former IMG Academy players selected during the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
Cisco, Fletcher, Hainsey, Kaindoh, McKitty and Mond all played on IMG Academy's 2016 team that went 11-0 and finished No. 3 in the MaxPreps national Top 25. The Ascenders had notable wins that season against Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Long Beach Poly (Calif.), St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) and St. John's (Washington, D.C.), but their biggest victory came in California, 50-49, against Centennial (Corona) in one of the best high school football games over the last decade.

Cisco and Newsome were part of the 2017 IMG team that went 9-0 and finished No. 2 in the nation. Over the last three drafts, 13 former Ascenders have had their names called at the draft, including Grant Delpit, KJ Hamler, K.J. Osborne and Cesar Ruiz, all in 2020, after Hjalte Froholdt and Isaac Nauta were picked in 2019.

American Heritage (Plantation) finished the draft with the second most selections of all-time with six.

Patrick Surtain II was the first player selected from Florida at No. 9 overall by the Denver Broncos. Tyson Campbell went to Jacksonville at No. 33 and Cleveland selected Anthony Schwartz at No. 91. Marco Wilson became the third defensive back from the Patriots selected in the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals at No. 136. Tedarrell Slaton was selected in the fifth round and Khalil Herbert went in round six.

National power St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was the only other school with at least three players selected. Elijah Moore and Asante Samuel Jr. were both taken in the second round while Josh Palmer went in round three. The Raiders entered the 2020 season with most high school alums on NFL rosters with 11. 

2020-21 HIGHSCORE Cup winter state-by-state leaders - HIGHSCORE
2020-21 MaxPreps Cup winter state-by-state leaders
Carmel (Ind.), North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.) and Marist (Atlanta) head the list of MaxPreps Cup leaders by state, but due to COVID, it is an incomplete list this year.

A total of 12 states, along with the District of Columbia, had no high school sports at all this year or had a limited version of regular season play, abbreviated postseason play and no state finals during the fall and winter seasons. Those states include California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Washington. Some of those states have begun competition in the spring and may hold state competition by the end of the school year.

MaxPrep lists the top five teams from each of the other 38 states that held state championships, according to the MaxPreps Cup formula.

The MaxPreps Cup is an effort to rank the top high school athletic programs in the country. Points are awarded for state championships, state runner-up finishes and national rankings. Points are awarded based on popularity of sport, based on participation numbers, the size of the state, the size of schools in a playoff division and the number of teams participating in that playoff division.
Wakeland soccer has helped the school take the Lone State State lead in the MaxPreps Cup standings after the winter season.
Photo by Robbie Rakestraw
Wakeland soccer has helped the school take the Lone State State lead in the MaxPreps Cup standings after the winter season.
MaxPreps Cup winter leaders by state

Alabama
Mountain Brook (Birmingham), 881
Hoover, 842
Auburn, 647
Thompson (Alabaster), 588
Huntsville, 566

Alaska
Anchorage Christian (Anchorage), 265
Service (Anchorage), 192
Bartlett (Anchorage), 180
East Anchorage (Anchorage), 180
Chugiak, 176

Arizona
Salpointe Catholic (Tucson), 774
Chaparral (Scottsdale), 667
Hamilton (Chandler), 620
Snowflake, 505
Brophy College Prep (Phoenix), 469

Arkansas
Bentonville, 1038
Greenwood, 806
Mountain Home, 591
Jonesboro, 555
Valley View (Jonesboro), 506

Colorado
Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village), 796
Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch), 740
Cheyenne Mountain (Colorado Springs), 582
Limon, 517
Niwot, 504

Delaware
Salesianum (Wilmington), 464
Padua Academy (Wilmington), 383
Cape Henlopen (Lewes), 329
St. Mark's (Wilmington), 324
Ursuline Academy (Wilmington), 314

Florida
Bolles (Jacksonville), 1000
American Heritage (Plantation), 996
Ponte Vedra, 808
Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale), 755
Plant (Tampa), 717

Georgia
Marist (Atlanta), 1147
Westminster (Atlanta), 742
Pace Academy (Atlanta), 703
Buford, 655
Marietta, 618

Idaho
Boise, 886
Sugar-Salem (Sugar City), 792
Rocky Mountain (Meridian), 519
Preston, 397
Meridian, 332

Indiana
Carmel, 1538
Chesterton, 495
Cathedral (Indianapolis), 469
Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, 460
Pioneer (Royal Center), 430

Iowa
Waukee, 919
Ankeny, 575
Johnston, 468
Dike-New Hartford (Dike), 380
Ballard (Huxley), 358

Kansas
Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission), 893
Aquinas (Overland Park), 785
Hanover, 562
Olpe, 542
Kapaun Mt. Carmel (Wichita), 520

Kentucky
Sacred Heart (Louisville), 926
St. Xavier (Louisville), 702
Highlands (Fort Thomas), 566
Trinity (Louisville), 534
Marshall County (Benton), 433

Louisiana
Catholic-B.R. (Baton Rouge), 858
E.D. White (Thibodaux), 848
St. Thomas More (Lafayette), 818
Episcopal (Baton Rouge), 751
St. Joseph's Academy (Baton Rouge), 657

Michigan
Pioneer (Ann Arbor,), 795
Marquette, 565
Catholic Central (Grand Rapids), 540
DeWitt, 530
Lenawee Christian (Adrian), 490

Minnesota
Edina, 372
Forest Lake, 346
Alexandria, 304
Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis), 274
Gentry Academy (Vadnais Heights), 261

Mississippi
St. Andrew's Episcopal (Ridgeland), 783
Madison Central (Madison), 733
Kossuth, 502
Pontotoc, 438
Lafayette (Oxford), 419

Missouri
Whitfield (St. Louis), 605
MICDS (St. Louis), 590
Jackson, 530
Parkway West (Ballwin), 525
Maryville, 465

Montana
Billings Central Catholic, 899
Laurel, 699
Manhattan Christian (Manhattan), 617
Bozeman, 571
Sentinel (Missoula), 512

Nebraska
Skutt Catholic (Omaha), 651
Fremont, 582
Elkhorn, 470
Lincoln Southwest (Lincoln), 469
Norris (Firth), 405

New Hampshire
Bedford, 768
Bishop Guertin (Nashua), 645
Concord, 546
Hollis-Brookline (Hollis), 477
Windham, 450

North Carolina
Farmville Central (Farmville), 435
Carrboro, 400
Marvin Ridge (Waxhaw), 350
Cannon (Concord), 305
Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte), 276

North Dakota
Century (Bismarck), 1052
Minot, 419
Linton/Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock (Linton), 378
Bismarck, 364
Fargo Davies (Fargo), 336

Ohio
New Albany, 965
Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati), 727
Archbishop Hoban (Akron), 640
Mason, 575
St. Ignatius (Cleveland), 545

Oklahoma
Carl Albert (Midwest City), 914
Bishop Kelley (Tulsa), 707
Jenks, 624
Tuttle, 604
Mustang, 498

Pennsylvania
North Allegheny (Wexford), 1525
Cathedral Prep (Erie), 785
Southern Columbia Area (Catawissa), 705
Unionville (Kennett Square), 590
Mars, 570

Rhode Island
La Salle Academy (Providence), 907
East Greenwich (East Greenwich), 508
Bishop Hendricken (Warwick), 420
Barrington, 399
Classical (Providence), 298

South Carolina
Southside Christian (Simpsonville), 770
Hilton Head (Hilton Head Island), 664
Eastside (Taylors), 632
Bishop England (Charleston), 554
Wando (Mt. Pleasant), 511

South Dakota
Sioux Falls Christian (Sioux Falls), 921
O'Gorman (Sioux Falls), 627
Stevens (Rapid City), 602
Lincoln (Sioux Falls), 553
Brandon Valley (Brandon), 494

Tennessee
Signal Mountain, 951
Brentwood, 735
Baylor (Chattanooga), 717
Summertown (Summertown), 579
McCallie (Chattanooga), 569

Texas
Wakeland (Frisco), 801
Southlake Carroll (Southlake), 754
Westlake (Austin), 671
Flower Mound, 612
Argyle, 560

Utah
Lone Peak (Highland), 767
Morgan, 707
Sky View (Smithfield), 606
American Fork, 492
Desert Hills (St. George), 464

Vemont
Champlain Valley Union (Hinesburg), 651
U-32 (Montpelier), 372
Stowe, 344
Essex (Essex Junction), 274
Burlington, 241

Virginia
Patrick Henry (Ashland), 431
Pulaski County (Dublin), 351
Western Albemarle (Crozet), 345
Blacksburg, 328
Catholic (Virginia Beach), 310

West Virginia
Fairmont Senior (Fairmont), 452
George Washington (Charleston), 374
University (Morgantown), 342
Wheeling Park (Wheeling), 306
Shady Spring, 266

Wisconsin
Marquette University (Milwaukee), 550
The Prairie School (Racine), 484
Kaukauna, 458
Whitefish Bay, 434
Arrowhead (Hartland), 411

Wyoming
Jackson Hole (Jackson), 709
Cody, 623
Central (Cheyenne), 592
Laramie, 442
Kelly Walsh (Casper), 393