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High school girls basketball rankings: No. 1 Lake Highland Prep, other HIGHSCORE Top 25 teams waiting for GEICO bids - HIGHSCORE
High school girls basketball rankings: No. 1 Lake Highland Prep, other MaxPreps Top 25 teams waiting for GEICO bids
Last week, California was cleared to begin play its high school girls basketball season , but since then nothing much has happened. Facilities must be prepared, protocols must be put in place and testing must be arranged. But if all goes well, play might begin in mid-April and last for six weeks.

Yes, that would mean basketball would finish its season on Memorial Day, but that's early compared to Oregon, which right now is planning to play its last game on June 27.

And though other states are still in the TBA category (like California), 16 have completed their seasons, and 13 more will do so by next Monday.

Oh, and Hawaii and Nevada are the only two that have officially canceled their seasons.

Confused? Join the club — but crashing this year's MaxPreps Top 25 is going to get more and more difficult as teams wrap up their postseasons. For those knocking on the door, the hope is always for that dramatic postseason upset, and it's possible, if not likely, that a couple will occur.

Lately, though, the MaxPreps Top 25 has been remarkably stable, even including the fact that No. 16 has dropped out in each of the last three weeks. Coincidence? New Hope Academy, this week's No. 16, sure hopes so.

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]
Fremont captured the Utah 5A title and could receive an invitation to the GEICO High School Nationals.
Photo by Dave Argyle
Fremont captured the Utah 5A title and could receive an invitation to the GEICO High School Nationals.
MaxPreps Top 25 Girls Basketball Rankings

Record: 19-0 | Last week: 1
It's still unclear when and where the GEICO High School Nationals will be played, but from all reports the Highlanders will be one of the four girls' participants — and thus make the GEICO a de facto national championship tournament.

2. Westlake (Atlanta)
19-0 | Last week: 2
The Lions are on track to join Lake Highland Prep at the GEICO High School Nationals, but first must take care of business in Friday's AAAAAA title game. Carrolton is 30-1, and well-coached, so it's far from a gimme.

3. Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)
26-0 | Last week: 3
After handling a very strong Wayne team 49-33, the Cougars draw Notre Dame Academy on Friday, a team it has beaten. But then Saturday, the likely opponent in the Division I title game is No. 12 Newark.

4. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
12-0 | Last week: 4
Barring another COVID crisis — which canceled the much anticipated game with No. 20 Chaska last week — Hopkins will travel to unbeaten Becker on Friday before beginning postseason March 16.

5. Edison Academy (Detroit)
7-0 | Last week: 5
Arbor Prep will be the latest to challenge Pioneers' long-running domination of Michigan, but Edison will host the Thursday game.

6. Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
24-0 | Last week: 6
There are two steps left in Red Knights' state title quest: First is Francis Howell Central on Wednesday, followed by the winner of 20-4 Rockbridge vs. 22-2 Holt in Saturday's championship game.

7. Cypress Creek (Houston)
32-0 | Last week: 7
The Cougars have played three games decided by fewer than 20 points all year, and none with a final margin in single digits. Thursday's 6A final at the Alamodome against No. 11 DeSoto promises to be much more competitive — and one has to wonder how CyCreek would respond in the final minutes of a close game.

8. Norman (Okla.)
16-0 | Last week: 8
The Tigers got past Putnam North, 41-39, and should the team get past Midwest City on Thursday. Either Union or Edmond North will be a serious obstacle to both a state title and an unbeaten season.

9. St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.)
14-0 | Last week: 9
The Lancers finished the season on a high note, rolling over talented Red Bank Catholic 61-34. That's it though, and we'll never know what might have happened if they'd met No. 19 Rutgers in the New Jersey postseason.

10. Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)
10-0 | Last week: 10
We thought the Panthers' season was done, but it now appears there's a good chance PVI will play in the GEICO High School Nationals — and if so, it will be a great opportunity to stake a claim to the national title.

11. DeSoto (Texas)
26-2 | Last week: 11
The Eagles survived a grudge match with archrival Duncanville, 52-39, and then got past perennially strong South Grand Prairie 63-52. Now all that's left is unbeaten No. 7 Cypress Creek, which has not faced the same kind of tests DeSoto has this season.

12. Newark (Ohio)
27-1 | Last week: 12
After slipping past Dublin Coffman 75-73, only 19-3 Archbishop Hoben stands in the way of a dream Division 1 final against No. 3 Mount Notre Dame on Saturday.

13. Grandview (Aurora, Colo.)
14-0 | Last week: 13
Despite this ranking, the Wolves are the third seed in the Colorado 5A state playoffs, with unbeaten Valor Christian No. 1 and once-beaten Regis Jesuit (by Valor Christian) No. 2. It will all be settled on the floor come March 16.

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

15. Fremont (Plain City, Utah)
25-0 | Last week: 15
The Silverwolves are reported to be the Western representative to the GEICO High School Nationals after blowing open a close game in the second half of the 5A championship against Herriman. Though Fremont will be considered the underdog, don't forget that unheralded Central Valley from Washington state stunned the favorites a few years ago.

16. New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.)
12-3 | Last week: 17
New Hope's truncated season will very likely end with a game against very strong Westtown this Friday. There's a remote chance an invite to the GEICO High School Nationals will be forthcoming, but only if New Hope can find a way to win against Westtown.

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

18. Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.)
13-0 | Last week: 19
Saddle River Day was supposed to give the Argonauts their toughest test, but the final was 81-54 – and Rutgers Prep's season will end on that high note.

19. American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
25-2 | Last week: 22
Given the strength of Florida this year, and the Patriots' tough schedule, the jump into the Top 20 seems completely justified.

20. Chaska (Minn.)
12-0 | Last week: 20
With the Hopkins game canceled, Chaska must now wait until postseason for a shot at the No. 4 team in the nation — but Minnesota is loaded this year, so there's no guarantee the two will survive to face each other.

21. Hazel Green (Ala.)
36-1 | Last week: 21
The Trojans cruised to the 6A title, cementing a spot in the Top 25.

22. Bearden (Knoxville, Tenn.)
29-1| Last week: 23
The Bulldogs begins the AAA playoffs Thursday with 20-2 Hardin County with 27-1 Bradley Central is the favorite in the other quarterfinal. And it takes wins over two teams of that caliber to get to Saturday's final.

23. Pius X (Lincoln, Neb.)
25-0 | Last week: 24
It's difficult to beat a good team twice, but the third game is exponentially more difficult. Players, rightly, believe they've already proved they're better and even coaches can fall prey to overconfidence. It wasn't easy, but the Thunderbolts avoided that trap in the Class A title game, downing Fremont for the third time this year, 56-52.

24. Crown Point (Ind.)
24-1 | Last week: 25
Season complete.

25. Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte, N.C.)
Record: 12-0 | Last week: NR
If there was any doubt that to North Carolina's best — and given the abbreviated schedule, some doubt might have been justified — Vance terminated it with extreme prejudice by hammering an unbeaten team, 74-38, to win the 4A championship.

Dropped out:
No. 16 Ponchatoula (La.)
2020-21 HIGHSCORE Freshman All-America Team: Derik Queen headlines high school basketball's best from the Class of 2024 - HIGHSCORE
2020-21 MaxPreps Freshman All-America Team: Derik Queen headlines high school basketball's best from the Class of 2024
Our look at high school basketball's best from the 2020-21 season continues with the MaxPreps Freshman All-America Team, highlighted by National Freshman of the Year Derik Queen of St. Frances Academy (Baltimore.).

Queen, a 6-foot-8 forward regarded as one of the top prospects in the Class of 2024, averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists per game. He pumped in a season-high 56 points in a 99-55 victory over Annapolis Area Christian.

The promising Baltimore post player joins a list of past winners that includes Marvin Bagley III, LaMelo Ball and Onyeka Okongwu. See the full list of past MaxPreps Freshmen 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.
Second team selection Jahseem Felton has already received a handful of college offers, including Florida and Tennessee.
Photo by Tom Masters
Second team selection Jahseem Felton has already received a handful of college offers, including Florida and Tennessee.
First Team

6-foot-2 | Guard
Big North Conference All-United Division first team selection averaged 11.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists contest.

6-6 | Forward
District 3-A first team selection averaged 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest to help the Blue Devils to a 22-5 mark.

6-6 | Wing
Highly-touted prospect averaged 12 points, 9 rebounds, two assists and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 62 percent from the field.

6-0 | Guard
Philadelphia native averaged 11.8 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 54 percent from the field, 42 percent from the 3-point range and 92 percent from the line to help the Mustangs to their first state championship.

6-8 | Forward
Georgetown, LSU, Maryland and Virginia Tech have already extended offers to our pick as the nation's top frosh.

Second Team

6-6 | Wing
Key cog in Class 5A state quarterfinal run averaged 12.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the field.

6-6 | Wing
All-Skyland Conference honorable mention selection averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest to help lead the Knights to a 7-4 mark.

6-4 | Guard
Elite guard prospect averaged 12 points and 3.5 assists to help the Knights advance to the NCISAA quarterfinals.

6-5 | Guard
Mid-Penn Commonwealth Conference first team selection averaged 12.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists as the Rams advanced to the District III Class 6A semifinals.

6-5 | Forward
All-Shore Conference second team selection averaged 13.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

Third Team

6-8 | Center
Elite post prospect averaged 10 points and eight rebounds per contest while shooting 60 percent from the field.

Curtis Givens, Memphis University
6-0 | Guard
Difference-making guard averaged nine points, four assists and three rebounds to help the Owls advance to the District II-AA state quarterfinals.

Dink Pate, Pinkston (Dallas)
6-6 | Guard
Dallas Morning News Newcomer of the Year averaged 17.7 points per contest.

6-2 | Guard
After making his varsity debut as a seventh-grader, already has 2,199 career points after averaging 27.1 points per game this season.

6-7 | Forward
Highly-regarded forward prospect was key in championship game run.

Past MaxPreps Freshmen of the Year
2020 — Mikey Williams, San Ysidro (San Diego)
2019 — Emoni Bates, Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
2018 — Zion Harmon, Adair County (Columbia, Ky.)
2017 — Kyree Walker, Moreau Catholic (Hayward, Calif.)
2016 — LaMelo Ball/Onyeka Okongwu, Chino Hills (Calif.)
2015 — Marvin Bagley III, Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.)
2014 — Cody Riley, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)
2013 — Harry Giles, Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.)
2012 — Malik Newman, Callaway (Jackson, Miss.)
2011 — Trey Lyles, Arsenal Tech (Indianapolis)
2010 — Aquille Carr, Patterson (Baltimore)
Paige Bueckers: Yet another first for UConn freshman and 2019-20 HIGHSCORE National Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Paige Bueckers: Yet another first for UConn freshman and 2019-20 MaxPreps National Player of the Year
Paige Bueckers is making high school history still — even in college. The former Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) star became the first MaxPreps National Player of the Year — male or female — to win the same award at the level as a freshman.

Bueckers became the first freshman ever to win Associated Press National Player of the Year in the women's game while leading UConn to the Final Four. She averaged 20.1 points, 5.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds during the regular season and has been even better in the postseason, averaging 22.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in four victories.

Her Huskies play Arizona on Friday in one semifinal and the winner takes on the victor between Stanford and South Carolina.

Four previous female MaxPreps Players of the Year have gone on to win the collegiate award — Maya Moore (2007), Breanna Stewart (2012), A'ja Wilson (2014) and Sabrina Ionescu (2016) — but none in their freshman college seasons. Stewart won it as a sophomore, junior and senior at UConn.

Bueckers, who was also the MaxPreps overall 2019-20 Athlete of the Year, has a chance to win it four times.

"It’s amazing, surreal for people to think of me that highly and to be in that position as a freshman," Bueckers told reporters Wednesday. "To get this award, I’m extremely humbled and grateful."
As a senior at Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) in 2019-20, Paige Bueckers was the MaxPreps National Player of the Year and Athlete of the Year.
Photo by MaxPreps Photography
As a senior at Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) in 2019-20, Paige Bueckers was the MaxPreps National Player of the Year and Athlete of the Year.
Here are five traits Paige Bueckers had at Hopkins that made Wednesday's announcement not so surprising.  

1. She's a winner
She finished at Hopkins on a 62-game win streak. The coronavirus pandemic was the only thing holding her back from winning back-to-back unbeaten state titles. Hopkins finished No. 4 team in the 2019-20 MaxPreps Top 25 national rankings.  

2. Versatility
As a senior, the 5-foot-10 point guard averaged 21.4 points, 9.4 assists, 5.4 steals and 5.0 rebounds and finished with 1,998 career points, 487 rebounds, 563 assists and 405 steals.

3. Showmanship
The NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, including All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns, often made special efforts to show up at Hopkins' games. Her future coach Geno Auriemma told the Hartfort Courant while watching Bueckers in high school: "There are kids who play basketball, and then there are basketball players. She is a basketball player. Born to be a basketball player. Everything she does. She's a natural. She just plays like 'This is my personal playground. When I get the ball, I can do whatever I want with it, and you can't stop me.' "

4. Combination of basketball IQ and competitive fire
"She sees the game two or three passes in advance," her high school coach Brian Cosgriff said. She told MaxPreps: "I always want to win. That's my main objective. Even in board games with my family, I hate losing. I always have to win."

5. Confidence
She told MaxPreps last spring: "I want to add to the (UConn) legacy. I'll have opportunities to win championships there. Everybody is saying the dynasty (at Connecticut) is over. Yeah, right. I guess we'll see."

Past MaxPreps National Girls Players of the Year
2020 — Paige Bueckers, Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Donovan Clingan named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Connecticut High School Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Donovan Clingan named 2020-21 MaxPreps Connecticut 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.

Donovan Clingan of Bristol Central (Bristol) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Connecticut High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 7-foot-1, 255-pound junior helped the Rams go 15-0 en route to the program's first Central Connecticut Conference championship since 2003.

Clingan averaged 27.3 points, 17.2 rebounds, 5.8 blocks and 3.1 assists per contest this season. He averaged 36 points and 26.3 rebounds in three CCC tournament games.

In Bristol Central's 69-68 overtime victory against East Catholic in the CCC title game, Clingan finished with 33 points, 26 rebounds, seven blocks and five assists. He capped that performance by knocking down the game-winning shot with four seconds remaining.

Regarded as the No. 45 prospect in the Class of 2022 by 247Sports, Clingan holds 18 college offers including Connecticut, Georgetown, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Syracuse 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.
High school softball: Kentucky pitcher Madison McIntosh strikes out all 21 in perfect game masterpiece - HIGHSCORE
High school softball: Kentucky pitcher Madison McIntosh strikes out all 21 in perfect game masterpiece
Madison McIntosh should pitch with a sore arm more often. The 5-foot-8 senior from Rockcastle County (Mt. Vernon, Ky.) recorded a perfect perfect game Tuesday, striking out all 21 batters she faced on just 77 pitches in a 3-0 win over Lincoln County.

Having pitched five games in the previous four days, McIntosh told MaxPreps said she entered Tuesday's game "a little sore," so she "just wanted to make sure that my fundamentals were correct and not try to overdue anything."

Instead, she overwhelmed Lincoln County, teammates and herself while becoming just the fourth pitcher in Kentucky High School Athletics Association history to post 21 strikeouts in a seven-inning game. She was the first to do so since Whitney Valentine pulled it off in 2003 for Elizabethtown versus Green County.

The last perfect perfect softball game — 21 batters, 21 strikeouts — MaxPreps could confirm was by Shannon Becker of Mahopac in 2019, the first ever in New York. Before that, Cedar Grove (N.J.) hurler Mia Faieta pulled off the feat in a 2017 playoff game.
According to the NFHS Record Book, more than 40 pitchers have struck out 21 batters or more in a 7-inning game. The record is 24 by Kelly Holmes of Plymouth Canton (Mich.) who sat down 24 against Walled Lake Western in 1992. There is no available list of perfect 21 K games, but clearly it is rare.

McIntosh, who will pitch next fall at Division III Berea College in Kentucky, has pitched multiple no-hitters but never a perfect game. Her previous strikeout high was 18.

"I was just completely shocked," she said Tuesday via text just hours after the victory. "In the back of my mind, I knew what was going on, but I just tried to play and not think about it."

With her dad and assistant coach Tim McIntosh calling the pitches, none of the Rockets let on they knew what was going on. But Madison knew. All of her pitches were working, primarily her rise, drop curve and fastball. She threw just one change up.

"My speed was up tonight, so my quick pitches were on," Madison said.

Her focus was helped being a scoreless tie until the sixth. That's when the Rockets (11-6-1) struck for three runs on RBI doubles from Raegan Chasteen and Casey Coleman, and a run-scoring single by Haley Pingleton

"By the seventh inning, I got nervous," Madison admitted. "But I just got on the mound and tried to blow it past them."

The right-hander did, She improved to 9-4 on the season while lowering her ERA to 1.75. She's struck out 136 in 84 innings.

The gem was particularly sweet considering she, like all players in Kentucky and most of the country, missed out on a 2020 season due to the pandemic.

It should also be the start of an eventful week. On Friday, she's planning on signing her letter of intent to Berea. The Mountaineers better sign her quick. After Tuesday's performance, more offers might be arriving.

"I honestly had no idea something like this was going to happen tonight," Madison said. "I am just completely on Cloud 9."
Rockcastle senior pitcher Madison McIntosh holds up the ball used to record her 21st and final strikeout in Tuesday's perfect game vs. Lincoln County.
Photo courtesy of Alex McIntosh
Rockcastle senior pitcher Madison McIntosh holds up the ball used to record her 21st and final strikeout in Tuesday's perfect game vs. Lincoln County.
Madison McIntosh has struck out 136 in 84 innings this season.
File photo by Crystal Hester
Madison McIntosh has struck out 136 in 84 innings this season.