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Matthew Mors named 2020-21 OFFICIAL South Dakota High School Basketball Player of the Year - OFFICIAL
Matthew Mors named 2020-21 MaxPreps South Dakota 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.

Matthew Mors of Yankton is the 2020-21 MaxPreps South Dakota High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound senior helped the Bucks go 20-4 en route to the state semifinals.

Mors averaged 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists per contest while leading Yankton to its first 20-win season since 1975-76.

Playing on the varsity team since seventh grade, the versatile forward finished third on the state's all-time scoring list with over 2,700 career points.

Signed with Wisconsin, Mors is regarded as the No. 149 prospect in the Class of 2021. He also received offers from Creighton, Colorado, Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska and TCU 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.
Extending the Season: No Sierra Canyon-Sheldon trilogy, but three fantastic finishes - OFFICIAL
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."
High school baseball: Top 10 MLB Draft prospects - OFFICIAL
High school baseball: Top 10 MLB Draft prospects
The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft has been a June fixture for 55 years, since it was first held in 1965. However due to COVID-19, Major League Baseball has moved the three-day selection process to July 11, 12 and 13. The high school baseball season is expected to last, in some states, until the third or fourth week of June.

MaxPreps has identified the Top 10 members of the Class of 2021 who figure to be chosen on the draft's first day. Based on mock drafts and rankings by recruiting services like Prep Baseball Report and Perfect Game, the Class of 2021 is particularly strong at shortstop with three expected to go among the top three high school players chosen. At least three pitchers are also among the top 10, however a high school player is not expected to be chosen with the No. 1 overall pick.
Marcelo Mayer, Eastlake
File photo by Steven Silva
Marcelo Mayer, Eastlake
Top 10 high school MLB Draft prospects for 2021

Jordan Lawler, Dallas Jesuit (Dallas), SS
All signs point to Lawler, a five-tool shortstop, as the first high school player chosen in the draft. Along with the potential to develop into a 15-20 home runs a year slugger, Lawler also has tremendous speed and the ability to stick as a shortstop at the professional level. After a fast start to the 2021 season, Lawler has slowed to a .303 batting average with 13 runs, six RBI and five doubles.

Marcelo Mayer, Eastlake (Chula Vista, Calif.), SS
Like Lawler, Mayer is seen as a player who has a chance to stick at shortstop in the Bigs. Scouts regard Mayer as the best pure hitter in the draft, however, he's also a superior defensive player. The combination of hitting and fielding could push Mayer ahead of Lawler in the draft.

Kahlil Watson, Wake Forest (N.C.), SS
Yet another high school shortstop who has the defensive skills necessary to continue playing the position at the next level, Watson came on strong during the summer. Watson batted just .235 during a five-game season last year, but as a sophomore he hit .578 with 12 doubles and six home runs. Watson is likely to go somewhere in the middle of the first round and could be the fourth or fifth high school player selected.

Harry Ford, North Cobb (Kennesaw, Ga.), C
The highest-rated high school catcher, there are mixed results on whether Ford will go in the first round or not. However, no other high school catcher has been tabbed to go ahead of Ford. He's one of the quickest and most athletic high school catchers in the draft, which leads to the possibility that Ford could move to the field at some point. He's noted for his bat speed and he already has three home runs and two triples in 2021 while batting .290 with 14 RBI in 11 games.

Brady House, Winder-Barrow (Winder, Ga.), 3B
A shortstop for much of his high school career, House likely will end up at third base. He has one of the top bats in the draft. He's shown that early in the season for the Bulldogs, batting .542 with 17 runs scored, three doubles and three home runs.

Ben Montgomery, Red Land (Lewisberry, Pa.), OF
Montgomery could be the top high school outfielder in the draft thanks to a strong arm and ability to hit for power. He hasn't seen any action against high school competition since the 2019 season. Scouts see Montgomery going toward the end of the first round of the draft.

Chase Petty, Mainland Regional (Linwood, N.J.), P
Perry caught everyone's attention when he hit 100 mph over the summer. A possible end-of-first-round pick, Petty also reportedly has an above average slider. Low projection could sour some teams allowing Petty to drop out of the first round.

Jackson Jobe, Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.), P
A hitting and fielding prospect prior the 2020 summer season, Jobe has developed into one of the top pitching prospects in the draft. With a fastball that hits 96 mph, Jobe also has a deadly curve. He had eight strikeouts in his first four innings pitched this season.

Andrew Painter, Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), P
Painter could be the first high school pitcher taken in the draft and he's expected to be the third or fourth overall high school player selected. At 6-foot-7, he's got the mid-90s fastball, but he is also adept at three other pitches. He has 27 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched this season.

James Woods, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), OF
Teams looking for powerhitting outfielders will likely look long and hard at Woods. Along with Montgomery, he's among the top prep outfielders in the draft. He has two home runs this season in IMG's 10 games. He could go toward the end of the first round.
High school baseball rankings: Venice knocks Jesuit from top spot in OFFICIAL Top 25 - OFFICIAL
High school baseball rankings: Venice knocks Jesuit from top spot in MaxPreps Top 25
Venice knocked the Jesuit Tigers out of the No. 1 spot in the MaxPreps Top 25 high school baseball rankings, making room for another Florida team to rise to the top. Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale) leapfrogged previous No. 2 Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) following Jesuit's loss.

Calvary Christian Academy continues to get strong pitching from Andrew Painter, who tossed a 1-hitter with 12 strikeouts. But the Eagles will be put to the test this week with a game against IMG Academy.

Jesuit didn't fall far. The Tigers avenged the loss to Venice on Saturday and dropped to No. 6 behind IMG Academy. Buford (Ga.) and Barbe (Lake Charles, La.) also moved ahead of Hamilton, which has yet to play a game this season. Buford and Barbe both are undefeated with double-digit win totals. Barbe was particularly impressive last week, winning four games by shutout.

Dropped out: Woodstock (Ga.), Vestavia Hills (Ala.), Houston County (Warner Robins, Ga.), John Carroll Catholic (Fort Pierce, Fla.), Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City), Charlotte Christian (N.C.)

Game of the Week: Venice 3, Jesuit 2. The Indians scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead over the former No. 1 team. Jesuit got a home run from Jake Kulikowski in the top of the seventh, but couldn't get the trying run on base to extend the threat.

Player of the Week: Andrew Painter, Calvary Christian Academy. In 11 innings this year, Painter is 2-0 with 27 strikeouts and three hits in leading the Eagles to a No. 1 ranking in the nation.

Recruit Watch: Braden Montgomery, Madison Central. One of the top outfielders in the nation, Montgomery has helped Madison Central start the season 6-0 by batting .500 (7-for-14) with six runs, nine RBI, two doubles, a triple and a home run.

Game to Watch: No. 1 Calvary Christian Academy takes on IMG Academy. Calvary will likely send Andrew Painter, the nation's No. 1 pitching prospect, against IMG, or the Ascenders might see Irving Carter, Florida's No. 2 pitching prospect.

Streaks: Jesuit saw its 21-game win streak come to an end against Venice. The Tigers' streak had dated back to the 2019 season.
Calvary Christian Academy takes over the top spot in the MaxPreps Top 25 baseball rankings.
Photo by Laura Martin
Calvary Christian Academy takes over the top spot in the MaxPreps Top 25 baseball rankings.
MaxPreps Top 25 high school baseball rankings

1. Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Record:
7-0 | Last week: 3
Results: Def. Denmark 10-0; def. St. Anne-Pacelli, 10-0; def. Smith Station, 7-6
Stats: Erik Blair struck out nine against Denmark. Andrew Painter threw a five inning 1-hitter with 12 strikeouts against St. Anne-Pacelli. Nick Anello struck out 10 against Smith Station.
Next: Friday vs. Champagnat Catholic; Saturday vs. IMG Academy.

2. Buford (Ga.)
Record:
11-0 | Last week: 4
Results: Def. Thompson, 4-2; def. Hartselle, 2-0; def. Providence, 12-2; def. Spanish Fort, 7-6, def. Lanier, 7-0.
Stats: Dylan Lesko hit a home run against Thompson and struck out 13 to earn the win against Hartselle. Nathan Smith had a double and two triples against Providence.
Next: Wed. and Fri. vs. Lanier.

3. Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)
Record:
10-0 | Last week: 6
Results: Def. South Beauregard, 10-0; def. Central Private, 10-0; Live Oak, 3-0; Doyle, 4-3; Northshore, 13-0.
Stats: Kameron Edwards had a double, a home run and six RBI against Northshore.
Next: Wed. vs. St. Louis Catholic; Fri./Sat. vs. Catholic (Baton Rouge).

4. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
Record:
0-0 | Last week: 2
Next: Season opener Friday vs. Alhambra

5. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Record:
9-1 | Last week: 5
Results: Def. Chelsea, 15-3; def. Florence, 2-0; def. Montverde Academy, 5-0; def. Cullman, 11-1.
Stats: Elijah Green had a home run and Mason Albright struck out 10 against Chelsea. Jackson Ferris gave up two hits and struck out 13 against Florence. James Wood hit a home run and Drew Gray struck out 13 against Cullman.
Next: Wed. vs. Montverde Academy, Sat. vs. Calvary Christian Academy.

6. Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.)
Record:
5-1 | Last week: 1
Results: Def. Hillsborough, 10-1; lost to Venice, 3-2; def. Venice, 3-2.
Stats: Cole Russo had a home run against Hillsborough. Jake Kulikowski had a double and home run in the loss to Venice while Russo had another home run in Saturday's win over Venice.
Next: Tues. vs. Jefferson; Thurs. vs. Sarasota.

7. Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
Record:
10-1-1 | Last week: 8
Results: Def. Hutta, 6-0; def. Round Rock, 6-2; def. Vista Ridge, def. Round Rock Westwood, 8-3; lost to Round Rock Westwood, 4-3; def. McNeil, 4-3; Cedar Ridge, 5-0.
Next: Tue. vs. Cedar Park, Thurs. vs. Vista Ridge.

8. Spruce Creek (Port Orange, Fla.)
Record:
8-0 | Last week: 9
Results: Def. Flagler Palm Coast, 5-0; def. Hagerty, 6-1; def. New Smyrna Beach, 2-0.
Stats: Knute Rockey struck out seven against Flagler Palm Coast while Brandon Neely struck out 9 against Hagerty.
Next: Fri. vs. Deltona.

9. St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)
Record:
0-0 | Last week: 7
Next: March 27 vs. Catholic Central

10. Calvary Christian (Clearwater, Fla.)
Record: 7-1 | Last week: 14
Results: Def. Boca Ciega, 10-0; def. Bishop McLaughlin, 3-2; def. Palmetto, 5-3
Next: Thur. vs. Clearwater Central Catholic, Fri. vs. Berkeley Prep.

11. Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.)
Record:
5-0 | Last week: 15
Results: Def. Cardinal Newman, 6-1.
Stats: Aiden Meola went 3-for-4 in the win.
Next: Wed. at Martin County; Thur. vs. Spanish River.

12. Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.)
Record: 7-1 | Last week: 16
Results: def. Western, 5-0; def. Archbishop McCarthy, 11-0.
Stats: Chris Arroyo struck out 8 against Western while Christian Rodriguez struck out 11 against Archbishop McCarthy.
Next: Fri. at Boca Raton.

13. Reagan (San Antonio)
Record:
12-1 | Last week: 19
Results: def. MacArthur, 11-1; def. Eagle Pass, 9-1; def. O'Connor, 5-4; def. Taft, 10-0; def. Tivy, 10-0; def. Smithson Valley, 5-1.
Next: at Leander Tournament.

14. Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)
Record:
9-0 | Last week: 20
Results: def. Mill Creek, 3-2; def. Hillgrove, 7-4; def. Wesleyan, 10-9, def. Archer, 7-4
Stats: Justin Bogard was 3-for-5 with a double against Wesleyan.
Next: March 15 vs. Parkview.

15. Sam Houston (Lake Charles, La.)
Record:
9-0 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. St. Louis Catholic, 6-2; def. Northshore, 8-1; def. Mandeville, 7-3; def. Zachary, 6-2; def. Central Private, 14-5.
Stats: Ashton Fuselier went 4-for-4 with two doubles.
Next: Tue. vs. Rosepine; Thurs. vs. Ouachita.

16. Madison Central (Madison, Miss.)
Record:
6-0 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Taylorsville, 2-1; def. Columbia, 15-1; def. West Jones, 11-0.
Stats: Beau Bryans had 10 strikeouts against West Jones while Bryan Montgomery had a triple and a home run against Columbia.
Next: Tue. vs. Northwest Rankin; Fri. vs. Germantown.

17. Carrollton (Ga.)
Record:
12-1 | Last week: 10
Results: Def. Helena, 11-1; def. Daphne, 4-2; lost to Cullman, 12-3; def. Montverde Academy, 6-3, def. Wesleyan 4-2
Next: Fri. vs. Bremen.

18. Tompkins (Katy, Texas)
Record:
10-0-1 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Santa Fe, 2-0; def. Magnolia, 8-2; def. Montgomery, 5-2; def. Stratford, 7-6; def. Santa Fe, 10-1.
Next: Tues. vs. Katy Taylor; Thur. vs. George Ranch.

19. Gregory-Portland (Portland, Texas)
Record:
11-0-1 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Corpus Christi Carroll, 8-0; def. Calallen, 4-3; def. Sinton, 10-1; def. King, 24-2; def. Robstown, 4-3; def. Tuloso-Midway, 8-5.
Next: at Gregory-Portland tournament.

20. Auburn (Ala.)
Record:
9-1 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Opelika 10-0 and 7-2.
Stats: Will Turner went 2-for-4 with a double and also struck out eight in the first game.
Next: Thur. vs. Tuscaloosa County; Friday vs. Baker.

21. Owasso (Okla.)
Record:
4-0 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Sapulpa, 13-8; def. Greenwood, 3-1; def. Jenks, 3-0; def. Jenks, 13-5.
Stats: Braden Blundell and Solomon Skalnik both homered against Sapulpa.
Next: Tues. vs. Sapulpa, Fri. vs Enid.

22. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
Record:
0-0 | Last week: 22
Next: March 17 vs. Franklin

23. Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Record:
0-0 | Last week: 24
Next: March 16-18 Grand Slam Tournament

24. Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas)
Record:
8-3-1 | Last week: 11
Results: Def. Lovejoy, 5-0; lost to Prosper, 7-2; lost to Byron Nelson, 7-1; def. Allen, 9-2; def. Little Elm, 8-0; def. FRISCO Centennial, 8-0.
Stats: Michael Lindsey struck out nine against Centennial. Hunter Teplanszky had a home run against Allen.
Next: Wed./Fri. vs. Flower Mound.

25. Winder-Barrow (Winder, Ga.)
Record:
7-1 | Last week: 12
Results: Lost to Peachtree Ridge, 2-1; def. Greenbrier, 7-2, def. Dacula, 7-1.
Stats: Brady House was 2-for-3 with a double against Peachtree Ridge and 3-for-4 with a double against Greenbrier.
Next: Wed./Fri. vs. Dacua.
High school basketball: No. 1 girls prospect Azzi Fudd commits to UConn - OFFICIAL
High school basketball: No. 1 girls prospect Azzi Fudd commits to UConn
St. John's (Washington, D.C.) high school basketball star Azzi Fudd, the No. 1-ranked prospect in the Hoopgurlz/espnW Top 100, has signed with UConn. The senior guard announced her commitment to the program Wednesday morning – the first day of the national signing period – and the Huskies made it official with a social media post a short while after.

"They make good players great," Fudd said of her college choice. "I realized that to reach my goals and be the player I was trying to be, UConn was the place."
The 5-foot-11 Fudd was the first sophomore to be named the MaxPreps Player of the Year in 2019, averaging 26.3 points per game in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

Her junior season wasn't quite the follow-up she was hoping for as she recovered from a torn ACL. Fudd did return to the court, but wasn't fully healthy until late in the year when she once again began to dominate.

Fudd is much more than just a scorer. Her high school coach, Jonathan Scribner, has described her as "a silent assassin. She's not demonstrative – she just methodically destroys you."

He also feels she's an exceptional defense player, but don't think it's a coach overrating his own player – college coaches and rating services have raved about her talent since she was in middle school.

Fudd chose UConn over UCLA in what she described as a back and forth process.

"I do not like to make decisions, so I kind of elongated the process," Fudd said. "Finally I sat down and made a list of pros and cons for UCLA and UConn – and UConn was the winner."

When she arrives in Storrs next fall, she will join a young UConn team (six players are freshmen this season and there are no seniors on the roster), but is still expected to have an immediate impact on one of the best teams in the country.
Azzi Fudd in action against Sidwell Friends last March.
Photo by Phil Peters
Azzi Fudd in action against Sidwell Friends last March.