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Bryce McGowens named 2020-21 OFFICIAL South Carolina High School Basketball Player of the Year - OFFICIAL
Bryce McGowens named 2020-21 MaxPreps South Carolina 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 2020-2021 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 McGowens of Legacy Early College (Greenville) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps South Carolina High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-6, 175-pound senior helped the Lions go 14-7 against a challenging national schedule.

McGowens averaged 21.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest this season. He was the leading scorer at the St. James NIBC Invitational, posting 20.9 points per contest in seven appearances at the loaded event.

After spending his first three years at Wren (Piedmont), McGowens transferred to Legacy Early College prior to his senior season. He finished his four-year high school career with over 2,300 points.

Signed with Nebraska, McGowens is regarded as the No. 21 prospect in the Class of 2021 overall according to 247Sports. Florida, Florida State, Maryland and Oregon were among the other college basketball programs to extend offers.

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 rankings: Leander sits atop OFFICIAL Top 25 preparing for Texas playoffs after unbeaten regular season - OFFICIAL
High school softball rankings: Leander sits atop MaxPreps Top 25 preparing for Texas playoffs after unbeaten regular season
Postseason play is right around the corner or already here for states throughout the country. Louisiana opened its Bi-Disctrict play on Monday. State titles will be on the line in late April and into early May in the Pelican State.

In Texas, regular season play wraps up for some this week. For  Leander (Texas), the No. 1 team in this week's MaxPreps Top 25 high school softball rankings, Part One of the to-do list is done. The Lions' real season begins later this month. But we do have to mention what an incredible run it was for the Lions. The team outscored their opponents 223-38 and hit 40 home runs. LSU commit Baylea Brandon clubbed 18 home runs and had 18 games where she had two or more hits. Her junior teammate SJ Geurin was 17-0 in the circle. The Oklahoma commit finished with a 0.69 ERA and struck out 218 batters. So now we will see if they can finish Part Two and finish with a state title.

Five new teams join this week's MaxPreps Top 25, including Doral Academy (Doral, Fla.). The Firebirds are showing they have what it takes to be considered Florida's top-ranked team. Kassandra Machado has 15 home runs as they have rolled off 11-straight wins.
Baylea Brandon, Leander
Photo by Paul Knight
Baylea Brandon, Leander
MaxPreps Top 25 high school softball rankings

1. Leander (Texas)
Record:
29-0 | Last week: 1
The Lions roll into postseason play unbeaten.

2. Barbers Hill (Mt. Belvieu, Texas)
Record:
29-2 | Last week: 5
It has been over a month since any team has scored against the Eagles.

3. Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla.)
Record:
20-2 | Last week: 2
The Mustangs finish up regular season play this week.

4. Los Alamitos (Calif.)
Record:
9-0 | Last week: 4
The Griffins are averaging over 10 runs per game.

5. Park Vista (Lake Worth, Fla.)
Record:
20-0 | Last week: 5
Tyrina Jones, Chloe Fariello and the rest of the Cobras look to close out the regular season with a flawless record.

6. Marist (Chicago)
Record:
5-0 | Last week: 6
The RedHawks have jumped out to a hot start after four games last week.

7. Norco (Calif.)
Record:
8-1 | Last week: 7
After an early season loss to fourth-ranked Los Alamitos, the Cougars have won seven straight.

8. Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.)
Record:
32-2-1 | Last week: 10
Big week of district play coming up for the Huskies, starting Tuesday against Vestavia Hills.

9. Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Record:
6-0 | Last week: 11
Stanford signee Kylie Chung pitched nine innings and struck out 13 in a 2-1 win over Oaks Christian on Monday.

10. Warren (San Antonio)
Record:
21-0 | Last week: 12
The Warriors wrap up district play on Thursday before postseason play.

11. Newsome (Lithia, Fla.)
Record:
21-0 | Last week: 13
Big game on Tuesday for the Wolves as they hit the road to play 22-2 Steinbrenner.

12. Lake Creek (Montgomery, Texas)
Record:
29-0 | Last week: 15
The Lions are hitting .469 as a team with 40 total home runs.

13. University (Orange City, Fla.)
Record:
19-0 | Last week: 16
Junior Aminah Vega has a hit in all but two games this season. She is batting .604 with 11 home runs.

14. Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.)
Record:
24-2 | Last week: 17
Auburn commit Emmah Rolfe struck out 12 in the circle and went 4-4 at the plate on Monday.

15. Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.)
Record:
22-0 | Last week: 18
Elleigh Willis hit a home run and pitched a complete game on Friday to help the Rockets stay unbeaten.

16. Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta, Calif.)
Record:
2-0 | Last week: 21
The Falcons will meet No. 9 Westlake on Saturday.

17. Spring-Ford (Royersford, Pa.)
Record:
5-0 | Last week: 22
The Rams are up and running scoring nine or more runs in all but one game.

18. Fairhope (Ala.)
Record:
25-2 | Last week: 24
Alea Johnson threw a no hitter on Monday in a 9-0 win over Foley. The LSU commit struck out 20.

19. Villa Park (Calif.)
Record:
9-0 | Last week: 25
The Spartans have outscored its opponents 61-8 to start the season

20. Doral Academy (Doral, Fla.)
Record:
20-2 | Last week: NR
Junior Alyssa Zabala is 13-2 in the circle with a 1.01 ERA.

21. Lake Central (St. John, Ind.)
Record:
11-0 | Last week: NR
Loyola University Chicago commit Peyton Pepkowski is 6-0 in the circle with 71 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched.

22. Judson (Converse, Texas)
Record:
23-1 | Last week: NR
Junior Keely Williams has hit 11 home runs and is batting .680 as the Rockets have won 19-straight.

23. Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista, Calif.)
Record:
7-0 | Last week: NR
Giselle Garcia and Isabela Valdez have been a nice 1-2 punch in the circle for the Crusaders.

24. Crown Point (Ind.)
Record:
8-1 | Last week: 9
The Bulldogs dropped their first game of the year, falling 4-2 to No. 21 Lake Central on Wednesday.

25. Williamsburg (Ohio)
Record:
10-0 | Last week: NR
The Wildcats are back in the Top 25 after an impressive 10-0 start.

On the bubble: Rocklin (Calif.); Benson (Ariz.); Sabino (Tucson, Ariz.), Valencia (Calif.), Eastern Alamance (Mebane, N.C.)
Virginia crowns first spring football champions in high school history - OFFICIAL
Virginia crowns first spring football champions in high school history
Like any other year, the Virginia High School League crowned six state football champions Saturday afternoon in six different classifications. But these were clearly different.  From all records MaxPreps has researched, Virginia is the first state to ever award football championships in the spring.

The Riverhead Gladiators were officially the first ones crowned, with a 65-29 victory over the Galaxy Maroon Tide in the Class 1 title game. A 34-point second-point explosion led the Gladiators to their 10th straight win of the season. They outscored opponents 483-119 on the season. 

Perennial East power Oscar Smith (8-0) followed with a 62-21 Class 6 title win over South County, and Stone Bridge (8-0) took the Class 5 crown with a 13-10 overtime win over Highland Springs. (See all the champions below).

The VHSL was one of 15 states to move the traditional fall 2020 season to the spring due to COVID-19 pandemic. Of those states, 11 decided on abbreviated spring seasons, with just three opting for playoffs. North Carolina and Rhode Island have scheduled state championship games next week.

According to MaxPreps senior writer and historian Kevin Askeland, no states have ever held football championships in the spring, although one in California was scheduled in 1919. That title game was called off when Orange League champion Fullerton disbanded a month before the scheduled contest.
Oscar Smith turned around a loss in the 2019 VHSL Class 6 title game with a resounding 65-21 win over the Stallions on Saturday.
File photo by Fred Ingham
Oscar Smith turned around a loss in the 2019 VHSL Class 6 title game with a resounding 65-21 win over the Stallions on Saturday.
2021 Spring VHSL State Football Championships

Class 1Full bracket can be found here - 2020 Virginia High School Football Playoff Brackets: VHSL Class 1
2021 NFL Draft: IMG Academy breaks high school record with seven former players selected - OFFICIAL
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. 

High school sports: Southern California regionals announced; No NorCal regionals, state track and field meet - OFFICIAL
High school sports: Southern California regionals announced; No NorCal regionals, state track and field meet
The California Interscholastic Federation announced Wednesday its plan to hold one-week Southern California regional playoffs in seven sports, including basketball, baseball and softball, starting June 5 and ending June 26. The other sports include soccer, tennis, boys volleyball and golf.

Because only two of six Northern California sections — Central Coast and Oakland — are even holding playoffs, there will be no Northern California regionals. That also means for a second straight year there will be no state track and field or state swimming and diving championships.

The 2021 state track and field meet, scheduled for Buchanan High school in Clovis, would have been the 102nd in history. 

The CIF, which only takes over playoffs at the regional and state level, had no choice. The organization's hands were tied. Section champions feed into the regional playoffs and with no champs to advance, regionals were impossible. 

"Ultimately with only CCS and Oakland offering playoffs, regional playoffs in the North weren't feasible," CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti said. "We wanted to wait as long as possible to make sure there were no update or changes (with the sections)."

Though disappointed that his athletes can't move on, CCS commissioner Dave Grissom said he's heard no complaints.

"This pandemic has been absolutely life changing and life altering for so many families," he said. "In the big scheme of things, for there not to be Northern California championships is OK. It's completely OK. It's just one of those things. It was impossible to pull off. I haven't heard one coach, athletic director or school be upset about it."
San Diego Section powers Mater Dei Catholic and Cathedral Catholic figure to reach the Southern California championships, which conclude June 26. Mater Dei Catholic is ranked 19th nationally by MaxPreps.
File photo by Rudy Schmoke
San Diego Section powers Mater Dei Catholic and Cathedral Catholic figure to reach the Southern California championships, which conclude June 26. Mater Dei Catholic is ranked 19th nationally by MaxPreps.
All four Southern California sections — the Southern, San Diego, Los Angeles and Central — will finish up their playoffs in late May or early June and then enter a one-week regional playoff.

The section playoffs must be completed by the following dates in these respective sports: boys and girls soccer (May 29), boys and girls team tennis (May 29), boys volleyball (June 5), boys and girls golf (June 12), boys and girls basketball (June 12), baseball (June 19) and softball (June 19).

The last date for regional championships for each sport: boys and girls soccer (June 5), boys and girls team tennis (June 5), boys volleyball (June 12), boys and girls golf (June 15), boys and girls basketball (June 19), baseball (June 26) and softball (June 26).

With just one week to complete tournaments, each bracket will be no more than eight teams. That will create many more brackets than normally, especially in basketball.

Teams and student athletes will likely be faced with many conflicts, concerning both graduation and club teams. Nocetti is hoping for flexibility in all cases.

"We understand that section championships are top priority," Nocetti said. "But we hope those teams communicate as soon as possible their plans on participation at regionals."

The Southern California baseball and softball regionals should be very interest. Currently, three SoCal teams are in the MaxPreps Top 25 national baseball rankings and four SoCal softball squads are among the nation's 25 best.
CIF's announcement and schedule released Wednesday about Southern and Northern California playoffs.
CIF's announcement and schedule released Wednesday about Southern and Northern California playoffs.