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Sarah Hollenbeck of WFTS Tampa Bay reports that Steinbrenner's varsity team was placed in quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure. The Warriors had the option to forfeit or call up the junior varsity squad en masse to face Palm Harbor University.
Steinbrenner (16-7) elected to give it a go with the JV. The Warriors lost the first set 20-25, rallied to win the second 25-22 then fell again in the third 23-25. With its backs against the wall, the Tampa-area school prevailed 25-22 and 15-13 in the final two sets. Here's the dramatic final sequence:
Thanks to the efforts of the late replacements, Steinbrenner enters the Class 7A state tournament as the top seed from District 13 and is scheduled to face Sickles (Tampa) next Friday. According to Hollenbeck, the varsity team is expected to be available for that contest.
Ready for our very own "Do you believe in miracles" moment?— Hillsborough Schools (@HillsboroughSch) October 16, 2020
Steinbrenner High's Varsity Volleyball Team got quarantined right before District Championships.
They could forfeit - or let JV take the court.
Watch as the JV team does the unthinkable!@gshswarriors @HCPSAthletics pic.twitter.com/lw6pzzmsNW
Palm Harbor University also advances and will meet Plant on Wednesday. There is an outside shot the two teams could meet again in the regional semifinals.
Sidwell Friends was ranked in the preseason MaxPreps Top 25 girls high school basketball rankings but will not play this season. Meanwhile St. John's, which was ranked last week, is down a four-game schedule. So neither is in this week's Top 25, because part of being a top team is testing the talent on the roster — and four games (or no games) simply doesn't ask enough of a team and a coach.
Yes, teams are ranked that have yet to play, but their schedules are expected to kick in soon, so unfortunately, Sidwell Friends and St. John's must join teams from California, Oregon and Washington on the rankings sidelines. (Teams from the last three states may actually play more than four games, but won't start — if they do start — until the spring.)
And further complicating the process is the lack of major tournaments and intersectional games, which are the best way to measure teams from different regions. As always, though, we are confident the following 25 teams are very good girls high school basketball teams — but this year, more than any other, there could easily be better teams that are not on the list or on the court.
1. Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
Record: 12-0 | Last week: 1
District playoffs now begin for the Highlanders, but given the too-many divisions in Florida postseason, don't expect too much competition in the 4A bracket.
2. Westlake (Atlanta)
Record: 14-0 | Last week: 3
Westlake moves up to No. 2, and after a game Feb. 3, will begin postseason — and there are some pretty good teams standing between Westlake and a AAAAAA title.
3. Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)
Record: 19-0 | Last week: 6
Another team with just one game left before the playoffs begin, the Cougars are now No. 3 thanks to a tougher schedule than the schools ranked lower.
4. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Record: 5-0 | Last week: 4
There are about 53,000 people in Minnetonka, but a very surprising number of those people are very talented high school girls' basketball players. Hopkins has a lot of them, of course, but so does crosstown rival, Minnetonka, which lost to the Royals by one last week.
5. Edison Academy (Detroit)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 5
Eventually, Edison will get to play, or so we're led to believe. Supposedly games can begin in Michigan on Thursday, but as is the case everywhere, you never know.
6. Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
Record: 16-0 | Last week: 8
Incarnate Word's next opponent is 19-3 Whitfield, which lost to IWA by only 14 the first time around — this game, though, is in the friendly confines.
7. Cypress Creek (Houston)
Record: 23-0 | Last week: 10
Cypress Creek finishes up the regular season this week, and draws 20-1 Jersey Village on Friday. But that one Jersey Village loss was to Cypress Creek — by 61.
8. Norman (Okla.)
Record: 11-0 | Last week: 11
Classen SAS has a win over No. 13 DeSoto and only one loss all year, so the Feb. 11 game matching Norman and Classen SAS could shake up the MaxPreps Top 25.
9. St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 9
St. John-Vianney finally gets under way Feb. 3 — and with the addition of a game against talented Trenton Catholic to the schedule, we'll get to see if SJV is really a Top 10 team.
10. Ensworth (Nashville, Tenn.)
Record: 12-0 | Last week: 12
It's going to be a challenging weekend for Ensworth. First up, on Friday, is 14-6 Brentwood Academy, which lost to Ensworth by nine earlier this year, followed by 16-1 Bearden on Saturday afternoon.
11. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Record: 19-1 | Last week: 14
Montverde outlasted previously unbeaten Winter Haven 76-66 last week, and since Montverde doesn't participate in the Florida postseason, that could be it for the season.
12. Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)
Record: 7-0 | Last week: NR
The Panthers hammered Elizabeth Seton 71-51, which matters because Seton turned around and beat previous No. 2 Bishop McNamara. And then, more to the point, PVI knocked off previous No. 17 New Hope Academy to earn a spot in the Top 25.
13. DeSoto (Texas)
Record: 20-1 | Last week: 15
DeSoto shouldn't have too much trouble in the final two regular season games, but the 6A playoffs that follow will be a much tougher test.
14. North Central (Indianapolis)
Record: 21-2 | Last week: 16
North Central is now in the 4A playoffs, but note that Bedford North Lawrence, which beat North Central earlier this season, will be the likely semifinal opponent.
15. Fremont (Plain City, Utah)
Record: 16-0 | Last week: 18
Fremont has one more tough league game left against a solid Syracuse team, but Herriman looks like the biggest threat when the 6A playoffs begin.
16. Newark (Ohio)
Record: 18-1 | Last week: 20
Newark beat its next two opponents by a combined score of 146-29 the first time around, so look for Newark to take another jump next week if teams ranked higher should falter.
17. Grandview (Aurora, Colo.)
Record: 2-0 | Last week: NR
Grandview appears in the rankings for the first time, and not coincidentally, Colorado just started playing. Plans call for a 14-game schedule plus postseason so Grandview will have a chance to prove it belongs.
18. Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)
Record: 1-0 | Last week: 22
Neumann-Goretti and Cardinal O'Hara are traditionally two of the strongest teams in Philadelphia, and those two just happen to be Archbishop Wood's next two opponents.
19. Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.)
Record: 2-0 | Last week: 19
Rutgers Prep continues its abbreviated schedule but what appears to be a lack of quality opponents could be an issue for continued ranking.
20. Valley Vista (Surprise, Ariz.)
Record: 2-0 | Last week: 21
Valley Vista has one more game this week, and one the next. And then plays five games in six days.
21.Hazel Green (Ala.)
Record: 28-1 | Last week: 23
Hazel Green begins the 6A playoffs, but note that Hoover, considered the next strongest team in the state, will be in 7A. Which means there will be no rematch of the Jan. 23 win that put Hazel Green in the Top 25, and knocked Hoover out.
22. Anderson County (Lawrenceburg, Ky.)
Record: 12-0 | Last week: 24
Bethlehem has only one loss, on the road by one point to unbeaten Boyd County, so Thursday's opponent will be a test for Anderson County.
23. Ponchatoula (La.)
Record: 22-0 | Last week: 25
In the middle of a four-games-in-seven-day stretch, Ponchatoula must travel to 15-4 Mandeville and host 18-4 Mt. Carmel. So while last week's 31-28 win over Anchorage Christian was a big one, there's still work to do.
24. Johnston (Iowa)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: NR
Johnston jumps to the top of the Iowa list, and into the Top 25, but must deal with more experienced, and very talented, Waukee later this week. And it won't get easier, as there are a lot of strong teams in Iowa this year.
25. Upperman (Baxter, Tenn.)
Record: 23-0 | Last week: NR
Upperman joins the Volunteer State's Ensworth in the Top 25, but the two will not play in postseason. Ensworth is a 3A school and Upperman is 2A.
Dropped out: No. 2 Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.); No. 7 St. John's (Washington D.C.); No. 13 Union (Tulsa, Okla.); No. 17 New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.).
Previous No. 2 Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.), No. 3 Madison Central (Madison, Miss.), and No. 4 Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.) all lost last week with No. 5 IMG Academy getting the win over Jesuit. No. 6 Barbe also won while previous No. 10 Calvary Christian Academy lost and was dropped from the rankings.
Meanwhile, St. Mary Prep continued to rack up impressive win after impressive win, extending its win streak to 39 and season mark to 19-0. Friendswood also won a pair of games to move to 23-0. Since IMG Academy has ended its season, St. Mary Prep and Friendswood jump ahead of IMG Academy and Barbe. IMG Academy can still move up with losses by Buford, St. Mary Prep and Friendswood.
Six new teams enter the rankings this week. They include Utah's best Pleasant Grove, Columbus North, the top team in Indiana and Rocky Mountain, the top team in Idaho. Parkview Baptist has the best overall record in Louisiana, and Buchanan, the top team in Central California. Roff, a small school in Oklahoma, joins at No. 25. While Roff comes in No. 2 in the MaxPreps computer state rankings, it actually has a win over the No. 1 team, Deer Creek (Edmond).
Dropped out: Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Seymour (Tenn.), Fort Zumwalt West (O'Fallon, Mo.), Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.), Trinity (Louisville, Ky.), Vero Beach (Vero Beach, Fla.).
Game of the Week: IMG Academy 4, Jesuit 2. In a game that could determine the top team in Florida, IMG Academy edged Jesuit thanks to three RBI by Drake Varnado. IMG Academy does not play in the postseason while Jesuit begins postseason play this week in defense of its state championship from 2019.
Player of the Week: Ike Irish, St. Mary Prep. Irish hit three home runs last week to help the Eaglets move up to the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
Recruit Watch: Cooper Kinney, Baylor. One of the top infielder prospects in the nation, Kinney had a big week for the Red Raiders with four doubles and three home runs.
Game to Watch: Baylor vs. Farragut. The Red Raiders and Admirals battle for the top spot in Tennessee this weekend. The two teams play in different divisions in the state playoffs and won't be able to determine state supremacy in the postseason. Baylor is coming off a disappointing loss to Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.), but stays in the rankings due to its matchup with No. 8 Farragut and what a possible win over the Admirals might mean with regards to the rankings.
Streaks: St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.) moved past Webster (Wis.) for the longest active win streak in the nation at 39. The Eaglets won 20 in a row to finish the 2019 season, did not play in 2020, and have won 19 in a row to start the 2021 season. Webster has a 37-game active win streak.
1. Buford (Ga.)
Record: 29-0 | Last week: 1
Results: Did not play
Next: Thur/Fri playoffs vs. Alexander
2. St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)
Record: 19-0 | Last week: 7
Results: Def. De La Salle Collegiate, 7-1, 11-1; def. West Bloomfield, 8-5; def. Catholic Central, 9-3, 5-0.
Stats: Ike Irish hit a home run in both games against DLS with Coleson Titus hitting one out in the second game. Jake Dresselhouse had a double, a home run and four RBI against West Bloomfield. Irish also hit a home run against Catholic Central while John Essig had 14 strikeouts. Jasen Oliver and Nolan Schubart each hit a home run in the second game against Catholic while Thomas Allman struck out 15.
Next: Wed. vs. University of Detroit Jesuit.
3. Friendswood (Texas)
Record: 23-0 | Last week: 8
Results: Def. Sterling, 5-1; def. Santa Fe, 3-2.
Stats: Dylan Maxcey, Kevin Newkirk and Izaak Pacheco all doubled against Sterling.
Next: Tue. vs. Texas City.
4. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Record: 23-2 | Last week: 5
Results: Def. Canterbury, 11-1; def. Jesuit, 4-2.
Stats: Mason Albright tossed a no-hitter with five strikeouts and James Wood hit a home run against Canterbury. Drake Varnado had a double and three RBI in the win over Jesuit.
Next: Season over.
5. Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)
Record: 32-2 | Last week: 6
Results: Def. New Iberia, 9-2, 11-1; def. Lafayette, 7-5.
Stats: Gavin Guidry struck out 17 in the first win over New Iberia.
Next: Postseason TBD
6. Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.)
Record: 23-2 | Last week: 2
Results: Lost to IMG Academy, 4-2; def. Champagnat Catholic, 4-0
Stats: Bradke Lohry and Nick Rodriguez each had a triple against Champagnat Catholic.
Next: Postseason TBD
7. Madison Central (Madison, Miss.)
Record: 25-1 | Last week: 3
Results: Lost to Brandon, 7-6; def. Brandon, 15-4
Stats: Hunter Hines went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Ross Highfill and Creek Robertson each had five RBI with Highfill hitting two home runs and Robertson getting one.
Next: Postseason TBD
8. Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Record: 27-2 | Last week: 9
Results: Def. Lenoir City, 8-2; def. William Blount, 7-6; def. Greeneville, 10-2; def. Hardin Valley Academy, 7-5.
Stats: Tanner Kim went 3-for-4 against Lenoir City. Bryce Burkey was 4-for-4 against William Blount. Angus Pence had a grand slam and Garett Brewer homered against Greeneville. Pence and Lukas Buckner both homered against Hardin Valley.
Next: Wed. vs. Maryville; Thur. vs. Pigeon Forge; Fri. vs. Baylor.
9. Thousand Oaks (Calif.)
Record: 13-0 | Last week: 11
Results: Def. Agoura, 6-5, 17-1; def. Oaks Christian, 5-1.
Stats: Maxwell Muncy hit a home run in the first game, and had a home run and a double in the second game. Charlie Saum also had five base hits. Peyton Miller homered against Oaks Christian.
Next: Wed./Thur. Oaks Christian
10. Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.)
Record: 21-2 | Last week: 4
Results: Def. Calvary Christian Academy, 9-3; lost to Westminster Christian, 5-4.
Stats: Cameron Harris went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI against Calvary Christian Academy.
Next: Tues. vs. Coral Springs.
11. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
Record: 14-2 | Last week: 15
Results: Def. Casteel, 7-0; def. Horizon, 9-6; def. Perry, 8-2, 11-1.
Stats: Brock Selvidge struck out nine against Horizon. Gavin Turley had a double in all three wins. Ryan Kucherak, Logan Saloman and Turley all hit home runs against Perry.
Record: 26-3-2 | Last week: 16
Results: Def. Akins, 22-0, 11-0.
Stats: Kyle Rader had a grand slam and six RBI in the first game. Pierce George and Kaeden Kent each hit one out in the second game.
Next: Tue./Fri. vs. Westlake.
13. Reagan (San Antonio)
Record: 27-3 | Last week: 17
Results: Def. Johnson, 3-2; def. Churchill, 9-8.
Stats: Cohen Feser struck out nine against Johnson.
Next: Fri. vs. Roosevelt; Sat. vs. Calallen.
14. Gregory-Portland (Portland, Texas)
Record: 27-2-1 | Last week: 20
Results: Def. King, 7-0; def. Victoria East, 6-1.
Stats: Easton Dowell had a home run against King. Malachi Lott struck out 11 and tripled against Victoria East.
Next: Fri. vs. Ray.
15. Lakeland Christian (Lakeland, Fla.)
Record: 23-1 | Last week: 22
Results: Def. IMG Academy White, 12-2; def. Lake Wales, 10-0.
Stats: Ty Evans, Carson Byrd, Reese Collins and Brody Donay all homered against IMG. Donay also hit one out against Lake Wales.
Next: Tue. vs. Windermere Prep.
16. Winter Park (Fla.)
Record: 22-1 | Last week: 23
Results: Def. Olympia 2-0; def. Freedom, 12-0.
Stats: Nick Berger struck out seven against Freedom.
Next: Postseason TBD.
17. Rancho Bernardo (San Diego)
Record: 15-1 | Last week: 14
Results: Lost to La Costa Canyon, 3-1; def. La Costa Canyon, 11-0.
Stats: Shunsuke Sakaino had two doubles among his five hits in the 11-0 win.
Next: Thur./Sat. vs. San Marcos.
18. Bryant (Ark.)
Record: 19-2 | Last week: 12
Results: Lost to Catholic, 5-2; def. North Little Rock, 3-1; def. Central, 11-2.
Stats: Noah Davis had a double and a home run against Central.
Record: 18-3 | Last week: 13
Results: Def. Knoxville Catholic, 10-0, 12-2, 14-7, lost to Parkview, 9-5; def. McCallie, 10-0.
Stats: Daniel Corona and Cooper Kinney each had a double and a home run in the 10-0 win. Jay Dill struck out 14 and tossed a no-hitter. Kinney also had a double and a home run in the 12-2 win while Patrick Johnson fanned 12. Kinney, Carson Yates and Hunter Herndon all had two doubles in the 14-7 win. Kinney also homered in the loss to Parkview. Vito Valincius and Nick Kurtz hit home runs against McCallie.
Next: Tue./Wed. vs. McCallie, Fri. vs. Farragut.
20. Rocky Mountain (Meridian, Idaho)
Record: 19-1 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Boise, 12-2.
Stats: Justin Douglas had a double and a home run in the win.
Next: Tue. vs. Timberline.
21. Pleasant Grove (Utah)
Record: 16-0 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Westlake, 13-2, 20-5.
Stats: Sam Haynie and Brody Ballantye each hit home runs in the second game against Westlake.
Next: Tue. vs. Corner Canyon.
22. Columbus North (Columbus, Ind.)
Record: 15-0 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Floyd Central 3-0, def. Roncalli, 9-1.
Stats: Austin Bode had a double and a triple against Roncalli.
Next: Tue. vs. Southport, Thur. vs. Seymour.
23. Parkview Baptist (Baton Rouge, La.)
Record: 28-0 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Central Private, 13-2.
Stats: Caleb Stelly had a home run in the win.
Next: Postseason TBD
24. Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.)
Record: 11-1 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Madera, 12-0.
Stats: Temo Becerra had a grand slam in the win for the Bears.
Next: Tue./Thur./Sat. vs. Clovis East.
25. Roff (Okla.)
Record: 27-0 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Mill Creek, 12-0, 16-2; def. Noble, 13-1; def. Amber-Pocasset, 8-0.
Stats: Cade Baldridge and Trayson Miller both homered against Mill Creek in the 12-0 win while Tallen Bagwell and Dylan Reed both homered in the second game. Baldridge and MIller, along with Drew Sheppard, all homered against Noble. Miler, Reed and Will Joplin each hit home runs against Amber-Pocasset.
Next: Postseason TBD
Brody Rowbury of Meridian is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Idaho High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-10 senior center helped the Warriors go 20-1 en route to the program's first state title in 29 years.