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Girls high school basketball rankings: OFFICIAL Top 25 showdown set for Wednesday as No. 1 Lake Highland Prep meets No. 14 Montverde Academy - OFFICIAL
Girls high school basketball rankings: MaxPreps Top 25 showdown set for Wednesday as No. 1 Lake Highland Prep meets No. 14 Montverde Academy
National rankings always include a lot of educated guesswork, as top teams often don't play each other and some have limited local schedules — but this year, obviously, is different. This year, some high school girls basketball teams may not play at all. This year, some states plan to play basketball in the spring. This year, some won't start their season until Feb. 1. This year, some have played their normal schedules.

So how to sort it all out? First, by conceding that this year's rankings will be even more problematic than most, as intersectional games and major events are few and far between. Second, by excluding schools from the rankings that do not begin play until April. Third, by relying more on perceived talent level than on game results — though that said, losses to in-state rivals that in the past could be offset by wins over other nationally-ranked teams will now be more critical when it comes to putting together the MaxPreps Top 25 high school girls basketball rankings.

Of course, no one knows how the season will play out, as state associations and local school districts are making decisions on a daily basis that will affect the teams mentioned below, so schools may appear and disappear from the rankings much more frequently than in previous seasons.
But regardless, here we go...
Maria Mykleburst, Montverde Academy
Photo by Pete Wright
Maria Mykleburst, Montverde Academy
MaxPreps Top 25 Girls High School Basketball Rankings

1. Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
Record:
10-0 | Last week: 1
Uneasy lies the crown. Point guard Sierra Godbolt tore her ACL and unbeaten No. 14 Montverde Academy is tonight's opponent. The Highlanders only managed 36 points against No. 17 New Hope in a three-point win Dec. 22.

2. Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 2
The first of many teams that has yet to play. An abbreviated season for this uber-talented group is expected to begin around Feb. 1.

3. Westlake (Atlanta)
Record: 6-0 | Last week: 7
A big win against a strong McEachern team was good news for Westlake in the early going, but several intersectional games were canceled over the holidays. The Peach State's best will resume play this week, however.

4. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Record:
0-0 | Last week: 4
Despite the graduation of Paige Bueckers, Hopkins still has one of the most talented rosters in the country. The Royals are expected to begin play this week.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 5
A perennial fixture in the MaxPreps Top 25 should get under way in mid-January.

Record: 10-0 | Last week: NR
The first newcomer, Mount Notre Dame lands in the top 10 thanks to wins over previously-ranked North Central of Indianapolis and another strong Indiana team, Carmel. And unlike most teams this year, Mount Notre Dame also added another intersectional win, this one over Madison Academy of Alabama.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 8
In the same league as No. 2 Bishop McNamara, St. John's and Azzi Fudd are still on hold. A February start is anticipated.

Record: 2-0 | Last week: 9
Incarnate Word played two games in early December, but has been shut down since then. An in-state schedule should resume Jan. 14.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 1
New Jersey teams always start the season later than other states, but this year's Jan. 15 beginning actually is earlier than many.

Record: 16-0 | Last week: 18
Texas, as always, rolls on. After playing 42 games last year (losing one), Cypress Creek has played 16 games already this year. Of those 16 wins, the closest was by 12 points.

Record: 2-0 | Last week: NR
Classen SAS jumps into the rankings thanks to a 50-46 win over previous No. 11 DeSoto. Mark Feb. 11 on the calendar, as that's when a game against No. 13 Norman pops up on the schedule.

Record: 2-0 | Last week: 12
Reynoldsburg's ranking will be tested next week, as unbeaten Newark and once-beaten Pickerington Central (the loss was to Newark) are on tap.

Record: 5-0 | Last week: 13
Norman gets back in full swing with two games next week.

Record: 11-0 | Last week: 23
A big win over Compass Prep of Arizona was a major reason for the jump. An even bigger win is possible tonight against No. 1 Lake Highland Prep.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 15
A Feb. 1 start is anticipated for a new kid on the MaxPreps Top 25 block.

Record: 18-0 | Last week: 16
Hoover handled unbeaten Hewitt-Trussville on Saturday, and with 18 wins already, is off to a very impressive start.

Record: 4-1 | Last week: 14
It's no disgrace to lose to No. 1 so New Hope drops only three spots this week.

Record: 12-1 | Last week: 11
The loss to No. 11 Classen SAS was balanced by a 62-55 win over previous No. 2 Duncanville — but note that the Duncanville-DeSoto rematch Jan. 23 could scramble the rankings again.

Record: 2-0 | Last week: 19
Some teams in Tennessee have played as many as 15 games; Ensworth has reported only two. Still, those two wins are enough to keep Ensworth in the MaxPreps Top 25.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 20
Like St. John-Vianney, Rutgers Prep has yet to start play.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 21
Valley Vista will begin an 18-game, in-state season Jan. 19.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 22
Archbishop Wood is a bit of a mystery as no schedule has been posted — even though Pennsylvania is expected to begin play this week.

Record: 12-1 | Last week: 2
The loss to No. 18 DeSoto dropped the Panthers to No. 23, but the Jan. 23 rematch will be a shot at redemption – and a rise in the rankings.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 24
Washington will meet this week to decide if the season will begin Feb. 1 or be postponed until spring (as is the case in California, among others). But for now, Chiawana stays at No. 24.

Record: 8-0 | Last week: NR
Fremont jumps into the rankings thanks to a hot start and a loaded roster. Davis, at 5-1, will be a test this Friday.

NOTE: Coaches are encourage to update schedules and results on MaxPreps. For support, contact us via email at [email protected]
OFFICIAL/AVCA Players of the Week - OFFICIAL
MaxPreps/AVCA Players of the Week
MaxPreps/AVCA High School Players of the Week
For the week of March 8-14.

Boys

Northeast Region
(Includes: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington D.C.)


Senior | S
15 Games Played
Kills: 42
Kills/Game: 2.80
Digs: 24
Digs/Game: 1.60
Aces: 8
Blocks: 5

Senior | OH
3 Games Played
Kills: 15
Kills/Game: 5

Midwest Region
(Includes: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri,
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota)


6'2 | Senior | OPP/RS
7 Games Played
Kills: 20
Kills/Game: 2.86
Digs: 17
Digs/Game: 2.43
Receptions: 22
Rcpt/Game: 3.14
Aces: 1
Blocks: 3

6'1 | Senior | OH/RS
7 Games Played
Kills: 27
Kills/Game: 3.86
Digs: 20
Digs/Game: 2.86
Receptions: 28
Rcpt/Game: 4.00
Aces: 2
Blocks: 5

South Region
(Includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina,
Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas)


Senior | OH
6 Games Played
Kills: 38
Kills/Game: 6.33
Digs: 16
Digs/Game: 2.67
Receptions: 25
Rcpt/Game: 4.17
Aces: 3
Blocks: 3

Girls

Florida
Junior | OH/L/S
3 Games Played
Kills: 26
Kills/Game: 8.67
Digs: 4
Digs/Game: 1.33
Receptions: 16
Rcpt/Game: 5.33
Aces: 8

Maryland
Junior
8 Sets Played
Kills: 26
Kills/Game: 3.25
Digs: 9
Digs/Game: 1.13
Aces: 3
Blocks: 2

Nevada
5'10" | Junior | OH
7 Sets Played
Kills: 24
Kills/Game: 3.43
Digs: 28
Digs/Game: 4
Receptions: 30
Rcpt/Game: 4.29
Aces: 4

New Mexico
5'9" | Senior | OH/RS
14 Sets Played
Kills: 52
Kills/Game: 3.71
Digs: 18
Digs/Game: 1.29
Receptions: 9
Rcpt/Game: 0.64
Aces: 11
Blocks: 14

Oregon
5'11" | Senior | OH
10 Sets Played
Kills: 36
Kills/Game: 3.6
Digs: 12
Digs/Game: 1.2
Receptions: 25
Rcpt/Game: 2.5
Aces: 2
Blocks: 1

Virginia
Junior | OH
11 Sets Played
Kills: 67
Kills/Game: 6.09
Digs: 40
Digs/Game: 3.64
Receptions: 40
Rcpt/Game: 3.64
Aces: 4
Blocks: 6

Washington
6'1" | Senior | MB/OH
8 Sets Played
Kills: 39
Kills/Game: 4.88
Digs: 25
Digs/Game: 3.13
Receptions: 24
Rcpt/Game: 3
Aces: 2
Blocks: 1

Wisconsin
5'11" Junior, OH
6 Sets Played
Kills: 33
Kills/Game: 5.5
Digs: 10
Digs/Game: 1.67
Receptions: 15
Rcpt/Game: 2.5
Aces: 8
Blocks: 2
High school football: Valdosta program hit with $7,500 fine, postseason ban for using ineligible players - OFFICIAL
High school football: Valdosta program hit with $7,500 fine, postseason ban for using ineligible players
Valdosta (Ga.), the winningest high school football program in history, was hit with a historic punishment this week by the Georgia High School Association over alleged recruiting violations and lack of institutional control, according to media reports.

The school was fined $7,500 and the football team banned from the 2021 postseason as five players from the 2020 team were deemed ineligible. Valdosta finished 7-5 last season and reached the AAAAAA semifinals. The school's 939 wins are the most in prep history, though victories with ineligible players become forfeits.

Valdosta coach Rush Propst remains on administrative leave last month after allegedly asking former booster club director Mike Nelson for "funny money" to help recruits and their families with rent and other expenses.

GHSA Executive Director Robin Hines announced the fines as $1,000 for each of the five ineligible players as well as $2,500 for "lack of institutional control."

"The evidence is clear that this is not an isolated instance (of recruiting) and that Coach Probst (sic) and members of the Valdosta Touchdown Club have on other occasions contacted other student athletes or their families and provided gifts of money, payment of utilities and housing incentives in an attempt to persuade those student athletes to transfer to Valdosta High School," Hines told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Among the ineligible players was Jake Garcia, who transferred to Valdosta from California. He played one game for Wildcats before being declared ineligible and transferring to Grayson, where he helped the Rams to a AAAAAAA title. Garcia is now enrolled at the University of Miami.

Propst owns a career record of 299-92 and has won seven state titles during a high-profile, 30-year, seven-school career that included an eight-year stint at Hoover (Ala.), which was featured on MTV's popular "Two-A-Days" reality show. He resigned there in 2007 mired in controversy, and was dismissed from Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.) in 2019 after more alleged impropriety.

The school has seven days to appeal to the GHSA.

Propst declined comment on any allegation or GHSA's ruling, but told the AJC, "We've got to let the (appeals) process play out, and we respect that process, and hopefully we'll get to the bottom of this."
Rush Propst, Valdosta
File photo by Gary McCullough
Rush Propst, Valdosta

Sports with fans in attendance take place Monday as high school baseball gets underway in Iowa - OFFICIAL
Sports with fans in attendance take place Monday as high school baseball gets underway in Iowa
Video: Fictional high school movie locations
Campuses made famous on big screen as seen via Google Earth.

Christmas came early for high school sports fans in Iowa as baseball and softball players returned to the field Monday after a month-long delay due to the coronavirus.

Pleasant Valley defeated Assumption (Davenport) 3-2 in one of the first of 97 games scheduled on the opening day of the baseball season in Iowa and MaxPreps photographer Mandy McGlothlin was on hand for the action.
Pleasant Valley players take the field during the National Anthem.
Photos by Mandy McGlothlin
Pleasant Valley players take the field during the National Anthem.
Monday's contests mark the first games since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered many state basketball tournaments and spring sports schedules. Fans in Iowa, and no doubt across the land, can rejoice at the return of high school athletics.

Iowa, which plays a summer baseball season that normally starts in late May, is the first state to resume athletic competition at the high school level since the coronavirus shut down all high school play in mid-March. At least a hundred games are scheduled each day throughout the state for the coming week with most teams playing doubleheaders.

The regular season is going to be a short one with Iowa expected to begin postseason play on July 9 at the 1A level, July 11 for Class 2A and July 17 for Class 4A and 3A. State championship games are scheduled for Aug. 1.
Fans were permitted to attend the game at Assumption High School in Davenport.
Fans were permitted to attend the game at Assumption High School in Davenport.
A Pleasant Valley player watches his hit.
A Pleasant Valley player watches his hit.
Two Pleasant Valley players celebrate the victory.
Two Pleasant Valley players celebrate the victory.

High school football: Former NFL running back, Olympic track sprinter Jahvid Best takes over California program - OFFICIAL
High school football: Former NFL running back, Olympic track sprinter Jahvid Best takes over California program
Jahvid Best, whose promising NFL career was cut short by head injuries, will return to the field to coach high school football. The former Cal and Detroit Lions running back was named head coach Monday at Saint Mary's (Albany, Calif.), the rival of the school he attended as a prep.

Known for his blazing speed and big-play prowess, the 32-year-old Best takes over a program that hasn't had a winning season since 2015. Since that time, the Panthers have gone 18-28.

But winning championships or coaching at the next level is not on the mind of Best. He said he just wants to pass on his knowledge of the game, the value of hard work and more life lessons. 

"It's all about the culture," he said. "I want to create an environment that is about learning and growing, about the value of work ethic and dedication. A lot of people wrote about all the talent I had as a player, but everything I truly earned was through hard work. Football is no different than life. What you put into it, you'll get out of it."

Best rushed for a Bay Area prep record 3,325 yards and 48 touchdowns his senior year at Salesian College Preparatory (Richmond), leading the Pride to a North Coast Section title. He left as the region's career rushing leader at 6,379, which was later shattered by recent Steelers first-round selection Najee Harris of Antioch.

Also a track star, Best won the 2007 state track meet 100-meter finals in a wind-aided 10.31 seconds and was second in the 200 (20.65). After a stellar three seasons at Cal, where he accounted for more than 3,200 total yards and 35 touchdowns, he was a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2010.
Jahvid Best rushed for more than 3,300 yards and 48 touchdowns as a senior at Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) high school.
File photo by Dennis Lee
Jahvid Best rushed for more than 3,300 yards and 48 touchdowns as a senior at Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) high school.
He started 15 of 16 games as a rookie, but suffered a concussion in the preseason of his second season. Midway through that 2011 campaign, he suffered another concussion, which ended a more than promising NFL career.

Best went back to track and eventually ran a personal best of 10.16 in the 100 and competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics for Saint Lucia. He plans to help out Jay Lawson and the St. Mary's track and field program as well.

Saint Mary's athletic director Casey Filson is thrilled to have Best on staff, but admitted a few alum were concerned to have a former athlete from a rival high school leading the program.

"Given his experience and who Jahvid Best is, those concerns were quickly put to rest," Filson said. "We're very excited to have Jahvid join the Panther community."

Said Best: "I've been hearing it from the other direction (laughing). It's all good. I was just looking for an opportunity to make my own path to influence young people by passing on the knowledge I gained from football to the next generation. I'm so thankful Saint Mary's has afforded it to me."

Best was a Salesian assistant coach under his old coach Chad Nightingale for three seasons, ending in 2019. Since Nightingale isn't going anywhere and former Panthers' head coach Connor Banks took an administrative position at Justin-Siena (Napa), this was a perfect fit for Best. 
 
Filson saw the former football and track star often on the sideline of Saint Mary's soccer games, where his wife Rachel Armstrong coached the girls team. She recently left on maternity leave, having her and Best's first child, daughter Kamiyah three months ago.

When Banks left, Best's interest grew in the position, communicating his desire to be in charge of all phases of a program.

"I'm taking this all step-by-step," Best said. "I'm not looking to advance to something else. It could take 15 years to build, I really don't know, but I'm going to enjoy the process of building this Panther football program."